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  #46  
Old 03-29-2013, 11:08 AM
steveh steveh is offline
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This is awesome!

cheers,
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  #47  
Old 03-30-2013, 10:54 AM
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This time I will not keep you waiting as long for an update. I had another very productive Saturday. Today all the inlays were done. We had finished all the CNC programs from my designs last week, so it was time to get out the tweezers and work with these tiny pieces to get them into the tiny holes that were cut out for them. I must say things didn't look as tiny on the screen as they did in real life. It was quite an adventure getting everything to fit. Especially because the CNC work was so tight that there was really no play.

First off, I'll give you guys a sneak peek at the rosette design. As you can see, we have a brass 'tray' where all the pearl parts fit in. Once everything is finished and laid into the top, the Rosette will have a very subtle brass ring on the inside and outside. Just look at the beautiful figure in that mother-of-pearl.



Inside the white mother-of-pearl parts, you will see black pearl inlays. When all is finished it'll look gorgeous!



Moving on to the fretboard inlays, I also wanted a very subtle brass edge around those inlays, so we designed very small 'trays' for that as well. Here's a close-up of those trays.



And here is the hellish work that needed to be done, just look at all those tiny, tiny parts.



The cuts out on the very old ebonyy was perfect. No tear-out. Also, as you can see, the fret slotting and shaping of the fretboard is done.



The first inlay is complete. The 12th fret inlay, just slightly out of focus in the top of the frame, consists of 12 separate, tiny parts.



Here's another close-up of the work in progress. Maybe you'll get a better feel for the scale this way.



Then because the fit is so tight, all I had to do is hammer them in and everything stayed put.



Then it is time for the special black superglue, meant for gluing in inlays in Ebony.

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  #48  
Old 03-30-2013, 10:59 AM
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Here are some shots of the finished work. I'm very pleased with how it turned out.





One more very cool detail in the inlay department. Here is the first of the signature series inlays we will be doing for this guitar. Now, I just placed it in the pocket which was cut out for it. If I glued it in and sand it down, it will look perfect.





And, I owed you one more set of pictures. The neck with the truss rod laid in. Right now, the truss rod sticks out at the top, because the adjustment nut is slightly wider than the rest, so when it comes time to glue on the fretboard we will widen the top of the slot to make it fit, but you get the idea.


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  #49  
Old 04-14-2013, 11:27 AM
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Default Another update

Sorry it took so long, but I've been working on my Stratocaster fretwork and set-up in the spare hours, so that took away from this build. Anyway, here's where we are right now.

First of all, we took some of the pieces took from that large Brazilian beam and glued on the ears for the neck.





You can tell in one of the pictures above, we need very little here, so much of the wood on the headstock will still will be removed. Here's another shot with the rough fretboard placed on top of the neck to give you a bit of an idea.



I have decided to go with all Koa bindings around the body, the neck and the headstock, so we took some Koa sides we still had left and started cutting bindings from it. After some finish, it'll probably even show some very nice figure.




Then we placed them along the edges of the fretboard, and I decided it needed some purfling.



The first, we need to get the Koa to the proper height. By gathering all the strips up in a vertical position and placing two spruce beams on either side to keep them in that vertical position, we could feed them through the thickness sander until we have found the desired thickness




That was time to mark the exact center of the fretboard.

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  #50  
Old 04-14-2013, 11:34 AM
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Default part 2

Then it was time to create the purfling. I decided on a single white/black strip. The white would be flamed maple. after we had properly thicknesses the maple, we could cut out the black that goes along side it.





And glue the two pieces up with some titebond.



Then it was time to fix the Rosette. The problem with any prototype is that might look great and seem to be a good fit in the computer, however in real life there is very little wiggle room.





After a day of fitting, filing, fitting and cutting again, I have finally finished and glued up the rosette mosaic. Please let me know what you think. It is a combination brass, mother-of-pearl, and Tahitian Black Pearl.





In the final picture you see how the superglue changes the colors to something like an oil spill. Wait till you see this after it's been finish sanded. It will fix all the pieces that might look a little bit uneven now, because some stick out little bit more than others.

