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A while back I was carrying on a conversation in here and noted that my later build threads didn't have as many explanations as earlier builds did. I felt like I've been repeating myself over the years and started letting the pictures tell more of the story. And I got taken to task for that lazy attitude. Apparently many folks reading my posts haven't been around for all of them. And they'd like a chance to learn what I've learned. So This time I'll try to explain more about what is going on in my messy little workspace. What is one of the most important lessons learned in here? Test on scrap. This guitar is going to have a curly maple top and an ash back and neck. I want it to give the impression of being black, while still letting all the pretty wood show through. So here is a maple scrap sanded to 400. And Now to dye it very dark without using black, which tends to make things look dirty. For this I used Transtint dyes--Blue, Burgundy, and Mahogany brown--mixed in acetone. Once dry I wiped it back with a clean rag dipped in acetone, but apparently I found those wipe back pictures to ugly to keep and weeded them out. Then I sanded that back with 220, 320, and 400. Then I took some of the first color and added acetone, more blue and lemon yellow. And wiped that on. And sanded it back with 320, 400 and micromesh 1500. The idea is to sand back with increasing finer grits and add lighter more dilute colors each time. I'm working to create mid-tones to go with the shadow tones and highlights. and the finer grit sanding polishes and increases the chatoyance. Next I dilute the original color some and wipe that on. Wipe with acetone and sand back with 400, 1500, and 1800. And dilute the greener color likewise. SR
I started another project a few weeks back, and for the first time I am reprising one of my original designs; from the #4 has an F-hole build. That was my first GOTM winner, and the only one I have that my wife says I cannot get rid of. I'm sure there will be some modifications, but we'll start with the same pattern and see where it goes. This one will have a sapele body, a zebra wood top, and a neck that's zebra wood, with a Katalox center spine. Really hard, stiff stuff that is, I think it is around 3660 on the janka scale. This build is likely to have several interruptions along the way, but it will keep me amused between interruptions. I skipped the prep and body glue up shots and went straight to the neck sandwich glue up. I decided to cut a shelf for the nut below the level of the fretboard. This will add a Fender like drop off plus a headstock angle which should give plenty of breakover angle for the strings. I like the pattern and colors after cutting the headstock angle. It's almost too bad there will be a headstock cap of Katalox to cover that up. Body cut out....but not quite ready to play yet. SR
Hi! I've got a new project, I would like to try a guitar with a vibrato unit, I did that only once, a PRS-like guitar for my brothers 18th birthday in 2002. This might become 2 guitars, but that remains to be seen. First, I pulled out a cherry board from the shed, which is over 33cm wide, so I can get 2 one-piece body blanks: 1 by Goran P, on Flickr I roughly cut 2 pieces, trying to avoid cracks on the ends of the board: 2 by Goran P, on Flickr and then, a few minutes on the neighbor's thickness planer reveals fresh surface - again cherry 3 by Goran P, on Flickr I've ordered some binding: 4 by Goran P, on Flickr This is the template I've used then - it's not a exact PRS shape, the bout is narrower, but the length is same I think. I usually don't shape the body outline with a router, fearing tearout (and the router itself ), but since it's has a vibrato unit, this is already out of my comfort zone... 5 by Goran P, on Flickr This is the unit I've ordered: 6 by Goran P, on Flickr Routed the shape after cutting roughly, and had 2 issues - the router bit into the template at 5 o'clock, and a big tearout at the tip of the horn. I can sand out the first, and hope to be able to carve out the second, perhaps with some minor surgery... 7 by Goran P, on Flickr 8 by Goran P, on Flickr Freehand routed the ledge (15mm height difference) and a rough carving line, just to get rid of some bulk. 9 by Goran P, on Flickr Started planing the top angle. around 2 degrees. It starts behind the bridge, so it's basically zero angle, angled neck guitar 10 by Goran P, on Flickr 11 by Goran P, on Flickr 12 by Goran P, on Flickr 13 by Goran P, on Flickr