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  #46  
Old 01-31-2019, 08:26 AM
nobo nobo is offline
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Originally Posted by Deft Tungsman View Post
Been following this thread from the peanut gallery. Major eyewash, nobo, congrats.
Thanks Deft - er, maybe... depending on what your intended meaning(s) of eyewash is... !?! I may well just have been hit by a shower of peanuts!!!

A complete set of Baraniks would be quite something! On a similar tip, I'd be lying if the thought hadn't occurred to me that a Sands S, M, L and baritone L would solve GAS forever... Well, at least until it comes to a 7-string, a 12-string, a harp guitar, a soprano, ...
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Last edited by nobo; 02-05-2019 at 04:13 AM.
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  #47  
Old 01-31-2019, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by nobo View Post
An interesting (well, I thought it was interesting! YMMV!) post-script to my post above. Having dug around after my post I came across this:

"It is not observed, however, for classical guitars or flat-top steel-string acoustic guitars or for similar instruments where the strings are anchored in the soundboard. For these instruments, the fundamental frequency is missing – the lowest frequency observed is the first harmonic.

It turns out that this is caused by the way the strings excite the soundboard. A guitar string vibrating by itself produces almost no audible sound – one can sit next to someone playing an unplugged electric guitar and not hear it. The sound of a guitar – heard by the ear or measured by a laboratory instrument – almost all comes from the soundboard, the “top” of the guitar, which serves to amplify the vibrations of the strings, matching the acoustic impedance of the instrument to the “free space” of the room in which the guitar is being played.

For a guitar in which the strings are anchored to the soundboard itself – the invariable design for classical guitars, including all of my guitarmasterworks guitars, and the usual design for flat-top steel-string acoustic guitars like the RainSong – the soundboard is excited not directly by the lateral vibration of the strings but by the periodic variations of string tension created by those vibrations. And this variation in string tension occurs at twice the fundamental frequency -- a tension maxima occurs for each of the two lateral excursion maxima per vibration period.

Hence, the fundamental is not excited for classical & steel-string acoustic guitars."


From:
Guitar Acoustics 101
From a talk to the Seattle University Physics Club,
February 22, 2007
Dr. John A. Decker, Jr.
RainSong Graphite Guitars & guitarmasterworks
https://www.guitarmasterworks.com/about-guitar-acoustics-101.html


So the missing fundamental on the low notes on a baritone acoustic guitar would not appear to make any difference, since all (unamplified) notes are missing the fundamental. I don't think that leads to a different conclusion in relation to body size - which would seem to be down to a matter of personal tonal and ergonomic preference.
I am pretty sure that the length of the soundboard has to be at least half the wavelength of a frequency long to be able to project it.

Your baritone tuned to A=55Hz would need a 3,2m long soundboard to project the fundamental.
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  #48  
Old 01-31-2019, 10:14 AM
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I am pretty sure that the length of the soundboard has to be at least half the wavelength of a frequency long to be able to project it.

Your baritone tuned to A=55Hz would need a 3,2m long soundboard to project the fundamental.
Interesting! I guess if the anchoring means that the strings don't even excite the top at the fundamental, I guess that means even when it comes to the first order harmonics, quite a few of those may be missing for the lower notes too... (on the assumption that 110Hz would require a 1.6m soundboard for A1's first order harmonic). (And the fundamentals of even a standard tuned guitar would be missing too.)

Tom - if you're listening - we may need to re-think this. So I've been looking for inspiration.

Not sure this is quite big enough...



Nor this... particularly since I'm going to want a low G...



This should do it...



But I think we should go the whole hog, just to be sure. So...



Now we're talking!
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Yairi 1960s Soloists
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  #49  
Old 02-04-2019, 03:11 PM
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Default Rosette

Rosette

Ok, back to the build!

