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Everything posted by StratsRdivine

  1. Thanks Carl! Been up to my neck in carbon fiber work lately so not much chance to get on here, but is interesting timing. Chris and I follow eah other on Instagram, so its kinda cool to meet up here and see what he's been working on. Since most of my customers buying my CF are knifemakers, I run into a ton of guys stabilizing wood for knife scales, so its pretty common, but I never got into it, so my knowledge is quite basic. But sometimes the basic is what we miss. What I mean, is that few understand heat flow in thick substances - I am still learning, but in my job of heating glass, steel and carbon fiber in up to six inch laminations, I know that you have employ the great BBQ trick - low and slow. In the case of a catalyzed resin, its possible to over heat the outside of a billet, hence cause premature crosslinking of the resin, thus sealing in liquid core resin inside, which has several potential outcomes. I use several thermally triggered resins in my system, from vulcanized vinyl to mono-epoxy systems that cure at high temps, and one phenomenon I notice now and then if I heat too quickly is the vaporization of the crosslinking agent causing bubbling before it gets a chance to crosslink the resin. Then it crosslinks, locking the bubbles in. Another reason I go low and slow. What may relate better is my experience with epoxies and porous wood end grain. The best adhesion I ever get is when I heat the raw wood with a heat gun causing off-gassing, and slight vacuum, then adding epoxy to the joint where the cooling process sucks up the epoxy, subsequently lowering its viscosity causing increased suck-in, then the heat starts to kick off and thicken the epoxy just in time to clamp and not starve the joint. Principle is likely the same in resin impreg wood. Heat the wood to super dry, then while hot and under vacuum, infuse resin, then turn off vacuum, then do the reverse, and place under pressure to press in the resin. Just my deductive reasoning, I have no idea how its done. I do know that casting Alumilite is similar, in that you vac out the bubbles initially, then let cure under pressure to smallify any remaining bubbles.
  2. That is definitely some nice looking fretboard stock. Scott's analysis of the fracture of paperstone is right on, because its basically MDF with more resin content, and higher pressure baking, and with the short fibers, will flake the same as MDF. Rocklite and my CF fingerboards are long fiber composites, so thats a plus. Shipping one of my figured CF fingerboards to Martin next week. Likely too pricey, but hey, its a start, and maybe they will order enough volume to get lower price so everyone can use it.
  3. You appear to be having fun, and this stage is definitely fun. Personally, I would round your body by hand, and round more at the top horn to remove the router dig. Utilize the dig as a design challenge. Next time you take a router to the top, like if you decided to use a larger radius roundover, cut scrap wood to fit around the guitar horns flush with the body face so that the router has solid support and doesn't drop over the end of the horn to dig further.
  4. When I have more time (June?) I plan to mount the guitar onto a motorized display turntable (via the bolt plate) and shoot the guitar with my 1000 watt stage spotlight and some other fill spots. In the meantime, I forgot that I have this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBJjwvfYpKQ
  5. The basic color is the charcoal gray that is Carbon Fiber. I color it with candy tints. Easily colored with any color of candy tint in the topcoat. Here below is the text from my NAMM banner to explain more. Will be spraying blue and green candy samples tomorrow.
  6. Dude - your face book page is awesome! great setups, multiscale guitars and handmade nuts with great macro photography to drool for.
  7. Cool! Finally got the last touches, and finally got studio shots before going to NAMM. And its going on stage tonight.
  8. Planning new molds (moulds for you Euro - trash) for tighter curls with more authentic duplication of Flame figure. Once I get real good at this, I will be attempting Block Mottle and Angelstep. Then there's Bee's Wing Mottle, Ribbon Stripe, Pomelle, Burl, etc etc etc. Meanwhile, I am making as many examples as possible of what you can do with this bulletproof, tiger-eye from heaven that polishes like nothing you ever worked with. Like this acoustic bridge for example.
  9. Wow - been a long time. You'd be proud of me, Carl, ramping up production of my solid figured CF, and developing machining specs for it like you asked above. Way more potential than the epoxy filled version. Knife makers are gobbling it all up for handles, but found that market after applying for a booth at NAMM in a couple weeks, so getting my CF guitar done (setting up now) just in time to exhibit. I am making thick panels in the solid CF, for machining nuts, full acoustic bridges, and even full guitar faces in the new "Micro Quilt" pattern (panel below is 14 x 23"). The resonance is insane. Sounds like a cross between ebony and aluminum. Making full fretboards for NAMM too. The smoothness really has to be felt - like a baby's bottom, once I lap it on 400 grit diamond and follow with cerium - perfect for string bends. Common carbide blades cut it nice, (dulls quick) and smoothing / polishing with common abrasives work great. This new solid CF shows chatoyance all the way throughout the thickness, regardless how much is machined off, as seen in the nut below (not pressed into its slot all the way), The MicroQuilt is cool on the surface, but back is just as 3D due to its figure going all the way through. Exactly like real wood, but twice the chatoyance and twice the hardness.
