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Old 01-08-2024, 01:02 PM
Salz Guitars Salz Guitars is offline
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Default Build thread: #17 with Swiss Spruce, Wenge, brass and a touch of Prague's history

Hey fellow guitar enthusiasts!

I couldn't wait to share the exciting journey I've embarked on – building my 17th guitar. This one's going to be truly special, and I'm stoked to take you through the process.

The Birth of an Instrument



Here's the starting point for my upcoming guitar project! In this photo, you see a pile of raw materials that will gradually come together to form the guitar over the next few months. Swiss spruce soundboard, wenge neck, back, and sides, along with a wenge bridge and fretboard.

Adding a twist to the mix, I've decided to use brass for the purfling. It might make things a bit tricky, but I love a good challenge!

A Slice of history



Here's a shot of me carefully cutting a veneer from a special kind of bog oak. This oak has a fascinating history, having been a part of Charles Bridge in Prague.

Gluing it Together



Here's a snapshot of me working hands-on! I'm applying glue to the bent outter layer. I'm trying a new glue on this build and sou far I'm loving the results.

For your viewing pleasure, a video of the completed rim assembly.



I'm using a technique called structured sides, involving three layers: a wenge outer layer, a basswood kerfed core, and a veneer from Charles Bridge's bog oak. Structured sides aren't just a buzzword; they're a practical technique I use to give my instruments a tonal boost.

Keeping track



The only thing that I'm left with after each build is the soundhole offcut. I like to keep track of the materials used and maybe some fancy inlays/materials used. This one will get some details added later.
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Last edited by Salz Guitars; 02-14-2024 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 02-14-2024, 08:26 AM
Salz Guitars Salz Guitars is offline
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Long time no update. I've been to New Zealand for a month, but managed to finish the purfling before my departure.

The brass is looking absolutely incredible with the deep rich brown/black of wenge. Can't wait to see it under finish!







Now I'm working on the neck and joining these two sub assemblies together.
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Old 02-14-2024, 04:39 PM
Merlemantel Merlemantel is offline
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beautiful!! I love the straight grain of the Wenge and the black back stripe is very classy.
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Old 02-15-2024, 09:31 AM
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Looking very nice, the brass is something I have not see before, it will be cool t to see it when finished.
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Old 02-16-2024, 03:41 AM
Salz Guitars Salz Guitars is offline
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Originally Posted by Merlemantel View Post
beautiful!! I love the straight grain of the Wenge and the black back stripe is very classy.
Thank you, the black back stripe is actually wenge as well, but more flat sawn, so the color difference is caused by that.

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Looking very nice, the brass is something I have not see before, it will be cool t to see it when finished.
I can't agree more, I've put a little bit of shellac on and I'm more than happy with what I see.
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Old 02-16-2024, 06:44 AM
RJVB RJVB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salz Guitars View Post
The only thing that I'm left with after each build is the soundhole offcut. I like to keep track of the materials used and maybe some fancy inlays/materials used. This one will get some details added later.
They should make great mats to put under glasses of that great Pfilzen you have there!
(If you build more guitars so you could make a business of selling them to U Fleků!)
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Old 02-16-2024, 02:28 PM
Salz Guitars Salz Guitars is offline
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They should make great mats to put under glasses of that great Pfilzen you have there!
(If you build more guitars so you could make a business of selling them to U Fleků!)

Those would be some expensive coasters to mass produce, not gonna speak about the amount of waste material
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Old 03-01-2024, 04:13 PM
Ryan Alexander Ryan Alexander is online now
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I have a Wenge guitar on order that is about to start and I just spotted your thread. Just wanted to say I really like your concept and choice of materials, especially the brass which I agree is looking awesome!

Thanks for sharing, David, and I hope you'll continue posting the progress here
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Last edited by Ryan Alexander; 03-04-2024 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 03-02-2024, 12:24 AM
Jamiejoon Jamiejoon is offline
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Such a cool project! I love the wenge, the brass, the storied bog oak, and the beautiful composition and execution. If I may ask, why basswood for the inner layer of the sides? And, are you building this for a client or are the elements just what you felt like doing?
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Old 03-04-2024, 01:13 PM
Salz Guitars Salz Guitars is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Alexander View Post
I have a Wenge guitar on order that is about to start and I just spotted your thread. Just wanted to say I really like your concept and choice of materials, especially the brass which I agree is looking awesome!

