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  1. 5 likes
    So here is the first casting of the "quilted" acrylic. I strafe-coated the topography - gold from bottom, silver boro from top. The two tone effect is not lighting - its actually gold on one side of the "quilt billows" and silver on the other side.
  2. 5 likes
    Unfortunately I've not had much time to work on this over the last few days but have started installing things. After making sure the neck fits as intended!
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    Hey PG friends! Sorry I've been so absent lately, school and work have been keeping me crazy busy. That coupled with a few tool-failure-induced guitar problems have conspired to make me feel less social than usual. I've got one build newly done and two more in the home stretch, so here's looking toward a better tomorrow! First up, my freshly finished Pioneer MS6. This is going to be auctioned off at an event for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's West Palm Beach chapter (@CFFPalmBeach on FB). I'm going to get some more pics and a demo video before giving it away. Specs: 25-26" scale Alder body Maple neck/fretboard Jescar 47095 stainless fretwire Hipshot staggered open-gear locking tuners Custom milled aluminum bridge (thanks @2.5itim!) w/Graphtech saddles DiMarzio Red Velvet neck, True Velvet T bridge pickups This guitar has an evil twin.... I'll start behaving properly and post more pics this week. Until next time, thanks for taking a look!
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  5. 4 likes
    This is basically the official motto of Project Guitar
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    It's blue In dim light it looks almost black. In the light it's vibrant. It's the sort of colour that is not easy to capture on camera, quite similar to Rickenbacker Azureglo in places, but with the natural variation of dyed wood. It looks lighter in the photo than in real life. I've got it sitting on a sheet of white paper to try to give my phone camera a clue to the white balance, and has the unfinished maple cover in place too. I must admit (now) that I was tempted for a few minutes to keep the back natural. However there are so many guitars with a natural ash back - and mine definitely isn't "so many guitars" . Even my wife is coming round after several days of "you've ruined it" comments. I will be knocking it back slightly with some 0000 grade wire wool. That's more to even out the slight streaks and to lighten up the end grain slightly where the dye took more easily. The silk of the unfinished dye looks great, but I will be applying a clear lacquer and going "shiny" with it. Anyway, I'm very pleased with that. It's pretty close to my original vision. When I get to the top I'll try to burst it slightly, but still keep the colour saturated.
  7. 4 likes
    Hello gents. Not much to report from the coal face. Real life seems to have reared its ugly head again. I've now joined the top and back using the ghetto clamping cauls pictured, the bench vice and a couple of sheets of glass to stop things sticking together. It worked suprisingly well, which is a relief because I don't think theres enough space in the shed for any more jigs and things. Back was thinned to c. 2.1mm, top is c. 2.7 in the middle and 2mm around the edges. The top doesnt look anything special, but is really nice and stiff. Thicknessing the back was a real P.I.T.A. but I got there with the 5 1/2 and a cabinet scraper. On the back the middle strip is on together with the lattice. First time with the home made go bar deck. I'm totally sold on this way of clamping. Once dry I went at the lattice with a small plane to rough shape. I'm going to come back to this to refine.
  8. 4 likes
    Real life has been getting in the way again so I had to down tools and do other stuff for a while (lots of welding, mainly). I've also had a bit of a delay getting hold of the wood I need, but hopefully that'll be sorted in the next couple of days. In the meantime, I got new stuff to play with from G&W I could have gone silly and melted my cash card on that site, as there's so much cool stuff I'd also picked these pickups and bass bridge from Thomann a couple of weeks back: I liked the fact they came in a kit with all the wiring as I'm new to that side of things. The instructions seem clear and most of the connections are solderless. Hopefully I'll learn a few things installing these. I also got these awesome individual bridges for the headless V. As an engineer I just love getting my hands on things like this which are so beautifully made. I still can't find a decent headless headpiece though (I can get one from the ABM website, but it's bloody expensive!). Are headless guitars not as popular as I thought? Any opinions or advice on that one? As I mentioned in a previous post, I can fabricate something but I'd prefer something 'off the shelf' really. While I'm waiting for wood and finishing up other stuff I won't get making the guitar properly, but in the meantime I checked to see how some of the parts (pickups, bridges, pots and knobs) fitted into the MDF prototype. Everything seemed to fit fine, though there are a few changes to make to the CAD file before I get routing. I'm pretty sure the knob layout and position won't be to everyone's taste, but they function fine and I like the aesthetics of it Here's another view. I haven't decided on black or amber knobs yet, so I tried one of each here. That's it for now, as soon as I get some hardwood I should be able to get building proper. Also I'll try and post a CAD pic of the bass in the next couple of days. Z
  9. 3 likes
    Ahh, I see! It'd be interesting to experiment with, at the very least. Sapele/maple 7 sanded.... And oiled!
