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Andyjr1515 last won the day on July 25

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About Andyjr1515

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  • Location
    Derby, UK
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    Guitar and Bass playing, mods & builds; sax
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  1. Great progress, @M3521 The first strum of a guitar that you've built yourself is a source great satisfaction
  2. Well, that patterning is definitely the wood - and now I've sanded down properly you can see the bookmatching. It has also toned down the contrast a touch. I don't know how well the photo looks here but in real life it's beautiful! There's an orange hue mixed in with the browns - delightful and further finishing will only enhance. It reminds me a little of those lovely Tasmanian wood samples you gave me, @curtisa (and brought literally in person from Tasmania to my home UK county, folks ) I've also tidied up the surround of the rosette - I'll put up a shot once it's dry enough to sand off
  3. Well, off and on it's taken all day, but the back binding's done and the first rough sand. I won't go through the process because, of you go back a few pages, I ironed on the back binding exactly as I did for the top. But a quick mockup is always in order: So now I can start the finish process for the body while I start the proper carve of the neck. I usually apply a 'reveal coat'. I use the first coat - applied and slurried - as a grain fill, a sealer and also to reveal the dips and lumps or the glue over-spill. What it reveals also is a decent view of what the final colour will be. These two pics are in fading light, but I'm sure you get the idea... Not certain what the lighter areas on the back are - it could be the wood but equally it could be that it will sand off. At the moment my money is on the latter, and if so, the reveal coat will be living up to its name. But is the same colour as the very centre join - and that's definitely the wood colour. The full post-reveal sanding session will answer the question. Whatever, once the finish varnish is one, that figuring is going to be stunning. There are some beautiful colours in there! No wonder they call it Red Gum Walnut! So next steps in the coming week are body finishing, neck carving and daughter's Covid-fluid-situation-arrangements-govt-might-change-plan-again-already-cancelled-once-and-you-never-know wedding
  4. A good result on a very ambitious step. I look forward go seeing the finished board I think you were right in your choice of materials - standard stains don't penetrate deep enough...the colour would have disappeared at almost the first stroke of the scraper
  5. Beautiful job It's nice to see wood being used in an inlay
  6. And...the back is on! And the peg holes are reamed and the label is in: Tomorrow, I should be able to do the back binding and then I can start the final sanding and finishing process while I finish off the neck carve
  7. And it really is starting to look like a guitar bouzouki now A few more jobs to do with the back off - installing the Pure Mini transducers and cutting the top of the end graft to size being the main ones - and then I can glue the back on and sort the back binding. Then I can start the final sanding and finish coats of the body while working separately on the neck carve
  8. The fitting of the bridge is perhaps the most critical part of an acoustic build. It simply has to be right. And there are big, big, problems if is isn't. First step was cutting the angled saddle slot. In the end, I had to make another jig - to be able to accurately use a router: Next was recognising that the top is spheroidal - and therefore the bottom of the bridge has to be shaped accordingly. I will use the old 'engineers blue' trick: First I put some masking tape on the top and put some school chalk evenly all over it: Rubbing the bridge a small amount on the chalk reveals the high spots: Sand the chalk marks off and repeat...and keep sanding the areas where there is chalk and repeat and repeat. This is starting to get there: As long as you only sand where the chalk is, you are always lowering the high spots. Eventually, there is chalk on every bit - and then you know it's a perfect fit. Next is position the bridge - scale-length-wise and double checking with the string lining up: Then cut round the bridge through the masking tape: Wood components have a tendency to float on the layer of glue while they are being clamped, and so need position positioning. So I now drill through a couple of the string holes and will use some bolts to position and help clamp during gluing: But, the main ooomph is a long reach clamp with yet another home-made jig - this one is to act as a clamping caul for the bridge body, and then the two captive screws clamp down on the bridge wings: And there it will sit until morning
