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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/06/2021 in all areas

  1. Started this for my friend Tom a while ago, it had a bit of a hiatus because changed his mind about 5 times then went quiet on me, then I packed up and moved, in fact he was my 3rd comission so it's been on the cards for about 2 years. Specs to be - European quilt maple top - African mahogany neck and body - African ebony fretboard and peghead - 24.75 scale - 24 frets I'm missing a few pics but here is some of the progress. That was as far as I got on it last year, according to iCloud these were taken in November. I want to get some lacquer on these two before the weather turns cold again so cracking on now. I decided I'd have ago at headstock binding as I haven't done that before. routing was fairly scary and made more difficult having already glued the fretboard on. I got a small amount of tearout but not so much that I couldn't hide with ebony dust and glue later. I used a 1.5mm bearing on the makita trimmer and had that in router table (workmate with a router insert). I made some binding strips from offcuts from a particularly curly maple neck blank I used on another build, ran them through the drum sander until they were a hair over 1.5mm. and had a go at bending them on the iron. Bending the binding was nice and easy with the iron at 280ºC and plenty of water, then I taped them in place until they cool down to hopefully hold their shape, required a lot of patience! The awkward part though was cutting mitres. I spent a long time sharpening a couple of chisels and I think I've got them sharper than they've ever been. you can see the bottom corner of the headstock in the photo below, the aforementioned tearout - I wasn't going to do any climb cutting holding the headstock so it was just the router but turning the wrong way into end grain. I might try wiping some teak oil around the edges before trying this in future, I've heard some classical builders do that before routing their binding channels to protest the soundboard, apparently it works well because it penetrates into the grain deeper than a lot of oils. Worth a try! Anyway, brushed on a modest amount of titebond then taped the strips down with binding tape. Then I trimmed everything flush with the top of the ebony Getting that angle right with the fretboard binding channel was an absolute bastard Then I filled the gaps with ebony dust and thin CA glue After a tidy up on the top, every happy with it. The headstock still isn't thicknessed so I'll tidy up the sides once that is done. On to inlays, used aluminium for the first time. I thought I'd try it for a few reasons, it's not brittle like wood and this design is a quite thin in places, it's much cheaper than shell and this inlay is quite bit, it's hard and shiny when sanded smooth online the plastic pearl like materials. I turned it over and clamped the inlay into a radius beam so it would take on the radius of the fretboard Used the dremel and a couple of router bits to make the channel and glued it in with black superglue, then dropped a load of ebony dust over it. Recut slots and gave it a sand, I'll give it another going over once the binding is on. And the headstock logo I really liked working with ali, I used some 1mm sheet for headstock logo and 2mm sheet for fretboard inlay to account for the radius. It was about £4/sheet on ebay which is enough for about 10 guitars. I also like how it would confirm to the shape of the cavity with a little bit of persuasion I think it will be my goto inlay material for a while unless someone asks for something else. Fretboard binding and fretting next.
    4 points
  2. I did actually consider the Lace Sensor pickups. The lower profile would've made it a lot easier to route and place them, but I also wanted to keep the option open for other full-sized pickups later down the line. That, and I managed to find a set of EMG 81/60 pickups for $150 used, which was too good a deal for me to pass up. So, I made up a template out of 18mm MDF for some standard EMG-sized pickups. Also note how there's two of them - my whole one-pickup design got thrown out the window when I found that EMG set for so cheap. Guess I'm doing two now. The other interesting thing about adding a new pickup was that I simply didn't have that much space - this is a small guitar! So, the bridge pickup sits around 25mm forward of the bridge, and there's about 35mm between the two pickups. I routed down to 18mm, which leaves barely 6mm of timber underneath the pickups, and should stand the pickups 5mm proud of the guitar body, and about 2mm lower than the strings. It's gonna be tight! If I do need to drop the pickups any lower, I can always drill only the leg areas down by another few mil, and failing that I'm prepared to do some EMG-butchery and transform the bent legs into flat legs. I also decided a belly-carve would be prudent. There's no use in making a super-thin ergonomically-minded guitar which still feels "boxy" to play. Next up, I'll be looking at electronics - and the biggest question of the whole build: will it fit?