  10. 3 likes
    Thanks CJ! That is my chambering template, but I didn't use it on this build. Simple 7- now with binding! Problem: bound edges aren't terribly comfortable on the forearm. Solution: carve the hell out of it! I'm going to take this to the shop on campus tomorrow and slap it around with a DA sander, more pics then.
  11. 3 likes
    Thanks, folks Well, brass nut is cut and installed and so I can pronounce this as officially finished! Here are the final shots for those that aren't thoroughly bored by the 'almost there' photos : Thanks for all the encouraging comments along the way
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    I'll do the fancy shots when I've got hold of the intended brass nut and decided what strings suits it best (I've got two flatwound jazz electrics and two bronze acoustics on it at the moment ) I've wired it up '58 Les Paul Junior style to give the maximum tonal opportunity. I sounds good, even though I still have no idea what one is really supposed to sound like Here it is: I'm pretty pleased with it, especially as it's probably the last build I'll do for Pete (unless he has more money than sense!)
  13. 3 likes
    Well, I think this might be a case of great minds think alike . You mean like this : I'm pleased with this I strung it up this evening just to do the 'first fitting'. Predictably, plays like a lemon Lets hope that's suffixed with 'at the moment' Oh - and it weighs 5lb 12oz and yet is full-size in terms of a 6 string electric. Couple more tuners and another pickup would still sit at no more than 6lb.
  14. 3 likes
    I agree with your previous comment about the base of the stew mac dremel guide. I made my own base to use with my router table- dont laugh- its "ghetto" as hell as they say- but it works. screws into the base plate of my router table- the dremel stays stationary, move the body around and viola..
  15. 3 likes
    Not a typo - seems like I should have dichrocaster in quotations, but I put "build" in quotations because my Strat mod is not worthy of the title compared to the awesome real builds I've seen by most of you (still perusing through all your cool projects). I am truly impressed by what I have seen here, and blown away by the level of craftsmanship. Thats coming from a guy that majored in WW / Furniture Design at RIT back in 86 with furniture in FWW magazine's Design Book Six, so I know a thing or two about fine woodworking (just not luthiery yet). "build" also in lower case, because my goal is to cosmetically makeover some guitars in rather short time frames, so I am intentionally cutting some corners (literally, freehand with my tablesaw) for production effiicency, so some of the craftsmanship is a bit poor by my standards, as this is my first full guitar modification, so consider that issue when criticizing, but please PLEASE criticize - I need all the knowledge I can get. I have only been interested in guitars for less than two months when it hit me that these new color-changing dichroic laminates would look cool on guitars, coupled with the incredible timing in which you can now get Floyd Rose bridges in the new rainbow chrome PVD plating. So now to explain "Dichrocaster". "Dichro" is short for dichroic, which means di = two, and chro= color, a term / adjective for "color-changing" which is most commonly used as dichroic glass, Google dichroic glass and you will understand. Few are aware of the newer pigments now that are actually micro platelets of dichroic glass. These pigments are the same as used in the $5000.00 per gallon Chromalusion (DuPont) and Mystic (BASF) paints. What is super cool is I have recently found suppliers of raw borosilicate pigments with the same color shifting effects for a fraction of the said pre-mixed brands, and am using them in these strat mods (the "Dune" face acrylic). I am also using another laminate for inlays that utilizes dichroic films in the optical core, which complements the rainbow Floyd Rose and the Dune perfectly (not explaining that stuff in too much detail for fear that this post might be removed as a veiled ad attempt - this post is so I can gain knowledge and ideas from this community). So now details on this mod. Got a cheapo squire with sound body and neck, and took it to the dado blade to remove 5/16" from the face and bevel to be replaced with the 5/16" back coated "Dune" acrylic. Edges chipped pretty bad (didn't realize how thick the PE fill coat was), so next time I will pre-score the edge, but its gonna get body filler and urethane sealant anyway. I drilled the Floyd Rose stud holes first, then routed its mortice to a depth of 3/16" prior, then routed the 5/16" around it, Then re-inforced the short grain in front of the studs with oak pcs epoxied cross grain in the bridge pup cavity - will show pics if interested. I mounted the humbucker just for the photo below, but am curious from all of you why the screws were so long? I needed to cut nearly a half inch off them, and they still will be able to be adjusted plenty. The Dune acrylic face and the red inlay material all cut great with the laser, and I plan to carry the triangular "exhaust plume" deltas up through the neck in place of the pearl dots. Then will ebonize the rosewood. Planning to reshape the headstock and spray it with the same pigments as the body. I recently hired a young guitar tech to work for me in my other work, and we are doing this project together. He (Sean) has been super helpful and we are learning a ton from each other, but curious what kind of can of worms I am opening by posting this (referring to inevitable comments like "you just ruined the tone by routing off the face and gluing in acrylic" type of comments - which I would welcome anyway. My goal is not to create a great sounding guitar (will do my best in that arena), but to create an insane visual feast.
