Starting a couple more guitars

After a brief hiatus and doing a bunch of small projects for the shop and in the house, I decided to start a couple more guitars.  On the subject of shop projects, I should post those soon.  I just haven’t felt much like writing these days.

So… the guitars.  Going for a couple OO size again.  This time with a cutaway, 14 fret neck, one with a spruce top, one with cedar.  Other options might be a sound port and a slotted peghead.

Start with design.  I wanted to make my own shape.  Started with a list of standard dimensions from OO and OM size guitars and drew my own.  Used the bent stick method of drawing curves.

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Made about 4 versions and picked one I liked.  I did a full scale drawing and I’m still kicking around what I want to do for bracing.

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I made the form.

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As far as wood goes, I bought a board of ambrosia maple that had some nice flame in it.  I marked off the pieces that I wanted and resawed it to size.  Finally got to use my new bandsaw for something heavy duty, and it worked like a champ.  I cut a total of 4 sets from this board.

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There are also some orphan (non book matched) pieces, as I was able to get 5 slices from the thickness.  I will make a test guitar box with those so i can play with some new things Ive been thinking about, as well as some brace options. Here are the two sets I’ll use for these guitars.

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As far as the rest of the wood goes, I laid it all out.  Cherry for necks.  Basswood for neck and heel blocks as well as linings.  Walnut, cherry and maple for binding, purfling and rosette.  Of course the ambrosia back and sides.

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Looking at all of this, I realized that minus the cedar and spruce, which is from British Columbia, the rest of the wood is local.  That being the case, I may go for a local wood for the fretboards and bridges.  It would be cool for the majority of these guitars to be made from materials that came from within a 50 mile radius.

Ok.  More for next time.

 

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Back in action! (or some other cheesy tag line of a similar nature)

 

back?shooting boardwhat was I doing here?

Back??

I was actually fairly unproductive this weekend compared to some.  But I did get a few things done.

Looked at the maple I cut for the backs and decided what grain orientation I liked.  Traced on the pattern and joined the edges.  Object is to see no light through the joint, which is not easy to do.  Joined… then held up to the window… then saw where the light was, touched up, back to window… saw where the light was…  Well, it took a few tries but I got one.

Using hot hide glue has been interesting.  You have less than a minute to spread glue, assemble and clamp.  Maybe more time if the room is hot, so that means I have less time.  Figured my best method was to get one side in place, spread glue on the other, wedge them together and weight the joint so it was even.  I think it looks odd, but worked.  A bonus is that I briefly got to use my other passion… random heavy industrial metal parts.

Tonight I cut out the shape and started to thickness.  I’ve only done this a couple times, but each time I think “damn you, asshole… learn to resaw better!”  I guess I can see why people use drum sanders.  I would imagine most mechanically inclined persons could a set a machine to a specific depth and push a button.  But it takes a very stubborn person to set up a plane and push it 15,000 times.  But its ok, I kind of like spending that kind of time on something, just looking, cutting, sweating, cutting, swearing, feeling, cutting, sweating… It was a good workout too.

Still more to go on this one.  Then, two more… Yay!

Apologies for going off a bit.  I think I’m dehydrated.

Afternoon of resawing in my dads shop.

Found a new blade for the band saw. Changed blades after I made a plexi template, then did a thorough set up. It cut much nicer this time. 


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Used about 5 feet of the bigger flamed maple board. Resawed two sets of backs and two sets of sides.

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Doesn’t show well in the picture but the sides have some really nice figure.

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Used the other half of the board I cut the sides from to make some blanks for a laminated maple neck, just in case I decide to go that route. 
Also cut some neck and tail blocks and a bunch of kerfing strips from a big chunk of basswood.

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I now have a template for a 12 fret to the body from the build along and a full plan for a 14 fret from LMI. 
Now I don’t know which to do. I like 14 fret, but the 12 fret essentially slides the fretboard down two frets and puts the bridge smack in the middle of the lower bout, which I think may sound better. 
I guess I’ll sleep on it and dream of neck wood and binding combinations while I’m at it.

Wood shopping trip…

My dad and I went to the local saw mill.  This is what I picked up.  More flamed maple, two boards.  One big board of flamed ambrosia maple.  One board of amazon mahogany, and a big chunk of basswood.

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The maple I picked up last time was flat sawn, which I will use for laminated necks.

I love the local sawmill.  Its so inexpensive.  The ambrosia maple is about 1″ x 12″ x 8’ long.  It has some nice figure, which is hard to photograph.  I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to use it, but it was 14 bucks!

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This time I was trying to find pieces of flamed maple that had some decent quartered grain in it for backs and sides.  Both boards have a mix of grain.  One thing I realized… new band saw blades are definitely needed!  I think I’ll order a couple carbide tipped blades before I try to saw any more.  That and I need a few good hours to really set up the band saw.  Then I can go at it and resaw all my backs and sides.  I somewhat successfully resawed a section of the smaller board.  Despite the poor saw job, it looks like it will work.

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I made the piece long enough for sides.  Worst case, I’ll cut them down to side width.  Took a pic with the template for my classical on top.  Next guitars will be OO size, but the template is close enough for now, just to see how it would look.

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