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-   -   Hatcher Guitars Getting Ready to go B.I.G. (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=614379)

Mark Hatcher 05-01-2021 07:53 AM

Hatcher Guitars Getting Ready to go B.I.G.
 
I'm very excited to be participating in Tom Bowersox's B.I.G. show in Texas this September! For the most up to date information on the show you can follow Tom's Facebook link: https://fb.me/e/23e9qA644

I am planning to bring four guitars to the show. They are all in the works so I thought I'd introduce them and share their details. Here is one I'm just starting. It will be my Greta GA model with a Florentine cut-away and an arm bevel. It is based on my Red White and Blue theme I have done previously but with some new twists. I have a very special bear claw Sitka top on wonderful multi color pommele figured Sapele back and sides:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...761b1c47_c.jpg

The top is floatwood used to float a lumber camp in the ocean up in Alaska for about 40 years. The Blue color comes from the iron cleats they used on the float logs to lash the rafts together. That iron mixed with the ocean water and time stain eventually stains the logs.

Here are some pictures of the original camp, the iron cleats and the salvaged Sitka logs:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...12f6a080_c.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...0d88c70d_c.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...d001ca0f_c.jpg

In all those logs there was one log that had a small section of bear claw figure and that's what I got:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...24282f7d_b.jpg

And were off!

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...456e23d7_c.jpg

Thanks for viewing and I hope you can make it to the show!
Mark

mikealpine 05-01-2021 08:11 PM

Mark, very glad Iíll get to see you at BIG, and very much looking forward to seeing the guitars you bring! Youíre off to a great start.

palolowarrior 05-01-2021 11:26 PM

Happy Birthday Mark!!!

Dustinfurlow 05-01-2021 11:39 PM

I really cannot wait! All 3 guitars of yours that I've played just made me want more and more time with them. Looking forward, Mark

cigarfan 05-02-2021 04:42 AM

Looks like a great start to red white and B.I.G. :)

Bill Kraus 05-02-2021 06:45 AM

Nice bearclaw!. Great photos of the floating lumber camp, very interesting to see that. I wonder how many of those things are left, and how often they are parted out into nice guitar tops. It will be nice to see these instruments take shape.

TomB'sox 05-02-2021 05:31 PM

That top is stunning with the coloration and the degree and symmetry of the bear claw! Lucky to have it coming to B.I.G.!

Mark Hatcher 05-03-2021 04:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikealpine (Post 6705833)
Mark, very glad Iíll get to see you at BIG, and very much looking forward to seeing the guitars you bring! Youíre off to a great start.

I'm glad you're coming! I haven't seen you since Woodstock '18. I'm bringing that Bloodwood Greta and would like to hear your impression of it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by palolowarrior (Post 6705914)
Happy Birthday Mark!!!

Thanks! This was a quiet one which isn't a bad thing I suppose except in these covid times it's getting a little old>

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dustinfurlow (Post 6705917)
I really cannot wait! All 3 guitars of yours that I've played just made me want more and more time with them. Looking forward, Mark

I'm looking forward to seeing you and hearing you play!

Quote:

Originally Posted by cigarfan (Post 6706000)
Looks like a great start to red white and B.I.G. :)

Thanks cigarfan! This combination really works for me and has been well recieved.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Kraus (Post 6706068)
Nice bearclaw!. Great photos of the floating lumber camp, very interesting to see that. I wonder how many of those things are left, and how often they are parted out into nice guitar tops. It will be nice to see these instruments take shape.

Thanks Bill. It seems Sitka is the preferred floatwood and the rafts last about 40 years. This one was a smaller one with just 3 or 4 mobile homes on it. Some of them were/are huge with schools and bars etc. Maybe some of our Northwest members will chip in on how many of these camps are still around.

Thanks for the comments!
Mark

Guitars44me 05-03-2021 09:02 AM

Spectacular top!
 
I love that top!!! What a beauty.

This Alaska stuff Makes me nostalgic for my 14 years as a traveling musician and band leader in AK... 84-98. All over the state, repeatedly.

Yes, the winters were brutal, but I spent a good chunk of most in San Diego.
Oh, but what a place!!!

I Often get asked if the people were as crazy as they are shown on the TV reality shows. The answer is no. They were way crazier than that! Ha ha ha ha.
it was a fun place to be the entertainment!!! Folks were VERY appreciative.

The Sitka forests were literally the size of smaller states. No wonder they used it for float camps. There was so much Sitka!

This will Rock B.I.G.

Carry on

Paul

theEdwinson 05-03-2021 09:49 AM

Hi, Mark,

That blue Sitka looks like it has the quality of legend! Can't wait to see what you do with it. No doubt it will be a Masterpiece, which is your standard thing.

I've gotten some of that Alaskan float log Sitka from Brent at Alaska Specialty Woods, and it is superb stuff in the higher grades. And there is no "aroma" quite like it that I've ever experienced, when you run this wood through a sander. It's something you never forget, the olfactory impact of float log Sitka. And in the built guitar, the exotic visual beauty and tonal quality of the wood are out of this world.

martingitdave 05-03-2021 09:56 AM

I was reading about the ancient 3,000 year old Sitka log that was located and made into guitar tops. I love reading about these old logs that are repurposed. There's something special about it. I happen to think that all guitars would feel more interesting to the owner if they knew a little bit about the tree they came from.

