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Old 10-26-2014, 03:03 PM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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Default Custom carbonfiber wood hybrid

Hello

This thread is about my new build, a hybrid between my failed crowdfunding campaign model called the Loosetop. It is now to expensive to continue that, so i have to adapt.

That model was about a soundboard where the edges are not attached to the sides of the guitar, but that is not used on this model and thread.

that can be found here :

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...45#post4162845

I will use only one componant of the Loosetop, called the unibody, it is a back, sides and a neck and head all in 1 carbon fiber componant. This carbon fiber componatn is made under vacuum, in a mold with the anti shape of the guitar part, this way the visible side will be smooth becasue it is being sucked against the mold. This componant is then cured in an oven.

On this unibody , i will build a "regular" guitar, with a cedar soundboard and an ebony fingerboard.

With this idea i hope to get the clarity and stability of carbon fiber and the warm sound of wood.

I am now using an old prototype mold and when i get the desired sound and playability i will make a new mold for production.

failed campaign:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/t...x/7621930#home

materials for the new hybrid:

-new drawing
-stainless steel fretwire
-harwood bindings and W/B/W purflings
-blocked binding
-ebony fingerboard,bridge and headplate
-cedar soundboard
-rosette





Making the mold stronger since i already had a mold warping under the heat. so i dumped a bunch of cement in there which is drying now

Front :




backside :



New workshop with sockets in the face :



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Last edited by littlesmith; 10-26-2014 at 05:54 PM.
  #2  
Old 03-10-2015, 10:42 AM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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This project is back on track! jeeeh!

Carbon fiber unibody (1 piece back, sides and neck) :







This unibody will recieve a cedar top, the 3rd picture shows some square wood that are being glued on the edge of the neck to give it a bit more gluing surface. Put sandpaper in the neck with the rough side up, and transfer the shape of the curve to the wooden strips.



If all goes well this guitar will be featured in a crowdfunding campaign to get funds for an aluminium mold for professional production. It will be self heating with wires or even with high tech carbon nanocoating for uniform heating...


The goal of this instrument is to combine the clarity of tone of carbon fiber (and dimentional stability) with the warmth of a cedar top.

Stay tuned! (pun intended) ^_^
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:35 AM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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planed the wood :







Gluid the lining with 2500 psi glue :


The soundboard will be dropped inside this shape, that is why the lining is being glued under the edge, this way the carbon fiber its self is the shock absorber for accidental side impact. I also do not want to kill my routerbit on the carbon fiber. ( i am not aware of any existing carbide purfling routerbit).

The purflings will be visible from the topview, and also the side of the fingerboard.
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Last edited by littlesmith; 03-11-2015 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:56 AM
westman westman is offline
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this is a great project, refreshing approach.
good luck
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:18 AM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westman View Post
this is a great project, refreshing approach.
good luck
Thank you!!

I really took a long time to get over a failed crowdfunding campaign, for months i could not even look at a guitar. There is a 5 month gap between the start of this thread and re-energising this project.

I had put every cent in a design that was not where it needed to be (needed more money and scientific research). I put 2 years full time in it and alot of money.

In hindsight i should not have bought aero space grade carbon fiber but regular, and put cheap fiberglass between the layers.

I spent 2 months, 14 hours per day, learning game dev, but it turns out i can not walk away from lutherie, i love it too much.
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2015, 10:44 AM
Aubade Acoustics Aubade Acoustics is offline
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It looks like an interesting project for sure. I wonder what you will do in the void in the neck area and headstock area? Truss rod? I would think the fretboard needs to be glued to a solid piece of wood if it going to be standard thickness which is generally 1/4 inch or less. Will you install a neck block to help keep string tension from causing movement? I am watching in curiosity. Mike
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:59 AM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aubade Acoustics View Post
It looks like an interesting project for sure. I wonder what you will do in the void in the neck area and headstock area? Truss rod? I would think the fretboard needs to be glued to a solid piece of wood if it going to be standard thickness which is generally 1/4 inch or less. Will you install a neck block to help keep string tension from causing movement? I am watching in curiosity. Mike
I have a 5mm carbon fiber rod to have a linear opposing force to the string tention, this way the soundboard can also be thinner.



