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  #31  
Old 04-03-2014, 05:31 PM
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I had to make the binding twice as the first set looked too light in color when I held them in place. The set I'm using is much darker and gives an adequate contrast. Then I dropped my routing fixture in a moment of clumsyness and had to make a new baseplate for it. The good news there is that this second plate is MUCH sturdier; every time I use it I expect I'll wonder why I put up with the old one for at least the last 15 years.

I don't think anyone has every asked my why I bind on my binding instead of taping it on as so many others seem to do. There is a really good reason, and it may even turn out to be the "secret ingredient"! Or, one of of the several, I figure.


Bonus pic:
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  #32  
Old 04-04-2014, 12:06 PM
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And on to the neck:


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  #33  
Old 04-04-2014, 02:47 PM
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I love these straightforward guitars, I mean I love all the others too, these just feel so...genuine I guess....to me. A musical instrument more than a showpiece. Bruce, that back looks really thin. Under a tenth?
  #34  
Old 04-04-2014, 03:09 PM
Berf Berf is offline
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Quote:
I don't think anyone has every asked my why I bind on my binding instead of taping it on as so many others seem to do.
Hi Bruce, I never asked because I thought it may be impolite to pry into your predilections ... But since you brought it up, why do you bind your bindings with cowboy rope?
  #35  
Old 04-04-2014, 03:23 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
And on to the neck:


I would assume to get the bindings as tight as possible against the channel? Seen it done that way mainly with Spanish (classical) guitar builders. I've done a few bindings in maple and it seems tape is sufficient to "suck" it in place; though with my latest creation I used ebony and roped after taping because it was less "compliant" to the back curves...

However I'd been leery of doing it because I feared I'd "deform" the soundbox by roping, but the top remained flat after I took the roping off...

Very nice backstrip/end graft; I also prefer clean lines and less "bling" whenever possible...
  #36  
Old 04-04-2014, 03:47 PM
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Au Contraire, Berf, I long to be asked pertinent questions, and it amazes me how few I get. Thank you for taking my bait.

The bindings on my guitars are glued on with Titebond I, and if one reads the specs on the glue, one learns that clamping pressure makes a huge difference in the strength of the bond. It is something like 100 times stronger when it is firmly clamped than if it is merely in proximity, which is what tape is just able to do IF the bindings are perfectly bent. Since the tone of a guitar is (IMO) largely dependent on the integrity of the materials AND the joinery, strongly clamping the binding is what I call a no-brainer.

Yes, it is way under a tenth. In fact, I venture to say I have never made a guitar with a back as thick as .010", not even in maple, mahogany, or even catalpa. As it happens, I measured this one before I assembled (I usually don't as I work to feel) and it is .072+/-. My heaviest backs that I have measured would be about .085, and my thinnest .055 (Jatoba is unbelievably stiff!). The harder rosewoods (D. tuc. is a softer rosewood) will tend to be under .070 and over .065.
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  #37  
Old 04-04-2014, 04:30 PM
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The neck is coming nicely! The headplate is really stunning IMO, so I thought I'd show you:


Many years back I decided that bound fingerboards were the only way to go. This one is ebony with ebony binding:
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  #38  
Old 04-04-2014, 06:14 PM
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Default Fret slotting fixture

Here's something for the tool and fixture geeks.

I have for a couple of years been using this slotting fixture which will slot any string length between 24 3/16 and a little over 26". It could have been whatever but this is what it happens to be. Slotting a finger board of any length in this range takes less than 5 minutes including set-up for the length of choice. I have a number of lengths I've used marked on the aluminum, which might help you get the idea.

I have several of the fanned scale part made out of Corian that I could make available if anyone thinks they'd get some use for a device on this pattern. (and yes, I thought up another fixture that uses the same piece to cut my 1/2" disparity MultiScale fingerboards) The scales were generated in Autocad and then CNC cut. The rest of it it pretty easy to make, and any table saw would do using the StewMac/LMI blade.

I think the pictures pretty much tell the story, but if they don't, just ask.




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  #39  
Old 04-05-2014, 02:20 AM
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Do you use hide glue in this construction? I didn't see it mentioned.
  #40  
Old 04-05-2014, 06:39 AM
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Bruce,

Thanks for sharing your fixturing technique.

I am glad to see that even the most artistic of craftsman can see the utility of computer aided design and cnc milling to create a repeatable process with precision. I had mistakenly assumed that the use of these types of tools were Sexauer-verboten.

