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Blackdog

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Everything posted by Blackdog

  1. Very valid point. And actually simpler to execute. Actually, a bullet nut like the 70s Fenders could do the trick nicely. The centerline of the spotfacer is 1/8" above the TR center just to reduce the weakening of the headstock a bit. I will consider your point for the future, this is one of those things you do automatically after building a few Gibsony tributes... I never broke a headstock, but saw a few. I believe the splines should take care of most of the risk.
  2. This is serious stuff my friend ! These are so organic in a Catalan Modernistic kind of way ! Amazing work ! And that finish !!! How do you get such a good polish inside those scrolls ? Not my style (I'm a lot more boringly predictable), but deeply impressed by the quality of your work. Nice touch that signature carved volute of yours !
  3. Now about the "ears" for the headstock... The ears usually added to the sides of the headstock have the double purpose of making up width for the headstock shape (so you don't have to use a very wide neck blank), and to add reinforcement to the headstock, which is all short grain due to the tilt back. The somewhat snake-head shaped headstock of this design calls for oblique ears to properly fulfil the second objective. This is actually in-between the classic Gibson shaped headstock and the vintage Flying Vee headstock ears.
  4. Exactly this ! This was the idea behind the template design.
  5. Time to continue with this story. Now it was truss rod installation time. I opted for a vintage style, straight/tilted channels with a maple fill strip for the three guitars. I have been using this simple TRs with good success. This is the TR style used in classic Gibsons up to the early 60s. This is a straight rod in a slighly oblique channel that is 1/8" shallower at the headstock. It needs to run fairly close to the back of the neck to be effective, and this is why Gibson changed to the curved ones when they went for thinner necks in the 60s. Frankly, if I were to make any ch
  6. The headstock tilted at 17* is a known weak point in this design: lots of short grain in the transition from neck to headstock. I am not using a volute as reinforcement, and I do not like the look of scarved necks. So I have for a while adopted a spline reinforcing approach. In this case I used rosewood splines, with straight grain following the headstock plane. These will end up invisible, covered by the fretboard and the headstock face plate (and of course the will not show at the back of the neck). At the time I was thinking of using a two-way rod for the Hollowbody, but I endeed up us
  7. A bit of neck action. Neck and fretboard blanks. All three necks are laminated. Since the grain was more at 45* than quartered, I decided to laminate the necks in two halves, with one half flipped. Once laminated the neck blanks were planed and squared to the standard dimensions I need to use my existing jigs (basically 60mm wide). In a couple of instances, the neck blanks were not deep enough for the headstock length at 17* tilt, so these were extended using a piece from the same blank. Fretboards are also planed and thicknessed to 60mm and 5.5mm. You can see here the different wood
  8. The jig for cutting the neck angle on the top is pretty straightforward. And this was the next step for the bodies. These were now ready for proper carving.
  9. Sorry for the delay in responding. I do not work on any 3D software. I'm a bit of a cave-man in that respect. I still work on 2D, basically on CorelDraw, that is a bit of a middle ground between a CAD and an Illustrator. How I derived the templates it's a bit hard to put in words... I decided how I wanted the carve to flow across the two major sections defined by the offset shape (the lower bout at its widest and the waist at the narrowest points), and the centre-line. Then allocated the total thickness of the top to a number of equally incremental steps, and transported the intersec
  10. Next was my usual process of the topographic templates for the top carve. The 9 templates were derived from the ones I developed before for the double cut design, and corrected for the new single cut body shape. All three done.
  11. A few more pics from the archive. First route for the back control cavities. The initial wood removal I do with forstners, then the usual template for the rest. Never mind the forstner marks at the bottom of the cavity, this is still not to the final depth. The final depth will be adjusted based on the top carve and the existence (or not) of dishing on the top. Same thing for the Hollowbody, here the cavity opens to the chamber. I considered several options for the back of the hollow body. I was tempted with carving the back with a shallower version of the top ca
  12. Thanks for the good words. Yes, indeed I try to engineer every aspect of the design on paper (well, the computer screen actually) before cutting wood. Sometime ago, in a different thread, I showed the CAD study of the topo-templates design I needed to achieve the carve I wanted on the offset shape of my design. Some of that work had to be repeated to adapt the templates to the singlecut shape for these builds. Same thing with things like neck angle/fretboard thickness to attain the desired string action vs. bridge mounting height and regulation range. Cutting the improvisation to a
  13. So, a bit of a fast forward now (Sorry, no intermediate pics in the archive, but the process is pretty much like any other maple capped solid body aanyway). This is the hollow body, already shaped with the top glued on. This is the FiftyNine And the FiftySeven What an interesting birds-eye top on the last one, I hear you say... But the thing was plagued by worm holes, hence, solid color/goldtop.