Mark Hatcher 05-03-2021 03:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomB'sox (Post 6706511)
That top is stunning with the coloration and the degree and symmetry of the bear claw! Lucky to have it coming to B.I.G.!

Thanks Tom! It is a beauty and has the weight and stiffness I look for in Sitka.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Guitars44me (Post 6706862)
I love that top!!! What a beauty.

This Alaska stuff Makes me nostalgic for my 14 years as a traveling musician and band leader in AK... 84-98. All over the state, repeatedly.

Yes, the winters were brutal, but I spent a good chunk of most in San Diego.
Oh, but what a place!!!

I Often get asked if the people were as crazy as they are shown on the TV reality shows. The answer is no. They were way crazier than that! Ha ha ha ha.
it was a fun place to be the entertainment!!! Folks were VERY appreciative.

The Sitka forests were literally the size of smaller states. No wonder they used it for float camps. There was so much Sitka!

This will Rock B.I.G.

Carry on

Paul

Thanks for your comments Paul!

Quote:

Originally Posted by theEdwinson (Post 6706905)
Hi, Mark,

That blue Sitka looks like it has the quality of legend! Can't wait to see what you do with it. No doubt it will be a Masterpiece, which is your standard thing.

I've gotten some of that Alaskan float log Sitka from Brent at Alaska Specialty Woods, and it is superb stuff in the higher grades. And there is no "aroma" quite like it that I've ever experienced, when you run this wood through a sander. It's something you never forget, the olfactory impact of float log Sitka. And in the built guitar, the exotic visual beauty and tonal quality of the wood are out of this world.

Thanks Steve! I agree with you about the smell of the woods. Actually, one of the things I love so much about building guitars is all the wonderful and often surprising smell of the woods I get to work with;

Amaboyna Burl- Cotton Candy
Desert Ironwood- Hot Buttered Popcorn
Olivewood- Italian Restaurant
Spanish Cedar- Spice
Western Red Cedar- School Pencil
Brazilian Rosewood- Heaven's Waiting Room
Torrified Sugar Maple- Granola
Port Orford- Menthol
Indian Rosewood- Horse Poop
Lignum Vitae- Old Dates

And on and on!

Quote:

Originally Posted by martingitdave (Post 6706912)
I was reading about the ancient 3,000 year old Sitka log that was located and made into guitar tops. I love reading about these old logs that are repurposed. There's something special about it. I happen to think that all guitars would feel more interesting to the owner if they knew a little bit about the tree they came from.

I couldn't agree with you more! I love knowing where the woods come from and I love a good story. Provenance is a big deal!

Thanks for commenting!
Mark

ukejon 05-04-2021 05:55 AM

Great to hear. Look forward to seeing pics.

Mark Hatcher 05-04-2021 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ukejon (Post 6707578)
Great to hear. Look forward to seeing pics.

Here are some more top pics as I go through the next steps:

After the top halves are joined I cut out the top shape. I cut it oversized which gets brought down to size after the top is glued to the sides:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...cb501e9c_c.jpg

The black lines are where I'll bring it down to and the red means cut.

After cutting out the oversize profile I clean up the top side with the smoothing plane:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...448c9a69_c.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...54d5ddb2_c.jpg

Once that is clean it's time to start the rosette. That starts by marking the center point right here:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...d4a8c5e6_c.jpg

Mark Hatcher 05-05-2021 10:00 AM

Moving along on the Rosette
 
The next step on the rosette is to drill the center hole:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...d7edb81d_b.jpg

From there I can cut out the rosette pocket and install the Amboyna burl center ring and the bordering purfling strips:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...0a6f4bec_b.jpg

You can see I have white teflon spacer strips here which are place holders for the additional Amboyna burl rings.

Here is where it gets tricky. The Amboyna burl sticks that I'll be installing into those groves are best if they are .073" thick. Not .072" or .074, .073". Burl doesn't have any real grain direction and it is very brittle and delicate so I need a clean accurate cut. Preferably a cut that doesn't need to be cleaned up. Preferably a cut that doesn't heat up the burl and make it even more brittle. This is one place where a contemporary hand tool can shine:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...c077ccbf_c.jpg

This is my hand operated rail saw you can think of it as a manual table saw but instead of a carnivorous screaming rotary saw blade it has a surgically accurate Japanese straight saw blade that you put delicate things like this burl across on a sled:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...485a5e83_c.jpg

The sled rides on linear bearings along four rails with absolutely no play. There are a variety of articulated hold down clamps to keep everything in place as you slide it across the saw blade:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...a7c58c70_c.jpg

Here are the sticks:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...fdda6b21_c.jpg

From here I use heat to ever so gently bend a curve into them. The curve doesn't have to be exact just close enough that the sticks don't crack as they are glued into the pockets left from the removed teflon strips:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...6338bd01_c.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...d0449990_c.jpg

Then it's just a matter of cleaning it up!

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...61642cb4_b.jpg

Thanks for viewing. You can see this completed guitar at Tom's B.I.G. show!

Mark


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