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Mark Hatcher 01-07-2018 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlmJn (Post 5594517)
I bought a nice piece of Mahogany a few years in an estate sale in Kalamazoo. 4"x17"by 6.5 ft. Sold off at the Gibson auction in 1984 and put away in a garage. I wandered into the garage saw it with some 12/4 Walnut and Cherry that I had no interest in at the price being asked. But the "unknown" plank was yelling very loudly, "Take me home". There were also some nice scraps of BRZ large enough for a few bridges priced at $1ea. One of my better wood buying days.

Good for you! Its really great to actually find treasure when youre on a treasure hunt!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Guitars44me (Post 5594568)
Yummy stuff and great stories too! What is not to like?

You Luthiers are modern alchemists. You turn beautiful wood into music.

Cheers

Paul

Thanks Paul. Ill admit when it comes to woods Im a sucker for a good story. That may be part of what attracts to domestic woods. It puts you closer to the story of the wood. Sometimes you are talking to the author of the story behind the wood you get to build a guitar out of.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DamianL (Post 5594760)
I love the idea of using domestic wood - that olive looks brilliant, and would love to hear it.

Over here in the U.K. I know of a couple of builders using all domestic woods for some guitars...havent got to try one of them yet either....but it definitely appeals to me.

D

Thanks for commenting Damian. Im sure you wont be disappointed the first time you play a well made domestic woods guitar!

Bill Kraus 01-07-2018 10:07 AM

I look forward to seeing more of that bandsaw setup.

Mark Hatcher 01-07-2018 03:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Kraus (Post 5595038)
I look forward to seeing more of that bandsaw setup.

Hi Bill, Ill show more of the set up soon. I have a number of billets in line to cut, hopefully to utter success! :)

Mark

Mark Hatcher 01-12-2018 11:15 AM

Koa
 
About a year ago I was fortunate to pick up a very nice old billet of Koa from a retiring luthier:

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8642/...4d6598d7_c.jpg

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8344/...1ceea527_c.jpg

Wonderfully quarter sawn:

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8686/...9e0ab282_c.jpg

Very nicely figured:

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8078/...c900bcfe_c.jpg

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8097/...d1e42bcc_c.jpg

I've been waiting to get my re-saw equipment and my chops up to bite into this billet and I'm there finally.
I was able to get 8 back sets from billet by cutting it in half and making 8 slices from each piece:

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4770/...f0007c75_c.jpg

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4724/...77816411_b.jpg

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4671/...98d9bd95_b.jpg

I'm very satisfied with the look and especially the tap tone I'm getting from the very hard old Koa billet!
The domestic wood locker deepens.

cigarfan 01-12-2018 02:39 PM

My my! That is some scrumptious Koa. You really know where to hit a guy Mark.

Mark Hatcher 01-13-2018 09:02 AM

Unlimited Series
 
I have mentioned before I have been working on my Unlimited Series of one of a kind guitars that I intend to display as I start doing guitar shows this year.
Things happen slowly in this world of guitar making and I am really taking my time with each of the four current guitars I want to have ready this year. I have limited the number of custom orders I am taking to help make time but, I do need to keep money coming in to "keep the lights on"

The first guitar in this series is finished and I had done a build thread here on AGF. This is my Olivewood Italian themed Penelope Guitar;

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4386/...a179d643_h.jpg

The second guitar is currently on the bench which is a Black Walnut/Redwood Greta. This guitar is introducing a new concept with it's throated sound port system;

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4575/...7204f9f0_c.jpg

The next guitar will be an all Koa Josie small jumbo. I am doing a Hawaiian theme with this one and am currently doing the groundwork for it. This is why you are seeing me do so much re saw work lately. I had the Koa billet but needed to buy better equipment to reliably cut the wood and needed to train the tool (me) to reliably operate the tools to get the best Koa cuts for this guitar. I've managed to get the 8 guitar sets from the billet and am able to pick the best among them for this all Koa guitar.

