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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:54 pm 
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It may be a while before I can really get this underway, but here's what I have in mind.

Someting old: I'll be using the oldest top I have in my stash, and some of the first wood I bought to resaw myself, which happens to be Madagascar rosewood. I've also had the abalone for 12+ years.

Someting new: I'll be building my version of a 1936 Kalamazoo, which is a new design for me. It's a parlor/travel size, with a short body but a relatively large lower bout.

Something local: I'm considering myself a Texas native, so everything except the top, bracing, bridge, and fretboard will be species indigenous to Texas, although they may not be from Texas. The back and sides will be mesquite I had left over from the jumbo I just completed, the neck will be an exceptionally light piece of walnut I just got from HD, the blocks and linings will be oak from HD, and the binding will be curly maple.

Pick two: I'm building a parlor/travel size and staying below the price cap.

Here's the plans:
Attachment:
Kalamazoo.pdf


I'll be posting photos of the wood in the next couple of days.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:20 pm 
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On behalf of us downloading the plans, thank you. Will have to make one some day.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:32 pm 
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Glad you are jumping in! Nice plan.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:52 pm 
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Yes, everyone feel free to download the plan. Print at 1:1 on a 30"x42" page and it should be to scale.
Here's the first photo of my materials.
Attachment:
IMG_0608.JPG

This is the old stuff, it's been in my shop for 10+ years, except the truss rod and tuners.
The fretboard and bridge are MadRose (~800 kg/m3) that I got locally about 15 years ago. It was actually not a very good board, originally about 5'x8"x1" and cost about $40. I'll say $10 for the FB and Bridge. The top (~380 kg/m3) I got from eBay for about $20, and the abalone also came from eBay. The shell was a small part of a much larger purchase, which was $60, so I'll say $10 for the rosette and position markers, and another $5 for the W/B/W purfling. The shell was originally blanks, I've already cut out the rosette and position markers.
Attachment:
IMG_0618.JPG

Here's the "local" stuff. The mesquite back (~836 kg/m3) and sides (~785 kg/m3) are left over from a jumbo, and was $45 from a Texas online dealer. The jumbo took most of the wood, but I'll say $15 for the mesquite. To the left is a 2'x 5 1/2"x 3/4" piece of walnut (~436 kg/m3) I got from HD last week for $10. They've just started stocking walnut, and this piece is exceptionally light weight. Next to that is a piece of oak from HD that I'll use for the blocks and linings, and across the top is a maple board from HD that I'll use for binding. I'll guess about $5 for the maple and $5 for the oak. That's about $80, and it's almost everything and way under the cap, so I'm done with the accounting.
Attachment:
IMG_0615.JPG

I probably should build better templates and route everything perfectly to shape, but I don't. I cut out the paper templates from my plans, transfer that to the wood, and then cut it out on the bandsaw.
Attachment:
IMG_0623.JPG

Here it is, all marked and ready to cut. I'm using my usual headstock joint, but the headstock will be a little different. I'm hoping that lightweight walnut will be strong enough, but there's no way to tell until I get it cut out.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:39 am 
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I admit I don't fully understand the templates for the lam neck. Please post pictures of how that all assembles. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:06 pm 
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rlrhett wrote:
I admit I don't fully understand the templates for the lam neck. Please post pictures of how that all assembles. Thanks!


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The first two pages of this thread should help you see how Rodger assembles his neck blanks:
viewtopic.php?f=10133&t=37283
Cutting them like this lets him get the neck out of a single board. . .

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:56 pm 
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I guess I'm just not seeing the middle lam that has the full headstock. The center lam seems to have an odd 45deg cut I don't understand.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:40 am 
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This will be a little different, a sort of "open" headstock, similiar to this one.
Attachment:
rk10.JPG

It's a bit less complicated than the one pictured, but the grain orientation is less optimal, which is why I'm concerned about the strength of the walnut.
This neck is also about 1/8" narrower than I usually build, the nut width is only 1 5/8". It's for someone with short fingers. If you downloaded the plans, you may want to modify the width of the neck by adding 1/16" to each side of the neck for a 1 3/4" nut width. I'll cut the neck out next, that might make it a little clearer. I believe I saw this "open" headstock on one of Mario Proulx's guitars, but that was 15 years ago, so I'm not sure. In any case, it's not my idea, just my execution of something I saw and liked enough to copy.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:22 am 
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Notes to those downloading the plans:
The neck, as shown, is a 1 5/8" nut width and 2 1/8" string spacing at bridge. That is very narrow, and should be adjusted to your specifications.

