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-   -   MARK BLANCHARD Bristlecone [Italian Spruce | Brazilian Rosewood] (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=596397)

iim7V7IM7 03-20-2021 02:24 PM

Don’t let is freak you out...:). We wipe our guitars down will aqueous sprays and damp clothes don’t we?

Part of finishing is progressively applying finer and finer abrasives once much of the solvent has left the solid content of the nitro. When you are down to 1,500 grit you need a fluid (water) and a surfactant (soap) to keep it from filling up. Later on, other water based finer abrasive polishes may be used before it sees the rouge on the buffing wheel.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhw48 (Post 6667194)
I know it’s the correct technique, but a photo of a wet guitar just freaks me out!
That binding is really beautiful against the BRW.


iim7V7IM7 03-28-2021 04:23 PM

Gettin Shiny...
 
Mark did his second wet sanding and first buffing today about 4-1/2 weeks after his last nitro wet out. You can begin to see some of the subtle coloration in the Brazilian Rosewood back and sides and the Koa back purfings are beginning to visual “pop”.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...5A66DE7DC.jpeg

The segmented, radial Brazilian Rosewood rosette and mottled Koa rings looks great against the Italian Spruce top.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...92CD50A43.jpeg

iim7V7IM7 03-29-2021 05:13 PM

Neck on...
 
Mark uses a bolt on neck joint to the body, but like many luthiers glues the fretboard to the top. Some of the medullary in the Italian Spruce top is now on display.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...5284A0BD1.jpeg

mhw48 03-29-2021 06:37 PM

That top is beautiful

rick-slo 03-29-2021 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 (Post 6676728)
Mark uses a bolt on neck joint to the body, but like many luthiers glues the fretboard to the top. Some of the medullary in the Italian Spruce top is now on display.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...5284A0BD1.jpeg

Congrats. Almost ready.

The clamp in the photo looks just like the clamps I made fifty years ago (based on my 1966 copy of Irvind Sloane's "Classical Guitar Construction".

dcn 03-29-2021 08:52 PM

Beautiful textures on the rosette, and satisfyingly silky top, too. Nice!

eKat 03-30-2021 05:43 AM

Whoa. . . this thing's gonna be a show stopper!

iim7V7IM7 03-30-2021 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhw48 (Post 6676796)
That top is beautiful

I hope that it sounds better than it looks (and knowing Mark, it will!)...:)

Quote:

Originally Posted by rick-slo (Post 6676841)
Congrats. Almost ready.

The clamp in the photo looks just like the clamps I made fifty years ago (based on my 1966 copy of Irvind Sloane's "Classical Guitar Construction".

That doesn’t surprise me. Many builders started using both Irving Sloane’s or Arthur Overholtzer’s books for design, building approaches and fixtures...:)

Quote:

Originally Posted by dcn (Post 6676867)
Beautiful textures on the rosette, and satisfyingly silky top, too. Nice!

:up:

Quote:

Originally Posted by eKat (Post 6677025)
Whoa. . . this thing's gonna be a show stopper!

I hope that we can again have some luthier shows later 2021. If so, I will be sure to bring it to Woodstock..:up:

iim7V7IM7 03-30-2021 06:11 PM

Bridge on...
 
Mark has glued the Ebony bridge to the Italian Spruce top (see the photo below). He scapes the nitrocellulose lacquer off the top were the bridge is glued to the top with an perimeter inset of about 1/32”. Mark measures the lacquer thickness after scraping (The lacquer on my Bristlecone measured about .003”.) and he in turn scrapes a corresponding small step along the perimeter of the underside of the bridge so that it sits tight on the sound board. His belly bridge weighed 26 grams.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...88F2654F7.jpeg

Steve Kinnaird 03-30-2021 08:17 PM

That's a pretty sweet little gluing jig! Getting close now, Bob. Are your fingers starting to itch?

Steve

iim7V7IM7 03-30-2021 09:06 PM

It is a nice jig Steve...:).