Thanks for sharing, David, and I hope you'll continue posting the progress here
Thank you Who's building your wenge guitar?

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Originally Posted by Jamiejoon View Post
Such a cool project! I love the wenge, the brass, the storied bog oak, and the beautiful composition and execution. If I may ask, why basswood for the inner layer of the sides? And, are you building this for a client or are the elements just what you felt like doing?
I know we messaged each other, but I didn't answer the question about basswood inner core. I use it mostly because it's lightweight and it's a joy to work with. A non material properties reason is that it's the national tree of Czech republic. So I love the idea of our national tree core joined together with the Charles bridge bog oak.
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Old 03-04-2024, 01:24 PM
Salz Guitars Salz Guitars is offline
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Default I forgot how wenge doesn't like to cooperate sometimes

It's been a slower start than usual after this vacation. But I'm now at the point where I can share some progress with you.

The neck is roughed out, I'll say it's about 70% done...maybe 60% (the sanding takes always longer than I anticipate) and I'm at the point where the job requires me to jump form the heel to the volute, and the overal neck profile, so they all blend into each other seamlesely. Also I'm experimenting with some adhesive options because I would love the brass line continuing into the heel as my purfling usualy does.

Anyway, here's the full picture coming together.



Also changed the position markers to full brass dots instead of hollow brass tubing. This looks way better.





Can't wait to put the EVO gold frets in, they will bring the neck together.
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Old 03-05-2024, 07:53 PM
Zandit75 Zandit75 is offline
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Absolutely knocking it out of the park!
I had to go back in the photos to see if maybe I'd missed the part where the neck and fretboard had been carved out of one solid piece!!
Stunning!

On another note, I've seen solid necks on electric guitars, could it be done on an acoustic with the added string tension?
I know there'd be a heap of wasted timber as part of the process, but it gets the mind wondering!!
Actually, disregard, you wouldn't be able to have a truss rod in there.
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Old 03-06-2024, 07:59 AM
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I was just going over the thread again and realized by using the kerfed inner laminate of basswood, you do not need to add a sperate liner later. That seems to be a cool idea for sure, but wondering having the basswood thick enough for that to occur, does it add quite a bit of weight to the rim?
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Old 03-07-2024, 12:07 PM
Salz Guitars Salz Guitars is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandit75 View Post
Absolutely knocking it out of the park!
I had to go back in the photos to see if maybe I'd missed the part where the neck and fretboard had been carved out of one solid piece!!
Stunning!

On another note, I've seen solid necks on electric guitars, could it be done on an acoustic with the added string tension?
I know there'd be a heap of wasted timber as part of the process, but it gets the mind wondering!!
Actually, disregard, you wouldn't be able to have a truss rod in there.
Thanks for that Yeah it came out looking like a single piece amd I would love to say that it was intentional...but I was only lucky on this one.

Solid neck would only work if it was something similar to what Iulius guitars neck system is. He basicaly has an electric style neck on an acoutic body, from then on a simple skunk stripe would work.

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Originally Posted by TomB'sox View Post
I was just going over the thread again and realized by using the kerfed inner laminate of basswood, you do not need to add a sperate liner later. That seems to be a cool idea for sure, but wondering having the basswood thick enough for that to occur, does it add quite a bit of weight to the rim?
It adds weight for sure, but not as much as you would think, hence the use of basswood. I would like to experiment with some different timbers, like poplar or maybe spruce/pine/fir in the future. And if so I will definitelly dedicate a thread to that
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Old 03-07-2024, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salz Guitars View Post
It adds weight for sure, but not as much as you would think, hence the use of basswood. I would like to experiment with some different timbers, like poplar or maybe spruce/pine/fir in the future. And if so I will definitelly dedicate a thread to that

Maybe Spanish Cedar, smells good and I think it is pretty light.
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