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 Post subject: Dennis' build - DONE!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:39 pm 
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First name: Dennis
Last Name: Kincheloe
City: Kansas City
State: MO
Country: USA
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Status: Amateur
I'll be building a small classical guitar, same dimensions as my coral snake, which is based on this little Torres http://www.vintageguitar.com/3434/antonio-de-torres-1863/. I just love it so much, I can't resist building another one and seeing how the different woods affect the sound. This will actually be my first time of building the same shape twice :)

Materials:
Top: Italian spruce, $53 from RC Tonewoods
Back/sides: Spalted maple, $25 from a local store
Neck: Pear, free from Ernie here on the forum
Fingerboard/bridge/headplate set: Honduran rosewood, $25 from Sniggly
Binding: Eucalyptus, $6 from Steve Kinnaird
Brace wood: Lutz spruce, $2 from Shane
Tuners: LMI rosewood pegs, $12
Fretwire: StewMac, $6

Which leaves $21 for inlay materials and shellac, which should be plenty.

Here's the soundboard, which I'm a little reluctant to use since it's big enough for an OM. The scuff in the middle should go in the soundhole, but that little knot would at least leave a squiggle in the lower bout of a larger guitar, so that sort of justifies using it on a small one. I wish I had a smaller set just like it, but it's surprisingly difficult to find tops that are small to begin with, but bigger than uke tops. In any case, this one looks and sounds and feels right for this project, so I'll use it.
Attachment:
TopWood.jpg

Here's the back and side wood, all one 6 foot long board, about 12" wide. The back will be one piece.
Attachment:
BackWood.jpg

Attachment:
SideWood.jpg

And the neck/fingerboard/bridge/headplate woods.
Attachment:
NeckWood.jpg


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Last edited by DennisK on Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:31 pm 
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First name: Dennis
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Ok, got that spalted maple board all cut up. Back and sides:
Attachment:
BackSides.jpg

And a pile of extras for use on future projects. 11 lightly spalted binding strips, a wider strip from the non-spalted edge, two big squares for headplates or whatever, and a couple tiny triangles with nice spalt patterns, that should make fine little inlays on something. Considering that the board was only $28, maybe I could knock off a few more bucks from the amount used on this guitar :)
Attachment:
ExtraMaple.jpg

I also cut the scarf joint on the neck:
Attachment:
ScarfJoint.jpg

Unfortunately, it didn't occur to me that I could have offset it to the side make the laminations line up better... perhaps time to try doing a backstrap on the headstock to cover that up. Also, I can't figure any way to make the laminations line up nicely on the heel, while getting to the width and height I need with the amount left gaah

I'm leaning toward using this neck on an ukulele instead, since the lamination stripes along the edges would look a little funky in any case. But then I need a new neck for this one, and the only light colored ones I have are Port Orford cedar, which is too expensive for my remaining budget [xx(]

Hibdon has maple necks cheap enough, but it's sugar maple, which would probably be too heavy for this. Perhaps I can find some bigleaf, or even better, silver maple. Or another option is to cut a neck from one of my lutz spruce bracewood billets from Shane, but I'm a little reluctant to do that since it's nice to use consistent brace material over a long period of time, and using a big chunk on a neck would mean changing to new stock sooner.


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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:39 am 
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That back and side set is killer. I really like it!

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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:34 am 
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Nice....looking forward to seeing this! I've got three sets of spalt maple waiting to become acoustics eventually (solid stuff, from Larry at Gallery), should have a great look to it!


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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:36 pm 
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First name: Dennis
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Not too much progress over the past couple days. Went out in search of a maple neck, but came home empty handed. I guess I'll have to go to the farther away wood store tomorrow. Fortunately it's out in the direction of one of my favorite hiking areas, so I can get some exercise in while I'm at it :)

I've also been debating whether to try doing a short scale length on this one. Probably either 24.4"/620mm or 24"/610mm. I've been running tests on my other one, and it sounds fine in E flat tuning, which with a capo on 1st fret is equivalent to 23 5/8" in standard tuning. It's a little bit quieter than standard at the full 25", but I think I have extra low tension strings on it at the moment so that should correct for that. On the other hand, the 25" scale does make it feel more like a "real guitar" and not a kid's toy :) But it ought to sound like a real guitar either way.