  16. 3 likes
    While waiting for the postman (to deliver the veneers for a LP-style guitar I'm customizing), I dared to do something I had in mind for a long time. Just tried to fill an inlay using the Stewmac "Super glue & soda trick". The problem is I had no soda so I've tried with some flour... Didn't expect too much from this experiment, but I have to say I'm quite happy with the result... it doesn't look like MOP, of course, but I like the vintage/grungy color, it fits very well with the design and what I had in mind. These are some pics:
  17. 3 likes
    And now for something completely different Metallic blue with black spiderwebbing. It's not going to be as outlandish as the swirl was, but I'm happy enough with it. And more importantly, the paints are compatible with the clear.
  18. 3 likes
    I've got the back bracing together and radiused the backs dome of 15'. Its looking a bit chunky here, but when glued, will be thinned down a lot. I figured that it would be a bit easier to attach to the back as one unit. The back strip once cut to accept the braces will act like a guide(?) to stop any creep. The neck blocks almost done. Yes bolt holes. Apologies. The fretboard support is raked up at 3 degrees to allow for the dome of the top and neck angle. I've left final shaping of the curved section till I've got the top braced and the soundhole cut, so there's a bit of wood to play with there. the whole underside will be nicely bevelled off as it will be viewable through the offset soundhole. Tools now pretty much down until the top and back hit the ranch. Thanks for reading Matt
  19. 2 likes
    The headstock still needs colouring in.
  20. 2 likes
    More often than not, I just carve them out with palm gouges. They are always going into a surface of compound curves anyway. Lately I've come to like the look of just insetting the knobs into the top with about three quarters of the knob above the surface of the top. I just use a forstner bit about an eighth inch larger in diameter than my knobs....but a guided bit like Knightro uses would be better. SR
  21. 2 likes
    LOL I literally just had an idea today of doing exactly this on some future build - solving the problem of bound body with a thin top being uncomfortable on the forearm by carving through the binding and just having it disappear for that section of the outline. I thought I was being original, but now it I ever do it, it will be another thing to put on my list "and now I'll do what I saw Knightro do in the past" . oh well
  22. 2 likes
    Kind of you to say Scott, though there's been a lot of swearing and head scratching to get to this point. The linings went on yesterday. I ditched the idea of solid linings in favour of kerfed. Lifes too short.... I glued them on with about 1mm over the ribs edge and once set sanded on the discs. Some areas needed a bit of encouragement to sit properly, hence the draconian clamping. Today I sorted out the rib supports. nibbled out whole blocks whereth support lies and glued accross the face of the ribs. Perhaps not the usual way, but I wanted to see if some of the cupping from bending could be taken out. It seems to have worked somewhat and suprisingly looks OK too. Another trip to the dishs and the tops and bottoms are nicely radiused. Apart from that not a lot to show. I've bought some back and side sets for future projects so mch of the mornings been spent cutting spacers..... Cheers Matt
  23. 2 likes
    Thank you! I designed the bridges, @2.5itim did the actual milling, then I had them chromed locally. Everything worked out pretty well, no problems so far. Hopefully, the owner won't have any issues. --- Now that the rush to build the Pioneer twins is over (and I've fixed various equipment issues), I'm introducing a new pair of Voyagers. One will be a solid maple 6 string. Sounds lame, I know, but I've got a really fun plan for it....more news as it develops. The other is a 7 string in sapele with a maple top. I've already got a neck nearly ready for the 7, it just needs a bit of sanding and a headstock logo before finish. It's nothing fancy, just maple with a rosewood fretboard. My goal is to have the simple 7 done within the next 3 weeks, then I can move on to my biggest, most ridiculous design yet. Stay tuned!
