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-   -   McKnight Guitars - Olive wood / Redwood siblings (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=402354)

Tim McKnight 09-28-2015 08:11 AM

McKnight Guitars - Olive wood / Redwood siblings
 
We are building a very unique pair of guitars for our customer using a rather odd and obscure wood that I have always wanted to build with, but have never had the opportunity until now, Olea europaea or Olive wood. I have searched for years for this wood but it was so difficult to find, especially sets large enough to build a guitar with and that had the quality to meet my expectations.

Most Olive wood on the market has been imported from the Mediterranean region of Europe and the wood that was available was either too small or riddled with internal imperfections that rendered it unusable for lutherie. However, a few years ago I stumbled across some domestic Olive wood grown on an Olive farm in Northern, CA. The farmer was culling out some trees that were no longer productive and we were able to procure a few pieces of Olive wood for this project.

For this build our customer chose to use as many West coast native woods as possible so these guitars will be mostly made of domestic woods. The body for the acoustic guitar will be our popular SDG shape of CA Olive and he chose an old growth reclaimed 1950 coastal California Redwood top. Bindings will be CA curly Claro Walnut.

Please join us for this exciting journey of this West coast guitar project.

Olive wood back:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-K...2/IMG_2512.JPG


Super tight, old growth Redwood top:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-K...2/IMG_2516.JPG

SJ VanSandt 09-28-2015 08:50 AM

Can't wait to see this one come together! I like the idea of an all-California guitar, but what are you going to do about the neck? Would a Claro Walnut neck be to heavy?

Doubleneck 09-28-2015 09:30 AM

That is awesome looking wood. Tim is destroying my guitar collection. Ever since getting one of his guitars this year I tend to play nothing else. I'm at the beach and took the McKnight rather than a logical carbon? May end up with a few less guitars now.

nacluth 09-28-2015 10:54 AM

Looking forward to another McKnight guitar. Steve and I were just wondering when we'd get to watch another one. We've been sitting on a set of Olive wood, but it will be nice to see someone go first :) I think this will be an excellent combo.

Btw SJ, I have a walnut neck on my walnut guitar and it's great.

Mary 09-28-2015 11:48 AM

I like the fragrance of the shop when Tim is sanding the Olive wood. :)

nootis 09-28-2015 12:11 PM

I have an Olivewood and Sinker Redwood on an early Stehr, and I really like the wood combination. My opinion might not mean much, but I think Olivewood acts a lot like a Rosewood. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

In fact it is the guitar that got me hooked on the AGF and boutique luthiers, and I think in Tim's hands, this wood combo will be a gem.

Tim McKnight 09-28-2015 12:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SJ VanSandt (Post 4655263)
Can't wait to see this one come together! I like the idea of an all-California guitar, but what are you going to do about the neck? Would a Claro Walnut neck be to heavy?

Stay tuned ...

Tim McKnight 09-28-2015 12:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nootis (Post 4655539)
I have an Olivewood and Sinker Redwood on an early Stehr, and I really like the wood combination. My opinion might not mean much, but I think Olivewood acts a lot like a Rosewood. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

In fact it is the guitar that got me hooked on the AGF and boutique luthiers, and I think in Tim's hands, this wood combo will be a gem.


Hi Nootis,

Olive has an interesting tap tone and it does lean more towards the Rosewood spectrum, at least to my ear. The sustain isn't quite as long as some RWs but its no slouch either. The Olive wood is quite dense, similar to a RW but I can't offer any opinion to its final tone quite yet.

Tim McKnight 09-28-2015 12:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doubleneck (Post 4655324)
That is awesome looking wood. Tim is destroying my guitar collection. Ever since getting one of his guitars this year I tend to play nothing else. I'm at the beach and took the McKnight rather than a logical carbon? May end up with a few less guitars now.

Perhaps we should talk Steve? One McKnight might not be enough :lol: Enjoy your vacation!

