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Entry for March 2018's Guitar Of The Month is under way!



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  1. 4 points
    I only used a wash coat of dark purple dye originally, then did the rest with gradual coats of kandy color. Then i sanded the edge to shape and it left a clear line. Here are some better pics.
  2. 3 points
    More routing and messy shenanigans in the Kemp workshop today. Started working some more on the competition winner build which is a Korina DC 6-string with Floyd and Seymour Duncan HSS pickups. Edit: and only 24.75" scale length, not something I do often. First up, some sawdust ... All cleaned up...
  3. 2 points
    Hi All, I'm starting a build thread mainly to keep track of my progress and also for hints & tips if anyone stops me going wrong somewhere, and encouragement if I get disheartened! As per the title, this is my first build from scratch. Like everyone else I've done a few parts builds, but I've also got experience with woodwork from a little knifemaking sideline I've done until changing jobs recently. For those who are interested, here are some pics: Back to the case in hand! I'm building the following: 6 string Blackmachine type guitar Tulip Poplar body Maple top (below average figuring) Padauk neck with wenge centre strip & white laminates (0.6mm thick), scarf joint into headstock. Ebony ferret Fixed Hipshot-style bridge Locking tuners Still undecided on pickups, I have a single Sentient, but I fancy white/zebra pups in this build so am toying with the idea of a set of Irongear pickups. For the price I don't think I can go wrong. Colour and finish wise I'll be going for an unfinished neck, oiled body and stained top. Haven't decided whether to go for oiled satin finish on the top or wipe on poly buffed to a high gloss. Colour will be a light brown/dark amber non burst. I'm cheating with this build as I have bought a pre-slotted, pre-radiused fretboard, and I'll be using router templates On to pics! Router templates from http://www.templatesandjigs.com/ Photos from the eBay listing of the top wood: This is the type of finish I'm aiming for colour wise: Pics of the raw materials: Looking forward to getting started in the coming weeks!
  4. 2 points
    As I said, I added a tad bit more burst to the edges. See if you can tell. And after a few more coats of Tru-Oil, the sun got in a nice low position and highlighted some of the figure. SR
  5. 2 points
    The body on this is destined to be gloss finished, with a satin slurry-and-buffed neck. Being not overly sure about the gloss version of Osmo (in the trial and recent build, it seems to be more a glossy satin than a true gloss and so doesn't pop out the full depth of the wood figuring) I've reverted to my old method of wiped-on standard household polyurethane varnish. The varnish manufacturer has recently changed the formulation to lower the volatiles (of course a good thing) but I do now have a few issues with it - mainly that it doesn't take a lot of thinners very well and its self-levelling is not so good. Nevertheless, with my now usual method of a slurry and wipe tru-oil combined grain fill /primer followed by (this time) three thin wipes of slightly thinned varnish using a budget soft micro-fibre cloth, just three elapsed days from the sanded wood state has got me to here: And, actually, I'm not going to go any further - just a final polish with Meguiars Ultimate Compound in about a week's time. In the meantime, it is already perfectly tough enough for normal handling so I'm going to see if I can finish the build over the next few days
  6. 2 points
    Nice assortment of materials you have there. Keep an eye on that tulipwood. It can be soft in places and needs care not to chew itself up when you route. Slow and steady will get you there though. Templates are not cheating and a preslotted board isn’t a bad thing for your first build. Good luck and prepare to be bitten by the build bug!
  7. 2 points
    I reckon you'll be more than happy with Irongear. For the price of a dinner at your local they're hard to beat. That's hardly cheating. You've still got to chop all the woody bits to the right shape and do that joiny-gluey thing to stick them together properly. I hope you asked his permission first
  8. 2 points
    No Norris, the ebony frames were done by laser cut, and even using a laser it was no easy cause from 12th fret to 21th the frame is 0.8mm, impossible to make by hand. The rest routings are done by hand with a Dremel and a base I made for it. Scorpionscar
  9. 2 points
    Drop a humbucker in the bridge position and see how it looks. My preference would be to see how it looks in practice and work out if shifting the template the other way is going to be visually acceptable. My gut feel is that it will be fine, but your eye looking at the guitar is going to be better than ours looking at computer screens. If it doesn't look like it will work out, I'd be fitting some pickup rings as a second alternative. Re-routing the entire cavity as one solid block and inlaying some contasting faux pickup rings of timber is not something for the faint hearted. If it were me I'd avoid this option unless I was at the point of 'one last shot, otherwise it's firewood'. As a first or second build I reckon you'll be happier if you have a finished guitar in your hands with some pickup rings on it, than a pile of very expensive sawdust.
