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Author Topic: so, here goes... my own build  (Read 5356 times)

Offline 4mula97

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so, here goes... my own build
« on: May 18, 2009, 07:02:20 PM »
of course based on the gretch billy bo.  so far i have the body rough cut from oak.

i also have some parts that used to be on an old harmony electric, like the bridge and the "ash tray" tailpeice.  i am going to start with that to mock up the layout.

my next step is to get the body down to the thickness and then chamber the heck out of it (since it is heavy).  that will lead me to the next question, when i buy the cap wood for it what tone wood do any of you think will compliment the oak?  im hoping to end up with a full thick sound combined with alot of resonance.  any ideas to aid me?

of course ill get pics up soon for those of you that are interested.

A Fly on the wall

sean_bornemann@yahoo.com
 

so, here goes... my own build

Offline mountaindewaddict

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so, here goes... my own build
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2009, 11:01:04 AM »
Since it works with acoustics, if you want full, thick sound (warm?), I'd consider using cedar.  Problem is, it's soft... but it's really light.  A cedar top would add almost no weight.

Casey

Gear:
Parker Fly Deluxe (in Ruby Red), Digitech GNX4, other stuff...
"Remember, if at first you don't succeed, you're doing it wrong."
God Bless!
Casey

Gear: Parker Fly Deluxe, Parker PDF60, Way Huge, Digitech / Hardwire, Line 6, Source Audio,T-Rex, and TC Electronic Pedals, Egnater amps, other stuff... God Bless!

so, here goes... my own build

Offline 4mula97

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so, here goes... my own build
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2009, 10:55:25 PM »
ok, im almost done with the body.  my next steps are chambering, planing to thickness, and choosing a top wood.  first i have a couple of changes, i got a tapieze tailpiece, and i got my four pots, and three way toggle.  still need to order the jack, but im not sure how i want to do it.  i will figure that out later.

so i have two problems,

1) when i chamber the body, do you guys think i should leave the wood under and around the bridge and pups as much as possible or should i chamber the entire body?  im leaning towards the entire body.
2) i have a few top wood choices, poplar, oak, laminated birch, pine, maybe cedar


A Fly on the wall

sean_bornemann@yahoo.com
 

so, here goes... my own build

Offline Lwinn171

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so, here goes... my own build
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2009, 12:02:36 AM »
With a trapeze tailpiece, you can go either way with the chambering. Personally, I'd leave something under the bridge, but it's a matter of taste.  

There are many woods I would choose over any you listed, as far as the top goes. No need to buy anything really fancy or expensive. But you could get curly maple at a reasonable price. The trick is to buy your wood from a local hardwood dealer, not from Luthier's Merchantile, or Stew-Mac. I drive nearly an hour to my guys here in NC, and it is well worth the trip.

You got to get out there and look. You'd be shocked at the pretty guitar woods that can be had fairly cheaply in small amounts. I would never use oak or pine for a guitar top. Tonal reasons and appearance-wise, you can do a lot better. Also, a laminated top has it's virtues (stability) and it's downfalls (tonally, and that ugly layered edge). I say use solid wood, and choose something cool and that works and finishes fairly easily.

Speaking frankly, and with all due respect for what you've already done, I'd get a better tone wood for the body. If oak were a good guitar wood, they'd use the heck out of it for guitars. There's a reason they don't. [;)]

Best wishes as you proceed.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2009, 12:12:44 AM by Lwinn171 »

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys

so, here goes... my own build

Offline 4mula97

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so, here goes... my own build
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2009, 12:38:22 AM »
well, i didnt want to use oak, but i had a piece in the pile, and it was free.  so i thought....might as well and see what happens.

as far as the visual apperance of the top wood, it is going to be painted and im planning on doing some binding as well, so if i decide to use a laminated top i dant have to worry so much about the edges.

i also went with 250k pots that were recomended due to the "darker" tone produced as apposed to 500k pots.  i would like this guitar to have a "dark" tone with heavy resonance.  the pups and the bridge will be attached to the same piece of wood (vice spliting them on a seam) and the edges of the body will have an acute angle to (hopefully) carry the string tension from the tail piece (that should create enough sustain).  that way the same piece of wood will cary the string tension, bridge and the pups.

i am also in NC in New Bern, where are you (if you dont mind me asking)?

the choices of tone wood i stated are readily available, and not from a luthier supply.  matter of fact i am a huge fan of convenience, and lowes is the closest store.

once i get this thing together, and learn from all the mistakes ill make, i would like to end up with a 12 string, set neck guitar.  but that will take some time.

A Fly on the wall

sean_bornemann@yahoo.com
 

so, here goes... my own build

Offline Lwinn171

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so, here goes... my own build
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2009, 01:16:15 AM »
Hello fellow North Carolinian! I'm in Durham. I go to a place in Gibsonville NC (between Durham and Greensboro - off I 40) called The Hardwood Store of NC. They generally stock all kinds of good tone woods... mahogany, maple, etc. Also some more exotic stuff like bubinga, cocobolo, pauduke, all kinds of stuff. I've seen so many species there, I can't begin to recall them all. It would be a full day, getting there and back with some wood. But for god's sake, don't make a guitar out of lumber from Lowe's. The results will be an insult to the time and effort you'll put in. Even if you butcher it, a guitar made out of decent wood will sound better than oak from Lowe's ever will. It would be better if you made the trip and got enough wood for a few guitars. Then you'll have some wood to play around with.

