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Everything posted by mledbetter

  1. To the last question.. To file suit against someone for an offense, you generally have to show intent to offend.. If someone stole your guitar and sold it, that's out of your control.. you are not acting with intent to defraud anyone. If you tell someone that your guitar is a rare ibanez custom, insinuating that it came from an ibanez custom shop then that is fraudulant (sp?) if you say Ibanez guitar, heavily customized, letting them know they are user mods then there is no intent for harm or fraud. Someone would have to prove that you are using ibanezs name and/or style to make a profit.
  2. I talked to this guy once.. real nice.. seems to have a good product and is reasonable.. www.marlerguitars.com This guy is about 20 minutes away from me. I'm in east tennessee and we have a TON of luthiers around here with the nashville scene so close.. he's pricier but for a total custom, who knows.. www.tonyvinesguitars.com There is also a guy in knoxville TN, Lynn Dudenbostel.. you can get a contact if you search around.. He might do something completely custom. He builds lots of things. Chris Thile of Nickel Creek plays one of his mandos.. He's old school bluegrass instrument maker but makes excellent acoustics from what I hear. It's unfortunate, there are so many luths that have no website, no contact info as they are all word of mouth. Especially around here. You make a name for yourself in nashville and with the session musicians, they can keep you pretty busy without advertising a bit.
  3. I had the same prejudice when my buddy at the music store called me in to look at it (this was back in 95.. in my town we had to wait for taylors to come into stock.. Now the same store has about 20 on any given day.. but playing it.. i think the maple helps it for strumming.. it's such a solid foundation you can bang the heck out of it and it really responds. That's not a bad price.. the 2900.. considering all that you are wanting. why not just commission an olsen. The 3 gs will get you on the waiting list and between now and 2 years from now you can come up with the other 9Gs to finish it off
  4. ok I just read all your specs.. you only option is to probably build your own i'm afraid There are luths that would do that for you but with all the custom stuff they are going to have to charge an arm and a leg as it would take them so far away from their standard operations.
  5. Acoustics.. I know you say you don't want a production guitar so I won't say too much about that.. although for the money, you can get lots of Taylor 800 series instrument on ebay for <1500 and they are excellent for what you describe. I'm a worship leader and I play a taylor maple jumbo, no regrets whatsoever.. but i understand wanting something that's not "off the rack" For customs.. a buddy of mine that a working musician used to play an everett.. back before they started charging 8Gs for them. he sold it though and his two main guitars were a Lowden (now avalon guitars) and his main one.. a Huss & Dalton. www.hussanddalton.com Those are made over here in virginia. This guy had tried out olsens and other high end stuff and to him the H&D was dead on in quality and sound.. calls it his poor mans Olsen. He got a RW/Spruce dreadnaught.. which is a strumming maching. They retail for just over 3 so you should be able to get one for less than 3. So many custom acoustic builders have gotten so "fancy" that you can't buy anything that doesn't have trees of life, 8 layers of abalone purfling and stuff like that. H&D seems to do everything from a barebones D style to ornate OM cutaway styles.. I have actually put my hands on a H&D guitar though and it was exquisit. For electronics.. B-Band is great i'm sure.. never played it. My taylor came sans electronics and I did the thinline thing for a while and got tired of the quack.. I went with a Baggs I-Beam passive (99 bucks) and an accompanying Baggs Para-Acoustic DI preamp/direct box gadget. Everyone always wants to know what's inside the box.. The I-Beam is nothing short of incredible. The B-Band is probably a bit better, but it's the same concept, at least for the bridge plate transducer model. It's just a transducer that adheres right under your bridge so it's not just taking saddle pressure signals, it's getting the whold picture of sound as it resonates through the bridge plate. Very woody and microphonic sounding with no feedback in the high end.. you can get a roar if you crank the bass up too high as it's got a lot of bass response. Do check out one of the bridge plate transducers though.. why pay for a nicely hand crafted bone saddle if you're going to make it sit on top of some plastic strip that saps tone and sustain. The BP Transducer doesn't affect the mechanical operation of your guitar one ioda.. And with the outboard preamp you don't have to worry about a hole in the side of your instrument either. Your last option.. get a kit from LMI I bet if done right they are pretty nice. You can also buy kits straight from Martin if you're so inclined. I'm just not a martin guy.
  6. Those porter cables are awesome. They can be used for so many things and with the screw on attachment to a base, they can be configured to work in different applications.. in a duplicarver, in an overarm setup, etc.. I have seen the kits go on ebay for next to nothing.. or if all you can afford right now is the d-handle kit, you can pick up the plunge kit later, or get it off of ebay. Cheaper than buying 2 routers..
