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  #76  
Old 08-01-2016, 05:03 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Moving right along, I've begun working on the neck again. I'd made a template of the headstock when I made my first and cut this second neck to a rough shape which I've been trying to refine with my long lost Blue Marples 3/4 chisel which seems to have returned from a vacation somewhere; I was unable to locate it for the longest time but lo and behold it reappeared just when I need it. Soon it will be time to chisel the braces. Granted, it could stand to be sharpened a bit so I'm not being too adventuresome with it, opting to use the card scraper and sandpaper on a cylindrical caul.

In the meantime, I also was able to locate the bookmatched ziricote peghead veneer that went similarly missing until I located it buried in my cluttered basement workshop. Please forgive me; I've been distracted. I am just a hobbyist after all!

Using my jack plane and an impromptu shooting board I joined the pieces using Jonathan Kinkade's technique of using nails at the edges to wedge the two halves together and a central clamping force over the joint. It wasn't pretty so I didn't take a picture but it was effective. After scraping the gluing surfaces smooth and wiping them with naphtha I did a couple of dry fits before forcing on ahead with the glue up:



I should add that I'd also begun to carve out the neck profile at the first fret, using the neck on my Larrivee OM-03R as a template:



I took the clamps off last night and intend to saw off the excess later today. I can't wait to see how the veneer looks once it's trimmed to the final shape. The figuring of the ziricote is beautiful.
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~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #77  
Old 08-01-2016, 09:16 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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This is off-topic, but as you can see I like to take a lot of pictures. What I haven't divulged is that I also take a lot of videos with my iPhone. Way back when (twenty years ago) I went to school to learn how to create animations and film on the computer. That's pretty simplistic but at the time, the technology was still in its infancy and kids in middle school weren't uploading inane videos about Minecraft to Youtube like they are now. I've been watching with wonder what these millenials are capable of and am amazed at how they are so wrapped up in style over substance. When I was that age I knew how to make the movies but didn't know what to make movies about. Now I do. I just can't show my face because I'm not so photogenic - unless I dress up like a Furbie.

Anyway, out of school I spent about $6K on hardware and software to do things that I can now do solely on a $600 iPhone. Not an iPAD - a PHONE. Here's a montage of the last couple of steps I took in my build. I'm thinking of doing this for every session at my workbench:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZUew6y_pAM
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~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #78  
Old 08-01-2016, 09:58 AM
dekutree64 dekutree64 is offline
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Nice work! I've thought about making a guitar building show as well, though I was thinking of doing it more like The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross, where I talk about what I'm doing, or whatever else comes to mind while I work. Although sometimes it would be too noisy to talk, or I'm wearing a dust mask, or breathing too hard, so I'm not entirely sure it would be a good format for it. I'd also need to make or buy some kind of tripod/boom so I can position the camera anywhere and at any angle I want.

What program are you using to edit the videos together and add text, and can it be used on PC rather than iPhone? In all my years of computering, I've never been able to find good video software that doesn't cost a fortune. And even when Adobe accidentally gave out the CS2 programs for free a couple years ago, I got Premiere and it's still not that great (unintuitive interface, limited output formats, slow as dirt).
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  #79  
Old 08-01-2016, 10:04 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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I used plain old iMovie on iOS 9.3.3 on my phone. There was no PC involved. It let me import multiple clips, trim, add transitions, text, even provided the backing music track. There is even a preset to upload to Youtube. I did editing to the video from my Youtube control panel after it was uploaded and processed by Youtube, but only because the screen on my iPhone SE is too small for me to type reliably; I usually use speech to text but even then I have to edit because I need to learn to speak more clearly.
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~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #80  
Old 08-01-2016, 10:06 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Next up:

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~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #81  
Old 08-02-2016, 01:57 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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I worked on the headstock and rosette yesterday.



