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



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Everything posted by charisjapan

  1. No more stalling. The title says most of it, but a few pictures should fill in the blanks. White Limba, Padauk, Wenge, Hipshot stuff, single TV Jones Filter'Tron Classic Plus, 628mm ~ 648mm Multiscale (approximately Gibson to Fender)
  2. Limba 6 Multiscale Filter'Tron

    Thankee Very Much! Hope to get going on the next Chinaberry 6 and a Multiscale Short Scale Bass soon, but fighting pretty severe tendinitis in my right arm/hand. While I love using hand tools, I may have to use power router sled and box, and power sanders more. (sigh) (some may think it's weird, but I kinda like handplanes and sanding blocks) Cheers!
  3. 24 Magnum

    A well-deserved win!!
  4. Chinaberry Six

    Not jealous enough! ... after that I returned to Japan and bought a Yamaha RZ-250 and bought the upgrade parts to make it the water-cooled RD-350WC. Next a Kawasaki Mach V 750 triple. After a few large-bore 4-strokes, I “went home to Momma” and bought the Honda NSR-250R/R and tuned it to track spec. Gotta love 2-stroke street bikes! (fell in love after borrowing a friend’s ‘71 Mach III 500 ... whine/rattle/clang ... Zoooom off in a cloud of blue smoke!!) Got old, ride a Harley Super Glide now.
  5. Chinaberry Six

    Not a lot set for this build yet, except the name, the body wood (unless it has a cap) and the other Padauk Mt. Fuji neck from my Limba 6 build. Pretty good chance that this one will be carried to Hawaii for my daughter. More details as the vision matures. Meanwhile ...
  6. Chinaberry Six

    Top side is pretty flat, the underside still needs to come down about 1mm at the edges ... sure wish I had access to a thicknesser. But not complaining, I enjoy working with wood. The joint is nice, and a splash of naphtha makes for some "silver ghosts."
  7. Chinaberry Six

    Cool! Learned a new character today ... and so did my Japanese wife. Indeed, that character is Japanese, not Chinese ... but very old. It doesn’t mean the Chinaberry tree so much as it means “the large round tree that folks gather around harmoniously.” It is actually more commonly used to mean the main rafter in a house. The character we use now is more the name of the lumber used by woodworkers and artisan, and the character you found is more of a poetic thing. But @Norris, you don’t need to be excused! I really appreciate the input, my friend. I’m afraid a complicated Kanji like that is beyond my abilities to make a sound hole ... perhaps just carved into the wood. Either way, my daughter comes tomorrow, and we’ll see what she wants.
  8. Chinaberry Six

    The biggest single purchase for this build ... TV Jones Filter-Tron Brian Setzer Signature for neck. "Attitude with a Dynamic Punch!" Was considering a something less expensive, but this just goes so well with the black/chrome theme that I halved with the Limba 6.
  9. Chinaberry Six

    My first shot at resawing for a top ... a piece of Kaede (Japanese Maple). Well, that little fence was a disaster, but was able to get four very uneven slices ... which immediately warped. The wood was dry as a bone, but cupped. I was able to join two pieces, and though some places are 11mm thick, some 6mm, I think I will be able to get a top 5mm thick ... which is what I wanted. I sincerely hope it doesn't potato chip any more. To smooth and thin, I'm using a vintage Stanley No.80 cabinet scraper my kids got for me. My first time to use a this kind of tool, but I like it a lot. It certainly produces nice shavings, and it's going pretty fast. I'll post better pictures after (if ) I'm done but this wood is very shiny ... almost silver. The grain is nothing special and the figure a bit unusual, but it is from Japan, so a nice gift for my kid. (just a personal note, but you can see my daughter and baby grandson on Hawaii Five-0's last episode S08E10 ... she's usually directing, but they needed a nurse and a baby, so ... )
  10. Chinaberry Six

    Hmmm ... Kanji characters might work, but I have no idea what that character is! The Chinaberry here in Japan is 栴檀 (pronounced sendan) and is melia azedarach. The correct Chinese characters would be 楝树. The bottom part of that character is indeed "tree," but the rest is ...? Btw, your Nozzcaster is fantastic! Good thing the Limba 6 is not ready for GOTM ... would not want to go up against your Blue Beauty!
  11. Chinaberry Six

    @Norris, I love it! But ... Before I get into why it won't work, let me first say that in the 70s I went to the University of Hawaii for a few years, and rode a tricked out Yamaha RD-350 with a Japanese Imperial Navy flag flying off the front axle (gulp). I was really disrespectful toward Dad, who joined the US Navy on December 8th, 1941, and a LOT of vets and active duty service folks there. Not real proud about that time of my life, but made amends with Dad some years later. My father-in law served in the Japanese Imperial Army at an observation post in Manchuria for almost a decade ... and never laid eyes on any enemy soldiers! He and Dad and I all got along very well. This is the personal context. ... the guitar is going to my daughter, US/Japan dual citizen, and she and I both love your Rising Sun emblem, but the church that she will play this guitar is in my other daughter's home, with a big picture window overlooking Pearl Harbor. Some guests to the church are vets or active duty, so it's probably best to stay away from potential (ahem) issues of historical significance. After a little more reflection, I think the most compatible emblem to go with Mt. Fuji would be (drum roll please) ... Sakura! The cherry blossom is often recognized as a symbol of Japan, and AFAIK has no negative connotation. Tada~~~! Sakura and Sakura Plus variations.
  12. Chinaberry Six

    @Mr Natural Needs some work, but might be interesting! (I'm all into "interesting!")
  13. Chinaberry Six

    That is a great idea!! It would have to be done freehand in Paint ... and I'm not very art-savvy .
  14. Chinaberry Six

    Just a few ideas, horribly drawn. All are exaggerated, and Paint doesn't edit well ... but you get the idea.
  15. Chinaberry Six

