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B. Aaron

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Everything posted by B. Aaron

  1. I concur. This was a horrible month for voters - absolutely unfair. I'd vote for almost all of them. It was like asking, "Would you like ice cream and fudge sauce, or fudge sauce and ice cream?" "I don't know; which one is better?" "Both of them."
  2. Much agreed with many of the above comments. C is lovely, balanced, etc., but the headstock is not. The headstock is rather baroque. I'd rethink it and design something that complements the body.
  3. DONE. The finishing process took me a long time because I've had a lot of other things on the go in the same period (other instruments, pedals, gigs, work, schoolwork, sewing, etc). But it's done done done! Check out the photos. As always, I apologize for using a Facebook photo album instead of something classier (like Flickr). 162 photos in total, each captioned with explanations. I can't claim to be an expert, but I can at least pretend to sound professional. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150352534395531.597325.559500530&type=1&l=9161c52828 - B.Aaron -
  4. As is http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/ for photos of wood species.
  5. "Don't confuse folk nomenclature with marketing jargon." I try not to confuse either one with science.
  6. xadioriderx: I would rather you post a link to this thread than repost the files, as I am not a member at the other forums and thus would be unable to answer questions that may arise. There is no actual copyright issue at stake - I just could not provide clarification on any confusion that may arise from the files. dpm99: You are not alone in not having researched this topic. I would reckon that not many guitar builders have studied wood outside the context of "what does my book/the internet say this wood sounds like?" because most builders and players that I talk to will say things lik
  7. More photos. - Back is glued on - Binding is finished - Fingerboard is fretted and attached - Neck is mostly carved Just need to finish the fine carving on the neck, then I can sand and French-polish the thing. It's getting there...
  8. I love it. It certainly does have an advantage over the smaller models (which I have also used): it is bigger. It gives you more work space, and that's important. It can do some sort of vertical clamping trick too, but I've never bothered to try that. My only complaint is that I wish it were taller.
  9. New photos up. Inlaid fingerboard. Glued the fingerboard shim in place and shaved it down. Installed the pickup (K&K mandolin twin internal soundboard transducer). Made and glued label on back. I'll glue the back tomorrow and start the binding this coming week.
  10. More new photos: Started work on the fingerboard. Nothing too fancy there, really.
  11. New photos up: - Sealing the instrument interior to reduce humidity-driven movement - Gluing the soundboard in place - Lots of spool clamps
  12. Yeah, bending thick sides sucks. That's why sides were made thin for hundreds of years leading to the traditions we have today, and that's also why anyone who makes thick sides laminates them from several pieces of wood. For example, Friederich uses two 2mm layers of EIR laminated together to produce simple double-thickness sides. Coupling: Oops, I forgot about sound posts in the bowed instrument family. The front-to-back coupling is rather different there, isn't it? They don't really need to rely on the resonance of the air cavity... But again, the instrument relies on the soundpost f
  13. Ripthorn: monopole is the same as the 0,0 vibration mode, yes. Daniel Friederich uses thicker sides than usual (4-5mm) literally all the time. So does the Ramirez 1a, the absolute standard by which concert classicals are judged, and having played a few of them I can tell you that they are very powerful instruments. Many Australian lattice-style classical builders also use big beefy sides - in fact, some are so heavily reinforced that they are barely recognisable as guitars from their interiors: http://www.schrammguitars.com/lattice.html . Gregory Byers uses 6mm thick laminated oak kerfin
  14. I've never seen mahogany used, though that doesn't mean it hasn't been done. The thinnest spots on a violin's top are still a little thicker than the sides on an acoustic guitar, so I don't think mahogany would necessarily be structurally inadequate... however, its stiffness-to-weight ratio is lousy compared to the spruces and maples used for building violins, which makes it a less efficient wood to use for any part of the violin. I recently posted links to some .pdf files I made regarding wood stiffness/strength/hardness/weight in the Acoustic subforum. The data in those files would be a
  15. Necks are sometimes coloured to match the rest of the instrument. They just usually aren't varnished.
  16. Then yup, go ahead and hit the fingerboard with some fresh ebony stain. The tricky part about making your own oil varnish for violins is that you usually have to cook it, which can be... highly hazardous. It also dries so slowly that most makers end up having to build UV cabinets to help it cure faster. Making shellac-based varnishes (spirit varnish) isn't nearly as scary, though. Most of them are basically just shellac flakes dissolved in alcohol (same as French Polish recipes) with the addition of a few extra gums for a) extra gloss without all the polishing (gum sandarac), or to so
  17. I think you'll find that it's too hard and heavy for the strings to drive it efficiently. It will work, but it certainly won't work as well as Spruce. - If the fingerboard is ebony (as it should be), it need not be refinished as it would not have been finished in the first place. It should probably just be cleaned up with fine abrasives. (Typically the back of the neck is unvarnished as well, though it may be stained/dyed and lightly sealed with a coat of drying oil.) If the fingerboard is some non-ebony wood that has simply been coloured black, well... - RE stains or varnis
  18. If you're like me and you like to look up things like a wood's strength, stiffness/modulus of elasticity, hardness, and density, then these four PDF files could save you some time. This data can be pretty useful sometimes, such as when trying to decide what type of spruce or maple to use on a project and wanting to know more than the talking points that luthiers repeat ad nausea. (Example: Peruvian Walnut is not "denser than most other walnuts" as LMII (and now most of the internet) claims, but rather is in fact lighter, softer, weaker, and less stiff than almost every other neck or back/sid
  19. Good myrtle is so beautiful. It's a pity that it's so flexible and not-light. Just remember that whatever you end up using has to be something that you can carve pretty easily with hand tools. Woods like Purple Heart or Bloodwood could be a bit of a nightmare if you're working with the traditional tools (chisels, gouges, scrapers, finger planes).
  20. New photos are up: - Cutting a notch in the top for the neck's CF inlay; also to align the top - Reinforcing, cutting, and binding the soundhole - Bracing the top and back, profiling and shaping the brace ends - Notching the linings for the braces
  21. Lots of responses off the top of my head, being interested in violin construction myself: I've seen ash, black walnut, east Indian rosewood, poplar, red maple, bigleaf maple and cherry used in modern violins as alternatives to European maple back/sides. If you are trying to achieve a close-to-traditional-ish sound without the Acer pseudoplanatus, I would recommend red or bigleaf maple first, walnut second, cherry third, and none of the others at all (from an acoustic standpoint). Myrtle: said to be easy to bend for sides (hooray!), but its stiffness-to-weight ratio is awful. It's rathe
  22. I believe Greg Smallman uses a string-tension neck joint on his fancy-pants classicals these days, if I recall correctly. Take the strings off and off pops the neck. David Schramm uses a variation on it for his own Aussie style guitar. http://www.schrammguitars.com/lattice.html
  23. I agree that carving the neck is really easy, but it can be hard to get the top of the neck flat & straight for the fingerboard if you don't have the right tools. Same deal for getting your laminates trued up and ready for gluing if you're making a laminated deal.
  24. The first question Might be "more than you can afford." I'd check out a guitar-building book from your local library and see what they suggest for tools/methods. It doesn't necessarily even have to be about basses or electric guitars; the build process is pretty similar for almost every fretted instrument. If you decide to purchase a neck, here are two non-StewMac sources that I can think of off the top of my head. http://www.carvinguitars.com/necks/bassbolton.php http://www.warmoth.com/Bass/Necks/Necks.aspx Edit: kpcrash beat me. Didn't mean to repeat much of what he said.
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