  24. 2 likes
    Not much of an update, got the bridge yesterday, and the truss rod got lost in the mail, it's being re-sent today I hope. Tuners are in the mail also, when they arrive I can do more work on the headstock. The bridge looks nice, tho, fits the black/brass theme I think. IMG_20170314_191027 by Goran P, on Flickr
  25. 2 likes
    So got the neck profile into a "C" using #60 sandpaper with little drama, but trying to get a "V" was hard ... until I broke out my new spokeshave. Wow! The perfect tool for this, IMHO. In just a few minutes I hade a basic profile, easy to see and feel the profile change from "D" at 17th fret, to "C" at 12th, to "Soft-V" from the 7th to 1st. With a 7 mm thick fretboard, I should have a pretty smooth 26 mm at the 17th fret to 25 mm at the 1st fret.
  26. 2 likes
    Knightro Guitars- Pioneer MS6 "Evil Twin" Spec Roundup: Sapele body and neck Pau ferro fretboard 25-26" multiscale Custom milled aluminum bridge (courtesy @2.5itim) with Graphtech saddles Elysian Pickups- Tuned Aperture Tele bridge (alnico), Tuned Aperture neck humbucker (alnico/ceramic blend) Hipshot open-gear locking tuners Jescar 47095SS fretwire 3 ply Tortoise pickguard (T/W/B) 1 volume w/parallel-series switch, 1 tone, 3 way toggle Odie's Oil finish
  27. 2 likes
    Hi In this thread are a few personal musings, but hopefully also the opportunity for us to share experiences, good and bad, of some of the less conventional body shapes. We all know how conservative we all are - most guitars bought and sold are still based on dimensions and shapes that were a result, rather than cause, of practical considerations prevailing 50+ years ago: if your blade switch 50 years ago was 1.75" high, then that's at least how deep the body needs to be, etc, etc.. I've done a few builds that have started to break out of that mind-set, usually driven by folks who wanted something specific from their builds and mods. The first was Pete's Jack Bruce Thumb tribute. I'll be honest - I'd never seen or touched a Warwick Thumb until after the build was finished. However, I did find this picture on the internet - a feature I incorporated in my tribute: Also, to be honest, I never gave it much thought why Warwick might have done that. But my own effort, made out of stunningly heavy bubinga: ...wasn't quite as heavy as I thought it might be. Hmmm...that's worth remembering.... The next leg of my journey was Tom's African Bass. If you remember, Tom had been given a 'bass body' by an African traditional drum maker to build a bass from. It was of unknown and unsuitable wood with loads and spreading cracks in it and it was VERY, VERY thin!! This was what I made from it: Now THAT's what I call a slim heel... Hmmm...that's worth trying again I was so impressed with how Pete's Jack Bruce tribute felt to play (he lets me play a few numbers on it during our gigs ), that I built a fretless for myself. Different shape, but same woods and overall dimensions, and incorporating a back cutaway and also the slim neck heel of Tom's African bass: And I realised that this was one of the most comfortable basses I had played. And that got me thinking... In the next post I'll cover one or two intentional developments from the above 'happy accidents', and the one on the drawing board at the moment that will either showcase the concept....or comprehensively shoot it down in flames
  28. 2 likes
    with Stone having a brewery over in Germany now- less of a trip to Finland. Regarding the Hop Stoopid- I agree with Scott- good stuff- as is the great divide Hercules- but remember Carl- check the date before you buy. . I had a Hercules last week and it tasted like arse- flipped the can over and poof- OCTOBER 2016. Had a word with the restaurant's management. They are basically at the mercy of the distributors- and being that I live on the other side of the states from where some of these are brewed- it happens. (I got a refund though) As Scott R once said- check the date- if greater than 60 days put the beer down, breathe, and walk away. :-)
  29. 2 likes
    Finally got this one finished. Here are a few pics of the finished product. It sounds killer! Thanks to all those who have followed this build and offered kind words throughout the progress.
