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  1. 10 points
    Well that went well. Feedback was it sounded clear, deep and punchy. Played well with lovely neck, so can't ask for more. Heres a snap of Marshall I Henry playing it on the pyramid stage! Very humbled to have one of my instruments used here not just in my little studio.
  2. 10 points
    The instruments we make tell a story. The materials we use, the designs we come up with, the music we imagine our new instrument playing, and even the reason we decided to make the instrument are all elements of the story. I think this is one of the big differences between mass-produced instruments and hand-crafted custom instruments. The first are made for a market, the second are made to tell a story. Reading each of the different build threads going on here with so many different ideas coming to life tells us something about the builder. Even if we aren’t aware of it, the decisions we make in our build are driven by who we are and the story we are trying to tell. I think @mattharris75’s beautiful April 2016 GOTM winner illustrates this well – it’s a fantastic instrument on it’s own, but when you know the story behind, you understand the instrument in a whole new way. When I started making this bass, I didn’t know what story I was telling. I just knew I wanted to build a 5 string bass for myself. I wanted a versatile bass that could produce many different sounds for many different styles of music. I wanted to feature some nice natural materials – pretty, but not precious. And I wanted to pull in some elements of the world I’m seeing here in Japan (without, hopefully, being cheezy). The story of this bass is my story – it’s a snapshot of me right now. It’s autobiographical. Some things are completely obvious – made in Japan by an American, the koi inlay, etc. But the core is a subtler view driven by both the kind of player I want to be and where I’m at in my life. This bass is diverse, flexible, adaptable – all things I strive to be. It’s not that I don’t know who I am, but who I am is someone who wants to be many things. I played my first gig with the new bass last weekend. The gig was with a blues band literally on the banks of Mt. Fuji. I think that first gig – rocking out to one of the great American music forms while the sun set behind Japan’s most recognized icon - is a fitting end to this build thread. My wife reminded me during some of the more challenging parts of this build that “it’s not done until I say it’s done”. Finishing a build isn’t just checking off the last item in a checklist. It’s not even playing the first gig with an instrument. An instrument is finished when story the instrument tells is complete. And I’m happy to say that this build is complete. Here's a photo I snapped a few minute before we started playing: Now with that out of the way, there are a few other loose ends to wrap up about this build. First, I’m really happy with how the bass plays and am having a ton of fun making music with it. My G&L feels like a dog compared to it. That said, there are a few rough spots that I continually see. I don’t think anybody else will ever notice them, but they I can’t help but see them. Oh well… Those of you that followed closely may remember that I talked some talk about a mystery solution to resolve tear out. The plan was to create and inlay a traditional landscape scene (silhouette of Fuji and Torii gate) over the area of the tear out. I started it but never put it in place. It both ended up feeling too “precious” and amateur for what I wanted. But it did inspire the koi, which has ended up being the most distinctive and eye catching feature of the bass. So we can give the tear-out credit for leading me to the koi inlay. I saw a PRS Dragon for sale in Tokyo yesterday for $29,000 – it was certainly beautiful and clearly the dragon inlay (and not some playability or tone) is what makes it ‘special’. I was surprised to find leveling and finishing the frets to be one of the most rewarding steps in the process. It was certainly tedious, but there was something magic about seeing it all come together with just some very tiny adjustments. I sprung for a nice leveling beam and there’s definitely something inherently satisfying about using a quality purpose-built tool to complete a task. Finally, thank you all who have followed along, liked a post, made a comment, and answered a question in this thread. And a special thanks to @Prostheta, @curtisa and @ScottR for the continual feedback, insight, and support. This website is awesome. Now, on to build #2! Here's a blurry shot of the bass's debut performance at the Fuji Roadhouse, and once of it resting after the gig.