Tim McKnight 09-28-2015 12:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nacluth (Post 4655447)
Looking forward to another McKnight guitar. Steve and I were just wondering when we'd get to watch another one. We've been sitting on a set of Olive wood, but it will be nice to see someone go first :) I think this will be an excellent combo.

Btw SJ, I have a walnut neck on my walnut guitar and it's great.

Ryan,
Looks like Joel beat us to it. Like Mary said, the aroma in the shop is just heavenly.

TomB'sox 09-28-2015 03:27 PM

Wonderful to have another McKnight build to watch and with such interesting wood choices. Anxious to see what you and Mary come up with!!!

Cocobolo Kid 09-28-2015 05:53 PM

McKnight
 
Tim,

I grew up in N. California and think this is a great concept. I can't wait to see this guitar take shape.

Cheers.

Tim McKnight 09-29-2015 09:51 AM

Hey Tom & John.

We are looking forward to this build as much as you are. I wish you could smell the Olive's wafting around the shop. Its awesome.

yoni 09-29-2015 10:10 AM

This is so cool and can't wait to see the other wood choices involved. I would also say if you were ever looking for more olive wood I would say try contacting the Queen Creek Olive mill in Arizona.

Rod True 09-29-2015 11:28 PM

Oh following this one for sure!! That olive wood looks great!

Eire 10-01-2015 02:34 PM

The olive looks gorgeous, but I don't care what wood you have Tim put beneath his stash of '50s redwood: It's gonna sound sensational. I recall playing a '50s redwood top fresh off a build and headed out to Healdsburg, back in 2011 I believe, that was over walnut if I'm remembering correctly. Just an incredible guitar, with the '50s redwood not too dissimilar from the LS redwood guitar I own that Tim built. I've listened to Tim tap that stuff, too; it's to die for. Eager to see this one progress!

David Wren 10-01-2015 03:57 PM

Looking forward to watching this one!

theEdwinson 10-01-2015 07:47 PM

Yeah, what David said! Tim, I'm very pleased that you are sharing this project with us. I've been intrigued about Olive wood for awhile now. Some specimens, like to ones you've got, are uniquely beautiful. I'll be curious to hear your impressions on its workability, and tonal character. No doubt the guitars you make with it will be stellar in every respect.

About five years ago, the Seattle Rockler Woodworkers store got a couple pallet loads of Cocobolo, which I zeroed in on. They also had some super-fine planks of Olive, quarter-to-rift, plenty wide enough for guitars... and man, was I tempted. Even now, I'm kicking myself for spending all my money on the Cocobolo, and not getting one of those Olive planks. That's a rare opportunity- one I will not miss next time!

bho 10-01-2015 08:14 PM

That olive wood looks beautiful!

Tim McKnight 10-02-2015 07:24 AM

Thanks for the kind comments folks and sorry for the late reply. We are in in Raleigh exhibiting at the IBMA Bluegrass Festival so our internet access is limited. We will try to update the thread with more pictures ASAP. Glad we are indoors most of the time because this hurricane is hammering the area.

Treenewt 10-02-2015 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tim McKnight (Post 4660470)
Thanks for the kind comments folks and sorry for the late reply. We are in in Raleigh exhibiting at the IBMA Bluegrass Festival so our internet access is limited. We will try to update the thread with more pictures ASAP. Glad we are indoors most of the time because this hurricane is hammering the area.

Tim it's been raining here for a week straight! Glad you guys floated down! I hope to come to the convention center tomorrow, and I'd love to meet you. I hope the weather is decent enough to come!

Tim McKnight 10-03-2015 06:10 PM

Treenewt,
Thanks for stopping by our booth. It was a pleasure to meet you and your family.

Treenewt 10-03-2015 08:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tim McKnight (Post 4662307)
Treenewt,
Thanks for stopping by our booth. It was a pleasure to meet you and your family.

Tim, thanks to you and Mary for taking the time to chat with us and let me play a few of your wonderful acoustics! I keep thinking about that mahogany MacNaught! You make some Mighty fine instruments sir!!!

