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  #46  
Old 06-18-2019, 04:38 AM
jmagill jmagill is online now
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The building phase is complete. Here are some photos of the guitar assembled ‘in the white’ but the neck has not yet been attached. Soon after this, the guitar body was shipped to Ben Lambdin in California to have a French polish finish applied, a process that Tom expects will take about four weeks. At my request, Tom is planning something special for the finish on the neck.




We opted for a double line of purfling for the body binding.






Note the guide holes in the top that will be used to locate the bridge.

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'07 Circa OM, '09 Bashkin 00-12 fret, '10 Circa 00-12 fret, '17 Buendia Jumbo, '17 Robbins R.1, '09 Heiden Heritage F5 mandolin, '85 Sobell cittern,
'08 Poe F5 mandolin, '80 Monteleone Grand Artist mandolin, '83 Monteleone Grand Artist mandolin (oval hole)

Last edited by jmagill; 06-19-2019 at 12:37 PM.
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  #47  
Old 06-18-2019, 11:49 AM
Jimbo1776 Jimbo1776 is offline
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Default Just Beautiful

Extraordinary simple elegance. I wish I could play that one once she's done. Tom does amazing work.

All The Best,

Jim
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  #48  
Old 06-18-2019, 10:40 PM
lizzard lizzard is offline
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Really nice build. I was wondering. In the beginning of this thread you mentioned that you were trying to achieve a very specific voice.

What is it?

Was Swiss your call or Tomís and the rationale?

I have a Maple/Swiss Trinity that Iím over the moon with. It just keeps getting better. I also have a deposit for next year with Tom for a larger guitar. Braz set is picked (Iíll try to resuscitate the old thread closer to my build), and Top could go a couple directions.

Looking forward to seeing your come alive and seeing your feedback, esp re the French polish.

Enjoy!

Chris
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  #49  
Old 06-19-2019, 04:22 AM
jmagill jmagill is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzard View Post
Really nice build. I was wondering. In the beginning of this thread you mentioned that you were trying to achieve a very specific voice.

What is it?
Thanks for your interest. PM sent.
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'07 Circa OM, '09 Bashkin 00-12 fret, '10 Circa 00-12 fret, '17 Buendia Jumbo, '17 Robbins R.1, '09 Heiden Heritage F5 mandolin, '85 Sobell cittern,
'08 Poe F5 mandolin, '80 Monteleone Grand Artist mandolin, '83 Monteleone Grand Artist mandolin (oval hole)
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  #50  
Old 06-19-2019, 11:22 AM
jmagill jmagill is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzard View Post
Looking forward to seeing yours come alive and seeing your feedback, esp re the French polish.
Given the goals for this guitar and the build style Tom likes to use, we decided to maximize our chances of hitting the target voice with a whole-body French polish finish, my first.

More than one luthier has told me that the best-sounding guitars are built right on the verge of implosion, with the thinnest of finishes and just enough wood, bracing, etc. to maximize tone, responsiveness and resonance without structural failure. Knowing from the outset that this guitar would have a French polish finish allowed Tom to build as lightly and 'close to the edge' as possible.

I’m pretty careful with my guitars and wasn’t worried about French polish's reduced resistance to dings compared to lacquer, but I had heard that some player’s skin chemistry could damage the finish, so I asked some French polish experts about how concerned I should be.

Eric Reid, who is highly respected for his finish work wrote:

It's true that some players' sweat attacks shellac. I've been doing this for about twenty years, and I would say that it is an issue with less than 5% of the population. I don't believe it correlates with how much you sweat, but rather with your body chemistry. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that alkaline sweat would be the issue. (Household ammonia breaks down shellac, whereas vinegar doesn't.) The symptoms are these: first, the shellac becomes cloudy in the areas it contacts the body (not the neck in my experience, but on the back and sides and top where they touch the chest, and right arm); then the finish develops a fine cross-hatch pattern; and finally, the finish becomes gummy. The repair is straightforward: some light sanding, and French polishing over the affected areas. After the touch-up, the finish looks like new. To prevent further damage, a seal-coat of a drying oil seems to do the trick. So why not add the seal-coat from the start? Three reasons: The problem is fairly rare; drying oils, however thinly applied, add a bit of sound damping; and the final gloss is not as high as can be achieved with French polish alone. I have French polished several of Leo Buendia's guitars, a few of Tom Doerr's, and dozens of Ervin Somogyi's. None of these have had an issue with the player's sweat attacking the finish. The few examples I've seen have been with the classical guitars that constitute the majority of my business. Over the years, I've met a small number of players whose sweat aggressively attacks shellac. In each case, the repair was simple.

Obviously, the top of the guitar produces most of the volume of a guitar's sound. The back and sides and neck add tonal color. The degree to which the back and sides contribute to the tonal color of the instrument depends to a large extant on how the guitar is designed and built. Lightly built guitars, with their "responsive backs" get quite a bit of their tonal color from areas other than the top. For what it's worth, when I began doing work for Ervin Somogyi, I was just French polishing the tops of his guitars. The back and sides were sprayed with lacquer. After he heard the sound of one his guitars French polished over the entire body, he switched to having that be his standard finish. We do the vast majority of his guitars now. Leo Buendia and Tom Doerr both believe that French polish on the back and sides as well as the top results in the best sounding instruments.



For those who are unfamiliar with French polish, it uses non-toxic, natural materials that you could safely consume if you were so inclined. Here’s a description from Ben Lambdin, who will be applying the finish on my Doerr:

"French Polish" is not a finish itself, but rather an old world technique commonly used with a Spirit Varnish (natural resins dissolved in high proof grain alcohol). Like a pair of expensive selvedge denim jeans, a French Polished Spirit Varnish finish will wear uniquely to the player, and it can be restored to its original state by someone with the expertise.

