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Andyjr1515

Phoenix Dreadnought Acoustic

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Hi

I've got a full build on the horizon but have been catching up on a few bits and pieces - some for other folk and some on my own guitars and basses.

As part of that, one thing I do periodically, is remind myself what wood or unused components I have taking up space and which generally irritate MrsAndyjr1515.  Although that is one of the few great pleasures left in life, actually I do need to clear some space for the next load of mess I have planned

And I came across something I'd forgotten about - neck no.1 from the Psilos Bass build

_MG_2519.thumb.JPG.9a189b0a28c2bf567cd36333a3607796.JPG

 

Some of you might remember that originally the hidden magnetic pickup was going to be a standard humbucker.  I did a mockup and it looked fine. Trouble was, because it was going to be inserted from the back, then it basically cut right through the neck core:

_MG_1432.thumb.JPG.52d781862ad46751ffd2b4afc8fb1526.JPG

Now, in reality - because there would be the fretboard at the other side - this isn't actually much different to what a deep pickup rout does to a through-neck in any case.  But this shot was, admittedly, a bit stark!  And Mick, the future owner, asked me if we could re-think.  That's when the idea of custom individual coils came up...which is what we went for in the end:

_MG_1643.thumb.JPG.19afc90a2809f8f7708df67c39d3b21a.JPG

 

But this meant a new neck.  So what happened to neck Number 1?

Well - nothing until this weekend.

Look familiar?:

_MG_8607.thumb.JPG.cb34daf1e88a4b35c26170ffb3c5b583.JPG

_MG_8614.thumb.JPG.d41008edde06b4581810c6387a33c0b7.JPG

 

I'll cover the reason for starting another Dreadnought acoustic shortly, but that's where the neck came from ;)

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5 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Hi

I've got a full build on the horizon but have been catching up on a few bits and pieces - some for other folk and some on my own guitars and basses.

As part of that, one thing I do periodically, is remind myself what wood or unused components I have taking up space and which generally irritate MrsAndyjr1515.  Although that is one of the few great pleasures left in life, actually I do need to clear some space for the next load of mess I have planned

And I came across something I'd forgotten about - neck no.1 from the Psilos Bass build

_MG_2519.thumb.JPG.9a189b0a28c2bf567cd36333a3607796.JPG

 

 

so this pic here... was wondering if I could ask some questions about.  is this your build?  if so... is it this white in person or just in the photo?  I love how 'white' this piece is.  I'm assuming it's just light wood... wasn't bleached or anything?  beautiful.

also... looking fwd to the crazy acoustic you are going to do!

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Hi, @mistermikev

Yes - one of my crazier builds.  The full thread is here:

 

 

In brief, it was an ultra-modern bass.  Notable features in the spec I was given were:

- all white, natural wood

- body profile shaped like a contact lens

- piezo and magnetic pickups, all hidden - and controls likewise - from the front

- fretboard completely integral with body (ie, a body radius of 12" and the fretboard and frets set at body level

This is what it looked like when it was finished:

 

It is made from white English Sycamore body and Maple fretboard.  No trickery with the photos - this is what it looks like.  I used the Osmo Polyx RAW product to finish which is designed to preserve the original colour of sanded wood.  In reality, it has a subtle whitener in it but does indeed work - this is pretty much what it looked like when it was freshly sanded :)

_MG_2462.JPG

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wow, that looks really cool.  I'm going to add the osmo to my link list.  def going to try some of that.  very cool look!  thank you for the tip!

 

seems it is pretty hard to locate the 3044 raw... if you don't mind... where did you aquire?

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4 hours ago, mistermikev said:

wow, that looks really cool.  I'm going to add the osmo to my link list.  def going to try some of that.  very cool look!  thank you for the tip!

 

seems it is pretty hard to locate the 3044 raw... if you don't mind... where did you aquire?

