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Author Topic: Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design  (Read 11825 times)

Offline mojotron

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Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design
« on: May 16, 2012, 10:05:45 PM »
Hey guys - sorry I have not been around all that much in the last year or so, I got pretty deep into making my own guitars a few years ago and in the last couple of years I\'ve been pretty heads down working on some of my own ideas - with plenty of inspiration from Parker, Fender, Gibson; coupled with my own OCD regarding things I\'ve never liked as well as things that make any guitar special... it\'s been a pretty intense few years.

Anyways, so when I started making my own guitars I started looking at some of the things that Parker had done with Fly and NiteFly guitars - especially the back side, the arch across the top and deep carving - keeping everything in a flowing line - all of those ideas were combined with the more conventional designs and I finally cranked out one that I think captures more of my Parker influences. I put some of my more Parker inspired ideas into this build. Obviously, the Fender outlines dominate - but the body contouring, the 22 fret neck, neck heel width are what made this guitar fun to design and make. 

BTW - I don\'t have any intention of selling anything... this is just a hobby that keeps me out of trouble [:I] I just thought I would share this with you guys since nearly everyone over at the TDPRI forum - where I did this build - does not get all that excited about Ken\'s initial ideas or the current Parkers: Great, great people over there, but that connection can only be found here...

This is the link to the build:
http://www.tdpri.com/forum/2012-tdpri-tele-build-challenge/317883-mojotrons-2012-challenge-build-thread-completed.html

I started off with this nasty beam that I ripped out of one of my walls when I was moving some walls around - I had to take 20 nails out if it before I stuck it in my planer:


Ended up being this super dense, but extremely resonant piece of Douglas-Fir. I had to get kind of creative when making the body blank so I added some other old growth Douglas-fir to the back side and got this body blank:


Yes indeed - that just looks like some kind of Fender thing... but wait there is more...

So I did some analysis on the shape of the top of the NiteFly, then how the top of the Fly was shaped, then the back of the Fly. Then, I figured out how far could I take this with the modified Fender-like thing you see above. Then, I made some shaping jigs and did a lot of math to figure out how to make the convex and concave curves on the top and bottom of the body: Basically what I came up with was a poor-man\'s CNC - although it\'s just plan manual - instead of \"Computer Numerically Controlled\" I guess one would call this \"Manually Numerically Controlled\" - really just using my table saw fence, router and some plywood it does a good job of getting a rough shape.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHoPdbeSCzw




Then, some work with some rasps and one of those tiny Ken Parker planes:



Then I did the top - the final shape came out as:





Well, to make a long story no longer - here\'s the final guitar - I finished it Monday:










Here\'s a video I did - playing it: Note that I had to meet a deadline sunday night - so I had not slept for a few days when I made this - but I got it done before the deadline:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOvXh5Mrn7E&feature=endscreen&NR=1

I know - I don\'t mention Parker in the video... I was tired and lost my notes under a pile of wood or tools or both. :) I mention Parker ideas and what I was shooting for in the build thread a lot though.

Anyways - I thought I would share this with you guys, especially since I have not been around that much lately - this is what I\'ve been up to.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 09:54:00 AM by jd84mc884qb »
 

Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design

Offline mojotron

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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2012, 10:41:54 PM »
BTW - I got started making my own guitars from scratch when I broke my NiteFly trus rod - USM was awesome about getting me an even better neck - but when I started making my own necks, I used the strongest steel I could thread/tap - I've not had one break on me:


For this neck I used aluminum for things like the filler strip as well as the nut as well as around the adjustment nut and fret marker dots.



The rest of the neck is African Mahogany with a Rosewood fretboard.

I'm pretty happy with the rectangular neck pocket, the curved parker heel pocket might make the neck shaping a lot easier, but I have jigs for all of that and I'm not sure if I see and advantage there. I did use the 22 fret idea as well as making the neck a little wider at the heel form my NiteFly.
 

Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design

Offline Paul Marossy

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Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2012, 10:45:16 PM »
Nice work mojotron

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Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design

Offline Bill

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Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2012, 06:15:02 AM »
Wow. Awesome. Congratulations on a beautiful new baby.

A few Flys in my soup
A few Flys in my soup

Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design

Offline Paul Marossy

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Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2012, 09:01:13 AM »
I like the different take on the shape of the pickguard, and how the pickguard intersects the bridge. And the figuring on the wood looks pretty cool too. [8D]

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Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design

Offline billy

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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2012, 10:53:46 AM »
Very nice- how does it sound? (just noticed the link to video- very nice...!)

