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Old 11-24-2020, 07:56 AM
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Archaic Guitars Archaic Guitars is offline
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Default Build Thread: Indian Rosewood and Torrified Sitka 000

Hello, my name is Tim Garst. I have been building for about 3 years and this is my 8th instrument (2 classical, 1 ukulele, 1 acoustic bass, 4 steel string). I started woodworking 6 years ago and eventually found J.S. Bogdonavichís book at the library and thought ďI could try thatĒ. That first guitar was not impressive, but I really caught the bug and here I am. Building guitars is more an impulse than a business opportunity to me, but I only have so much room in the house for hand built guitars, so I would like to start getting my foot in the door and get other people playing my instruments.

I am very aware that I am still in the early stages of becoming a luthier and look forward to any constructive criticism, advice, and ideas this community of amazing builders, players, and collectors can throw my way.

Alright, enough BS, letís talk about this guitar.

Top: torrified Sitka spruce
Bracing: torrified Sitka spruce
Back and sides: Indian rosewood
Binding: Sapele
Neck: mahogany
Tuners: Gotoh M6 minis, gold

This is my first time using torrified wood. I love the tap tone, and oddly enough the smell is very pleasant. But the brittleness adds some extra difficulty. I canít say how I truly feel until I get strings on here.
This is mostly a Martin 000 copy, but I use a different headstock, bridge, and heel and widen the nut from 1 5/8 to 1 3/4.

A little hand plane action
IMG_0188.jpgIMG_0188.jpg

Laying out bracing pattern
IMG_0246.jpg

A preview of the rosette: Indian rosewood, Sapele, and splalted maple from the firewood pile. The honeyed tone of the baked Sitka has me drooling.
IMG_0245.jpg

Thanks for taking a peek, more to come!

Last edited by Archaic Guitars; 11-24-2020 at 07:59 AM. Reason: Mispelling
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2020, 08:19 AM
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Mark Hatcher Mark Hatcher is offline
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Welcome to the forum! Looks like you will fit in nicely here
I like how you angled the grain of the rosette, it seem to add a little action to the design. Iím interested in how the torrified braces work out for you

Mark
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Old 11-24-2020, 10:17 AM
Nemoman Nemoman is offline
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Welcome to the forum, Tim!

Looks like you've got a great start so far. The woods look great and your rosette is unique and appealing.

Looking forward to your progress!
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Old 11-24-2020, 04:59 PM
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Thanks Mark! I plan to do a similar angle with the same sandwiched woods on the head plate to keep the theme going. I will keep you updated on the terrified bracing, that step isnít too far out.

Thanks Nemoman. On my other guitars I have used one solid wood wrapped with purflins and was quite content with just that. Then I got this idea when making a laminated cutting board. Iím sure, like every other thing that seems unique, someone else has already done it, but I like the look of it anyways.
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Old 11-28-2020, 10:23 AM
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More progress over the last few days. The sides are bent, top and back braced, and the box closed.

I tend to use mahogany for my back braces as I usually have some quartersawn scraps left over from the board I build the neck from. It looks prettier than spruce, is cheaper (I donít understand why), and I speculate that the species of back bracing doesnít have too much of a sonic effect. Iím not sure if thatís true or not, so donít quote me. Nothing fancy design wise here, same thing Martin has done for decades.
IMG_0306.jpg

The top is braced getting ready to be glued in place. An update on torrified bracing: itís brittle! I had to be very careful carving these compared to non baked wood. I was also very shy with removing material, and only scalloped on extension of the X-brace on the treble side. I also scalloped one tone bar and all the finger braces. I didnít remove as much material as normal for a few reasons: the thickness of the top is a little thinner than I would usually go (.095Ē) and the torrified wood sands so easily that I assume that will be down to .090 by final sanding. Secondly, I was getting the tap tones I wanted very early on in the shaping process and didnít want to go too far.
IMG_0344.jpg

And the box is closed! Still getting good taptones with the box closed, but definitely went from getting 4 or 5 distinct tones to 2, 3 at most.
IMG_0367.jpg
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:16 AM
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More progress this week on the neck joint!

Laying out the joint to be cut by hand.
IMG_0386.jpg

IMG_0387.jpg

IMG_0390.jpg

Checking for center at three points. Itís always satisfying when the neck joint fits in tight enough that you have to knock if free with a mallet after the test fit.