  7. I've had no problem getting evenness using a dye directly onto the ash, but you hvae to be very careful about the grain raising. I used waterbased dye which i would imagine goes on more evenly than alcohol based. The problem is grainfilling.. If you dye it dark and then sand the grain back down, it's the grain you want dark that will be scalped by the sandpaper leaving the grin LIGHTER rather than darker. So while i don't think evenness is the issue, it's a pain in the butt to figure out how to use dye with grainfiller.. You save some headache by tinting some nitro and spraying a trans finish.
  8. well.. i live in the humid southeast, it's cold as hell right now and I have no nitro experience so i'm going to stay away!! lol..
  9. For white, depending on what you paint with.. you should be able to grab a bottle of ColorTone from stewmac, either solvent or water version and use it to tint somewhere along the way. For opaque colors, some tint the sealer coats and leave their clear alone. You can tint the clear coat and spray a few coats till you have the level of opacity you desire, then finish out in pure clear. You'll want to tint it on the light side, so you can add layers to get the desired opacity.. not plan on shooting it all at once. I haven't researched it any further, but there is anothe rline of pigments called MIXOL that are cheaper than colortone. I have no idea though as to their preference of a vehicle/binder is. They claim to be lightfast and put a star by the few that aren't. Nice thing about MIXOL is you have 30 or so shades to choose from. ColorTone you have about 8-10 and have to mix your own custom colors. If you want to do rattlecans, then i'd get the mary kay white kti from ReRanch.
  10. My understanding is nitro should pass a fingernail test in 30 days.. KTM-9 is being touted as the first water based finish that isn't bluish, and has the clarity and depth of nitro but Bassman in another thread is finding out that it doesn't harden like they said it would. The attraction to KTM-9 was a tutorial by Mike Doolin stating that you can spray 5 coats in one day, 1 hr between each coat.. Drop fill and level any spots on the second day, then shoot 5 more coats on day 3, wait a week and buff out. Sound too good to be true.. and maybe it is. Bassman got an email from Doolin saying that he ha to switch to polyester because of the hardness issues associated with KTM-9. Time will tell i guess.
  11. I'm interested in KTM9 for the same reasons.. Nitro and so many of the solvent based sprays are horrible for personal health and not to mention the environment.. now i'm not what i would consider an "environmentalist" by any stretch.. i dont' even recycle.. but it seems like the responsible thing to do, if an alternative exists, to seek it out. That being said, i was dead set on oil finishes and gave TruOil a pretty serious run. You might want to try it. It won't work over grain filler for the reasons described above, BUT you can use IT as your grain filler. Basically, rub the wood down with the oil and then rub it in with 320 sandpaper and the oil and sawdust will settle in and level out your grain. Downside is you can't aply a stain after that. You can however tint truoil with TransTint or something like that, so the answer might be to use the oil/sanding method first then a tinted oil for several coats, then regular oil for a few more coats. TruOil has a heavy poly content i believe. I put about 10 coats on a test piece of ash that I had dyed green and it's incredible looking.. but I rushed the coats.. sometimes putting it on only waiting 30 mins since the last one! i'm impatient that way with something new. however, 10 coats and I had a mirror smooth finish, deep glass like shine, would have never thought it was oil. It never passed the fingernail test though. A buddy of mine that does gun stocks though said he doesn't have that trouble with TruOil.. and to survive out in the field it has to be durable, so that's why I think i just rushed it. EB uses truoil on their guitar and bass necks.. i think they just do a dip and a wipe though, as if you've ever seen a used EB instrument the necks are usually black with grime and are completely unprotected.. moisture sealed, but no protection from dirt or other oils. I haven't completely given up on truoil, i may try it one more time and must make sure i wait 1 to 2 hrs between each coat. Check out www.framus.com and look at their diablo guitar.. it's a tinted oil finish. I don't even think they grainfilled and it's gorgeous. Last thing.. it seems to me if you're worried about poly choking out vibrations and tone qualities, then you should really be worried about grain filler. Switching to nitro doesn't automatically give you a more resonant instrument as there is still an equal load of grain filler down there clogging up all the pores. So it seems logical to me that if people want the most resonant tone possible, a dye and oil treatment is the way to go. Low to Med luster tung oil, or 4-5 coats of truoil.
  12. If you know anyone that airbrushes, they could show you how to use a friskit.. basically a stick on stencil that you cut whatever shape out of you want and start spraying.. You can find flame pictures everywhere, you could just trace onto the friskit, cut it out, place it and spray your guitar..
