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Entry for July 2020's Guitar Of The Month is open - ENTER HERE!


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About evfool

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  1. I love the simplicity of the build, and that's what makes it look stunning. How well does the piezo under the archtop bridge pick up the vibrations? Could you share some sound clips?
  2. Whoops, indeed. Tried the nail varnish on a scrap wood piece, and it's too thick, so the edges can be felt, which is not worth it. But the idea of masking everything except the area I want to paint, painting with a sharpie, removing the masking tape ( leave it on the sides of the neck) and applying a clear coat all over the fretboard sounds doable. Ok. The idea of scraping off the finish, dyeing and applying a clear coat sounds the most professional solution, but with my experience (almost 0) it also sounds the easiest to mess up. Maybe at some point later... you know, the thing driving me into/onto the next challenging journey
  3. I was thinking about the "difference" between the front and the back, but I was absolutely scared of painting all that beautiful wood with a solid color, so I decided to go with that. Any thought how I could make that "difference" less prominent? Maybe a black coat, with a silver/white showing off the different wood grains (I saw some techniques to make the grain pop with a light colour with a black coat)? Do you think it would help it? Is it required? And yes, you are absolutely right on the fingerboard. But I'm not sure how I could've done that part better, as I needed a very thin layer of paint. Given the fact that I had an already finished neck, with frets on, I was improvising and also I wasn't sure how that would look, so that's a sharpie, which comes off pretty easily, especially under frets played a lot. Which is good, if the thing/thongue didn't work out very nice. Which id didn't. But it's easily redoable, which I will probably do so (I'm not 100% satisfied with the headstock part of that thongue either). But after redoing and when I'm 100% satisfied with that, I will probably spray a thin clearcoat all over the neck to make sure it stays. Do you have any ideas how else I could "paint" part the neck in a thin-enough coat to not feel it, but still see it, and make it permanent enough under constant fretting?
  4. And the guitar was completed. Next came the intonation, filing a new nut (the original one broke) from an old guitar saddle (which was filed too low) I had available, and setting the intonation. The bridge angle was a bit off, so the high E and B saddles pushed all the way is perfectly intonated, so probably I should've drilled the treble-side post a bit farther, but it just works now. A couple of shots from different angles, but I'm really satisfied with the results.
  5. Next came painting the top with acrylic (fairly easy, mostly just colouring in between the lines, mostly basic colours I had readily available, only had to mix colours for Marios face and the cloud), painting a faux-binding with black, as the outlines were also black, and the edges rounded over by sanding (I was afraid that the rounding bit would tear the plywood apart). Then finishing with a spray-can of semi-gloss clear-coat both over the top and the body, and wiring the electronics. Even though soldering went fine (pickup blend pot, 3-way switcher and master volume - yes, I know it might not make sense, but the wiring is useful in some contexts, e.g. blend all-the-way to one pickup plus the threeway can function as a kill-switch - and I didn't have a tone cap available) But the wiring turned out fairly clean, with a lot of space for a piezo preamp and a 9V battery inside the cavity, for future enhancements. And I wired the jack incorrectly, which meant I did rewire the whole thing, until I realized that I just should've switched the jack wiring around.
  6. After gluing the two mosaic layer pieces together using all my clamps I had available, came lot of sanding and chiseling and rasp-work, due to the router not being able to access some parts (e.g. the part between the tail and the hand, and around the had. It took quite some work to get the body close to the size of the top, but it worked out well (although there still are some areas which aren't perfect, but lacking the proper rasps - very thin ones - and in some places the wood being extremely hard, I gave up with agood-enough result instead of going for perfection) The next thing was rounding over the edges using a rounding router bit, then after trying the body and realizing that it needs a belly-carve, I took the rasp and did some more shaping on the top part. After the body was in a good shape, came the wood filling using a grain filler, then sanding it smooth using a sander with 60-120-200-400 grit sandpaper. And here came the most problematic part, finishing. As I had lots of different wood species on the body, and another type, a plywood for the top, it was really hard to decide what to use. I had some pieces of the plywood laying around, so I have tested one side with shellac and the other side with boiled linseed oil as the "base coat". Wait one day, sanding, another layer of the same coat, and repeat it three times. The BLO side came out better, smoother, and after trying acrylic over both of the sides, acrylic did seem to stick better to BLO, so I went with BLO over the body and the top too. The BLO made the back colors pop, and it really shows each wood species' grain beautifully. As I forgot to take a picture of the pickups inside the guitar before finishing, I quickly took a shot now, after test-mounting the top with all the screws. The top comes off, just like a pickguard, but as it's a string-through you have to remove the strings and the bridge to be able to remove the top.
  7. Continuing the story, I needed a neck cavity I made hell-of-a-mess with that, as the upper side was a really hard wood, which resulted in the wood burning and smoking all the time. But it turned out like this, and became even better after some chiseling. From the next step I have learnt that I should think first and cut afterwards. I was thinking that I don't want humbucker ring to obstruct the top, so I wanted a "back-adjustable" humbucker. Not sure how I thought that, but (fortunately before cutting the rear access) I realized that humbuckers are meant to be front-adjustable (screws, spring, gravity) .... but the center seam was already cut, so no place to screw the neck HB in, so change of plans to a soapbar P90, which has the screws in the middle, which would be on the center-seam. So "quickly" ordered a set of soapbar P90s along with some more accessories, including a telecaster Jack. Fast forward 40 days, when I get to pick up the ordered parts... and it's a 25g package, which only has the telecaster jack (mid-March). Nice one. And in the meantime coronavirus hit, so no chance to order another set and get it soonish... So checking what I had in-house: two humbuckers, 3 single coils, 3-piezo disc acoustic pickup and a soundhole pickup, which didn't work as a soundhole pickup due to a broken side-ear. Humbuckers and single-coils had the same adjustment screws... so I was left with the piezo pickup and the soundhole pickup (something like a Seymour Duncan Woody, only made by Shadow). The soundhole pickup had a 6mm thick wooden top, which I cut down, to "replace" it with my plywood top. Also attached the piezo discs to the top, attached the magnetic soundhole pickup to the top with two screws, and made some tests to check the volume of the magnetic and find the best location for the piezo discs. At this point I only had clamps holding the two layers plus the top together, but the body seemed to be resonating well. As the top is not really moving freely as in acoustic guitars, I found that I'm better off putting the piezo discs inside the body (not on the top, but inside the chambers). And one of them sandwhiched between the top and the center seam close to the bridge. Oh, and I almost forgot: wanted through-body stringing (to reduce the parts obstructing the top drawing to the bare minimum), but as the body is fairly small, full-through-body stringing would've required very steep angle on the strings, so I have drilled from the side to the top, drilled a bit larger on the side to fit the steel nuts I was using instead of string ferrules (no string ferrules are to be found in Romania, and Corona was delaying every import).
  8. Yes, I agree with your worries. Tried to find a piece where both posts are in hardwood, but I couldn't (pine is very common here, so the mozaic has most of it), so I risked. If you check the other piece, that also has pine right where one of the bridge posts should be. I was thinking that with the posts fixed, they shouldn't be moving and the downward pressure of the strings is fairly constant, the string angle after the bridge to the through-body holes is not very steep either, so maybe it won't have issues. But maybe it will, only time will tell. In the worst case I'll take the top off, route a square around the bridge post on pine, and put a piece of hardwood there (the top is not glued in, but held with screws, so this can be done easily)
  9. After laser-cutting and engraving the outlines for the top design to 6mm thick plywood, started working on the body, from so-called mosaic wood from a local hardware store, which is probably made from scrap wood pieces of different woods, which looked really fine. As the boards were 20cm wide and 2 cm thick, had to do 2 layers, so I started gluing the pieces together, and rough-cutting them based on the laser-cut template. Then I started "chambering" one of the two pieces, which was fairly easy, as the two layers were not glued together, so just drilled the holes, and cut it out with a jigsaw. The center seam was left wider towards the end to make sure it can hold the bridge posts.
  10. As each beginner I started building my dream guitar with all the fancy features, called a musicboy (evfool created a topic in In Progress and Finished Work) Until I realized I don't have the tools to properly do it, so I wanted to do something easier for practicing, until I will be ready to finish that one. And learning from the failure I didn't post until I wasn't sure I can do it (which is after it is finished). So this is a build thread, showing the 3 months progress in larger steps. The neck I had was a 22.5 inch scale short neck, so I had to build a down-scaled guitar to match it. I wanted to have a cartoony one with Mario and Yoshi (my childhoods favourite characters) for my son, asking for a guitar with a dragon (saw quite a few nice pictures, but I just couldn't design one a standard-looking body with a neck), so we agreed to consider Yoshi a dragon. After scaling down a telecaster body, added the two characters onto the body plans, and adjusted them to properly fit (the upper horn), plus added a cloud for the lower horn. Wanted to use some pickups laying around, a humbucker for neck and a single-coil for the bridge, with painter covers to match the top. This is what the resulting plans look like.
  11. Any chance for a short clip (sound and/or video) on how the GOTM entry United Solutions Stage Acoustic sounds? I'd really be interested how a fully hollowed out guitar body with an acoustic top sounds. I wanted to do something similar, but as a search for it yielded no results, I considered that people don't do that because it is not worth it and I dropped the idea.