  10. 2 points
    Well - I think I'm on the home straight on this To save another couple of oz I decided to have a go at making my own control knobs: I got some inserts and a cheapo diamond tile hole cutter Then drilled and cut a slice of oak offcut: Then cut a plug of the macassar offcut. Glued them together, added a MoP dot and rounded the top: Then it's onto the finishing. The amboyna needs high gloss, so I will do the body in polyurethance varnish and the neck as tru-oil slurry and buff silky smooth. I'll actually finish the neck profile again once it's stringed up and playable and then finish the slurry and buff at that stage. However, for the body some of you will know that I use the tru-oil slurry and buff approach as the base for the gloss varnish. This is almost ready for the varnishing stage: Total weight of what you see here is 3lbs 10oz
  11. 1 point
    As much as anything, I added the dust shoe to mine to minimise chip and dust buildup on the rails. Also saved me trying to devise a way to add concertina bellows to all the rails and the subsequent loss of travel in any direction when the bellows collapse down.
  12. 1 point
    Dust shoe's looking like a good idea now?
  13. 1 point
    @Norris Thanks! After a couple of days being past the frustration of realizing where it ended up, I think so. I've got another piece of maple I think might work, but I will need to do some work to get it ready. This maple came from the scrap bin at the hardwood place nearby, and I cut it from the outer 3-4" of a log cutoff that they tossed in., so thickness is kinda variable on the cutoffs I'm debating whether I keep the idea of music notes being embedded in the DNA, but if I do that, I will probably scale them up to the same size as the parts that cross from helix to helix... Feels like a constant 2 steps forward 1 step back lol.
  14. 1 point
    This is entirely why Nina's SG will have that setup. I can't say that I know the reason why this went out of common usage. Laziness?
  15. 1 point
    Yes sir. It makes it so much easier to get an even color. Here is the Paduak SS almost ready. This thing is a beast!
  16. 1 point
    A few things that have been on my mind recently...Why are stainless steel frets not standard on guitars? It’s not like the fretwire is even that expensive (making me question why it is so often mentioned as a premium feature). Am I missing something? They just make so much sense to me, not having to refret periodically seems a huge bonus! Thoughts? I suppose some of it is to do with us guitarists being a rather traditional bunch.
  17. 1 point
    I don't know, some mornings I wish I hadn't woken up. A peaceful death is all you can hope for.. On the other hand, it's almost Summer, my bike is almost ready, and I still want to see a clear night sky with zero light pollution at least once more.
  18. 1 point
    Four jobs left: Tweak a couple of high spots on three of the frets Finish scrape to final shape and slurry and buff the neck Fix the hatch and trussrod cover with magnets Fit the strap buttons Jobs recently completed is basically the electrics - it is now fully playable and sounds (to my biased ear) great I've stuck with a simple master volume and master tone pluse three way switch: Mainly because Jane is a complete beginner and I doubt would have her learning experience greatly enhanced with coil splits, etc. Having said that, I've wired it '50's style' - so actually, she would be able to get pretty much any sound she likes if she turns out to be a fast learner! The hatch and truss rod cover will be held on by neo magnets and, for the former, I'll carve out a more obvious thumbnail access at the left hand side: The home-made knobs look pretty good Probably the prettiest one I've done so far. Certainly the lightest - 5lb 4oz before the final wood removal from the neck
  19. 1 point
    It's a good first project for it.
  20. 1 point
    That's what I would have suggested
  21. 1 point
    I may not start work in this for a little time, but thought I'd get it posted up as I may switch to it occasionally if the current build grinds to a halt at any point (which seems likely given the difficulty the commissioner has in making a decision at times!) This is a fairly cheap 12-string acoustic that I bought many years ago. When the action got so high as to be unplayable, it got dumped in the loft of my house where it sat for at least 15 years. A few weeks ago I fetched it down to discover I'd left the strings under tension, which certainly hasn't done it any favours. As I now attend a regular guitar building class, it seems a fairly light step into the world of acoustic guitars to fix it up It has a couple of issues. The neck seems to have come unstuck... ... and the top has warped around the bridge (not quite so noticeable now as it's not been under tension for a few weeks) ... ... and has started to lift the fretboard too as the neck folded in. The plan is to remove the old top and neck, make a new top with decent bracing, and then rebuild it, possibly with a new fretboard too - depending what state the old one is in. Oh, and if you're wondering, it's a "CL Clarissa" (nope, me neither! )
  22. 1 point
    That's so compact, it's crazy! I love the headstock face. The weirdness of the wood looks almost like deliberate art, framing the CDH perfectly.