I was very happy with the performance of the all mahogany, wedge, fan fret Josie I had made for Ukejon:

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2863/...9f70b399_c.jpg

I plan to greatly build upon this design and am currently doing quite a bit of research in preparation.

Lastly, I will have my Pia parlor model. Wait till you see what I have planned for this one!

Jeff Scott 01-13-2018 04:15 PM

Mark, what is the scale lengths of the fan fret Josie? I have a 12 string guitar with a 25.5" - 27" fan and it feel perfectly natural to me, and anyone who has played it, some not even realizing it was a fanned fret guitar until I mentioned it! They must have been looking at that woman across the room when they grabbed the guitar to put in their laps. :D

Mark Hatcher 01-14-2018 05:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Scott (Post 5601684)
Mark, what is the scale lengths of the fan fret Josie? I have a 12 string guitar with a 25.5" - 27" fan and it feel perfectly natural to me, and anyone who has played it, some not even realizing it was a fanned fret guitar until I mentioned it! They must have been looking at that woman across the room when they grabbed the guitar to put in their laps. :D

Thanks for commenting Jeff. The Josie has the same 1 1/2 span but, instead of your 25.5-27 fan we did 24.75-26.25. Also, the guitar is 13 frets to the body.
I think a 1 1/2 spread is longest fan youd want to go with. For this next Josie Im thinking 24.75-25.75.

Mark

Bill Kraus 01-14-2018 08:24 AM

Wow, nice koa billet.

SoCalSurf 01-14-2018 08:30 AM

That is some amazing koa. Can't wait to see how the guitars made from that look. That's probably my favorite wood.

Mark Hatcher 01-14-2018 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Kraus (Post 5602286)
Wow, nice koa billet.

Thanks Bill! I was nervous cutting into it but it all worked out well.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SoCalSurf (Post 5602299)
That is some amazing koa. Can't wait to see how the guitars made from that look. That's probably my favorite wood.

Thanks SoCalSurf! I believe Koa is one of the most beautiful woods available. I think of it as the most exotic of our domestic woods.
Thanks for commenting.

LouieAtienza 01-14-2018 03:41 PM

That olivewood Penelope is probably my new favorite from you; love how you tied the motif in the rosette and sound "port."

Tim McKnight 01-14-2018 04:30 PM

Mark,
What are the specs on your re-saw blade? Im in the market for a new one. My current blade is a 1-3 tpi skip tooth carbide .035. I think its a Lennox from Hastings. Its lasted a long time but its time...

Mark Hatcher 01-15-2018 05:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouieAtienza (Post 5602724)
That olivewood Penelope is probably my new favorite from you; love how you tied the motif in the rosette and sound "port."

Thanks Louie, The stem of that Olive sprig port was a challenge to cut!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tim McKnight (Post 5602768)
Mark,
What are the specs on your re-saw blade? Im in the market for a new one. My current blade is a 1-3 tpi skip tooth carbide .035. I think its a Lennox from Hastings. Its lasted a long time but its time...

Hi Tim, Im using Timber Wolf 3/4 2-3 positive claw blades with a .025 blade thickness. They cut a .049 kerf which I feel is a lot of wood to be turning to dust. They cut well but, Im open to change because the kerf is so wide.

Mark Hatcher 01-18-2018 04:58 PM

I just wanted to pull this post up again because the company I got the wood from has just become a sponsor here on AGF. You'll see the listing on the sponsor list as Chordwood. It's run by Glenn. Great guy, great premium mahogany!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Hatcher (Post 5590929)
So I've been cooped up in below zero temps for a week up here in New Hampshire. Time for a road trip. Car's got heat. I got word on New Year's day there was a new source for some prime aged Honduran Mahogany for neck stock within days ride and I went for it yesterday. I left in the -11 degree black morning and headed east over the mountain to greet the sunrise. An hour and a half later with the sun in my eyes I reached the ocean and turned North for the beautiful frozen Mid Maine Coast.

In 1987 a very large quantity of this Long Leaf Mahogany was imported for a large job. They were matching colors and the rarer darker pieces were put aside maybe 350 board feet in all were left in dry storage. Now 30 years later they are making them available and I am the first one there!

