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About whoofnagle

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  1. whoofnagle

    Guitar Of The Month For November

    The LP did it for me. The others were nice - the WOMD was well put together and the workmanship is excellent, but the theme does nothing for me, but it obviously does for a large number of others. Personally, I hope I can build one some day half as nice as any of these. Bill
  2. whoofnagle

    Cnc vs. Handmade

    Here is a follow up entry from Joe Driskill. Diablo Senior Member Registered: Jan 2002 Location: Fort Worth, Texas Posts: 220 I don't think I would ever want to do this without a CNC. Not for time savings at all but for its accuracy and possibilities that it provides. I have a HUGE Haas. My upper horn was ½” longer so I had to go with a really big one. $109K just for the basic tool. It took five years to pay for. It sits a lot of the time since I do so much handwork. I named it Slacker for this reason. When it is doing something though, there is nothing else like it. Nothing comes off of it ready to go without a lot of sanding or, in the case of metal, buffing and plating. Here’s kind of what I do with each thing. Fretboards- cut locating holes on the bottom, vacuum it to the next fixture, cut perimeter and arch with a ¾” Ball endmill. Time: 40 minutes. Fretslots- .020” endmill cuts fretslots. Tiny little thing which breaks easily if pushed too hard. Time: about 38 minutes. Inlay- Totally depends on inlays. Almost all of them are custom in some way. Time: anywhere from a few minutes with simple dots to days with more elaborate inlays. One took about 12 hours just to cut the pearl and untold hours to program. The wolf guitars took an unbelievable amount of time to program and cut. I couldn’t even estimate how long they took. We’ll just say about 4 hours for a mid range difficult inlay which is all ready programmed and only has to be cut and inlaid. Necks- rough cut to approximate size and then put on Haas. It takes 3 fixtures and a ton of steps with all kinds of tools to cut necks. Total time: about 1:30 hours I guess. Bodies- three fixtures and some off an on back into the machine after gluing stuff . Time: about 3:30 hours total machining time. Metal parts- I make my own pickup rings, stop tails, and trems. This is like getting a sex change to switch from wood to metal. Every little spec of wood and dust has to be cleaned out and the machine wiped down. Then coolant has to go in it and be all hooked up and the air disconnected. I made vise jaws for everything. There are about 16 or so sets of vise jaws to cut different metal parts. Big hassle! Each one has to be put in and then located with dial indicators. Trems- time about 4 hours probably. I don’t even know on the other stuff but it’s not quick. Components- knobs and back plates- probably about 20 minutes machining time. Hand work: Fretboards- tons of sanding and stuff after tweezers put the inlays in. Lots of sanding and buffing of the fretboards. Before going into the Haas, they are run through a widebelt sander to roughly size them. Then the inlays go in. The frets are stainless steel and both epoxied and pressed into the fretboard. They are then clamped up in aluminum press plates with the radius machined into the plate. This is clamped up and let to cure for about 10 hours. Then the fretboard is glued onto the neck using epoxy. Again the plates clamp this on and it cures. No moisture is ever introduced to the neck since epoxy is used. That all takes about 4-6 hours of actual work and lots of curing time. The neck is then sanded to shape as it is cut way oversized by the CNC. I make my own carbon fiber and it has to be put in. Then the side dots are drilled and installed and the tuner holes are drilled with a drill jig. Then the neck goes back into the CNC for the tongue angle. Lots of handwork on the necks! Total hand time on necks: 10-15 hours including the making of carbon fiber and cutting it. Probably way more time if I consider that. Curing the UV finish: This only takes about 10 minutes total in the CNC UV booth. Body: Lots of sanding and looking at it. Taking pictures, photoshoping it to find stuff, etc. Resawing it and stickering it in front of fans to get it good and dry. Running it through the sander and gluing it onto the CNC’d parts. Vacuum bagging it to dry, etc. When it comes off of the CNC, it has tearout and is pretty rough. Hours of sanding and perfecting the parts. Then fitting the neck. Total body time: 10-20 hours at least. That’s probably extremely conservative. Components: hours of buffing and cleaning to get it ready to plate. I look like a chimney sweep when I’m done. All black gunk on your clothes and face. Carbon fiber and wood for back plates is incredibly time consuming. I hate that part. Probably about 15+ hours on metal. It is actually way more but I can’t even estimate it. Finish: OMG! Don’t even know as they are all different in their challenges. Sanding, blisters on every finger, dying, sealing, spraying, UV oven, sand more, spray more, bla, bla. 30 hours easily total. The UV finish is so hard it takes 5+ hours of sanding and buffing alone. Then you go through somewhere. Do it again. I am now using Chromaclear for the top coat as it buffs much easier and looks fantastic. Still, it is very finicky on temperature and humidity whereas the UV polyester doesn’t care about any thing other than how hard it can make itself to buff. Carbon Fiber- At least 4 hours of actual hands on work to saturate the fibers with epoxy. This is done twice to ensure saturation. Then it’s vacuum bagged for 10 hours each time. It sits for a few days on the form that makes it. Then you have to cover up with as much protective clothing as possible to keep the dreaded carbon fiber dust off of you and cut it with a grinder blade in the table saw. It is cut into strips that will go into the neck. Lots of carbon fiber in the necks all strategically placed. These are epoxied into the necks. Total time for carbon fiber. ???????? Lots of hideous time. Say 10 hours average. That’s just some of the work. There are many more hours of total hand work doing the frets and setting it all up. CNC just makes deadly accurate parts and makes things possible that I couldn’t do other wise. It opens the doors to a lot of stuff that you just couldn’t do any other way. It definitely isn’t a cookie cutter thing like some people want you to believe. It makes things more time consuming in a lot of cases just because you know that you could do something with it so you do. Hope this helps.
  3. Here is a link to an interesting thread. SOme of you here might enjoy reading this. CNC vs Handmade Bill
  4. whoofnagle

    Carved Top Tele

    Yeah - they are sweet. Ron is an amazing builder. I love looking at that gallery. Makes me drool every time. Bill
  5. whoofnagle

    Carved Top Tele

    Here is a link to a limba guitar that has been given a "brazillian burst" - there are several others in this gallery if you want to see more views. Bursted Limba The whole gallery By the way - it looks great so far. Bill