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  #46  
Old 05-18-2023, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mikealpine View Post
Loving the pictures, the process, the banter...everything about this. Incredibly happy for you, my friend!
Thanks Mike, it is definitely fun, but a lot of work also. I appreciate you!
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  #47  
Old 05-18-2023, 08:05 PM
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Day 4 in the book. Still a lot to do, but we are right on schedule. Here are today's pics.

The day started out removing all the clamps from the top that glued up overnight. Then off to the sander to remove a bunch of the excess on the top, goes fast, but not too fast or you end up taking too much.

gb day 4 a.jpg

The next step is not pictured, but just envision me with a rasp, the guitar in my lap, and instead of the back, bringing the top flush with the sides. THEN, it is sanding to flatten the sides. Note the speed of which my robotic sanding arms are going, Ryan could not even get my hands and arms in focus, I am a sanding machine!

gb day 4 b.jpg

Next is thinning the perimeter of the top to free it up even more. The perimeter ends up much thinner then the rest of the top which will help with tone, tone, and more tone as it will vibrate even more.

gb day 4 c.jpg
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  #48  
Old 05-18-2023, 08:22 PM
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Next up was working on the neck. We first had to mark a line on the heel which matched the angle of the box. After this line was made, we sanded down to the line to basically match up the heel to fit the box.

gb day 4 ea.jpg

Of course, you are unlikely to get it perfect on the first try. In my case, the fit was nice from the heel to the box, but the fret board was slightly above the top at the distal end. So, I used the very delicate miter box to remove a little of the neck until it fit right, took two tries and ended up being about 1 degree of an angle. About 1/8 of a blade worth. Fortunately, I am quite comfie with a miter box.

gb day 4 d.jpg

Here I am laying out the shape of the heel so that we could router relief into the heel.

gb day 4 e.jpg

Taking care of said relief. This will ultimately allow easier manipulation of the heel when adjusting for the final neck angle with a little flossing if needed.

gb day 4 g.jpg
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Last edited by TomB'sox; 05-18-2023 at 08:30 PM.
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  #49  
Old 05-18-2023, 08:42 PM
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One of the steps of a build which always seemed very scary to me was routing the purfling and binding channels. There are many ways to do this, but basically you are either looking at a stationary router and you move the box or a router set-up with a stable box and you move the router. Steve has made this articulated arm router stabilizer doo dad that works just great. One of the scariest parts became one of the most enjoyable although it involves many stages and it is very important to determine the way the grain is running to make sure you are running the router in the correct direction to minimize risk of ripping out your sides or your top, so still maybe a little scary. My wood has a significant curl in the sides, so it took a little brain storming, but in the end, no disasters so the fellas got it right!

gb day 4 h.jpg

We did the top purflings, then the bottom purflings, then waited to let those set up a bit (while we were waiting, I sanded up the bridge through various grits of sand paper and pads), then did the top bindings followed by the bottom bindings and taped them all up. Trust me, there is a lot of pressure applied with this tape, my arms and fingers can attest to that.

gb day 4 i.jpg

A final "glamour" shot of the bridge I finished up today (Ryan checked it out and then applied the wax to bring it up in shine). It looks pretty nice if I do say so myself. The bridge and the bindings are Texas Ebony.

gb day 4 j.jpg

Can't wait to see it tomorrow with the tape removed. Another big day tomorrow, frets, leveling the bindings and purflings, and carving the neck! The neck carve is another of the luthiery mysteries I am excited to unravel!
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Last edited by TomB'sox; 05-31-2023 at 08:43 AM.
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  #50  
Old 05-19-2023, 04:34 AM
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Great job Tom, Steve and Ryan. Loving the photo documentation. Almost like being there (I wish). That bridge is gorgeous!
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  #51  
Old 05-19-2023, 09:03 AM
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Home stretch, Tom--it's really looking awesome!

