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  #1  
Old 02-05-2021, 10:48 AM
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Default Archaic Guitars 2021

I thought I’d start a thread with all my goings-on instead of starting multiple threads through the year. My big goal for this year is to begin developing a few of my own models.

I’ve been steadily working on a 12 fret, slotted head parlour, kinda based off the historic Gibson L-0, with a slightly shortened lower-bout, while still keeping that beautiful continuous arc of the butt of the lower bout.

This one is in Walnut with a bear claw Engleman top and Cherry neck.
This simple, straight grained, quatersawn walnut makes me happy.
IMG_0607.jpg

I bought myself a new Stanley Sweetheart #62 low angle jack plane for my 30th birthday back in December. Not the absolute top of the line, but it’s what I can afford, and with a little TLC it is more than good enough for the jobs of thicknessing top, back, and side plates, jointing plates, and squaring up lumber for neck blanks.
IMG_0606.jpg

And here’s the chunk of cherry with a little bit of pomelle figure I’m using for the neck. Cherry is said to be one of the most stable domestic woods, being 30% less likely to warp than maple, oak, or walnut. At least that’s what I’ve read... If you can see, on both sides there is pretty straight grain that is almost quartersawn. I will take 3 1/4” off one side and use it for the neck blank, then save the other side for another guitar. The middle will be set aside to make a jewelry box or something.
IMG_0637.jpg

Stay tuned for more!
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Old 02-05-2021, 12:50 PM
PaulHintz PaulHintz is offline
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Beautiful woods, great descriptions. Will look forward to future installments!
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Old 02-05-2021, 07:01 PM
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Tim McKnight Tim McKnight is offline
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I’ve a neighbor who owns a 1926 NLS. His guitar is very loud for its diminutive size. I don’t know if you are aware but the early ones had very little taper in the side depth (~1/4”) and some were a full 5” deep. I love building those little buggers and personally favor them over the latter 29/30 and later models. Good luck and I look forward to seeing more of your build as it unfolds.
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Last edited by Tim McKnight; 02-06-2021 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 02-06-2021, 05:41 AM
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That is a very nice set of Walnut! It makes me happy too just to gander at it.

I wish you luck with the project and look forward to watching the thread.
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Old 02-07-2021, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim McKnight View Post
I’ve a neighbor who owns a 1926 NLS. His guitar is very loud for its diminutive size. I don’t know if you are aware but the early ones had very little taper in the side depth (~1/4”) and some were a full 5” deep. I love building those little buggers and personally favor them over the latter 29/30 and later models. Good luck and I look forward to seeing more of your build as it unfolds.
This model is about 4 1/8 at the tail and tapers down to almost 3 1/2”. I have only played one of these L-0 or L-1 models and it was in the 1929/1930 range. I would love to be lucky enough to see an earlier model, or even one of the arch tops, first hand. This guitar really encapsulates the somewhat chaotic nature of early Gibson guitars. Just this one model went thru iterations of being an arch top to a flat top, sometimes birch, some times mahogany, sometimes ALL mahogany. There’s at least two different bracing patterns. Then you throw in the Nick Lucas signature models. And to top it all off Gibson seems to have a reputation for inconsistencies in workmanship in this period. I will keep the deep body in mind for the future, I’m sure someone may be interested in a deep body parlour/0 guitar.

Thanks Cigarfan and PaulHintz for the nice words and following along!
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Old 02-08-2021, 11:19 AM
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Iím moving slow the last few days because of other obligations, but hereís some progress.

The back is braced with a seal coat of shellac, really bringing out the grain in the walnut. The back braces will go all the way through slots in the kerfing and and sides, so it doesnít really matter how far they overhang, they just need to be a uniform height for tight joints.