Thanks again for taking the time! And tell Mary my son, who wouldn't put the shades on when we were there, just asked me if he could wear them to bed! He hasn't taken them off since!

Tim McKnight 10-05-2015 09:37 AM

OK, we are back to work now so its time to update our build photos:




Routing the rosette cavity in the top:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-f...2/IMG_2529.JPG



Cutting the Olive Wood 12 segment rosette:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-g...2/IMG_2535.JPG



Gluing the rosette into the pocket:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-B...2/IMG_2540.JPG



Excess glue mopped up:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-u...2/IMG_2542.JPG

Don't freak out if you see a gap around the rosette. ^ A super tight fit is not important in the step above since I will be cutting purfling channels around the rosette inner and outer perimeters [after] the glue has dried in this step of the process.




The top goes into the vacuum clamp frame. This applies even clamping pressure on the rosette to hold it in place while the glue dries:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-N...2/IMG_2544.JPG

Tim McKnight 10-05-2015 09:52 AM

While the glue dries in the rosette we will lay up the purflings. This is made up of a sandwich of Black fiber sheet stock, Ash veneer, Curly Claro Walnut core, Ash veneer and Black Fiber sheet stock.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-z...2/IMG_2545.JPG



Tite Bond III glue applied to each veneer. I have found that TB-III holds up to heat well when bending the purflings in the Fox style side bender or bending over a hot pipe. This is the only joint I use Tite Bond glue:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-v...2/IMG_2546.JPG




Sandwich clamped up:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-p...2/IMG_2547.JPG



https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-I...2/IMG_2548.JPG

Tim McKnight 10-09-2015 11:35 AM

While the purfling lay up is drying we are off to work on the sides:

Starting with book matched Olive "outer" sides:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-w...2/IMG_2518.JPG



Sides are thickness sanded:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-d...2/IMG_2521.JPG



Side profiles are drawn for the Linda Manzer inspired wedge:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-s...2/IMG_2520.JPG



Side profiles are cut on the bandsaw:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0...2/IMG_2519.JPG



Finally the "Double sides" are ready for the bender:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-u...2/IMG_2523.JPG

Treenewt 10-09-2015 12:56 PM

Tim that looks great! Love the use of olive wood! That grain will look amazing under finish I'll wager!

J.R. Rogers 10-09-2015 01:26 PM

Olive and old growth Redwood. I'm interested in hearing the results for sure. That wood is some pretty stuff.

Martin Keith 10-10-2015 10:07 PM

Gorgeous, Tim! Just beautiful.
I have seen Olive tops on electrics before but never on an acoustic.
What does it smell like when cutting/bending?

Also, how do you like that Grizzly widebelt sander?
I'm dreaming of upgrading from my silly little Delta 18-36 and that seems like
the next reasonable step up.

Cheers,
Martin

Tim McKnight 10-12-2015 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Martin Keith (Post 4671417)
What does it smell like when cutting/bending?

Also, how do you like that Grizzly widebelt sander?

Cheers,
Martin

Hi Martin,

Machining Olive wood smells like you just opened a jar of fresh green olives. Its awesome, but I guess you have to like green olives :D

I love my Grizzly wide belt sander. I started out with a Performax 16-32 twenty five years ago and I still have it although its only used to thickness nuts and saddles these days. What previously took 20 minutes to do on the Performax I can do in less than a minute on the wide belt. Another benefit is that it doesn't load up the sand paper like the hi speed drum sanders do. Its one of the best tool investments I've ever made. I've never had a single problem with it either, knock on wood ... You'll need a powerful dust collector because it creates a lot of dust ... quickly!

If you buy one, you'll only need two grits of sanding belts, 60 and 120. I'm still using belts that are 10+ years old. If the belt loads up in a few spots, spray Easy Off oven cleaner on it, let soak for 10 minutes and rinse with a garden hose. Allow the belt dry over night and its just like new again. You will also need three other strong young men to help you move it. These things are heavy.


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