This is the genuine Mahogany people say you can't get anymore and if you did you would have to wait 30 years for it to be what this stuff is. I drove by the Lee Neilson factory and showroom on the way there and luckily didn't realize what I was looking at when it went by.

I made my selection and got to try to catch up with the sun before it set on the way home. So here is what I got, this first board is 4 inches thick by 12 inches wide and six feet long:

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4638/...33beed89_c.jpg

That's enough for me to get 18 necks of American Mahogany:

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4725/...0038fd44_c.jpg

I also bought a small two neck blank from another board. I'll say I was over budget but, I am not ashamed to say the this board was a bit scary. It has a dark color which is nice and it is hard as rock and really heavy. When I measured and weighed it at home it comes up to 44lbs per cubic foot. Big Leaf Mahogany normally come in at 37lbs. That is a huge difference!

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4739/...b76b18bf_c.jpg

These Swietenia Macrophylla boards are gorgeous and the chatoyance when wet just sparkles:

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4644/...2d089129_c.jpg

It occurred to me today that I am going to hold the two dark neck for "Tree" guitars as they'll be great matches. The other 18 will be for higher end specs or upcharges on customs because they are premium wood that came at a premium.

Finally here's the question: How many different common names did I use for the same species of wood?


Mark Hatcher 01-19-2018 01:27 PM

Greta ready for finish
 
I'm just wrapping up this Greta for finish. It's cedar over Black Walnut with a walnut neck and Venetian cut away. Trimmed with Black and Macassar ebony with abalone all around. The rosette and arm bevel inlays are spalted Tamarind. I made a very similar one for Cigarfan a couple years ago. I've got a little more clean up work to do and it will be ready to go Monday:

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4695/...8a336cb3_b.jpg

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4749/...23ddfe15_c.jpg

Thanks for viewing!
Mark

Nemoman 01-19-2018 02:01 PM

That is a very stunning guitar, Mark!

Love the inlays in the arm bevel and the carry-through to the soundport.

Awesome! Hope you'll do a video of it when finished...

printer2 01-19-2018 02:49 PM

Do something bad for a change. ;)

TomB'sox 01-19-2018 04:33 PM

10 out of 10 on this one!

Bill Kraus 01-19-2018 05:41 PM

That abalone looks great against the fingerboard, classy.

cigarfan 01-20-2018 06:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemoman (Post 5608244)
That is a very stunning guitar, Mark!

Love the inlays in the arm bevel and the carry-through to the soundport.

Awesome! Hope you'll do a video of it when finished...

Indeed that guitar looks awesome!! Of course I am a bit biased.

There are some clips in this thread. Post #176

NCBluesman 01-20-2018 09:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cigarfan (Post 5608853)
Indeed that guitar looks awesome!! Of course I am a bit biased.

There are some clips in this thread. Post #176

I bet that guitar looks familiar, huh, cigarfan :).

I'm getting very excited about my guitar and look forward to its completion. Mark has been awesome to work with.

Mark Hatcher 01-20-2018 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemoman (Post 5608244)
That is a very stunning guitar, Mark!

Love the inlays in the arm bevel and the carry-through to the soundport.

Awesome! Hope you'll do a video of it when finished...

Thanks Nemoman! Cigarfan put a link to the build thread from his similar guitar which includes some sound clips. Cedar on Black Walnuts is one of my favorite wood combinations. I wouldnt hesitate putting it up against any other wood combo for a guitar made for all around use.

Quote:

Originally Posted by printer2 (Post 5608308)
Do something bad for a change. ;)

:) If you ever come visit my studio ask to see my rack of shame. Ill guarantee youll never see it on AGF!

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomB'sox (Post 5608440)
10 out of 10 on this one!

Thanks for commenting Tom. A guitar like this might look nice in that beautiful cabinet youre having made!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Kraus (Post 5608523)
That abalone looks great against the fingerboard, classy.

Thanks Bill! I try to keep that abalone bordering black, it certainly sparkles.

