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Everything posted by mattharris75

  1. I'm sure there were other options that would have done the trick, but I decided to go with what was the simplest for me. And I actually needed a new pattern bit anyway, so it all worked out.
  2. If everything had been square it would have been a breeze. Unfortunately, post-carving, that was not the case...
  3. I noticed that too. I knew that maple was going to be there, but seeing it altogether it really kind of fools the eye into looking like it's an additional laminate. I like it.
  4. I decided the neck pocket needed to be deeper, so I ordered a 1.25" cut depth router bit and added another 3mm of depth to the pocket. Looks like that will work out perfectly. So I drilled a nice long 1/4" hole into the heel of the neck for pickup wiring and went ahead and glued in the neck. I roughed out the neck heel to body connection. I may tweak the slope/transition slightly, but I really like it. This is the first sort of 'heel-less' neck to body transition that I've done. Next up are pickup routes, bridge post holes, and then a painful amount of sanding!
  5. I love the look of gloss/satin next to each other, personally. Whatever finish(es) may be needed to achieve that look wouldn't phase me at all. I don't have the experience with it to know if there are any caveats, but I know it's done fairly frequently.
  6. Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one. It's been a busy couple of weeks, but progress has been made. Got the last few frets in and got the neck pocket cut. I really wanted to get it two millimeters deeper, but the router collet was burning the top of the template and I didn't feel comfortable lowering the bit any further in the collet. I could probably rig up something on the router table to finish it out. I'm going to sleep on it. I just don't want the bridge to be too high. I've never owned or installed a Gibson style bridge, so I'm in uncharted territory.
  7. That's super cool looking, I hope your top is lexan or some other clear material to show off what you've got going on in there!
  8. A single picture to sum up today's progress. Finished the carve on the back, installed the side dots, and fretted the neck (except the last 3 frets because apparently I'm not smart enough to calculate how much fret wire I'd need...) So, time to spend another 10 bucks in shipping getting 6 bucks worth of fret wire from StewMac. Once I get that fret wire in I'll finish that up, scrape the side of the neck smooth, and work on getting the neck set.
  9. Scott, I think that's going to work out. The eased edge gives the cover plate a nice organic look too. I got about 3/4 finished with the back tonight before my hand started giving out. The horn area will be quite similar to the way it is on the front, except for the transition into the heel. The rest of the back has more of an over-square roundover, it's about twice as wide as it is tall. So not nearly as much carving as the top, but I think it looks nice.
  10. I'd forgotten how difficult it is to get an accurate fit for the control cavity cover. Not quite perfect, but I'll tweak it a bit more once the back is carved.
  11. Well, good luck with it, Scott! Had some time this afternoon to put a nice smooth little carve on the top. I'm sure I'll tweak it some more (until the finish goes on, as I always do) but I think the horn will tie in nicely with the style of the rest of the top.
  12. Pfizer. The day after the shot was the worst for me. Headache, zero energy. I felt a lot better by dinner time that night, but was still dragging. It seems everybody's reaction is different. My parents and sister had nothing other than a slightly sore arm. My wife was wiped out at least as bad, or worse, than I was.
  13. I'm quite a fan of wenge! So, decided to just make a simple truss rod cover. The original idea ended up looking out of character with the build, this looks much cleaner. And then I got a start on the carve. Since the horn/cutaway is the most involved part that's where I started. Here's a picture of the test piece along with the real deal. You can see an area where I departed significantly from the test carve. I decided to keep the point tall to match the style of the mandola rather than the more 'Carl Thompson' look of the test. It ends up changing the look of the whole thing quite a bit. I figured I'd try it as I could always easily change it. I'm going to sleep on it for a day or two... I'll probably have a little time to work on the rest of the top tomorrow.
  14. I'm using the low profile Hot Rod with headstock access in my current build. I didn't go super thin on my neck carve, and have a fairly sizeable volute to help account for it. There are a number of factors involved in the strength/structural integrity of the neck, but making sure you have as much wood as you can get in vulnerable areas is a good start!
  15. Well, had my second covid vaccine shot this week, and it wiped me out for a few days. But some progress has been going on regardless. I made a maple/walnut laminated truss rod cover with a 'Z' carved into it and decided that it didn't work at all, so that idea is scrapped. Moving on... I completed the carving of the neck. I will probably sand everything up through a fairly high grit before I actually set the neck, but the shape is more or less complete. Other than the heel area, obviously, which will have to wait until it is glued in. And I polished up the wenge fretboard with micro mesh papers. Wenge is one of those woods that has a bit of a 'whoa!' factor when you polish it. Not the best picture, but it gives you an idea. Next up is fretting the neck and carving the body.
  16. Thanks guys! Plenty of progress today. I got the fretboard glued on, here's this build's obligatory 'all the clamps' picture: Then I got the fretboard routed flush with the neck and went ahead and knocked out the first carving session. Looking solid so far, think it's going to be nice. And a quick glamour shot of how the neck and the body will look together: I haven't mentioned it, but the tenon will be visible all the way to the bridge pickup. I've done the exposed tenon look on a couple of other builds and I really love it when there is a cool neck laminate that compliments the top well.
  17. Sunday afternoon progress. Shaped the headstock, drilled the tuner holes, and tapered the neck. The headstock to neck transition needs a little cleaning up, and a little scraping is needed in the tenon area, but it's close. Note that the truss rod is intentionally not flush here, I was just testing to make sure that the headstock overlay was in the right spot to get the rod into the neck. But the route is so tight I was concerned I would have trouble getting it back out if I pushed it all the way in... Next up, the fretboard!
  18. No doubt! I love jigs as much as the next guy, and if I was making 20 of the same thing I'd jig it to death. But when doing one-offs most of the time it's not necessary or efficient.
  19. I disagree Scott, but thanks. I guess the pictures look better than real life! Friday night and Saturday progress... The wenge plates came in at 3.4 mm, and there's no way I was going to be able to bend wenge at that thickness, so I took them down to 1.7 mm. I used a bending iron to bend the volute area and then got it glued up. I used one of my sanding drums from my oscillating spindle sander as a clamping caul, which worked quite well. I then did all the time consuming measuring to get the headplate square and went ahead and cut out the truss rod access, which isn't visible here because I'd already replaced the cutout of the headstock, as it had gotten a little garfed up in the gluing process. A couple of notes. You can see that I glue my templates on top of tape, as that makes them a lot easier to remove, and I don't have to pull out the mineral spirits to get the Super 77 gunk out of the wood grain. I cut out around the template after gluing it down, just because I'm going to be sanding up to the template. You can also see that I use bamboo skewers, normally used for cooking, as my alignment pins. I like the size of them and how easy they are to sand flush when you're done with them. And then the easy part, cutting out the headstock. Also you can see in the previous picture that I went ahead and cut out the circular area in the top of the headstock first. It's just rough cut right now, but all the glue joints are good. Tomorrow I'll get it to more or less final shape using the spindle sander and then cut the tuner holes. If I have enough time I'll get to the next steps of getting the neck taper done and gluing on the fretboard....
  20. As Drak said, you definitely do not want to use BLO or Tru Oil (which is BLO plus some other stuff) as your clear coat. Spraying lacquer is a great option, but if you're not comfortable with it you could also do a few coats of shellac, which you can wipe on. Mix it up yourself though, it needs to be dewaxed shellac. It's compatible with darn near anything.
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