Funny, because I did something similar about 6 years ago, basic tele shape but sculpted, with basswood, using Ibanez parts, whammy etc. A friend had a broken off headstock RG so I picked it up cheap to use for parts. 

Mine wasn't as parkeresque, and done in about two days during some downtime one Summer before I had kids, and still had wood working tools including the equipment to spray catalyzed urethane.   ;D

Will try to find pics, as further validation of your efforts, but not that it's needed, the excellent results speak for themselves.  Sold it to a friend just before the second to last move, sort of wish I hadn't...

Great work!

Billy

[always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 07:35:55 PM by billy »
Billy

[always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]

Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design

Offline mojotron

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Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 12:46:35 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by Bill

Wow. Awesome. Congratulations on a beautiful new baby.

A few Flys in my soup


Thanks Bill!

Funny thing, I forgot that I don't even have an extra gig bag to put it in - it is very much a new baby, I guess the strat's going to have to sit in a stand for now [:)]
 

Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design

Offline sybersitizen

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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2012, 01:10:42 PM »
Great looking, great sounding, and great playing.

quote:
Originally posted by mojotron

BTW - I don't have any intention of selling anything...

You might want to rethink that. The world needs new guitar ideas.

'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard
'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design

Offline mojotron

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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2012, 01:11:56 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Marossy

I like the different take on the shape of the pickguard, and how the pickguard intersects the bridge. And the figuring on the wood looks pretty cool too. [8D]
...


Thanks Paul!

The wood was a pleasant surprise, I just wanted to use that big beam I got when I moved a wall in my house because it was so tightly grained - I knew it would sound great - but the top bookmatched grain looks better than expected. The bottom wood came from a separate piece of wood - I'm glad I found a really straight piece because I was able orient the grain to accentuate the carving - sort of like flames on a 50's chevy [:D]  

The Pickguard shape was an idea that I actually had in mind for a different project, but when I got towards the end of this project it seemed to be a good match for what evolved. Making the pickguard took just as long to figure out, make a template and execute as the neck and body did, the nice thing is that I can use the template to make one in about 15 minutes - so I can reuse that shape on other things in the future.
 

Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design

Offline danjazzny

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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2012, 02:41:57 PM »
Looks and sounds great mojotron. Nice job! What's she weigh in at?  [:)]

'97 Alex Artist 4lbs12oz; '99 Simonized Artist 4lbs13oz; '97  TransRed Artist 4lbs9oz; '98 3-Tone Sunburst Artist (Hardtail)5lbs2oz; '99 Tobacco Sunburst Supreme 5lbs13oz; '09 Custom DragonFly 814 (Hardtail) 4lbs10oz; Line6 Flextone 3 Amp; Line 6 Vetta II Amp

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Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design

Offline Paul Marossy

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Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2012, 03:13:37 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by sybersitizen

Great looking, great sounding, and great playing.

quote:
Originally posted by mojotron

BTW - I don't have any intention of selling anything...

You might want to rethink that. The world needs new guitar ideas.


Yeah. But NOT an ever fancier Strat or Les Paul copy that justifies the huge price tag. True innovation seems to be hard to come by in the guitar world. I think after Leo Fender and Les Paul, Ned Steinberger and Ken Parker were the new innovators. Who's going to top them?! [;)]

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Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design

Offline mojotron

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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2012, 05:03:32 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Marossy

quote:
Originally posted by sybersitizen

Great looking, great sounding, and great playing.

quote:
Originally posted by mojotron

BTW - I don't have any intention of selling anything...

You might want to rethink that. The world needs new guitar ideas.


Yeah. But NOT an ever fancier Strat or Les Paul copy that justifies the huge price tag. True innovation seems to be hard to come by in the guitar world. I think after Leo Fender and Les Paul, Ned Steinberger and Ken Parker were the new innovators. Who's going to top them?! [;)]
...



Right Paul, this work does not look like that much of a departure from a Fender because I used some Fender-ish outlines - part of the (TDPRI) build challenge was that it had to be related to a Telecaster. So it has a shrunken strat lower body bout (but I moved it back 1/2" for much better upper neck access), the rest of the body is telesque; outside of the headstock, the neck ideas came mostly from Parker and Ibanez inspired ideas (22 frets, 2.25" wide heel, AANJ-like neck joint) the truss rod is kind of Warmoth related), Gibson Pickups - so it's much more of an amalgamation of ideas rather than innovation. It's not really a fancy Fender though - it feels more like a NiteFly in a Fender body - the only things that are very different from the NiteFly that I notice playing it are that the bridge I made is sort of a Tele-design and the strap is connected to the body an little further towards the bridge - like a Tele - so it sits a little more forward. It plays just like a NiteFly with a bit more of a Fly back - so it kind of sinks into your body when you are standing and playing.  