IMG_0671.jpg

And here is the first stages of the curly walnut headstock veneer with my recently designed logo inlayed. This will be a slotted headstock, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

IMG_0681.jpg

I should have most of the day tomorrow to work on this one, so Iíll have some updates coming.
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Old 02-12-2021, 10:32 AM
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Lots of progress to post:

The top is braced and glued on before the back so that I can make last minute adjustments to the bracing. Even with the X brace, the bracing is pretty light and delicate. I tried to focus on keeping the bass side pretty stiff in order to get a better bass response despite the guitarís small size.
IMG_0749.jpg

Getting a start on the headstock.

IMG_0820.jpg

And hereís the headstock pretty much finished aside from a little extra final shaping and sanding in the slots. And drilling the actual holes for the tubing machines. This is my first steel string slot head, and Iím pretty happy with it so far.

IMG_0832.jpg

Iíve also got the back glued on and bindings and purlins installed, but havenít scraped them level, so I will post pictures then.

Thanks for taking a look!
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Old 02-12-2021, 12:17 PM
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Everything seems to be moving right along. Beautiful headstock. Love the logo! Nice Walnut headplate as well!
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Old 02-15-2021, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cigarfan View Post
Everything seems to be moving right along. Beautiful headstock. Love the logo! Nice Walnut headplate as well!
Thanks! The wood for the head plate came from my local woodworking store that was selling these relatively small boards of walnut “crotch wood”. (Wood tends to get compressed in areas that are branching out and creates interesting grains and figures.) The biggest pieces were maybe 1”x5”x12”. They wouldn’t get you very far in a furniture project, but just from the 5 pieces I bought, I have few years’ supply of walnut head plates, end wedges, and rosettes in figures ranging from curly to quilted to waterfall.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:29 AM
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Between working full time, some remodeling and repairs projects around the house, and helping my wife with her crazy workload from school, I have been making pretty slow progress on this guitar. But here it is in the white, waiting for some final sanding and the neck joint to be glued before French polishing.

IMG_0871.jpg

I canít wait to see this walnut under finish.

IMG_0872.jpg

And hereís a picture of the neck, dovetail joints and all just for fun.

IMG_0873.jpg

Now Iím going to rush through my chore list of putting in some vinyl flooring and trim so I can get back to finishing this up!
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Old 02-25-2021, 08:27 AM
Carpinteria Carpinteria is offline
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It looks really nice, Tim! I have built a couple OMíswith the Englemann/Walnut wood combination and really liked them. I am eager to see your French polish go on. It should look outstanding.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpinteria View Post
It looks really nice, Tim! I have built a couple OMíswith the Englemann/Walnut wood combination and really liked them. I am eager to see your French polish go on. It should look outstanding.
Thanks Dave. I have used Engleman a few times, but this is my first with walnut. Iíve found I like it best with smaller guitars, so this should be a winning combo.
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:35 AM
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I found this Birdseye maple in the “random hardwood” section of a big box hardware store where they wear green shirts. I was supposed to be shopping for baseboards for a home improvement project, but you know “just happened” to walk past the hardwood section. It was $27 for this 1 x 8 x 112” board... I’m sure I would pay quadruple that at a store with more discerning pricing. Anyways, I figured I would grab it while I could to use for head plates, rosettes, and endgraphs.

If I am feeling brave after it sits and adjusts to the shop for a few months, I may try to resaw some back and sides sets from it. I can only resaw boards 6 3/4” wide with the equipment I have, so it will have to for small guitars, size 0 and under.

IMG_0875.jpg

Last edited by Archaic Guitars; 03-01-2021 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 03-09-2021, 10:05 AM
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My lovely wife made these labels so that Archaic guitars can be identified in the wild.

Whatdya think?
IMG_0900.jpg
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Old 04-01-2021, 08:52 AM
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Itís been almost a month since Iíve posted!!!

I have a few things in the works, the L-0 from above is finished curing, waiting for an initial set-up.

I am also have a website in the works. I am hoping to have it go public within the next few weeks.

In the meantime, hereís a sneak peak of a curly walnut back for my next spec guitar. More to come on this later, as Iím about 10 hours into this build.
IMG_0532.jpg
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