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Everything posted by Mattia

  1. I use Titebond (local woodworking place or add it to a Madinter order, or mail order from Axminster in the UK) for most stuff ('swelling' visible joints are down to poor clamping or poor wood prep technique. A good titebond joint is invisible as long as you prepare the surfaces. And you really should prep them yourself and glue within 30 minutes of prepping), particularly laminates that I can let 'rest' and reacclimate. I ocassionally use epoxy for laminating, and always use it for fingerboards. My brand of choice is West Systems, who are certain to have a distributor around you somewhere. Used a lot in boat building.
  2. Which 'cedar' are we talking about? Western Red (not real cedar), spanish cedar (cedrella odorata, not real cedar), atlas/cedar of lebanon (real cedar)? But what other folks have said holds true: if you're worried about blowing it up with a router bit doing a straight 1/4" channel, either the wood wasn't up for it, and/or you're a bit excessively worried about your router. Maybe read and practice a little routing various materials so you gain an appreciation of what a router can and cannot do, and how you should or should not be routing wood to avoid chipping and blowouts? I mean, sometimes they can't be avoided, but still.
  3. Paulie, seriously, get a WoodMaster CT. Spectrum Supply in the US carries them and will ship internationally. Really great resaw blade, and lasts for ages and ages. Carbide tipped. I'm resawing indian rosewood (wide boards, long cuts, for sides) and it doesn't seem to have dulled at all. It ain't cocobolo, but it's not that far off.
  4. Any saw will do as long as it's rigid enough and has enough power. Can't comment on new stuff - I purchased an old (1983 vintage) Italian saw a few years back, 400mm wheels (15", ish) with a hair under 9" of resaw capacity (could up to 9.5 if I changed out the stock upper guide assembly for cool blocks or similar). Motor is slightly on the low side for power (about 2 HP). MK is right, though, use good blades. I will say that woodslicer/timberwolf blades work well, but have almost no blade life in tough woods. I have a few, and I save them for stuff where I need maximum yield and don't mind chucking the blade after resawing a few billets. Lennox carbide tipped blades are likely the ideal, although the smaller saws can't tension things like the 1" WoodMaster CT, which is a fantastic blade at a great price point. The Lennox TriMaster is available in thinner width but runs me about 180 dollars for the 12 foot blade I require. FWIW, I resaw using either the 1/2" trimaster (which broke in transit during my last move, sadly, need to see if its worth re-welding) or my Woodmaster CT (1" blade). Wider is easier for resaw, 1/4" is a good general purpose blade. Cuts off the lennox carbide blades can be clean enough to only require one or two very light passes through the thickenss sander for cleanup.
  5. Very nice work! The inlay theme is very similar to one I've had drawn out on paper for a few years now, probably one of the next guitars I'll build (spalt maple back/sides and redwood top is the plan for that one). A note on the inserts: I usually use the 'tapered' silver type inserts you have installed there because they're easier to find locally and a little easier to install, but I would like to note that you were installing the brass inserts incorrectly. The 'slit' is NOT for a screwdriver, that's the end of the insert that goes into the wood first and is designed to cut into the wood. Install them with a bolt and a pair of washers and you're good to go. This video explains it better than I can:
  6. Bit late, but I don't think you're getting how I would use a zero fret to ground: use a zero fret, and ground ONE of the strings at the body. The zero fret grounds out the rest. No wires in the neck.
  7. Quartered, like any brace, and inlet into the linings. But not all the way along the full side, because I want linings to add stiffness. Or cloth tape soaked in slightly watered down titebond, full width, linings glued over the top.
  8. Electric: David Myka Acoustic: Probably a Lowden.
  9. I'm amused by your contention that this is a less akward solution than copper foil (or similar) under the strings at the bridge. Combine with a zero fret and you're pretty much done. These are amplified guitars you're building, so a small amount of additional mass is not going to 'make or break' the tone of the things. Then there's the question of whether you really need to ground anything at all. Acoustic guitars generally aren't grounded, even where mag pickups are used.
  10. Sharp edge tools FTW. I use a 'violin knife' (bevelled edge carving knife made by Pfeil), various scalpels and paring chisels (long blade) for this type of detail work. The final bits are the biggest pain in the ass.
  11. Eddie, yes they will. Find the right wood yard. Rock maple (American) is not hard to find in Europe. Bigleaf is harder (which I prefer for tops), and Euro is a bit pricier, nicer than rock to work with (IMO) but a bit more expensive. Besides, there are always the big spanish luthier supply houses (Maderas Barber and Madinter). They know their stuff.
  12. I've gotten some great big leaf from Jason Voth (CV Tonewoods) in the past. Not the speediest, but if you're clear on what you want and your quality requirements he should come through for you. There's always Larry Davis at Gallery Hardwoods as well, very reliable, excellent quality, slightly higher prices.
  13. Euro Maple is the 'premium' back/side/neck wood for Archtops and violin family instruments. It's not as hard as rock maple, often looks nicer (creamier/whiter, less yellow) and is more pleasant to work with. Most Maple in Europe is imported from the US, at least the cheaper stuff, and is usually eastern (acer microphylla). Euro maple is available but is generally more expensive. Same sort of situation with Walnut (Black US is cheaper, European more expensive).