Ah...UK. Varnishes, paints and finishes tend not to transfer much between UK and US.  Most of the US products are not available in UK so maybe it's the same with Osmo?  Can you get any of their products over there?

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6 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Ah...UK. Varnishes, paints and finishes tend not to transfer much between UK and US.  Most of the US products are not available in UK so maybe it's the same with Osmo?  Can you get any of their products over there?

sorry, yeah, after I posted I looked around and found some on amazon uk... but that's about it.  seems like a great product and not sure if there is a us equiv but I will look around and if not it seems like it might be worthwhile to pony up the extra shipping.  thanks again for the tip!

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7 hours ago, mistermikev said:

sorry, yeah, after I posted I looked around and found some on amazon uk... but that's about it.  seems like a great product and not sure if there is a us equiv but I will look around and if not it seems like it might be worthwhile to pony up the extra shipping.  thanks again for the tip!

While it is a good product, it's worth remembering that it is quite specialist and really designed for us on light coloured woods.  The whitening in it, although very mild, will accumulate with any thick patches and, on a dark wood, show.  Thin enough, though, it doesn't.  This bass has black ebony in it...and with care, that stayed black.

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3 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

While it is a good product, it's worth remembering that it is quite specialist and really designed for us on light coloured woods.  The whitening in it, although very mild, will accumulate with any thick patches and, on a dark wood, show.  Thin enough, though, it doesn't.  This bass has black ebony in it...and with care, that stayed black.

i think you mean the inlays right?  I imagine you just had to really be careful not to put it on thick. 

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5 hours ago, mistermikev said:

i think you mean the inlays right?  I imagine you just had to really be careful not to put it on thick. 

The neck splices:

_MG_2473.thumb.JPG.f5404df68c42452d78ce32e445df5939.JPG

Looks like the Starship Enterprise cruising over  :)

I'd forgotten what an unusual beast this was....

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This is a bit of a background job, but I've made a little more progress over the last couple of weeks.

I made a couple of radius dishes for my first acoustic a few years ago - one at 15 foot radius for the back and one at 25 foot radius for the top.  I tracked them down amongst the general detritus and I also found my home-made dreadnought former.

I got hold of a nice Black Limba back and sides set of timber from a German supplier which I thicknessed down to 2mm (it will finally sand down to around 1.8-1.9mm).

_MG_8638.thumb.JPG.78be8f90d30feaec73975e2cde856348.JPG

 

The thing I got slightly wrong on the last dreadnought was the shape of the sides at the back.  It's actually a fairly complex shape and my plan doesn't give any clues!  In the end, I adapted this off the internet:

sidetemplate.jpg.6ec9d273270736c691d4088abc539685.jpg

God bless folks who publish this kind of stuff!

I made a paper template and checked it visually - many times!

_MG_8640.thumb.JPG.c6d972dd82936268161f8252ac20f989.JPG

 

Then got out my trusty side bending iron:

_MG_8645.thumb.JPG.7e25e3cc03082216c9eae8eef7d13936.JPG

 

Side bending gets just a touch easier each time...

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Next, after adding a mahogany heel block and tail block, it was time for the kerfing strip - glued just a touch proud of the sides to allow sanding down to the spherical radius of the top and the back:

_MG_8916.thumb.JPG.6d2010b00c3552cf20c98141563e27f2.JPG

 

And - hey presto - self supporting...and, this time (a first), NO SPLITS!

_MG_8917.thumb.JPG.6e0e0fda9a0b53c13cfb39bba72add68.JPG

The back was also cut roughly to shape ready to start adding the braces and forcing it into submission with the radius dishes!

_MG_8926.thumb.JPG.b622b7360fb32de63e07a239f4118481.JPG

 

 

 

_MG_8634.JPG

_MG_8635.JPG

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For the last dreadnought I did, I did an offset rosette which I wanted to try again.  This was the last one:

_MG_6478.thumb.JPG.df0f2096c29cb96271a19ef374d8921c.JPG

This time, I took a note of the measurements!  You never know - there maybe a next time!