The neck angle is square to the headblock, and the top in the upper bout is flat and perpendicular to the headblock, so that the fretboard sits flat on the top. At about the middle of the waist(it's marked on the plan), the top transitions from flat to a 15' radius sphere. With a fingerboard thickness of 1/4", this geometry produces a string height of 1/2" above the top at the bridge. It's not the way it's typically done, you can't use a radius dish to sand the top rims. The back is a 15' radius sphere, which is pretty typical. The side profile shown on the plan, along with the bracing radius shown on the plan, will produce the designed top geometry. Any variance from this geometry may require some adjustment of the neck angle and how the fretboard sits on the top.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:22 pm 
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After cutting everything out:
Attachment:
IMG_0624.JPG


Cutting the taper on the center laminate:
Attachment:
IMG_0630.JPG


Here's the slight bevel on the outside laminates:
Attachment:
IMG_0632.JPG


And here's how it all fits together:
Attachment:
IMG_0631.JPG

I'll cut a piece for the gap at the top of the headstock after it's all glued up.
I guess I should mention it's 24.5" scale, 14 frets, and an "open" headstock for those that didn't look at the plans.
The tuners will be mounted on the outside of the headstock, like a slothead.

From the side:
Attachment:
IMG_0633.JPG

I think I'll add 1/16" wide maple strips between the laminates as accent stripes.

I've already built a mold, and I've cut out a bending form. My tooling is pretty primitive, so it will only appear in progress photos.
I started out with Cumpiano's book and method, and that has evolved into my current methodology, influenced mainly by Al Carruth, Mario Prolux, and Trevor Gore, as well as my abilities and tooling. This will be my tenth acoustic guitar, so I'm still struggling with fit and finish. I'm getting pretty close on finish, at least the last two were pretty good. I don't have any standard model, but the rosette and position markers are what I typically use. This will be my typical guitar, except for the prototype headstock.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:52 pm 
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Looks like you are making good progress. I just logged on to see several of these threads have new posts the same day I left town. It is making me want to get in the shoppe

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:17 pm 
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Continuing photos of the neck construction.
Here's a shot of the laminates being clamped after glueing.
Attachment:
IMG_0635.JPG

The sequence is glue and clamp one accent strip to the center laminate, wait about an hour, then glue and clamp the other side, and leave the clamps on for 12 to 24 hours. Same for the outside laminates.
This is how it looks when it comes out of the clamps.
Attachment:
IMG_0636.JPG

Attachment:
IMG_0638.JPG


Here's the scarf joint of the headstock in clamps after glueing.
Attachment:
IMG_0640.JPG


Here's the more or less complete "neck blank".
Attachment:
IMG_0642.JPG


And from the other side...
Attachment:
IMG_0644.JPG


Here's the nearly completed headstock, with tuners installed. I still need to cut the ramp for the strings, but I'll do that when I carve the rest of the neck, which will be with the complete fretboard attached.
Attachment:
IMG_0650.JPG


Next will be resawing a fingerboard blank off that 1" thick piece of mad rose.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:52 pm 
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Can't wait to see where this one goes... looks like it will be very nice!

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:59 pm 
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Love that open headstock! I've gotta give that a try sometime.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:51 pm 
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Since the neck blank is ready for the fretboard, I got started on that.
I resawed a 5/16" thick piece of that mad rose and squared it up.
Then I marked the fret locations.
Attachment:
IMG_0653.JPG

Here's my setup for cutting fret slots.
Attachment:
IMG_0655.JPG

I'd be cutting in this shot if I wasn't holding the camera in my left hand.
Attachment:
IMG_0658.JPG

I do actually cut the slots freehand, after marking the locations precisely.
Here's the slotted fingerboard.
Attachment:
IMG_0663.JPG


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:12 pm 
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Next came tapering and radiusing the fingerboard. I marked the taper on the board and cut it on the bansaw.
Then I went to the drum sander to radius the board. I use a carrier jig with a bevel. I got this from Bob Beneditto's book.
If you taper the board first, you can use the offcuts as shims and sand in a compound radius.
Attachment:
IMG_0664.JPG

