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  #181  
Old 02-25-2016, 09:06 AM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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Thanx everybody.

Last time it was about reaching a finish line, having guitars to show the potential as a model with the primairy goal of getting funded.

I had to work towards an endgoal with a limited budget so I am happy that has now succeeded, so now i can start building in a completely different manner.

I will build these guitars methodically with jigs and fixtures. I will only move on to the next step when one step is reaching the quality standard.

For example, I wont start with soundboards untill the carbon fiber bodys consistantly come out of the mold without surface defects and semi high gloss finish.

I will have 1 year to make 8 guitars, but i will not get in trouble with the investor if it takes longer. I will build 1 steelstring and 1 nylon and then pause the operation to collect feedback on these 2 new guitars. I can then incoorporate that final feedback and keep building.

The investor will help me with social elements like going to builders and retail stores. This investor has also made arrangements for me to take classes with a good Luthier and a furniture maker, and i can choose my own topics. When the time comes i will certainly take these classes in areas that i can benefit from, like finishing.

I visited the builder with the investor and he makes amazing archtop instruments, his name is frans elferink :

http://www.elferinkguitars.com/

On March 1st i will start ordering and wait for stuff to arrive.

The first build will be a conversion of the shed, my workspace in my house will become a cleanroom, everything with noise or dust will go to the shed. Airborn carbon particles cause cancer so this will help for my health.

The carbon bodies will be made in the cleanroom in the house , and then they go to a routing box in the shed, to trim the overlap.

The second build is the new mastershape guitar, this shape will be glued on a baseboard, then the anti shape mold can be created. This mastershape must be absolutely flawless. A dimple in this shape will become a hill in every body and reversed.

A lot of challenges to look foreward to!
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  #182  
Old 03-07-2016, 01:55 PM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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I have ordered almost everything, and i have started to recieve items.







I am the most in awe of the festool random orbital sander, it makes no scratches at all.

This cedar plate has been sanded all the way up to European 3000 grit, the bottom one is polished, the one on top is raw wood.



I have started to refinish the first prototype of the Hybrid 1.0 guitar model to practice for the new batch, only this time with industrial poly urethane.





I am happy to focues on building again after 2 years of trying to get financing, that was so draining.

Back on track!
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Last edited by littlesmith; 03-07-2016 at 02:07 PM.
  #183  
Old 03-07-2016, 03:16 PM
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I was going through the instagram photos, and noticed something for the first time.

Are you moving forward with a closed-back slot-head design on the headstock?

Slotheads can sometimes be close quarters, even though one can reach the rotating post from both sides.

Having a rotating post where one can't just easily push a string through from one side to the other might introduce issues, especially if replacing a string in an area blocked under a pre-existing string.

Just a thought, especially since you're moving towards the perfect prototype before moving forward.
  #184  
Old 03-07-2016, 06:01 PM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
I was going through the instagram photos, and noticed something for the first time.

Are you moving forward with a closed-back slot-head design on the headstock?

Slotheads can sometimes be close quarters, even though one can reach the rotating post from both sides.

Having a rotating post where one can't just easily push a string through from one side to the other might introduce issues, especially if replacing a string in an area blocked under a pre-existing string.

Just a thought, especially since you're moving towards the perfect prototype before moving forward.
Hi,

I`m not gonna use the closed design anymore. That came from a time where i didn`t have the knowledge, tools or budget to route carbon fiber. I now know what bits to use now and i have ordered a custom template for my own models dimensions with this company :

http://www.luthiertool.com/slot_head_fixture.html

You are right about the hassle with a closed headstock`s backside, there is almost no space underneath for string windings, unless you make the headstock 3 or 4 mm thicker, and a classical head is already pretty thick.
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Last edited by littlesmith; 03-08-2016 at 06:16 AM.
  #185  
Old 03-10-2016, 06:55 PM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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The refinishing went well, here is a movie from the neck of the first prototype :

https://www.instagram.com/p/BCxwtROT...y=dutchluthier

I applied roughly 7 coats of industrial poly urethane and kept flattening it between coats with the Festool random orbital sander. In this movie the body has been sanded up to 3000 grit but not yet polished on the stew mac buffer. My shed is way too moist to put this machine, there is no insulation in there and the machine will be ruined within months. There is no room in the workroom as well. I`m afraid im gonna have to put this giant thing on the wall of my livingroom.
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  #186  
Old 03-11-2016, 08:56 PM
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Is that fretboard as chipped as it looks on the edge and next to the fret ends? What happened?
  #187  
Old 03-11-2016, 11:06 PM
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Glad to see you're still working on your design and you were able to get an investor, littlesmith. I look forward to more progress.