  3. 10 points
    Hey everyone, I'm finally back at home after this weekend's event Everyone involved had a great time and the auction went very well! I just realized I never showed pics of the entire package up for auction. The guitar was bundled with a Gator vintage brown case and Couch Cadillac brownburst strap. The cool thing about this strap? It's made from original vinyl used on 70's Cadillac roofs. The event was held on a gorgeous property out in Jupiter, FL. The weather was amazing, it couldn't have been a better setup. So here's my little table. And after the auction, one of the bands wanted to try the guitar, so of course I let him have a go. He loved it! I must say, I'm impressed with the versatility of this pickup set. From the cleans and high-gain stuff Anthony did in my previous clip to this guy's country-style setup, the DiMarzios really handled everything well. Oh! By the way.... the guitar ended up raising $3500 for the foundation
  4. 9 points
    So late last year I started in on a new model based around a Super Strat that I ultimately named the Helix. I wanted to incorporate some things I like in a guitar such as a super thin neck profile, a deeper cutaway, magnetic truss covers and a thinner body and a few other minor things. When I started building the first Helix I broke out the video equipment and documented the entire process. To anyone who's done it you know shooting a build by yourself is a time consuming task. Stopping at each step of the build process to set up a camera slows down the build process considerably. On some tasks it would take me longer to set up the camera than it would to actually complete the task at hand. Over the eight weeks or so it took to complete the build I shot something in the neighborhood of 40 hrs worth of footage. The build was completed late last year but the footage has been sitting untouched on my hard drive for months. With 40 plus hours of footage it was a time consuming task just to roll through and view all the footage I shot just once to see what I had, let alone organize it all and edit it all down to a point to where its viewable. Anyways, after many hours of shooting, months of procrastination and many tedious nights in front of a computer I finally have the first installment complete. Now that I'm at the editing stage I plan on releasing a new installment each week until the series is complete. So with that being said I give you the first 6 min installment of my Helix build series. Part one. ~JW
  5. 9 points
  6. 9 points
    True!... a sharp gouge is just fun. I've been carving the heel, that was a quick job. I will try to make kinda volute in the heel... Still needs some refining, but the big part is done. Sorry for the square neck profile, I need to clear out the surroundings before proceed with the neck carving. Have a nice weekend!
  7. 8 points
    I had posted this with a bunch of other guitars in an earlier thread, but wanted to split this out on its own. Not a typical 335 as the body and sides are I piece of Black Korina, took a while to hog it all out. The back is carved the same as the top and I put the toggle switch on the top horn. neck is flame maple with a cocobolo fretboard and headstock veneer. Top is a rescued piece of "ambrosia" quilt, had a couple of cracks I had to stabilize, but had awesome natural colour. yesterday was finally nice enough to paint, and I kind of went with the seat of my pants with the colors....
  8. 8 points
    Here's my polishing kit: micro mesh and an automotive buffer. SR
  9. 8 points
    YOU GUYS. IT'S IN MY APARTMENT. And now for the good(?) part: I made a little video!
  10. 7 points
    After a bit more leveling, yet still matte, I had to have a few in the sunlight. This is closer to actual color...but still a bit hot from the direct sunlight. SR
  11. 7 points
  12. 7 points
    Clamps off. I'll take that. It's looking a bit like a guitar now.
  13. 7 points
    Today's job was cutting the saddle slot. I used the Dremel with the precision router base and a 3mm bit: Rigged up a guide jig with thin packers that would ensure that it stayed level and flat when clamped down: Then clamped it, checked it all and slotted it: Drilled a hole from the slot to the cables channel build into the neck and put in the piezo element for a trial fit: Shaped the bone nut blank and strung it up. And blow me! The flipping thing actually intonates properly!!!!
  14. 7 points
    Aaaand back to the body Pickups and neck pocket routed: 1/4" radius for the back: Binding channel (forgot to take pics during the actual binding process): Once binding is done, break out the medieval rasp and companion scrapers: Ok, this one is fully caught up now, minus a few photographically uninteresting stages of sanding. The fretboard was sent off to be blind slotted via CNC, I should have it in hand by the middle of this coming week. Thanks for taking a look!
  15. 7 points
    Custom KM-I carve-top finished - Wenge on Mahogany body, 5-piece Maple/Purpleheart neck, Ebony fretboard, Floyd Rose Original, Schaller M6 tuners, BKP Miracle Man (bridge)/Cold Sweat (neck) and Tru-Oil gloss finish... That Ziricote top will be next... Then some new stuff coming...
  16. 7 points
    Heel carving... with a gouge, a rasp and sand paper.
