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  #361  
Old 08-18-2016, 05:00 PM
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I don't know anything about wood working or guitars, but I love looking at the pictures you're posting, they're nice looking. Looks like a very relaxing hobby with a nice end product!
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  #362  
Old 08-20-2016, 03:58 AM
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Just to illustrate, most of the big pieces are nearly complete. Pretty soon I'll be doing the main assembly, though there's still a long way to go. Still, it's fun - an enticing - to compare what I've already done with my first build with how far along I've come with this second one.



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  #363  
Old 08-31-2016, 01:57 PM
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I haven't accomplished much this week but have been getting prepared for the next major steps. If you recall I have had to prepare the sides so that I can glue the top and back on the body. Each plate is to be slightly domed to help distribute the stress of the string tension and contribute to the tone of the guitar.

Most luthiers I talk to (hobbyists and professionals alike) use a round sanding dish that has a the desired radius sanded into it. Those dishes cost $75 and for a one or two time use I can't justify that cost, nor am I willing to devote the time to make my own out of MDF. Besides, that stuff is MESSY. So I took a 2x4 and cut out two 2' long segments. With the help of some cheaper jigs that I bought to sand radii into the underside of the bracing I drew an arc on the side of each, then cut it out with my bandsaw and planed/scraped/sanded it down as close as I could come.

On this one the arc corresponds to a 15' radius; the idea being that by gluing on bracing and defining the geometry of the kerfed lining on the sides through sanding the resulting plate (here being the back of the guitar) would be slightly domed to simulate a portion of the surface of a sphere 15' in diameter.



Here's where practice using these jigs has taught me a lesson in achieving uniformity...

If I had had a dish I would simply lay it atop the assembly and turn it until there was full contact between the dish and the sides all the way around. Obviously I couldn't do that here, and because the 2x4s were basically just sitting atop a fixed point with nothing to govern the height I would have high points and low points. My attempt at monitoring the height by using a piece of tape to mark how deep I wanted the mounting rod (aka the drill bit) proved to be to very imprecise. Painter's tape doesn't stick well to metal and the edge was bunching up with all the in and out through the hole in the table surface. I needed to find something much more precise.



So here's what I did:

First, I had a foot long threaded metal rod that is the same diameter as the drill bit (3/8") so I bought some hardware (washers, locking nuts and wingnuts) and now use the rod as the fixed point. Using locking nuts and washers I firmly attached it to the table.





Then I drilled a hole completely through each 2x4 so that the rod projects through the top. Then I use more washers, locking nuts and a wingnut and I mounted the board on top of the assembly. Finding the lowest point on the assembly, I set my target height. Now it won't ride up and down past that point.



The caveat here is that the top/soundboard of the guitar at some point is going to have a portion of the fingerboard from the neck projecting all the way to the edge of the soundhole. That fretboard must be flat along its length so that I can set the angle of the neck to account for the height of the strings above the frets. If it's curved the string height is going to vary, rendering any of the frets over the body (from the 14th fret on up) to be useless at the very worst and possibly even make the final guitar to be extremely uncomfortable to play.

So long story short, I have to make the surface of the soundboard in that area not only flat but at the same angle that the neck is eventually going to be set to. At this point, I have sanded a 30' radius into the assembly. Now I have to go back and sand the upper bout - or more specifically, the surface of this extension that sits atop the neck block - into a wedge with 1.5 degree upward angle toward the opposite end of the length of the body of the guitar. This slope basically means that the strings will follow this angle in a straight line from the nut (a grooved piece of bone at the opposite end of the fretboard) all the way to where the saddle will eventually sit in a slot on the bridge that will be glued atop the soundboard.

More on that next time.
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  #364  
Old 09-02-2016, 10:58 AM
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Looks good, Kwak. A good solution, as well. Would adding a wooden dowel, say 3/4", perpendicular at each end to make some handles on the jig make it easier to control and shape certain areas? What glue do you use... titebond, elmers? Just out of curiosity.
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  #365  
Old 09-02-2016, 01:18 PM
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I used Titebond I for the majority of the woodwork. For the inlays I actually used super glue but you have to give the spruce a wash in shellac to seal it; if superglue gets in the grain it will actually stain the wood a bright yellow color that shows up after you apply the finish.