Can't wait to see it at BIG and try it out!
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  #52  
Old 05-19-2023, 09:57 AM
doodahdoug doodahdoug is offline
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Tom, I'm late in catching up with your deep body OM student build with Steve and Ryan. Thanks for the great pics and descriptions of the process. I know this will be a special one in your collection for years to come. Looking forward to seeing it finished and checking it out at B.I.G.
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  #53  
Old 05-19-2023, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cigarfan View Post
Great job Tom, Steve and Ryan. Loving the photo documentation. Almost like being there (I wish). That bridge is gorgeous!
Thanks Dennis, it is a beauty and shined up so nicely! Your name has come up several times this week in one story or another, all good!

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Originally Posted by Nemoman View Post
Home stretch, Tom--it's really looking awesome!

Can't wait to see it at BIG and try it out!
Thanks, I think we should all get a picture, at least those of us at B.I.G. who have done the builds. We pretty much got everything done today, a couple of small jobs tomorow.

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Originally Posted by doodahdoug View Post
Tom, I'm late in catching up with your deep body OM student build with Steve and Ryan. Thanks for the great pics and descriptions of the process. I know this will be a special one in your collection for years to come. Looking forward to seeing it finished and checking it out at B.I.G.
You are welcome and again, I am so glad for your return to B.I.G. this year. I will say the box is sounding pretty danged good, booming like a bass drum!
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Last edited by TomB'sox; 08-08-2023 at 06:05 PM.
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  #54  
Old 05-19-2023, 07:20 PM
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Day 5 done. A little more relaxing morning working on the neck and although everything was time consuming, there was not a long list to get through.

Ryan and I had the shop to ourselves this AM as Steve had other commitments to take care of. After we solved the world's problems we set to work on the neck. Fretting turned out to be fun for me. For one, he put a scalpel in my hands to clean out the fret slots of any glue. I am comfortable with a scalpel.

gb day 5 b.jpg

I happen to have a bound fretboard which I will explain later, but the frets were a little more complicated because of that. I enjoyed the process quite a bit, for one the shop was quiet and two you sit down and three I seemed to have a decent knack for it. We did not get any pictures of the actual fret installation, but here I am dressing the fret ends.

gb day 5 c.jpg

Next up was carving the neck. This was something I was both excited for and nervous about. We used a safety plane in the drill press just to remove wood and thin down the neck so we could start to sculpt it.

gb day 5 d.jpg

Starting out with a spokeshave which requires a certain set of the mouth, which I feel I nailed. Just taking the corners off to start the rounding process.

gb day 5 a.jpg

Next up the hacksaw chisel on the heel to begin shaping that.

gb day 5 f.jpg

Now I am using a chisel to remove some material around the cheeks.

gb day 5 e.jpg
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  #55  
Old 05-19-2023, 07:38 PM
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Regarding the neck work...we used a lot of different tools, chisels, rasps of all kinds, files, sand paper and the spokeshave to get this done. Steve is a MASTER at neck carving and is able to visualize things in 3D which is a talent in itself. He makes it look very easy and it is not.

Once the carve was pretty much done, I sanded down the bridge to match the radius of the top.

gb day 5 h.jpg

The back...I had this set at home and had joined the back before coming for the build. We decided against any back strip as the join was quite good actually and the grain matched up so well.

gb day 5 j.jpg

Here we are with the test fitting of the neck. After the first go, it needed just a little tweak on one side to move it over at the body by about 1.5 mm. One try and we had a perfect line from nut to center of the distal end of the fret board to the center of the bridge. Thanks Steve. Checking the height of the bridge to the fretboard was perfect with no changes needed, yep remember that 1 degree cut on the miter saw a couple of days ago, you are welcome!

gb day 5 k.jpg

So bound fret boards are not part of the student build nor did we do all those inlays. I had commissioned this fret board for another build with Kinnaird guitars and then decided against using it for that one. Since I had it and it did not come free, I decided (with Steve and Ryan's permission and they had seen it before) to use it on this build. It did add a little extra work with the fretting and getting the head stock to match, but the boys were great and we got it done. On the other hand, the extra work was balanced out by not having to do any work on a new fretboard I guess. Just mentioning this as a disclaimer so no one thinks this is an option for the standard build class.