JR
  #188  
Old 03-12-2016, 05:28 AM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
Is that fretboard as chipped as it looks on the edge and next to the fret ends? What happened?
Good eye!

That little spot on the edge of the fretboard is a dip, the foot of the random orbital sander is so flat that i would have to take the entire around the dimple area down to that level. This body is the first guitar ever made of this model and it`s really not that great. I wanted to see if i can fix this in a week, it got a lot better but it`s far from perfect.

That mold was not perfect, so the parts coming out are not perfect, if the mold has a hill, every body has a dimple on that spot. The dimple will be the fabric in epoxy itsself cured in that form. Now you have to fill it up with something to bring it up to the surroundings, or sand the surroundings down. This body was too thin (around 0.8mm thick), i didnt want to sand through the outer carbon layer and reach the fiberglass core. I guess if you can make some sort of dam from tape or clay you could put a few drops of clear or epoxy in it and it wouldn`t flow out, but this was just so i could upgrade my finishing skills. Those spots will be hidden to the eye (but still there) when the entire body will be buffed, because it will al be equally glossy then.
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Last edited by littlesmith; 03-12-2016 at 05:47 AM.
  #189  
Old 03-12-2016, 05:30 AM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.R. Rogers View Post
Glad to see you're still working on your design and you were able to get an investor, littlesmith. I look forward to more progress.

JR
Thank you, i`m becoming more and more confident in the quality. The investor allows me to do this thing on my own time, my own way. He is a friend of my aunt and not some random loan shark so that`s great. If building these 8 units takes 1 year, then that will be no problem. I programmed my own brain to stay calm and not rush things, if i spend an entire day on making the perfect sled to cut fretslots, i can live with that...

Yesterday i spent an entire day on making a portable Stew Mac buffer station :



I don`t have room to attach it to a wall as they recommended, and my shed has no insolation, i`m afread this machine would be dead in a month with al that moist and cold.
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Last edited by littlesmith; 03-12-2016 at 05:39 AM.
  #190  
Old 03-14-2016, 07:18 PM
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Something just sank in for me, because sometimes I'm a little slow.

You're working only on making a negative mold, instead of making a positive and then a negative from that positive?

Given some of the issues you've already run into, would it be preferable to perfect the positive, so you can see and feel the perfect surface before then making the mold?
  #191  
Old 03-16-2016, 10:40 AM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
Something just sank in for me, because sometimes I'm a little slow.

You're working only on making a negative mold, instead of making a positive and then a negative from that positive?

Given some of the issues you've already run into, would it be preferable to perfect the positive, so you can see and feel the perfect surface before then making the mold?
The short answer is yes, both a positive and a negative shape.

On the left a shape called a plug, on the right a negative derived from the plug



The long answer :

-First you make a shape of a guitar as it would normally be, only its from solid MDF (or solid spruce or something) and not a hollow soundbox like normally. At this stage you can feel it and hold it like a real guitar, you have to feel with your eyes closed as well and check for for bumps or cavities. When you are happy you should put the entire thing in clearcoat or epoxy (but not the bottom if you intend to glue it on the baseboard), then sand it super flat up to European 3000 grit.

-Then you glue it on a super flat baseboard or attach it with bolts from below (there must be no space between the plug and the baseboard where gelcoat can seep in). A guitar baseboard has a second surface in an angle where the headstock is. Add other components if needed like resin flow channels, channels for reusable vacuumbag sealing.

-Then you put it in high temp release wax and / or liquid release agents.

-Buff it.

Now you start to make the negative mold,

-First a polyester or epoxy based gelcoat with a brush, let it cure (or apply more layers). 3 millimeter is a good thickness for a gelcoat.

-Now backing material for strength and dimentional stability, most common is fiberglass, build it up to approximatly about 0.5 cm (ideally in a vacuumbag under vacuum so you don`t get airpockets between layers).

-Now you can make a frame for dimentional stability (optional), weld steel in or a hardwood frame. Cover the steel with more fiberglass.

-Seperate the guitarshape (plug), and the negative carefully by inserting wedges all around the perimiter, then it pops loose at some point if the release agent was applied properly. The part can never have an overhang or they can never ever be seperated. Parts with an overhang must have a 2 part mold.



Split mold example (not mine) :



-Wax the negative with release was and / or liquid agents.

Now you can START making a composite guitar body, hahaha.

