StratsRdivine

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About StratsRdivine

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  1. Alright, you get a preview. But this below looks like a crappy ukulele, compared to whats to be revealed at NAMM (below is NOT the 100K body I referred to above), See also the pics I uploaded in the member images portion of this site - cool material (seems like you saw them?). No, not going to NAMM this time, but my partner will be there with all my bling. Fender Custom Shop has already used this stuff, and Jens Ritter did an entire bass body and headstock with it, not to mention PRS (all my partner's version of same below). My new version is a fraction of the cost now due to production efficiency, which is why we are rolling out Pickguards.
  2. Prostheta, you really don't realize the prophetic nature of that statement, Once NAMM is over this weekend, I ill reveal the latest. I just designed and am now prototyping a 1/3" scale model of a guitar body that should fetch the hundreds of thousands (at least thats what in my mind now).
  3. Thats the most perfectly applicable photo in the history of applicable photos! Next time I shoot holes in stuff across the shop, I will yell " You would prefer another target, a military target? Then name the system! " Yeah, I'm pretty tooled up from the last 30 years of high-end woodworking, and now laminating exotic opal panels with two custom made ovens holding 5 x 12ft each. My best tools are homemade, like my direct drive disc sander from a 3 dollar washing machine motor and my 480 F hot butyl dispensing gun made from a caulk gun, McMaster Carr heat tape, and a 24 oz beercan for insulation (most justifiable beer I ever drank), It works like a $3000.00 system - continuous dispensing of hot melt glue that actually sticks, and I still use it. OK, no more hijacking of Norris's thread - and now, back to the show.
  4. Thats precisely why I laser my templates from 1/4" baltic birch. It actually lasers faster than acrylic, and I have a habit of dropping templates, so its durability is awesome. Holds screws super without cracking like acrylic, and the wear on rub collars is nil. The laser will slice right through 1/2" baltic birch too, but I generally don't need that thickness. Mine is an 80 watt laser, which is plenty, but I'm dreaming of a 150 watter someday. Mostly cuz I like to remove the 1st mirror access door and burn holes in pallets across the shop.
  5. Nice work Norris! First build, but it looks like this ain't your first rodeo in woodworking. Save the template! Fill the digs with epoxy or body filler, resand and your golden, Then you always have a visual reminder to be more careful. All my reminders are the over 100 stitches on both hands from my last 30 years of woodworking. Here's a nice tip on acrylic cements: The one part Weld-on cement you have does a good job, but shrinks too much, as it is not crosslinked with a binder. Use the 2 part reactive solvent cements like Weld-On 40 or Acryfix Versatile that come with the catalyst. They will bond better, and will also fill gaps nicely. Cures crystal clear too with no bubbles - the one part stuff is more prone to bubbles, but when bonding to wood, you may get them anyway. One really cool aspect of the reactive cements is that they will solvent weld to themselves, even after crosslinking. So if you ever wanted a crystal clear bond line on wood with no bubbles, you would coat the wood first with a good sealer coat of Weld-on. Once cured, you can sand or not, but then the next application of Weld-on 40 will bond the plastic without bubbles.
  6. Sweet. Haven't seen the old padauk / Wenge combo in a while. They complement each other so well. Too bad the Padauk loses its orange from UV - keep that in its case as much as possible (of course you know that likely). Love its vanilla smell when machined. I always wanted to see if common sunscreen (SPF 2000 or something insane) would help keep the orange in Padauk. Then see if it would take a finish.
  7. So remember I told you all about my big one? You know, my big fat one? You know size matters in this case right? Finally shot it since it was chucked into my POS drill press. One of the best tools I have. The 6" DIA x 9" inflateable drum is designed to be mounted onto an expensive, heavy, stationary tool, but I was able to buy just the drum itself, then ran the shaft through it for hand holding (even that sounds bad). Works great even on smoothing compound concave inside surfaces (dished) if you slip the abrasive sleeve over the outside edge for side swipe movement. Since many guitars have those inside dished surfaces, I thought you might like that feature.
  8. Killer grain in that Eucalyptus. Danish oil is amazing if you are willing to put the work into it. Most folks stop after four wet sand apps.
  9. Thanks a ton man! Very thorough answers. I was also wondering about grounding as well, as the control knobs and switch are connected via the foil. So that pretty much answers my question. Gotta apply the foil.
  10. laser cutting

