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  #61  
Old 02-14-2019, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ukejon View Post
Yes, A+ on that rosette!
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Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post
My fave burl rosette ever. NICE stuff

Paul
Thanks ukejon and Paul! I have a feeling I'll be doing many more rosettes similar to this one!

I'm getting close to closing up the Fiddleback Tree guitar body. I cleaned up the kerfing on top and glued the back kerfing on today:



We also l settled on the headstock overlay (Cocobolo) and the backstrap (fiddleback Mahogany):



I expect to glue the back on tomorrow. Thanks for following along!

Mark
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  #62  
Old 02-15-2019, 10:00 AM
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I worked cleaning up the sides and prepping the back to be glued on. Here is a picture from the inside of the Spanish Cedar arm bevel support. I'm spending a little more time contouring the inside to take off a little weight and keep a little more air volume or maybe because I love the smell of Spanish Cedar so much when it's being sanded:



Here's the whole side set ready to be topped and bottomed:



And on goes the bottom:



Thanks for viewing!
Mark
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  #63  
Old 02-17-2019, 08:39 AM
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Default Crazy Figure



The back is on and isn't that figure nuts?
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  #64  
Old 02-17-2019, 11:44 AM
amohr amohr is offline
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That is lovely
  #65  
Old 02-17-2019, 08:28 PM
Zandit75 Zandit75 is offline
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The back is on and isn't that figure nuts?
Gorgeous as always.
Have you considered not binding some guitars? As it looks here, it almost perfectly blends in and could look like its from one piece of timber!!
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  #66  
Old 02-17-2019, 08:32 PM
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Gorgeous as always.
Have you considered not binding some guitars? As it looks here, it almost perfectly blends in and could look like its from one piece of timber!!
faux binding
  #67  
Old 02-18-2019, 04:29 AM
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That is lovely
Thanks amohr!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandit75 View Post
Gorgeous as always.
Have you considered not binding some guitars? As it looks here, it almost perfectly blends in and could look like its from one piece of timber!!
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Originally Posted by Codfather View Post
faux binding
I have done a couple of Mahogany guitars without binding on the back. I had one with rather plain Mahogany where the back and sides blending well. I had a rib bevel which just was an additional contour and blended right in. I thought it all looked great but, I seemed to be the only one though.
Binding on top is another story. The binding and purfling does a lot to protect the softer soundboard. Plus, I am willing to argue that putting that hard edge around the top makes the guitar sound better. I can hear the difference when tapping a top before and after binding. I am saying “better” here. People sometimes like to say “different” and I’ll agree as far as “better” qualifies as “different”!

Mark
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Last edited by Mark Hatcher; 04-07-2019 at 05:18 PM.
  #68  
Old 02-18-2019, 07:38 PM
Zandit75 Zandit75 is offline
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I have done a couple of Mahogany guitars without binding on the back. I had one with rather plain Mahogany where the back and sides blending well. I had a rib bevel which just was an additional contour and blended right in. I thought it all looked great but, I seemed to be the only one though.
Binding on top is another story. The binding and purfling does a lot to protect the softer soundboard. Plus, I am willing to argue that putting that hard edge around the top makes the guitar sound better. I can hear the difference when tapping a top before and after binding. I am saying “better” here. People sometimes like to say “different” and I’ll agree as far as “better” qualifies as “different”!

Mark
Thanks for the explanation Mark, you tend to forget the purposes of some things like binding, and that it's not there purely for aesthetic reasons.
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  #69  
Old 02-22-2019, 07:09 AM
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Default New Tool

Over the years I have done 2 custom guitars for Ukejon and he has always been very supportive of my work. A while back he started blacksmithing as a hobby. I was posting about an all steel chisel I recently found and Ukejon sent me an e-mail saying he was going to make me a chisel. Wow! A custom chisel from someone who I have made several of custom guitars for.
Then the pictures started coming in:



It is made of two different types of steel. The bar is 1" 1018 low carbon steel which will be the more rust resistant handle and the tip is a harder 1084 high carbon steel that will take and hold an edge for cutting.

The handle if heated and shaped with a hammer and anvil:



Doesn't that just look alive there? This is so different from making a guitar. I suppose there may have been a day or two where I would have liked to heat a guitar up to a 1000 degrees and beat the crap out of it with a hammer! Seems like a very satisfying way to make something.