The headstock is bookmatched ziricote - I had to join the halves just as I did with the soundboard and the back plate. I received the wood sight unseen but knew I had to use it for the headstock even though there will be no other ziricote on the guitar. In the "white" it's the same general hue as the EIR rosette so I count myself lucky. I have no idea how it will age. I don't care though; I thing it sort of looks like a flaming torch.

Working with Zip Flex for the rosette was remarkably easy - maybe even easier than working with the wood fiber purfling strips. I haven't glued it in yet - though I've read that CA glue is okay to use and I have some shellac on hand to seal any open grains. Zip Flex is made of a product called "Ablam" which means that it's technically a laminate, so I'm not sure how far I can sand it.

BTW, I made another montage video. I'm just having fun with this.

__________________
~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #82  
Old 08-02-2016, 02:19 PM
TEK TEK is offline
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Looking great Neil, I especially like the headstock. Cool video!
Travis
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  #83  
Old 08-05-2016, 11:45 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Yes, I'm happy with it as well. I've admired Collings and Gibson's headstocks but wanted something similar yet simpler. No "haircut" or "mustache" for me. I borrowed Larrivee's simple curve.

Speaking of headstocks, I have to thin it some. I just received some chrome Gotoh 510 18:1s which will be going on this one. In the meantime, I worked on the 1st fret profile and the taper from the volute a little:



I also cut out the sound hole and shape of the soundboard:



Yes, I realize that there's a hunk of my rosette missing, that there are some "irregularities" to my soundhole and that the abalone lost a lot of its luster because I had to sand it down a little . Next time I will do better with the bling. The soundhole can be fixed. .
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~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #84  
Old 08-08-2016, 12:16 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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I almost feel guilty posting updates since a lot of changes in my personal life had to happen but for the interests of this little therapeutic diversion things are progressing rather well. I feel like I should be buying up home improvement items or exercising more instead, but I have a kid still home from school for the summer so...

I carved the braces on the back last night.



The other night I cut out the sound hole and outline of the soundboard:



...and now I'm doing a dry fit of gluing in the X Brace:



I don't think I have enough cam clamps though.
__________________
~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #85  
Old 08-08-2016, 01:05 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Here's a snippet of footage from refining the volute on the neck the other night:

__________________
~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #86  
Old 08-08-2016, 02:06 PM
redir redir is offline
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You probably should get more cam clamps for the X-brace. You will probably be fine but I like to put them every two inches or so. One trick you can do is use cauls across the braces to even out the pressure. Here's a shot of an X-brace I glued up over the weekend. I use wooden bars across the braces.

It is pretty amazing how fast technology progresses. When I first got a smart phone about 6 years ago I didn't even care about the camera on it since I had a good camera. Now it's pretty much all I ever use

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  #87  
Old 08-13-2016, 10:24 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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In order to attach the back and top to the sides you have to sand the kerfing to match their radius. As you recall, the radius of the plates is determined by the underside arc of the bracing. To do that, I purchased preradiused jigs from LMI at are only 16" across. The length of the body is 20" though and I wasn't willing to pay $75 for a radius dish - let alone $150 for two of them - so I had to get creative.

In my basement I have a 2X4, a chop saw and a bandsaw. I also have a pencil and some rules but that should be a given. Long story short, I cut two 2 foot long sections of the 2x4 and marked the centerline of each as well as the centerline of both the 15' and 30' radius jigs. I traced the arc of each on a 2x4, extended the arc by overlapping the jig over the drawn line and voila! a 24" long radius. After an hour or so of slowly and painfully trying to stay true to that line with the bandsaw and planing/scraping/sanding it as true as I could get it I had two sanding cauls for the rims:



For my birthday I got some spending money and I went to Harbor Freight with a 20% off coupon and bought myself a little 8" drill press. I marked the centerpoint and using the biggest drill bit I have I drilled a hole in the middle of each sanding caul. I also marked out the center in the top of my homemade gobar deck/work table and drilled a hole. I clamped the rims and mold to the table top then I searched in vain for a threaded metal rod but ended up using the drill bit to mount the caul over it:



