Long time no build

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stevemc32
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Long time no build

Post by stevemc32 » Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:55 pm

G'day all,

As a bit of an intro, I built a couple of guitars about 10 years ago and started on the third. I'd bent and glued up the sides, sized the back and soundboard and final fitted the rosette before a whole bunch of life got in the way. For better or worse I've had a bit of spare time over the last few months and have finally gotten back to it.

Here's a mock up of where it's at right now, just working on the bindings and getting the neck ready for a dovetail.
20200718_165022.jpg
Cheers,
Steve.

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Mark McLean
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Re: Long time no build

Post by Mark McLean » Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:20 am

Hi Steve. Welcome to the forum, and good on you for getting back to the workbench. That guitar certainly looks like it is worth finishing off. Tell us some more about the materials and methods that you are using for it.

One of the great things about this hobby is that you can put a job down and it just waits for you to come back an take up where you left off - a long hiatus in your case. But it never spoils.
Cheers
Mark

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kiwigeo
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Re: Long time no build

Post by kiwigeo » Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:45 am

Welcome back Steve and thanks for the update. Into year 2 of a no build period here as I finish off a new house build. The workshop is currently a bedroom and the garage is an open plan living space during the house build. Should be back building early in the new year.
Martin

blackalex1952
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Re: Long time no build

Post by blackalex1952 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:09 pm

What is your bridge and fingerboard timber? It looks like ringed Gidgee. I relate to having an enforced break from building, in my case due to a combination of rats in my dehumidifier and my personal health issues. It has been hard for me to get myself back into the "zone" when building, after such a break as well as dealing with the the issues of being focused and safe around the tools, combined with a need to clean up, put tools back in their "places" and sharpen all the hand tools as well...oh yes, the rats as well!...cheers Ross
"Everything I say on the topic is based solely upon inexperience and assumption!"

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stevemc32
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Re: Long time no build

Post by stevemc32 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:12 pm

Cheers Fellas,

It is certainly good to be back into this build, it's had a great effect on uplifting the spirits during these strange times. I haven't had any rats in the dehumidifier yet but I definitely do need to get onto sharpening all the hand tools.

The soundboard is Lutz Spruce and the body, fretboard and bridge are Sheoak. The bindings and headstock veneer are Tiger Myrtle. Nothing too exciting about the build, the first couple I built were completed using the techniques from the Thomas Lloyd DVDs and much help from kiwigeo on the woodwork forums. This one is fairly similar with some adjustment for the florentine cutaway.
bodyshape.jpg

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Mark McLean
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Re: Long time no build

Post by Mark McLean » Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:58 pm

After 10 years you are lucky not to have rats living in that nice little she-oak nest you built. But it is looking pretty good. Better just get on with it. None of us know how many years we have left. So I am going to get down to some serious discussion here. Are you going to dovetail that neck or join most of us in the modern age and go for a bolt-on? It is certainly a good beefy neck block so any choice is yours.

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stevemc32
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Re: Long time no build

Post by stevemc32 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:21 pm

I was planning a dovetail for the neck as that's what I'm tooled up for. Maybe I need to do some research before I proceed in that area, thanks for the heads up.

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lamanoditrento
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Re: Long time no build

Post by lamanoditrento » Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:16 am

Welcome Steve. Interior looks nice and clean. Look forward to seeing it progressed/finished
Trent

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Mark McLean
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Re: Long time no build

Post by Mark McLean » Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:22 pm

Steve - I will not try to change your plan, if that is what has been successful for you in the past. I confess I have never done a dovetail, only 8 bolt on necks so I can’t say one is better than the other. Your box looks really well made so far. I look forward to seeing the next stages.
m

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stevemc32
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Re: Long time no build

Post by stevemc32 » Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:43 pm

Yeah had a look at the bolt-on necks last night and looks like a much more adjustable way of getting it done.

I think I'll stick to the dovetail for this one only because I'm almost ready to get it done and look at making up some bolt-on jigs for the next one. Thanks again for the info.

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stevemc32
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Re: Long time no build

Post by stevemc32 » Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:10 pm

Apologies for dropping photos out of order.

Having spent a few nights browsing the forum and looking at current builds it's obvious I'm about 8 years outta date with my soundboard bracing...
20200701_144911.jpg
Lots more reading to do it seems.

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Mark McLean
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Re: Long time no build

Post by Mark McLean » Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:01 am

Nothing wrong with a scalloped X-bracing system! Yes, there are some new ideas around and you might want to try some of them at a later date but what you are doing now looks great. I expect it will produce a really good instrument.

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stevemc32
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Re: Long time no build

Post by stevemc32 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:43 pm

Cheers Mark, hopefully all will go well.

Got the bindings finished off today, I think gluing the bindings is my least favourite part of the build. Didn't turn out too bad this time, I've done worse!