My finishes are as natural and organic as possible - using pumice stone and the wood's natural oils to fill the open pores, natural shellac (a secretion of the lac beetle) homebrewed with 192 proof grain alcohol to seal and build a foundation, and a mix of shellac and other natural plant resins with organic walnut and/or olive oil for the final polished top coats.



Here’s a pic of some of Ben’s materials. I’m not sure I’d want to eat the shellac flakes, but that bottle of Polish vodka? Well…

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Director, The Swannanoa Gathering

'07 Circa OM, '09 Bashkin 00-12 fret, '10 Circa 00-12 fret, '17 Buendia Jumbo, '17 Robbins R.1, '09 Heiden Heritage F5 mandolin, '85 Sobell cittern,
'08 Poe F5 mandolin, '80 Monteleone Grand Artist mandolin, '83 Monteleone Grand Artist mandolin (oval hole)

Last edited by jmagill; 07-16-2019 at 09:48 AM.
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  #51  
Old 06-19-2019, 11:48 AM
Kenny B Kenny B is offline
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Fascinating subject here.
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  #52  
Old 06-20-2019, 04:48 AM
jmagill jmagill is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo1776 View Post
Extraordinary simple elegance. I wish I could play that one once she's done. Tom does amazing work.
Come to the Swannanoa Gathering sometime and I'd be happy to let you give it a whirl...
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Director, The Swannanoa Gathering

'07 Circa OM, '09 Bashkin 00-12 fret, '10 Circa 00-12 fret, '17 Buendia Jumbo, '17 Robbins R.1, '09 Heiden Heritage F5 mandolin, '85 Sobell cittern,
'08 Poe F5 mandolin, '80 Monteleone Grand Artist mandolin, '83 Monteleone Grand Artist mandolin (oval hole)
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  #53  
Old 06-21-2019, 10:58 AM
jmagill jmagill is online now
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One of Tom’s signature features is his beveled binding. For those who don’t like sharp edges but don’t find the benefits of a body bevel worth the loss of soundboard real estate and the visual imbalance it creates in the guitar’s design, it’s a beautiful and elegant compromise that’s comfortable to play and doesn’t detract from the body’s symmetry. The beveled binding gives all the angled edges of the guitar a gentle, rounded feel. This photo shows it particularly well.




This guitar’s lighter-colored Brazilian rosewood really shows off the different patterns in the grain. Even the dark center ring of the rosette (still from the same plank) was light enough to show the grain’s figure and add visual interest.

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Jim Magill
Director, The Swannanoa Gathering

'07 Circa OM, '09 Bashkin 00-12 fret, '10 Circa 00-12 fret, '17 Buendia Jumbo, '17 Robbins R.1, '09 Heiden Heritage F5 mandolin, '85 Sobell cittern,
'08 Poe F5 mandolin, '80 Monteleone Grand Artist mandolin, '83 Monteleone Grand Artist mandolin (oval hole)

Last edited by jmagill; 07-16-2019 at 07:38 AM.
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  #54  
Old 06-21-2019, 12:19 PM
Nemoman Nemoman is offline
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Such a stunning instrument!
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  #55  
Old 06-21-2019, 12:25 PM
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Under finish that is going to be one of the most beautiful things we've ever seen here.....get a little oil on the fingerboard and it will pop just like the Braz on the body!
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  #56  
Old 06-21-2019, 12:49 PM
SuperB23 SuperB23 is offline
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You are in for a real treat!! I'm excited for you!

I can't get enough of my Mod D!!
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  #57  
Old 06-21-2019, 01:55 PM
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Extreme beauty and perfection!!! Stunning!!!
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  #58  
Old 06-24-2019, 04:47 AM
jmagill jmagill is online now
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Thanks everyone for your comments. Less than a month to go now...
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Director, The Swannanoa Gathering

'07 Circa OM, '09 Bashkin 00-12 fret, '10 Circa 00-12 fret, '17 Buendia Jumbo, '17 Robbins R.1, '09 Heiden Heritage F5 mandolin, '85 Sobell cittern,
'08 Poe F5 mandolin, '80 Monteleone Grand Artist mandolin, '83 Monteleone Grand Artist mandolin (oval hole)
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  #59  
Old 06-25-2019, 10:20 AM
jmagill jmagill is online now
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A few more shots taken just before the body was sent off to have the French polish finish applied.







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Jim Magill
Director, The Swannanoa Gathering

'07 Circa OM, '09 Bashkin 00-12 fret, '10 Circa 00-12 fret, '17 Buendia Jumbo, '17 Robbins R.1, '09 Heiden Heritage F5 mandolin, '85 Sobell cittern,
'08 Poe F5 mandolin, '80 Monteleone Grand Artist mandolin, '83 Monteleone Grand Artist mandolin (oval hole)
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  #60  
Old 06-25-2019, 02:35 PM
jmagill jmagill is online now
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In an earlier post I mentioned Tomís use of a sheet of b/w/b purfling under the backplate. His bound sound holes have the same feature. Here you can see the purfling sheet glued to the underside of the sound hole.




And in this closeup of the completed sound hole, one can now just see the purfling under the beveled ebony binding. When you look closely, you find that Tomís work is full of these subtle, elegant details.

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Jim Magill
Director, The Swannanoa Gathering

'07 Circa OM, '09 Bashkin 00-12 fret, '10 Circa 00-12 fret, '17 Buendia Jumbo, '17 Robbins R.1, '09 Heiden Heritage F5 mandolin, '85 Sobell cittern,
'08 Poe F5 mandolin, '80 Monteleone Grand Artist mandolin, '83 Monteleone Grand Artist mandolin (oval hole)
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