As someone who does not make guitars but designs, engineers and manufactures many other products, insights into the craftsman's work-flow and build process are as interesting to me as the object that they produce.

Bob
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  #41  
Old 04-05-2014, 10:04 AM
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It is true that I think the use of CNC in making guitars is easily criticized, but that is not because CNC is a bad thing, it is peerless for repeatable and accurate machining operations; perfect for making these fret pattern thingies (assuming the math is right, otherwise they are all equally wrong). It is exactly CNC's perfection at repeating which is my objection to it. Dynamic improvement it the essence of my work. Recreating the guitar each time as an improvement of what was done before is the key to growth, and CNC is merely repeating, not recreating. Any design changes made to a CNC program are far removed from the bodily senses, mostly the product of the mind alone, and tend to to be stilted aesthetically, having a utility more imagined that experienced. Not that I have strong opinions on the subject.

I am, by the way, fairly competent in the use of Autocad as a technical design tool, and I am talking about my personal results as well as my opinion about the results of others. It is very hard to beat a pencil and paper for inspired design work.

At this point in my career I am pretty settled on my glue regimen. I use HHG where ever practical. The first place it is NOT HHG is when I put the kerfed lining onto the sides. The second place is when I glue on the back. Both of these instances are LMI's white instrument glue. I also use LMI's glue for the headplates, and for the fingerboard to neck connection. I use CA for inlay and dropfill. Otherwise it's all HHG.

I thought of another LMI glue use, but I don't want to rewrite the previous paragraph. I often join my plates with it. The joining process takes about two minutes, and that's too long for HHG, which means it gels before it gets clamped and makes a potentially bad joint.
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  #42  
Old 04-05-2014, 12:25 PM
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I don't see using this indexing plate any more using CNC to build guitars then one using a twist drill that was ground on a CNC machine or the table saw that Bruce uses to cut fret slots. Super idea by the way, the only other I know of are limited to 1 or 2 sizes. That would be worthwhile putting on the market....!!
Tom
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  #43  
Old 04-05-2014, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
The bindings on my guitars are glued on with Titebond I, and if one reads the specs on the glue, one learns that clamping pressure makes a huge difference in the strength of the bond. It is something like 100 times stronger when it is firmly clamped than if it is merely in proximity, which is what tape is just able to do IF the bindings are perfectly bent. Since the tone of a guitar is (IMO) largely dependent on the integrity of the materials AND the joinery, strongly clamping the binding is what I call a no-brainer.
Thanks for the comprehensive explanation Bruce.... and here was I thinking all along that you just enjoyed slipping on tough leather gloves and lassoing defenseless guitar bodies. You learn something new every day...

Does the rope ever leave indentations in the wood binding or is the wood you use hard enough to withstand the pressure?

Cheers, berf
  #44  
Old 04-05-2014, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Berf View Post
Does the rope ever leave indentations in the wood binding or is the wood you use hard enough to withstand the pressure?

Cheers, berf
The binding is enough oversize that any indentation (it is negligible on woods as hard as this Amazon) that may exist is long gone before I need to consider it.

Many people seem to fail to appreciate the role of the binding AND the purfling. The binding should be hard enough to take a fairly good blow without denting or deforming in any way. The danger then is that the shock is transferred into the glued structure of the guitar body, where it could easily do more meaningful damage than the superficial dent would have been. This is the role of the purfling, which should be made of a softer material that is resilient enough to absorb the blow without passing the shock on.

This is one of the many concepts I picked up from my early exposure, through Michael Dunn, to the long standing Spanish tradition. A lot of the modern work I see, though undeniably striking, violates many of basic tenets of our craft, as I hold it. It will be interesting to see how important these factors turn out to be as time passes, to others if not myself.

One of things left out of this "WRX" guitar in the interest of economy, as opposed to my "standard model", in most of the purfling. This has no direct effect on the sound or quality of the instrument IMO, but does mean that it will appreciate more care in handling. Fortunately, this customer has spec'd a Hoffee Carbon Case.
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Last edited by Bruce Sexauer; 04-05-2014 at 08:17 PM.
  #45  
Old 04-05-2014, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post

Many people seem to fail to appreciate the role of the binding AND the purfling. The binding should be hard enough to take a fairly good blow without denting or deformaing in any way. The danger then is that the shock is transferred into the glued structure of the guitar body, where it could easily do more meaningful damage than the superficial dent would have been. This is the role of the purfling, which should be made of a softer material that is resilient enough to absorb the blow without passing the shock on.
Thank you for this.
cheers, Steve
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