    Finally spent a little time with MSPaint to settle a few things. Had several ideas for pickups, but looks like I will stick with the original plan ... a TV Jones in the neck position. Will probably have a push-pull pot for single coil/humbucker selection. Aggressive weight relief in the Chinaberry body, then a thin, flat top ... depends on how well I do resawing with my hobby bandsaw. I am thinking about a hole (or holes) in the top, so will start sketching. f-holes might work with this body shape, but I have a clean sheet ... any ideas? (even considering a larg-ish round or oval hole between bridge and pickup) I'd appreciate any input, but will probably bounce it off my daughter before committing ... she will be here for the holidays! Cheers!
  16. Chinaberry Six

    Will do my best!
  17. Chinaberry Six

    Routed all three body blanks, and did some touchup with various sanding tools. Two of them seem to have a little tiger-stripe figuring, one pretty plain ... so the plain one is a candidate for this build, since I'll be hollowing it out and capping it. Haven't decided whether to go with a thin (6mm) flat cap, or something carved. Maybe better if I glue up a 20mm cap of pine and see what a carve might look like first? After routing, I found a few blemishes (stress cracks and a branch) that were hidden ... and that crooked pith made it's way into one blank, too. No biggie, adds character! Yikes! This is a lot more red than I thought. It looks so creamy, and the sawdust is very light colored, but a little naphtha darkens it a LOT! The end grain looks very mahogany-ish, except for the strong growth rings. I'd like to make the body color compliment the Paduak neck, which matures into a dark reddish-brown.
  18. Chinaberry Six

    Cranked up the router table and taped on the template from the Limba 6 to all three blanks. One will be for this build, and the other two for a bit of experimentation. I would like to see if this shape will lend itself to semi-hollow, carved top, and countoured guitars. This build will be a 628mm straight scale using the Hipshot bridge, but I might explore a TOM bridge with a slight neck angle ... or whatever. Cheers!
  19. Chinaberry Six

    Finally got to use my new bandsaw! The 5mm blade worked okay, but I will definitely want to get the 3mm blade for this kind of work ... took some doing inside the horns. This is a hobby-level machine, but so much nicer than using a handsaw or jigsaw. This Chinaberry apparently not what many North Americans are used to. I've had two people tell me they would have never considered this wood for a guitar, and handed them my two basses ... they were surprised they were not Balsa-soft and dead when tapped. This piece is also quite sturdy ... about the same weight as a light piece of African Mahogany, and makes a nice, healthy, lively sound when knocked on. By the way, I did say before that this was a BIG slab of wood, right? It was a failure as a table, with a full-length, crooked pith right down the middle. But I was (barely) able to squeeze three blanks out of it, and have enough straight stock for two necks ... and it seems pretty stable. One pic is lightly sanded, the other is with a bit of white gasoline (naphtha) wiped on ... very red or pink! Come to think of it, I think the auction blurb mentioned that.
  20. Chinaberry Six

    Talked with my daughter today, and gave her a few choices ... Thin solid body, sculpted, contoured and "stratified," or hollowed out and capped "a la thinline." She chose the latter, so hauled out this piece of wood I found buried in a pile. Took a while to find out what it was advertised as when I picked it up on auction ... seller called it "nikki" (cinnamomum okinawense) which is Japanese for Cinnamon. Camphor is also of the genus cinnamomum, but this doesn't look like any Camphor Laurel I can find. http://www.wood-database.com/camphor/ I suppose I will know what it is when I resaw it ... both should have a very distinct fragrance!
  21. Limba 6 Multiscale Filter'Tron

    And especially for @Mr Natural ...
  22. Limba 6 Multiscale Filter'Tron

    Twas a rotten day, but rain is coming ... The strap is a gift from my ohana daughter especially for this guitar. A little gaudy, but works well, IMHO . Recap: White Limba body, Paduak neck, Wenge fretboard, Padauk garnish everywhere. 628~648mm (approximately 24-3/4"~25.5") multiscale, TV Jones Filter'Tron Classic Plus single pickup, mixed Black/Chrome Hipshot hardware, 45 degree string-through, and .... snow-capped Mt. Fuji headstock .
  23. Limba 6 Multiscale Filter'Tron

    We~l~l, Mt. Vesuvius erupted and turned to ash. Too much heat from the plug cutter, me guesses. I made another using a long 2-3mm taper drill bit drilled halfway into a chunk of Padauk, then with the drill spinning put it against the belt sander. No smoke, no drama, new Mt. Vesuvius in 2 minutes ... this one not crispy. This is my Controls Cavity Cover Magnetic Attachment Pole Height Adjuster Pedestal. No kidding. Using a single neodymium 5mm magnet to hold the Padauk controls cavity cover, like my two Chinaberry basses ... but this one is much, much cooler! Just get the cover about an inch away, and it snaps in place very nicely. Push the left corner and it pops right off.
  24. Limba 6 Multiscale Filter'Tron

    Another Padauk Tone Enhancement Contraption in the works ... ... looks like Mt. Vesuvius!
  25. Limba 6 Multiscale Filter'Tron

    Fifth application of Odie's Oil, and it's probably not going to make much difference to put on more. This is not Tung Oil or TruOil ... it's not made to build up and fill the grain which is fine for me. Except ... part of me wants to know what a few coats of opaque-ish amber lacquer would look like. Anyone know if Odie's Oil can be lacquered? (for future reference) Did string it up to test intonation, and was relieved to find that bass E was good, but very close to the saddle spring binding. I knew that the Hipshot 11 degree was a bit shallow for my 7th fret perpendicular multiscale, but the 18 degree too much angle. 15 degree would have been perfect, but no such animal available. Next time (?!?) I know what to do ... Live (build) and learn.