StratsRdivine

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  1. Today's lamination of the deep topography Fire Burl in 1/4" acrylic went great. The panel also thermoformed without bubbling, formed to a 26" radius nicely, and is ready for cutting. Will be a much better blank than the previous one with the green liquid back carving. On top of that, I thermoformed the 4th quilted acrylic panels with high adhesion back coating to very uniform radii. Now on to the easy part - making guitars with this stuff. Trust me - it is the easy part. I may not say that when these are done in a month or so.
  2. Welcome to the forum - lots of great help here. Here is a hint on pictures - I always resize my pics to 1280 x 1920, and while doing so, I increase contrast a bit and then is saves as a medium resolution pic, and quick to upload. Cell phone cameras nowdays seem to default to insane high megapixel images for some stupid reason, so reset to low res as its default if you don't want to resize in other software. Whats the fingerboard radius? Those inlay dots look interesting.
  3. Will you show us the freakin guitar already - the anticipation is killing me . The color is awesome on the fingerboard.
  4. Yep, last photo is the smoothing stage with a ball grinding bit after doing the initial carving with a carbide ball mill. Too bad this one won't be in one of the three first builds. After living with it for a while, I decided that I didn't like that green "drip" carving. It is good, but not awesome enough to be included in these three builds. I will keep it, and it may become a guitar if my current "Fire Burl" lamination is not as cool as I think it will be. The outer multi-colored stuff in the top pics is a new, recent lamination I call "Fire Burl". I used inlay grade Fire Burl for that face, which is a tighter pattern, with lower topography so it inlays into necks in a .040" cavity. The heavier topography version looks way better, so I just laminated a panel this morning and am hoping it thermoforms nicely. If so, I will not do the black inner part with the green back carving. It will be the whole body face. Then I will overlay black acrylic around the knobs, bridge and pups. I think it will look better - simpler, kindof less is more. A good artist knows when to stop, and I think I went too far on this last one - a bit too Roger Dean ish (as much as I love his Yes album covers).
  5. Have you considered using epoxy as a filler? The advantage in your case is that it really strengthens up all the splits in your cutaway / neck area, while being the least shrinking filler you could possibly use, which manifests itself in glass flat finishes without pore / grain telegraphing through three months after wet sanding / buffing. Lots of open time, and you can wipe it in "grouting" it into the pores, then wipe off like has been discussed. The strengthening ability of epoxy after it has soaked into punky wood is huge compared to solvent / waterborne based fillers, Especially when you heat the wood prior to application.
  6. Next one - Done in Fire Burl. The Fire burl is too visually busy and dominating, so I contrasted it with a black interior that roughly follows a strat pickguard outline with some sexified line augmentation. Then the Fire Burl looks great against lime green metallic, so I tested a bunch of green metallics and came up with green candy over green to blue borosilicate in the "liquid" section. Metaphoric of it "dripping with color", and you could say that its a little too much going on, but hey, these are prototypes. Going with another rainbow chrome Floyd Rose again with this one too. Back carving the acrylic is quite a challenge - never doing it again, unless I get five figures for another one.
  7. This is geometry heaven! (or hell, depending how you look at it - or who's doing it - heaven for us in the peanut gallery, hell for you Andy,) Matt Harris's radius dish idea is on track, and whatever you do to get the compound curve will end up thinning that lower left lobe of the body design down to nearly nothing, if you continue the curve. What might be easier in terms of milling both curves without diminishing the lower lobe, would be to use your 20" radius milling jig for both sections (Playing zone section off-plane of the fretboard section by a few degrees), then the intersection of both of those radii will create a shoulder line, that can then be rounded gracefully. You might even want to consider changing your radii in the playing zone to a greater radii to allow for the thicker lower left lobe. Worst case, you could always glue a contrasting wood to the back of the sycamore in that lower left lobe. Will be interesting, quite lightweight, and a real sweet piece when done.
