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Old 04-07-2021, 08:19 AM
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IndianHillMike IndianHillMike is offline
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Default Tamarindo Cutaway for Dream Guitars (Indian Hill)

Hello everyone! I thought I'd catch you all up on one of the guitars I currently have on the go that will eventually make it's way down to Dream Guitars this fall. For this build I'm using a wood you almost definitely have never seen on a guitar -- tamarindo! As far as we (and the internet) can tell, there have only been three guitars made with tamarindo -- two classicals by my shopmate Jeremy (52 Instrument Co.) and an electric by another shopmate, Oliver (Quinn Guitars). Both Jeremy and Oliver got boards at a local exotic wood dealer and once Jeremy re-sawed and analyzed a slice he found out that it has phenomenal properties as a tonewood that are on par with brazilian rosewood and African blackwood. Plus, it looks like this...



(Jeremy Clark, 52 Instrument Co.)


So, I definitely had to give it a try! One of the challenges in working with tamarindo is that the color changes drastically when freshly sanded so it takes some manipulation to get it back to a darker and more appealing color. In the picture below you can see that the back is fully oxidized (the outside of the board) while the freshly sanded sides sitting behind the lutz spruce top are much lighter...





This is the first time I'll be doing a venetian cutaway on my Grand Concert shape so there was a bit of design work involved. You can see the two paths the cutaway will follow -- the top coming flush with the fingerboard and the back twisting farther in to follow the taper of the heel...





I'm using a fantastic lutz spruce top for this build that hits all the marks I'm looking for in terms of material properties (density, stiffness, speed of sound, etc.)...





It's quite a process to get the sides laminated and joined while making sure everything lines up exactly where I need it to. The fingerboard eventually needs to line up exactly flush with the sides for this style of cutaway to work but that only happens after the rims have been arched, the top glued on, and then bound. So, with all that material being taken away and then added, it takes some careful planning to make sure that after all those steps things will end up where I want them. It's very very exciting to get to this point...





You can see the twist in the cutaway below...





More and more as of late I've been laminating my backs and did so in this case as well with a thin layer of yellow cedar. The tamarindo is by far the dominant part in this equation and I was absolutely blown away by how resonant the back was before gluing it on...





And a couple of steps from making the rosette...











After "finishing" the rosette I was back at home and it popped into my head what I really wanted to do. So, I ended up changing it to this...





And that more or less catches us up! Like I mentioned I'm building this one for Dream Guitars to be delivered in the fall. It is for pre-sale and my last build for them was snatched up before even making it down there so keep that in mind and thanks for looking!
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:08 AM
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Looking good Mike. I love the almost rusty color.

I once saw an amazing spalted Tamirindo (at least that's what they called it) made by Ryan Guitars at last year's NAMM. I took a picture of it, but I need to go back and find it.

I'm looking forward to seeing this come together.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:25 PM
EverettWilliams EverettWilliams is offline
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Mike: It's looking great - I especially love the cutaway and the rosette! Really excited to hear how this one turns out!

This will be one to one to covet, folks, Mike builds phenomenal guitars and he's a complete pleasure to work with.

I've been wondering about how your grand concert would do with a 27" scale with mediums tuned to D... Hope you're doing well!
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:52 PM
Dogma Dogma is offline
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Does anyone know what Tamarindo actually is botanically? Is it the Tamarind tree from whence come the pods used in flavoring and cooking? Or is it something else and is called Tamarindo because of its color (or for some other reason?) Did you say where it is from (originally)? I don't recall it but could have missed something.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:50 PM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is offline
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How is this different from Tamarind? (which has had a number of guitars made from it.) They don't look the same at all.
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Old 04-07-2021, 07:56 PM
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The more common Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) is what some of you have probably seen on guitars or eaten the fruit in different sauces. Tamarindo (Dialium guianense) has a similar common name but is surprisingly an unrelated tree! For the detail curious, more info here...

https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/T...zmOOF-xQmgWatg


Quote:
Originally Posted by EverettWilliams View Post
Mike: It's looking great - I especially love the cutaway and the rosette! Really excited to hear how this one turns out!

This will be one to one to covet, folks, Mike builds phenomenal guitars and he's a complete pleasure to work with.

I've been wondering about how your grand concert would do with a 27" scale with mediums tuned to D... Hope you're doing well!
Thanks! It's been fun to continue the aesthetic thread we started on your build and seeing where it goes. I think a Grand Concert like that would work great! At a 25.4" scale length, mediums are at about 187 lbs. of tension in standard tuning and lights are 165 lbs.. At 27" and in standard D to D tuning it's 167 lbs. of tension -- definitely a great spot to start from!
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Old 04-08-2021, 01:35 AM
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j. Kinnaird j. Kinnaird is offline
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That is a beautiful rosette Mike. Very original and quite pretty.
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j. Kinnaird View Post
That is a beautiful rosette Mike. Very original and quite pretty.
Thanks! I'm especially excited to see it once the tamarindo has had a chance to darken a bit.
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