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  #16  
Old 10-29-2011, 11:01 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Thanks, Mary. That's just my 'droid's camera. John offers advice and lets me use his shop but he leaves me to make my own mistakes and only comes to save my bacon when he sees I'm about to screw something up bad or if I'm looking indecisive about something.

OTOH, he's suggested that I watch him set the neck on his Peach guitar build and I'll be taking notes. I know that the thought of setting the neck angle has me feeling indecisive if not a little anxious so I could use some up-close instruction.

Back here, I got the last bit and pieces glued on the top and started chiseling away. I'm not scalloping or making a deep angle on the profiles yet. I'm just shaping the braces' profiles to more of an arc-shape. Pics soon, I promise.
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2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #17  
Old 10-29-2011, 05:59 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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This part is soooo much fun!
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~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #18  
Old 10-29-2011, 08:23 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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...and back to reality.

The short version: I measured once then cut when I should have measured again and adjusted.

What I should have done was to notch away the kerfing at the ends of the upper transverse brace and then marked at the intersection of the inner face of the sides and the top of the UTB. Instead I marked a line at the kerfing and now I may have a 1/8" gap at each end of the upper transverse brace where there needs to be 100% contact with the inside surface of the sides.

All is not lost but the worst case scenario is that I may have to chip out the entire UTB and start over with a new one.

Best case is that I put side braces at each gap and hope that I get a good glue joint. With hope it will be stronger than what I intended to do which was to glue the open grains of the UTB to the inside surface of the sides. I'm told that that doesn't make for a good glue joint so that it needs to be reinforced above the brace with something that IS a good glue joint with the sides.

I need to sleep on this.
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~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #19  
Old 10-30-2011, 04:17 AM
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You measured once then cut when you should have measured again and adjusted? Gee, Neil. They say, "Hind sight is always 20/20." You're not the first to have discovered this, but (sadly) it may happen again. It's just that now it is less likely to happen having learned this early in the game.

As every seamstress will tell you sometimes you can fudge a mistake and make it work for the better. Sometimes you just can't. Hang in there, lil' buddy.

I can hear your sigh and I can see your shrug. I like that you walked away from the project to sleep on it. Tomorrow the problem will be there, but it will be easier to make proper changes after you maul it over for a few days.
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  #20  
Old 10-30-2011, 02:26 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Here are pics of my latest boo-boo:





Just in case you can't make it out, here are detail pics of the gaps I spoke of.





Like I said, all is not lost. I've got some extra spruce laying around, including a length that was to be my original upper transverse brace. I also have a section of spruce trimmed from one of my back braces that I could cut down the length in the middle to make side braces.

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~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #21  
Old 10-31-2011, 08:36 AM
arie arie is offline
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re: your utg ends, you could use pillarettes to bridge the gap and attach them to the rim if you wanted. but unfortunately i see a bigger issue in that the utg isn't attached to the neck block. it's so close that you might as well have gone all the way. if you glue it -it will support the fretboard extension and help prevent neck roll up significantly. try to fit up a new one.
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  #22  
Old 10-31-2011, 03:47 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Actually, the plans I'm following don't call for contact at that point - but then again I've departed far enough from the plans at this point what the heck?

I'm still looking to beef up that neck block extension anyway so I might as well cut a longer piece underneath.

Good point on starting over from scratch though. I'm going to clean up that spare brace and drill a hole through it for the truss rod access.
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~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #23  
Old 11-01-2011, 10:03 AM
arie arie is offline
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what the heck indeed -plans aren't perfect. think about it: if you mate the end of the fretboard extension with the side of the utg you now have all the width of the upper bout and both sides of the rim of the guitar to dump that stress into vs. only having the much smaller contact of the fretboard extension alone in that one small area of the top. world class builders (like somogyi) take this into account, factory guitars not so much. it's a controversial move for sure, as many will say that "so and so doesn't and their guitars last forever" but physics doesn't lie here.

you're doing fine so far though keep it up!
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  #24  
Old 11-01-2011, 05:38 PM
dekutree64 dekutree64 is offline
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I say just stick some side braces and go with it. I looked inside a Gibson Hummingbird once, and the UTB was scalloped to nothing at the linings

I purposely leave a tiny gap (less than 1/16") between the braces and sides, because the end grain joint is small and weak anyway, and the lengthwise grain of the brace won't shrink with humidity like the cross grain of the top, and thus the brace pushes outward on the sides and can split the bindings off. Of course, by that point of dryness various other bad things could have happened too.

