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Entry for November 2019's Guitar Of The Month is open - ENTER HERE!

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Hello. As lots of others, I did just sign up for ProjectGuitar, to be able to more closely follow what others are building, and ask advice on what I am building, hoping for the best.

So far I've built a semi-hollow LP kit, and restored an old russian acoustic (custom inlays, neck reset, bridge reshape, reglue, top refinish, etc), and I wanted to do a guitar from scratch. I found a cheap neck online close to me I liked a lot, so I designed a guitar around it.  Beginners mistake, got caught with the flow, and the guitar came out fairly complex.

The idea would be to have some sort of modularity, to be able to change some parts if I get bored:

  • designing with a hardtail bridge,

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And pressed shift/ctrl+enter in the middle of the post, so continuing here:

  • body will be a custom shape, designed for the neck (but the neck being similar to a MusicMan, the body will also be inspired by that)
  • the body will be built from hexagons out of leftover 12cmx12cm spruce blocks, with endgrain being visible
  • the body will be semi-hollow
  • three hexagons will be replaceable: the one with the bridge, one for the controls, and the one around neck pickup

There will be a hardwood block through the middle of the body, which will have the neck pocket, solid under the pickups and the bridge.

As for the electronics I'm planning for a dual-rail neck pickup and a custom-built/wound V-shaped pickup (in case I can't do it will fall back to a humbucker), plus a piezo UST under the hardtail bridge, with 1 volume for each, 1 master tone, and a 5-way blade switch.

The hardest part I see is the Vmusicboy.thumb.png.8377d0f61da0ba7d6f3dacc60405022e.png-shape pickup (not that the rest of the body build would be easy), but any ideas, thoughts, feedback would be appreciated.

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Another point on the replaceable hexagons: the one under the bridge (~1.5-2cm thickness) will be fixed to the hardwood block going underneath it with a set of neck screws  (see plum dots for locations) with inserts inside the pine hexagon (just like the neck). The other two, the one for the controls and the other one serving as pickup frame (~1cm thickness) will be held in place by small magnets, the small grey dots.

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You're insane!

Now I'm eagerly waiting to see how that one comes together!

 

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lot of interesting details there... looking fwd to seeing this come to life.

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7 hours ago, Lwguitar said:

V-shaped pickup? Are you going to have 2 coils that cover 3 strings each?

Yes, that will be my first attempt. I was also thinking about one coil per string to have a hexaphonic pickup (inspired by Cycfi Research NU pickups), but probably I'll start with the "easier" two-coil version, with low impedance, and a preamp, making it an active pickup (loosely based on the cycfi nu, using a similar preamp module, but with a two channel op-amp, one for each coil). Or the easy way (not too cheap though) would be to use a Parker Ricochet, which has the pickup poles in V-shape, but also does have a frame, which wouldn't really fit the build aesthetics as I wanted it to fit it.

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I’ve spent a lot of time on that site! The pickups I’m making for my build are going to be super low wind and probably a preamp. I’m just doing a slanted mini hum bucket though, nothing crazy like what your doing!

these are the preamps I’ve loomed at...

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/bartolini-brmagdb-918-2-adjustable-gain-dual-buffer-preamp

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Time for an update. I'm not dead, but building this guitar is going to take a while. As for the design, regardless of how much I liked the original one (probably because of the tiny-looking body, with the bridge close to the end of the guitar body - something I got from basses, I love how they look), I had to update it.

I have printed out the body onto paper, and it looked too small for the neck, and the curves have been in bad places: the upper side of the lower bout I am using for resting by elbows, and the waist needs to be in the right place to play comfortably while sitting. Additionally, with the bridge so close to the end of the guitar body, it looses some of it's versatility, I won't have the possibility to build a bigsby tailpieced hexagon part ;)

Looking around for the proper positioning and sizes I took a deep dive into semi-hollow guitars (not being a fan of symmetric double-cut ES-335 styled ones, either the single-cut ones or the offset double-cut ones), have created a shortlist of 11 semi-hollow guitars with F-holes, and a 25.5 scale length, have aligned them in 3 points (nut, saddle, and "body meets neck" around the 15th fret) and compared their body sizes. My original inspiration, the MusicMan Axis Super Sport semi-hollow was the shortest (and smallest) one of all, and my design was even smaller than that one. And all those guitars have been designed by people with more experience in guitar design then me. Maybe it wouldn't matter that much for a solid-body (except for maybe balance, etc), but for a semi-hollow ... who knows, and I don't want to risk it.

Here's some pictures with the new design (new design outline overlayed on top of the old design for comparison, and the new design only).

musicboy-design-larger.png.6d9660ce26ac7e86a0670f32b88cbbde.pngmusicboy-design-larger-clean.png.76a030f60789b94935c0508de1669902.png

As for the work on the guitar itself, I started working on the wood, and have pre-cut most of the wood I will be using:

  • ordered a laser-cut hexagon template to use of the correct size
  • pre-cut to approximate size the solid core block, a piece of beech 4.2 cm thick, 10.5 cm wide, and approx 50 cm long
  • pre-cut 24 pieces of 4.2 cm thick hexagons to approximately the same size as the laser-cut hexagon, to be trimmed down to exact size using flush trim router bits with bottom-bearing

So the current status looks like:

step1-blocks.thumb.jpg.53f9780a93514c28401db36dca1f35c1.jpg

What next?

  • can't wait for my flush trim router bits to get here (had some troubles with the initial order and had to reorder)
  • had to reconsider using the tuning machines I wanted to order, due to ordering issues and counter-recommendations, so I'll probably switch over to black locking half-moon tuning keys
  • I need to print a template with the updated body shape to cardboard to see if I need any other adjustments, if not, will prepare a routing template based on the cardboard version

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You're nuts! In a positive way, that is. Cardboard model for potential adjustments is a fine idea.

Can't wait how she builds!

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On 8/3/2019 at 11:39 PM, Bizman62 said:

You're nuts! In a positive way, that is. Cardboard model for potential adjustments is a fine idea.

Can't wait how she builds!

Yep, I'm nuts for sure. And I don't use cardboard only for modeling. I used it for building a guitar too, just to prove that I'm nuts :)

step-x-cardboard.thumb.jpg.0f01b9bda2dafd32e78ec6d5aa61f364.jpg

Edited by evfool

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