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  #31  
Old 09-18-2020, 08:56 AM
TaranGuitars TaranGuitars is offline
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Default Post 5 - Closing Up and Neck on

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the small hiatus! Busy old time. Hope you are all well.

The next part of the build was to get the soundboard braced and fitted to the side-unit and ready for tuning. I'm always amazed at this point at how, with time and patience, you can actually hear the guitar coming to life as you remove material from the braces - the key is knowing when to stop. Martin is looking for a very powerful instrument with lots of separation, not only this but he uses a vast range of tunings from CGCFCD to DADGBE and so on... the guitar therefore has to perform under a multitude of different tensions. The guitar is fan fretted 660mm-645mm, we could have gone more extreme however, I felt that these scales gave us a solid parameter to work within. Getting the balance of everything right at this point in the tuning is critical.



Now all the internals are done. It's time to close the box and start the detailing. One last, but crucial, part to be added is the graft on the edge of neck block. As many makers know, telegraphing between components is something that has to be addressed. Wood moves and larger components like the neck block will become visible through the thin soundboard if there is nothing to stop the inevitable transition of wood movement.

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At this point I always feel like the build is really coming on but there's still a lot to do...!

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Once the body is bound it is time to put the neck on. Building the neck happens early in the build, in this case the Wenge was machined-up allowed to rest for a couple of weeks before the back-graft went on. This time allows any tensions in the neck to come out and be seen so that we can flatten-off again before fitting. Our neck joint is new, for years I used a standard dovetail joint, while this is perfectly serviceable, I always wanted to develop a super-stable, non-glued joint. Tricky!

What I came up with is this: an oversized mortis and tenon at 44mm wide by 30mm deep, effectively the heel of the neck is inside the guitar but most importantly is the tapered dovetail extension that runs at an angle down into the body. This supports the fretboard over the body while pulling the fretboard down onto the body. To explain, here's a wee video:



Now that the neck is on, we are able to make any final adjustments to its level - something to mention here is that when we fit the soundboard, we also adjust the neck block to the correct neck angle so that the string height is set at this point, not when the neck goes on. This is critical for the neck joint. Martin needs a lot of attack in the instrument therefore to accentuate this, we have increased the string height above the soundboard, if we required a softer attack on a guitar, we would lower this height accordingly.

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Now we are ready to get the neck ready for the fretboard. For years now I have been using carbon fibre in my necks like many makers. I find that it helps to eliminate wolf notes in the guitar as it helps to throw the energy back into the soundboard. You could argue that I wouldn't need this with a Wenge neck, however I am of the opinion that if you know it works, use it.

Wenge is an incredibly heavy/dense hardwood. I use this as a neck material on guitars where I want to focus the sound and add power. All neck materials need to be stiff but it is the density that makes the difference here. A lighter wood will open out the sound but for Martin, we need it to be very precise.

The fretboard we chose is 100% FSC African Blackwood, one of the straightest pieces of ABW I have ever had the pleasure of working with. All the fret slots are cut by hand - still trying to work out a jig that will cut fan frets on a saw?!?! Once the fretboard, carbon-fibre rods and two-way-truss-rod are all fitted, it is time to shape the neck. Martin has always liked the soft-V profile that I do, so we went with this. This with my negative-taper (thinner at the 10th fret than at the nut in thickness) makes for a very comfortable neck especially when the nut width is 46.5mm.

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Hope you've enjoyed! Have a great weekend.

All the best,
Rory

Last edited by TaranGuitars; 09-18-2020 at 09:04 AM.
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  #32  
Old 09-18-2020, 09:24 AM
Nemoman Nemoman is offline
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Dang--thanks for sharing your detailed and well documented thread, Rory!

