Jump to content

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



GOTM Winner
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Andyjr1515

  1. Swift Lite 2

    Hi Yes - another one. This one is a special commission but one where I can also continue developing the concept of a light and playable guitar that would particularly appeal to older players, young players, new players and women players! It would be ungallant of me to suggest any more than two of the above categories would be ticked - new player and woman player - for this one to be built for my sister-in-law, Jane! The basic construction and design concept will be the same as the prototype - my own Swift Lite: ...which is perfect for my own use but will incorporate, if possible, some tweaks that a lead guitarist might appreciate: the upper horn cutaway positioned to allow a thumb anchor when bending strings at the upper frets the lower horn cutaway deepened, again for optimum upper fret access the lower waist moved rearward for better positioning when playing over knee longer upper horn. The one above balances perfectly at just under 6lbs. The new one will attempt to reach the design weight of 5 1/2 lb and so may need that extra length on the horn to compensate. The other thing I've tried is to teach myself to use Inkscape, after seeing the great results and reading the comments from some of yourselves about the product And here's the Inkscape mock-up with the Amboyna I am intending to use: Oh - and the other challenge, based on the fact I'm going to knock 1/2lb off the weight is that the back is going to be oak Yes - heavy, tool blunting, challenging to grainfill oak There is a reason. The house that Jane lived in all her life and her parents lived in all their married lives had a large oak shelf over one of the fireplaces. When the house, many years later, was demolished, Jane and Chris, my brother-in-law, managed to salvage the shelf...which is now in my shed... Although the above shows two humbuckers, I haven't fully decided the pickup configuration - might even go for a single P90... Anyway - while there is still plenty of deciding to do - let's declare this project open
  2. Swift Lite 2

    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
  3. First Build, so many lessons learned

    For smaller screws this usually works well. It will be a bit more challenging with such a large screw but the theory is the same - you hold a soldering iron bit firmly against the broken face for enough time for the screw end to become very hot. The screw expands and forces the gripping wood back. It is then left to fully cool. The screw contracts again, leaving a tiny gap between it and the wood, basically breaking the friction seal.
  4. PRS-like project(s)

    Beautiful job
  5. Travel Shredder

    Some really clever thinking in this build. Fascinating
  6. Swift Lite 2

    This is still bounding along. I'm sure there will be a big boo boo sometime soon but 'so far so good' (actually there is a small fixable one that I will confess shortly). Pickup chambers. Hmmmm....and my aversion to anything relating to routers. Trouble is, when you need a flat bottom in a deep chamber, and you've only got a maximum of thickness of 5mm left at the end of it, there aren't that many options. So I did it the same as the last few times: Started with drilling the corners, taking especial care with the depth: Then Forstnered them: Then chiselled down to the top depth around the pencil guide lines. Then used a very short bearing guided router bit to straighten the sides without routing any of the depth Then used the resulting substantial and square bearing-guiding sides to safely guide the router bit deeper, a couple of mm at a time, to the final depth, leaving around 5mm wood short of break-through: And then the inevitable premature mock-up: On many levels, I'm really pleased with this one so far. Oh...and the boo boo? OK - do you remember me saying I was going to have this as a single pickup guitar? Well, I changed my mind in the end and decided to go for two humbuckers, three way and master tone and volume. The boo boo? When I stuck the top on, there wasn't going to be a neck pick up. And so there wasn't the need to cut a cable routing into the back wing from where the pickup up chamber would be to where the control chamber was going to be.... But happily, I have a VERY long drill. One long enough to go through the jack hole, into the side of the control chamber and all the way to the neck pickup. I think we've all said - when new builders are super deflated at having made an error - that many of the more experienced builders regularly make silly errors too (certainly, I do). We probably are just a touch quicker at finding work-rounds to fix them
  7. New Headless Design

    Great build and well deserved GOTM win!
  8. First Build, so many lessons learned

    Or in my case, 'Ah jeez Rick. If I produced this cut, I'd be patting myself on the back for doing a great job.' Great job, Rick.
  9. Swift Lite 2

    I have...and don't really want to again!
  10. Pariahrob's build log

    This is going to be the absolute dogs whatsits. Remind me not to enter a GOTM when this one goes forward....
  11. Swift Lite 2

    Aye, aye, Cap'n Sir And so to the back and neck carve. I'm probably about half way through that so far. As I've mentioned before, I finish the neck profile off once the guitar is finished and fully strung up - yes, I know. I'm weird like that - but there's still a bit of bulk to take off to get to my preferred softish 'V' profile before that stage. After just a few minutes with a spokeshave, most of the carve has been done using micro plane blades, just held in gloved hands like a scraper. The towelling underneath is to stop any dints on the top (you see, I do sometimes take notice of your gems of advice, @Prostheta ) - you can see it's been used for many times for past staining jobs. Based on the fact that a number of my staining jobs are red ink, it has the unfortunate look of the results of a serious router/finger incident! At this stage, I tend to do a lot of air-guitar playing I've got some more bulk to take out at the heel / body transition, but the thumb anchor points and 24th fret access feel fine so far. You can see why I took impressions earlier of where the hidden weight relief chambers are! Breaking through at this stage of the process would definitely spoil my day Total weight so far is spot on 4lbs - about 4oz lighter than my previous build. Having a bash at making my own wood knobs - which will save 2-3oz over the brass ones I previously used - a final 5 1/2 lbs weight should at least be within reach
  12. Swift Lite 2