  17. 7 points
    I'd like to make a comment about the line under your nitro on the body. I'm on builds number 2 and 3, not a very experienced luthier, but a VERY experienced furniture maker. What happens is that people use Titebond or Elmer's yellow glue or equivalent for edge gluing 90% of the time, and these glues cure by losing the water. The glue hardens in hours, but the water soaks into both pieces being glued, swelling them slightly at the joint, and wicks away in days or weeks until the moisture content at the glue line matches the rest of the plank. You can plane the wood you have glued up in a matter of hours, but the wood immediately adjacent to the glue line will shrink very slowly afterward and you'll see that slightly sunken line. What to do about it? Plan A is to let it dry for at least a week before you plane the wood. The defeats the whole purpose of using a fast drying glue. Plan B is to use a glue that does not introduce water to the joint. I use System 3 T-88 two part epoxy on anything that needs to come out beautiful, including my first bass, which was done almost entirely with epoxy. Others use West Systems epoxy, which I also might go for except that I could never finish the big containers they sell it in (for a lot of $$$) before it went bad. Don't use the 5 minute stuff--the slow drying epoxies have much higher strength. Another product with a good reputation is Smith's Oak and Teak Epoxy Glue. Epoxy likes a slightly rough surface at the joint and not huge clamping pressure, but these glues are very strong and thus very forgiving. When you figure 8-12 hour drying time, they are FAST compared to a one-hour glue that needs a weeks or more to dry out perfectly at the glue joint. I might use Titebond II for things like headstock veneer gluing where the temporary moisture increase will not cause that visible problem, but never for edge gluing on a visible surface. Why? because I have seen this same issue on table tops and been really disappointed. Another benefit is that you get at least 20-30 minutes of working time, so epoxy is great for a complex glue-up where Titebond would be setting up while you're applying the clamps. One more thing. In West System epoxy or any product where the resin and hardener are sold separately, you can save some money because the shelf life of the resin is many years. (Epoxy resin is BPA, a notorious endocrine disruptor which you can Google of course, so use gloves when you apply it). It is the hardener that ages out in a year or two and that can be replaced without throwing away the whole quart or gallon of resin. So maybe I'll try West Systems next time I run out. Last comment: you can tint epoxy (also Titebond actually) with a few drops of Transtint dye to match darker woods, like ebony, walnut bubinga, etc. Hope this helps! John
  18. 7 points
    this is close to being finished...redwood is becoming my favorite wood for tops...i
  19. 7 points
    Hi all, this one is now done (except for a final setup and a cavity cover. SO pleased with it and a huge thank you to all who commented and offered advice. I really appreciate it. I also managed to get it photographed, which is rare for me. I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts. Now, off to start a superstrat, with a spalted maple top...
  20. 7 points
    Welcome to this episode of spot the guitar!
  21. 7 points
    I've been having too much fun building..kinda forgot about this whole internet thing :-)
  22. 7 points
    It's a beautiful sunny spring morning here in the English midlands and I couldn't resist a couple of piccies... Another couple of "flow" coats on - unfortunately not quite as clean this time and introduced a small curtain on the backside of the lower horn. It might polish out, but might need knocking back and going over again. I'll ponder it. The front is looking pretty darned spangly though!
  23. 7 points
    HAD A BABY!!!! It's a boy! Keegan Ash Deagle! 8 lb 10 oz. So far moma bear and cub are doing awesome! still has his days / nights mixed up... but getting there... In other news, I was able to get the frets in and start prepping for the back carve... hoping to get a little time to work on that today... almost ready for finish... then I have to find a place to hid the thing for a few weeks till X's birthday. also found a local place to buy 1 amp slo-blo fuses. my AX-84 high gain Frankenstein amp is blowing the fuse as soon as it's plugged in... the only things connected before the standby switch is flipped is the power cable / fuse / standby switch. you'd expect to find a short in there... but the multi meter reads none... so I basically have to start de-soldering items until I find the culprit... hopefully it's jus the switch and I can order a new one easily.
  24. 7 points
    And that about catches y'all up to where I am at at the moment. Except for this new build Me and the lady just found out started a little while ago. I think this will be the best one yet!
  25. 7 points
    Here's the finished product... almost. Still gotta get it fully wired, but all the appearance parts are done and the finish is rubbed out and waxed up. Purpleheart/curly maple pickup rings, knobs and switch tips. Hope you like it! Oh yeah, almost forgot - she weighs in at 12.6 lbs.