    4 points
  3. I removed the sticker (successfully, no repercussions), ...just wasn't feelin' it. I think I'm going to call this one done, shoot some final clear, and wait on the pickguard. This thing has been like hiking up a mountain w/ a 200lb. backpack. Time to take a rest beside the crystal clear waters of the mountain lake, relax, and take in the view.
    2 points
  4. Not an idea, that's something you'll have to figure out by yourself. But here's an idea about testing without damaging: Stickers! There's self adhesive plastic film in all colours, maybe even ready cut Roman letters. It's also easy to cut thin stripes to mimic the fishbone. They'll last long enough for you to pose in front of a mirror or look at the guitar hanging on the wall for a week or three.
    1 point
  5. Interesting colour schemes and designs, nice work all round!
    1 point
  6. In the background, J (who I am building it for) and I are kicking around thoughts of the timbers for the laminated through neck. Its base will be mahogany, but we then have a decent set of options for the other laminates (7-9 altogether). In the meantime, I'm getting prepared by starting to think long and hard about the construction of the wings, given the materials I'll be using. I should stress that this isn't a clone - J has given me major leeway of how it's built other than the outline shape should be T-L deluxe-like and the width and length per full size The basic concept is straightforward. A visible through neck - wider than this mockup through the body and multi-laminate: With the two hollowed or hollow wings, ebony on top and walnut at the back and sides. This below is dampened to show the broad colour it will end up (and that quilting will really pop out when the finish is applied!). Again, this is just illustrative. Clearly, the neck at the back will be flush with the neck and will probably be dished : The pondering here is that, originally, I was thinking of a standard-ish acoustic kerfing strip back/sides with the ebony on top - the slotted strip you may have seen down an acoustic guitar soundhole that the thin back and sides glue onto. This sort of thing (albeit as wings glued to the through neck): However, by far the most influential element is going to be the ebony tops to the wings...and I can't be certain they are going to naturally want to stay flat and straight - they may need clamping and gluing flat (even well seasoned timber moves around if you let it in different humidity conditions). So the alternative is a couple of rigid frames something like this (again, just for the wings, glued to the through neck): Now the ebony is being brought in progressively to workshop conditions, I will be able to see how well it behaves and judge whether a kerf-strip and thin-wall back and sides based hollow construction will suffice or whether it needs the above kind of rigid structure underneath the walnut back and sides. I love this kind of stuff Next job is getting ready with the bending mould. Even if I have a solid surround as above, I'll be lining it on the outside with walnut sides bookmatched with the back wood and so will be pre-bending it.I will cut a block/blocks that will act as the formers for the florentine horns so that my shapes don't 'drift' out position or dimension:
    1 point
  7. Did a quick test-fit of the bridge, nut, and tuners, so I could string up two strings and make sure I didn't muck anything up big time before finishing. This is partly because it always makes sense to check one last time if my bridge positioning was actually correct (even though I measured it a dozen times before and after routing), and also because I'm keen to "hear" the instrument for the first time. As I started the saga of sanding up to fine grit, I noticed the top was creaking a little in a spot near the output jack. I softened up the join, pried it open a little, and squeezed a load more glue into there before clamping it back up. It put my sanding schedule back by a night, and at this point it's probably plain to see that I'm clucking to finish this thing, but I decided to do the right thing and play it safe. I've cocked up enough things on this build by rushing! I always, always struggle with end-grain sanding. I think my grit steps went 150, 180, 240, 320, and yet I still ended up with scratches everywhere. Last night I hung up the guitar for the night and settled into a six pack, before coming back this morning with a hot wet towel - I did some serious grain-raising in between each step of sanding grits. This photo was from last night, I was much more satisfied with the final outcome after grain-raising between grits. Side dots! I actually installed some 2mm plastic dots, quite a few weeks ago. They were awful. I drilled a few holes wonky, and the dots didn't sit in the holes straight, because a 2mm drill bit will make a slightly larger than 2mm hole, and my inexperienced self didn't realise that until they were glued in with CA. Oh, and the CA made a hell of a mess everywhere. Take two. I bought some 4mm aluminium tube from a hobby shop, and then used a 3.5m brad point bit to drill through my plastic dot fiasco. In future builds, I'd definitely use aluminium tube again, but