Got the soundboard joined and scraped smooth and shellacked on the face, which is quite beautiful. Still dreading having to cut it so much smaller than it could be, but on the other hand this shape does almost perfectly avoid the defects, so I guess it's meant to be.
Attachment:
TopJoined.jpg

Also planed the sides to thickness.
Attachment:
SidesThinned.jpg

Hopefully I didn't go too far. About 1/16" thick. Last time I did 1mm, but that was Honduran rosewood which is much more hard and dense and not rotted. I think it'll be good once I get the side braces in. This stuff is a little more rotten than I initially thought, though. May need to finish the back/sides with CA, rather than shellac, to harden the soft spots. All the really squishy spots were on the back side of the board though, and got planed away during thicknessing, so it's not too delicate as-is.

This stuff makes some beautiful shavings (and a lot of them, starting from 1/4" thick!)
Attachment:
MapleShaving.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:52 pm 
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First name: Dennis
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Well, not much progress here this week, due to indecisiveness, laziness, and various non-guitar-related things such as a dead refrigerator [xx(]

I thinned the back, and then debated various rosette ideas, and searched my shell stash for the perfect pieces. Then I ended up spending a lot of time sanding shell blanks smooth, since the rough grinding marks on them make it hard to see the patterns, and hard to inlay later since you have to leave them sticking up a bit to be sure you'll get all the scratches out, and then the patterns change a bit too.

So, shell selection will be a bit easier from now on, and I've picked out the pieces for this guitar... unfortunately, it's about $20 worth, so that puts me right at the price limit. Thus, I'm either sticking with the pear neck, or something else has to change. I couldn't find any quartersawn maple locally, so I ordered a neck blank from Fraser Valley for $15. Could use the pear on this and save that for later, but it sure would look nicer with the maple... I guess I'll decide when it gets here. Might be too heavy anyway.

I got a $17 engelmann soundboard along with the neck, so I could switch to that and have budget to spare. Also should be even whiter than the Italian spruce, which would look good with the maple... but not as much of the old European vibe I was going for.

Also could switch to Indian rosewood fingerboard/bridge/headplate, but this Honduran set looks so nice with everything else... why does it always come down to penny pinching? gaah

Oh well. On to shell cutting for now. This will be my most complex inlay project yet... 34 pieces, including a lot of tightly fitting shell-to-shell contacts, which means I can't do my usual style of inlaying one piece and then cutting into it when routing for the next. And on top of that, inlaying it all into spruce, which is difficult to mark and route in due to the alternating hard and soft grain lines, and leaves no tolerance for error due to the light color. *gulp*


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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:06 pm 
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First name: Dennis
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Lots of progress this week. The maple neck turned out to be just a little too heavy for me to be comfortable with (budget concerns aside), but I came up with a better solution. Use the $17 engelmann top (which is really nice), and a $35 Port Orford cedar neck I bought from Oregon Wild Wood a long time ago, which is extremely light weight. So the new material list is:

Top: Engelmann spruce, $17 from Fraser Valley
Back/sides: Spalted maple, $25 from Metro Hardwood (local)
Neck: Port Orford cedar, $35 from Oregon Wild Wood
Fingerboard/bridge/headplate set: Honduran rosewood, $25 from Sniggly
Binding: Eucalyptus, $6 from Steve Kinnaird
Brace wood: Lutz spruce, $2 from Shane
Tuners: LMI rosewood pegs, $12
Fretwire: StewMac, $6
Inlay materials: $20
Shellac: $2

For a total of precisely $150, being generous on the cost of brace wood, shellac, and the back/side set since I got a ton of bindings and some headplates out of the board as well. May need to be less generous if I decide to use a couple of purfling strips. But I'm leaning toward un-purfled.