Will McNichol has already written (on his signature guitar build thread - https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=516464) fairly extensively about Tom’s use of copper and his experience of the rosette design process. Tom and I talked a fair bit about what we thought would work best on this instrument, both in terms of materials and designs. We both thought that copper would really bring out the colours in the ovangkol, and fit the overall aesthetic I was hoping for. Following our discussion, Tom sent me a few proposals, and a strong supporting pitch! I hope he won’t mind me quoting him:

“In the spirit of keeping things as simple as possible and by extension 'as little design as possible' (Dieter Rams) these designs would be made from copper with the concentric rings or radial lines etched into the surface. The etching process creates an awesome depth and texture which throws the light in really interesting ways. As with the geometric rosette I did, these inlays would be set below the surface and made flush with resin, the etching plus the recessed inlay creates a really cool, subtle 3D effect. This should appeal to your understated preference, I think either would look awesome, simply playing off the quality of the material and the process.”

This is the one I picked...



I loved the simplicity of the concentric rings, and the theming - as the plan was to repeat the copper rings for fingerboard markers. Plus I think it fits the brief of understated elegance rather well!

It also came with trapezoid pieces that might be used elsewhere on the guitar, the angled lines of which I thought would echo the fan frets, draw the eye in across the length of the instrument, and also had a rather cool art deco vibe going on.

What with the bridge needing to be shifted further down the body, I was keen to have something that would have a certain size, heft and aesthetic weight to it, so there wasn’t an unduly large, unbalanced expanse of soundboard between the soundhole and the bridge (baritones, to my mind, can otherwise look a bid odd like that). So I thought a fairly wide rosette (at least, compared to some of Tom’s earlier designs) framed by some ebony (or, more accurately, ebano) purfling was in order to really make it pop, to draw the eye, and to tie in with the ebano trim which we were planning to use elsewhere (binding, headstock facings, fingerboard, heel cap, endgraft, bridge and bevels). Tom went with some extra purfling detail, which gives a little extra weight to the rosette, ties in with the concentric rings in the copper and just helps to frame it on what is a rather large top.

I'm really happy with the way it worked out!







As always, Tom did a sterling job of keeping me closely updated throughout the process...



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Kostal MDC German/claro and OM Euro/Madrose
Larrivee L-05MT
Lowden O35cx cedar/EIR, New Lady, Baritone, O12 and O12-12
McIlroy A25c custom Cedar/Kew black walnut
Montgomery fan fret parlour Euro/ebony
Sands Baritone Swiss/Ovangkol (plus another due 2020)
Wingert Model E German/Braz
Yairi 1960s Soloists

Last edited by nobo; 02-05-2019 at 04:23 AM.
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  #50  
Old 02-08-2019, 02:27 AM
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Soooo... I just received a boatload of beautiful shots from Tom and Daisy. I think this might be the most heavily photographed build I've ever come across - loving it! Looking forward to sharing them all with all y'all. As soon as I get a chance, I'll keep 'em coming!
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Kostal MDC German/claro and OM Euro/Madrose
Larrivee L-05MT
Lowden O35cx cedar/EIR, New Lady, Baritone, O12 and O12-12
McIlroy A25c custom Cedar/Kew black walnut
Montgomery fan fret parlour Euro/ebony
Sands Baritone Swiss/Ovangkol (plus another due 2020)
Wingert Model E German/Braz
Yairi 1960s Soloists
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  #51  
Old 02-08-2019, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by nobo View Post
Soooo... I just received a boatload of beautiful shots from Tom and Daisy. I think this might be the most heavily photographed build I've ever come across - loving it! Looking forward to sharing them all with all y'all. As soon as I get a chance, I'll keep 'em coming!
Keep 'em coming Dan! Looking forward to more images when you can get to them.
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  #52  
Old 02-09-2019, 03:51 AM
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Ok, Give the People What They Want!

Laying out.









Rim assembly receiving a thorough 3-point inspection (no sniggering at the back) before fitting the top and back.





Tom is a big fan of Japanese tools, especially saws.

Cutting on the pull stroke (as opposed to the push stroke as with Western saws) allows for a finer blade and in turn, a finer cut. This is perfect for trimming the headblock extension to meet the upper transverse brace.