  10. I wish you were easier to ship to, as I could send a sample for you to hear the ring and feel the slickness of the solid CF after diamond polishing. When you drop it, it sounds like a cross between aluminum and ebony - serious resonance, but at 3mm thick, not really gonna make a difference. When I use the best silicon carbide abrasives (used for glass) to sand it, the discs get dull within seconds, so I used diamond for smoothing and polishing after carbide milling (I sharpen my own carbide - thank god - need to sharpen my carbide a lot with this stuff), if that gives you any idea of abrasion resistance for strings on a fretless. Yes, I sent Knightro a few samples. Never heard back. That was before I made the solid CF. I only sent the resin filled heavy figure quilted. The fiddleback is such a tight, low topography figure that I can form it solid from a two part mold, then mill it flat. The Quilt would require a full 8mm layup of CF in order to mill down to 3mm. Only practical for fingerboards. Then one needs carbide mills for fret slot cutting (or .024" kerf diamond lap blades). I am molding my gold aramid fiber today in the quilt mold - just doubled its size to 33 x 58" to get six guitar bodies from it. Then once I get my order shipped of .021 thick CF, I will be interleafing the gold fiber in between every three layers of CF, and going in my fiddleback / flame mold so when its machined it will create a zebra stripe effect within the 3D curly chatoyancy. Can't wait to see that.
  11. Ditto what everyone else said - outstanding work, insane attention to detail. My favorite part is the serrated edges of the leaf inlays.
  12. Beautiful Job, Scott! Most times I prefer bookmatched face panels, but this one piece top really fits the design. As expected, the craftsmanship, finish and design are superb. I wonder if the right rig and distortion could make that play heavy metal. Would be hilarious to see peoples reactions if it could. Or is that sacrilege to such fine class of instrument? I'm sure it will sound great no matter what.
  13. Fret level, crown and polish on the first ever figured carbon fiber fretboard (fingerboard, exactly), with Dichrolam inlays to top it off. Wait til you all see my solid figured carbon fiber stock. Figure goes all the way through, no matter how much radius is machined off. Its so hard that it polishes to gloss without coating. The resonance is insane - sounds like glass when dropped. Got my Kevlar fiber roll in last week - wait til you see the quilt figure in Gold. Gonna do "strafe coating" of Red and blue candy on it. Research my threads and you will know how awesome "strafe coating" is.
  14. That explains my love / hate relationship with epoxy. You piss it off and it will kick off way earlier than you expected. All lovy dovy up until it feels a little heat.
  15. Thats exactly what I was thinking. The fine sanded surface of CF is really slick, due to the hardness, and likely micro-crushed fiber ends, acting like velvet. That's what I feel, anyway. That's as close as I get to being in touch with my feelings. Here's a quick full shot of the CF guitar. Its a phone shot for instagram, - still waiting finish it up before I pull out the DSLR.
  16. So a spinoff product of the quilted CF, is the new solid figured CF for fingerboards. Ever notice that when you machine down figured wood, the 3D effect continues regardless how deep? Same with CF. I noticed this after sanding through some small spots on the CF quilt, that was resin-filled. Sanded through the resin, and after topcoating, you can't see the spots at all. So I took this principle further. I used my "fiddleback / flame" mold to press a thick build of the CF, then cut the figure flat. Full 3D figure, but solid carbon fiber. Would be awesome in fingerboards. So, the figure goes all the way through the 1/8" thick laminate, showing its 3D figure regardless of how much is removed during radius machining and final sanding. Fret slots cut great with CNC carbide mills. From my research, carbon fiber fingerboards are used in the market (Washburn), but the only downside is that they don't look any better than ebony, so why use it - until now, thanks to my 3D figured fretboards that now solve the "looks" problem. Nuno Bettencourt uses them and calls them "faster" for whatever reason. They do have insane resonance and are very lightweight, ultra strong, as you can imagine CF to be.
  17. CA does seem to be the answer, if you can get it cheap enough, cuz you will use a lot. My concern is that it will react with the moisture in the wood, and only penetrate so far (hardening at somepoint, losing its capillary flow), but thats a good thing, really. The other nice feature is that CA appears to crystallize into tone enhancing hardness. If one were to use epoxy (my first choice for general rot / punky stabilizing, not just guitar tops), you can thin it about 10% with alcohol, and it flows great, sinks deep. Than sands to powder, and leaves even color for topcoats.
  18. Pretty fine. Got me interested, as I likely have the most exposure on this forum, and need to be wary, but for occasional use, I wouldnt worry about silicosis, especially when using a respirator or just not inhaling when mixing this stuff "Brief or casual exposure to low levels of crystalline silica dust are said to not produce clinically significant lung disease" from Wikipedia.
  19. Its hard to overfill epoxy. When I fill the back of my quilted carbon fiber, I mix in glass microspheres (glass bubbles) to displace volume (cutting cost of expensive epoxy) and act as a sanding aid. I add as much as 150 to 200% by volume. Then the epoxy acts like morter around the "bricks". Then add cab-o-sil, of course to thicken it more so it spreads like frosting. You would have to add a lot of pigment to degrade the properties. One trick is to mix in to capacity, then heat it gently, which wets out the pigment. Then it flows better, bonds better, but apply it before it kicks.
  20. Pouring epoxy as pour-in-place binding is what I would do too. The real trick to keeping pigments suspended without settling is to mix in Cab-O-sil, as a thickening (Thixotropic) agent. This works great in epoxy, and many epoxy mfr's sell it as the primary thickening agent, although may not reveal the common name, mostly known as cab-o-sil, which is finely ground fumed silica powder. Add enough and the mixture won't even pour. Add just the right amount and your pigment will stay in suspension fine without settling. It does tend to add a tiny amount of opacity, making it slightly white.
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