Then the tip is set in place and by using crazy high heat and careful hammering the tip is forge welded on:











Then the handle is acid etched which blackens and further protects the handle:





Ukejon shaped and sharpened the chisel to my specifications and shipped it.
I got it yesterday which is perfect timing because I was about to start voicing a guitar today. The chisel weight and balance is wonderful and the edge easily past my sharpness test:



I'll post up more pics of my first voicing with it latter on!

Thank You Ukejon!
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  #70  
Old 02-22-2019, 08:53 AM
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Smile Chiseling your own thumbnail?

Sheesh, Mark!

Cool chisel for sure. (Nice stuff ukejohn!)

You might need those nails for playing!

This was a fun digression ....

Carry on and remain musical

Paul
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  #71  
Old 02-22-2019, 09:34 AM
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Very cool, Ukejon!

Fascinating pics and process behind the making of that tool.

Now you need to get in line for another Hatcher so that Mark can use that new chisel on it!
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  #72  
Old 02-22-2019, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post
Sheesh, Mark!

Cool chisel for sure. (Nice stuff ukejohn!)

You might need those nails for playing!

This was a fun digression ....

Carry on and remain musical

Paul
Thanks Paul,

That little fingernail test is an old one. It is really just a very slight scraping. I’ve never gotten close to going all the way through! I guess a macro lense wasn’t the right lense to use!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemoman View Post
Very cool, Ukejon!

Fascinating pics and process behind the making of that tool.

Now you need to get in line for another Hatcher so that Mark can use that new chisel on it!
Ukejon and I have been talking about an uke in the future.

Thanks for commenting,
Mark
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  #73  
Old 02-22-2019, 04:07 PM
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It was indeed a lot of fun trying to emulate the interesting German all-steel chisel Mark posted a while back. Guitar making is way too precise a craft for me but blacksmithing is perfect..."heat it and hit it" and if you don't like what you've done, heat it again and try to smash back into place! Plus, unlike guitar making, when you are grinding steel or working with hot steel from the forge you can set your clothes on fire....which I've done. That is exciting as well.
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2017 Hatcher Josie fan fret mahogany
1973 Sigma GCR7 (OM model) rosewood and spruce
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....and about 5 really nice tenor ukuleles at any given moment
  #74  
Old 02-23-2019, 02:25 PM
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Default Voicing

What is voicing a guitar? In one way or another everything done when making a guitar affects the voice. When I say I am voicing a guitar I am talking about tuning the top by shaping and shaving the braces I've glued on. This is the highest order of work I do when I build a guitar. The better I do, the closer the guitar gets to my goals on each particular instrument. The woods have been selected, matched, stress tested, patterned, weighed, and glued. Voicing is what ties it all together. I voice a guitar by mastering a set of techniques, experience, my ear, and touch. I need a clear head and an undistracting calm environment. It's a first thing in the morning job:



First thing in the morning is 6:00am at my shop. I'm up, I've eaten, and had one cup of coffee. I haven't read the news, e-mails, nor have I been on social media. When voicing I know I get what I give so I want to be at my best. The night before I have mounted the top in it's tapping mold which holds the top for carving and secures the edges all the way around so its as close as I can practically get to it being already on the guitar. In the beginning its a bit of a dead drum.

Now I am ready to try out my new chisel!



And what a fine chisel it is! The slight upward turn really helps control the blade as I feather a finger brace to nothing on the delicate cedar sound board. I am set to spend the next several hours bringing life to all the work I've done so far. There are many steps here but, basically it is cut, tap, cut, tap, shape, tap, sand, tap, repeat. When I think I'm close to being done I flip it over and tap the top:



I'm tapping to see if I can identify where any of the braces are. If I can find one, I'm not done yet. I'm really good at finding them so this goes on for awhile.

That's what I mean by voicing and I'm really happy with my new chisel!
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Last edited by Mark Hatcher; 02-23-2019 at 05:12 PM.
  #75  
Old 02-23-2019, 04:28 PM
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Fascinating to hear about your almost Zen like approach to voicing. Therein lies the “art and mystery” of the luthier, to borrow the phrase applied to 17th century British artisans upon mastering their respective trades. The care you apply to this part of the build is evident in the amazing tone and responsiveness of your guitars. Thanks for posting these insights into your process and I’m glad the chisel works for you.
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2009 Pono koa parlor (NAMM prototype)
2014 Pono N30 DC EIR/Spruce crossover
2014 Hatcher Greta 13 fret cutaway in EIR/cedar
2017 Hatcher Josie fan fret mahogany
1973 Sigma GCR7 (OM model) rosewood and spruce
2014 Rainsong OM1000N2

....and about 5 really nice tenor ukuleles at any given moment
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