Mark is the son of a machinist and you can see it in his approach (just look at those knurled knobs!). I think the itching may need to wait. While we may see strings within a week, the case from Jeff H may we the critical path. It was ordered 9-weeks ago and ETA is still TBD.

No big deal...I usually like to leave an instrument with its maker for a few weeks post strings on to allow it settle in, get some set up TLC and let its maker experience the wonders of their craft before sending it to me..:up:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Kinnaird (Post 6677806)
That's a pretty sweet little gluing jig! Getting close now, Bob. Are your fingers starting to itch?

Steve


iim7V7IM7 04-02-2021 05:34 PM

Under Load
 
Mark installed the Gotoh 510 tuners (with stock buttons for now) and prepped the Jescar EVO .043” x .080” fret wire the other day and strung up the guitar. He likes to have the guitar under string load for a day or so before shaping the fretboard and fretting the instrument.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...253FDCA51.jpeg

He will replace the plastic buttons with custom Macassar Ebony buttons when he finishes it.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...F123E5E72A.png

iim7V7IM7 04-03-2021 01:54 PM

Shaping the Fretboard
 
Now that the guitar has been under string tension for a day of so, Mark went on to shape the fretboard this morning. The first photo shows his neck dial indicator tool in place over the center of the fingerboard.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...A66D1BA30.jpeg

The second photo shows a graph of the data points before doing any shaping. The nut is at the left end of the graph and the right end of the curve is a point near the sound hole. The upper curve is Mark’s theoretically perfect target curve. The lower curve is the actual shape of the fingerboard based on the dial indicator measurements. You can see in lower curve the the classic “body hump” at the neck joint.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...5833C83F9.jpeg

The third photo shows the curve after shaping. Mark has found that it’s not necessary to match the “theoretical” curve exactly. Establishing a smooth curve that is close to the target it is his goal.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...B83BD6B47.jpeg

The fourth photo shows bass, middle and treble curves taken across the fretboard. The upper, yellow curve is the curve between the E and B strings. The lower yellow curve is between the low E and A strings. The treble curve is ‘flatter’ than the bass curve indicating less relief. Mark went on to correct the “kick up” seen at the right end of the graph after the photo was taken.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...99C15260A.jpeg

mhw48 04-03-2021 02:50 PM

The accursed body hump! I know it too well. On the other hand, I have never seen, heard of, nor even imagined a neck dial indicator tool. It is really fascinating to see how different luthiers work to solve common problems, often with quite individual solutions.

cigarfan 04-04-2021 05:27 AM

Really cool Bob! Thanks for sharing. :up:

iim7V7IM7 04-04-2021 06:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cigarfan (Post 6681826)
Really cool Bob! Thanks for sharing. :up:

Dennis, I look forward to seeing your smiling face after you demo it at the next luthier show that we meet up at...:)

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhw48 (Post 6681479)
The accursed body hump! I know it too well. On the other hand, I have never seen, heard of, nor even imagined a neck dial indicator tool. It is really fascinating to see how different luthiers work to solve common problems, often with quite individual solutions.

Yes, that is partly to my mind is what the AGF custom shop is all about. They all are kind of the same thing once assembled into a guitar, but the journey from wood to song differs. They also all sound a bit different which unfortunately is beyond the capability of the internet in my opinion (unfortunately recordings are technique, environment and player dependent). Attending luthier exhibitions are best for that. These types of threads can provide a prospective buyer with some insight into a builder’s approach...:up:

eKat 04-05-2021 12:44 PM

Regarding Blanchard's manner by which to shape the fingerboard, as one legendary character in the industry put it, "Blanchard, you're a human PLEK Machine."