  14. That's actually very good advice. I definitely considered it at the time (this happened looooong ago... spoiler: it did work fine). But decided to go the "engineer's way", that is to measure many times, design the templates with alignment in mind, align everything carefully and trust the design.... Jokes apart, if you're not really confident with the design or if you're working more free-hand, your advice is clearly the only way to go. In this case the margin of error was low anyway, and I really wanted to prove that the approach works for future designs. Even if there was a one full ro
  15. The wire channel routed on the backs. Note the "standard" size of the blanks. And the big chamber for the hollowbody, keeping a solid center block from neck to tailpiece. The hollowing was done mostly with forstner bits in a heavy swiss-cheese manner, and then evened out with the router and a template. The base of the router had to be widened with a flat piece of wood to make it sit stable between the edges and the centerblock for such a wide routing area. The back is 8mm thick in the chamber, if the router falls-off the edge while you're working on this it can easily make a disast
  16. So, to get this started. First activities were, obviously, to prepare the banks for the parts. Body backs were thicknessed, tops were book matched and thicknessed, There was quite a lot to do with a couple of the tops. The boards were seriously twisted and there wasn't enough extra thickness to account for it. So I had to press them into flatness: got them wet on the surface and put them under pressure (more than 150Kg) for a while. In the end they stood under pressure for almost a year before I actually did something with them.... By that time they were flat alright ! Body blan
  17. Hi Scott, thanks for the welcome back. I'll try to keep up with the posting. Mind you, I've gotten lazy with the pictures lately, but I think I have enough archive material to show here and keep the thread interesting. Yes indeed. I had another build that was dormant for 5 years. But that was truly frozen, these builds here have been advancing, though at a somewhat glacier speed...
  18. Hey ! Hi there ! Now that you mention it, yes... a fastened seatbelt is probably needed.... Hope you guys are doing well in these rarefied times....
  19. Loooong time without posting in this fine forum, where I learned so much ! Its great to see so many beautiful builds going on. Many talented builders in the forum, as always, and a lot to learn from them. It is hard to believe that I started this Single-cut project almost five years ago…. Shortly after that I changed project at my day job and it became much more demanding… And a few of those rare breeds called “customers” kept me busy making some 335/355s…. So, let's say, I got distracted. But the project was never truly stopped. It just slowly moved forward by spasms of ac
  20. I think it's about time you get your wife the guitar she wants and deserves !! But I'm afraid 9 euros wont get you very far.... The ABR is a nice design. Located correctly it will provide all the range you will ever need. Good ones have less free play on the moving parts and over the posts. I used to find the right position of the bridge by finding the correct intonation at the 12th fret on the two E strings (moving the loose bridge around the expected position on the top), then using the bridge post holes to mark the post positions on the top. But checking the resulting positioning of the pos
  21. Hi Carl. Yes, you're right, it's a can of worms in a way... But come on ! You know what I mean when I ask the rethorical question... It is a true fact that the SG started as a Les Paul, but let's be clear, it has as much in common to the "real" Les Paul as a Vee or an Explorer do. I'm after the Bluesbreaker Les Paul sound and feel.
  22. …and what does make a Les Paul after all ? No, I'm not going to post a Les Paul build thread. (Or am I ?) Last week I finished and delivered an ES335 for a customer in the UK and he asked me “What’s next now ?” And it was actually a good question, since I have several new projects awaiting for some quality workbench time… And now I think I have a winner project. Been playing a lot lately with the idea of a Les Paul flavoured Blackdog Singlecut. I’ve discussed this here before, the original Blackdog Singlecut design was heavily influenced by the P
  23. Wow man ! I can't believe the bad luck you've been having ! I was catching up with this thread until I found about the unfortunate events... Must feel horrible. The only thing similar that happened to me was one of the LPs I built last year falling to the concrete floor. Fortunately it way before finishing, no neck attached so I could safely steam the bruise out. Be patient, you'll solve it and it will be beautiful, and everything will be forgotten once you start enjoying it. And about that additional quart of Behlen you bought, just try not to drink in in one sitting, mmmmkay ?
  24. Looking great ! I see you're in Finland, if you're still looking for longer router bits have a look here.
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