So, now that the budget is all worked out, it's time for pictures :D
First, draw up the design for the rosette, then trace it onto another paper, and cut out the pieces with an x-acto knife.
Attachment:
RosetteTemplate.jpg

Then go on a safari through my shell stash to find the perfect pieces. It's really nice having a decent stock to pick from. Lots of considerations to take into account... minimizing waste, getting the exact shades of color you want, getting the reflective flash direction correct (I go for top-left, so it looks brightest when sitting on a stand or held in playing position, assuming light is from above/head-on), and ideally finding pieces that have shapes within their reflectivity, to provide more detail. The species here are black MOP, white MOP, gold MOP, paua, and pink abalone.
Attachment:
RosetteShell.jpg

Then lots of cutting. One of the more difficult parts was doing the eyes. They're white MOP with African blackwood pupils. I found some great pieces of MOP that make them look round, rather than flat. Cutting the hole for the eye to go into with zero gaps is near impossible. Glue it down, scribe around it, drill a hole, and cut it out with a very fine jeweler's saw blade. Then some delicate work with a needle file, and a few more times threading that blade through the hole to take one more nibble out of the corners, and it turned out pretty darn good:
Attachment:
RosetteEyeFit.jpg

After feeding it a drop of super glue, no light shows through, and it looks perfect bliss But then I had to do it again for the white one...
Attachment:
RosetteEyes.jpg

...and it turned out even more perfect. Can't believe I didn't screw up on either of them. It seems kind of silly inlaying white MOP into white MOP rather than just engraving, but the glue line itself stands out plenty, plus the eye reflects differently so it really looks better.

Then some more cutting, and all that's left to do on this one is the mane, which is pretty tricky since it touches 4 other pieces.
Attachment:
RosetteLayout.jpg

I super glued everything else together and then did the scribe/saw/file routine again. Much more difficult because the super glue breaks easily, and it's a pain to scrape the old glue off and get the pieces lined up precisely again.

Finally the cutting is done. Here is the full rosette, set in place on the soundboard (haven't done the actual inlaying yet). As you can see, the new soundboard is joined up and scraped and shellacked and thicknessed and soundhole'd :)
Attachment:
RosetteInPlace.jpg

I will be highly amused if anyone here recognizes this image. I'd originally intended to get the white one's tail close enough to the moon to fully seal all the end grain (i.e. the actual purpose of a rosette), but it ended up looking a lot nicer and more symmetrical this way, and I could inlay a short cross grain strip from the back side to connect that last little bit.

Definitely my toughest inlay project yet, but it turned out great. Only major mishaps are 3 cracks in the pink abalone, two of which do show (although you can't really see them at that photo's resolution). That blank was just really brittle, but the only one I had with the right mix of colors and fine lines like that, plus big enough to get all 3 pieces. So, no second chances. Glue it and move on.

I also made up the neck blank, but I'll save that for next update.


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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:57 pm 
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Dennis , You have alot of Talent , and waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy to much time LOLOL Looking great ! [:Y:]

_________________
The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
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Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:01 am 
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First name: Dennis
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Scored around all the rosette pieces. It looks pretty cool just like this :)
Attachment:
RosetteScored.jpg

A few difficulties with super glue breaking, plus the usual difficulties of spruce. The alternating hard and soft grain lines make the scribe rattle along, making it difficult to get smooth lines right along the edge of the piece. I also went over all the lines with an x-acto knife after popping the pieces off, to fully cut through all the hard grain lines. Helps produce smooth edges and avoid chipping off the fine points of spruce left in corners.

