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  #31  
Old 12-21-2018, 06:13 AM
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Default Lightening up the back

One of the steps we are taking in transforming this guitar is lightening up the back to make it more active which will add more responsiveness. This increased flexibility in the back will lower the body resonance to add more depth. This is especially helpful for a player that, like me, picks with the flesh of his fingers. I'll be doing this by lowering the back braces a bit.

On another note, as fortune would have it I was recently at an antique shop and, of course, I checked to see if they had any woodworking tools (I call these rescue tools). They had a beautiful German made 3/4” chisel that was fashioned from a single piece of very nice stainless steel. I snapped it up and it took a wonderful edge.



An unusual feature is the blade is bent up a bit toward the cutting edge. Doing a little research I found that it was made as a medical tool. A “bone riser” for shaping bone.

Now I have to say I’d rather be behind it than under it!

In any case, the bend makes sense because I imagine this “shaping” would be done going down into an incision. Not terribly unlike my wanting to get down into the back braces of this guitar that has it’s sides attached.

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Last edited by Mark Hatcher; 12-21-2018 at 11:31 AM.
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  #32  
Old 12-21-2018, 09:11 AM
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Smile Rescue tools

Rescue tools! I like that... looks like a very nice chisel for getting in there!!!

Good score...

Paul
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  #33  
Old 12-23-2018, 01:39 AM
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Iím forging hammers, axes and chisels these days, and find this solid steel version most intriguing. Will definitely give it a go out in the forge.
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  #34  
Old 12-23-2018, 03:46 AM
DamianL DamianL is offline
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And what an apt tool to be using given that you are performing a 'Top-ectomy' followed by 'Top-implant' surgery on this guitar!

D
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  #35  
Old 12-23-2018, 05:52 AM
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Mark, is the bevel on the underside?
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....and about 5 really nice tenor ukuleles at any given moment
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  #36  
Old 12-23-2018, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post
Rescue tools! I like that... looks like a very nice chisel for getting in there!!!

Good score...

Paul
Thanks Paul. 15 bucks, I figured I couldnít go wrong. Turned out to be perfect timing.

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Originally Posted by DamianL View Post
And what an apt tool to be using given that you are performing a 'Top-ectomy' followed by 'Top-implant' surgery on this guitar!

D
Yeah, I know!

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Originally Posted by ukejon View Post
Iím forging hammers, axes and chisels these days, and find this solid steel version most intriguing. Will definitely give it a go out in the forge.
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Originally Posted by ukejon View Post
Mark, is the bevel on the underside?
Thatís cool that you are forging tools! It must be very satisfying to pound something into shape, a kind of technique I wouldnít get to try building a guitar.
Although there have been times....
The bevel is on the bottom. Usually when carving braces, even with straight chisels, you carve bevel down. This keeps the handle higher and also gives a lot more control.
I do have a similarly bent chisel that has the bevel on top. This is a glue cleanout chisel that works great for chipping away glue squeeze out.

Mark
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  #37  
Old 12-23-2018, 01:22 PM
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Kicks the chip up...I always use my drawknife in that orientation. Will forge you an all steel chisel soon.
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  #38  
Old 12-24-2018, 07:47 AM
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Kicks the chip up...I always use my drawknife in that orientation. Will forge you an all steel chisel soon.
Great! Look forward to seeing it.

Mark
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  #39  
Old 12-26-2018, 11:20 AM
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One of the additions I opted for is a soundport. It's the perfect time to add one because the sides will be refinished in the course of this re-top.

The first guitar I played with a soundport was a Tim McKnight HighLander. I hadn't expected much of an aural difference, but I sure was wrong. For a solo fingerstyle player like me the soundport offered a novel experience of the guitar. It provided a direct and immediate sound, notably different from the typical experience in which the guitarist hears the sound laterally and/or after it has reverberated back off a wall. I experimented with stuffing my cleaning cloth in the port to mute its effect--yep, the open port was my preferred sound.

For this Hatcher project I played around with a variety of port designs because this is an area that invites creativity. Within certain parameters of size and shape (elongated designs work best because of how sound waves travel), the only real limit was my imagination. Mark is so skilled he can execute anything. I sketched out some designs myself and solicited input and further designs from some artistic friends and family members. The designs ranged from basic shapes to complex patterns invoking the shape of the bridge. In the end, however, I settled on a series of four ports that emulates the arm bevel inlays. It works best with this guitar.

I sent my design off to Mark and he perfected it, drawing it to scale. Here is Mark's mock-up:


We discussed a few different placements, but settled on what you see here in the mock-up. This preserves the lovely striated figure in the center of the side and, in its proximity to the top binding, further picks up on the bevel inlays. It also nicely responds to the curve of the upper bout.

Design and placement are only half the conversation Mark and I have had. In my next post I'll share the various binding, purfling, and laminate options we weighed.

Thanks for following along!
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  #40  
Old 12-26-2018, 12:09 PM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erithon View Post
One of the additions I opted for is a soundport. It's the perfect time to add one because the sides will be refinished in the course of this re-top.

The first guitar I played with a soundport was a Tim McKnight HighLander. I hadn't expected much of an aural difference, but I sure was wrong. For a solo fingerstyle player like me the soundport offered a novel experience of the guitar. It provided a direct and immediate sound, notably different from the typical experience in which the guitarist hears the sound laterally and/or after it has reverberated back off a wall. I experimented with stuffing my cleaning cloth in the port to mute its effect--yep, the open port was my preferred sound.

For this Hatcher project I played around with a variety of port designs because this is an area that invites creativity. Within certain parameters of size and shape (elongated designs work best because of how sound waves travel), the only real limit was my imagination. Mark is so skilled he can execute anything. I sketched out some designs myself and solicited input and further designs from some artistic friends and family members. The designs ranged from basic shapes to complex patterns invoking the shape of the bridge. In the end, however, I settled on a series of four ports that emulates the arm bevel inlays. It works best with this guitar.