  26. 7 points
    And here we see the Quilted sapele super strat in its natural habitat. Here it hides in a batch of green mint plants, waiting to ambush its prey. It has been known to hunt solo, and also been known to shred its prey apart once caught. Most people figure it is at the top of the food chain.
  27. 6 points
    I decided to put a rose also on the headstock, to complement the inlay on the fretboard. This drawing is smaller than the others, because the flower has to go between the machine heads. I decided to inlay on the headstock also a drawing: the logo Delky. It's just a joke from school times, a nickname from my surname Del Col. The leaves are made with abalone paua, the petals are made with white mop and australian greenlip abalone. The contrast between the different colours of the shells helped me to give more depth to the rose. The writing is made with golden mop. As you can see on the picture, I always print several copies of the same subject, because each time I cut a piece of paper I ruin adjacent pieces. In the photo you can see the effect of the two shells used for the petals: the lighter stuff is white mop, the darker is australian greenlip abalone. Here is the writing made with golden mop. And this is the final effect when everything has been inlayed. I've also completed the flamed maple binding on the headstock. I have to improve my skills to cut miters
  28. 6 points
    For this guitar I wanted to do an intricate inlay and I choose one of my favourite subjects: roses. I started making inlays three years ago and it was immediately love with this technique. Most often I do small subjects like logos or writings, so this one is my second full fretboard inlayed. On the twelfth fret I decided to inlay a small ladybug (from which the name of the guitar) to vary a little and to create a colorful subject that stood out on the rest of the inlay. The drawing of the layout is always the most demanding part: I draw by hand, first looking for subjects, then marking them out with a pencil and finally creating the composition. This is a photo of an intermediate phase: frets 1-9 The final result is really similar to those drawing for children to fill with coloured pens When I have the final layout I cut all small pieces gluing them to mop, abalone, recon stones... and I start cutting with a jeweler saw. Here is the ladybug: red recon stone, ebony and white mother of pearl. She has no legs, cause they will be cut on the "leaf" where she will lay and later filled with epoxy mixed to ebony dust. Now the work is really repetitive: cut the piece, glue to mop, cut the mop, file blurry edges and start again. Sometimes pieces are really small! When I finish to cut all the pieces for a subject I glue them together, being careful non to leave gaps between the pieces. In the end this is the final result: approximately 250 tiles. Now is time to route the fretboard and inlay everything: to do it I use a Dremel with an aluminum base. All parts are glued with epoxy mixed to ebony dust which at the same time serves as glue and filler. This required near to 100 hours to complete. Cutting frets on this fretboard was really stressful! I don't have photos for next steps, but I bound the fretboard with the same flamed maple used for the body binding, I installed the frets and finally glued the fretboard on the neck.
  29. 6 points
    Next steps were binding and purflings. To cut the channels with the arm router was an easy task The most difficult part was to cut the channel on the cutaway, because in that position the channel doesn't lay on a plane, but it goes up after the horn and then goes down near to the neck pocket. To achieve it I used this jig with my Makita hand router The channel wasn't perfect, because the radius was too narrow for the jig to work correctly, but after some refining with a chisel it was acceptable. My aim was to do a flamed maple binding and a four parts purfling: ebony/golden mop/ebony/maple. Instead of using Zipflex for the central purfling, I decided to do it the old way, using teflon strips and then filling the resulting channel with mother of pearl strips. This is what I wanted to achieve: First of all I prepared the binding: I cut the maple 1.5mm thick and 6mm large, then I glued a subtle strip of ebony under, so I could have a black purling line between the maple binding and the ash body Now it was time to glue the purflings, using the teflon strip instead of mother of pearl. Teflon doesn't stick with glue, so later it could be easily removed. Then I glued the binding and when the glue was dry I removed the teflon strip. In the next photo It's possible to see the void channel left by the teflon strips and the golden mother of pearl strips that I used to fill it. As I pressed the strips inside the channel, they break in smaller pieces, so they could adapt to all the curves of the guitar: I only had to cut to perfect size the portion on the horn, because there the radius was too narrow to achieve a good result with this technique. Once inserted in the channel, I glued in position the strips with thin ca glue. Now I only had to sand everything flush. The process was long and tricky but I was really happy with the result!
