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About jmrentis

  • Birthday 02/22/1981


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    A Mind Is Sharper Than The Sharpest Tool

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    San Diego, California The United Guitars Of America

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  1. WHat are your thoughts on using fretboard scraps for filler coloring Cliff? I've tried it a few times on different colored woods and personally haven't been all that satisfied, I suppose with ebony or other very dark woods you'd be fine, though some people find you don't even need any color for dark woods, just glue alone. I've always found in both inlays and in patching spots on guitars when you use dust or scrapings from the wood it will always come out much darker than the surrounding wood, so it never matches well. Especially so on fretboards because you're usually not finishing it, so the glue soak dust is a lot darker than the surrounding wood. Since these experiences I've been curious to try using dyes or colored powders, so I could add a lighter color to the glue so when it darkens it closer to the surrounding wood. The recon stone dust sounds like a good idea. Anyhow, just curious as to your experience on this Cliff and what you prefer. Thanks. Jason
  2. Anyhow, this is a site for sharing projects and as this as said was more of a sharing whats been done rather than "hey buy this", I think it's fine. It reminds me some of when Kevin was working to finish his design of Tremol-no. Its cool to see what members are making, especially when it goes beyong a guitar build and into technology of parts, like Pete's(PSW) Sustainer and such. Anyhow, cool stuff thanks for sharing. J
  3. I make a template and use it to both taper neck and fretboard separately, then glue them together. I find it easier to bind the fretboard before gluing up so I have to at least the fretboard. However, I also find it easier to have both tapered, as you can apply two clamps horizontally to keep it perfectly aligned. Although, I shape my neck first, so I used a special clamp that works with shaped necks and fretboards, which makes it almost impossible to have any alignment issues. As with Woodenspoke, I also use some pins, but nothing as neat or efficient as what Woodenspoke does. J
  4. Very nice, love that center laminate! The blank has a very similar color to the one I've been working on, but wow that center laminate is a thousand times better than Jatoba, so cool looking. I can't wait to see what that looks like once you've done the carve on the back of the neck, it should really look very cool! Great job planning it all out. Looking at the last pic or two, I can't tell but do you have the rod so the adjustment nut is on the bottom? In the pictures it looks upside down, it should go on the bottom, at least I believe it does, thats how I did my last hotrod if I remember correctly. Excellent work and look forward to seeing more pictures!!! Keep them coming! J
  5. Don't forget to request a list of their distributors, for those companies that wouldn't bother selling it to you, email them back and get lists of who sells and uses their products for them. These companies will have small business all around the world selling their stuff, as Woodenspoke's been saying, your best bet is to find a smaller end business or distributor that uses or sells the stuff and ask them for some. Even if you don't have a company in your town, your bound to find many different types of businesses in your country that either sell or use it, then it is just a matter of making a deal. You have to imagine that there will be several places in your country that use the stuff, even if they don't sell it, you can see if you can make a deal or put some money in on an order or just buy a small piece straight from them. And do not email them to request the stuff, in all likelihood they think your some kid whose not worth the time. Once you find a place, call them ask for someone in charge and explain how you'd like to purchase a piece, explain your deal. Again as woodenspoke said people dump emails, a major company isn't going to read beyond the first line when you need a 12" inch piece when they have companies buying 50 boards of the stuff. You need to get the lists of the distributors and start making phone calls. Emails are useless, people erase them, blow them off, getting someone on the phone makes the situation much more real and more plausible. I wish you the best of luck with your search and I think if you take the time and all the advice given here you will be successful in your search at a reasonable price. As Soap was mentioning, these things often take time and Soap probably was inquiring from a business standpoint which is 100 times more likely to get responses, so just keep trying, follow the leads you get from those lists. From the companies that said no already, email or call them back get a distributors list and keep trying. Best of luck. J
  6. Great to hear! A number of members mentioned him to me a while back and since I've had nothing but great experiences and each person I have sent over has also found his service excellent. For my friends bass he even had inlays cut in a material they weren't normally made in, no charge just needed some time. Let us know how it looks when you get your order. Best of luck. J
  7. Sorry I don't have any on hand myself, but don't hesitate to call Andy DePaule at Luthiersupplies.com. Andy is a great guy and will accommodate most anyones order. He sells blanks from his site I believe, but if you just call and tell him what you need, he'll set you up at a great price. So if you have trouble getting ahold of any, just hit up Andy, he'll take care of you no doubt. Best of luck, wish I could help Steve. J
  8. Sounds great and the scarf looks perfect. Just make sure if you aren't putting a finish on the fretboard that the limba dots won't get dirty. I don't know white limba personally, so I don't know how porous and how likely it would be to get dirty. Maybe using some hardwood's sapwood might be better? Not sure, just something to think about. Cool idea though!! Look forward to seeing it turn out. J
