curtisa

Forum Manager
  • Content count

    1,620
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    61

Community Reputation

324 Excellent

1 Follower

About curtisa

  • Rank
    Veteran Member

Profile Information

  • Location
    Tasmania, Australia
  • Country Flag

Recent Profile Visitors

6,015 profile views
  1. Maybe the saddle is notched and has a flat spot where the string breaks over the saddle? I had a double-locking trem years ago that had an annoying sitar-like buzz on the high-E on every fret plus the open position that was eventually traced back to the saddle with a notched break point. Could also be something not associated with the bridge. Loose tuners, strap button screws, slack truss rod, trem arm etc can also buzz and rattle in sympathy with certain notes and/or strings
  2. I'm using "thickening" as a relative term. "Thickened" as in full cream milk, as opposed to "thickened" as in gelatin. Thick enough to support the weight of the paint on the surface of the water and allow it to be transferred to a piece of paper or fabric, while still allowing a degree of "move-ability". Japanese Suminagashi is similar in principle, but inks are used floating on the surface of plain water. I guess the relative thickness and weight of the ink allows it to float without having to alter the consistency of water to support it.
  3. I suspect you'll struggle to find one pre-slotted. The usual practice is to string up the finished instrument with some cheap and nasty strings and give each string a light tap with a hammer where it passes over the saddle to notch (by denting) the saddle. Once each saddle is done, unstring the guitar and refit with your preferred real strings. Or gently and carefully file a notch by hand with a needle file.
  4. I use a slightly different method that gives a different effect, but the router needs to be fitted with a template ring. Drill the hole first for the pot shaft. Take a scrap of MDF with a hole drilled slightly larger than the diameter of the dish required as a template and centre it over the hole that has been drilled in the body. The router bit I use to make the dish is a 1/2" round nose. Plunge the bit into the centre of the template with the template ring installed and gradually spiral your way around the template until the full dish has been cut. The resulting dish actually ends up with a flat bottom instead of a semi-spherical profile. If you spiral around the template in an anti-clockwise direction (ie, a climbing cut) the edges of the dish usually end up pretty smooth and only require a light sand to get rid of any residual "fuzzies".
  5. If all we want to do is lower water surface tension then why not use soap, detergent or fabric softener? Borax is always mentioned in the process but I've never seen a reasonable explanation as to why it's preferred over anything else. At the opposite end of the scale, Turkish Ebru art actually relies on thickening the water so that paints sit on the surface. I suspect that the process used by people like Darren Johansen and Herc Fede doesn't use the same ingredients and methods that are mentioned when DIY swirling guitar bodies. Darren originally got his start by swirling fabrics, and Herc's later work didn't have the erratic quality that Humbrol + Borax seems to always exhibit.
  6. No doubt there's still an abundance of the cheap and nasty stuff, but I think the gap has been gradually closing for a while now. On a purely cosmetic level, the headless bridge and nut on this build isn't going to win any awards. But aside for the tuning gear ratios and the bass-ackwards rotation of the tuning knobs, it's surprisingly decent for $60 plus shipping. I guess only time will tell if it stands up to years of (ab)use. Chances are you get what you pay for, but at this stage I'm surprised exactly what I got for the money. Although I stress-tested each of the rods in the batch I bought, I suppose there's still a possibility that the act of stress testing has weakened the rod, which may fail when used in practice. Another case of suck it and see. I did try and research the use of the Cheap Truss Rods of Dubious Lineage before taking the plunge. It was surprisingly difficult to find anyone saying that they'd used them and had a failure. Lots of people said they wouldn't use them in the first place based on origin alone. A handfull of people said they'd used them and hadn't had an issue. The more common story appears to be that they'd bought a StewMac or LMII rod, had a failure and were adamant that they'd never give those companies their money again.
  7. I've seen some people clamp a couple of guide fences either side of the fret board being sanded, spaced just far enough apart to sit the radius block in between. The rails guide the block up and down while preventing the possibility of accidentally skewing the block to one side.
  8. Good job that, man. Either you have massive armchairs at your house, or that'd be a piccolo bass
  9. guitar of the month

