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1. Project - Parlor Rebuild


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I've been all over the place asking questions, i hope i didn't get on someones nerves.

By now most should know the story, but i post it again just for the record.

If you got questions recommendations or feedback etc. feel free to post,

i'm always excited to hear what other people think. :D

Story:

I've decided i wanted to build a guitar, i gone pretty mad and people recommended i start with a kit,

but then i acquired this little parlor guitar - approximately 90 years old,

first i thought "i fix a crack - learn and practice a bit and just play it then" turned out it is quite a big project,

people at my local guitar store giggled at me when i showed it to them, but i decided to rescue it.

My goal isn't anymore to keep it as original as possible and do as less as possible,

i decided to use it for what i bought it - learning and practicing - and eventually making the guitar a nice instrument again.

What i done, what i will do and why:

I have it since late 2009 but just getting started.

-I've pulled off the fretboard, using a tutorial* (links and pictures on the bottom) from this homepage,

but i used a high e-string (9er) instead off a blade, which worked surprisingly well.

The neck bend into a helix-shape, the fretboard sort of "sagged" or was shrinking.

-I've pulled off the bridge, which will make refinishing easier, it also was made from a strange wood,

i guess spruce or something like that and was painted black.

It doesn't have enough space to take a proper saddle, originally it had a fretwire for a saddle,

i consider replacing it a major improvement.

-I started sanding away the original finish, so i will not have a problem with the new one i will put on.

I have so far:

To do:

-Dreaming up and making a new bridge (ebony?) - making a bone (?) saddle and nut, the old nut was made from rosewood.

-Making a new fretboard (ebony?) from scratch incl, fitting inlays, fretting etc, there is no way i could have rescued the old one.

-Refinishing it. I will use super blond shellac, still need the right oil for the purpose,

but i will use 99,98% isopropyl to mix the shellac - i hope it works!

-Fixing about 5 cracks - i will do that as soon as i got the finish off.

Quite a list - and quite a lot of work i guess - gives me a good taste of how hard it will be to actually build one from scratch,

but it's fun.

Links:

The fretboard removal tutorial

Inlays - white MOP (gold was sold out in the sale)

(Thanks again for recommending this supplier)

Pictures:

The person that sold it to me gave me those:

f1.jpg

More - 1 / 2 / 3

Details:

1 / 2 / 3

WIP:

fretboard-3-s.jpg

More

Status quo (almost)

parlor-2s.jpg

I also did a version in which i tried to make it look as bad as possible,

i will not link it because i fear i would get lynched, but feel free to look it up at my dA page,

if you would like a good shock.

http://nachtarbeiter.deviantart.com/

If you are on dA drop me a note on my channel and i will +watch.

Let's see where this project is going, i hope you will enjoy it as much as i do. :D

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Which inlays are you using, since the link takes you to the page but not the specific style?

BAH! Darn, sorry.

I got the "weymann #1", they where on sale, and looked good.

I will take better pictures tomorrow, to use some features in my bridge, but i don't know if i will post them, so here they are:

http://i394.photobucket.com/albums/pp26/Xa...et_mop_full.jpg

They look a lot better in real life actually, if you look from the right angel they lightly shimmer in blue green pink and yellow,

i love those.

BTW:

I put one string on it today, just to see how it sounds - and it actually sounds reasonably nice actually - not much volume though,

even though i mostly destroyed the nut and it wasn't even glued in anymore,

and the bridge was without saddle and was only held in place by string-tension and one single bridge pin. xD

That thing must sound really nice if i do a good job.

Is it normal that bridge pins sits pretty loose in the hole without a string that's under tension?

"I-turn-it-around-and-it-will-fall-out" loose that is.

Are there different pin-sizes?

It's my first acoustic aswell. >.<

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I just fiddled around with the bridge and the inlays, and i have 3 basic designs,

since i want to make the bridge fit the inlays better, to give the guitar a better overall look.

If anyone here got any ideas for improvements, or a opinion on which is best,

let me know.

#1 Minimalistic

b2.jpg

#2 Clean curves

b3.jpg

#3 Floral curves

b1.jpg

Original bridge:

http://i394.photobucket.com/albums/pp26/Xaromir/5.jpg

Inlays:

http://i394.photobucket.com/albums/pp26/Xa...et_mop_full.jpg

Edited by Xaromir
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You should call #1 the "S**t Kicker"... Looks like cowboy boots kicking :D

I like it.

