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  #16  
Old 10-03-2019, 04:07 PM
emmsone emmsone is offline
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Originally Posted by Quickstep192 View Post
Thatís very nice looking both in construction and in artistic design.

What are you planning to use for a finish?

I recall from another post that you werenít keen on Crystalac, so Iím wondering if you sorted the Crystalac, or found something you like better.
Thanks!!

Well, i'm pretty happy with how this is going and the quality of the build is well above the quality of my finishing that I don't want this to be the "test", i'll either build something specifically to do that or keep going round endlessly with my electric guitar that i've attempted to do 6-7 times and i'm still not happy - all that said, that means i'm planning to send it out for finishing BUT i'm struggling to find a finisher who either isn't a flight away, or isn't charging most of the price of the guitar to do it.
If anyone knows a finisher in Germany or France and can pass on their information, it would be much appreciated.

As far as the Crystalac goes, i haven't had a chance to use it further since my previous attempts. It seems to be OK but as i mentioned previously, I haven't managed to get better than OK results. I may yet test it again, depends if I find or buy something else.
I spoke to Seth Baccus last weekend at the Guitar Summit show in Germany and he is using Nitorlack PU and is getting fabulous results on his electric guitars, so i'm doing some research into their products at the moment.
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  #17  
Old 12-05-2019, 02:32 PM
emmsone emmsone is offline
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A long delayed update to this thread

I recently upgraded my phone and in the file transfer process lost nearly 7000 photos, a bunch of those were from this build and the almost the only ones I have left are from this thread so i'm not sure exactly what processes I did since I last posted.

What I can say is that that the guitar has progressed very nicely and is currently on its way to the finisher.

I do have some pictures of the bridge sitting on the guitar, the tuners sitting in place and one picture of the fretwork as those were pictures I took this week.

Funnily enough I think all the frets in the picture below were actually replaced afterwards as I wasn't happy with the even-ness of the ends when you looked down the neck. I also need to find a quicker way of doing this process, it took nearly a week to get all the frets done to a decent standard, and I may yet be tweaking the ends of 1 or 2 when it gets back from finishing if I'm not 100% with how they look when I see them again.

The bridge still needs to be sanded to a nice fine finish and then oiled. I will do this at some point before the guitar comes back.

When it comes back from finishing in the new year i'm really looking forward to stringing this up and finding out just what exactly i've built here as i've used quite a lot of new techniques and construction methods in this build.

Also, as a teaser for those interested, this week I bought some very tasty wood for my next build (another OM) that I hope to start in January once the wood arrives. Obviously there will be new build thread for that one coming once that gets underway.

Here are the latest pictures

My bridge design as viewed from the back side
Untitled by David Emm, on Flickr

The bridge design as viewed from the front side
Untitled by David Emm, on Flickr

The headstock with some very tasty gold Schertler tuners
Untitled by David Emm, on Flickr

The back of the headstock with the gold tuners.
Untitled by David Emm, on Flickr

I went for the hemispherical fret ends again.
Untitled by David Emm, on Flickr
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  #18  
Old 12-05-2019, 07:37 PM
Quickstep192 Quickstep192 is offline
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I donít know if Iím too late, but if thereís still time, Iíd urge you make it a 12 hole bridge. A 6 hole bridge is a pain with slippery carbon strings.
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  #19  
Old 04-16-2020, 07:19 AM
emmsone emmsone is offline
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Hello all.
due to a number of issues, and things like recent lack of workshop access due to COVID-19, i've only got round to posting this latest update now.

So, here we go.
Pretty much right after my last post, only a few days actually, i received a message from my finisher that there was a crack in the top. Naturally this was a bit of a shock to the system, I was unaware of anything of the like before I had sent it off (the guitar wasn't shipped there, it was hand transported by my father who came over and then flew it from Switzerland back to England). Fortunately I was back in England for christmas so I picked up the guitar, took it home, investigated the crack and dealt with it. It wasn't a difficult thing to fix, it was just annoying and set the schedule way back as it couldn't be worked on again in the spray booth until the end of January.
Once it was sprayed my brother visited me in early march and brought the guitar with him. I am VERY happy with the spray job, it looks epic. It really brings out the almost copper like colour of the Tasmanian blackwood and just makes all the maple just pop and go extra 3d.
Once I had the guitar back I could then glue the bridge on. Something I had been thinking of but was going back and forth on, was the option of adding the extra holes to turn it into a 12 hole bridge. Quickstep192's comment had reminded me about that (thanks!) and before I had the guitar back in my hands I had drilled the extra 6 holes required.

