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Blackdog last won the day on October 13 2015

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About Blackdog

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  • Birthday 09/17/1959

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    Leiderdorp, NL
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  1. I think it's about time you get your wife the guitar she wants and deserves !! But I'm afraid 9 euros wont get you very far.... The ABR is a nice design. Located correctly it will provide all the range you will ever need. Good ones have less free play on the moving parts and over the posts. I used to find the right position of the bridge by finding the correct intonation at the 12th fret on the two E strings (moving the loose bridge around the expected position on the top), then using the bridge post holes to mark the post positions on the top. But checking the resulting positioning of the posts from the 12th fret in several finished guitars (same scale, obviously) I found that they all ended up within 0.5mm of each other. So today I'm just using the measurements to position the loose bridge, confirm the intonation, and mark the holes on the top.
  2. Hi Carl. Yes, you're right, it's a can of worms in a way... But come on ! You know what I mean when I ask the rethorical question... It is a true fact that the SG started as a Les Paul, but let's be clear, it has as much in common to the "real" Les Paul as a Vee or an Explorer do. I'm after the Bluesbreaker Les Paul sound and feel.
  3. …and what does make a Les Paul after all ? No, I'm not going to post a Les Paul build thread. (Or am I ?) Last week I finished and delivered an ES335 for a customer in the UK and he asked me “What’s next now ?” And it was actually a good question, since I have several new projects awaiting for some quality workbench time… And now I think I have a winner project. Been playing a lot lately with the idea of a Les Paul flavoured Blackdog Singlecut. I’ve discussed this here before, the original Blackdog Singlecut design was heavily influenced by the PRS style of solidbodies. Longer scale and different maple/mahogany ratio have a deep impact in the way the guitar sounds and responds. Nothing wrong with that, but it is different from a Les Paul in both accounts. But a good Les Paul has always been a favorite of mine. It was my first love and every time I strap one on is like coming back home. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone on this... ;-) So, why not merge the elements that I believe make the LP sound and feel experience with my Singlecut design ? It took a bit of refining of the design, but the looks are close enough to my original Singlecut and still different enough to not make it a Les Paul copy. The elements I’m bringing from LP-Land into this design are: - Thicker mahogany back, around 1.75”. - Thinner and harder maple top: 5/8”. Hard-maple might not be so beautifully flamed as big-leaf, but is indeed harder and it has an impact to the sound. - 59 LP Scale lenght and fret spacing: Rule of 18 based on a 24.75” scale. Thinner fretboard. - One piece mahogany neck with old style compression rod (Yes, I'll be going old-school with this one. If the neck is well made and the wood is stable there’s no need for a two-way rod. And the old school one means more wood and less steel in the neck: I like the idea of that). - Steeper tilted back headstock: 17*, and of a new design, with strings fanning out to the tuner posts. Vintage style low mass tuners. I won't be using a volute, but I may try an idea I have for reinforcing the headstock area without betraying the design. We'll see. - Bridge/pickup positions geometry like on a 59 LP. The most significant details of comfort of my original design will be kept: The belly cut on the back and the progressive heel for a better upper fret access. And a few up-class details too, like faux binding on the maple top, flamed maple binding on the fretboard and some interesting head plate. But nothing too over the top, these shall be players’ guitars. I have already worked out the general plans and specifically those for the templates: for the body, neck and top carving. The plan right now is to concurrently build two of these. A Goldtop with a wraparound bridge and twin P90s and a Sunburst with ABR/Stop Tailpiece and twin Humbuckers. I’m also toying with the idea of making the Sunburst a semi-hollow/chambered type, with a single soundhole. This just to keep things interesting… This is what these will look like (hopefully): I promised that the next Blackdog design I'd build I would post the thread here, so this is it gents. I haven't even started yet (other than collecting the wood) and it's going to take some time, so I hope we will all have fun together. BTW I think I will call these LP flavoured Blackdogs the BluesBreakers.
  4. You're so right ! We tend to overthink things and sometimes a big block of hardwood, sandpaper and elbow grease is all that's needed !