CRACK ME UP!

iim7V7IM7 04-10-2021 07:59 AM

Fretting the Fretboard Extension
 
It’s always frightening to see a 30 lb. steel contraption on the top of a guitar...:eek:

But Mark’s fret buck sure makes the upper frets go in nicely. It provides support to the fretboard extension so that the frets can be hammered in without the extension bouncing and vibrating. There are two “fingers” that push up on the underside of the extension when the big black knob is tightened. The more mass the better. Mark torch cut that beast out of 5/8” steel plate.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...6F1DB6E15.jpeg

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...C1562F5EA.jpeg

cigarfan 04-10-2021 08:25 AM

That sure is a beast of a contraption. Wow! :)

dcn 04-10-2021 08:35 AM

Wow indeed... that’s practically medieval :)

I hadn’t even noticed the guitar under there at first.

iim7V7IM7 04-10-2021 03:11 PM

Mark got the idea from Bob Taylor...:up:

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...9CFE931EE6.png

eKat 04-12-2021 12:06 PM

Hey, Bob . . . maybe Blanchard thought you were into HEAVY METAL!

HA!

iim7V7IM7 04-12-2021 02:50 PM

A Guitar...
 
Mark sent me a few photos of the completed guitar today. The case from Jeff Hoffee is arriving today as well, so I believe the guitar will be shipped to me next week.

The Italian Spruce top is presenting some beautiful silking and the mottled Koa purflings are visually dancing a bit. You can also see Mark’s angled bone saddle (angled about 12 degrees toward the end block). The faint profile of clear polyester pickguard is also there if you look.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...D2FE4CA3D.jpeg

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...D8DE0C238.jpeg

The dark Macassar Ebony binding lighter mottled Koa purflings both contrast and quartersawn Brazilian Rosewood back and sides. The set is quite sedate in its figure, but is the tight grained, quartersawn stuff we see all to little of these days. You can also see Mark’s continuous curvature Venetian cutaway with a smooth transition between the neck and body.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...D225F75AA.jpeg

Here is the book matched Brazilian Rosewood peghead veneer with an Abalone “B”. Again, Mark used Macassar Ebony binding and tuner buttons as well as mottled Koa purfling to aesthetically tie it in to the body decoration.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...88E600399.jpeg

Nemoman 04-12-2021 03:43 PM

Wow--it looks fantastic!

Beautiful BRW--and the silking in that top really is amazing...

eKat 04-12-2021 04:00 PM

Here’s to you, Bob. May you find untold hours of joy just lookin’ at this sucker - not to mention playin’ it. It is pure understated elegance.

eKat 04-12-2021 04:23 PM

Wow. . . sorry guys, I totally messed up the above post. I don't have the workings of this forum wired and I went in to edit something and lost most of it. Nonetheless. . . the bottom line is, Bob's new Blanchard is beautiful and I've been sharing it with my FB friends. They've been lovin' it. I hope Bob loves it as much as they do.

iim7V7IM7 04-12-2021 07:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eKat (Post 6688984)
Wow. . . sorry guys, I totally messed up the above post. I don't have the workings of this forum wired and I went in to edit something and lost most of it. Nonetheless. . . the bottom line is, Bob's new Blanchard is beautiful and I've been sharing it with my FB friends. They've been lovin' it. I hope Bob loves it as much as they do.

Thanks Kat...:up:

mhw48 04-12-2021 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 (Post 6688908)
Mark sent me a few photos of the completed guitar today. The case from Jeff Hoffee is arriving today as well, so I believe the guitar will be shipped to me next week.

The Italian Spruce top is presenting some beautiful silking and the mottled Koa purflings are visually dancing a bit. You can also see Mark’s angled bone saddle (angled about 12 degrees toward the end block). The faint profile of clear polyester pickguard is also there if you look.

Wow, that is quite stunning — the twisting transition from the neck heel to the cutaway is really impressive.

eKat 04-13-2021 06:43 AM

I asked Blanchard to shoot down the neck onto his compound, contoured Venetian cutaway. A photo like that really shows the grace and perfection of such a complicated interpretation.

If he sends me one, I'll post it up.

iim7V7IM7 04-13-2021 04:07 PM

Case
 
Mark received the custom case from Jeff Hoffee yesterday and it fits like a glove. Since the guitar has a 1” (3-1/2” to 4-1/2”) Manzer Wedge, a custom case was a must.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...CE9066926.jpeg


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