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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/05/2021 in Posts

  1. Everything in this post was done on the last day I had off before starting that big run of work. Six weeks ago. I was definitely rushing, definitely trying to just get it done, before the onslaught of sleep deprivation and stress and maniacal stage crew. I had a really, really good feeling about this part of the build. I'd overcome most of the "difficult" bits, and all I had to really do before finishing was the bridge, tailpiece and pickup routing, a ton of sanding, then job's a good'un, right? Well, got most of it right. And then, I had just one clamp on the template for the last one, and the whole thing slipped and went sideways by about 3 or 4mm. Honestly, the photo makes it looks a lot worse than it was. Funny how they do that. I was lucky in the fact that I noticed pretty quickly - another few mil and it would've blown sideways through to the chambering. I cut a piece of maple to size and glued it in with wood glue mixed with dust. Worked pretty well. Tried getting the corners of the pickup routes to size with a 6mm bit, but of course that bit lacks a bearing, and I was conscious of the risk of burning the template. It didn't come close radius of the pickups, anyway, so I cracked out the chisel. And with that, I packed up my tools, definitely did not sweep up quite all of the sawdust, and put the project upstairs for a month.
    2 points
  2. Indeed! I really can't see the half circle by the pool any more! But to be honest there seems to be a discontinuity issue on the back. I see it's similar on the front but that would be hidden under the pickguard. The yellow stripe just seems to stop without a reason. But I'm sure I'll be baffled when I see the final version!
    1 point
  3. That was my first thought, and a much more sound idea. And man, that's some beautiful, straight, clean cuts that guy was doing with the hand saw! Almost looked better than something cut with a fence. Inspirational. Lots of good stuff mate, thanks for the recommendations!
    1 point
  4. That's a great idea! I'll be giving that one a go tomorrow. Also a solid idea. I guess, in the grand scheme of things, using a high-powered electric drill to excavate a few cubic millimeters of material can be quite the overkill. I'll add a pin vise to my list of goodies to buy with the next shopping run! Incidentally, I remember my father had a collection of those when I was a teenager running amok in his garage - he spent his professional life designing PCB's for microelectronics companies, and I understand the pin vise is also used for drilling out holes in circuit boards. Drilled the headstock for tuner holes using a 13mm spade bit, with sacrificial ply clamped to the underside. My spade bits are fairly new and thus still mostly sharp, but it's always a mission stopping vibrations from causing an oval hole. Now, Warwick's tuners seem to measure in at 13.8mm. I don't have a 14mm spade bit, and, more to the point, I don't yet have a drill press to ensure a non-oval hole. So I went with the safe option - drill a smaller hole, and ream it just a touch. Rolled up a sheet of 120 grit around a pencil..... Stuff it through the tuner-hole, and then remove the pencil. The roll of sandpaper now wants to unravel, and that keeps the paper perpendicular to the surface of the headstock, and making contact all around the inside of the hole. A coupla good strokes up and down and all around the place, and I've got a neat 13.9mm hole. The tuners now "click" into place.
    1 point
  5. Marked up the fretboard with my steel rule, calipers, square, and a sharp knife. I'm using Tasmanian Oak for this one. Couldn't find much in the way of resources about how this wood would fare as a fretboard, so I'm really taking a punt here. The hardness seems to be in the ballpark, although not as resilient as other species, and it handled the fret slotting saw with no splintering. With such a violently-shaped instrument, I couldn't do a normal round-over on the end of the fretboard. It's gotta look violent! Glued up, then I radiused it, and stained it jet black. Frets installed. And then I carved the neck, with my usual method of rasps and files, then scraper and sandpaper, plus a touch of angle grinding in just the right places. This shot also shows the whole gull-wing thing - don't quite know how I'm gonna fit pickups into this thing!