In my case this isnt even the end of the process, because i want to make a 5mm thick reusable vacuum bag instead of the flimsy 0.2mm thick disposable plastic. I must skip the release wax stage of the negative and put in a calibrated wax sheet (very different kind of wax) that represents my exact part thickness.

Like this : http://www.easycomposites.co.uk/#!/p.../sheetwax.html

When you calculate the part thickness, you should make sample plates under vacuum and don`t forget to add the thickness of resin flowmesh and peelply to the final thickness or the complete stack won`t fit.

Put release wax on the wax sheets.

Then i apply the mixed 2 component sillicone reusable vacuumbag and let it cure. When its done, i will remove the reusable flexible vacuumbag, but leave the calibrated was sheets and make a hard uppershell as well like RTM manufactering and test which one gives a better result.

Then i can remove the wax sheet, and put release wax. I will now have a space between my mold surface and and the reusable vacuumbag that is the exact thickness of my part.

I hope my explanation of the process didn`t make it even more complicated. Don`t worry if its not 100% clear, it took me 3 years to really grasp composites. Youtube has many movies and tutorials about this. Just be prepared for the fact that composites is more expensive then a drug addiction.

First you just start with 100 bucks of epoxy and a brush and some carbon fiber. Then you want a vacuum pump to get better quality and resin to fiber ratio. then you want to increase the quality of the curing with an oven. I made my own oven with those small pizza ovens that fits half a pizza, i bypassed the times which is not safe at all. Now due to the funding i have an aerospace heating balnket with built in temperature control ($1000).



I will put the fabric in dry (without resin) and use special infusion spray glue that dissolves in the resin to place the fabric. Then i will put the reusable avacuum bag or the hard shell, put it under vacuum. Then if it passes the droptest (1 hour under vacuum and the needle must not move of the vacuum gauge). Then i will suck the resin into the mold, that`s called resin infusion.

That is the second highest quality level together with RTM (injecting resin instead of sucking it in under vacuum). The higest level of composites is called prepreg (pre impregnated), and this has to be stored in a freezer, the resin is in the fabric already in optimal ratio and wactivated with heat. I went to a company and they quoted me 150 Euro per body on location, then 3 weeks later iby email it was 1500 for just the body. I don`t want to be in the business of selling 5000 Euro guitars if nobody knows my brand, so thats why i went back to making everything myself.
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Last edited by littlesmith; 03-16-2016 at 06:32 PM.
  #192  
Old 03-17-2016, 02:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlesmith View Post
That mold was not perfect, so the parts coming out are not perfect, if the mold has a hill, every body has a dimple on that spot. The dimple will be the fabric in epoxy itsself cured in that form.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
Something just sank in for me, because sometimes I'm a little slow.

You're working only on making a negative mold, instead of making a positive and then a negative from that positive?

Given some of the issues you've already run into, would it be preferable to perfect the positive, so you can see and feel the perfect surface before then making the mold?
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlesmith View Post
The short answer is yes, both a positive and a negative shape.

On the left a shape called a plug, on the right a negative derived from the plug

Oh, I see!

So, the plug you're showing with the off-center ridges, and the negative with the flaws, are from your previous prototypes, and you're making a new, perfect plug and then a new negative.

I look forward to seeing the new ones!
  #193  
Old 03-17-2016, 04:17 AM
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I am blown away by the amount of progress you've made. Congrats!
  #194  
Old 03-17-2016, 04:17 AM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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@Explorer Yes, everything new.

The feedback from the guitar players went into refining the model so now it`s the Hybrid 2.0.
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  #195  
Old 03-17-2016, 04:21 AM
littlesmith littlesmith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewpartrick View Post
I am blown away by the amount of progress you've made. Congrats!
Thank you.

The hardest part is not getting too excited again and rushing through it. I have to learn to enjoy every little step and not focus too much on the endgoal. Just do a job well no matter how long it takes.

The crowdfunding may have not been a "succes", but it led me to this friend of my aunt loaning me 10k, he saw the passion and he wants to support it.

I`m gonna do some nice experiments as well, like a bent soundboard arm bevel, like a gradual slope down like some stratocasters have, but then on an acoustic guitar. I will make a jig with 2 bent 2 mm thick aluminium plates with an electric barbeque lighter under the bottom plate, so the moist soundboard will be sandwitched between them. It will have 1 layer of carbon fiber on the bottom of the soundboard, just in that curved area for impact protection and dimentional stability. If you hug the guitar tightly with your eyes closed, nothing should feel uncomfortable or cut into your arm.

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Last edited by littlesmith; 03-17-2016 at 04:59 AM.
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