This particular saw was a gift from Tom's dear friend, and phenomenal luthier, Leo Buendia.

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Kostal MDC German/claro and OM Euro/Madrose
Larrivee L-05MT
Lowden O35cx cedar/EIR, New Lady, Baritone, O12 and O12-12
McIlroy A25c custom Cedar/Kew black walnut
Montgomery fan fret parlour Euro/ebony
Sands Baritone Swiss/Ovangkol (plus another due 2020)
Wingert Model E German/Braz
Yairi 1960s Soloists

Last edited by nobo; 02-09-2019 at 03:41 PM.
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  #53  
Old 02-09-2019, 06:21 AM
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Default Back into the woods...

Ovangkol

Since it's one of the less well known woods, here's (I expect) more than you would ever want to know about it..!



Names:

It probably wins the nomenclature prize for having the largest number of sobriquets: Ovankgol; Shedua; Amazonique; Amazique; Amazoue; and Mozambique (the latter particularly in the case of veneers, I gather). The botanical name is Guibourtia Ehie.

Family:

Ovankol, bubinga, and rosewood are all are in the family Fabaceae. Rosewood is of the genus Dalbergia, while Ovankol and Bubinga are of the genus Guigourtia, which makes these two very closely related.

General info:

Ovangkol is a plentiful evergreen that grows in tropical Western Africa near the Ivory Coast (Cameroon, Gabon). It is often found in small groups in closed rain forests. It is traditionally exploited for it’s gum which is also known as copal.

It achieves a height of 100 – 150 feet and a base diameter around three (and up to five) feet, with long fruit pods for seeds. It has straight boles despite heavy buttressed at the root.

Compared to something like koa, it has a very low environmental footprint and isn't CITES restricted - is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.

Average Dried Weight: 51 lbs/ft3 (825 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .67, .82

Janka Hardness: 1,330 lbf (5,900 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 20,350 lbf/in2 (140.3 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,701,000 lbf/in2 (18.6 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 9,320 lbf/in2 (64.2 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.3%, Tangential: 8.3%, Volumetric: 12.1%, T/R Ratio: 1.9

Workability:

Medium density, it is reasonably easy to bend and plane and finishes well. Works fairly easily with hand or machine tools but saws slowly. Apparently it smells pretty nasty when working it or when it's wet, which goes when dry!

Overall a fairly easy wood to work, though Ovangkol contains silica and can therefore dull cutters prematurely. Also, if the grain is interlocked, or if there is other figure present in the wood, planing and other machining operations may be troublesome and cause tearout. Turns, glues and finishes well.

Look:

It is characterised by yellow/red/golden brown to dark brown heartwood with dark brown, gray and/or black streaks/stripes. Remarkable are also frequent shades to to green and red, which leads to a quite attractive lively appearance. The texture is moderately coarse. Moderately wide sapwood is a pale yellow, clearly demarcated from heartwood. Sometimes seen with a curly or mottled grain pattern.

The figure is usually similar to Indian Rosewood - though has a similar interlocking grain pattern to Bubinga - with dark gray straight lines over a golden-brown or olive-brown background with darker stripes.

It is a straight-grained wood (to slightly interlocked) that occasionally exhibits a beautiful wavy figure - as does this particular set from Tom's "personal reserve" stash.

Medium to coarse texture, with moderate natural luster.

Tone:

Some say it's very similar, tonally, to East Indian rosewood (EIR), and you can see why from the specs:
Specific Gravity: 0.82 ovangkol; 0.83 East Indian rosewood
Pounds per cubic feet: 52 ovangkol; 51 East Indian rosewood
But these are of course generalised numbers, and opinions as to how it sounds vary fairly considerably.

