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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/06/2011 in all areas

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 9 points
  4. 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!
  5. 8 points
    Here's my polishing kit: micro mesh and an automotive buffer. SR
  6. 8 points
    YOU GUYS. IT'S IN MY APARTMENT. And now for the good(?) part: I made a little video!
  7. 7 points
    I've been having too much fun building..kinda forgot about this whole internet thing :-)
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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!!
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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 )
  17. 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.
  18. 6 points
  19. 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.
  20. 6 points
    Todays idiocy done. Loads of trimming and a bit of scraping to do but it worked ok. I was pretty nervous about bending the ebony binding with the veneers glued to the bottom, but no scorching or delamination. Couple of small voids resulting from the tape I used not having enough tack, but nothing that's not fixable. About halfway through I worked out which order the veneers should have been glued to get a better transition through the neck to the headstock. hohum. Not 100% sold on bound headstocks, but it looks a bit neater than it was. At least I know that if it needs to be done, it can be done.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 6 points
  25. 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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