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Old 09-16-2023, 01:07 PM
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John Osthoff John Osthoff is offline
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Default Build Thread: An OM for Hunter

I am very excited to be in the planning stages of an OM for Hunter. Hunter has commissioned a number of guitars from me, but it has been a few years since we worked together on a project. I enjoy working on all my commissions to some extent, but working with Hunter has always been a treat for me.

We are targeting a next summer (’24) delivery. With that schedule this guitar may get chunks of build time and then set around for a while. I got a lot of stuff on the bench in different stages but that is my norm. Some things I do in batches, but that mostly relates to parts. I do plan to take a week or so to make up some tuner buttons a bit later this fall. It has been a few years since I did them but I have a few guitars that I would like to add them to including this OM. So this will be a relaxed build schedule (for now.)
We have the specs mostly ironed out. Still a few things to be determined. Here are the main specs:
  • My OM model (14-fret body Connection)
  • Brazilian Rosewood Back and Sides
  • European Spruce – Italian/German Moonspruce option
  • Brazilian Rosewood Fretboard and Bridge
  • Some Abalone including snowflake fretmarkers and torch on paddle style Headstock

On one of our previous projects, I had sent him a picture of this set of wood:



He was really intrigued with that back but we decided to go another direction. I set aside with the understanding that I might need if for another project as some point. I sort of hid it away to try to forget I had it. When began talking about this guitar, Hunter asked if I still had it. I had to check but I was fairly certain it was around. It took some digging to find the sides.

So, we are off and running!
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Last edited by John Osthoff; 09-19-2023 at 12:13 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 09-16-2023, 01:21 PM
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Beautiful set JO…
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Old 09-16-2023, 07:38 PM
IBKuz IBKuz is offline
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Default Nice B/S set

John, this BRW really catches my eye. Haven’t seen a set like this here in a while, though Brazilian has not really been on my radar at any time. It will be nice to see it under finish at some point. What binding wood will you be using, do you have a preference for BRW?
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Old 09-17-2023, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post
Beautiful set JO…
Thanks Bob, I dug out the sides just yesterday and took a quickie shot of them





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Originally Posted by IBKuz View Post
John, this BRW really catches my eye. Haven’t seen a set like this here in a while, though Brazilian has not really been on my radar at any time. It will be nice to see it under finish at some point. What binding wood will you be using, do you have a preference for BRW?
Yeah Ian I like this set with the spider webbing and ink lines, I am glad the sides also have it. Just yesterday, Hunter and I were talking about the binding, We might go with Koa, but I have some other thoughts up my sleeve so to speak. I still need to check out some of my supplies before we settle for sure, but stay tuned.
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Old 09-17-2023, 08:59 AM
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Wow, beautiful set, I would have lost money on a bet on that, I would have thought that was Ziricote! Cool!
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Old 09-17-2023, 10:35 AM
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Wow, beautiful set, I would have lost money on a bet on that, I would have thought that was Ziricote! Cool!
Hey Tom, ya know Hunter said "I have really been jonesing for a ziricote guitar lately," although he was 99% sure he would go with the Brazilian set that we set aside years ago. I sent him this picture of a couple of sets of ziricote I have in stock

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Old 09-18-2023, 09:36 PM
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Very cool, again that BRW is pretty unique and I feel like I have seen a lot of it.
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Old 09-19-2023, 09:08 AM
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Hunter was fairly certain he wanted some sort of European spruce for the top on this baby. He suggested bearclaw if I had any. I only had one set of bearclaw that I got back in '03. Not a ton of figure in it but it was still a contender. I could go on the hunt for some but I like to have the tops in my shop for at least a couple of years before I use the. I went through the Italian pile from '06, got out the German Moonspuce and stuff just called European. (not sure which country it came from.) Using a tactile approach I selected one from each variety which I felt were the best of the pile. From those left, I really felt like that European (non-bearclaw) was the best.

I do some proprietary testing on the tops. I call it proprietary only because I have tweeked some of the formulas based on my experience. I do dynamic testing and use the measurements to compare tops and ultimately come out with a target thickness based on the size of the guitar I am building. In the dynamic testing I also can visualize the uniformity of the top. I feel the "numbers" also have trained my ear a little better over time.

Here is a shot of the Euro spruce getting tested for the long-grain stiffness



And this one is looking at the stiffness across the grain.