Montreal luthier Michael Greenfield says: “Ovangkol...who knew?! What a great alternative tonewood. As there is a lot of it around, the logs are large and the sets are very on quarter and STRAIGHT. What a pleasure to build with. Bends and glues well... .not too hard on edge tools. It is not quite as dense as most Rosewoods, which can be a good thing, especially on larger bodied guitars as you don’t have to combat the problem of clashing overtones - there is better separation between notes.” He went on to say that his latest Ovangkol guitar is a ”monster” and mentioned that tonally it falls nicely ”between Koa and Rosewood”.

Which sounded pretty much ideal to me! And was very much in keeping with Tom's assessment. If I recall correctly, he said it was tapping out tapping out somewhere between an acacia and a rosewood, perhaps with hints of maple and hog. Which sounded very much up my street. Not so much like claro walnut - rather denser.

Some collected comments:


From http://tonewooddatasource.weebly.com...tails-n-q.html:

Highs =3.7, Mids =2.9, Bass =4, Sustain = 3.8, Overtones =2.7, Tone =2.9

Over a decade ago, Taylor introduced the world to a pair of new tonewoods, the first being Ovangkol. An African relative of rosewood, it’s a great sounding wood that shares many of rosewood’s tonal properties, with a slightly fuller midrange and a top end that’s not quite as bright as maple. A well-rounded kind of sound. Being lesser known than rosewood, Ovangkol has been a sleeper hit over the years, asserting itself as an instant contender among unsuspecting players who test-drive a variety of Taylor models. Ovangkol (also called Shedua and Amazaqoue) has been in use by several of the larger high-end factories for several years now, most notably Taylor, Lowden and Avalon, but its combination of affordability, beauty and tonality has made it a favorite with a growing number of hand makers as well.

Goes well with most applications: players who perhaps don’t have predefined tonal preferences, who may be generalists in their style of play, and who are looking for a well-rounded, all-purpose solid wood guitar. It works well with different body shapes.

It has the depth of Rosewood but has the much better snap associated with medium density woods such as Koa and Walnut. Ovangkol is a very attractive wood and is highly sought for musical instruments.

Ovangkol back and sides sits between the warmth and depth of strong Rosewood and the sparking trebles and highs of Maple.


From UK luthier Alan Arnold:

"Becoming popular with some big makers, it's a visually stunning guitar wood, with a tonal range between Rosewoods and Acacias, plus great note separation. This makes for a great finger-style guitar. RECOMMENDED."


From guitarbench

It is used for back an sides for guitars, in particular by several higher-end factories like Lowden and Taylor where it has found favour for it’s affordability and tonal envelope which is said to lie between Koa and Rosewood. Ciaran McNally is a big fan saying:

“The grain is interlocked, at least on this bees wing set, which makes it difficult to bend. It is also prone to tearing. But pleasant enough in the shop as it hasn’t got a particularly overpowering smell. No issues in jointing. I was also surprised at how quickly the grain the filled during the lacquer process. In fact it filled quicker than the rosewood bindings on the guitar

The guitar is very punchy, plenty of bass. Has unusually good definition in DADGAD.”

Subjective tone: I would broadly characterise the tone of Sheuda as falling between Koa and Walnut- it has more clarity than Walnut but provides more fundamental than Koa.


From AGF:

(Sorry - unattributed!)

"Ovangkol can sound fairly similar to koa when you get the lighter weight examples. But more often ovangkol is closer to rosewood in tone."

"Like rosewood, ovangkol efficiently projects bass tones resulting in a rich full sound."

"An African relative of rosewood, it’s a great sounding wood that shares many of rosewood’s tonal properties, with a slightly fuller midrange and a top end that’s not quite as bright as maple. Being lesser known than rosewood, ovangkol has been a sleeper hit over the years..."

"In my experience, the other tonewoods that ovangkol resembles most closely in terms of tone first of all is koa, and to a less extent, walnut. All three are medium density hardwoods.

Personally, I love the sound of ovangkol instruments. They look great and quite often sound great. If there are fewer of them being produced these days, I'm certain it has far more to do with sales figures than with any perceived shortcomings ovangkol might have as a tonewood. Because it's an excellent wood for the purpose."