But anyway, the size of the gap shouldn't matter much as long as it's firmly connected to something. Here's what the inside of my most recent one looks like:

The side braces also connect to the back's UTB. Even before I glued the back on, that upper bout was quite rigid. The headblock extension is end grain butt joint glued to the UTB, but it's such a big joint I'm pretty sure it's not going anywhere. I unglued one of those once, and it was quite difficult to get it loose. But I wouldn't say it's necessary either. Again, countless guitars without a headblock extension at all, so a tiny gap's not going to doom the thing.
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  #25  
Old 11-02-2011, 09:39 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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I did a little brainstorming earlier today and came up with this idea:



The execution of this idea still has yet to be put to the test. The outside edges need to be radiused to match the curve of the sides. I don't know why I think that that'll be tricky for me to pull off. I guess because the kerfing needs to be notched so that the top and rim come in full contact otherwise there's no way that the side braces will be in perfect contact with both the sides and the UTB in order to get a perfect glue joint.

So now I'm notching the kerfing (with a chisel not my Dremel) but I'm getting that "fish missing the water" sort of feeling that I'm missing something crucial.
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~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #26  
Old 11-03-2011, 08:52 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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There's nothing like starting the day on the right foot and doing a little chiseling of the back braces. I treated myself to a mini plane to profile them then I had a helluva time getting the right taper at the ends. I'm loving this Frog tape too. It's not only good for painting but is also less prone to tearing out wood fibers.







I also took a small sanding block to my soundboard's braces. It's not as photogenic with all the dust but it does give good vibrations. Seriously. I was hold the plate up against my chest as I sanded and I could feel the top resonating slightly. Pretty cool!
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~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #27  
Old 11-03-2011, 10:46 AM
aerohead aerohead is offline
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I being a machinist by trade have always been interested in building my own guitar and now I get to see it step by step without ever leaving my chair! Please bear with me while I ask some rudimentary questions. Did you shape the sides yourself? Do you use a steamer to do it or how is that done?
Also the apparatus with the long grey fingerlike extensions that hold your pieces in place after gluing are they spring loaded? Keep up the great work it's fascinating to watch! Thanks for the great thread.
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  #28  
Old 11-05-2011, 04:06 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerohead View Post
I being a machinist by trade have always been interested in building my own guitar and now I get to see it step by step without ever leaving my chair! Please bear with me while I ask some rudimentary questions. Did you shape the sides yourself? Do you use a steamer to do it or how is that done?
Also the apparatus with the long grey fingerlike extensions that hold your pieces in place after gluing are they spring loaded? Keep up the great work it's fascinating to watch! Thanks for the great thread.
There are no dumb questions, only dumb answers. Being a newbie to this I'll try not to sound like an idiot!

Not only is this my first build, but it is also a "scratch" build - meaning that I started with nothing but raw materials for the most part. I purchased plans from Stewmac and even though there were molds and templates available for purchase I opted to build my own. I used MDF at first but had a hard time cutting the curve on his bandsaw so I did it over using birch plywood for the outside mold. I kept the MDF cutouts to use as forms to fit inside a Fox bending machine.

As for the tone woods, with help from my friend Kitchen Guitars I selected the unjoined boards and slats from his own stash. He and I used a planer to get a tight joint on the top and back plates, then we had a helluva time trying to get his thickness sander running in order to thin the plates and sides to a predetermined thickness. He and I actually bent two sets of sides which was still fun and a learning experience for me. I even split the brace wood with a chisel and used hand tools to shape them to the desired shapes and sizes:











As for the go-bar deck, his uses nylon rods with little rubber boots. They are not spring-loaded; you install them by carefully bending them and making sure that the ends don't slip off what you're clamping down. My top has many dings in it from that very thing happening.

OTOH, I've seen others use pieces of wood cut to appropriate lengths which work just as well. The difference - and possible detriment - is that wood go-bars may not bend as easily so you have to have different lengths to do different jobs. For example, you can get away with bars that are nearly the same height as the deck in order to glue down braces but if you're going to close the box then they need to be shorter.

During down times I've even tinkered by building my own tools and jigs and such. They don't always work though!







BTW, this thread is a continuation of another that I started at the beginning of this process:

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=190670
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~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)

Last edited by Neil K Walk; 11-05-2011 at 04:20 PM.
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  #29  
Old 11-05-2011, 04:23 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Back to the present though. Last night I embarked on scalloping the braces on my soundboard:



I was told that my top was overbraced but I took some measurements and worked with my chisel and my miniplane and referred to a template that my friend Mr. Kitchen lent to me:



BTW, I was told that my lower face tone bars were a bit close to my tail block so I planed a bevel on the top rim to free up the soundboard a little more in that area:

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~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #30  
Old 11-06-2011, 01:46 PM
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Hey, Neil, was that a picture of you on your knees begging the wood to behave for you?
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