    1 point
  6. In theory yes. In practice I have not seen that to be a problem. I believe it only needs to dry long enough for the carrier: water, alcohol or whatever to evaporate, at which point you only have dye remaining in the fibers and pores of the wood. I have done that and gone back and wiped the wood with a clean rag soaked in water or alcohol and while the rag did pick up some color, it did not move it around any( or enough) that I could see. If that is your finishing plan, it would definitely be a case where you'd want to test on scrap. Exactly.It adds a great deal of depth, which appears to be impossible to capture with a camera. At least, I've never mastered it. From the side that test piece shows that the clear layer is about a sixteenth of an inch thick. From above it looks like there are valleys a half inch deep and ridges a quarter inch tall. As you shift it the dark and light areas to not flip like you often see, but rather change in perspective. It appears you see the ridge from one side and as you move it the peak shifts away and you see it from the other side. SR
    1 point
  7. Extending your body blanks may not work, the end grain joints won't hold. For a quarter inch thin top over a solid base that might work but it might not look good. If your pieces are too short for a bookmatch, one option is to build a slightly asymmetrical body. A slanted lower bout is almost as comfortable as an arm contour and the lower horn is always shorter than the upper bout/horn. Thus gluing the halves like below is a valid option: -I split my post to three just for clarity as there was so many different things involved.
    1 point
  8. Well, in my case nothing was actually "lost". The chainsaw dust was used as an additive for our compost and the offcuts were chopped to firewood. Not getting the saw cut straight was the biggest issue and even that might have been easier with a harder or drier log. As I said, the poplar has very long fibres! There's plenty of videos about cutting planks with a chainsaw, even freehand, so that shouldn't have been that difficult! But you can use a hand saw, freehand with a guiding line - either drawn or a slat nailed on the side - works just fine! Just look at this guy:
    1 point
  9. Actually I found a piece of outdoor drying advice given by a Finnish lumberyard. I just forgot to mention that the suggested outdoor drying time was only some 9 months which should dry the wood down to about 15%. Other sources confirmed that. They also noted that it still is twice too wet for furniture building which would require some 8% humidity. The one inch rule is most likely for thickness, not width. I'd recommend you to cut the logs to blanks and store them in the same place where you've had them for several months, including the driest time of the year (here it's about January to April) after which move them indoors to normal room conditions or drier for another few months. Put slats between the blanks to ensure good airflow all around. Here's a sketch I've posted some years ago:
    1 point
  10. Such pretty woods! Can't wait to see them finished!
    1 point
  11. Of all the skills involved in luthiery, this is one of the many that I have little experience in. That doesn't mean I can't give it a shot though! I am rather hesitant of taking tools to this headstock to try and solve a problem, and creating one much worse, but then nothing is gained without calculated risk. I'll think upon it! Anyways, luckily I did remember to put that truss rod inside (although I sat bolt upright in the middle of the night wondering whether I had or not). Next job was all about getting the neck ready for carving, namely, thicknessing properly. A sled constructed of an MDF base and two pine rails cut to the correct angle provided a base for my router to ride along. Because of the size of the router base, I could only get to within about 60mm of that all-important heel transition, but I'll get the rest of that later with the grinder. So it's time to radius the board, using my homemade sanding block. Mask and gloves on - I don't want to end up allergic to my own cocobolo fretboard! Fret bending, with another homemade DIY abomination I call my fret bender. The paper clips are simply there as spacers to allow the fret tang to ride between the washers, which I could've made look a lot better by simply putting a smaller washer between the two bigger ones - but I forgot to pick up some smaller washers that day at Bunnings. Excuse my punk-ass looking device, but it works! Gave the slots a quick flick of the ol' saw to get the edges back to proper depth after radiusing, and starting whacking frets in. One part of this process I must convey - I cut the fretwire down to frets, drilled 24 holes in a block of scrap, numbered them, and then foolishly placed the block on top of the guitar body. When I gave the first fret a solid hit with the hammer, and all the frets flew out of the block and went all over the garden floor! Bollocks, guess it has been a while... Right onto neck carving. I tend to use rasps on sections at the nut and close to the heel, and try to get a solid profile. Then, I'll hold the rasp with a hand at either end, and push the rasp sideways down the neck. Not sure if this is a generally orthodox approach, but it does remove enough material to call it a very basic neck within about half an hour by hand. This shot shows the very trapezoidal look that I ended up taking. As much as I know I can remove material to "shape" a neck in a short period of time, I know that I have ample time to re-visit the shape. Besides, there will be a lot of sandpaper to see before this thing gets strings, so I call it a day on shaping.
    1 point
  12. All of these steps are to get some midtones in the figure, which really increases the three dimensionality. SR
    1 point
  13. Let's get busy. Sanded to 400. One would be tempted to slap some oil on this and call it a day. It would make a nice looking natural finished guitar....... Nope. It's going to be blackish, after all. SR
    1 point
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