I`m not 100% sure this is the solution because its round and it can bent, i might get a square tube instead and it will go throught the entire neck, all the way to where a guitar heel would be, behind the bridge.

Also, this will be a nylon stringed instrument, so the tension is a bit less.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:42 PM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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Gluing the soundboard :



Very simple setup, I made it just little bit too small for the width of the wood like this :



You have to feel that there is no edge for a good allignment.
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:06 PM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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Ill start posting mistakes and learning experiences as well, maybe somebody can use it.

Here you can see airpockets between 2 layers, that is very bad.

I made this unibody, and when it was fully cured realised it was to thin, also you could dent the back and it would make a super loud horribel noise when it popped back. Imagine if that happens when your buyer gives a live performance of classical music.

So i decided to add 2 layers, when those were cured there was an inferior bond between the old and the new, so i pulled it off.

That happened way to easy untill this point. I did not want to risk dissonant frequencies because of airpockets, or are airpockets an accidental discovery of genius?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVCxXaRtWig:large



blablabla Lesson -----> a uniform epoxy matrix is vital.

This is a prototype hybrid so its no biggy. I make mistakes in my prototype so the consumer version is good.

Wood is very forgiving, carbon fiber in an epoxy matrix is all or nothing.

This body has a few loose strands :





I don`t know yet if i will keep it like this or cover it in flat black paint. Its really a waste to paint carbon fiber if its layd out properly (this is not).

What do you guys think, keep it like this and buff it up to a shine, or paint it flat black?

I don`t know if somebody will buy with the loose strands like this.

These loose strands did give me an awesome idea for the future, maybe you could make art with loose carbon fiber strands and placing them in the mold first.
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Last edited by littlesmith; 03-13-2015 at 08:46 AM.
  #10  
Old 03-12-2015, 06:44 AM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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Gluiing some reinforcement for the tuner holes (nylon style)



Glued soundboard pre-cleanup,some paper got stuck to the gluejoint (better paper then being attached to the glueing board) :

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Old 03-12-2015, 08:06 AM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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Color / binding scheme :

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Old 03-12-2015, 01:00 PM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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How can i incoorporate more beautifull wood into a carbonfiber / wood hybrid?

A spruce or cedar top are vital for tone production, but visually it looses from koa in my own taste...

That leads to the thought, how would a very thin koa veneer affect the sound? Or maybe an inlay, which i never put much time in, so i`m afraid it will look kitchy...
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:29 PM
rogthefrog rogthefrog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlesmith View Post
How can i incoorporate more beautifull wood into a carbonfiber / wood hybrid?

A spruce or cedar top are vital for tone production, but visually it looses from koa in my own taste...

That leads to the thought, how would a very thin koa veneer affect the sound? Or maybe an inlay, which i never put much time in, so i`m afraid it will look kitchy...
You don't want to veneer your top. It's supposed to vibrate as much as possible.
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:47 PM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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That leaves the fretboard and the headplate.
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:07 AM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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Gluing a pice of wood so that the tuners are not swimming in air.



The production model will not have this, that will have a jig to layer carbon fiber over, something like this



That would be a bit too labour intensive for a 1 time prototype (make the reversed shape plug, seal the pores with epoxy or thick varnish, wax, make carbon fiber part).

If you do it with a jig like this, you would have the cilinders and the headplate in 1 piece. If you use a steel plate or aluminium, you can let your logo shape raise out of the baseplate, and the carbon fiber will go around it. The cured part will have a hole with the shape of your logo inlay (no routing needed), just glue your logo in...

That would be a job for a CNC machine, not many people are that accurate with hand tools., and you want the mould to last for a long time, so carving it out of wood isn`t an option really...

The main goal is finding a good tone balance between the warmth of cedar wood soundboard and the clarity of carbon fiber.
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Last edited by littlesmith; 03-13-2015 at 04:15 PM.
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