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IndianHillMike 09-12-2013 11:05 AM

Build Thread: Indian Hill Concert Engelmann/Wenge for TAMCO
I have a few projects to finish up in the coming weeks, but I'll soon be starting on my next build for Trevor at TAMCO! These are the basic details we've worked out so far...

Concert model
Wenge/Zebrawood/Wenge back
Wenge sides
Engelmann top
12-fret body joint
Sound port

Before starting I'll be doing some slight tweaking of my Concert shape. The key dimensions are going to stay the same, but the transition points will be changing. Basically the waist and widest point of the lower bout will both be higher up. Here's a pic of how I draw out my shapes...

I really like using this method -- using a flexible piece like that really allows for natural curves and great control of the transition points (where the piece of wood is pressed against the plastic).

I'm quite happy with the re-designed shape and will post pictures of my fancy new mold and drawings soon!


cigarfan 09-12-2013 04:02 PM

I look forward to following along. Always so interesting.

Is the shape change for esthetics only or is there a sonic change you are going for?

JamesO 09-12-2013 04:58 PM

Sounds pretty! I'm looking forward to following along. Do you know how you'll bind it?

IndianHillMike 09-13-2013 12:32 PM


Originally Posted by cigarfan (Post 3620337)
Is the shape change for esthetics only or is there a sonic change you are going for?

Mostly it's for looks, but I'm hoping the re-design will have some sonic benefits as well. The soundboard area should remain roughly the same so by bringing up the waist I'll be increasing size of the working area of the top (basically the lower bout).


Originally Posted by JamesO (Post 3620447)
Do you know how you'll bind it?

Right now the plan is for wenge binding with zebrawood and maple purfling.

Should be finishing up the mould today and really getting started on construction next week!


Trevor M 09-25-2013 02:25 AM

I'm really looking forward to this one, the last guitar from Mike sold in a few days.

IndianHillMike 09-25-2013 09:18 AM

Good timing Trevor! The new shape/mould is finally done and I can fully start on this one...

Here's the wood for this build...

Preparing the center section of the back...

For the style of rosette I'm planning for this build I install it in several stages. Here I've put in the radial wenge for the main part of the rosette with radial zebrawood for the soundhole binding...

Next, I route out channels for the radial zebrawood that will surround the wenge...

Today I'll finish up joining the back sections, install the rest of the rosette, and hopefully get started on bracing! Busy busy day ahead....


IndianHillMike 09-26-2013 08:39 AM

Yesterday lived up to my expectations and was indeed busy busy busy!

Started the day off by finishing up the rosette. Here I've removed the teflon strips and mostly cleaned up the rest of the rosette before installing the radial zebrawood purfling...

And here it is all cleaned up!

Here the final pieces of the back are being joined...

And this is how it's going to look! I think under finish the transition from the outer wenge to the inner sapwood of the zebrawood will be quite nice. I also like tying in the color of the sapwood to the engelmann spruce on the top...

Here I'm checking the deflection of the top as I thickness. In this case, I'm going for the same relative deflection as the last engelmann guitar I sent to Trevor. Since this is a slightly larger shape than my OO, it will deflect slightly more, but the ratio of deflection to length will be the same...

That's it for now!


IndianHillMike 10-01-2013 07:04 AM

Not too many exciting pictures this time, but the guitar is moving right along.

Some of the other guys in my shop have been getting excited about laminating their liners so I thought I'd give it a try this time. First thing this morning will be to clean up the lamination job and see how it turned out!

The back is about half braced so hopefully I can finish it up today and get it glued to the frame. More pictures later!


IndianHillMike 10-05-2013 10:25 AM

It's been an incredibly beautiful week in Montreal and things are moving right along with this build. Here's a shot of the laminated liners...

The wenge laminations definitely made the rims stiffer, but I would approach it differently in the future if I try it again. I think I would pre-bend and laminate the liners before gluing them onto the sides -- certainly would make cleaning it up a lot easier!

As I've mentioned in previous threads, I view my backs more as reflectors than an active partner with the top. Because this is really a 4-piece back, I needed 3 back strips and decided to pre-laminate them all into a 15' arch. This equals a stiff back!

Despite the stiffness, the back still rings like a bell and I was quite pleased to get a closed ring and a half...

I now have half a box and it's time to start bracing the top!


IndianHillMike 10-08-2013 07:08 AM

Around 5 years ago I braced a guitar with a pretty different bracing pattern (at least for me) and despite thinking it was one of my best sounding guitars, I hadn't tried that style of bracing again -- until now!

Here's the start of the bracing process...

Those scoops in the V-braces will have larger braces crossing over them -- I like to have a reasonable amount of "scoop" on either side of intersecting braces to avoid concentrated points of stiffness as much as possible.

This is the final, and mostly uncarved, pattern...

Something else that might be hard to notice is that I like to have all of my braces connected to other braces or the liners around the edge. For example, the V-brace that starts at the tail end and goes into the waist has been notched out to overlap the two cross-grain braces near the bottom. I figure that if braces both fight string tension and transmit/distribute vibration I want to have a connected and closed of a system as possible!


SJ VanSandt 10-08-2013 07:56 AM

An X over a V - that's really interesting. I would love to hear this one!

IndianHillMike 10-10-2013 08:41 AM

Getting close to finishing the woodwork on the body for this build. Here's the top with fully carved braces and ready to be glued to the sides...

I'm very excited to hear how this one will sound and am glad I revived this old bracing pattern. I don't think it's going to lay dormant again after this build!

And now it's a full box!

It's nice to finally get a good idea of what the newly modified shape looks like. It's one thing to see drawings or the top/back on it's own, but now that the body is fully formed I think you can really see the true shape.

Today I'll finish cleaning up the sides and get started on binding. I'm going for really clean and defined lines on this one -- I think a simple maple line will look really classy with the chocolaty wenge.


cigarfan 10-10-2013 09:39 AM

I like your new shape. Looks like a larger chamber in the lower bout. Betcha the low end will be awesome. Thanks for sharing Mike.

Trevor M 10-10-2013 09:42 AM

I like it too, I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on it.

ewh2 10-12-2013 05:39 AM

Looking forward to the pictures of the finish. His FP work is outstanding.

If you read my post Mike, if you don't mind me asking how much percentage of your time per build is spent on the finish?

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