Made me laugh. :D

Most people i asked like 1 best, problem is:

It does not fit 100% over the old one, but i now know in which direction i will go.

I will do something else like that in the next days, and post it here.

I'm not sure if i can keep the shoe-shape though.

Thanks a lot for the input - it's most appreciated. B)

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Had to replace my router so i had the time to get some wood for the fretboard / bridge,

i make it short so that you don't get over-excited about my wood... :D

Sorry bad joke. xD

Well, i forgot to pick up the mahogany, but i got some ebony.

I only wanted one small flawless piece, the one i got isn't flawless,

but also almost as big as the guitar and weights around 15kilos / 30 pounds and cost me 150€

The guy didn't wanted to cut it i guess so i had to take the whole thing, he said he can't,

wonder where the problem is - cuts perfectly with my cheap japanese saw.

I doubt that it's the real deal - that really good stuff, but for 150€ for 15 kilos i can't complaint i guess,

and i maybe can sell something if it's good enough,

but i guess i will make a chess set from the rest since doubt that it's great.

Picture... the other thing is the old fretboard.

ebony-1s.jpg

I also got a new little bridge drawing:

b4.jpg

This actually should fit the guitar, is lighter than #1 a bit more elegant than #2,

i've seen no way to make #3 fit, without having to make that boot quite big,

i hope this is a good alternative, opinions etc are most welcome as always.

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holy crap - thats slightly over egging the cake

i would see if anyone is willing to resaw it for you - somebody thats used to dealing with ebony... maybe with some kind of deal like they get half of it for the trouble

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I'm not going to cut that. xD That japanese saw i have is the only one i have, and i would ruin it indeed,

i just cut a little sample off the whole thing, that's why i said.

The guy pointed me to someone that apparently can do this,

but i'm not willing actually, to give him any of the wood as a payment,

i don't know how many boards i will get out of it,

since there are some cracks visible on the top and who knows how the color will be inside etc,

i would also love to choose the very best of it for the guitar, so i will have to pay him.

This way i will be able to keep the best, sell some other good ones,

and keep the rest for other projects.

But i wonder how much it will cost to actually get that done.

I hope not as much as the wood.

Anny ideas how thick i should let him make it?

I think i will have no radius on that, so like a classical fretboard,

so 6mm will be enough,

but i maybe will also sell to people to will need/want a radius,

how thick should i let him cut it?

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Thanks mate! B)

Now i just have to make sure they cut it the right way.

Not going to argue, but 700mm?

The scale length on my 24 fret electric isn't that long!

I guess you are thinking about basses there eh? :D

Good point actually, and i already have a idea how to utilize such a monster board

on a guitar actually, i don't say more now - just a quick idea,

but keep your eyes open for something unusual in the next years. :D

Any opinions on the new bridge btw? B)

Edited by Xaromir
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Not really a update, but a huge bummer.

I'm now up for almost 24h and decided to get my ebony milled,

after he showed me the blade with which he have to cut it i almost fell over.

I would lost about 5mm per cut, and about 2 - 3 cm to make it mostly plane,

so that he can push it through the machine,

he also charges 100€ per machine-hour and this would need two,

and the saw would be ready for sharpening after that so he would have to charge me for that too,

but he had pity and would only charge half.

I offered him half of the log for another price break but he doesn't even want it, because it's to much trouble.

When i got it i was sort of stoked like "yeah! fretboards for 2 or 3 guitars and still stuff i could re-sell"

now i'm a bit floored.

Where the hell do i find fitting wood now? I also need something for my bridge.

He also told me that i maybe would kill my dremel while routing.

What now?

Well, i hope i can continue soon under better conditions... but still, it makes me sort of sad.

I hate going to bed now, nobody want's to have that on his mind when going to sleep...

Bummer...

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Relax, your freaking out over nothing.

There is always a solution to these things. You just need to look at how the block is going to be cut up & think about how you can do it with what you have in your tool kit.

It will be a pain in the ass, but im sure you can get around it yourself.

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if you can find a guitar builder who is able to process wood like this you would stand a much better chance of getting a deal or working out a trade.

you could either sell this wood on now or store it till you have more experience (and ebony potentially becomes a fair bit rarer and expensive). Then order an appropriately milled piece from one of the numerous suppliers - or ebay

dremels do work on ebony - i bet thats how most of us do inlay, but they can seem a little underpowered if you try to remove to much wood in one go.