  13. yeah i've looked at reranch but I have spray equipment and I want to figure things out form a production standpoint.. not get hooked on rattlecans.. i'm planning to do this a lot. nitro.. i would love to find a non-nitro solution for my own health and just for the principle of it. KTM9 looked really promising but now i'm hearing that it might not harden very well. I'll have to keep checking it out. Thanks for the info though. and by the way.. your 7 string you've finished is incredible looking.. major props dude.. I love dyes.
  14. wow.. that is good to know. thanks for posting your findings..
  15. I need to approximate a classic blonde or aged mary kay finish. I was wondering if anyone has pulled that off, and if so what pigments they ended up using. I'm doing this with water based finish so it has to be water soluable pigment.. I would love to know what experience folks have had with ColorTone products..
  16. Cool! Glad you like them. I'm a drummer too and have researched drum building for quite a while.. There are several places that sell drum wraps, they are probably the most well known though. I forgot too that you can get precut sheets and don't have to buy the 24x52 sheets. The guitar covered with that would be interesting indeed.. There is a company, Gigliotti guitars I think that takes a USA Custom body and puts a piece of brushed aluminum in the top and when painted it has a really wild look.. http://www.gigliottiguitars.com/ Uses the burst to cover the seam. Some of those glass sparkle sheets would be interesting. Good luck..
  17. Indulge me to chime in here 1. The logo. I am a designer by trade and spent several years working in the marketing industry.. Logos and more importantly "branding" are a big deal.. The first thing I thought of when I looked at the logo was StewMac. Intentional or not I immediately though, he must use parts from StewMac.. Brand confusion can be a big hinderance when you're trying to build brand identity from scratch. Also, i agree with the others, the logo is kind of clunky and right smack in the middle of beautifully figured wood it seems like a sin HOWEVER, if you're dead set on the guitar logo being "your thing" then make a plan to sell that feature and stick to it.. Logo placement is a very real part of building brand dientity and recognition. Personally I would tone it down a bit, and I would have to agree with some of the other comments.. the name StewMade doesn't speak high dollar instrument to me. It's hard to be objective about your own name. You could do your own research, pick 5 or 10 people that don't really know what you do, show them the logo and ask them what they think it means, what you're all about. you might be surprised. 2. Market segment. I wholeheartedly disagree with the statment that "the only thing wrong is it doesn't have the big "F" on the headstock. These days, to a lot of people, the big "F" is a liability. to folks that want a premium handmade instrument, unless they live in a cave, the last place they will head to is the fender custom shop. There are hundreds of builders doing it like Leo used to do, making higher quality instruments. If your market is high end vintage officianados, and art/collectible guitars then price them that way. Suhrs start at 2500 or so, Sadowsky's start at 2900, DeTemples start at a whopping 4250.. Yes these guys are well known and are well established.. but if a collecter/player wants something of this calibre, they will quickly overlook an instrument for 14-1500 claiming to be handmade because their perceived value of the instrument is much greater than that. High dollar folks tend to equate cost with quality, and to a large extent that is a wise assumption. Where I disagree is the folks shelling out thousands of guitars for andersons, suhrs, sadowsky's etc that are CNCd guitars that are just mass produced on a smaller scale. But thos folks have grabbed onto the percieved value factor and are riding that wave all the way to the bank. I requested the market demograhics once for Vintage Guitar mag.. out of about 50,000 monthly readers, the average person made 55-55k, spent 6-8k each year on instruments, owned 8 or so electrics and 3 or so acoustics.. That tells you something. I can guarantee you those folks aren't buying from ebay. They are either buying online, commissioning high end builders to build an instrument, or are buying in vintage shops and high end instrument stores. Don't count out buying online though.. Everett and Olsen are both selling acoustics, sight unseen for 5 digit figures with 2 year waits.. Once the name is established and you become "wanted" you don't have to have a massive network of distributors and dealers. It's hard for the small builder to survive when you have to price your guitar knowing that the dealer is going to want to tack another 30-40% on it for profit. Hope that is helpful to you somewhat.. You guitar looks great, but i counted ebay out a long time ago as a good place to sell custom instruments. Why do you buy on ebay? to get a deal right? high dollar instrument collectors don't want a deal, they want a killer instrument. You're saying all the wrong things about yourself in how you present the instrument. If you're willing to let it go for under a 1000 bucks then why should a buyer think it's worth 1500 or 2000. oh.. last thing.. why are you spending 1200 on parts? I got a business license, a state resale number and can buy from WD or ALLPARTS for what I sell. I can build a PREMIUM and i mean PREMIUM instrument quality wise (not speaking to my building abilities.. yet.. for 400 or less. Generally my parts list for a strat or tele is under 300 bucks electronocs/hardware/pups and the rest is wood. I'm building bodies and necks myself so that doesn't cost me much either. Wholesalers willsell you everything at 50% of retail if you have a reseller number. As long as you are legitimately building to sell and not just trying to get cheap parts for personal consumption, it's the way to go. Sorry for the book.. again, I hope it proves helpful.
