The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Custom Shop

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #46  
Old 01-14-2011, 01:53 PM
Rollie Rollie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 502
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
I have never see a more beautiful piece of Walnut!
I agree....that is a very special set of wood that you have there ....
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 01-14-2011, 09:12 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chugiak, Alaska
Posts: 25,168
Default

I'm glad that Bruce Sexauer is impressed by the set of wood I picked out. My buddy Duane Waterman was president of Luthiers Mercantile International for a few years, and when I went down to visit him and the LMI operation in 2001 I asked Duane and several of the LMI employees: "Who's the most exacting and fanatically detail-oriented luthier you deal with?"

Duane, and each and every one of those employees (including Chris, who's running the place these days,) without any hesitation at all answered: "Bruce Sexauer."

None of this was collaborative on their parts - I made a point to ask each person separately, out of earshot of anyone else. And each and every one of the LMI staffers I asked answered "Bruce Sexauer," all of them without so much as an instant of hesitation.

So it's encouraging, to say the very least, Bruce, that you're impressed by this set of wood. I happen to be hugely impressed by your guitars.

I just got off the phone with Howard, who'd left a message on my answering machine asking me about my wood choices for the fretboard, bridge and peghead veneer. I called him, we discussed it, and I basically told him to go with whatever his gut told him were the best choices. "Not only that," I continued, "but if you get to a point where you need to make a crucial decision about ANYTHING that we haven't discussed, and you can't reach me, you just go ahead and choose whatever you think is going to make the guitar a better instrument."

Because Howard is the guy who's got the skills, the experience, the proper context and the pieces of wood right there in his hands to choose from, not me. All I care about is how it sounds...

Howard did tell me: "Hey, I'm really having FUN building this guitar," and I said "That's how it should be." Because, I told him, I feel that when a creative artist like a custom guitar builder is really enjoying what they're doing, that's when the results turn out the best.

"That makes sense," Howard said, "because when I'm enjoying the process my intuitions are sharper and my sense of how to work with the materials is that much better."

So, yeah, it's a blast, frankly. I know the guitar will be great when it's done, because I know what I'm seeking musically and am articulate enough to communicate that to Howard. He's got the guitar-building chops to pull it off, and he knows that this isn't some sort of ego trip or confidence-building operation on my part - I'm just looking for a great guitar. So we're both having fun.

Which is as it should be.


Wade Hampton Miller

Last edited by Wade Hampton; 01-14-2011 at 09:53 PM. Reason: clarity
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 01-15-2011, 06:18 AM
rmyAddison rmyAddison is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Addison, TX
Posts: 19,014
Default

Wade,

Congratulations! Should be quite a guitar, sound bytes please when it's finished!!
__________________
Rich - rmyAddison

Rich Macklin Soundclick Website
http://www.youtube.com/rmyaddison

Martin OM-18 Authentic '33 Adirondack/Mahogany
Martin CS OM-28 Alpine/Madagascar
Martin CS 00-42 Adirondack/Madagascar
Martin OM-45TB (2005) Engelmann/Tasmanian Blackwood (#23 of 29)
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 01-15-2011, 09:42 AM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Earthly Paradise of Northern California
Posts: 6,402
Default

Things are moving a long nicely. Yeah, I'm having fun. For one thing, an AJ is a simple guitar, so it goes much more quickly than most of my guitars. In terms of trim and construction, this is pretty much my "Performance" model with upgrades to the back and side wood and the fretboard.

For another, an AJ is kind of a hotrod. Gibson built them much closer to the edge than the usual factory guitar. They are not just Martins wearing slope shoulders. The X is opened up very wide, and sits further forward of the bridge than even a "forward braced" Martin. The bridge is narrow and lightweight. I developed my own bracing plan, but I kept it in that tradition. Wade has OK'd my taking a few risks with it, so I'm getting to build something new and to hotrod it a bit. I want him to be able to take it to a jam and blow away some of those old 'bones.

The back braces are shaved:



And the neck is underway. This is the second half of a two-neck blank. Here, after laying out the neck in pencil on the wood, I've cut the tenon and installed the truss rod:



Then I bandsaw out the shape:



And cut the channels for the carbon fiber reinforcement rods:



Carbon fiber rods are installed:



More to come later today, I hope.
__________________
"Still a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest."
--Paul Simon
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 01-15-2011, 10:00 AM
Bruce Sexauer's Avatar
Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Petaluma, CA, USA
Posts: 5,843
Default

That is an interesting anecdote re myself, Wade, Thank You for sharing!

Todd Taggart, formerly the owner of LMI along with Tom Peterson, claims I am their first customer as I was in the room when they bought the business from Bill Lewis lo these many years ago. My point being they've all had time to get to know me. They haven't always appeared joyful when I show up at the warehouse door (one could call me high maintenance when it comes to picking out guitar supplies), but as the years pass I have apparently earned a certain grudging respect.

When Howard noticed I had mentioned his walnut here he asked why I didn't say how it tasted as well. I could have, too! Because the teeth are the hardest part of the body they are quite useful in assessing wood. I did take a little bite (with permission) off an outside corner of Wade's Walnut and chewed it up. From that I learned how relatively hard it is, how long the fiber structure is, and quite a bit about the growing conditions from the acids and tannins I could taste in it's complex bouquet. OK, just kidding about the chemistry part, not that it isn't possible, I suppose. Not kidding at all about the quality of the Walnut, though.
__________________
Bruce
http://www.sexauerluthier.com/
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 01-15-2011, 04:07 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Earthly Paradise of Northern California
Posts: 6,402
Default

More bracing going in on the top. The bridge plate on these would traditionally have been maple. I'm using a double layer laminate of pau rosa. It's harder and much more resonant than maple; also very tough:



All braced. I use a carbon fiber reinforcement on the upper transverse brace. Keeping this brace from dipping is one of the keys to preventing the need for a neck reset.