I sent my design off to Mark and he perfected it, drawing it to scale. Here is Mark's mock-up:


We discussed a few different placements, but settled on what you see here in the mock-up. This preserves the lovely striated figure in the center of the side and, in its proximity to the top binding, further picks up on the bevel inlays. It also nicely responds to the curve of the upper bout.

Design and placement are only half the conversation Mark and I have had. In my next post I'll share the various binding, purfling, and laminate options we weighed.

Thanks for following along!
That sound port design is quite tasty and looks fabulous with the bevel. Nicely done.

Best,
Jayne
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  #41  
Old 12-31-2018, 10:37 AM
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Having settled on a design, Mark and I considered three options for the soundport binding:

1. No binding, but a multi-laminate support underneath which would create inner border like this:


2. Ebony binding with white and black purfling around it like this:


3. Making all of the mock-up's white area Ebony, so that the soundports would appear in one big Ebony inlay. The whole thing would then have white-black border.


Going in, my preference was for option 2 because unbound soundports (option 1) have always looked unfinished to me. Mark floated option 3 as something else for me to consider--not as something recommend, just another option available which I hadn't thought of. I liked the symmetry with the arm bevel that option 3 would provide, but I felt that that much Ebony would be too heavy a look. I want the Cocobolo of the sides to separate each port.

After some discussion, I ended up going with a conflation of options 1 and 2: the ports ports will be bound in Ebony and then have a double purfling of white and black as well as having matching laminate layers of white and black underneath. In this way, the soundport binding will be just like the edge binding. It will have the same pufling pattern, and also the same repetition of that pattern at a 90 degree difference--on the edge binding that 90 degrees is between the soundboard or back and the sides; here it is between the sides and the interior.
I hope that makes sense? The pictures above convey it clearer, I think.

Mark has roughed out a sample of the binding:

The image quality isn't as high, but you can still make out the general idea: Ebony binding bordered by a thin layer of white and a perimeter layer of black. In the actual ports, the binding will not be this thick lest it look unbalanced and disproportinate. And this is not the final placement (for that see the mock-up). But it does give a sense of how the final soundport will appear. Most importantly, it gave Mark a head's up for some things going forward with the final version.

Obviously this is more complex a design than your standard oval port--though, binding aside, it is still simpler than the port Mark executed on his lovely Unlimited Series No.2 Olivewood guitar. I'll let Mark's own words portray the particular challenges present here:

"There are two challenges I have setting this up: first is the proximity of this long series of ports to the foot of the transverse brace. You see the transverse brace bears a lot of weight from the fretboard pushing down on it. This brace also holds the upper bouts from deforming . The top isn’t much help with this. So I need to keep the Cocobolo bars that separate the ports wide, say 5/16ths or a little more to maintain the side strength. The other issue is just how tight a radius I can bend the maple purfling. The maple went easier than expected on these trial ones so I’m expecting I can push that smaller."

I think Mark is up to conquering these challenges, don't you?
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  #42  
Old 12-31-2018, 11:18 AM
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This has been a fantastic story and has been very interesting to follow and your literary take on you posts have been quite interesting to read. But, at this point, I am beginning to wonder why you and Mark did not just sit down and design a guitar from scratch exactly the way you wanted it from the get go. I have to imagine you could find a wonderful set of Cocobolo and I imagine although do not want to speculate, the price difference at this point could not have been too great between the two. I remember this original build for Dennis and it was glorious to start with.

Don't get me wrong, this is super cool, but at this point all you will have left of the original are the back and sides, rosette, bridge, neck?
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  #43  
Old 01-01-2019, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by TomB'sox View Post
This has been a fantastic story and has been very interesting to follow and your literary take on you posts have been quite interesting to read. But, at this point, I am beginning to wonder why you and Mark did not just sit down and design a guitar from scratch exactly the way you wanted it from the get go. I have to imagine you could find a wonderful set of Cocobolo and I imagine although do not want to speculate, the price difference at this point could not have been too great between the two. I remember this original build for Dennis and it was glorious to start with.
That's a reasonable question, Tom. Before I answer, let me clarify: while Dennis did indeed own this instrument for some time, he did not commission it. Last time we talked, he was still the happy owner of his Greta (also 13-fret, but Cedar over Black Walnut) and several other Hatchers.

I originally contacted Mark about lightening up the build, nothing more involved. My thinking was he could shave down the bracing; he suggested a re-top and refinish might better achieve the sound I wanted so that's why we started there and not from scratch. In our subsequent conversations exploring what this would involve, he generously offered to lighten the bracing gratis. It was nevertheless clear that this would only partially achieve the response I wanted: a new top was the way to go.

This also gave him the chance to change some other things about the guitar. In anticipation of future neck resets, for example, Mark built a little dip into the fingerboard after the 15th fret because he was accommodating the original client's desire to never humidify any instruments. But since I do humidify my instruments and have some repertoire that requires playing past the 15th fret, straightening that neck angle is appealing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB'sox View Post
Don't get me wrong, this is super cool, but at this point all you will have left of the original are the back and sides, rosette, bridge, neck?
The bridge will probably be new because the neck angle is changing and I'm widening the saddle spacing by 1/16", but otherwise, yes. As Mark put it to me: it will be a "new guitar."
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  #44  
Old 01-01-2019, 08:06 PM
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This has really been interesting. Thanks both of you for sharing this process and the pictures. Great story telling.
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  #45  
Old 01-02-2019, 05:36 PM
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Definitely a great thread. Cant wait to see the finished port(s).
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