  30. 2 likes
    I've seen some people clamp a couple of guide fences either side of the fret board being sanded, spaced just far enough apart to sit the radius block in between. The rails guide the block up and down while preventing the possibility of accidentally skewing the block to one side.
  31. 2 likes
    My inlays. Resawed this by hand ... I might invest in a bandsaw someday. (or just go all "Popeye" )
  32. 2 likes
    Thanks, folks Here it is with the first fitting of the strings. Need to tweak the frets a touch in places, raise the bridge on an ebony plate so I can drop the saddles, fit a brass nut, finish off the volute and fit the electrics but I'm hoping I can pass this across to Pete by the end of next week. I also will be fitting some small ferrules in the back of the bridge elements - these are large telecaster ones I happened to have in my bits box. They are needed because they are guitar strings with small ball ends and larger bass bridge string retainers...
  33. 2 likes
    Turned my attention to the body for a moment and tweaked the cutaways a little on the spindle sander, exposing some of the fantastic table-top construction of the body When thickessing the body I left the bit where the fingerboard would go a bit higher, leaving some room for manouver on both sides of the fretboard. So now that the fretboard is glued I can remove that wood. I figured this is the perfect use case for my silly "straight line jig" since I can just position it at the edge of the fingerboard and lower the router bit down until I reach the level of the rest of the body. well ok in principle, it actually worked perfectly (on one side) just as intended. Well this was supposed to be fool-proof but apparently it isn't. At least it isn't me-proof. I know you have to center the router base for the guide bushing to work ok, and I did it - I believe. So it either slipped out of alignment or I did it wrong in the beginning. Either way, I was about 0,5mm off and the bit ate into the jig (which I'll have to repair) and my fingerboard is 0,5mm narrower at the bridge end now (which I'll have to live with). Oh well. Lesson learned. I'll have to verify centering each time now just to be sure. Still, I could use this to do the route connecting the pickup cavities: So now I go back to the neck. To get the thickness in the right ballpark I ran the roter on the neck back (which is flat at the moment), basically digging a "swimming pool" in the middle, to the depth I want it at. Of course this doesn't give me a taper but at least it sets me up close to the desired thickness. On the next guitar I will upgrade myself to a jig that @KnightroExpressis using for this, I just need to find some straight scrap pieces. I think that's the perfect way to start a neck carve. Before shaping the neck I installed a set of fret markers and I'm working to make the fingerboard flat at the moment.
  34. 2 likes
    Thanks Scott! I'll have to find some good sculpture pics.... I did a gorilla skull that turned out nicely last year. I also did a plaster replica of my own head, it currently holds my bike helmet when I'm not using it. Since it's Tele Tuesday, I went ahead and celebrated by finishing off the CFF guitar's evil twin.
  35. 2 likes
    Next time I'll try the buffing technique as suggested by @Prostheta . A couple of hours was not nearly enough - and I used 240 grit as the 400 clogged too quickly. It's now back down to the wood in most places and I can now drop back down to 400 grit. I'm not going to post any photos as it's not looking it's best right now . Plus I managed to put a couple of scratches in the top while applying the filler. It's going to take a few more hours of careful sanding but should look pretty darned good when I've done. It's one of the few times when I've tried to do something in a hurry. I think the next time I do it I'll work a bit more slowly and try to work on smaller areas and get them much neater. I did kind of slap it on a bit, but was trying to avoid any of the filler going off too quickly, which means I'd have probably dragged it out of the grain again going over it..More time spent in careful application will mean a lot less time spent cleaning up afterwards! Having said that, I did need to get a bit of a shimmy on if I'm going to complete it by the end of April (target for final polished completion is the East Mids bass bash @Andyjr1515)
  36. 2 likes
    Someone on one of the other forums was asking about the body profile on this. Here it is: I've done variations of this idea on a number of builds, including my own bubinga fretless. There are some limits, and there are some areas you need to be careful about, but it: Takes a useful amount of weight out Feels great to play. Rests on the paunch very nicely It allows a much slimmer neck heel:
  37. 2 likes
    I cut and then thinned out an old piece of cocobolo for the bridge. I will have a volume knob for the undersaddle pickup in the bridge itself where the circle is drawn.