probably a smaller diameter. I kinda had to go for 4mm tube, just to make sure I could cover all my previous mistakes and still end up with straight side dots. I did file flush and sand up to a shiny finish, but I seem to only currently have a photo of mid-install. I'm tempted to fill the centres in with black epoxy, but I'm undecided as of yet. It's a fairly easy thing to do later, and also easy enough to undo with a 3mm drill bit. Finally, I tucked into the can of Danish oil. I'll go through my finishing process, really just to vocalise to myself what the plan is; and in the hopes that if I'm making some grave error, a helpful voice shall pop up and set me on the right course. As mentioned, I sand up to 320 grit, then clean all the sanding dust off the guitar with a rag, and compressed air for hard spots. Then I get the Danish oil decanted into a tub and warmed up, and apply it in a pretty heavy coat. I keep rubbing it in for about ten minutes, then I take a dry rag and wipe off all the excess. For the next hour I potter around the shop doing odd jobs, and wiping off any oil that comes rising out of the wood. After about an hour, I do a slurry coat - applying more oil with 400 grit sandpaper, and rubbing it in little circles. I found there was a bit of bleed between the walnut and maple, so I had to keep a dry rag handy for wiping off any walnut smears on the edges of the top. I had half a mind to mask off the different woods and oil-slurry them separately, but I didn't want to create a line in the finish. I think it came off okay. It's hanging out to dry for the night, and in the morning I'll do one more slurry coat with 600 grit. After another day of drying, I'll probably do a week of light rag-rubbed coats of oil at one a day, in the midday when it's warmest. After that it'll be a week of cure-time, followed by wax and buffing. Mmm, I just love the smell of Danish Oil.
    1 point
  8. Nice work! Love the binding on the headstock.
    1 point
  9. Thanks Jay, I liked having done binding a lot more than I liked doing binding. Lately I've been wiping a bit of Danish oil on ebony fretboards which I think works well, I'll probably do that on this one. I don't know whether it will look dirty over time or even if the strings will mar the inlay as aluminium is a fairly soft metal, it's all experimental. The other build is another one I'm working on alongside, they're very similar builds apart from body shape. Build thread here:
    1 point
  10. I see two sets of necks/bodies - making duplicates for this project or was another one just also being worked on back when this first started and has been [long] completed? Inlays look very nice thus far. I know ebony fingerboards are often left raw but are you planing on buffing with some wax or something to help keep the aluminum shiny and not oxidizing? I had a piece I turned and buffed years ago; it’s stayed shiny with just the occasional wipe of the rag I wrap it in when storing, though not handling it all that often. (Still has a thin layer of buffing wax residue I’m guessing). The headstock won’t be much of a worry (can clear coat it) but the fretboard inlay under finger sweat might need more. Maybe fretboard oil would keep it from dulling?
    1 point
  11. Such good work, you’ve inspired me to add binding on my next build.
    1 point
  12. Back from OBX vacation and did some work - frets in I messed up my drill press trying to use as an arbor press, after 3 frets I went back to good ole hammer and worked so much better- I bet I can tighten something in that drill press to make it stop slipping
    1 point
  13. It will be a black burst. The edges will be black as night, some things will be visible in the right light. The rest will be .......blackish. SR
    1 point
  14. Great to-do project, I have seen a few guys on the forum make them very successfully, Glad you are enjoying this build mate, I remember our conversations on the Pointy Stick thread, good times. I think it is important to say just how terrible Dremels can be. Firstly, I should say if you are going to do some fretboard inlay, Dremels with a Stew Mac precision router base look like a good popuar go to and reasonably safe. But my advice is do not use Dremels for some of the uses they are mainly promoted for unless you use some heavy duty PPE (and even then don't) because Dremels with cutting wheels or wire brush wheels or any fitting if your sleeves are not skin tight are $&@%!+? dangerous. When you get those little brush wheels spinning at 35,000 rpm they are shooting little metal arrows right at your face, the cutting wheels can shatter and spray you with tiny ninja stars, and if your sleeve gets caught in the whirling chuck, the Dremel turns into a loose cannon with no cut-out switch. Anyway, rant over, back to the point, yep those StewMac precision router bases are #$)*&@! exy, I have enjoyed seeing various PGers make them with some looking like Flinstone tools and others looking professionally machined. This arvy I had a play with this Then used a router bearing to penlil in round off lines Filed first then used some sandpaper stuck to a piece of wood Fit looks OK
    1 point
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