  23. 1 point
    Ahhhhh....creating a template by moulding epoxy! Very good. Sugru or other "smart meltable plastics" or even two-part car polyester filler like Bondo might be less messy. I'm awful because I get epoxy everywhere. My apologies. I've been really time poor lately because I am training a student at work plus I've found a sister I never knew about. Life is super crazy.
  24. 1 point
    When I did my binding I found it helpful to pre-bend it as much as possible using a hairdryer on it's hottest setting. I then started on the tightest curve, and paused to fine tune the bending as I got to each relatively straight section. I had a bolt on neck so didn't have any shrinkage issues - I could just trim to length when set. I used weld-on which gives you a little more working time than CA. However @Prostheta would recommend pure acetone no doubt Nice fix though. Similar to the "key" I used when binding the inside lip of my control cavity (you'll have to search through my Nozcaster thread if you want to see pictures of that)
  25. 1 point
    ok, so it's tinted lacquer over a dye coat. makes sense
  26. 1 point
    I commented on this in your other thread. Paraphrased it said: cool project! SR
  27. 1 point
    It's interesting how the wenge top does not look particularly book-matched along the glue line--until you get to the bottom where you carved it down to that point, where it looks quite book-matched. Usually it's the other way around. SR
  28. 1 point
    I've finished squaring off the tenon for now. It's 30mm at the narrowest, and that's the depth that I'll route the mortise. I'll cut it to length when I know the width of the pickups (still being dithered over by Dan!) I've also tidied up the slight dodginess of the shoulder cut using a cabinet scraper So while "we" decide on the pickups, I spent some time designing the inlays (I love inkscape!). I won't reveal those yet, but I've been highly recommended to get them made by Small Wonder Music. So I won't be faffing about cutting MOP on this particular build. I may need to start yet another thread soon, because as a fallback job in case this build grinds to halt, I've decided to rebuild my un-playable 12-string acoustic. The neck has come un-glued and the top is badly warped. As a short cut introduction to acoustic building I'll be making a new top from the yellow spruce I bought this evening and building it up from there. It has a lovely tap tone and is nice and stiff to take the strain of 12 strings, plus I'll also be making laminated braces (apparently, according to my tutor )
  29. 1 point
    Oh, and I sort of evened up the route for the pickups. I feel a lot better about it now.
  30. 1 point
    And what a pretty 5 1/4 pounds it is, too! SR
  31. 1 point
  32. 1 point
    A couple of updates. I got the 7 string buffed and ready for hardware. The white is actually the reflection of the clouds. The purple SS also got its last coats of clear as well.
  33. 1 point
    On a much lighter note..... June bugs are attacking my porch light like kamikazees I swat them and stomp them until they pile up like black popcorn outside my back porch door. Why do they not call them March bugs? SR
  34. 1 point
    Couldn’t agree more. Break it down into small neatvtasks and take care with your measurements and cuts and you’ll do just great.
  35. 1 point
    I have to admit I did wonder if the slots were deep enough, but we shall cross that bridge when we arrive at it! I have broken down the whole build process in my head, and (I may regret saying this but) the whole guitar building thing seems not so much complicated, but a series of relatively straight forward but highly accurate tasks!
  36. 1 point
    Cheating? That's some smart outsourcing in my eyes If you're short on time, it's worth spending the extra £15-20 to have the board slotted and radiused. You'll need to check the slot depths and polish the board up, but it'll give you more confidence. Everyone uses router templates too; only real thrillseekers go freehand! Oh, and IronGear pickups are excellent, especially for the price. Pace yourself and enjoy the ride!
  37. 1 point
    I've read through that thread front to back at least 3 times and never noticed.
  38. 1 point
    Hey Mike, you seen this? http://spinalstenosismd.com/coflex-spinal-implant I've never heard of it, but looks great.