I think these are new spins on old guitar ideas, but not really innovative; I'm only focusing on 'tweaks' as what makes a great guitar is how well it's made not really how unique it is - and there are plenty of great guitar ideas out there already.
 

Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design

Offline mojotron

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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2012, 05:20:34 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by sybersitizen

Great looking, great sounding, and great playing.

quote:
Originally posted by mojotron

BTW - I don't have any intention of selling anything...

You might want to rethink that. The world needs new guitar ideas.

'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard



Thanks - but the other thing - besides the point I made to Paul's post - is that there's no money in it. I sort of crashed and burned trying to be the next ZVex when I was into making effects years ago and I found out that if you really love your passion - don't try to make a business out of it if you can afford not to. Making a guitar by hand (well with a router....) can take a lot of time and it actually kind of dangerous - I'd make only about $20/hour if I sold one for $1500-$2000 - not really worth it. However, I would gladly make something at $20/hour if it was a really cool project and was not a copy of something. Some of the best small guitar makers out there are actually making more margin off of repairs and fret-jobs then selling great guitars.

While not in the same ballpark as the really well made guitars, the Korean, Chinese and Japanese companies are actually making pretty good guitars - it's just not cost effective to have stuff custom made. If I don't count the time, tools, cost of the pickups and tuners - that guitar cost me about $50 in materials for fretwire, Aluminum, pickguard plastic and misc pots/jacks...
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 05:40:54 PM by mojotron »
 

Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design

Offline Paul Marossy

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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2012, 05:22:21 PM »
Don't get me wrong mojo, I'm not criticizing what you did. I think you took a clunky 50 year old design and did a good job of modernized it, and it's very cool.

What I am getting at is that most every new guitar company I see pop up is just making fancier and fancier versions of Strats or Les Pauls, or something that is a derivative of those. But they use exotic "tone woods" like some kind of mega-rare mesozoic period tree that justifies a $12,000 price tag. That, to me, is just not innovation. Not even close.

I like Ken Parker and Ned Steinberger because they came from completely different angles as far as guitar design is concerned. And both of them have come up with some true innovations as far as the total design package of an electric guitar is concerned. They thought outside the box, but for different reasons than most others who try to "think outside the box".

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Mojotron's Latest Parker Inspired Guitar Design

Offline mojotron

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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2012, 06:03:58 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Marossy

Don't get me wrong mojo, I'm not criticizing what you did. I think you took a clunky 50 year old design and did a good job of modernized it, and it's very cool.

What I am getting at is that most every new guitar company I see pop up is just making fancier and fancier versions of Strats or Les Pauls, or something that is a derivative of those. But they use exotic "tone woods" like some kind of mega-rare mesozoic period tree that justifies a $12,000 price tag. That, to me, is just not innovation. Not even close.

I like Ken Parker and Ned Steinberger because they came from completely different angles as far as guitar design is concerned. And both of them have come up with some true innovations as far as the total design package of an electric guitar is concerned. They thought outside the box, but for different reasons than most others who try to "think outside the box".

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Nope - I did not take it personally - I know exactly what you're saying. And thanks again.

I totally agree - only Ken Parker and Ned Steinberger (that I know have) have really gone there on the last 50 years.

Kind of sad really. I'm hoping some real innovation comes my way, but at the end of the day, I know I really don't have that much passion to do the right thing with it. That's the extraordinary thing to me is these guys that have these cool ideas and take them somewhere, even if it costs them everything in the process.

But you know what I think is the coolest thing about what KP did - design wise. And, it has little to do with the materials he used. It was that he came up with these ideas that actually unlocked the potential of the guitar - the materials that he used were just an implementation detail. Also stuff like the Fly's neck joint is not all that interesting - but to make that joint super thin it seems like KP did that to get the maximum surface area out of the glue joint - covering it with CF helped to hold it in place - similar thing with the Fly truss rod. Paul - I know you're a big fan of the original fretboards and frets - but I thought KP was just showing off there - I like stuff like that, but for me the shape/style and mechanical stuff on KP's work blows me away.

For a while now I've had the NF neck joint and Steinberger bridge as inspired design elements to work on. For now, I need to do some more serious playing, it may be time for me to start playing at church :)