  9. And so preparations are afoot to fix the bridge. A reminder that the sequence I am following is NOT what you will find in the text books but it is what I have done on the last couple of acoustic builds and works much better for me than the conventional methods. The main difference is that I will be doing all of this with the back still off. As I have recently learned (three months and all of a sudden I try to make out I'm an expert on bouzoukis ), the spacing at the saddle and nut of a bouzouki between each string and between each pair has to account for the string widths so that the distances from string edge to string edge are even. I have used a string pattern from one of the detailed internet sites of bouzouki specs and then scaled up the relevant dimensions to work out where the centre lines are. Clearly at the bridge, it is the spacing of the string retention holes that determines the string positions and here I have the additional requirement of two staggered rows of hole, like on a 12-string acoustic. I used a 12-string bridge to double check that I was getting the row spacing right and then used some schooldays arithmetic and 'avoiding accumulation of errors' precautions to mark out the hole positions, which equate to the string centre line positions just behind the saddle: Drilled using my small drill press with an accurate bradpoint - and then the acid test - do all of the holes line up exactly with the intended string positions: I'm pleased to say that they do Another Phew! So next challenge is how to cut an accurate saddle slot. I'll have to have a ponder on that one... But in the meantime, I also have to cut the string guide that will sit behind the zero fret. I used the same method as above to get me here. This isn't carved properly yet, but I need the slots for the next bit - working out the sideways position of the bridge: So this lets me pop a couple of strings onto the two extreme tuners, and that way I can feed them into the bridge, pull them tight and work out where the bridge needs to sit to keep the bass and treble strings where they need to be in relation to the fretboard sides: Don't worry about the kink in the bass string here - I just couldn't hold the strings tight at the same time as clicking the camera shutter! So, once I have worked out how to cut the saddle slot, I can determine the backwards/forwards position of the bridge too and then glue the bridge on
  10. Yes - great tip But couldn't be used with the K&K Pure Mini transducers. When I fit them, I'll post what I do here with the back off...and then I'll show you all what the K&K installation instructions say you should do with a fully finished acoustic.
  11. Yes - it is just the logical shape to get all those strings straight, but yes - very similar to the Ibanez SR basses. And yes - it is a Veritas Spokeshave. With a decent set up, most mid range tools (Stanley, etc) will do a perfectly decent job. I have one Lie Nielsen tool - a block plane - that was a gift and it is beautiful and works so well...but I would never justify buying one myself. Every Veritas tool I've had has been still affordable, but have had that same Lie Nielsen feel of quality. Up until the Veritas, I assumed my poor spokeshave work was my technique of setting up or using. Then I bit the bullet with the Veritas and huge, huge improvement in my results. It can be adjusted VERY precisely - I even used it to take the excess off the top binding of the bouzouki - right next to the AAA spruce top...and right down to final sanding level! And that's not what you are supposed to use spokeshaves for...
  12. Correct. For the last build (Matt's Dreadnought) I ripped up the 'rule-book' and did things quite differently to the conventional wisdom. It worked and so I will be doing it again. Conventional wisdom: Top and back on body, binding top and bottom; do trial and error fitting of neck angle and heel, assembling neck and disassembling through the soundhole ; finish body; scrape finish off where bridge is going to go; glue bridge; install electrics through soundhole; apply Pure Mini transponders in exact three locations on bridge plate with cyano glue - blind through the soundhole!!!! ; Final assembly of neck through soundhole My method: Leave back off; trial fit neck with easy access to fixing bolts; fit bridge with full access; fit Pure Mini transponders in exact locations; fit electrics; glue back on; do back binding; finish; final assembly of neck through soundhole Pretty sure you won't see that in any manuals, texts or videos, but it works for me
  13. The headstock plate is now glued on. The plate has full area veneer to create the b/w/b demarcation line and, for the fretboard, it is built into the binding. Pretty good match... There is a zero fret but there will be a bone faux nut just behind in the normal position that will be cut to act as a guide for the string spacings To get all the the tuners fitting OK, I had to get the neck off, and the various files and planes out. So while it was there I just took the corners off the neck profile too using a spokeshave and a micro-plane blade. You can see the paper template that P gave to me (I sent him a profile gauge and some instructions to take the profiles of his best playing bouzouki). Over the weekend, I will cut some plasticard profile templates from these and start the main carve : So next job is the nut guide, and then I can pop a couple of strings on the top and bottom pegs to work out where the bridge and saddle slot needs to sit: But before I can do that I have to cut the saddle slot and drill at least two string hole positions on the bridge. What could possibly go wrong
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