  9. As I've said somewhere, everyone seems to have their own recipe, some are more difficult than others, some are more cautious than others and the entire thing changes when different factors come into play like binding and so on. For example, I prefer to do a rough shaping of the neck prior to gluing on the fingerboard, to allow for any movement in the wood. So, then binding must be attached directly to an already tapered, slotted, and shaped fretboard. Then the bound, tapered, slotted fretboard is glued onto the already shaped neck. This would seem more complicated, but if you prefer to shape the neck first, its really the only way to go. Actually, I like having the neck shaped first, using a couple of these clamps, makes it seem almost easier than glueing up two flat pieces as it aligns itself. Seriously just tightening those clamps centers everything perfectly and by using a template to shape both fretboard and neck before hand, you end up with a perfect glue up. Of course I'm extra cautious and drill a couple minute holes in the first and last slots to use set pins to hold it in place as well, I'd buy those clamps just to drill the set pins as it holds everything perfect while you do this step. I leave the set pins in until the glue is completely dry, since I epoxy to remove I just hold the soldering iron to the pin and they slide out no problem, would work the same with any glue, but epoxy tends to hold the pins much stronger, so a bit of heat is sometimes necessary to remove them. With this method I haven't even has a hair of misalignmet between the fretboard and neck. As for when to slot and radius, I always had bought slotted boards and radiused at the very end so I could make sure everything was perfectly flat before fretting. Personally, I'd want to slot early on or first just to have a nice square board to slot, however it could be done later. The key for me when building necks is center lines. If you have a center line that you marked right away when you got the board you can do things differently. If you have a centerline you can slot later using some double stick tape to keep the slot perpendicular. Though I'd still probably want to slot early, having a slotted board never seemed to cause any problems for me throughout the building process. Also if you do shape the neck early you have to slot first because you have to bind before gluing the fretboard to the neck and once bound you can't slot. And I also scarf first as RestorationAD said. As I said there are many variables and formulas to doing it based on preferences and features used. So as long as it all works out... J
  10. I don't know if they still work, but I know a good number of people here bought wood from them in the past. They used to also have an Ebay site under a different name, I'm sure some of the old school PG members will know the name. I'd definitely try some more. I've always thought they sold some amazing wood. North Ridge Hardwoods seems to carry some nice pieces as well. Best of luck. J
  11. TK instruments-Sperzel info This page has a lot of the Sperzel info you'll need. Used to be one of the few places to get those Tuners. Sperzel has its own site now and while it doesn't say you can buy through them, if you call you can. My buddy talked to Bob Sperzel himself and said it was cool to call for tuners. Anyhow, it looks like .650 is the thickest headstock you can go with any Sperzel, which would be the non-staggered sets. The staggered sets require thinner headstocks, like .590 or so I believe. So 11/16" is .6875" and you need .650", so you're close. How thick are the veneers top and bottom? You only need .0375 taken off, you should be able to get that much, even if both are thin you could try taking just a hair from each side. I dunno, worth a try. You need to make sure you get the 6 inline style but non staggered. The 3x3 style tuners will be too big for that style of headstock, but the 6 inline won't be and will work if non-staggered. As for the crack, did it happen because of the curve right there? I had to figure a way around that problem on the back where I had a volute with an ever steeper curve. Made a home made bending pipe and it worked perfect, doesn't crack. I don't know about that green stuff, where did you get the wood? Was it like that before you did anything with it? I know there can be mineral stains or if left moist it can discolor or get fungus, I don't know. It doesn't seem extremely noticeable or anything. Looks loads better than it did. Nice work. J
  12. Its pretty close to being covered by the fret, I think at worst it'll just look like a shadow under the fret if its not covered completely. However, I would make extra certain that you've got that entire cut completely filled and solid because when you press a fret in there if it wasn't filled well it might just snap off that little divider between the slots. I know its not deep, but the tang will be pushing in that depth range. Yea filling with dust is tricky, it never comes out perfect because it always comes out darker than the original wood. If you really shine up that board it might be much less noticeable because it'll probably darken as you move up through grits, like the difference between rough sanded ebony and highly polished. On a side note, I've been thinking of trying to do fills with lighter materials, like instead of filling with dust from that wood, find a similar color, but lighter wood and use dust from that to fill, since the dust darkens are you fill, it might negate the difference you normally see. Something I've been meaning to try anyway. Anyhow, cool looking project, keep the progress pics coming. Its always enjoyable to see all the steps involved. That wenge fingerboard is really cool looking, that is going to be a very nice looking neck. I need to push myself to work in some wenge into an upcoming project, it always looks great. Very nice and best of luck. J PS: A little trick that works pretty well that I got from Dan Erlewine, try electrical tape to protect the fretboard from CA. Tried it when I used some glue fretting and it worked pretty good. What thickness did you use in glue? I might have tried to pack the dust and very slowly dribble some thin CA in there, might be easier to control in that particular situation. Either way I think it won't be noticeable much if at all when you're done.
  13. Woodenspokes thread on nippers :as in fret cutters, lol Definitely check out this thread John. When I did my neck tool shopping I grabbed a pair of channel lock cutters, a bit larger than average, but the head on it was the same, just longer so more leverage. When buying them on the cheap look out for a few things mentioned in Woodenspokes post. I initially try smoothing mine on a wheel, but it sucked, I ended up using a little drum sander in my drill press, worked amazingly well, cuts perfect and after fretting it showed no sign of wear, definitely better than spending the money to buy from stewmac or lmi. Hope the neck building is going well. J
  14. Makes it loads easier to avoid getting glue on the rod as well. Seems to work quite well all around. J
  15. Very nice looking rig. I can imagine it was a bit different trying the one piece neck/fretboard with skunk stripe. Seems like a much more difficult method, although some people might love not having to glue up a fingerboard I suppose. Anyhow, looks like it came out very nice, hopefully he'll send you some pics once he's painted her all up. J
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