  38. 2 likes
    Still havnt done much work lately. Funny how other areas of your life affect your passions. Finally got around to working on this one.
  39. 2 likes
    I think you've somehow trapped Gimli the Dwarf in the bookmatching
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    You can actually dispense with creating a dedicated template for the neck pocket altogether if you want. This is how I usually do it. By making a temporary template to accommodate the neck, you're not limited to having just one template that can only do one thing. Also makes micro-adjustments of angles and positions on the body possible.
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    Damn John, those cavity covers are virtually invisible. SR
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    Lookin' good,Mike. I mean,I'm still way BETTER looking...but you know...I'm way younger. I just got my truck out of the shop. The Dodge left me stranded last week. Just the starter,but I have zero time for replacing a starter myself. I wish I'd win the damn lottery already. I'd buy a big hunk of open space somewhere and everyone would be invited to get drunk at my place and go stab bears or whatever.
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    Just another quick one before I get back to the workshop... The stuff I'm doing at work involves a lot of welding and fabrication, lots of woodwork and CNC-ing but also quite a lot of sitting in a freezing office doing CAD drawings. I couldn't spare any time for building guitars, but I did get a chance to have a go on this... The workshop now has a 3D printer! And its a bloody good one too! so, while doing proper work, I set it running on a mini PG related side project. I had a quick practice on the software and it's so intuitive it took me just a few minutes to get it up and running. It did its thing while I prepared fabrication drawings and cutting lists and a couple of hours later... mini (1/10 scale) versions of my PG projects! I need to one of these things at home z
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    resurrecting an old build thread. I need to start on some of my old projects I left hanging when I bailed from building a few years ago. new pics coming in next few days, wanted to bump this thread so I didnt have to go looking for it (last post in 2013 (yikes). Mostly sanding scratches and dings this picked up being in a garage for last 4 years
  46. 2 likes
    I personally think that God ordained the design of the Stratocaster, and meant for someone to design it, the same way that he ordained chocolate chip cookie dough to be made, until man screwed it up by cooking it in the oven. Therefore, for me, since I like the strat design, I try not to deviate from the classic lines of the Strat too much, and kindof use it as a baseplate for my own variations. So I downloaded strat and tele designs from the web, then make a negative from the jpg, and insert them into my ultra simple 2D CAD program, scale them, then trace the lines using the spline line tool, which allows super smooth, graceful curvature changes (to answer your question about proportion). I would encourage anyone to download a simplified 2D CAD, just for drawing, because I self learned it over one weekend three years ago in order to send the dxf file out for laser cutting some chandelier armatures in SST. Now I still use it everyday for my own laser cutting, for design, and sending dxf files out for waterjet, CNC, etc. I swear I wish I had done it ten years ago, although its easier and cheaper now. I did a thorough review of entry level CAD programs and QCAD came on top for me. It was only fifty bucks from ribbonsoft.com. There is not one feature lacking in it. Does every complex drawing I can muster. So to answer your question without CAD, I would trace around an existing body and adjust proportions to my liking with a bow tracer, or those flexible rules. I used to do all that for years. I often would simply draw freehand full scale. Proportion is in the mind of the artist, so not sure how to guide you there. Draw scaled down shapes on paper, live with them for while, and trim them with a razor to refine the design. Thats how I designed my boat - I made a paper model and trimmed it with a knife. When I liked the proportions I un-taped the model and scaled up the hull parts.
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    ... a few sunlight pics ...
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    Sealing the grain was quite the experience. The epoxy I used was way too thick and took forever to sand back and level. I ended up going back over the top with a couple passes of superglue. This is after a couple cans of lacquer spray.
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    Thanks. I've tried to show everything, warts & all. If it gives somebody something to think about before making a mistake, provides a tip for how to achieve something, or even inspires someone to start their first build - then it's all been worth it That's been my philosophy throughout - It takes as long as it takes. The next one will be a lot quicker, as it's a much simpler build. Having said that I'll be tackling some stuff I've not done in this build, such as a neck angle & scarf joint (Yes, it's lined up already, much to my wife's chagrin!)
  50. 1 like
    Mine gets pretty bug eyed at some of the in between stages too. SR