    1. verhoevenc


      Sure, I'll keep this page open to remind me, and I'll grab something next time I'm around it and have time.

    2. verhoevenc


      Here you go. Hopefully this is helpful?


    3. evfool


      Absolutely helpful. Thanks.

  12. Wow... I can't stop looking at the grain of that fretboard (or the body). Can't wait to see both of them together.
  13. Ignore the Manganin and Nikrothal option, those probably won't work in pickups (electromagnets) as they don't have any magnetic attraction.
  14. Hello Joel, I know I've arrived pretty late to this train, the six-pack being superseded by Neo (I've read lots of interesting material about the design and development, and can't be thankful enough for making it available, along with the hardware plans). I'd have a question about the original Six-Pack design: do you happen to have, and could you give any more details about the coil wire used for the six-pack coils? I remember reading somewhere that it was 46AWG, and (based on the final design) it had 2000 turns with a 450ohms impedance. I'm trying to build something similar and I am searching for the best wire to do it, and can't tell what material and what resistance properties to choose (860 Ω/m NICHROME Nikrothal and 362.4 Ω/m MANGANIN CuMn12Ni would be the ones easily available - the nichrome has more than double resistance, so I'd probably need less of that, meaning smaller coils) ? Regards, Robert
  15. Yep, I'm nuts for sure. And I don't use cardboard only for modeling. I used it for building a guitar too, just to prove that I'm nuts
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