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  #351  
Old 08-08-2016, 07:02 PM
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Kwak Kwak is offline
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A snippet of footage from carving the neck the other night:

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  #352  
Old 08-14-2016, 02:05 PM
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In order to attach the back and top to the sides you have to sand the kerfing to match their radius. As you recall, the radius of the plates is determined by the underside arc of the bracing. To do that, I purchased preradiused jigs from LMI at are only 16" across. The length of the body is 20" though and I wasn't willing to pay $75 for a radius dish - let alone $150 for two of them - so I had to get creative.

In my basement I have a 2X4, a chop saw and a bandsaw. I also have a pencil and some rules but that should be a given. Long story short, I cut two 2 foot long sections of the 2x4 and marked the centerline of each as well as the centerline of both the 15' and 30' radius jigs. I traced the arc of each on a 2x4, extended the arc by overlapping the jig over the drawn line and voila! a 24" long radius. After an hour or so of slowly and painfully trying to stay true to that line with the bandsaw and planing/scraping/sanding it as true as I could get it I had two sanding cauls for the rims:



For my birthday I got some spending money and I went to Harbor Freight with a 20% off coupon and bought myself a little 8" drill press. I marked the centerpoint and using the biggest drill bit I have I drilled a hole in the middle of each sanding caul. I also marked out the center in the top of my homemade gobar deck/work table and drilled a hole. I clamped the rims and mold to the table top then I searched in vain for a threaded metal rod but ended up using the drill bit to mount the caul over it:



I grant you, it is imprecise and unwieldy but it works well enough as long as I'm diligent. I monitored the depth of the imaginary "dome" by finding the lowest point in the revolution of the caul and wraped the bit with some painter's tape. Using a block plane I smoothed out the high points then I found some 80 grit sanding belts and a stapler and went to work "driving the bus" as John Hall puts it. It's not perfect but I think I did a pretty good job on the back plate. I have yet to set up the 30' radius caul for the topside rim. Doing the back was exhausting enough. Still, even though the back rim is ready I will wait to glue on the top plate first when it's all braced up.
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  #353  
Old 08-14-2016, 02:06 PM
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Moving along in a slightly different direction in order to keep up on momentum - and not concentrate on a life issue that I will not discuss here - I shifted focus back to the neck. As you know, I had been focusing on the profile of the neck at the 1st fret and reducing the thickness of the headstock in order to accept a set of midsize 18:1 ratio Gotoh 510 tuning machines.

Well, I got the headstock as thin as I was willing to go and using a caul and my new drill press I drilled out pilot holes for the tuners and used a reamer as a bit to widen them out. The placement isn't perfect as the drill press is a bit small and clamping the headstock down with cauls on either side is tricky so I aimed to get things "close enough." This is a hobby so I have no delusions of perfection. Here's how things came out:





I would like to note a couple of things:

1: using a reamer and drill press generates a LOT of heat. In fact, there was smoke. It appears that it is very easy to scorch ziricote and it almost appeared to have melted around the edges of the hole. Gladly, there was no charring and a couple of passes with a card scraper smoothed things out fine.

2: the tuners make the headstock VERY heavy. From experience with my first build, this neck is going to be very heavy, though I have also noted that on my first build the mahogany/cedar body is very light in weight. The EIR rims OTOH already feel heavier. The entire guitar is going to be heavier. Hopefully there will be a better balance between the body and the neck.
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  #354  
Old 08-14-2016, 02:07 PM
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Moving right along to the neck profile, I put some protective tape on my inspiration for the neck profile: my trust Larrivee OM-03R which is very comfortable to play.



Using a cheap profile gauge I took a measurement of the Larrivee's 1st fret and overlaid it at the same area on my neck:



As you can see, the area is pretty close to being finished. Next is to take a similar measurement of the Larrivee neck at the 10th fret and set to work on that area on my neck blank. As with the basswood on the kerfed linings on the rims things are proceeding pretty quickly but I have a ways to go before I get there.

Still, I think I've made some decent progress this week.
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  #355  
Old 08-14-2016, 08:21 PM
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You've done more meaningful work in the last month than I've done all year

Last edited by Captain Tuttle; 08-15-2016 at 12:32 AM.
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  #356  
Old 08-14-2016, 09:52 PM
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I'm humbled Tuttle, but really there's no money in this unless you use the really exotic woods and spend a ton of time on fine details. My little project here is mere whittling compared to what I've seen independent luthiers do. My friend in Ohio commands a starting price of $6000 for a basic guitar. This one would have a $250 upcharge for the Carpathian spruce soundboard and another $250 for the abalone ring - though he uses whole shell which has to be cut by hand to the exact radius with hand tools and a very light touch. That stuff I used really simplifies the process. Here's one of his guitars from 5 years ago. IIRC it was used but for sale at a "boutique" music store.

http://www.guitargal.com/products/mc...ac-mini-guitar

There are people who do much crazier stuff out on the west coast. For example, there's this guy called Ervin Somogyi whose waiting list is in excess of 5 years long and his starting price is $35000. His guitars are akin to what Roll Royces are to cars though; very responsive and ornate.



No, I wouldn't even call this a labor of love. If I wanted to do something worthwhile I'd be buying up solid oak and making myself a new kitchen table. This is just me fine tuning my fix it skills - and being a little anal as well.
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  #357  
Old 08-15-2016, 10:52 AM
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Curse my cruddy internet! I was only able to download about half of the pics, but again, looks really cool, Kwak.
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  #358  
Old 08-17-2016, 04:03 AM
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It's good to have a distraction right now. Luckily, these are some of the funnest steps in the whole process for me.

First, since I'm getting the kerfing on the sides prepped to accept the back and top. I figure I should start looking to glue in the bracing on the soundboard. Even though the back is ready to go on the sides I refined the process that I did on the back kerfed lining and started leveling things with a nice sharp block plane:



It cuts through wood like a hot knife through butter:



I still have to sand the kerfing for that final step but the rims also need work too. I need to put little braces in the sides to protect against future drops and such. You guys remember Justin's handiwork on one of my factory guitars, don't you? What saved that guitar was little strips of felt glued to the inside of the guitar. I'm doing small braces to help reinforce structural integrity not just create a barrier for trauma like this:

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  #359  
Old 08-18-2016, 04:18 AM
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Not a whole lot got done around the house. Sorry, irie. ;o)

The past two days have been spent concentrating on shaping the neck. I went on to carve out the entirety of the neck shaft's profile using a combination of a curved profile file, a band of 80 grit sandpaper and a card scraper. I tried using a spokeshave but couldn't get it to work smoothly without too much "chatter" leaving gauges into the wood.









Then I moved on to shaping the heel. In hindsight I should have done this step first as I did during my first build. First, I used my block plane to taper the heel toward the end cap. I originally wanting to cut it out using a coping saw (since my bandsaw is too small) but the blade traveled a bit too much for my comfort. My 3/4" chisel was not cutting very cleanly either as I was attempting to carve across the grain using the flat side of the blade and the angled edge was better suited to the fine tuning the final profile shape.







Moving on to the next facet I again tried both sides of the 3/4" chisel and found the grain to be resisting, whether it was because of grain orientation or the sharpness of the chisel I am not sure. I opted to move on to using the file and sandpaper instead.

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  #360  
Old 08-18-2016, 04:20 AM
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Skipping ahead a bunch of steps I have something resembling the finished neck. There will still be some final carving once the fretboard has been installed but first I need to finish the body in order to set the neck.







Close up views of the heel to follow. I was not able to bring it to a sharp point, opting for a more semi-oval shape to the heel cap.





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