"I don't know what Ovangkol sounds like, but it's not even close to mahogony or rosewood to my ear. It's slightly closer to maple, but not much. Ovangkol definitely has it's own sound. Dare I say it sounds like Ovangkol. I'd describe it as snappy with strong mids, but not as warm as mahogony."

"To me the middle strings sound like maple when picked strongly and I love that sound for the melody. The bottom is a little mahoganyish and the very high is also more like maple, more creamy and less sparkle... Ovangkol = maple with a bottom"

"I have my bourgeois AT vintage d now for 7-8 months . it's constructed with hide glue and the sound with the ovangkol back and sides is amazing , it has the midrange of a mahogany dread and the highs and lows that are comparible with a rosewood dread . Still happy i went with ovangkol."


I hope I will be happy about that decision too - from what I've gathered above, it seems to me like a great choice for this baritone, which will be a purely fingerstyle instrument. And this set certainly looks amaz(iqu)ing! (I''ll get my coat)
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Kostal MDC German/claro and OM Euro/Madrose
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Lowden O35cx cedar/EIR, New Lady, Baritone, O12 and O12-12
McIlroy A25c custom Cedar/Kew black walnut
Montgomery fan fret parlour Euro/ebony
Sands Baritone Swiss/Ovangkol (plus another due 2020)
Wingert Model E German/Braz
Yairi 1960s Soloists

Last edited by nobo; 02-10-2019 at 03:14 AM.
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  #54  
Old 02-15-2019, 05:58 AM
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Default Topping it all off...



When it comes to gluing the top, Tom says: "I've used many different methods for gluing on tops and backs, and many different glues for that matter.
.
The go-bar deck is an option but I always worry that one will end up slipping and impaling the top. Cam clamps are nice but 1) they're expensive and 2) they tend to back off if you're not vigilant. F-clamps can be too cumbersome but these quick grips are my current go to. Lightweight, adequate pressure and reasonably inexpensive. I dig 'em!"



Trimming the top





Voicing the top through removing material from the braces



Deep into voicing work... Tom says:

"It take a lot of patience and a quiet space. Slowly, deliberately removing material from the braces. Tapping, listening, flexing the top until the exact response is reached.

I say 'exact', it's not an exact science, at least not the way I do it. I'm relying on my training, experience and a feeling of 'just right-ness'.

Some tops come alive with very little effort, some make you work, some you have to be gentle with. No two pieces of wood are the same and to me that's where the magic lies."

Tom talks a bit about bracing the tops in this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1mzjY5csjE

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Kostal MDC German/claro and OM Euro/Madrose
Larrivee L-05MT
Lowden O35cx cedar/EIR, New Lady, Baritone, O12 and O12-12
McIlroy A25c custom Cedar/Kew black walnut
Montgomery fan fret parlour Euro/ebony
Sands Baritone Swiss/Ovangkol (plus another due 2020)
Wingert Model E German/Braz
Yairi 1960s Soloists

Last edited by nobo; 04-17-2019 at 03:59 AM.
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  #55  
Old 03-11-2019, 03:37 AM
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Back to work...







Sealing the back - Shellac I think (?) - on a clear wintry day in the North Yorkshire sunshine.





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Kostal MDC German/claro and OM Euro/Madrose
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Lowden O35cx cedar/EIR, New Lady, Baritone, O12 and O12-12
McIlroy A25c custom Cedar/Kew black walnut
Montgomery fan fret parlour Euro/ebony
Sands Baritone Swiss/Ovangkol (plus another due 2020)
Wingert Model E German/Braz
Yairi 1960s Soloists
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:17 AM
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Closing the box...

Always quite an exciting moment - one of those key build milestones where it really start to feel like it's coming together!