The next task was what to do with the fretboard. I had already decided I did not want the fretboard to be glossy, i thought it would be a bit strange despite all the other gloss maple on the guitar. Several tests of numerous different types of oil had all darkened the fretboard way beyond what was aesthetically pleasing and it completely lost its match with the rest of the light wood on the guitar, if I was going to go with those options I might as well have painted the fretboard orange. Anyway, thanks to a very helpful conversation with Dion from Dion guitars (who i had seen had also done some maple fretboard guitars recently) I asked him what he had done and the answer was to do a hand rubbed epoxy finish. The test results were very pleasing so this is what I have done. The maple is still darker now, but WAY less than with any of the oil finishes, it actually makes the grain patterns in the fretboard jump out more than it did with the oil on the offcuts.

Once that was dealt with it the next tasks were to make and install a black TUSQ nut, which i have used because it frames the fretboard along with the black binding and looked "right" compared to the white bone nut, then I had to make a bone saddle and then the simple job of installing the tuners and stringing it up.

I have a few things still to do, because I have a radius'd fretboard I need to slot the back edge of my saddle to stop the 2 outside strings slipping down the radius'd saddle and leaving them too close to the edge of the fretboard, it's not so bad on the wound low E but its really noticeable on the nylon high e. I will also install a clear pickguard at some point.

Those tasks will have to follow my fretwork though. I have 1 low fret, fret 12 and this is going to cause some major headaches for several reasons.
1) the reason this fret is low is because it actually is seated much better than the rest of the frets on the fretboard. I wonder if this is due to a possibly wider fret slot due to the Rocklite inlay, or possibly due to the Rocklite itself.
2) most of the rest of the frets are all very slightly raised in the centre. Normally this a simple fix. you go in with superglue and press the fret down, then you can sand or scrape away any excess superglue and you're good to go. But as I already have a finished fretboard because of the epoxy, the superglue sits on the top and doesn't wick under the fret like it would on a non-finished fretboard. It also cures to the epoxy surface very quickly and then needs to be scraped off, this scraping does not only scrape the super glue layer off, it takes the epoxy with it.

As i see it I have 2 solutions
a) remove all the frets, sand the whole fretboard down to bare wood, reinstall and glue all the frets in, then re-epoxy the fretboard.
b) leave the frets as they are but do a full sanding job and re-crowning to get them down to the level of the single low fret and hope that the frets stay where they are due to the epoxy.

solution a) is a LOT of work, it's 80% of the way to rebuilding a new neck.
solution b) is a normal job, but I don't know if the frets will move during the sanding causing more high and low frets all over the neck. I can see from the tests that the epoxy did absorb quite a lot into the neck and may now be holding the frets in place. (the frets were not previously glued in, just bashed with a hammer and then pressed with a fret press into place)

See the picture right at the end below to see how the frets are typically currently seated

Any suggestions as to what option to take here are much appreciated!!

Once the fretwork has been dealt with I can actually get out my studio lighting and do my proper photos of the guitar. I'm actually looking forward to that.
I would say the guitar sounds good, its definitely not dead, its not as magical as i had hoped though, its a pretty dry sound and much more in a flamenco-y direction. It is loud, and when I first strung it up I was really impressed with how much low end it threw out. Once I actually put some strings that haven't been on and off 37 times i'll see how it really sounds....


The cracked top before fixing
Untitled by David Emm, on Flickr

Guitar at the finishers - look at that colour!
Untitled by David Emm, on Flickr

the top after finishing
Untitled by David Emm, on Flickr

the back after finishing
Untitled by David Emm, on Flickr

the end graft
Untitled by David Emm, on Flickr

the bridge being glued on
Untitled by David Emm, on Flickr

the bridge with 12 holes and with strings on, it's the only picture i have while i'm writing this
Untitled by David Emm, on Flickr

the headstock with gold Schertler tuners. This set of strings still has to come on and off a few times hence the untrimmed ends and untidiness
Untitled by David Emm, on Flickr

fretboard after hand rubbed epoxy finish - you can see from the line on the end how deep the epoxy absorbed into the fretboard.
Untitled by David Emm, on Flickr

frets as a lot of them are currently seated. For reference (as this is a close up photo) its just about enough gap to barely squeeze a piece of paper into
Untitled by David Emm, on Flickr
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  #20  
Old 04-16-2020, 08:07 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Hi David,
It looks like you are making forward progress, so you're at the finish line.

