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  #201  
Old 06-04-2012, 02:30 PM
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Kwak Kwak is offline
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It's pretty frigging nerve wracking. The goal here is to get an angle perfect so that the instrument can be tuned precisely and that the strings are not too high over the fingerboard. Then there's the issue with "dead spots" where the strings will come in contact with a fret where it shouldn't, causing the string to "buzz."

Anyway, I got the nerve to drill in the holes through the neck block last night. It's amazing how resonant the ENTIRE assembly is - though the tap tone becomes significantly muted when you put the back up against your body. When holding the neck by just two fingers and tapping on the top above the bridge plate I can feel/hear the vibrations all the up at the headstock. Pretty cool.

See my handy-dandy IKEA tool? It takes a little practice to get it situated after every half turn but Mr. Kitchen is right: it's a PITA if done repetitively!



I measured twice, then marked once, then measure again and found that my mark was STILL off - but I think I got it right!



The traced counter of my Larrivee's neck is ready to carve with a chisel. Note the alignment of the bolts.



The only thing holding me back is how I want to approach this grain with a chisel to reduce blowout.



I traced the heel cap directly from my Larrivee:



BTW, I have to admit that I've been shut down in my man cave while Joey watches TV. I got the "primary facet" carved so that I can start "flossing the checks" to adjust the neck angle. It's a tedious process where you run a piece of sandpaper between the neck and the body on either side of the tenon, then tighten the bolts on, check with a straight edge for one dimension, then another, then you loosen the bolts and do it all over again at least a hundred times.
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  #202  
Old 06-04-2012, 06:55 PM
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Anyway, I had a little therapy by starting the carving today:





Yeah, I know it doesn't fit yet but you have to start somewhere:

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  #203  
Old 06-21-2012, 01:31 AM
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I think I've got the heel close enough to where I can move on to sanding for the neck angle. The shape is coming along nicely. First, I carved/sanded the sides to follow the contour then I sanded again in a 45 degree angle with a file. Then I sort of smoothed things out. The irregularity of the cut of my lamination outlines has made things difficult - but I think if there's a next time I'll laminate first, then cut - but I'm hoping that that works itself out once I start doing the neck profile at the 10th and 1st frets using my template.



I also went and chiseled into the end of the neck so that the sanding area is greatly reduced:



Once I figure out how to get around the 14th fret hump on the body I'll start sanding in earnest. For now I'm switching my focus toward the headstock. The shape is nothing original but one I find pleasing to the eye:



The trick for me though is actually cutting out the outline given that I'm going to try a volute - yeah I know I've shot myself in the foot many times! I thought it through and given that my top surface is flat then that's the surface that should be against the bandsaw table. That means that I have to have a visual reference on the back. How to line it up though? Well, I started by drawing a line across two symmetrical points on the design:



...then using a T-square make a perpendicular line on the side of the headstock blank and flipping the neck over:



From there I drew another line across the back of the headstock and laid my paper template in what I hope is the correct relative position:



This doesn't take into account the headstock face plate veneer - or the potential use of a veneer on the back plate - but it at least frees me up to thinking about what I need to do with regards to gluing the top face veneer on. It may be in my interest to make a plexiglass template of the headstock.

Sorry so boring - and probably obvious to some of you - but as they say, measure twice (at least) and cut once!

Tonight I'm gluing on the headstock's face plate. It's a nice piece of dark east Indian rosewood that is so dark I almost mistook it for streaked ebony. I hear it's actually part of an orphaned side that got discarded as scrap from the Martin guitar factory:

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  #204  
Old 06-23-2012, 08:33 PM
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I glued the rosewood face plate on to the headstock the other night then cut out the outline on my little 9" Ryobi bandsaw.









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  #205  
Old 06-23-2012, 08:34 PM
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Thanks. Not quite yet though. I haven't addressed the bridge yet, but soon. For now This build is at the point where it's both the most trying and most rewarding. The neck angle is a PITA but carving the neck is even more fun that chiseling the braces IMO.

I used a spindle on a hand drill to take off most of the "meat" but for the finer work I used this little file/rasp combo.



I hand-drew an arc at the base of the volute and am shaping it by eye. I took the opportunity to fine-tune the lines on the



The nut width is still a touch proud but it and the neck profile at the first fret are getting there. The headstock is still thicker than it needs to be though but I'm confident it'll all work out.



Not bad for less than an hours' work. Mahogany sands so easily!
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  #206  
Old 06-23-2012, 08:53 PM
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Nice! It must be satisfying that after all this time it finally looks like a guitar. In another two years we'll be expecting concert footage


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  #207  
Old 06-23-2012, 09:01 PM
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amazing!

now if you can build solid body electrics! id come to you
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  #208  
Old 06-24-2012, 03:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC View Post
amazing!

now if you can build solid body electrics! id come to you
It would probably be a piece of cake if I were so inclined. The woods necessary don't have to be specially cut and I wouldn't need to special order exotic woods from another country and worry about conservation treaties and import tariffs and whatnot. OTOH my friend carved the neck for his second guitar out of rock maple. He really had to whack at it - hard. I'd probably stick with ash or adler and do a fingerboard out of maple or walnut or most likely cherry. I wouldn't do a fancy paint job either. I prefer natural finishes - though a sunburst would be a fun challenge once I learn how to spray finishes.

I'm pretty sure my next few are going to be acoustics. I'll do at least one more jumbo like this one and a dreadnought, both rosewood with some form of sitka for the soundboards. Then maybe a classical. I'd love to do an arch top one day too though.

I'll be 70 by the time I'm finished though!
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  #209  
Old 06-24-2012, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electriclime View Post
Nice! It must be satisfying that after all this time it finally looks like a guitar. In another two years we'll be expecting concert footage


+1
Its been nice of you to take us along on this build too...
Love all the pics and even though i don't post every time ,,I'm following along
Good work Kwak
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  #210  
Old 06-24-2012, 05:54 PM
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Thanks, guys. I still have to get a rosewood blank for the bridge, a rosewood fingerboard and some nice tuning machines. Then I'm looking at months of applying the finish. Layer after layer needs to be applied thinly then sanded smooth with gradually finer grits of sandpaper until it's mirror smooth. Lots of work.
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