    Having added another two frets with the revised fretboard, I've deepened the two cutouts to try and achieve the full fret access and thumb-anchor position for bend to, and including, the 24th fret. Having done that, I've started to finish the top shaping. I may need to tweak it a bit more once I've carved the back, but this is how it's starting to look. Those who've seen my builds before will know that I add an early quick coat of tru-oil - regardless of what finish I'm going to use in the end - to show up any lumps and bumps a bit easier. I'll be trying to finish the back carve later today / this evening and then hopefully tomorrow comes the neck carve
  13. Swift Lite 2

    With the fretboard on, I can now finish the body carve :
  14. Right....I'll just go and suggest to MrsAndyjr1515 that she goes to the automotive bodyshop and panelbeaters suppliers for her make-up, then...
  15. First Build, so many lessons learned

    I'm sure that there are better ways, but one method I've used in the past that helped - once I was pretty close to flatness - was to use school chalk on a 1' square piece of 1/4" ply, liberally applied, and then rub the coated ply over the mating surface. Any high spots will show as the chalk will be rubbed off onto them. Then I use a cabinet scraper to scrape away the high spot and repeat until the whole surface has chalk transferred onto it. Then do the same on the other mating surface It won't sort two mating surfaces that are way out, but it is a decent method for sorting out pesky high-spots.
  16. Swift Lite 2

    Yes - it's even more satisfying than popping bubble-wrap
  17. Swift Lite 2

    I decided to put the same demarcation feature under the headstock plate. I cut some maple and ebony veneer offcuts: Then glued and clamped them under a decently thick piece of sapele: For the fretboard, I did the side dots, then filled the fret slots with a mixture of epoxy and macassar dust: Once that was set and the edges sanded down, it was time to glue the fretboard on In the meantime, the pickups have arrived
  18. Swift Lite 2

    For no particular reason other than it's a shame to lose any of the macassar, I've decided to skip the binding of the fretboard. The consequence, however, is that I can't use the cheat of using figured acoustic guitar body binding to give me the feature stripes as I had done of the maple, bound, version: So, it was back to some maple and black veneer, stuck to the bottom of the fretboard: Came out alright, though Got to double check the flatness of the neck, fit the truss rod and then the fretboard can be glued
  19. Swift Lite 2

    OK - just done something the other way round to usual and am now thinking, 'Why haven't I ALWAYS done it this way?????' Up until now, I've always fretted once the fretboard has been glued to the neck. I'm now not entirely sure why that was, except I had an un-considered prejudice against fretting the board first. And a number of my fretting jobs and fretboards have had challenges! This time, I decided I was going to fret first. Boy oh boy... Other than I've finally invested in a tang nipper - which is great - my actual fretting method is unchanged: For good or bad, I basically run a very fine bead of titebond along the tangs, hammer in and then immediately clamp with a radius block. All of that is so much easier on the bench... And then the trimming, filing and bevelling. SOOOOOOO much easier - and more accurate. Not glued to the neck yet, but I've got a good feeling about what it's going to be like once it has been
  20. Aria Pro 2 SB1000

    Ooooh...that's nicely done
  21. Swift Lite 2

    For the maple fretboard I was going to use some NZ Paua to get the contrast, but for the macassar I think MoP would work better. I cut out a couple of swifts for the 12th and routed the shapes with the dremel precision base: Then glued them in with epoxy mixed with fretboard sanding dust and added the MoP dots for the other positions: Then a quick sand with the radius block:
  22. Aria Pro 2 SB1000

    Hi, Brian and welcome! I love Arias. I've worked on one in the past and have seen @Norris 's in the flesh. Beautiful! With the care you're taking on this one, I'm sure yours will turn out just as good. Watching with great interest.
  23. Swift Lite 2

    Yes - one and the same
  24. Swift Lite 2

    Thanks, folks. I've had that board for years - can't even remember what I got it for although it was bass length....and that means I've managed to get an acoustic-length blank as an offcut. Will have to build another acoustic, then Ref the clamps - yes - I find I need packers to stop the template moving (you can see those in the shot) as well as clamping both sides. What it doubles - as well as stopping the template assembly moving around - is the double security of the fretboard on the template. I never completely trust 2-sided tape by itself!
  25. Tele-Pine-Partscaster project!

    Do you know....I don't think I'd realised that your tuition was with Colin Keefe. He's been on my 'a bit of a legend' list for years! No wonder you thrashed me on the other month's GOTM!