  30. 6 points
  31. 6 points
    In the bright sunlight. And with the first coat of Tru-Oil. SR
  32. 6 points
    Still a lot a details to see to, but I'd say it was a pretty good weekend of work. There is something about the proportions of this that I really like. SR
  33. 6 points
    And the 'as near as makes no difference finished' shots. Forgive the self-indulgence:
  34. 6 points
    Looking at the weather forecast looks like I can start spraying clear tomorrow. Meanwhile: I got some Z-poxy recently from LMI to try as a pore filler, since the swirl is going onto the neck on the back and everything will be finished with full gloss clearcoat I figured I need to pore-fill the neck and headstock. Testing Z-poxy - rubbed in one coat, sanded back with P400 the following day, then another coat and sandback. Here's coat nr 2 right after application: Also, pickguard. A weird strat needs a weird pickguard: I'll probably use this as a testpiece before I make the proper one out of plexi - there are a few small cosmetic problems with this one.. but I want to have the guitar ready to play it in a show we're doing on July 15th so I'll most likely use this one then. Afterwards I'll see. Here's the hardware in place - I got 7-string singles wound for me by Zbigniew Wróblewski of Merlin Pickups (merlinpickups.com, a boutique Polish pickup company, Polish bands like Riverside and Vader use these for example). The plan is to connect them in series with an in/out-of-phase option, following Brian May's Red Special wiring, here instead of using 6 switches I can get the same set of combinations with 3x on-on-on DPDT switches. I also looked at the Red Special layout and tried to roughly position the pickups in similar spots along the strings to have similar phase cancelation+enhancement effects, for the treble strings I'm pretty close, then I diverge a bit (I didn't want to slant too much). Finally - a mockup:
  35. 6 points
    I made a lot of progress this weekend. I did like Pariahrob suggested and I made the bevel so it exposes the alder and I have to say that it was a GREAT suggestion. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, but it took a LOT of elbow grease to carve that wenge . I finished slotting the fingerboard and routed-it to shape. I also started working on the padauk neck (as you can tell by all the dust in the background). I'll be moving to my new house this week so I probably won't make any progress on both of my builds until I've set-up my new workshop.
  36. 6 points
    Just realised I've had this sitting around finished for some time now, so without further ado I give you the following: Needless to say, I'll be steering clear of painted finishes for a while now.
  37. 6 points
    Not updated in a while but I've been busy. Top jointed and glued on. Initial routing done. I didn't use a template for the neck pocket but used the laser and two bits of wood to make a temporary guide, with two layers of tape to make a tight fit. Pickup cavities done and first pass at my body carve is done. A lot more work to do carving but for not much noticeable change. Just cleaning contours and smoothing now. Oh and decided on my f hole shape and mostly finished that. Needs refining but v pleased with the results so far. Also need to chop the section of neck out for the pickup. That's making me nervous! Measured lots and drawn it on and feels like v little wood left. The part under the pup will be 9mm thick. I guess the sides will help there. Eek!
  38. 6 points
    The controls will be hidden from the front and accessible at the back. I will have a powered piezo/mag pre-amp cum mixer and then, as a minimum, a blend and master volume. I might be able to incorporate a tone too if I can find a suitably small stacked pot. This is where they are supposed to fit: Bearing in mind that I still have to scoop 5mm or so from the back, it doesn't leave a lot of depth. Because I'm working towards the top - probably a thickness of 7mm max, I've gone for Forstner and chisels again. I've done the knobs chamber - now you see them: ...and now you don't: Then started on the main chamber. I reckon I've got another 3mm to go, with a lot of tidying of the carve too! Mind you - at least I got the cable channel in the right place With apologies to Scott for the poor carving so far: Talking of carving, you will have deduced, no doubt, that once the back is scooped and shaped, the control chamber cover will need to be carved too!!