_MG_9030.thumb.JPG.7abcce35cb0c5e3f667ce63fb1fe5610.JPG

I'd got three plates I could use, so cut out the shape and tried them to see which figuring worked best:

_MG_9032.thumb.JPG.52949ea382f6034beb21a8e7f4377db4.JPG

Then out with the Dremel.  This is about the only job I do with this accessory but by golly it's useful!

_MG_9034.thumb.JPG.a978fd6323b8da4f7b168d869687383b.JPG

Then it's a case of measuring correctly and remembering which hole you are supposed to be pivoting around!

_MG_9035.thumb.JPG.755227a4a8bd7ffb37cba99ab8765628.JPG

With luck, you end up with this:

_MG_9036.thumb.JPG.6bb97061614933c722f81ba8a514fb8e.JPG

Which gives me the rosette.

_MG_9037.thumb.JPG.a2a5c0918b3029f68917e59618a06e96.JPG

Of course - I've got to rout the same shape in the expensive top wood next...hmmm and that needs to be accurate!

 

 

 

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I used the cut-out middle of the rosette as the template for drilling the two holes in the top:

_MG_9043.thumb.JPG.59d0df257f96b76211248c2b893c2167.JPG

 

Then being careful to allow for the cutter width, cut the outer and inner edges of the rosette channel:

 _MG_9045.thumb.JPG.1c9fa0c54c4632f2614b548eec61a201.JPG

_MG_9051.thumb.JPG.ae94e79576110cda1556e8bf6d58e9bd.JPG

 

Next, I routed out the bit in the middle, and then went a bit mad with the purfling channels!

_MG_9060.thumb.JPG.2a36d0b6e6742a8a67aa52e254b70c8f.JPG

The Swift is just a paper template.  I will inlay one there and then scrape/sand everything flush.

And then I can start adding the braces to the top :)

 

 

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love how the little circle makes a mirrored offset circle.  v nice.

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Twisting the symmetry has always been one of my favourites, it makes the viewer's brain work a little to figure out what's happening there.

Somehow that reminds me of a rag rug I designed for my mother in my teens; just a couple of circles and lines drawn in perspective, but overlapped systematically the opposite way. If that made any sense...

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Normal stuff with installing the Swift:

Jeweller's saw:

_MG_9063.thumb.JPG.1515298c735de1d18b30f15ae3b0c814.JPG

 

Then Dremel with precision router base:

_MG_9065.thumb.JPG.30dcb1a94fddeea17b13425d74feeb72.JPG

 

Then epoxy mixed with wood dust:

_MG_9064.thumb.JPG.1865aaec6d5afeac4fee72c114d427dd.JPG

 

The slightly ragged edges will disappear once the final sanding has been done (once the top is on), but hopefully you get the general idea.  The join at the top is hidden by the fretboard.

_MG_9068.thumb.JPG.2ee0cce2e0bfab8a907cb2bf3d083627.JPG

 

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10 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

like some sort of angry alien

Had to look twice to find him! That's the beauty of wood, there's so many hidden figures. Plus it takes somewhat of an artistic eye to see them. Good choice by Andy, nice find by Ash!

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Today's job was to get out the Go-bar deck again and this time the 25 foot dish.

First the all important cross-brace:

_MG_9075.thumb.JPG.02a2d5238ca71a950233ba4b76d562f5.JPG

And once that was fully secure, the other braces.  You can see why I left the tops of the braces flat at this stage!