Quote:

Originally Posted by cigarfan (Post 5608853)
Indeed that guitar looks awesome!! Of course I am a bit biased.

There are some clips in this thread. Post #176

Thanks for putting up the link cigarfan! This guitar is very close to the one we did.

Mark Hatcher 01-20-2018 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NCBluesman (Post 5609001)
I bet that guitar looks familiar, huh, cigarfan :).

I'm getting very excited about my guitar and look forward to its completion. Mark has been awesome to work with.

Were coming down toward the final stretch. It will be exciting seeing all the figure in the Black Walnut set come to life under finish! Thanks for your kind words.

Mark

TomB'sox 01-20-2018 11:03 AM

[QUOTE=Mark Hatcher;5609074]


Thanks for commenting Tom. A guitar like this might look nice in that beautiful cabinet youre having made!



Haha, yes, there is no doubt about that....Walnut in Walnut, red cedar with white cedar....hmmm, I might have to give that more thought!!!!!

Mark Hatcher 01-26-2018 01:16 PM

That's nuts!
 
I've got this idea to do an all New Hampshire guitar. I have a number of local Red Spruce tops. Backs could be Black Walnut, Hard Maple, and I've got a bunch of wild Black Cherry. Cherry would make good internal parts like kerf, heel and tail blocks. Shagbark Hickory would make a decent fret board and bridge.
I just got what seems like a natural for the nut and saddle, Moose antler:

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4740/...23802195_c.jpg

The trick is whether it is strong enough and has a nice ringing ping when I tap it on my granite block:

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4701/...ef1e8e55_c.jpg

Well, this is going to be a bit. The inner core is just too porous and probably not strong enough. It pings nice. The outer layer seems great and it polished up very nicely. It's going to take a lot of antler to find outer layer material suitably large enough to get a nut and a saddle but, I don't need more than one of each to make a guitar.

Jeff Scott 01-26-2018 07:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Hatcher (Post 5616756)
I've got this idea to do an all New Hampshire guitar. I have a number of local Red Spruce tops. Backs could be Black Walnut, Hard Maple, and I've got a bunch of wild Black Cherry. Cherry would make good internal parts like kerf, heel and tail blocks. Shagbark Hickory would make a decent fret board and bridge.
I just got what seems like a natural for the nut and saddle, Moose antler:

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4740/...23802195_c.jpg

The trick is whether it is strong enough and has a nice ringing ping when I tap it on my granite block:

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4701/...ef1e8e55_c.jpg

Well, this is going to be a bit. The inner core is just too porous and probably not strong enough. It pings nice. The outer layer seems great and it polished up very nicely. It's going to take a lot of antler to find outer layer material suitably large enough to get a nut and a saddle but, I don't need more than one of each to make a guitar.

Cool idea. :) Where will you find NH tuning keys and strings? :D

Mark Hatcher 01-27-2018 04:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Scott (Post 5617202)
Cool idea. :) Where will you find NH tuning keys and strings? :D

Hmm, JustStrings.com is in a little town just over the mountain. Does that count? I make my own tuner buttons but, tuners are going to be a trick. I have a friend who is a retired knife maker and I could have gotten his metal working machines which would allowed me to make tuners but, that didnt occur to me then.

David Wren 01-27-2018 09:23 AM

How much of a geek am I, when the first thing I think of when I look at the shot at the top of the page is, "cool truss rod cover"?

Gorgeous instrument Mark!

Mark Hatcher 01-27-2018 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Wren (Post 5617672)
How much of a geek am I, when the first thing I think of when I look at the shot at the top of the page is, "cool truss rod cover"?

Gorgeous instrument Mark!

Thanks David,

Not really a geek, just an eye for detail! Cant build great guitars without one. Doing a quick mental inventory of all the individual pieces I come up with roughly 150 parts that a builder uses to make a guitar. The vast majority of which are fashioned on all six sides and set into place to make a guitar. Lots of room for the devil in all those details, so you got to keep your eye on them!

Mark


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