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  #51  
Old 04-18-2013, 01:53 AM
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Default A productive evening

Well, we've had a productive few days. To start, we needed to work out a new template for the sides to accommodate the bevel. That took a lot of measuring and calculation



Once that was finally done, we could start thicknessing the sides and making sure the contour was correct before bending. We glued both the Brazilian and the Swiss spruce double sides together at the edges. Then we could start cutting it to shape. The final shape comes from a lot of careful sanding.





Then, while the sides were soaking in water and we were heating up the bending iron, we marked off the top after we thicknessed that to the thickness we need in the middle of the joined top (2.5 mm). Later, we will feather the thickness down to 2 mm at the edges of the joined top. We also roughly thicknessed the Brazilian and marked it off. The flash makes it look a lot lighter than it actually is.




Here you see the sides, fully soaked in water. We need all the help we can get when bending this 40-year-old, irreplaceable wood. Quite exciting and a little stressful.



Just look at all the steam coming off. Even though, due to be double sides, we were able to bring down the thickness of each individual board down quite a bit, it is still tricky to bend both sides at the same time. On the other hand, it is the only way to ensure that the curve in both sides will be the same. Because it gets really hot, we put a metal plate on the outside and use gloves.





Even though the sides have been submerged and fully soaked in water, after having it on the bending iron for a while, we need to soak the wood some more. Easy does it.

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Last edited by Joost Assink; 04-18-2013 at 02:13 AM.
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  #52  
Old 04-18-2013, 02:10 AM
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Beautiful! Some of the most intricate work I've seen.
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  #53  
Old 04-18-2013, 02:13 AM
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Here, we are fitting the sides in the jig. We will be gluing the sides together after the water has evaporated and everything has had a chance to set over the next three days. Even though the glue will ensure that the double sides will maintain their shape after being clamped in the jig, we still need to be sure that the natural shape of the sides is as close as possible after the bending. This way we do not have to introduce unnecessary stress in the woods by forcing it to shape with glue clamps. Stress in materials always robs tone.

Really taking the time with these processes and giving the wood ample time to rest is one of the advantages of a handbuilt instrument over the high-volume factory built guitars.



When we are satisfied, we clamp both sides in the jig and let it dry and sit and relax for the next three days.



Now we have to thickness the rosette using the thicknessing sander. Here you see the result of it being rough-sanded. Things will look much better once it has been finish sanded to a much finer grit.




Now that the bending iron is hot, we also bend our koa bindings to the shape of the fretboard.



Then we mark off the shape of the headstock and roughly cut it to size. We're still not quite there yet but getting closer.



Just for fun, I put some of the pieces together. There's still a lot to be done.



Finally, it was time to join the top. I have been soaking the hide glue in water since the evening before, and had it heating up for the last few hours, so the hide glue was really at its strongest. Hide glue also needs time and patience to prepare and then speed and two sets of hands when you use it, because it gels fast. Here you see the top all clamped down.


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Last edited by Joost Assink; 04-18-2013 at 07:29 AM.
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  #54  
Old 04-18-2013, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.R. Rogers View Post
Beautiful! Some of the most intricate work I've seen.
Wow, thanks J.R. I am honored because you sure have seen your share of guitars!
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  #55  
Old 04-18-2013, 05:37 AM
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Amazing!! I think it's awesome that you are taking the time to walk everyone through this process. Your pictures and descriptions are excellent. I doubt I will ever be able to do, or even pay someone, to have this done. But I am certainly enjoying living vicariously through your experience.

I hope it is everything you dreamed of and more. When all is said and done, I hope you are able to post some sound clips, too!
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  #56  
Old 04-18-2013, 04:36 PM
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Love the rosette!

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  #57  
Old 04-18-2013, 05:29 PM
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Wow--the rosette and fretboard inlays are truly stunning. Really great stuff--thanks for sharing!
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  #58  
Old 04-19-2013, 09:51 AM
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Lookin good!
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  #59  
Old 04-20-2013, 12:25 PM
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Joost, besides my own build thread, which I'm inherently biased towards, I have to say this may be my favorite of all time. Beautiful woods, beautiful detail, beautiful pictures. I'll have to schedule a long layover next time I go back to the US
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  #60  
Old 04-23-2013, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by jeastman View Post
Joost, besides my own build thread, which I'm inherently biased towards, I have to say this may be my favorite of all time. Beautiful woods, beautiful detail, beautiful pictures. I'll have to schedule a long layover next time I go back to the US
Thanks! You're very welcome to have a beer and check it out.
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