    Afterimage Guitars - HM6 "Halcyon" Built as an experiment to see how far I could get using as much low cost componentry and hardware store timber as possible, this instrument contains many of the same construction features as its more exotic bigger brothers, such as a carbon fibre reinforced neck and a comfortable, ergonomic body shape. Extensive use of chambering and a thinner body (38mm) has reduced the overall weight of the guitar down to a paltry 2.5kg. While this could possibly be classed as a "Lite" version of the HM series in more ways than one, the result is still a solid player capable of standing out in a crowd. Specs: Scale length - 25" Neck - 3 piece Tasmanian Oak with Jarrah pin stripes between the laminations, carbon fibre reinforcement Fretboard - Merbau Frets - Jumbo nickel silver Body - 3 piece Tasmanian Oak with figured Tasmanian Blackwood top. Headless hardware - Low-cost no name hardware in black Pickups - Iron Gear Hot Slag (bridge), Iron Gear Rolling Mill (neck) Electronics - 1x volume, 1x 3 way toggle switch. Finish - Danish oil Sound sample of the instrument can be downloaded here Build thread located here.
  10. Rosewood has pretty large pores at times. The Merbau I used on Operation Shoestring has pores wide enough to drive a Sherman tank through, but it seems to be holding up fine. I wouldn't worry about it.
  11. Start low (60-80 grit) to get the radius going, work your way up through the grits (120, 180, 240, 320, 400) once the radius is on the board. Go beyond if you're after a super smooth, semi-reflective finish. Use firm, even pressure and take care to not skew the block as you pass it up and down the fret board. It's easy to accidentally change the radius or sand one edge lower than the other if you're not paying attention. Once you're past 400 grit, you can stop using the radius block. Your chances of removing too much timber and altering the radius are pretty slim with the super fine grits, so there's no need for the block.
  12. Only just realised the CAD drawing had comments all over it (duh), and maybe you were after pointers. MHO of course. Take it as you like: Bring the volume and tone pots closer to where the picking hand normally rests. Positioned behind the bridge makes them awkward to reach, particularly if you install a tremolo and have the player reach over the arm to get to them. Keep the selctor switch nearby too. Consider the practicalities of the eliptical cross section through the length of the body. If you make the cross section constant, the edges will be thicker where the width of the body is narrow. If your goal is constant edge thickness, the radius of your eliptical cross section will need to reduce around the narrow part of the body to maintain the edge. Pending your decision on the above, the acrylic sheet will be easier to thermoform to the body if you're only dealing with one curve (constant eliptical cross section). Trying to get the sheet to constantly changing curves may be challenging (constant edge thickness). Blade switches tend to be made with only one target audience (Strats or Teles) and the dimensions will not vary by much. If the carve is too deep to make fitting a blade switch practical your only choices are a different switching method, moving the switch to a thicker area of the body or reducing the aggressiveness of the curve to leave more depth for the switch to fit. Same goes for the jack socket.
  13. Scraper, spokeshave, rasp, angle grinder with 40 grit flap disk, chisels, gouges. All sorts of ways you can do it with varying degrees of danger, speed, mess and effectiveness.
  14. I don't believe there is anything wrong with the diagram. Don't confuse the fact that the switch has wires labelled "mag" and "piezo" which may not actually carry these signals. It looks more like the mag and active signals are being shunted/shorted to ground via the switch when moved to the associated position, thus killing the unwanted signal source rather than selecting the wanted signal. We also have no idea what kind of electronic magic is being performed on the Acousti-phonic PCB that may allow for the switching/blending of the two signals. The block diagram shown at the bottom of the page illustrates what goes on in the PCB at a fairly basic level. The piezo signals get fed to a dedicated buffer and EQ section prior to being fed to a piezo volume pot. The active pickup(s) go direct to the mag pickup volume pot. The output of the piezo and mag volume pots then get blended together before being passed to the output jack.. The "St/Mono DETECT" widget changes the output signal routing based on whether a stereo or mono lead is plugged in, determining whether the output contains a mix of piezo and mag through the one cable, or the piezo and mag signals are sent out through left and right independently. The Quick Switch just does its thing when connected to the two "QSW" terminals as shown. How this is achieved is not known (and presumably we, as mere mortals who just want to rock, don't need to know), but it should work as expected.
  15. This was discussed quite recently, actually: The thread is more about placement of a fixed bridge, but the principle of positioning for optimal intonation is still the same. Note you will probably have to partially dismantle the trem in order to dry fit it to your body. The sustain block will certainly have to come off in order to get accurate placement. I'd also highly recommend doing a practice run with the trem cavity routes before committing to router to body.