The guitar looks fantastic--can't wait to hear it in Martin's hands! Cheers
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  #33  
Old 09-19-2020, 07:14 AM
Treenewt Treenewt is offline
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So cool to see Martinís guitar coming along! Thank you for taking the time to document your build process in such a detailed way, Rory. Itís very cool seeing the innovations and ideas you have developed over time in your builds. That neck joint, for one, is brilliant!
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  #34  
Old 09-19-2020, 07:53 AM
Carpinteria Carpinteria is offline
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Brilliant thinking and execution on the neck joint!
Dave
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  #35  
Old 09-21-2020, 03:57 AM
TaranGuitars TaranGuitars is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemoman View Post
Dang--thanks for sharing your detailed and well documented thread, Rory!
The guitar looks fantastic--can't wait to hear it in Martin's hands! Cheers
Thank you Nemoman. It's been a great build, Martin gave me carte blanche to go were I thought best. So pleased you're enjoying it.
All the best, R

Quote:
Originally Posted by Treenewt View Post
So cool to see Martinís guitar coming along! Thank you for taking the time to document your build process in such a detailed way, Rory. Itís very cool seeing the innovations and ideas you have developed over time in your builds. That neck joint, for one, is brilliant!
Thank you Treenewt! I always document builds for clients but to share this kind of detail here has been a lot of fun! Final pictures coming very soon!
All the best, R

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpinteria View Post
Brilliant thinking and execution on the neck joint!
Dave
Thank you Dave! A lot of head scratching went into this development. I got Martins DS3 back the other week ago. It was the first with this neck joint, 2 years on and just as I'd made it.
All the best, R
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  #36  
Old 09-22-2020, 01:45 PM
jonnymosco jonnymosco is offline
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Stunning and what a great blue!

Maybe I'll get to play it one day.

Jonny
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  #37  
Old 09-23-2020, 06:24 AM
Rapdog Rapdog is offline
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Default Thank you

Rory: thank you for sharing this thread. This has been wonderful to watch and To be able to see your process. Appreciate the time you have spent doing this.

Last edited by Rapdog; 09-25-2020 at 04:54 AM.
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  #38  
Old 09-25-2020, 09:02 AM
TaranGuitars TaranGuitars is offline
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Default Post 6 - Pre-Spray Room

Hi folks,

Hope you've all had a good week! Here's a few more photos of the guitar before it headed into the Spray Room. Really pleased with how it all came together...


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POP! First coat of lacquer...

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Have a great weekend all,
All the very best,
Rory
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  #39  
Old 09-25-2020, 09:38 AM
Treenewt Treenewt is offline
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Rory, I can't wait to see that under finish...the blue is stunning as is! Well done, sir!
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  #40  
Old 09-25-2020, 09:43 AM
MThomson MThomson is offline
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I suppose it looks OK...
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  #41  
Old 09-25-2020, 09:45 AM
Nemoman Nemoman is offline
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Very cool guitar, Rory!
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  #42  
Old 09-26-2020, 11:08 AM
steveh steveh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaranGuitars View Post
That looks sooooo rich under finish - what a sumptuous and classy looking guitar!

A bit blingy vs. your work of 5 years ago?
No bad thing at all though.

Cheers,
Steve
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  #43  
Old 09-28-2020, 03:22 AM
nobo nobo is offline
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Sublime!

Love the head plate/endgraft/rosette/bevel shading, and how it's all come together!
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  #44  
Old 09-28-2020, 08:38 AM
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This is a lovely build with some dream woods and so wonderful to see everything coming together nicely. The anticipation of hearing the finished product is rising as I had, a few months ago, wondered to myself how such a wood combo would sound. Not many examples/ sound clips online!

Rory if I may ask, what braces were used for the top and back? What was the thought process behind the bracing material in order to yield the tone you & Martin had in mind?
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  #45  
Old 09-28-2020, 10:14 AM
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Guitars44me Guitars44me is online now
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Smile Whoaaa....

Mighty NICE stuff indeed!!! Mr. Simpson is a Monster player, and this instrument should really deliver the sonic goods...

It is also stunningly Beautiful and so well thought out. As all of us here, I really look forward to hearing it in Martin's hands!

Play on Gang!

And stay vigilant, well, and happy!!!

Paul
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