I decided I should do the inside strip to complete the circle of the rosette, sealing all the end grain. Just a little bit of spruce from the top offcut. Positioned so it will be covered up by the lower cross strut, so hopefully it won't even be visible when shining a light inside the box.
Attachment:
InsideStrip.jpg

Then route and inlay the sun and moon:
Attachment:
RosetteSunMoon.jpg

Oh, and notice the nicer looking sun than in the previous update. I decided it looked like an octopus, and filed down the curls on the tips of the flames so they're not so long. The koa is a little dark, but alas there is no orange MOP, and making it all out of gold would have looked odd. There is bronze, but I only have one piece and the color isn't right anyway. At least the koa does have some figure and shininess, when the light hits it right.

The next round of routing will be even more difficult, especially since I need to get the depth just right so I don't have to do any leveling and risk messing up the abalone patterns.

Oh, and here are the shots of the neck blank. It was somewhat tricky to get everything out of the 30" length. I ended up with about 3/8" extra on the shaft piece, and the headstock being a little longer than necessary, but otherwise all utilized. I made the tail block out of one 2" slice, cut diagonally and laminated to where it will be thick in the center, and curve down to thin where the plates glue to it.
Attachment:
TailBlock.jpg

And gluing up the stacked heel:
Attachment:
NeckBlank.jpg

I don't really like stacked heels, but this blank was perfectly quartered so it should look ok, provided the glue lines are reasonably invisible.

I'm debating whether to include a veneer layer or two under the headplate, or bind it, or just stick it on and call it done. For the fingerboard, I think I'll do faux binding plus purfling. That is, slice a couple strips off of it before tapering, and glue them back on as binding, but with a maple veneer line between them and the rest of the fingerboard. It would certainly be cool to do the same on the headplate, but maybe more trouble than it's worth for such a subtle effect, since my headstock top is quite difficult to bind.


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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:24 pm 
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Rosette is done done done bliss
The routing and inlaying went pretty smoothly. A couple minor router slips that had to be filled with wood chips, one of which is surprisingly invisible, but overall a nice tight fit with very little fiddling necessary.

First rout the wing to verify that I have the depth correct, since it's pretty easy to go over again if I need to deepen it:
Attachment:
RosetteWingRout.jpg

Tough to keep those tiny points of spruce from chipping off. I cut deep with an x-acto knife before routing, so the router didn't even have to touch them when routing out the wood inbetween.

All the 1/32" bit work is done:
Attachment:
RosetteRout.jpg

Then switch to 1/8" bit to hog out the large areas, and back to 1/32" for the final touch up:
Attachment:
RosetteRout2.jpg

Notice the little pin holes in the center of each piece.. that's so I can poke the tip of my knife through from the back to pop pieces out after test fitting.

Then glue 'em all in with hide glue, let it dry, scrape level (it was pretty close to start, but still made a pretty big pile of dust just because it's so much area of shell to level), and wipe on some more shellac to keep it clean:
Attachment:
RosetteDone4.jpg

And some closeup shots in sunlight:
Attachment:
RosetteSun.jpg

Attachment:
RosetteMoon.jpg

Super happy with how this turned out. It was a lot of work, but well worth the effort.

Also glued on the headplate. I decided definitely no veneer layer underneath the plate, but may still do the binding with maple purfling line. I guess I'll just try bending it, and if it works, cut the channel for it, if not, leave it alone.
Attachment:
HeadplateGlue.jpg

Next up, cutting out the neck and headstock shape, drilling the tuner holes, and carving the heel. Box assembly will ensue shortly afterward. Let's hope the low humidity holds until then.


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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:40 pm 
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Looks fantastic!
[:Y:]

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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:02 pm 
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Love the look Dennis , This will be a beautifull build .

_________________
The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
The truth will set you free , But FIRST, it will probably Piss you Off !
Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
http://wiksnwudwerks.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/GatewayA ... rAssembly/


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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:26 pm 
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The design of the rosette isn't my cup of tea, but the shell selection and execution of the inlay is superlative. [:Y:]
I think I'll like it when it's complete, I'm anxious to see how the fretboard fits in.

