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Been pretty streeeeeessed out over the last year or so - Nightmare neighbours, covid lockdowns, work situation and house move (most of which is still on going), and it recently occurred to me that I haven't made a guitar for myself in nearly 2 years (the last one was the ziricote prs type). So I figured it was about time I made myself something tasty. I got this billet a good 18 months ago, it was actually a freebie as I ordered a couple of tops from that chap in Bosnia (sells on facebook) and there was a random lump of wood in the box - I thought he'd just put it in there to pack out the box and put it down as scrap until I ran my plane over one face, turned out to be one important looking bit of wood!

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So I took it down the timber yard about 6 months later and had them resaw it for me, ran it through the drum sander when I got home and stuck it in the pile for a year. But now it's time..

So we've got Bosnian quilt, black walnut body, bosnian curly (ish) walnut neck, and some nice black indian ebony.

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Jointed, glued her up, cut her out and let her sit for a couple of days. I drew around my Mira which is essentially the shape of a traditional Gibbo double cut, so with a carve top it will probably come out looking something a bit like a Santana and/or P J Eggle Macon.

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Had an absolute catastrophe during carving... Totally my fault (I mean this wood hates me and the grain goes everywhere) I was using too heavy a mallet and I just kept going when the wood told me to stop, dumb arse.

Some therapy this is turning out to be right? bit of titebond, a bandaid and some moral support from Mike Ve


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really clean break, very lucky, back on with carving. This is it roughed out, using the shadows as much as I can to see al the divots/uneven spots etc.

I used my scary router method to do the pot recesses, you can see that I got quite lot of router burn, I ran the router a bit quicker than last time I did this to prevent it eating the wood. but they came out nicely with a scraper followed by 120 grit. really important to blow the dust off often while doing this or the burnt wood dust works it's way into the grain and it just stains the area.

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After about 6 hours of carving over a couple of sessions and many blisters, it occurred to me to get rid off all the sharp edges (apart from important one) on my cheap thumb planes. So I used my fret end file and some sand paper to smooth them out, oh the difference. I can't believe I've carved 4 guitars (fonts and backs) without thinking to do this.

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So this is where we're at now. Still got some smoothing out to do. You can probably tell but I've positioned those little nasties so the top two are hidden by the bridge pickup and the other one will hopefully be replaced wit an f-hole (hopefully). 

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That's it for now, I've got to box all my stuff up and be gone from this place imminently. Hopefully it won't be more than a couple of weeks before my next therapy session, because I fancy the therapist. 

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14 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

Had an absolute catastrophe during carving... Totally my fault (I mean this wood hates me and the grain goes everywhere) I was using too heavy a mallet and I just kept going when the wood told me to stop, dumb arse.

Yeah the crazy direction changes in highly figured maple require you to cut one chip from left to right, the one next to it from north to south, and the one next to that upside down with your tongue sticking out. the better it looks the worse it is.

Great recovery though, I can't see a thing.

SR

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This forum is a therapist, this thread is, you are, so is @mistermikev and @ScottR and everyone else. 

Great tip in the thumb planes. I’m going to go review mine and see what needs done! Funny thing about those, I kinda got them on a whim thinking “I’ll see what I can do with these. Fancy myself a violin maker” And who knew they are one of my favorite tools now.

Fav: 1) scraper  2) bandsaw  3) router  4) table saw  5) thumb planes

Can’t wait to see what you do with this one Ash.

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for the record as your therapist I recommend to take a nice long relaxing stroll through ebay.  Try to think happy thoughts while you put bits, new tools, pickups, bridges, tuners and other guitar accessories in your basket.  Find your center as you hit the buy-it-now button.  

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On 2/2/2021 at 3:20 PM, ScottR said:

Yeah the crazy direction changes in highly figured maple require you to cut one chip from left to right, the one next to it from north to south, and the one next to that upside down with your tongue sticking out. the better it looks the worse it is.

Great recovery though, I can't see a thing.

SR

I think it will be staining that makes it appear it does, I will keep my fingers crossed

On 2/2/2021 at 9:19 PM, mistermikev said:

looks lovely brother.  specially the smooth pic.  

all my builds are therapy sessions!  Not sure the therapy is working but it sure makes me forget about life!!

Forgetting about life is what it's all about :) 

On 2/2/2021 at 10:51 PM, komodo said:

This forum is a therapist, this thread is, you are, so is @mistermikev and @ScottR and everyone else. 

Great tip in the thumb planes. I’m going to go review mine and see what needs done! Funny thing about those, I kinda got them on a whim thinking “I’ll see what I can do with these. Fancy myself a violin maker” And who knew they are one of my favorite tools now.

Fav: 1) scraper  2) bandsaw  3) router  4) table saw  5) thumb planes

Can’t wait to see what you do with this one Ash.

I might see if I can find some better quality blades for them, the only gripe with them now is that they don't hold an edge forever, but for about £30 for 3 planes, I can't complain.

On 2/2/2021 at 11:04 PM, mistermikev said:

for the record as your therapist I recommend to take a nice long relaxing stroll through ebay.  Try to think happy thoughts while you put bits, new tools, pickups, bridges, tuners and other guitar accessories in your basket.  Find your center as you hit the buy-it-now button.  

I have been strolling through ebay today, looking for insulation for my new workshop :) it wasn't therapy through, the price of building materials is depressing!

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FYI, I filmed the whole process so far, condensed about 8 hours of carving, routing etc down to about 40 mines. Didn't include the catastrophe but will no doubt have enough cockups for a bloopers episode at the end of the series.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks Georg, I've made some minor progress on it, not as much as I'd like. I've carved out the back, cut f-hole and done all the holes for electronics. The bottom of that blade switch is a bit close for comfort, I certainly won't be using a random orbital in that department 😱

I'm planning to go for custom24 wiring:
1. Neck hum
2. Neck and bridge outer coils
3. Neck hum + bridge hum
4. Neck single + bridge hum
5. Bridge hum

With the addition of a mini toggle so positions 1 and 5 can be switched to single coil too. If I can pull that off without it looking like a dogs dinner, I thought I might try tuned coil splitting so the mini toggle goes to a resistor to retain a bit of the bass in single coil mode. If I use a DPDT toggle switch, I should in theory be able to have different resistor values for each pickup. Anyhoo, next I need to sand and seal the sides of the f-hole and get on with chambering the body blank to I can glue it all up
 

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This is coming to you from my new workshop,.. which is dry but not yet organised :D 

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I do have wood storage that isn't a pile on my office floor now though

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