IMG_0391.jpg
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Old 12-06-2020, 02:13 PM
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Here we go! In the white, with the unglued bridge on just to see, getting ready for French polish. So far I am happy with this.
IMG_0422.jpg

And a preview of the headstock echoing the rosette after the first wash coat of shellac, really bringing out the colors.
IMG_0428.jpg

I chose not to bind the headstock, and because of that you get to see some sweet spalted endgrain action.
IMG_1607285142.127097.jpg

It will take a week of off and on French polishing sessions and then some time to cure before I glue on the bridge and get some strings on this bad boy.
I will have just enough time to build my wifeís Christmas request of a new shelf for her extensive record collection and then I am going to take a few weeks to make some improvements to the shop before starting another guitar. Not sure what the next guitar will be, but Iíve got some sweet sets of walnut waiting to be used.
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Old 12-06-2020, 07:09 PM
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I really dig that headstock veneer. Great job with everything so far! Iím excited to see how it turns out.
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Old 12-07-2020, 01:09 AM
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Yep, plus on on the headstock...and good luck with the French polishing, that takes dedication!
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Old 12-07-2020, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colins View Post
Yep, plus on on the headstock...and good luck with the French polishing, that takes dedication!
Thanks! I have French polished every instrument I have made so far, but didnít really get it down until this past year. The first few attempts were less French polish and more just a few coats of shellac, but after lots of practice, I figured it out. Itís involved and takes some extra time, but I work out of my home basement and do not want to introduce any noxious sprays into my process. And of course the biggest factor is the sound quality and feel. I donít like the plasticy feel of nitro and other finishes, and I would not trade sound quality for dent protection. Of course this is just my opinion and donít think anyone elseís preferences are wrong. Plus turning shellac flakes and Everclear into a guitar finish makes me feel like an insane alchemist.

I am in the lucky group that does not have a problem with my sweat eating through French polish, but I am thinking of switching to using an oil varnish on the neck for this reason.

Thanks Balek, Iím excited to get tuners on this headstock to see how it all finishes out.
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Old 12-07-2020, 11:02 AM
M Sarad M Sarad is offline
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EIR and Sitka, a winning combination.
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Old 12-07-2020, 11:11 AM
Nemoman Nemoman is offline
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Looking good--looking forward to seeing it all under finish!
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BevelBelle--Wilborn Ellie Belle (Old Stika/EIR)
Dana--1999 Bourgeois OM (Sitka/EIR)
Tres M--Malachite Machinga Meridian--2020 Baranik Meridian (Machinga/ Colorado Blue Spruce)
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Old 12-08-2020, 01:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaic Guitars View Post
Thanks! I have French polished every instrument I have made so far, but didnít really get it down until this past year. The first few attempts were less French polish and more just a few coats of shellac, but after lots of practice, I figured it out. Itís involved and takes some extra time, but I work out of my home basement and do not want to introduce any noxious sprays into my process. And of course the biggest factor is the sound quality and feel. I donít like the plasticy feel of nitro and other finishes, and I would not trade sound quality for dent protection. Of course this is just my opinion and donít think anyone elseís preferences are wrong. Plus turning shellac flakes and Everclear into a guitar finish makes me feel like an insane alchemist.
I've never tried it for a guitar but did try it for an old wooden mantlepiece in our house, and while the results weren't bad, I think I'd need to do about ten more to really get the hang of it. It was super cool melting the flakes, so I like your alchemist analogy!
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Old 12-11-2020, 09:10 AM
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Default Build Thread: Indian Rosewood and Torrified Sitka 000

French polish sessions look awfully suspicious. And thereís a sneak peak of the guitar in the background under a few body sessions of polish.
IMG_0436.jpg

Hereís what my hand looks like after a day of polishing and smacking the pad on the back of my hand to distribute the shellac evenly throughout the pad and make sure it is not over saturated.
IMG_0433.jpg

A few more bodying sessions before I do the final glaze coat and put the guitar away for a week to cure. Then just gotta glue the bridge on, make a nut and saddle, and do the final set up.

Last edited by Archaic Guitars; 12-11-2020 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 12-28-2020, 11:10 AM
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French polish is cured and hardware installed!

Hereís some iPhone pics in the dusty shop. I am working on getting a recording. The sound is about what you would expect from a EIR/Sitka 000 or OM. Scooped mids with piano like basses and bell/ringing trebles with plenty of overtones. The torrified top and braces seem to lend to some warmth and volume. This guitar is noticeably louder than the Sapele/Sitka (non torrified) 000 that I built previously.

Itís a guitar built for fingerstyle, but it does just as well with flatpicking. The neck is chunky enough for good sustain, but still comfortable enough to play for long sessions. Overall I am happy with it. I built this guitar to get more acquainted with torrified tops, and while I think they have their place and value (and color!) Iím not quite sure I will be building every single guitar with them.
IMG_0486.jpg

IMG_0489.jpg

IMG_0492.jpg

IMG_0493.jpg

IMG_0499.jpg

IMG_0505.jpg

IMG_0503.jpg

I have a few touch ups to do on the French polish, as well as the final set up. I will then try to take some better quality glamour shots and get some sound clips or a video.
This guitar will be for sale if anyone is interested.

Thanks for following along!
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