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Old 12-17-2018, 03:20 PM
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Kenneth Casper Kenneth Casper is offline
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Default Curly Mahogany St Clair Build Thread

Been a few years since I posted a build thread on this AGF. I have three builds on the bench now, and I decided to post a build thread of the curly mahogany St Clair. The St Clair is my take on the OO, styled largely on the Gibson. Hopefully a few of you enjoy following along.

First up is joining the top panels and the back plates. On this smaller guitar, we flipped the top panel joint from the narrow growth lines to the wider. My customer wants a very responsive top, and this should help free it up a bit. The top wood is Italian spruce:


The back is curly mahogany with pretty tight curl across most of the back:


Paul, my customer, wants black trim on this guitar, so we did a rosette of ebony. I didn't have any ebony large enough to do a rosette from a single piece, so I cut pieces of ebony with the grain running radially. We are taking the ebony all the way to the sound hole, so I made the ebony pieces and the pocket to provide some strength under the rosette:


With the top on my CNC table, I cut the pocket for the ebony, inlay the ebony, then cut the pocket for a ring of MOP, which was cut earlier on my CNC:


Once the shell is in, I cut the pocket for the outer purfling and glue it in:


Then all that is left is to cut the sound hole and level the rosette:



I cut the sides to the final shape prior to bending. Here the side is thicknessed, sanded, profiled, and ready for the bender:


I spritz the side with water, wrap it in foil, sandwich it between steel slats, then off to the bender:




The inner side is sanded and the neck and tail blocks glued in:


I have the linings glued in for the back. The mold is flipped over and linings that I have soaked in water are clamped to the sides. Once dry, I'll glue them in:


Thanks for following along.

Ken
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Old 12-17-2018, 03:28 PM
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You really can't have too many build threads with curly mahogany.
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Old 12-17-2018, 04:27 PM
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That is gorgeous mahogany. I"m still wiping the drool off of my keyboard.
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Old 12-17-2018, 05:09 PM
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Fantastic so far, love the rosette.
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:40 AM
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A Ken Casper build thread!!! You build such beautiful instruments- it will be wonderful to follow this one!

beth
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Old 12-18-2018, 03:12 PM
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Hey Ken ... do you think you could get the joints on the pearl in the rosette any tighter ... good grief, they're invisible ... love it!
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Old 12-18-2018, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wren View Post
Hey Ken ... do you think you could get the joints on the pearl in the rosette any tighter ... good grief, they're invisible ... love it!
My thoughts exactly. Super clean build Ken!
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:30 PM
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<<You really can't have too many build threads with curly mahogany.

Glad you agree, Juston!

<<That is gorgeous mahogany. I'm still wiping the drool off of my keyboard

It is nice, RLB. The black trim should really set it off.

<<Fantastic so far, love the rosette.

Thanks Tom. There is an infinite variety of rosettes and this is yet another!

<<You build such beautiful instruments- it will be wonderful to follow this one!

Beth! Thanks for chiming in and following along! I believe this is my first build thread since yours. I'm not the best at checking in here. Putting a thread up might get me on here more frequently

<<do you think you could get the joints on the pearl in the rosette any tighter ... good grief, they're invisible ... love it!

Not much tighter Thanks Dave! Challenge is getting the color and chatoyance matched up. If I can do that well, the joints disappear.

<<My thoughts exactly. Super clean build Ken!

Thanks Tim. I'll see if I can keep it up throughout the build
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:42 PM
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My goodness! What a beautiful set of mahogany!
Your craftsmanship is second to none sir. I look forward to following along.
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:30 PM
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Smile What Justinwo said...

Quote:
Originally Posted by justonwo View Post
You really can't have too many build threads with curly mahogany.
This is going to be a beauty. That Hog is gorgeous

Carry on and have FUN

Paul
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:35 PM
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Indeed, very nice Ken!

Steve
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:01 PM
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<<My goodness! What a beautiful set of mahogany!
<<Your craftsmanship is second to none sir. I look forward to following along.

Thank you sir! You have snow up there?

<<This is going to be a beauty. That Hog is gorgeous. Carry on and have FUN

Thanks Paul. That I shall do!

<<Indeed, very nice Ken!

Thanks Steve!

Started bracing today. Nothing that you probably haven't seen a hundred times in build threads. About the only thing different here is the layout. We are doing a 13 fret, so I needed to modify the bracing layout a bit. I moved the sound hole a tad lower and the bracing even lower. The 25.4" scale pushes the bridge deep into the lower bout, and I still need the bracing to provide some support beneath the bridge:


I dry clamp the X braces into position to help keep the bridge backing plate in position, which I glue in first:


Heating up the hide glue:


Once the bridge backing plate is glued in, I remove the X braces:


Then the rest of the bracing goes on:


Kind of boring, but it will get better

Ken

Last edited by Kenneth Casper; 12-19-2018 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:17 PM
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Smile Hey Beth

Beth I bet you are following this. Did I play your Casper? I know you raved about it. It's been a while…. The couple you brought were really nice!!

Either way this thing is going to be a killer!

A MUSICAL YULE TO YOU

paul
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3 90s Taylors
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post
Beth I bet you are following this. Did I play your Casper? I know you raved about it. It's been a while…. The couple you brought were really nice!!

Either way this thing is going to be a killer!

A MUSICAL YULE TO YOU

paul
You have not played my Casper. It's a gorgeous guitar and it's in an Ameritage case that weighs a ton! So I left it home, as I was having to truck guitars through the conference I was presenting at : )

My Casper is a beautiful guitar. And Ken is such a great person! If you want to see some gorgeous guitar pics, the build thread is here: https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=410508

Next time I visit, I will bring her along!

beth
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  #15  
Old 12-20-2018, 06:04 AM
Godfather Godfather is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Casper View Post
<<My goodness! What a beautiful set of mahogany!
<<Your craftsmanship is second to none sir. I look forward to following along.

Thank you sir! You have snow up there?
Ken
We had about 7-8" on the ground...but it's gone. Just a trace left here and there. We need the snow. It is raining right now but suppose to change over to snow with a trace to 1' predicted.

Merry Christmas...and please, keep posting this build.
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