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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:09 am 
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Dennis, you have mad skills! Will enjoy watching the rest of the build. Eat Drink


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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:23 am 
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I am equal parts impressed and jealous of your inlay skills!

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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:09 pm 
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Thanks for the complements :)
The fretboard should cover part of two sun flames, and just clip the tail tip on the other side to complete the circle without covering the curl entirely.

Next up is a lot of work on the neck. First of all, I didn't get the headplate lined up absolutely perfectly when I glued it on. Could have just carefully chiseled the edge of it back square with the neck, but since the neck blank's grain was angled a tiny bit in the same direction, I decided to just angle my markings a touch and fix two minor things at once.
Attachment:
NeckMarked.jpg

Then saw the slots for the sides to slip into. I make two passes, using a thin scraper as a shim on the second pass to control the slot width.
Attachment:
NeckSlotSaw.jpg

Didn't come out quite symmetrical... oh well, doesn't hurt anything aside from visual symmetry of the heel cap.
Attachment:
NeckSlotted.jpg

Then saw off some waste around the heel... keeping plenty of distance from the lines just to be safe, since this is easy carving wood anyway.
Attachment:
HeelCarving1.jpg

Now that I won't be cutting through the whole heel block, I can saw the neck taper.
Attachment:
NeckTaper.jpg

Heel carving time. Couple more rough cuts.
Attachment:
HeelCarving2.jpg

Carve away with my trusty 1/2" chisel and 3/4" violin knife.
Attachment:
HeelCarving3.jpg

Lots more carving, some scraping, some sandpaper on a dowel, and then more gentle scraping for the final finish.
Attachment:
HeelCarving5.jpg

Then I put shellac on it, and the end grain turned a dark amber color. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture. I didn't like it, so I decided to try a trick I've heard, which is to seal the end grain with hide glue before shellacking. It took quite a while to scrape it back to a fresh surface. That shellac soaked in pretty deep.

After wiping on a couple coats of thin hide glue and re-shellacking, it looks much better. End grain is just a little bit darker than the rest of the neck. Thus, I give that trick a thumbs up [:Y:]


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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:58 pm 
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Next up is top bracing. Didn't take many photos of this process either, but it was a bit troublesome, largely due to me hurrying to get it done before a forecasted rain storm (which I didn't, and was thus put out of commission for a few days).

First of all, I decided the top needed a bit more thinning, but my plane wasn't agreeing with it and I ended up going a bit farther than I intended. Ranging from about 1.5mm to 1.8mm, with one spot near the treble side waist getting close to 1mm. I'm tempted to add 3 small fan braces, but on the other hand it might be good like it is. It's pretty flexible, but I think it'll survive just fine... I'm just not sure which way would sound better.

Then I started gluing braces in the same pattern as the coral snake guitar, but due to the thinness of this top and the inlays being shell rather than wood, the swelling from water absorption out of the glue from the A braces bumped the inlays up. So, I had to cut off the parts of them below the upper transverse brace, and fiddle with the inlays to get them mostly flat again (steaming from the back to reactivate the glue and pressing them with my fingers, poking holes through the wood and pumping fresh glue in underneath, and popping a couple pieces out and regluing them), although they'll still need a little bit of re-leveling. Then glued some flat spruce patches behind the inlays to support them, and act as braces (they're about 1/8" thick in the center), and glue the cross braces. Haven't carved them yet, but that should be quick since they're all primarily structural. Not much acoustic tuning to be done.
Attachment:
TopBracing.jpg

The cross-grain maple patch at the heel is something I learned here http://www.pjguitar.com/website/classicalguitars/features/rising_neck/rising_neck.html, as a way to prevent shear deformation, reducing the chance of needing a neck reset in the future.