I put all the bracing in flat on the top and sides, and then shave it after it is installed. That way I can listen to it as I cut. I also find it easier to glue squared off braces. The soundhole braces have to be cut down before the upper transverse can be glued in, since they pass through it.

__________________
"Still a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest."
--Paul Simon

Last edited by Howard Klepper; 01-15-2011 at 04:59 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 01-15-2011, 04:25 PM
murrmac123's Avatar
murrmac123 murrmac123 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Edinburgh, bonny Scotland
Posts: 5,156
Default

Howard, do you sand the gluing surface of the bridge plate to the contour of the sanding board prior to gluing up ?

And just to clarify, would I be correct in assuming that the grain in the two bridge plate laminates are offset to each other ? Maybe by 10 degrees or so, judging by the pic ...?
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 01-16-2011, 10:24 AM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Earthly Paradise of Northern California
Posts: 6,402
Default

Sort of, and yes, Murray. I taper the thickness of the bridge plate toward its ends, which kind of matches the curve. But it flexes too easily to be exactly cut to what is not a whole lot of curvature. Moreover, if the plate is flexed a bit to the curve when glued, it will tend to counteract string pull. I am kind of doubtful that this is a significant factor, though.

Yes, the layers have alternate angle to the grain of about 15. Good eye. The outer layer has the grain running so that the pin holes will cross grain lines rather than run along one line. That's if the pins are slanted with the saddle. I haven't decided whether to do that on this guitar yet.
__________________
"Still a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest."
--Paul Simon
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 01-16-2011, 02:20 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Earthly Paradise of Northern California
Posts: 6,402
Default Headstock work

Moving along on the headstock now.

Here the headstock gets its "wings" or "ears" added. I use offcuts from the same neck blank to assure a match of grain and color:



I sawed a matching set of front and rear headstock veneers from a block of Madagascar rosewood. Here I'm gluing the rear veneer, which is curved to fit a "volute."



Clamps removed. You can see a bit of darkening where I prebent the veneer to fit its curve. That will sand off.



I decided to design a new shape for this guitar's headstock. Again, the idea is to allude to Gibson without copying.



When I looked at it this morning I decided that the headstock was too long. I shortened it and put in its inlay, which matches the fretboard inlays as per the AJ tradition.

__________________
"Still a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest."
--Paul Simon
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 01-16-2011, 03:39 PM
Spieler's Avatar
Spieler Spieler is offline
strummin' an x12
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The mountains are calling, and I must go....
Posts: 1,604
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
Moving along on the headstock now.

Here the headstock gets its "wings" or "ears" added.
{{{gasp}}}

Just kidding, of course.

Looking great, Howard. I like the looks of this very much.

~ S.
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 01-16-2011, 09:35 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chugiak, Alaska
Posts: 25,168
Default

Hey, Howard, I love the new headstock shape. I know you and I had kicked around some of the headstock designs we liked, with me mentioning that I'm fond of the Lloyd Loar-era Gibson L-5 peghead:



Your new headstock design captures some of that graceful spirit while still being your own design - very cool.


Wade Hampton Miller
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 01-17-2011, 03:02 AM
RobertoGuitaro RobertoGuitaro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1
Default

I have been sitting on the sidelines watching.... but I just can't take it any more! This guitar is going to be so beautiful... please Lord... help me find the funds to order a guitar from Klepper Guitars!
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 01-18-2011, 09:41 AM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Earthly Paradise of Northern California
Posts: 6,402
Default fretboard

I've been working on the fretboard. I chose a piece of Amazon rosewood for it (Dalbergia spruceana). It matches very well with the Madagascar. It also is a little denser and finer grained, which make it good fretboard material.

Here I've slotted, tapered, bound, and radiused the board (14-20" compound). Wade and I decided to go with grained ivoroid binding. It's in keeping with the traditional look, although the celluloid on the originals did not have the graining.



Here I'm part way through inlaying the board. This took me a while. I'm not an inlay artist, but I can do the basics.



Inlays done.



I can't resist setting it on the neck to have a look. But I'll fret it before gluing the board to the neck.

__________________
"Still a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest."
--Paul Simon
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 01-18-2011, 10:44 AM
murrmac123's Avatar
murrmac123 murrmac123 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Edinburgh, bonny Scotland
Posts: 5,156
Default

It's looking great so far, can't wait to see pics of the sides ...

Last edited by murrmac123; 01-18-2011 at 11:40 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 01-18-2011, 08:46 PM
Rodd Rodd is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: South Cooking Lake, Alberta
Posts: 78
Default

This is really an amazing and intrigueing thread.
My thanks to Howard and Wade for sharing their combined efforts on a fantastic guitar build.
I have never been exposed largely to a method of the guitar building process, so this thread sure helps to increase my knowledge as such.
I will never be an expert, but the insight provided is much appreciated.

Can't wait to see more updated pictures.

Rodd
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Custom Shop

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=