Besides the feedback I got from the numbers, I like the way the node lines (shown by the sawdust) are so straight and parallel/particular to the grain. I will sometimes see a skew or a curve in the node lines and this indicates a variance in the stiffness through the top. I can sometime feel this by flexing the top, but again I like the visual. When the testing was done, my gut seemed to match my numbers and the European edged out the others. All the sets would make a great top, but this won the competition. Cosmetically it is nice set too and I will post some pictures later on. Thanks
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Old 09-19-2023, 09:30 AM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
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This will be one beautiful OM.

I appreciate you sharing how you bring in different methods, experience, and your own tweaks into the process of testing and evaluating tops. I have spoken to a number of luthiers over the years and love hearing about how each luthier arrives at their individual formula -sometimes they can articulate it and sometimes not. It is one of the things that makes guitar making so interesting to me. So many common steps and procedures involved and yet, always a few individual approaches that add to the uniqueness of each guitar.

I look forward to seeing this process unfold regardless of the top that gets ultimately chosen.

Best,
Jayne
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Old 09-21-2023, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jaymarsch View Post
This will be one beautiful OM.

I appreciate you sharing how you bring in different methods, experience, and your own tweaks into the process of testing and evaluating tops. I have spoken to a number of luthiers over the years and love hearing about how each luthier arrives at their individual formula -sometimes they can articulate it and sometimes not. It is one of the things that makes guitar making so interesting to me. So many common steps and procedures involved and yet, always a few individual approaches that add to the uniqueness of each guitar.

I look forward to seeing this process unfold regardless of the top that gets ultimately chosen.

Best,
Jayne
Thanks for the comments Jayne. I could be more articulate in "my" process but it really sort of only makes sense to me. Nothing in my process is completely unique and there are lot of resources out there for figuring out the Young's Modulus Q factors etc that would be better explained by someone else. I like to use dynamic testing using a signal generator, amp and speaker since it allows me to test any thickness of a top. I did do some static testing using wieghts, but it was a much longer process than using the dynamic testing. Again, I have tweeked the process (and still continue to do so.)
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Old 09-22-2023, 05:48 PM
dharwin dharwin is offline
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So this is my build and it's my 6th with John. I've had some variation of almost every model he offers at this point and I'm really excited about the build. As others have already noted, this is a super cool and unique set. We almost used it on an SJ build several years ago but it wasn't quite big enough for that model. John was kind enough to hold it for me and here we are. Pretty excited about the build and to see it evolve. We have some cool features we're floating around so stay tuned!
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Old 09-25-2023, 08:01 AM
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Hey John, it’s always a treat to see your work—thanks for posting.
I’m like Tom, I thought that Braz set was Ziricote. That much figuring!
But go figure, eh? (I think i’ll go triple check my Ziricote sets. You know, in the off chance…)
This will be fun to follow.

Steve
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Old 09-28-2023, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharwin View Post
So this is my build and it's my 6th with John. I've had some variation of almost every model he offers at this point and I'm really excited about the build. As others have already noted, this is a super cool and unique set. We almost used it on an SJ build several years ago but it wasn't quite big enough for that model. John was kind enough to hold it for me and here we are. Pretty excited about the build and to see it evolve. We have some cool features we're floating around so stay tuned!
Wow Hunter I didn't realize this was our sixth build! I mentioned the build to someone the other day and said I had built 3 or 4 guitars for you. Whoops. Anyway I am having a ton of fun with this one

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kinnaird View Post
Hey John, it’s always a treat to see your work—thanks for posting.
I’m like Tom, I thought that Braz set was Ziricote. That much figuring!
But go figure, eh? (I think i’ll go triple check my Ziricote sets. You know, in the off chance…)
This will be fun to follow.

Steve
Thanks Steve, I can assure you that it is Brazilian. The smell is so characteristic and nice. The other day I was working on some other guitars and I kept smelling cake like it was baking in the oven, a pleasant smell. I suddenly realized that one of the sides of Hunter's guitar was cooling in the side bender.
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Old 09-29-2023, 04:11 PM
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Hunter and I have discussed what to use for binding on this. We both thought about using curly koa. We both really like that idea. I have some with even a tighter curl



I have a few scraps left over for a "the tree" build. I showed this to Hunter and he thought it was cool idea. I have warned him that the interlocking grain from the quilt will make this very hard to bend. Normally I don't worry about that because often I have plenty of binding material so if one or two break while bending I can just grab more and try again. The curly koa can be tough to bend as the wavy grain often just "lets go."

Anyway we are going to try to bind this with leftovers from one or two of my tree builds.

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Old 09-29-2023, 04:20 PM
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That will be a cool binding scheme--hope the "Tree" leftovers cooperate!
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