Then notch the heel for the braces:
Attachment:
HeelNotched.jpg

Oh, and I chiseled out the ledge on the heel to fit over the soundboard before I glued the A braces... so I wouldn't be trying to notch and ledge at the same time here. Always think ahead :)

I decided I'd better cut out the headstock before gluing the neck to the soundboard, since it's already a pain to get a good hold on it for sawing even without a whole soundbox stuck to it.
Attachment:
HeadstockCutOut.jpg

Then lots of rasp and needle file work to smooth out those coping saw marks and refine the shape.
Attachment:
HeadstockRefined.jpg

Carved on the handstop a bit just for the heck of it. I'll finish the rest of the headstock work after the box is closed up.
Attachment:
HandstopRough.jpg

And glue it on.
Attachment:
GluingNeck.jpg

The side to side alignment is done by planing the end grain of the soundboard where the edges of the heel contact it, so when it comes glue time I just make sure both cheeks of the heel make firm contact, and it's about as close to perfect as I can expect to get. I also did that before gluing the A braces on the soundboard.

The bass edge of the neck lines up with the rosette like I wanted, so that's good enough for me :)

And now I need some dentellones. Here's my setup. Split off strips of the soundboard offcuts, saw little rectangles off that, split into two triangles, and round over the back a bit so it will make good contact with concave curved areas of the perimeter. I'll make some narrower ones with flat backs for the waist area.
Attachment:
DentelloneFactory.jpg

All that remains before assembly can begin is to refine the tail block and bend the sides.


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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:31 pm 
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Dennis your hand work is very impressive . I like to think I have some Talent with wood , but you have me beat . I Am Thourghly Impressed ! [:Y:]

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The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
The truth will set you free , But FIRST, it will probably Piss you Off !
Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
http://wiksnwudwerks.blogspot.com/
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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:10 pm 
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Has anyone seen or heard from Dennis ?? This build was going good and then he dropped off the face of the earth idunno

_________________
The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
The truth will set you free , But FIRST, it will probably Piss you Off !
Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
http://wiksnwudwerks.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/GatewayA ... rAssembly/


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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:11 pm 
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City: Lenoir City
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Maybe his wife came up with a home renovation project like mine did idunno

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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:49 am 
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I'm still alive, September was just too humid for box assembly, which is the next step. I was kind of in the mood for a break from guitars anyway, so I've only done a few little things to it since then. Sliced some strips off the fingerboard blank for stealth binding, did the first round of side bending (didn't go too well... one split, a few minor fractures, and a lot of spring back), and had to peel the neck back off the top and add a shim, as it turned out that my ledge was angled just a touch, resulting in the neck projecting too high above the bridge area.

But it's been cold out for the past few days, so I can do the final side bending and start assembly anytime now. In fact, I'd better get a move on since it looks like the current forecast is warm and rainy again in a few days gaah


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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:30 am 
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Well, things are moving along slowly and difficultly, but still moving. Unfortunately a bunch of my pictures are in limbo due to getting a new SD card to replace my old tiny one, only to find that my reader is as ancient as that old tiny card and can't handle SDHC... some geek I am :cry: But since I haven't gotten around to getting a new one, I'll just post what I have.

As mentioned in the previous post, I pulled the neck off and glued a shim on, to correct a ledge cutting error:
Attachment:
HeadblockShim.jpg

Negative side effect is that the braces no longer bottom out in their notches. It still feels nice and stiff though, so hopefully that won't affect the stability much if at all, since they do still have overlapping footprints on the soundboard.
Attachment:
HeadblockShim2.jpg

Then it finally cooled off enough to get the furnace going to get the humidity down, so I did the final side bending. I didn't do a very good job of hurrying though, and between all the fiddly work of trimming the brace ends, trimming the sides to length, cutting their ends to match the tail inlay, and getting them glued to the tail block (a lot harder than it should have been), another day or two had passed and it warmed back up outside.