  8. Got the bodies. now to scribe, plane, shape,etc.
  9. Thanks, Andy! Thermoforming and cutting that Fire face was such a PITA today. You have to cut the panel AFTER thermoforming in order to get a nice consistent convex curve, but then the surface is out of focus on the laser the whole time. So I laser cut the pup openings first, then cut the outline (which will be flush trimmed to the body, after scribing and shaping the body to fit the curve), and cutting the outline required me to lift the edges into focus as the laser was cutting. I think I will use my bandsaw next time, and just laser the interior openings. This is why I am doing this project - to learn all the fabrication techniques required with this material. Will post pics of these soon. The bodies were perfect. I sent a laser cut template to my luthier (Attila Custom Guitars) and picked up the bodies today. Great to team up with a serious, detailed guy. His FB is Attila's FB page. He does amazing guitars. The best part it that his shop is within walking distance of me.
  10. Solvents may still eat through the wax - polyethylene or nylon film (ziplock / garbage bag) plastic film is what I use for bonding cauls with plastic cement / solvent welding. Peels right off, makes a great "parting compound" because solvents wont melt it.
  11. Last thread was just a feasability study - thanks for all your input guys - it really did help, and I continue to need feedback, as I am still only a four month old in my guitar building phase (but 30 years old in high-end woodworking / composites). I am getting my rough milled basswood body blanks from my luthier tomorrow, and he is working on my custom spec necks so I decided to start a new thread to kickoff these "different" builds. This build thread needed an easier title too, as "Elliptical cross section body for T-formed acrylic" is about as interesting as Chenglish instruction manuals. Look up that thread if you want background info on these builds. Will be posting pics of recent castings in 1/4" acrylic like this one below for a few days, as the color possibilities are endless, given the endless metallic / pearlesecent / borosilicate pigments available now coupled with the masking technique I recently figured out on this stuff. After doing a half dozen or so panels, I will be choosing three to do the first three guitars with. Kind of set on this "Fire" panel for the 2nd one and the gold / silver boro in the "Quilt" pattern as # 1. The dichroic inlay tests went very well too, so the necks will have the appropriate color inlay according to the body panel choice.
  12. These are exactly the reasons I use epoxy for grain filling. Clear, and no shrinkage. You are "grouting" the pores with a plastic card to fill them, then minimal sanding needed. Good on you to warm up the components, but I have found that warming the wood is the best. I have a shelf under my shop heater for pre-heating components for epoxy, not to mention my 1500 F heat gun.
  13. So I got pissed off at the bubbling that occurred during thermoforming yesterday. Turns out it was a good thing, because when I get mad, I reach deep, pray, and turn it up to 11 in my resourcefulness, and kick the problem's ***. I hurried up and cast a new panel, mixed my "paints" and sprayed a waaayyyyy better panel. The burst is better, (two blended shades), and sprayed gold until the gun emptied to really enrich the effect. I lasered the bad thermoformed panel anyway and rounded and polished the edges as a sample panel to give to my luthier for test fitting. Compare the panels - the new one with masking removed on the right has much better depth due to the better burst and the heavier gold. Then I discovered a wonderful new effect from polishing the teardrop roundover - the refraction line.
  14. Can't wait to see the detail photos of the "open scroll hook" upper cutaway. Cutaways are so sexy on guitars, so I'm glad to see you do this in an "acanthus leavage" extent. Maybe even inspire some wilder cutaways on someones guitar build (maybe one of my future ones). Bent laminating seems tough on such a tight radius, so I assume you might endup cutting that curl from solid. But then again, about six layers of veneer side grain would do it too, although you are more likely to make the whole horn from solid right? Looking forward to seeing progress on this. Maybe, or maybe not applicable for your project, but when I needed a tight radius in my boat armrests, I cut the teeth off of a 7-1/4" blade, then mounted it on my T-saw, then while spinning took a grinder to grind the toothless teeth into 4 degree "pie" shaped teeth in order to cut headless kerfs in the kerf bend. Took about a half hour to grind the relief clearances behind each tooth, but it cut like a dream. Would probably work great as a fret saw too.
  15. So my thermoforming test just ruined the quilted acrylic. unreacted monomers from a coloring agent in the "backfill" hit vapor point and bubbled the perfect metallic. The test panel formed great, but it had been sitting in my rack for about a month. Need lots of patience dealing with polymers. Todays test panel of my tropical fish inspired mold worked out good. I was going to wait til my new pigments arrived in the mail to cast it (Lamborghini Orange Metallic) but the candy is on backorder. Tested anyway using pearls and rattle can yellows and reds. Glad I did the test casting cuz I need to rework the mold, and change my masking procedure. I think I'm more excited about this one rather than the gold quilted one.