I grant you, it is imprecise and unwieldy but it works well enough as long as I'm diligent. I monitored the depth of the imaginary "dome" by finding the lowest point in the revolution of the caul and wraped the bit with some painter's tape. Using a block plane I smoothed out the high points then I found some 80 grit sanding belts and a stapler and went to work "driving the bus" as John Hall puts it. It's not perfect but I think I did a pretty good job on the back plate. I have yet to set up the 30' radius caul for the topside rim. Doing the back was exhausting enough. Still, even though the back rim is ready I will wait to glue on the top plate first when it's all braced up.
__________________
~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #88  
Old 08-13-2016, 10:37 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Moving along in a slightly different direction in order to keep up on momentum - and not concentrate on a life issue that I will not discuss here - I shifted focus back to the neck. As you know, I had been focusing on the profile of the neck at the 1st fret and reducing the thickness of the headstock in order to accept a set of midsize 18:1 ratio Gotoh 510 tuning machines.

Well, I got the headstock as thin as I was willing to go and using a caul and my new drill press I drilled out pilot holes for the tuners and used a reamer as a bit to widen them out. The placement isn't perfect as the drill press is a bit small and clamping the headstock down with cauls on either side is tricky so I aimed to get things "close enough." This is a hobby so I have no delusions of perfection. Here's how things came out:





I would like to note a couple of things:

1: using a reamer and drill press generates a LOT of heat. In fact, there was smoke. It appears that it is very easy to scorch ziricote and it almost appeared to have melted around the edges of the hole. Gladly, there was no charring and a couple of passes with a card scraper smoothed things out fine.

2: the tuners make the headstock VERY heavy. From experience with my first build, this neck is going to be very heavy, though I have also noted that on my first build the mahogany/cedar body is very light in weight. The EIR rims OTOH already feel heavier. The entire guitar is going to be heavier. Hopefully there will be a better balance between the body and the neck.
__________________
~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #89  
Old 08-13-2016, 10:45 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Moving right along to the neck profile, I put some protective tape on my inspiration for the neck profile: my trust Larrivee OM-03R which is very comfortable to play.



Using a cheap profile gauge I took a measurement of the Larrivee's 1st fret and overlaid it at the same area on my neck:



As you can see, the area is pretty close to being finished. Next is to take a similar measurement of the Larrivee neck at the 10th fret and set to work on that area on my neck blank. As with the basswood on the kerfed linings on the rims things are proceeding pretty quickly but I have a ways to go before I get there.

Still, I think I've made some decent progress this week.
__________________
~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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  #90  
Old 08-17-2016, 09:44 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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The past two days have been spent concentrating on shaping the neck. I went on to carve out the entirety of the neck shaft's profile using a combination of a curved profile file, a band of 80 grit sandpaper and a card scraper. I tried using a spokeshave but couldn't get it to work smoothly without too much "chatter" leaving gauges into the wood.









Then I moved on to shaping the heel. In hindsight I should have done this step first as I did during my first build. First, I used my block plane to taper the heel toward the end cap. I originally wanting to cut it out using a coping saw (since my bandsaw is too small) but the blade traveled a bit too much for my comfort. My 3/4" chisel was not cutting very cleanly either as I was attempting to carve across the grain using the flat side of the blade and the angled edge was better suited to the fine tuning the final profile shape.







Moving on to the next facet I again tried both sides of the 3/4" chisel and found the grain to be resisting, whether it was because of grain orientation or the sharpness of the chisel I am not sure. I opted to move on to using the file and sandpaper instead.

__________________
~ Neil

2013 OLF MJ (DIY build, western red cedar, Honduran mahogany)
2012 McKnight McUkulele
2009 Martin D-16GT
2006 Larrivee OM-03R
1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (Natural ash)
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