We have just a few things for tomorrow, side dots to mark the frets, some more sanding on the neck, fitting the truss rod cover which is made and ready to go, and some more sanding on the body followed by a little more sanding...I think we finish off with some final sanding.

Thanks for following along.
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  #56  
Old 05-19-2023, 07:57 PM
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My goodness, what a wonderful project. Tom, I'm guessing this guitar will be a keeper regardless of how it sounds. It is looking awesome. Will you be signing the label going into it?

Thank you for sharing your journey as a budding luthier!
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  #57  
Old 05-20-2023, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Carmel Cedar View Post
My goodness, what a wonderful project. Tom, I'm guessing this guitar will be a keeper regardless of how it sounds. It is looking awesome. Will you be signing the label going into it?

Thank you for sharing your journey as a budding luthier!
Thanks for checking in, long time, no hear from you! Check out the last pic!



Day 6 is over and I am home already. We had just a couple of hours, probably an hour of work today, but we managed to talk enough to stretch it out lol!!!

The first pic shows me drilling the side of the fret board to install the dots which was a lot of fun. The biggest thing is getting the holes in the exact spot in the middle of the fretboard which is not too thick! The 12th fret has two side by side so they need to be perfectly parallel or will show up pretty quickly if they are not!

gb day 6 a.jpg

This is a picture of cutting the nut slot into the headstock or as Ryan said if I go too far, it is a picture of replacing the headstock!!!

gb day 6 b.jpg

Installation of the truss rod cover, once it was cut and shaped, a small hole is drill for screw placement, but this was counter sunk so the screw head was not sticking up. The thickness of the truss rod cover is maybe .070 or .080 so the boys were giving me a lot of grief to not go too far LOL.

gb day 6 c.jpg

A job well done picture, but also kind of a sad picture because it was the end of the experience for now. I may go back to help with the final set-up once back from the finisher, but time will tell.

gb day 6 d.jpg

And, the label...front and center with my sig.

gb day 6 e.jpg
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  #58  
Old 05-20-2023, 05:20 PM
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Congrats Tom! What an awesome experience! Thanks for sharing the journey with us; it looked to be great fun!
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  #59  
Old 05-20-2023, 05:28 PM
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I want to summarize the week here.

I think the word I would choose is rewarding or maybe fulfilling is better. Lots of folks would pick fun and I could not disagree with that assessment as it was fun for sure. For me, beyond the fun of it, I was looking at it more like a job to get done, to build as good of guitar as we could in the allotted time. With that in mind, I am very proud of how this came out. It looks great, the appointments all work so well together and I could see me commissioning a guitar with all the same choices.

The box has a great deep resonant sound which bodes well for the future. I think it would be hard for anyone to point out anything on this guitar that would make them think an amateur was involved. For this I give credit to my mentors Ryan and Steve. They let me do a lot of stuff on my own, but knew when to watch me closely or when a task was probably beyond teaching me with no guitar building experience. The neck carve is a good example. It was hard for me to visualize where we were even going to begin, but once Steve would do one side and I could see what we were trying to do, I would do the other side. There is a real compound cut at what they call the cheeks at the base of the headstock and neck where they join together at the volute. I just could not visualize it, but once Steve did his side, I went after mine and they came out perfectly symmetrical. I even called Ryan over and made him look to see if he could tell which side I had done and he could not and Ryan is too good of boy to lie. Stuff like that is why I chose the word rewarding for the week. Many little things like that happened to make me feel good.

I learned a lot about guitars, about building techniques, and the work level involved in making a guitar, as well as a lot about myself. If anyone really wants to get a full understanding of what is behind a guitar and what makes it sound great, I would recommend a week of Nacogdoches boot camp with the boys of Kinnaird guitars!

A special shout out to Billie who kept me fed and ready to work!!!

Tom
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  #60  
Old 05-21-2023, 09:33 AM
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What a wonderful journal overall, and a great recap! Truly an exceptional experience.
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