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Kostal MDC German/claro and OM Euro/Madrose
Larrivee L-05MT
Lowden O35cx cedar/EIR, New Lady, Baritone, O12 and O12-12
McIlroy A25c custom Cedar/Kew black walnut
Montgomery fan fret parlour Euro/ebony
Sands Baritone Swiss/Ovangkol (plus another due 2020)
Wingert Model E German/Braz
Yairi 1960s Soloists
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  #57  
Old 03-12-2019, 04:23 AM
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Working into the night...or is it just late afternoon in a UK winter?
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  #58  
Old 03-12-2019, 06:16 AM
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Working into the night...or is it just late afternoon in a UK winter?
Could be either! 3:45 pm on a January afternoon ... or burning the midnight oil. Tom really loves what he does - so I wouldn't be surprised if it's the latter. His enthusiasm's palpable and infectious - I remember an instragram post of his along the lines of "Working on a Sunday, because I can't wait til Monday!".
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Kostal MDC German/claro and OM Euro/Madrose
Larrivee L-05MT
Lowden O35cx cedar/EIR, New Lady, Baritone, O12 and O12-12
McIlroy A25c custom Cedar/Kew black walnut
Montgomery fan fret parlour Euro/ebony
Sands Baritone Swiss/Ovangkol (plus another due 2020)
Wingert Model E German/Braz
Yairi 1960s Soloists
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  #59  
Old 03-19-2019, 08:58 AM
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Trimming the back ...



You can really see the Manzer wedge in this one...





Scraping the top flush with the sides

Tom says:

"Cleaning everything up with a razor sharp card scraper.
.
Scrapers are a fickle mistress, the best advice I can give is to treat them with the same care you would a chisel. That is to say the cutting edge should be perfectly flat and polished to a mirror finish (I go to 2000grit). The same with the faces. Only then should you reach for a carbide burnisher to create and then roll the edge.
.
You might have to roll the edge a couple of times after the first preparation depending on the hardness of the steel. Note that the angle of burnishing should be just shy of 90° to the face, anything more than this and you’ll create a weak cutting edge or lip, more likely to break than withstand multiple cutting strokes on tough timbers.
.
A more ‘agricultural’ scraping edge can be achieved simply with a few strokes of a ******* file. Failing both of these methods, shards of freshly broken glass work too. Just be careful with yer paws."













Bing bong!



Tom says: "Super satisfying bing-bong on this Model L baritone. Given this is my first Bari (with a boat load of wild features besides), I’ve left the braces a little taller than I normally would to afford me a little room to manoeuvre once the guitar is complete via retro-active soundhole voicing. As such the top has a much higher frequency and a sustain character that I’m not used to hearing. I actually really like it. Guitars are so gosh darn interesting!"
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Kostal MDC German/claro and OM Euro/Madrose
Larrivee L-05MT
Lowden O35cx cedar/EIR, New Lady, Baritone, O12 and O12-12
McIlroy A25c custom Cedar/Kew black walnut
Montgomery fan fret parlour Euro/ebony
Sands Baritone Swiss/Ovangkol (plus another due 2020)
Wingert Model E German/Braz
Yairi 1960s Soloists

Last edited by nobo; 03-19-2019 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 03-20-2019, 03:48 AM
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Quote:
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.....Tom says: "Super satisfying bing-bong on this Model L baritone. Given this is my first Bari (with a boat load of wild features besides), I’ve left the braces a little taller than I normally would to afford me a little room to manoeuvre once the guitar is complete via retro-active soundhole voicing. As such the top has a much higher frequency and a sustain character that I’m not used to hearing. I actually really like it. Guitars are so gosh darn interesting!"
Yeah the bing-bong on a bari can be awesome. I remember getting mine and finding that, after playing the baritone for a while, when I played a standard guitar it sounded thin and tinny. In many cases the baritone body is of similar size to a standard guitar, so I am guessing the change in sound is partly due to the way the builder tunes the body of a baritone to optimise its interaction with the lower notes that it will create.

Great photos again by the way. I think that Tom and his photographer could even make washing the dishes look like a creative and worthwhile endeavour! Keep them coming Dan
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