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 Post subject: Lets talk Armrest Bevels
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:09 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I feel like a lot of folks have experimented with the armrest bevel. Maybe we can share insights? Lessons learned? Which process do u like and why?

I moved this from the above template discussion.

Mike


Last edited by Mike OMelia on Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:10 pm 
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If you examine both processes (O'Brien, Everett), they share a lot in common. Differences being when side and top is shaped. An advantage of the O'Brien approach is that you have nice slots to insert the binding/purfling. With the Everett approach, I use thumb tacks to hold in place. Not too bad since I use Spanish Cedar for the rest interior. Spanish is also nice because it is light and easily shaped. I also replace some of the top and side material with soft sitka to give me a way to approach the binding/purfling as I sand (shape). I use a flat flap wheel on a drill, then a palm sander for final approach. At this point, they are mostly the same. I just like hand shaping the top and sides instead of using a router. I don't think its practical to expect a template to be useful on future guitar bodies of the same type. Whichever way you go, make sure the binding/purfling in this area is somewhat thicker than normal, u will sand a lot of it away.

Another advantage of the O'brien approach is the ease of attaching the rest to the side. With the Everett approach, I have to save the side cutout (as a clamping support), cover in tape, and make slanted cauls for clamping (due to the slanted interior of the rest). I made 5 small cauls, never had to remake them. Yet to me, the ability to fine tune the shape without a router outweighs the cons. (my opinion)

Edit: adding back the sitka/spruce is for eyeballing only. You do not want to leave any behind. Easy to do if you made your purfling/binding thick enough.


Last edited by Mike OMelia on Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:17 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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One thing I have learned is that it is extremely important to make transition slope on the side VERY gradual. This means the bevel will be bigger than you think! (longer).

Without a doubt, my number one challenge is the purfling lines at (and in) the transition. I am still working on perfecting this one thing. Has anyone else had issues here?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:33 pm 
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I've only done one arm bevel. I used Kent Everette's method from his class on Robbie O'Brien's website. One thing that I did differently from his method is split a piece of binding, bent it on the hot pipe and glued it into the void between the binding on top and bottom of the bevel (in this case basswood). That way, I had enough material to shape the bevel and have a smooth transition. If that makes sense...


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:05 pm 
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I was considering one for my next build, but what about the bevel where the spruce itself is curved into the side?
I cannot remember who had done this, but would like to hear some opinions and will be watching this.

Thanks,
Brian

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:12 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Doolin bevel...


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:16 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Image

I used a clothes iron to bend the maple binding in the vertical plane. Might consider doing it his way next time. Though my tendency towards stubbornness leads me to think I actually do it the hard way again next time. Cause, well, it’s my nature...


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:07 pm 
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I'm building one using the Everett method. Had no problem gluing the block to the side, just used four 6" trigger clamps. Working on the top now but so far it's been pretty straight forward.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:50 pm 
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Steve, I took a different path with the block. I preshaped it with slant. Didn’t want to do that after installed. So, it took a little thinking to install.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:33 am 
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I’m doing a Doolin style one at the moment. i hope it turns out as good as Ed’s.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:10 am 
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Mike OMelia wrote:
Steve, I took a different path with the block. I preshaped it with slant. Didn’t want to do that after installed. So, it took a little thinking to install.


That makes sense, I could probably have taken more wood off and saved a bit of weight if I preshaped it. What do you think is easiest, would you preshape it again or shape it after gluing?

Here's mine.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:54 am 
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Ed, How did you cut the binding channel ln the beveled area?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:48 am 
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Sorry if I missed it, but what the heck is the bevel for? I know some people hug the guitar and dampen the top, so the bevel sort of stiffens the area they might otherwise dampen. Except for that, is it actually easier to play a bevel?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:26 pm 
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wbergman wrote:
Sorry if I missed it, but what the heck is the bevel for? I know some people hug the guitar and dampen the top, so the bevel sort of stiffens the area they might otherwise dampen. Except for that, is it actually easier to play a bevel?


After two or three hours of playing I have a groove in my arm where it rests on the edge between the top and side on the base bout. I am told the bevel will make that more comfortable so I'm building one to try.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:46 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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It seems like there are two kinds of bevels, one is for comfort and is built into the side of the guitar and the other (maybe better refereed to as an arm rest) is for free plate vibration and sits above the top of the guitar. Though both probably prevent the arm from blocking the vibration of the top to some extent the argument for the ladder is that you have a "normal" guitar.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:18 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Peter, just used my regular binding setup. There's a bevel on the back as well, which did not work the first time as the angle was too steep, so I added a wedge and reduced the bevel angle as well as spreading it over a longer area, after doing so the regular kit worked. Between the wedge, back and top bevels, it was a very comfy guitar to play. The mission was to make a slope dread comfy, and the customer was well pleased. It sounded good too, not any real discernible change in tonality from the bevel...


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:11 pm 
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Ed - What did you do with the bass side x-brace arm and the tone bars? Do they stop at the crease?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:06 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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The t bars missed it and the x stops at the bend...



These users thanked the author meddlingfool for the post: J De Rocher (Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:21 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:48 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I need to pay more attention to this. Sorry... trying to finish my new shop, work on current builds. The bevel is a difficult beast. I keep thinking someone is gonna come at this with a different idea


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:49 pm 
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I will try to post some of my interior pics this weekend


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:52 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Just to play the devil's advocate, do those that have used bevels think they are worth all the extra effort?

Does the slight loss of real estate from the vibrating surface of the top and altered attachment point on the bass side affect the sound at all?

They look cool when done well that's for sure.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:56 am 
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First one I've done so we'll see if it's worth the extra work when I'm done.

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Last edited by SteveSmith on Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.


These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post: Terence Kennedy (Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:19 am)
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:37 pm 
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The bevel is worth the effort. Its scary the first time u do it. And the second. It seems to get better with time. I cant tell a difference in sound. Its just so pretty, I cant help keep doing them.



These users thanked the author Mike OMelia for the post: Terence Kennedy (Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:19 am)
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