  5. Hi Chris, I see you decided to use the topographic templates for the carving. I liked the method so much that I developed similar template sets for the carving of my own designs. But I get the impression that you're hurrying a bit too much. You need to take your time with these things. The first template routing is really dangerous, you have to remove wood from a rather large area and hand control of the router is critical as it is hanging on the edge of the template for most of it. It works better if you reverse things. For this first step I prefer to use a table router, so the router is stationary and the piece is solidly seated. Hardly any chance to go wrong in this way. For the rest of the steps I go back to top-routing, as I prefer to have good visibility of what's going on. But you got past that already. Now about the neck angle. Like I told you by PM 3.5* is a bit too shallow for a Les Paul using a normal ABR type of bridge. Even with the bridge bottomed to the top you will not be able to attain a decent action. The beauty of building a well researched model like a Les Paul is that everything has been figured out by now, and the 4.2-4.4* neck angle is the magic number. Now that I see pictures of your jig I think that your body was not sitting flat in the jig, this could well be your problem. Another thing I can think of is the possible flexion of the beams under the weight of the router. For this kind of applications I tend to use "L" shaped metal profiles, which are significantly more rigid. Try to see what could have gone wrong and then touch up that neck angle on the top.
  6. WOW !!! That's really Old School !!! Respect !!
  7. Involve her in the process !! Get her to help you on something, it works wonders !
  8. No idea… It will depend on what your attachments look like. I have to admit that it took me a while to convince myself of buying the robo-sander things. ANd at the time they were sold individually !! But once I got them I found several uses for them. They are fantastic for shaping the back profile of the necks after the rough cut, using a jig like this:
  9. This is very good advise ! Get a clean template first ! You'll have enough work sanding the routing marks off, you don't want to have to deal with shape correction on something thicker than 1/2". Another good advise ! To avoid tear outs I run the pieces through the Robo-sander first. These template following drum sanders present zero tear out risks and the follower plastic bearing is slightly oversized with respect to the sanding cylinder, so it leaves a bit of margin. Then I use the routing bits, and since there's very little material to remove the job is much cleaner and the risk of nasty accidents is reduced significantly.
  10. Very interesting build and choice of timbers ! Zebrano and Macassar, won't that be a rather heavy neck ?
  11. Have you tried sprinkling some water on the concave side of the wood and pressing it flat for a couple of days ? It should remove some, if not all, of the cupping. Probably enough to use directly.
  12. Hi Chris, Welcome to the madness !! It's not an easy one you've chosen as your first build. You're in for a few challenges with the Les Paul, but it's such a great design ! I wanted to chime in with respect to the infamous weak Les Paul headstock thing. Yes, it is weaker than other designs, but unless you are planning on banging the headstock against hard things in a consistent manner it will not break by itself. I'm not a fan of scarf joints, I dislike the way they look. So let me help you explore other options. One first consideration is the truss rod you plan to use. One thing that makes the Gibson design specially weak is the huge opening on the face of the headstock four the truss rod access. If you use a modern 2-way rod and make the opening on the headstock only as big as needed you'll be already a couple of steps ahead in terms of strength. How deep is your neck blank ? You will need something like 65mm deep for a classic LP headstock tilted at 17* if you intend to do a one-piece, but you could also tilt the headstock less than 17*. Classic PRS guitars used 11* and it works just fine. I have used 13* many times on one-piece necks and it is a great compromise. 14* was even by Gibson at some point. Another classic is the volute on the back of the headstock. Placed correctly, it does't need to be huge to provide some more strength. A laminated neck (length-wise) is also going to be more stable than a one piece. And if you add some harder wood in the laminations, like maple, it will be even stronger. So you can see, many possibilities are available, unless you're going the historic-correct route, in which case you would not be considering a scarf anyway... Wish you the best with your build. You've come to a great place. Lots of talented and experienced builders around here.
  13. Wow man ! I can't believe the bad luck you've been having ! I was catching up with this thread until I found about the unfortunate events... Must feel horrible. The only thing similar that happened to me was one of the LPs I built last year falling to the concrete floor. Fortunately it way before finishing, no neck attached so I could safely steam the bruise out. Be patient, you'll solve it and it will be beautiful, and everything will be forgotten once you start enjoying it. And about that additional quart of Behlen you bought, just try not to drink in in one sitting, mmmmkay ?
  14. Looking great ! I see you're in Finland, if you're still looking for longer router bits have a look here.
  15. Very nice !!!!! I love those "f?" holes into the upper chamber. Good work ! And you just did it free hand with the Dremel without a template ?
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