Right now I'm doing dry runs on gluing in the main X brace on the soundboard. I'm using cam clamps that I bought from Rockler. They're cheaper than the ones sold by major luthier suppliers like Stewart MacDondald (located in Akron, OH) or Luthier's Merchantile (located out in CA) but I had to make a trip across town. These clamps are nice because they have cork padding on the jaws and they provide just enough clamping pressure without digging into the wood. The cauls on the braces are to distribute the clamping pressure evenly. The trick is that the underside of the bracing is not flat so I have to apply the clamps in a specific sequence or it will slip out of position.



I'm thinking that the key is to clamp down the center of the X with that clamp in the soundhole. Then I move on to the ends with the clips and smaller clamps. The rest is knuckle busting.

Meanwhile, I also started gluing the binding on the fretboard. I cut a slight arc on the end that projects into the soundhole so I had to bend the maple slightly. To do that I just used a wet towel and a clothes iron. Simple. The trick was finding a way to clamp it down. I only have one clamp long enough to accommodate the length of the fretboard; I used the discarded end of the fretboard as a caul since it has the same curve. It provided even contact and distribution of clamping force and the results were good. The weights were used to keep everything flat against the table surface.



Now to glue on the sides of the fretboard. There are actually two issues that I need to think around. First, since the end binding is curved the miter joint between it and the sides isn't a perfect 45 degrees so in order to make it look clean I have to adjust the angle using a sharp chisel. I think I got it but not I have to find a way to clamp it as efficiently as I did with the end binding.

BTW, ebony splinters HURT!
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Last edited by Kwak; 09-02-2016 at 01:40 PM.
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  #366  
Old 09-02-2016, 02:44 PM
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I'm reminiscing about this point the first time around. I wish I'd taken better notes, but I hate reading. At least I took lots of pictures:



The template on the right belongs to my friend who's slightly less new at this than I am. His fourth build has been in limbo for several years now while his oldest two have been in high school and college.

My friend Tim (the luthier we were both inspired by) had also given me the main X brace to use that time too. This time around though he told me to do something a little different than those two diagonal bars. I'm trying to decide whether it's something that I want to do though.
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  #367  
Old 12-13-2016, 01:51 PM
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The polar vortex is here and the furnace is running frequently. Woodworking is suspended until either spring comes or Santa brings me an Aprilaire 600. In the meantime, all I can do is play with the pieces:



The rims still don't have either the top or back glued on. I want to put some spruce side braces on first and abut them to the ladder braces on the back. I don't want to make a boat this time so the top will be glued on first so that I can voice it.






I'm still conflicted on the bridge plate though. I don't want to go with an oversized bridge plate, nor do I want to make a maple plate of the same size. The rest of the bracing is ready for voicing but I am considering on putting a small lateral brace on the back edge of a normal sized maple bridge plate.

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Last edited by Kwak; 12-13-2016 at 01:55 PM.
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  #368  
Old 07-20-2017, 12:07 AM
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As you can see, Photobucket has changed their terms of service and has killed my linked to host my pictures unless I pay them $400 a year. All the photos are still there but I've move over to Google Images and Flickr. I may or may not go back and fix all the dead links.

Anyway, here's where I am now on this build:



My friend Tim is a luthier and he gave me advice on how to brace the soundboard. What you see here is far from traitional. The "smiley face" you see is an oversized and curved bridge plate. The secondary X brace toward the bottom is also not what most would recommend but it should work here. Meanwhile, I'm preparing the sides and back and the neck to be fitted together. Pretty soon I'll be gluing the pieces together but that's just the halfway point.
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Last edited by Kwak; 07-20-2017 at 11:39 AM.
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  #369  
Old 07-20-2017, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gduck View Post
I don't know anything about wood working or guitars, but I love looking at the pictures you're posting, they're nice looking. Looks like a very relaxing hobby with a nice end product!
+ 1.
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  #370  
Old 07-20-2017, 12:50 PM
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Looks cool.

Yeah, I've gotten the same thing from photo-phucket.
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