    I would add that lasers are a lot less expensive than one would think. I budgeted over 30 grand when I planned to get one, but discovered US based importers of chinese lasers (with US based tech support) that are less than half that cost. Been using it everyday for almost a year and no issues. Small ones (18 x 24" bed capacity) can be had for under 5 grand. I wish I had bought mine ten years ago. Not only for templates, but I cut all my inlay material with it, and even gaskets for my spray guns in foamed teflon. Tons of uses for it in the shop. Engraving logos and name plates - easy peasy and looks great. The laser engraved the text in these knobs below right through the masking, then cut the circles in literally ten seconds. Then I filled the lettering with white lacquer, peeled off the masking and you are DONE.
  11. Super cool build man. I just joined today, but have poured over every page of your build this evening. I'm more of a boatbuilder than a luthier, but the art and technology overlaps considerably. I love your holy galahad. Not knowing about one of those, I just mounted a biscuit joiner blade onto my 4" angle grinder to hog out and shape inside curves. And boy, do I share your trepidation about the freaking danger of it. I never got bit by it, but I really hated using it. I might actually have a helpful tip for you, although your professional abilities shown prove that your current method might be best. One of the coolest tools I have is a hand held drum sander similar to the one in the picture for smoothing out inside curves after roughing out (you didn't show how you smoothed the wood after your Galahad). The one in the pic below is my 3" DIA drum sander in which I added a "handle" which is a 1" DIA aluminum pipe mounted via bearings onto a 5/16" threaded rod shaft. But the one I am referring to is my huge 6" x 11" pneumatic drum in which I mounted a through shaft of a machined steel axle with the same "handle" made from pipe and bearings. It just chucks into any good milwaukee drill and you can shape any inside curve with the graceful smoothness of a baby's bottom. Looking forward to seeing the rest of your progress. And yes, I share your preference of epoxy for inlays vs CA. No brainer.
  12. I recently learned that the foil on the back of most pickguards are there to shield unwanted interference / RF from sources that might create feedback, etc. I was curious what thickness is enough to do the job of shielding. I notice that the shielding foil is obviously over the control knobs, switch etc, not needed anywhere else. So for those that may have used mirror acrylic as a pickguard (not polished or chromed metal) does the ultra thin metal deposition of the aluminum coating in the mirror backing provide adequate shielding, or would the application of thicker aluminum foil be needed to block RF? The thickness difference between foil and aluminum metal deposition on mirror backing is like the difference between plywood and paper, relatively. I imagine that the foil is at least 20 microns, while the metal deposition mirror backing is less than one micron - but is it enough to block RF? I suppose another question, would be this - do homemade pickguards without foil shielding (like some exotic wood PG's that I have seen) sound ok anyway in a guitar? Or do all folks that make pickguards apply foil to the backs?
  13. Hi guys - new guy here, but not new to wood adhesives. Titebond and all other PVA's utilize the air in the wood to dry it when its locked inside a large expansive joint. This is why a joint will really grab very quickly during long tenon insertion, or when you try to shift pcs flush. I have had to use bar clamps to shift panels into flush when the "grab" bites me in the ***. So that is part of the answer there - usually can take clamps off a PVA glueup in a half hour due to this grab issue. But what about uneven surfaces in which your clamp pressure is holding it together til the glue dries? I would do a "prewetting" and keep clamps on for over an hour. Always remember that adhesives soak into the fibers a bit, and can starve a joint unless you re-apply immediately prior to clamping (called pre-wetting in the epoxy world). This performs several advantages: Obviously prevents starvation, so do it anyway so you aren't wondering if there is enough later The excess glue functions as a lubricant to prevent all the problems mentioned above with the "grab" issue. Impregnates the wood better with adhesive, thus stronger joint. WWAAAAYYY important when gluing end grain - which is often present even when flat laminating like your maple cap on the LP mahogony body - if there is figure to the grain. Didnt see any, but this principle is very true in fiddleback maple. 50% of the surface is actually end grain. Personally, I would laminate with epoxy. Then you don't get glue creep telegraphing the joint line on gloss finishes.
  14. laser cutting

    Great article, and I actually got a great idea from it. Next time I make a part on my laser, I will throw in a pc of cardboard and hit start again to make shipping holders for the part just made. I encourange any luthier or wood shop to look into lasers. I budgeted $30 grand to get one, and after searching I found one for less that 12 grand. The good chinese lasers that have US based tech support can start at 5 grand. Well within a budget, considering how much time they save and the freedom they provide. I laser many of my router templates from 1/4" baltic birch plywood instead of acrylic due to its stability, lack of cracking, and easy to screw through.
  15. This is absolutely true, as long as the thinner is compatible with the specific type of finish (cred- I was a 100% solids UV radiation cure coatings chemist for three years and have two patents in polymer science). An example of incompatibility would be alcohol in urethane - the water can ruin it. Or lacquer thinner in epoxy - it will work but fogging can take place. Denatured alcohol is best to thin epoxy, but only less than 10%. Great mix to fill and solidify wood for topcoating with 2K urethane, although polyester is most common, cheaper, but it shrinks more telegraphing wood grain as the MEK peroxide does not fully extinguish, and continues shrinking over time. Best cheap, all around thinner, cleaner, etc is a 50% mix of toluene and acetone. I buy it in 5 gal buckets at a fraction of the cost of "lacquer thinner".