That left me in a predicament, because if I let the sides sit around in wildly fluctuating humidity until it decided to go back down, they'd likely need touched up again, and being already glued to the tail block would make that difficult. That left only one option... bake cookies. Or rather, turn the oven on and set the guitar on top of it to heat the moisture out of it. But no reason to waste that heat when it can be used for baking at the same time :)

So, let it sit for a couple hours at 30-35% humidity, and then lots of dentellone gluing. Hopefully I was fast enough at getting a few in each section before it could re-moisturize, to give a reasonably similar result to assembling in actual 35% RH.

Then trimmed the top overhang, tapered the sides from head to tail block, glued the fractures and splits in the sides, more oven cycling to glue side braces, and onto linings.

Here I have photos again. The linings are lutz spruce, from when I was splitting braces and a couple came out too thin for that purpose. I like thin linings on the back when I'm not doing any purfling, because I can make them quick and easy by pressing a chisel into the wood to make a kerf, rather than sawing. They look cool, too :)
Attachment:
GluingLinings.jpg

I glue them a little proud so I can plane then down to the rim, and leave the surfaces angled a little bit to support the dome of the back. I discovered a small error at this point... I forgot to check that the heel surface matches the taper of the sides. It didn't, so I had to plane some off of it, which reduced its height, which meant the rim needed to be tapered a little bit more, which resulted in accidentally tilting it laterally like a Manzer wedge... fortunately in the right direction for that, so I decided to just go with it. Subtle, but should make it a bit more comfy.

Oh, and notice that I did end up adding the fan braces after all. I wish I would have skipped that additional bit of thinning I did just before bracing, but this should work too. Certainly better than wasting this beautiful top, and having to do all that inlay routing again.

Then carved the side braces:
Attachment:
SideBraceCarving.jpg

Just a general rounding over so they're not ugly rectangles. Then I noticed one of them was separated from the side, except for where it was supported by the linings. I had a couple others come unglued before doing linings, too. I wonder if it's this spalted wood, or if I just didn't get them clamped fast enough. The other two reglued fine, and I worked some glue under this one and clamped it up, and it stuck down fine as well, so I lean toward slow clamping. It is an awkward setup, and sometimes takes a minute to get the cauls and brace to stay put while operating cam clamps one-handed. Plus this batch of hide glue is on the thick side, which makes it less forgiving.
Attachment:
SideBraceGlue.jpg

I also cut out the back today, which was difficult due to the chippy spalted wood. I ended up going with the router method, cutting almost all the way through and then slicing the last bit with a knife so it doesn't splinter like a saw would. It'll be a while before I can make any more progress there, though. Up to 60% RH right now, and not cooling down until Friday. I'm definitely not bracing a flatsawn maple back in that, oven heated or not.
Attachment:
BackCutOut.jpg

But there's plenty to do in the meantime. I bent some headstock bindings while I was doing the sides, so I can cut the channels and glue those on. Also need to do the headstock logo inlay, and possibly a tiny sun and moon in the white, gold and koa colors like the rosette, in place of the tiny star and moon in abalone that I usually put in the corners. I can also finish up the tail inlay, which will need a small sun and moon as well, one on each side of the curve:
Attachment:
TailInlayPieces.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:00 am 
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Its comming along nicely , I love the tail inlay idea , think thats gonna look good as well . The REAL questioon is ............... HOW DID THE COOKIES TURN OUT ? idunno laughing6-hehe laughing6-hehe

_________________
The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
The truth will set you free , But FIRST, it will probably Piss you Off !
Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
http://wiksnwudwerks.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/GatewayA ... rAssembly/


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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:56 pm 
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That's a really cool tail design....looking really pretty!


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 Post subject: Re: Dennis' build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:21 pm 
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Quote:
I'd originally intended to get the white one's tail close enough to the moon to fully seal all the end grain (i.e. the actual purpose of a rosette)...

i did not know this. makes sense!


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