  14. I use European (local) or Adirondack (because I have some) spruce for bracing, otherwise I'd probably go with Sitka. You want high stiffness and low weight, and though Engelmann will likely be just fine, it's - on average - often a little less stiff than Sitka or Adi (or Euro). I would not use Cedar (light, soft, fragile) or hardwoods. Bracewood is pretty cheap and easy to source, and an important structural part of your instrument. Don't skimp on it.
  15. Building acoustics is not THAT difficult. Requires a bit more precision at a few more steps along the way, you work with thinner pieces of wood, and structure makes a huge, deciding impact on sound, whereas electrics are more or less just hunks of wood that require a solid neck to body joint and accurate fret spacing. This is a vast over-simplification, of course, but still. In terms of tools, you can do either on the cheap, and an acoustic really only requires access to a drill press for a few steps, a laminate trimmer, and hand tools. Although a thickness sander makes a lot of things much easier. It's a bigger challenge, requires more molds and forms (the way I do it, anyway), but once you're tooled up/jigged up, if you've got a decent book to follow, it's certainly possible to make a good sounding first guitar. In terms of material cost, a good to decent set of wood +hardware for an acoustic is cheaper than for an electric, simply because bridges and pickups are pretty expensive. I can probably put together wood +hardware for an acoustic for around 100-150 bucks ((african) mahogany or rosewood back/sides, colorful euro spruce top, (african) mahogany neck, rosewood or ebony fingerboard, gotoh tuners, truss rod, fret wire).
  16. Love all the bits up to the point where I have to finish sand and pore fill. That's when things get tedious. Don't mind the actual shooting of finish, but polishing is annoying as well. Merely handling the raw material and cutting/planing/scraping it down to blanks can also be a ton of fun - wood selection for a project is creatively inspiring.
  17. I have the big 3HP Triton monuted permanently in the table, where it works fine. I also pretty much never adjust the speed. I prefer my Bosch or Porter Cables for handheld use.
  18. Sanding sealer is not grain filler, merely a heavier coat of finish that provides a good base for your nitro. You need to grain fill seperately, with a grain filler of your choice, preferably/usually before the sanding sealer.
  19. Bosch 1617EVS dual kit base is a great buy. The European equivalent (newer model, similar) appears to be the GOF GMF1600. Much more expensive than the US version (as always), and stay away from any green Bosch tools. Blue or bust. The Bosch colt palm router is also great for smaller work. Triton makes great routers Having noted all this, all my current routers are 110v US machines, because the price differential at the time between buying US tools and running a transformer was huge. Little less now, due to exchange rates, but still significant.
  20. Sapele makes great necks - solid tap tone, very stiff, tap tone is a little glassier than 'true' mahoganies for acoustic thickness woods (none of these things are bad). I certainly would not call it a crap tonewood by any measure. Not ideal for non-chambered solidbodies due to weight, but that's really my only major quibble with it. Then again, maybe the stuff I have is atypical (all from one tree, ribbon striped, quartered). No stability issues with it either.
  21. I've seen enough grain variation that I won't confidently identify any of the 'Mahoganies' based on sight, particularly not under a finish. The true mahoganies are by far the most pleasant to work - easier to plane, finer grain, and to me the nicest color (in general). This is S. Mahagonii and Macrophylla The Africa 'mahoganies' vary hugely from piece to piece, with the Khaya species being the most variable, generally the lightest, followed by Sipo and finally Sapele, which tends to be the hardest, heaviest. All very frequently display ribbon figure, and coloration seems to vary from almost pink/red to slightly grayish. I've got a fairly large stash of hard and fairly heavy ribbon striped sapele which serves me very well as neck wood and will cut up for acoustic sets (dead quartered material), as well as a reasonable supply of Khaya (again, ribbon stripe, different coloration, much lighter) that will make great electric bodies, and a smaller selection of honduran, some of which is plain, some striped, that will likely end up as necks and maybe a solid body if I'm feeling decadent. I don't think one species is sonically superior to the other in any significant manner. Not in electric guitars.
  22. All wood dust is carcinogenic. Period. Some may also be toxic, or an irritant/sensitiser due to specific properties (and physical sensitivities), but none of it is healthy, and there's a reason dust collection and airway protection should be among the first purchases for any woodworker making dust. I suppose using only edged tools minimizes damage, but still.
  23. They 'admit guilt' because that was required for a settlement to be reached. Besides, the whole situation is Kafka-esque in the extreme, and the Lacey Act remains one terrifying piece of legislation. It's a shame this wasn't battled out in court; we now still don't have legal precedent or a judicial ruling on whether the law is just, fair, and/or being interpreted correctly.
  24. Huh. Very similar to my 'pointy guitar' 3 per side 'stock. http://mvalente.home.xs4all.nl/guitarpics6/kelly/james_02.jpg
  25. Kinda nifty. Wonder if there are any decent affordable 3D printing heads out yet that could be retrofitted to a 3 axis CNC machine...
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