  39. 1 point
    Well, just tried doing a locknut open vs locknut closed comparison and I can't feel the difference. There obviously is some stretching occuring behind then nut because if I bend a string, clamp the nut while holding the string bent and then release the string the resting pitch of the string is marginally flatter than when it started. If I then release the locknut, that pre-bent string then returns sharper to the correct pitch. I made some measurements to see if there was a difference in distance it took to bend a string up with the lock nut engaged or disengaged. The 3rd string was fretted at the 9th position (E) and bent a full step up to F#. For each E and F# I used a Peterson strobe tuner to make sure I was nailing the pitch for both static and bent strings. Calipers were utilised to measure the deflection of the string using the edge of the fretboard as a reference: Static distance of 3rd string from treble edge of fretboard at 9th position = 21.11mm Distance from treble edge of fretboard, bending up to F#, locknut off = 34.27mm (deflection = 13.16mm) Distance from treble edge of fretboard, bending up to F#, locknut on = 33.26mm (deflection = 12.15mm) 1mm difference is about 8% change in deflection required to raise the string pitch a full step, but in practice I personally can't tell the difference; It just gets absorbed into the mechanics of my playing. The deflection difference may be more pronounced if the Floyd wasn't fully floating and was blocked off.
  40. 1 point
    Here is some of the work I've done lately. I sanded out and filled in the faux binding on the top of the guitar, but I left it un-dyed on the sides. I'm much happier with this. I did some grain filling. I like how the black looks. The covers in place. My logo. I did it in Photoshop. I like that it matches the body a bit. I've been building up layers of Tru-Oil the last few days and will be continuing for another week or so. I will post pictures soon.
  41. 1 point
    My semi hollow body did the same. An odd change of humidity can do all kinds. Lucky it sprang back. Carve looks great and suits that wenge perfectly.
  42. 1 point
    You are too hard on yourself. First that is not exactly a beginner's guitar you chose for a first build, and those are not exactly beginner's wood choices either. Having said that, fixing mistakes are a part of every single build....at least for me. Finding ways to fix them creatively and invisibly is part of the skill set. We all do it. Personally, I would buy some pickup rings and move on. Wenge and flame maple are not known for playing nicely with routers. SR
  43. 1 point
    The main reasons I can think of is that the tooling and installation is more difficult, and the additional time it takes to complete the job makes it more expensive. Stainless being harder is less forgiving on the tools, so you either need to replace them more frequently or invest in better quality ones to begin with. Some people might get all voodoo about the tone differences between stainless and nickel silver, but I suspect you'd be hard pressed to hear any difference in a normal playing situation.
  44. 1 point
    As mentioned in @ShatnersBassoon Les Paul thread, I marked out the neck angle And marked out a 40mm wide tenon After which I proceeded to make one of the angled cuts the wrong side of the darned pencil line! Tired + cold coming on = not a good time to make crucial cuts. There will be some chisel based fettling to come in a further instalment soon Oh, and I bought the Makita trimmer router. I should have a chance to try it soon
  45. 1 point
    I'm going to try now and see what happens, strange problem... I' going to put some pics of the machine. Is easy to do, but tedious. It works, really really good and save much time. Is one of the best machines in my workshop, moreover I have special affect cause is a creation of mine. Happy weekend: Scorpionscar
  46. 1 point
    If you're seriously in the market, check out the Katsu trimmer on Amazon: Katsu! I think router digs are just part of the build process! It wouldn't be guitar work without one
  47. 1 point
    Having done some clean up sanding of the router marks last week (still plenty to do but the furry bits have gone), this week I got my 80 grit sanding table out. The front - good enough for a first sand And the rear, still showing some tooling marks from the plane around the edges (it really didn't like the plane) The back needs another hour or two of sanding to finish levelling it off. Then I'll concentrate on the area where the neck will join to get it all flat and square. Hopefully by then the customer-sourced bridge will be in my hands so I can check the height and calculate the neck angle
  48. 1 point
    The aforementioned gouge (The different coloured stripe is where the router bit cut in the opposite direction on the final pass) And the body routed
  49. 1 point
    I finished routing the body this evening. First a pass with a top bearing bit, following the mdf template... Then removed the template and did a second pass. Finally flipped the body over and switched to a bottom bearing bit for the last pass... The little Makita router in the second photo is so much easier to use. It's very light, and held with one hand on top and a couple of fingers pressed down onto the base plate. It's a joy to use. The larger router was much more fatiguing, being much heavier and having a large cut out area in the base plate - that made it much less stable and lead to a 1mm deep gouge on the top horn because my arms were aching. The gouge will sand out, but was a bit disappointing as I was being very careful. Next time I'll just use the Makita. The class also have a bearing guide for it, which is what I used to cut the binding rebate on the Nozcaster - lovely bit of kit
  50. 1 point
    Unclamped Edit: Oh - and we've had a slight change of plan. It's going to be a little more conventional with just a single pickup now, and probably a scratch plate. The knobs will be repositioned still