http://www.hardwoodstore.com/

« Last Edit: May 23, 2009, 01:20:15 AM by Lwinn171 »

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys

so, here goes... my own build

Offline 4mula97

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so, here goes... my own build
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2009, 01:39:55 AM »
ok, i probably should have been more specific in the topic and included "experiment".  to be brutally honest, i am a firm beliver that there are no "bad" sounding instruments (given they are set up correctly), they only sound different.  

that being said...

in this experiment i have spent about $40.00 so far, the oak that i got for the body used to be a couch ( this is getting embarrasing!) and is actually made from multiple 2X2 pieces glued together.

i of cource respect the opinions of everyone here, and wish to add that this is more of an experiment of "can i do it or not".

if this one comes out ok then the next i build will of cource get some higher end supplies.  

durham is about four hours from me and there isnt a hard wood dealer within a few hours drive.  my only reasonable option is mail order.

i am probably going to get a lot of negative feed back from this (i hope not)

A Fly on the wall

sean_bornemann@yahoo.com
 

so, here goes... my own build

Offline JSanta

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so, here goes... my own build
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2009, 07:57:43 AM »
I don't think there's necessarilly going to be negative feedback, but as Lawrence mentioned, there's a reason things are done the way that they are done.  Brian May built his guitar out of an old oak mantle, and not many people complain about his tone, but then again, it was a solid piece of wood.  I would steer clear of any lamintae because of the body that you're using.  You're going to lose a lot of resonance with that stuff being glued together, and you want to have something that will really make the guitar sing.  If mail order is the only way that you can go for a decent top, it's worth it as far as I'm concerned.


/jim

Miss Wormwood:  What State do you live in?
Calvin: Denial.
Miss Wormwood: I don't suppose I can argue with that...
 

so, here goes... my own build

Offline Marco76

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so, here goes... my own build
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2009, 10:46:21 AM »
We may be witnessing the emergence of a new luthier!

I wish you great success, but I think that you are wise to not sink a lot of funds into the early prototypes. You're going to learn a heck of a lot from them, even if they turn out to be unsalvageable missteps - which is all too likely, if the history of R&D is an indication. My guess is that your future commitment to improving your idea will turn more on how much satisfaction you get out of building these first attempts than whether a good instrument is created.

One efficient way to avoid needlessly "reinventing the wheel" is to educate yourself diligently on the experiences of other luthiers.
Marco

so, here goes... my own build

Offline Lwinn171

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so, here goes... my own build
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2009, 11:36:56 AM »
I'm all for you experimenting, and doing it on the cheap. If the goal is to have fun and learn something, you'll get that from your approach. Saving your cash for later projects makes sense, in some ways at least. You'll know better what to do with more expensive materials on your future attempts, etc...

But the thing that sticks in my head is my Dad saying, "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right". So anyway, no judgment here. But we seem to have differing approaches. And that's okay.

BTW Brian May's oak guitar was English Oak, and a 600 years old piece of it at that. Practically petrified wood. I can't be certain how different that is from red or white Oak, but it is a different species.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2009, 11:39:17 AM by Lwinn171 »

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys

so, here goes... my own build

Offline mountaindewaddict

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so, here goes... my own build
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2009, 11:44:36 AM »
As long as you're experimenting, use the cheapest piece of crap wood you can find.  Learn the techniques on something cheap, then buy some good stuff and make one you want to keep.

Casey

Gear:
Parker Fly Deluxe (in Ruby Red), Digitech GNX4, other stuff...
"Remember, if at first you don't succeed, you're doing it wrong."
God Bless!
Casey

Gear: Parker Fly Deluxe, Parker PDF60, Way Huge, Digitech / Hardwire, Line 6, Source Audio,T-Rex, and TC Electronic Pedals, Egnater amps, other stuff... God Bless!

so, here goes... my own build

Offline 4mula97

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so, here goes... my own build
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2009, 12:36:32 PM »
yeah well this experiment has taught me something already, working with "old" white oak is like working with concrete.

but it has been fun so far....

thanks for the feedback from all.

A Fly on the wall

sean_bornemann@yahoo.com
 

so, here goes... my own build

Offline Marco76

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so, here goes... my own build
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2009, 12:53:37 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by mountaindewaddict

As long as you're experimenting, use the cheapest piece of crap wood you can find.  Learn the techniques on something cheap, then buy some good stuff and make one you want to keep.


See? Now why can't I talk like that?
Marco

so, here goes... my own build

Offline 4mula97

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so, here goes... my own build
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2009, 01:27:12 PM »
well, he's right, it was/is a piece of crap wood.  having been a wood worker mos of my life, i would not use this piece in any item i was building for any one else.

but this whole project started with me saying "hmmm, i wonder if i can do that?"  if i can get the basics right, i might build another later, we'll see.

A Fly on the wall

sean_bornemann@yahoo.com
 

so, here goes... my own build

Offline Lwinn171

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so, here goes... my own build
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2009, 01:38:55 PM »
Oak is hard wood to work, as you are discovering. That's why it's such a common floor wood. It wears like iron compared to most other species. Anyway, you'll certainly learn some things on this one. In fact, the learning never stops. I've made 80 or so custom furniture pieces, from very simple to very complex, and I'm still learning and creating all the time. You are at a starting point, and you can take it as far as you want. I'll warn you, though... Tools are not cheap, and they can be every bit as addictive as guitars. But with them, you can learn to make anything your brain can conceive.

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys