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I bought it. 😳

Still, it's a distillation of research by many RS enthusiasts. As close as we'll get I think. 

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Ello ello ello. What's all this then?

My plan for the Firebird RS is to fit an Oak block through the neck tenon, pre-fitted with deep 5mm threaded inserts. That way when I rout the top cavity for the trem itself, I can bolt the knife-edge plate up. The whole "Oak block" isn't an effort towards correctness as per the RS, however in this instance the opportunity affords itself, so why not? The only thing that I'm dreading is how to adjust the spring preloading bolts. The original RS has two long holes from the rear of the body either side of the strap button through to the trem cavity....

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Aha, gotcha. You bought from RS conversions? This is what I've been contemplating this week as well.I like his knife edge / bolt block combo.

I've been considering all week about installing from the front or the back, and how this unit will work with a carved top. I'm leaning towards install from the top, with an ebony cover inset, much like a back cavity cover. This would allow for a deep route, fitting the cover, then carve the top and cover at the same time for a seamless top. The cover would have the necessary opening for the trem top, and the knife edge could be mounted level with the inner ledge of the cavity.  Hope that makes sense.

I've also considered just making it a hardtail with the retainer I have, But that's not very sporting of me.

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G&W actually! I should probably consider getting the bridge also, as it's part of the package I guess.

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@Prostheta That's interesting, G&W looks like a sort of across the pond StewMac. Check out the Red Special neck profile gauge at G&W - WOW!


The tremolo G&W sells is identical to the one sold by RS Conversions:   http://rsconversions.com/conversion-knife-edge-bolt-block-tremolo-unit.php

I'm using the Wilkinson roller bridge. If you aren't too worried about being exact an RS copy, it's a good solution.

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On 4/5/2019 at 7:31 PM, Prostheta said:

Ello ello ello. What's all this then?

My plan for the Firebird RS is to fit an Oak block through the neck tenon, pre-fitted with deep 5mm threaded inserts. That way when I rout the top cavity for the trem itself, I can bolt the knife-edge plate up. The whole "Oak block" isn't an effort towards correctness as per the RS, however in this instance the opportunity affords itself, so why not? The only thing that I'm dreading is how to adjust the spring preloading bolts. The original RS has two long holes from the rear of the body either side of the strap button through to the trem cavity....

20190405_212438.jpg

20190405_212323.jpg

20190405_212313.jpg

That's splendid @Prostheta :)

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As is usual with me, I’m making deviations from the original plan. I’ve purchased a RS tremolo, but may still build one for fun. I almost gave up and made it a hardtail... The trick is the trem + the carve top + the radius body. 

I’m not doing the split flame / quilt, just all quilt top, because this:

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Also, the glow powder came for the starfield. I’ve also got some pearlescent mica powder and will test mixtures now. Pretty glowy.

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that's a nice quilt.  where did you source it?  that trem looks pretty industrial heavy duty too.

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G&W are pretty good, I got their prs custom 24 templates which I've used for a lot of my builds, their radius block, fretboard files and fret rubbers. I've also got African mahogany from them for a few builds. They don't have anywhere near the catalogue that stewmac has though, but Crimson are trying to set themself up as the European equivalent of stewmac and building up quite a range or lutheir tools and supples.

That maple is gorgeous, I'm quite jealous. I think I'm going to have to arrange a holiday to the states and come back with a couple of carve tops in my suitcase.

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@mistermikev this particular chunk from ebay. I've got wood in my wood library I bought 40 years ago! When you see it, grab it. 

@ADFinlayson I didn't realize G&W was Crimson. their vids have some good info. I'm about to sell off a bunch of wood from my wood library, some drop tops and one carve top quilt that is actually better and more even sausage figure but not as strong and deep if that makes sense. Is shipping to GB too much for online buying? About the only place to get stuff like this one is the pacific northwest. so everything I'm buying is usually online. The amazing hard maple flame I showed earlier in this thread was local from a flooring mill. They didn't want it because it didn't match other wood for flooring!

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27 minutes ago, komodo said:

@mistermikev this particular chunk from ebay. I've got wood in my wood library I bought 40 years ago! When you see it, grab it. 

@ADFinlayson I didn't realize G&W was Crimson. their vids have some good info. I'm about to sell off a bunch of wood from my wood library, some drop tops and one carve top quilt that is actually better and more even sausage figure but not as strong and deep if that makes sense. Is shipping to GB too much for online buying? About the only place to get stuff like this one is the pacific northwest. so everything I'm buying is usually online. The amazing hard maple flame I showed earlier in this thread was local from a flooring mill. They didn't want it because it didn't match other wood for flooring!

They aren't, they're two seperate companies and not affiliated. G&W in Portugal and Crimson here in GB

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1 hour ago, komodo said:

@mistermikev this particular chunk from ebay. I've got wood in my wood library I bought 40 years ago! When you see it, grab it. 

@ADFinlayson I didn't realize G&W was Crimson. their vids have some good info. I'm about to sell off a bunch of wood from my wood library, some drop tops and one carve top quilt that is actually better and more even sausage figure but not as strong and deep if that makes sense. Is shipping to GB too much for online buying? About the only place to get stuff like this one is the pacific northwest. so everything I'm buying is usually online. The amazing hard maple flame I showed earlier in this thread was local from a flooring mill. They didn't want it because it didn't match other wood for flooring!

right on.  you can def find some good deals on evilbay if you are patient.  I got a lovely piece of flamed mahog I'm saving that was under $40.  I'm guessing a good deal on something like yours was probably $100+?

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The trouble with maple here in the UK is it all comes from your side of the pond, it's expensive anyway for the nice stuff, it's expensive to ship, then we normally get hit with import duty on top. The Ziricote carve top I got for the last build came to £250 by the time it was in my hands. A nice quilted maple top like you pictured above would probably be similar money 😢

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That level of quilt in a piece that big will start at 150 and go up to 450. If you can find a honey hole locally, then you have more options, but you won't likely find that kind of wood unless you are the Pacific NW where they are growing and cutting tons of it. Quilt is probably 1 in 100 trees. Great quilt is 1 in 500, primo is 1 in 1000+. If you shop in a forum where they are selling as mesic wood, then you will pay more but also get to see more. If you see it in person, then you might identify quality wood that hasn't really been pulled and graded as such - like at my flooring mill. They called it "that pretty wood" but didn't want it cause it was a problem child for their product.

People like PRS have a massive buying power and connections setup with mills so they are getting pick of the litter because they buy so much and can be very demanding. But even they will look for the promo stuff and pull it off for their wood library and custom jobs.

One of the biggest problems is the way people grade and price. Look on ebay and you will see all kinds of 5A graded wood that is 3A at best if not for the color alone. If it's not white maple, it's not 5A.

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Nope.

https://www.carpathiantonewood.com/shop/

5A is not a thing. Wood is graded up to 3A, based on the number of allowable faults by length. 4A and 5A were pulled out of the arse to market wood that is desirable, implying that somehow lesser designations means poorer wood. I'd seen "5A" Maple that is poorly cut, seasoned and selected which a good knowledgeable sawyer would grade 3A....and still blow it out of the water. Take it with a pinch of salt is all 😉

PRS collate such amazing wood that a designation like 4A/5A might be worthwhile however it subverts the reasoning of wood grading in the first place by adding cosmetic/aesthetic terms which aren't part and parcel of (and not useful to) the board lumber grading process. So-called 5A wood should simply be called 3A fancy or "exhibition".

Ironically, many of the figuring we find attractive in woods can be classed as faults under some circumstances....! If there's one thing that I hate, it's the marketing wankateers stealing and subverting language and undermining established terms from wider standards. 😃

Like Komodo says; talk to the people closer to the source. Middleman talk up lesser grades and add their own pound of flesh.

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There's many international standards formally establishing the appearance and grading of hardwoods and softwoods, and these vary internationally of course, with a fair amount of fragmentation. For the most part they all work in the same direction. The whole "greater than A grade" thing is artificial; created entirely to buoy an isolated market where talk, marketing and made-up terms scupper the basic sense and reliance of standards.

In spite of being the Swedish standard on softwoods, this illustrates the meaning of grading pretty nicely.

https://www.swedishwood.com/about_wood/choosing-wood/wood-grades/

Anyway. Rant over!

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What he said.

Grading and subjectiveness drives me insane. Whether its wood or vinyl LPs. When I sell off the stuff from my own pile, I'm going to make up terms and promise not to use AAAAAAAA grading.

weapons grade

for master luthiers only

not your dads wood

"mojo wood"

 

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Master luthiers mass debating over the properties of hide glue made from horses fed Pringles on Wednesdays facing West whilst listening to Nina Simone through Russian tubes. That kind of thing.

I mean sure, differentiation is nice however it shouldn't be a vague addendum to a wider industries established (and relied upon) standards. It's almost like the imperial system being "vintage correct". 😕

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ya know the funny thing about all of this......

I've been trying forever to build a plain guitar with non of this kind of wood. Whenever I see an LP with a plain maple top I think it looks very sophisticated.

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OK, finally underway. Believe me, every second of time out of shop was spent obsessing over details.

Will not be doing radiused body,I pulled out an old prototype body and slapped a neck on it. Its very ergonomic, but its not a deal breaker. There’s already so much going on here with geometry. Also won’t do semi-hollow, the core is ebony and wings are swamp ash, a thin semi isnt going to do anything really. 

 

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Resawed some bitchin quilt.

Cut the scarf, used the bandsaw this time, IDK why I just felt like it and ebony is no match for the resaw blade. 

Planed those faces smooth and glued that up.

 

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After I cut the scarf, I resawed the head to thickness.

Save your ebony dust!! 

Yes I spread the glue before clamping. Also used two small locater nails on the outer edge. You can just see them between the clamp blocks.

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Got a real nice edge on the top plates which was hard because the intensity of the quilt caused all kinds of grain issues. I tried the jointer, sanding, scrapers etc, finally ended up shaving a thin layer off with the table saw and then some fine sanding. I need a name for my table saw, it’s such an elder statesman of tools. A 1950 Delta Unisaw with the old smaller horse cast iron induction motors. It’s such a great tool, I’ll try to get pics later.

Then cut the center ebony core of the body to shape, plus the swamp ash outer wings which were also resawn to just over 1”, and glued all that crap up. The body will endnup being about 1-3/4” thick at it’s thickest, but with the very heavy carve it will be quite thin actually. Only limited by the Red Special bridge. The Trisonic pickups will be very shallow, almost surface mounted.

Last is the obligatory - place the hardware on and try to imagine the guitar in there.

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From the bottle like the heathen that I am.

 

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