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  #1  
Old 07-08-2015, 11:42 AM
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Default Custom Build: John Osthoff SJ

All,

John Osthoff and I are currently working together on designing an Osthoff SJ which is available for purchase here at Dream Guitars. We will continue to update this thread as the build progresses!! I love John's guitars and the process of custom building is a passion of mine. Working closely with a builder is exciting and rewarding. I can't wait to see this guitar, but I really can't wait to play it!

This beauty features the following specs:

Top Wood: Italian Spruce
Back/Sides: Cocobolo Roswood
Fingerboard Bound: Snakewood (non figured)
Binding / Purfling: Snakewood (lightly figured)
SidePurflings: BWB
Rosette: Some Variation of the Spiral
HeadStock Veneer: Cocobolo Front & Back
HeadStock Bound: Snakewood
Tuners: (Gotoh 510’s Gold, Buttons TBD)
Bridge Pins: Snakewood
Bridge Pin Spacing : 2-1/4”
Neck Width @ Nut: 1-3/4”
Nut/Saddle material: Bone
Frets: Gold EVO
Scale Length: 25.4”
Finish: Gloss - Neck Gloss
Case: (Ameritage)
Electronics: NO
End Graft: (Wedge is standard, matching binding material)
End Pin(s): NO

We started brainstorming about the SJ and talked about a couple of different woods. Cocobolo has been selected for the back and sides:



The top selection photo shows just a couple of Italian Spruce tops that John grabbed from the stack. They have been on the shelf in John's shop for over 10 years. He got them directly from the sawmill in Italy:



John is currently evaluating the tops via spectrum analysis and mode testing to get some feedback on the top. It helps to guide John in the initial thicknessing of the top and back. It also is a way for John to accept or reject tops, although most of that (accept/reject) has been done prior to them going on the shelf:







Here is a photo showing how John “candles” the top to make sure the seam is good before gluing and then a shot of joining the top (gluing):



Here is a phot of the cocobolo sides before bending:



And after:



John uses double sides on his guitars - here they are getting laminated together in this shot:



More to come!!
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Last edited by pheumiller; 07-09-2015 at 02:08 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-08-2015, 01:47 PM
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I am very excited to be working with Paul and the guys at Dream guitars on this SJ. We talked about doing an SJ a couple of times, and the time seemed right so we got this one going. I am in the midst of a bunch of other things, so this one will not be the only guitar I am working on at the moment (but that is the norm.) Having some time between processes will work out well for both Paul and I as it will give us a chance to let a couple of things sit as we make some ascetic decisions. In the meantime I can fit in some other work too. It is awesome working with Paul as he really knows guitars as well is anybody.

I will try to take some more photos of the process along the way. We are working out some details on the rosette at the moment, but we are thinking something based on the spiral stuff I do, possibly in the realm of the multi-piece one I did on another SJ a while back. We are going to let that one cook a little.

Here is a shot I sent Paul about possible headstock material. By the way, the part on the right is a template.



Here are a couple more shots of the SJ in progress:

Layout the back bracing



The back getting its reinforcement strip




As I mentioned, I am very excited about putting this one together.
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:43 PM
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Here is the neck blank for this SJ - As you can see, we are going with two thin rosewood strips running down the mahogany neck about ¾” apart – a nice elegant look

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Last edited by pheumiller; 07-27-2015 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:17 PM
Tstalcup Tstalcup is offline
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I love my mahogany/adi SJ...its incredibly versatile and has the nearly magical ability to be played quietly enough to not irritate my crazy old man neighbor while also loud enough to hold its own with my instructor's amplified martin....wonderful guitar...
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Old 07-28-2015, 07:20 PM
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Looking forward to this one! The design looks nice on paper so far and I really like the headstock overlay material there.

I think your headstock shape would also look really cool with an Italian celluloid face on the whole thing. Ever done one like that?

JR
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tstalcup View Post
I love my mahogany/adi SJ...its incredibly versatile and has the nearly magical ability to be played quietly enough to not irritate my crazy old man neighbor while also loud enough to hold its own with my instructor's amplified martin....wonderful guitar...
Ted, I am glad the SJ is working out for you. That was a (particularly) fun one to build.


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Originally Posted by J.R. Rogers View Post
Looking forward to this one! The design looks nice on paper so far and I really like the headstock overlay material there.

I think your headstock shape would also look really cool with an Italian celluloid face on the whole thing. Ever done one like that?

JR
JR, Thanks, that is a cool idea for the headstock. I don't use celluloid all the much, although I did just put some in as a purlfing on an SJ that is in finish at the moment. It might be a little bit of a challenge for the Stealth Truss Rod Cover though, although I bet I could figure out how to make that work. (You might see the magnet that is embedded in the cover through the celluloid)
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:39 AM
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We are working on a few minor details on some the ascetics, in the meantime there has been a little more progress on putting together the rim for this one. Here are a couple more shots of that process for this SJ.





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Old 08-14-2015, 01:30 PM
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The rosette on this build is taking shape (no pun intended). We decided to go with white mother of pearl inside to stay with a more classic look along with a variation of the Stradivarius Ball and Diamond Rosette.

Following are a bunch of the diamonds being cut for the rosette:

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Old 08-17-2015, 12:30 PM
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Here are a couple more progress shots of the rosette:









Still needs to be filled between the ball and diamonds
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Old 08-24-2015, 02:22 PM
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Here is a complete shot of the rosette against the back’s background:

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Old 08-24-2015, 03:08 PM
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Very elegant! Looks like details sometimes found on heirloom furniture.
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:54 PM
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Oh yeah - that rosette does look really good!

JR
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Old 08-27-2015, 05:07 AM
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I am on break from the shop this week. I won't call it vacation, because I am working on a bunch of big projects around the house and shop, things that I have planed to do over the period of months. As it turns out it seems like every contractor is coming this week. We won't finish up this week, but hopefully I will get some limited time back in the shop soon.


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Originally Posted by dcn View Post
Very elegant! Looks like details sometimes found on heirloom furniture.
Thanks dcn,

Paul kept using the word elegant as we were discussing the rosette so it is nice to hear it being described that way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by J.R. Rogers View Post
Oh yeah - that rosette does look really good!

JR
Thanks JR. It was a fun to make one of these (again.) It has been many years since I did one. I am not sure why I continued all the way around even under the fretboard as that will not been seen once the neck in on.
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Old 06-23-2016, 04:07 AM
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I had started this SJ in collaboration with Paul at Dream Guitar last year as sort of a “fill-in” project. We ended up placing one of my FS models in his shop and I had to get back to commission work, so this one got put on hold and set aside until his spot came up on the build list. Last week I began to get this one going again. It is great to be working with Paul again. We have been talking about some of the final appointments including the fretboard inlays. I hope to get this one ready for finish in the next couple of weeks.

The binding/purfling has been installed and the neck blank was completed. The neck is now in process. I missed a couple of photos (for instance on making the titanium trussrod,) but I will try to snap a few during the rest of the process. It is good to be working on this one again.
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Old 06-23-2016, 08:04 AM
tekaitora tekaitora is offline
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John, I don't think I'm alone in stating any information/photos you feel comfortable sharing about your titanium truss rod process would be of great interest and greatly appreciated!

Looking forward to the Dream Guitars recording of this guitar when the time comes. Thanks as always for taking the time to post.
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