Here you can see the radius.
Attachment:
IMG_0665.JPG

It just takes a little work with a radius sanding block to get it shaped up.
When I finished the rough tapering and radiusing, I cut some thin strips on the bandsaw.
There's 4 oak about 1/8" thick, I've decieded to go with two 1/8" laminates instead of three.
There's 3 maple at about .06", they will be the body and fingerboard binding.
Then there's a strip of holly about .06" that I'll use in the rosette and mabe as a border around the abalone for the position markers.
Attachment:
IMG_0667.JPG

Here's a couple of shots with the binding and abalone.
Attachment:
IMG_0669.JPG

Would the position markers look better with a thin, white, border?
Attachment:
IMG_0670.JPG


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:24 pm 
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That's cool that you cut the slots freehand. Do you do anything to start the cuts before using the saw, or do you go straight to using the saw? What do you use to mark to slot positions accurately?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:33 am 
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I use a sharp pencil, starting with the point exactly on the line on the paper, then marking onto the wood.
I use a square to extend the lines across the board, and then check the other side against my paper template. The pencil line is about the width of the slot.
I've used the square as a guide when cutting, but I've found that I'm better able to cut exactly on the line without it. I start the cut at one side, being very careful to cut exactly on the line. I realize it's not an accurate method, my scale length is probably long by 2% due to paper stretch in my template, but the frets are OK relative to each other.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:38 pm 
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I used to use a very similar method. I stabbed my marking knife into the center of the line on the template then slid my square up snug to the knife blade. I clamped down the square and used it as my saw fence. In reality it moved my cut line very slightly off the template line but that difference was exactly the same for each slot so it made no difference at all. Since my last fretboard, I have finally fulfilled my promise to myself to power up my fret slotting. I have purchased the fret slot table saw blade and will be using it for the first time when I get to the fretboard on my challenge guitar.

My old method was perfectly acceptable in results but it was annoying to have to saw so many slots so carefully. I look forward to not having to to that anymore. Though I will still have to make a template for every scale length I want to make.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:56 pm 
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Bryan Bear wrote:
My old method was perfectly acceptable in results but it was annoying to have to saw so many slots so carefully.


It only take an hour or so for me to cut the slots, and the results are quite acceptable. I've considered getting the blade and using the table saw, but I don't see that as being any quicker, easier, or significantly more precise than my current method. I don't much like using the table saw anyway.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:08 pm 
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I hear you. I don't expect to gain any accuracy by switching to the table saw. I also don't like using the table saw. I recently built a rolling stand for mine so I could roll it under a table when not in use (most of the time). I had to laugh as I was making the cart when I realized I was using the table saw as a work bench to cut the parts with a hand saw. Fretting will probably be the only thing I use the table saw for now that I have gotten a plough plane to cut my truss rod slots. I keep learning that with the small amount of building I do, doing most things by hand is just as fast and I don't have to store jigs. I'm allowing myself the exception for fret slots because I just don't enjoy cutting them by hand anymore. To your point, I don't expect it to save any time either. By the time I move stuff around so I can roll out my table saw and actually cut the slots, I could have done it by hand. the good news is I have two guitars in the work that both need fretboards of the same scale length. . .

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:21 pm 
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I'll have to look into a plough plane. I cut the truss rod slot with a laminate trimmer, and I rather sack rattlesnakes. Every piece of wood I've destroyed making guitars has had a router involved. I've been thinking I might cut this one with a chisel, just to show it can be done with hand tools.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:31 pm 
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I'll be doing mine with the plough and I'll try to remember to snap some photos. I need some more practice with it thought as I have only used it once. I cut the channel on a neck blank, it didn't come out super clean but certainly usable. I'm pretty sure the issues were mostly due to my lack of experience. Yes I know, I should have practiced on scrap but what the heck it worked out fine (and I didn't have a ton of work in that neck bland anyway. This is a mujingfang rosewood plough plane that I accidentally won on ebay for real cheap (no one else bid). It is not the fanciest plough out there but it should work well enough for this operation.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:59 pm 
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Lookin' great Rodger!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:14 am 
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I decided the abalone would look better with a narrow white border, so I thinned some holly down to about 0.03" and glued it to the abalone.
Cutting the 64 mitered pieces was a little fiddly.
Attachment:
IMG_0675.JPG

Attachment:
IMG_0678.JPG

I think it was worth it. Here they are.
Attachment:
IMG_0681.JPG

And a mockup of the board.
Attachment:
IMG_0682.JPG

Attachment:
IMG_0683.JPG

I need to do a little more work to the board, then I'll do the inlay.


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