I'm curious to know if you beveled the top edge of your fret slots enough to accommodate the fret wire.

It looks like they didn't seat completely, and EVO wire has a bit more of a radius at the inner corner where the tang and crown section meet. EVO (or stainless) wire has more difficulty with forming a sharp inside corner during the wire drawing process, so it requires a bit more bevel at the top edge of the fret slots.
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  #21  
Old 04-16-2020, 08:42 AM
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IndianHillMike IndianHillMike is offline
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No question I'd pull the frets and re-fret. With all the work put into the guitar I wouldn't compromise on the playability and longevity (if you have to do some heavy fret leveling now, it's just going to be that much sooner the guitar needs a re-fret anyway). A couple hours of work and you can get the frets pulled, the fingerboard re-leveled, and ready for new frets.

Are you hammering or pressing frets in?
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  #22  
Old 04-16-2020, 12:15 PM
emmsone emmsone is offline
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Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
Hi David,
It looks like you are making forward progress, so you're at the finish line.

I'm curious to know if you beveled the top edge of your fret slots enough to accommodate the fret wire.

It looks like they didn't seat completely, and EVO wire has a bit more of a radius at the inner corner where the tang and crown section meet. EVO (or stainless) wire has more difficulty with forming a sharp inside corner during the wire drawing process, so it requires a bit more bevel at the top edge of the fret slots.
Yea, it's coming along i guess. This build has thrown up way too many problems.
I did bevel the edges, but i only broke the corners, it was nothing extensive, mostly to avoid issues should the frets need to be taken back out. I think you may be right, i probably didn't put a big enough bevel on it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by IndianHillMike View Post
No question I'd pull the frets and re-fret. With all the work put into the guitar I wouldn't compromise on the playability and longevity (if you have to do some heavy fret leveling now, it's just going to be that much sooner the guitar needs a re-fret anyway). A couple hours of work and you can get the frets pulled, the fingerboard re-leveled, and ready for new frets.

Are you hammering or pressing frets in?
Hi Mike.
I don't have enough evo gold fretwire left to do a full re-fret so I just hope i can find somewhere open that I can buy some more evo gold fretwire that will get here quickly.
The other downside is that i'm having to do all this at home sat on my floor as the workshop I use is currently in lockdown. The floor is not the most ideal place to do a job like this.
I was hoping this being a nylon string it might be a long while before a re-fret or fret dressing would be needed, but i see your point.

Previously I have been pressing my frets in as I normally fret my fretboards before I glue them on. This time was the first time I didn't go that way so I hammered the frets in. I do have a screw down fret press I can use on most of the frets to clamp them in place but its built into a solid metal hoop and I don't know if the whole thing will actually fit over my headstock.


The other solution i've just thought about is to just level (or redo) the frets from 13-20. Even though clearly all the frets aren't perfectly seated, there is absolutely no fret buzz on any fret apart from fret 12. But if i start doing any re-fretting, why not do the whole lot right.
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  #23  
Old 04-16-2020, 12:26 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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I don't have enough evo gold fretwire left...
I suggest that EVO frets on a nylon string guitar is unnecessary. Perhaps, if one uses a capo a lot, maybe.

In my early days of guitar making, before CA glues, I had a lot of issues with doing a good fret installation. The "common" secret being used at the time by the makers in the Toronto area, nearly all of whom were "graduate" Larrivee apprentices, was to use a very soft fret wire from Germany. The soft fret wire has no memory and goes in like a dream. I still use it on classical guitars. I've yet to see a need for a re-fret on any of those classical guitars, some nearly 40 years old. I use EVO on steel string guitars.
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  #24  
Old 04-16-2020, 01:38 PM
emmsone emmsone is offline
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I suggest that EVO frets on a nylon string guitar is unnecessary. Perhaps, if one uses a capo a lot, maybe.