  18. I have never seen pickup covers made out of it.. perhaps it's because pickup covers are molded and pearloid can't be melted and injected into a mold.. it's a compression process that produces a sheet.. pearloid pickguard material is expensive too.. I think all RG is doing is using the fancy material as the top flat in their bobbin. You might try this though.. http://www.precisiondrum.com/html/recovering_wrap.html Drum wrap is the same material, and it's not cheap eather but you get a whole lot more of it per sheet than in a pickguard blank. It's thin and flexible. You could email them for a free sample and see if it can withstand the tooling. I'm afraid the bestyou will get is to make a laminate for the top of your cover.. I suppose you could wrap the cover too but it would probably no longer fit in your pickguard. You could also just tape your coils and put the laminate on top of the bobbin and go coverless. You could also scan your local music store or pawn shop for some old knockoff snare drum with a pearl finish.. those were big in the 50s and 60s and have made a big comeback.. Just get an old drum and peel the wrap off of it.
  19. I already have. Very cool guy (Doolin) approachable and answered my questions. I'm going to order some in a few days.. Still cutting on the body and neck..
  20. Rhino3D is a good package to take to CNC.. At the university here they have a class that outputs from Rhino to the mill. Rhino is probably a little more precision oriented than Max. I've used max for years, but it's primarily an illustrative tool. It's not really built for precise modeling, unless you get into the architectural end of it. There used to be a package called AutoCad Lite.. I had it when I was a student, it was great. My feeling is you don't really need the 3D unless you're wanting to output to a mill. Top down is just ine wen you're doing everything the old school way. Trying to do the guitars in 3D makes my head hurt. A tele body would be simple but you start doing contours, tummy cuts, filleting the edges of the contours, etc.. i can never get it to look exactly right.
  21. I'm getting ready to do one and plan on using an angle grinder. I saw an article somewhere about Dean Guitars manufacturing and apparently they still do their custom jobs with an angle grinder.. i'm sure their lower end stuff is CNC but their high end is supposedly done with an angle grinder. Fast and lo-tech. I'm going to build a few pint blanks to practice on but the method I have seen that I want to try is to route a little shelf all the way around, then draw your contour line inside where you want the plateau to start, then use the angle grinder to connect the bottom of the shelf to the top of the plateau. And i would agree, route your cavities first or you'll be asking for trouble later.
  22. If you have a woodcraft around, check out the transtint or the transfast (waterbased) dyes.. they have a ton of them and they ar more expensive than lmi but you get an ounce for 10 bucks rather than a half ounce for 4 bucks.. You can order off of woodcraft online too. You can also order analine dyes from www.reranch.com. Any of those things will do you just fine and surely someone will work with you on shipping. Why is UPS a problem? I shipped some stuff to a guy in canada when he bought from me on ebay and it was several dollars more, but not too much..
  23. Dam it Your right SORRY I was not thinking any way thanks man for the info do you have any pic's of the work that you have done with 3D finishes? I would love to see some! EDIT:> sorry man I forgot to ask What Grit Sandpaper should I use? !!METAL MATT!! ← lol.. my finishing experience has been limited to test scraps.. i have read a ton though and what i've tried on scraps has worked so far.. The dye black/sand/dye another color trick has been around for a long time. Check this out.. same process.. black then turquois.. insane figure.. http://www.roxyguitarfinish.com/gallery/turquoisedye.htm Sandpaper grit.. I just read this the other day.. can't remember though if they started with 150 or 320.. 150 scares me.. i'd do a few swipes of 220 cross grain then go witht he grain to get rid of any abrasion marks.. if you really want to be clean, go pick up a scraper and do a scraped finish.. Nothing beats a scraped finish for smoothness.. no grit to leave marks. Nicer wood stores will have scrapers. If you have a test piece of the stuff, i'd just experiment. It's possible you could wet, dry, sand.. black dry sand and by then your grain will stay down. Or just go with alcohol based tints. They are more expensive.. The homestead products are nice.. woodcraft.com sells them. waterbased analine powders ate about 10 bucks a pop and alcohol based liquid tinters are about 15 bucks a pop. You get a ton more colors and more vivid varieties in waterbased though.
  24. Me too. I was actually getting ready to order some. I will spray, but i'm anxious to see how others projects work out. Should it work fine with other grain fillers? or is it best to stick with the epoxy that LMI recommends?
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