  39. 6 points
    well KEA my build is basically the opposite of your super-clean ones but do build more! Last week after fretting I did a quick alignment check by locating the outer bridge saddle holes and checking that the strings run parallel to the fretboard edges and that I can set intonation ok. All appears to be fine so I can continue So now the neck, heel, volute etc. So far I build almost only bolt-on guitars so I don't have the process down for carving the heel. ok, this is kind of in the direction I want it to go, but not exactly. The transition from the neck to the body starts pretty early. I took a look at my Mayones Regius to compare, and there the neck retains its profile pretty much until the cutaway actually starts. It's a slightly different thing since there only the back is rounded over, but still. This is a bit closer: I need some tools for the future, probably at least a good quality rasp. Right now its going rather slow, but I'm getting somewhere. The volute is almost done, the purpleheart/maple accenting came out pretty cool: and the heel: Now I think I'll smooth the body a bit and shoot some primer, with this blotchy mess I cant see anything. Plus the super soft pine all over the place freaks me out, I fart and it dents. Oh well.
  40. 6 points
    Messing around with fretboard blanks and a few off cuts. The flame is quite strong on this maple. Not sure if ill use it for this guitar, but I quite like. Reminds me a bit of the pavement on Copacabana
  41. 6 points
    the part I guess I am still not sure about is the bottom of the fretboard between where the neck angle starts and the bridge- its almost like (in my mind) the bottom of the fretboard would be flat until that neck angle- and then it would (if it was to be snug to the body and not overhang the body) have to angle forming a triangle from the neck angle to the bridge (I think?)- very interesting. you have my interest peaked big time on this. As far as your body radius- have you sorted out how you will do that? I had to do a 25" radius in a Turner Model One copy I did a few years ago- here is a pic- I laid out mdf board- held a 25" piece of string down at a center point off the board- took a pen and swiped the radius across the boards. made a "ghetto style extremely large" fretboard radius jig and went to town. that was a ton of fun. and clean up was easy with a little sanding and it came out great. (the jig was turned 90 degrees before use )
  42. 6 points
    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.
  43. 6 points
  44. 6 points
    Like is said in a post, I was working on my shop. I am almost done. I got some green shelving for the great price of free from a friend. When I was starting to organize everything my wife said why dont you put all the big tools in the middle so it gives you more room. Which was surprising. I am still not done but its really looking like a proper shop and really has came a long way. I still have more to do, but I thought I would share and also will start on the templates this weekend.
  45. 6 points
    Sushkov Guitars #0001 The Saracen This is the very first guitar I built in my new shop in Prague last autumn though not my first build in general. Specs: Mahogany body & neck American walnut top, pickup covers and headstock veneer Rosewood fingerboard Set-neck guitar construction with archtop Custom low output pickups with AlNiCo IV and AlNiCo V bar magnets. HipShot Grip-Lock tuners Dual-action truss-rod SINTOMS extra hard NiSilBer frets 2.5 mm Tonepros Tune-O-Matic bridge with stopbar tailpiece Rare soviet paper-oil capacitors 2 Volume + 2 Tone pots with wooden knobs matching top wood 3-way pickup selector switch.
  46. 6 points
    @2.5itim @curtisa Guys - I contacted the guys at Hipshot and they confirmed that there was an error of 0,27" in the offset. You got it more or less right on the head with 0,25". Bill passes on his thanks for snagging this and hopes that it didn't cause any inconvenience. Hipshot should be correcting their dimensioning in the meantime.
  47. 6 points
    Kinda like an Airfix model. Picture overload
  48. 6 points
    Sorry, been slacking on posts. Been getting a lot of work done, but not much to take pictures of. Here it is with test parts: r. And here is the black SS, refinished
  49. 6 points
    Nitro spraying is all done, now a month or so of patience while the nitro dries completely. The pic is taken with a flash so it looks a bit brighter than in real life: And here's the TR cover on the headstock:
  50. 6 points
    Allo! I first started posting pics here a LONG time ago with an 8 string guitar that I built. At the time, there were no production 8 string guitars and the only way i could get one is to get it custom done or do it myself. It turned out....ehhh. I didn't really know much about scale lengths required to accomodate an 8 string's low F#. Fast forward to today - I built the 8 string that I was supposed to have YEARS ago. I couldn't be happier. 30 Inch scale 25 frets, 12 - 25 scalloped zirocote fretboard swamp ash body and headstock figured roasted maple and purpleheart neck Hipshot hardware graphtech nut Petrucci 3 way Bareknuckle Aftermaths w/ gold bolts\
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