In my early days of guitar making, before CA glues, I had a lot of issues with doing a good fret installation. The "common" secret being used at the time by the makers in the Toronto area, nearly all of whom were "graduate" Larrivee apprentices, was to use a very soft fret wire from Germany. The soft fret wire has no memory and goes in like a dream. I still use it on classical guitars. I've yet to see a need for a re-fret on any of those classical guitars, some nearly 40 years old. I use EVO on steel string guitars.
Hi Charles
Actually in this case the choice of evo gold was not so much about the fret wear, but more for the aesthetics of it being gold, although a longer wearing fret even on nylon string guitars is always an advantage.
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Old 04-17-2020, 09:14 AM
emmsone emmsone is offline
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I ordered some more Evo gold fretwire, it should arrive on monday.

In the meantime very late into the night/this morning yesterday I came up with a more workable solution....

Take these frets out, and if I can do it without significant damage then replace the same frets in a more significantly bevelled slot and clamp them in place but with Titebond in the slots. Yes I'm aware Titebond is not the best glue for metal, BUT it would allow me to clean the fretboard from the squeezeout, something that is not possible with superglue, would not be ideal with epoxy (as it might cure to the clamp) and I would not have to sand the whole finish off the fretboard, and theoretically it should hold the frets in place and most importantly, down, at least from the glue hardening in the slots and holding against the tangs (vs the actual chemical bond superglue would make with the fret). It would mean that I would likely have to clamp each fret individually for a number of hours at minimum until the Titebond dried but my current thought is that this would work


thoughts???
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Old 04-18-2020, 08:56 AM
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IndianHillMike IndianHillMike is offline
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Originally Posted by emmsone View Post
Take these frets out, and if I can do it without significant damage then replace the same frets in a more significantly bevelled slot and clamp them in place but with Titebond in the slots. Yes I'm aware Titebond is not the best glue for metal, BUT it would allow me to clean the fretboard from the squeezeout, something that is not possible with superglue, would not be ideal with epoxy (as it might cure to the clamp) and I would not have to sand the whole finish off the fretboard, and theoretically it should hold the frets in place and most importantly, down, at least from the glue hardening in the slots and holding against the tangs (vs the actual chemical bond superglue would make with the fret). It would mean that I would likely have to clamp each fret individually for a number of hours at minimum until the Titebond dried but my current thought is that this would work


thoughts???
Does acetone mess with the finish on your fingerboard? For a bit I used super glue to glue frets in -- press the fret, wick in some CA at a few points, give a quick wipe with a clean bit of paper towel dipped in acetone, un-clamp after a minute or two and on the next. For the past few years I've switched to hide glue (just water to clean up) and I'll leave each fret clamped for 2 or 3 minutes before moving on to the next.

I also find it useful, whether hammering or pressing, to get the edges of the fret seated first. For hammering I'll tap the edges down, then start in the center and pound my way to the edges a few times always starting back in the center. If pressing, I'll use a tighter radius to start, squeeze it down, then quickly switch to the "proper" radius. Works like a charm!
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  #27  
Old 04-18-2020, 12:02 PM
cobalt60 cobalt60 is offline
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Hi Charles
Actually in this case the choice of evo gold was not so much about the fret wear, but more for the aesthetics of it being gold, although a longer wearing fret even on nylon string guitars is always an advantage.

If you are taking all the frets out, please do a bit more searching - I think it was the Delcamp forums where classical players showed that all excessively "hard" frets (EVO, SS, etc) cause significantly more damage to the nylon strings, and are thus universally undesirable compared to nickel.

Ultimately, fret wear doesn't present the same level of significance to nylon players, likely due to a combination of the string material, the player's LH pressure decreasing, and (perhaps most significantly) the lack of note bending in the repertoire.

However, since you put the word "crossover" in its name, a lot of the classical purists have already tuned out, so the alternate take is to do exactly what you desire. IMO, the best way to do what you want is to know what conventions you're breaking and why.
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Old 04-19-2020, 06:40 AM
Quickstep192 Quickstep192 is offline
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“b) leave the frets as they are but do a full sanding job and re-crowning to get them down to the level of the single low fret and hope that the frets stay where they are due to the epoxy.“

This seems like a “might help; can’t hurt“ option. If it works, you’ve avoided the possible damage from pulling the frets. If it doesn’t work, you can always pull the frets then.


“ its not as magical as i had hoped though, its a pretty dry sound and much more in a flamenco-y direction. It is loud, and when I first strung it up I was really impressed with how much low end it threw out.”

Once you get everything the way you want it, try many different strings. The selection and variables of nylon strings is staggering. There’s nylon, nylgut, carbon, high tension, low tension, medium tension. Bass sets and treble sets are sold separately and many folks mix them.
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