_MG_9076.thumb.JPG.389e5c2d85419bdd85ab04f462562d28.JPG

 

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Then after a LOT of tapping and listening and whittling - frankly, having little to no clue what I was supposed to be doing, except that it was ringing out much more musically at the end of the process than at the beginning - the braces were ready for the final sanding and  top for gluing:

_MG_9077.thumb.JPG.8c4c8da4b00941265275a7a10d28b9fe.JPG

 

I always try a dry-fit on stuff where there's a lot going on at the same time as the glue is drying.  This is when I remembered my previous build where I thought "I must buy/make some more spool clamps":

_MG_9087.JPG.ee851ef55580fc573ffcc9286608b26a.JPG

 

Rather than lose a few days, I checked the fit and it was pretty close so I opted for tape pulled super taught in the inbetween areas:

_MG_9088.JPG.5c65c9b476c0b0a3617feb7a7934d445.JPG

Based on the extra squeeze-out, I probably got away with it...  :)

And while it was fresh in my mind, I've ordered some more clamps just in case there's a 'next time' ;)

 

 

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On 7/11/2019 at 2:37 PM, ADFinlayson said:

Great work, that rosette looks awesome, like some sort of angry alien.

 

On 7/12/2019 at 1:34 AM, Bizman62 said:

Had to look twice to find him! That's the beauty of wood, there's so many hidden figures. Plus it takes somewhat of an artistic eye to see them. Good choice by Andy, nice find by Ash!

I saw the view you get when looking right up the snoot of a basset hound....or a bear.

SR

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Just now, ScottR said:

I saw the view you get when looking right up the snoot of a basset hound....or a bear

That too...

roset.thumb.JPG.97cc5055691bae6dc96b31d2e939566e.JPG

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And so to the neck and fretboard.

Because everything is pretty much fixed on an acoustic (saddle-heights, intonation, etc) I generally look for a logical sequence I need to go through to make sure the angles and heights are right.  Basically, radius the fretboard and prepare the bridge fit which allows me to work out the neck angle which lets me prepare the tenon.

So radiusing the fretboard was first on the list.

Matt wants a 16" radius, so that would mean making a couple more radius ends on my home-designed radius jig:

_MG_3720smaller.thumb.jpg.6a8f33ac366b069bb53f0dec65d28aa1.jpg 

Now - while I've been relatively happy with this, it isn't perfect and when I made it, the G&W rig wasn't available.  And I've been very, very tempted.

So I bit the bullet:

_MG_9127.thumb.JPG.4fd9bf40532295e295ee714d31ccb6c4.JPG

A bit pricey with the extra radius options included (I got the 10" and 12" ones) but, honestly, one of the best purchases I've ever made relating to guitar tools.  I am delighted with it.

15 minutes (max) on the jig, 15 minutes final sanding with a block and I had this:

_MG_9133.thumb.jpg.1757b61b86eac7d1d0182009aec53919.jpg

With hand sanding, that would have - including the necessary rest periods - probably taken me a couple of days...and would have been on a slant!!!!

Next job was a couple of swifts at the 12th:

_MG_9137.thumb.jpg.bb8b51819e427ff459b09cf971079167.jpg

_MG_9145.thumb.JPG.11738b5aaa67c42a3a88eaa8cbc76fdb.JPG

 

And then I could work out my neck angle:

_MG_9147.thumb.JPG.74ea8b7132e0301b1335a5a88d499a05.JPG

 

I use a cheap and nasty jig, made from an old B&D Workmate, but based on one of O'Brien's excellent videos, and a G&W template:

_MG_9149smaller.thumb.jpg.2bfa4712eec4bd7947d5034a9be73dbb.jpg

 

The neck is located on a hinged ply board with a knob and threaded rod arrangement for me to be able to tilt it at pretty accurate radial adjustment. 

Here's the board disassembled.  You can see the two protruding bolts that locate in the truss-rod slot:

_MG_9154smaller.thumb.jpg.9d8db56c3af0a6c260fb8f89d99f4286.jpg

So the neck clamps on like this:

_MG_9155smaller.thumb.jpg.8e6a2cb55a237b91e0ca4bb844fa67fe.jpg

 

And this gave me a fairly accurate tenon ready for final fit:

_MG_9152smaller.thumb.jpg.d1fc2303ada883807936e5364a3fec45.jpg

 

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