Just a couple of areas where I stuffed it so not a whole lot of fixing up to do.
20200723_115457.jpg
20200723_115518.jpg

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stevemc32
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Re: Long time no build

Post by stevemc32 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:23 pm

Worked on the dovetail today, the cutaway presented some problems with alignment in the jig but got it mostly sorted out.
20200724_125745.jpg
20200724_131521.jpg
Can see some damage here where the binding tape took a strip of the grain out, then I sanded dark Tiger Myrtle dust into it. Not too worried about it just now, will try clean it up before finishing.

Slowly nibbled down the dovetail tenon with the router till it got close and will finish it off with the chisels.
20200724_143638.jpg

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Mark McLean
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Re: Long time no build

Post by Mark McLean » Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:40 am

Wow, for a bloke who has not done any guitar building in 10 years you are moving along at a good pace. You are obviously well tooled and jigged up and have no lack of skills. I am enjoying watching this.

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lamanoditrento
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Re: Long time no build

Post by lamanoditrento » Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:23 pm

If you haven't flush scraped your bindings, if you get some heat on that binding either with an old clothes iron (pro-tip, don't use the house iron!) or the bending iron you maybe able to clamp them into place
Trent

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stevemc32
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Re: Long time no build

Post by stevemc32 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:56 pm

I was very lucky Mark in that I tooled up for guitar building when our dollar was worth more than the US dollar. I've been woodworking for a long time but the specific tools and jigs make it a much easier process. I just made my first Stewmac order since 2010 last night and paid almost double for the same tuning machines I bought back then.

Thanks for the idea on fixing the bindings Trent, would definitely have given that a go but I've already trimmed them off so it's no longer an option. I think I'll just have to fill it with tinted epoxy.

I spent the day getting the neck lateral alignment sorted out and the dovetail fitting nicely. Didn't get a photo but the final neck angle to the soundboard face (not sure what it's called) is much shallower than it should be. I know how to fix it with the dovetail but it'll be a right pain the arse to do so I'm thinking I might get away with a thinner bridge and very low saddle. Probably should have done a bolt-on neck...

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Mark McLean
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Re: Long time no build

Post by Mark McLean » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:14 am

The best way to fill those gaps is to raise a bit of sawdust from your back or sides and pack it into the gaps, then wick in some CA glue. Overfill it a bit and then sand flat. The gaps will completely disappear.

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stevemc32
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Re: Long time no build

Post by stevemc32 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:18 pm

That sounds like a pretty good idea, I'll give that a go.

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stevemc32
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Re: Long time no build

Post by stevemc32 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:33 pm

Got some adjustment done on the neck angle and it's now at a position that I reckon should work out. Didn't get a chance to work on the binding gaps yet.
20200726_170747.jpg
20200726_170913.jpg

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stevemc32
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Re: Long time no build

Post by stevemc32 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:17 pm

Spent a couple of days working on the dovetail and got it somewhere close to where it should be. I've glued it up and I think that will be the last dovetail neck I do so it's time to get stuck into the bolt-on neck research.

A heel cap of Tiger Myrtle is glued on and a tuner hole was plugged. I didn't think it was too far out at first and figured I could live with it but after looking at it for a while decided the 3 minutes work to plug it up and re-drill was probably worth it in the end.
20200730_112259.jpg
20200730_112317.jpg

Shaped up the fretboard end and hopefully get it glued up tomorrow.
20200730_154355.jpg

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stevemc32
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Re: Long time no build

Post by stevemc32 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:26 pm

Got the fretboard glued on and the neck shaped up. Still a few areas to work on but it's fairly close to final shape now.
20200802_160156.jpg
20200802_160138.jpg
20200802_160204.jpg

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stevemc32
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Re: Long time no build

Post by stevemc32 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:06 pm

Fretted up today and might have a bit of a problem. The frets felt sort of loose when I was filing off the ends in that I could feel them vibrating when the file ran over them, I don't remember that from last time. I also noticed that a couple of the ends were not holding down in the slots and might need some more glue?
20200803_152836.jpg

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kiwigeo
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Re: Long time no build

Post by kiwigeo » Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:12 pm

stevemc32 wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:06 pm
Fretted up today and might have a bit of a problem. The frets felt sort of loose when I was filing off the ends in that I could feel them vibrating when the file ran over them, I don't remember that from last time. I also noticed that a couple of the ends were not holding down in the slots and might need some more glue?

20200803_152836.jpg
What's the gauge of the fret tangs and what is the gauge of the saw you used to cut the slots? Do you put a radius into the frets before knocking them in? if the ends of the frets are popping up then this may be the problem. I have a block of MDF with a radiused top matching my fretboard radius. I lightly hammer a curve into the fret before fitting it into the fretboard.
Martin

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stevemc32
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Re: Long time no build

Post by stevemc32 » Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:12 pm

I think you've nailed it Martin, I just went and measured the tang width on the fretwire I used and it was 0.4mm where the saw (and my usual fretwire) is 0.6mm.

I'm guessing they've all got to come out, which is a real pain as the Sheoak suffered some damage when I took the two out I was using for neck angle checks.

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