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Problem with processing it myself is that i have almost no powertools, except for the dremel and a old jigsaw,

and even less experience with milling raw lumber, 150€ is a big investment for me so i also don't feel really comfortable

with eventually messing it up by tinkering with it myself.

I guess i will just have to get a fitting rough blank somewhere, and sell the log at some point.

There is a luthier in another Forum he lives just round the corner, maybe he can sell me a piece of his stock,

but i doubt that he can process it.

Keeping it as some sort of investment is also a interesting idea though.

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he also charges 100€ per machine-hour and this would need two,

and the saw would be ready for sharpening after that so he would have to charge me for that too,

but he had pity and would only charge half.

I offered him half of the log for another price break but he doesn't even want it, because it's to much trouble.

classic bullshit !

friendly prices, but they steal you like a fool !

give me a measurements, and I'll see what and how to process that !

alles gute !

:D

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I have a idea how i could mill it without power tools, but first the measurements.

Since it really isn't square anywhere, i took some pictures and drawn it on there for you

End 1 End 2

I'm slightly concerned because of the small cracks, but i doubt that they go very deep.

But here is the problematic part - a hill on side 1 and a valley on the direct opposite on side 2 ,

someone was very enthusiastic while removing the sapwood.

Side 1 Side 2

A alternative of side 2, i didn't used flash so you get a clearer view on the problem very blurry though. Click me.

About the idea that i had:

I could attach some screws and mount it between 2 tables, i put a flat construction wood surface on 2 slightly higher tables over that,

and cut a hole in there so that it fits through, i evenly raise the smaller tables till i get the desired thickness,

and cut it with a fush-cut saw.

The hole shouldn't be a problem i have a old jigsaw here, but i wonder how many flush-cut saws i would shred while doing that. >.<

Mighty complicated plan...

When i say table i mean this:

holzbock.jpg

I don't know the english word for that.

I'm no quitter!

Should quit smoking though... >.<

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That's a saw horse.

You can cut that with a Dremel for sure. I've done much worse things with mine. Just be patient with it. Diamond bits work well for this sort of thing. They can be needle thin and still cut. They don't cut fast, but they'll cut through ebony (or even metal) without a problem.

Edit:

I have a set of these (the long skinny ones on the left). If you go slow, they'll cut through anything:

http://www.garrettwade.com/diamond-burr-sets/p/19T05.01/

By "slow" I mean you move slow. Keep the Dremel at high speeds.

Edited by NotYou
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Great info, thanks for that.

At least i know now that my dremel is up to the challenge of routing that ebony,

i guess that's what you've meant, or at least i don't see how i could cut a leg-sized piece of ebony with a dremel.

Great bits btw, i thought diamond would cost my last shirt and a arm, but that is actually very reasonable priced. :D

Any thoughts about my method of processing that ebony?

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Great info, thanks for that.

At least i know now that my dremel is up to the challenge of routing that ebony,

i guess that's what you've meant, or at least i don't see how i could cut a leg-sized piece of ebony with a dremel.

Great bits btw, i thought diamond would cost my last shirt and a arm, but that is actually very reasonable priced. :D

Any thoughts about my method of processing that ebony?

They're cheap because they aren't sharp at all. They grind very slowly, but, because they're diamond, they'll grind through anything.

And make sure to wear a mask. Ebony dust and smoke is horrible on your lungs.

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I actually got myself a mask with 2 filters some little while ago! :D

Really like it, and it's quite easy to breath, so i almost always wear it while working on something, just as a precaution.

If i'm grinding instead of cutting it should also mean that i don't get as much tear-out and stuff breaking off right? :3

Just in case my description of the method of cutting wasn't clear...

I made a illustration:

illo.jpg

The top one is a top-view - the other two are from the same side.

Brown - saw horses

Blue - metal rods

Black - ebony

Red - flat surface with hole in it

Green - Feet (stacks of 7mm thick disks screwed to the feet of the saw horses)

Again in short:

I would use the surface for guiding my cut - i will most likely use a flush-cut saw.

After each cut i remove 1 piece of the feet from the outer sawhorses,

or add one on the ones on which the ebony is resting,

to always get consistent boards of 6 - 7mm thickness.

I really value your opinions, and i would appreciate the feedback.

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