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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:40 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:55 pm
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Location: Dallas, Texas
Hello All,

I just declared my latest project DEAD!!!. I started building a square neck dobro and midstream changed it to a round neck. Seems simple but it's not. This project has bit me in the butt from the start but my persistence and wanting to do it right kept me going. I won't go into the details of the problems as they have been simple but many, most, I suppose, because of lack of concentration on my part.

As of today I gave in to the gremlins and removed the neck and top, salvaged the fretboard, back and sides. They will sit and wait for a new project.

So at what point have you or do you call a project DEAD or beyond hope?

Thanks for a great forum and your help!
Sincerely,
Mike

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:48 pm 
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Mike Kroening wrote:
So at what point have you or do you call a project DEAD or beyond hope?


Never!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:58 pm 
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Koa
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I've learned, the hard way, that the opposite of what Lex thinks is best.

Give up before the time to re-do comes close to the time to just toss and do anew. Just toss the problem piece(s)/part(s), and start new. Thank me later.....


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:09 am 
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Cocobolo
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First name: Cal
Last Name: Maier
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Gee Mike,

Sorry to hear about this [uncle]
I can't speak for anyone else but in my limited experience as a builder and my extensive experience as a repairer(is that a word?) laughing6-hehe I have found myself having to go into repair mode a bit more than I would like to. Now I'm sure that the more experience I gain building, the less I will have to repair my building mistakes duh , at least I sure hope so.
You have to think that building a guitar or just about any type of musical instrument is a huge undertaking and to think that you will get through it without running into some snags here and there [headinwall] is going to be rare at best.
From what I've seen, and read, this forum is probably one of the premier guitar building site on the world wide web, and I sure that the accumulated years of experience of the very experienced members could run well into the hundreds and maybe thousands, but I very much doubt that you will find anyone here that hasn't made a mistake or three that they had to fix before going on.

I truly would like to think that you will carry on with your build after you've had some time to think about how good it will feel to be able to play an instrument that you have built or just to sit back and say "I built that guitar". [clap] [clap] [clap] [clap]

Good luck,
Cal

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:10 am 
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Koa
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Location: Madison, WI
Mike Kroening wrote:
...As of today I gave in to the gremlins and removed the neck and top, salvaged the fretboard, back and sides. They will sit and wait for a new project.

So at what point have you or do you call a project DEAD or beyond hope?....



It sounds like you just did.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:14 am 
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grumpy wrote:
Give up before the time to re-do comes close to the time to just toss and do anew. Just toss the problem piece(s)/part(s), and start new. Thank me later.....


For you professionals, maybe. Otherwise, persevere! Thank me later...


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:46 am 
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Koa
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Otherwise, persevere!

Why? So you can look back at a pile of mistakes and think of the 100's of hours that were invested in the ruin? Moving -past- a mistake or problem never seems easy, but in the end, it proves to be both easier and wiser.

Don't dwell on mistakes or problems, as they will only grow. Kick 'em while they're down!

Bad habits breed bad habits. So do problems and mistakes.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:53 am 
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Cocobolo
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Cal Maier wrote:
Gee Mike,

>snip<

I truly would like to think that you will carry on with your build after you've had some time to think about how good it will feel to be able to play an instrument that you have built or just to sit back and say "I built that guitar". [clap] [clap] [clap] [clap]

Good luck,
Cal
Thanks Cal,
and it is not my first build so calling this one dead was not a real problem. I should have done it sooner. Now Like I said, I did salvage the back and sides as well as the fretboard so It will become something at some point in time, just now what it started as.
j.Brown wrote:
>snip<

It sounds like you just did.
Yes J, I did say enough!! :)

lex_luthier wrote:
>snip< persevere! Thank me later...
Thanks for the encouragement Lex.

And thanks Grumpy!!
MK

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:14 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Hang in Mike buddy. Although it may not feel like it right now I'm betting that you are way ahead of when you started building. If you wait a while and when you feel up to it sit down and make a list of all that you learned and review this list your knowledge base, you will see, has grown a great deal. This is the process that happens to us all, like it or not, in spite of ourselves, we learn.

If this fails do what I do - blame everyone else....... :D

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:33 am 
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grumpy wrote:
Otherwise, persevere!

Why? So you can look back at a pile of mistakes and think of the 100's of hours that were invested in the ruin? Moving -past- a mistake or problem never seems easy, but in the end, it proves to be both easier and wiser.


I think that pretty much any mistake is fixable. I think I've gained a lot of insight, perspective, and skill by fixing my own mistakes, not to mention the confidence to go off the beaten path to explore my own creativity. I know that should I screw up, no matter how bad, all is not lost. For the professional, cost/benefit analysis for the individual project will drive these decisions and certainly a lot of the time a mistake is best fixed by starting over, but for the amateur/student I think there's a lot of value in persevering and fixing what at first might seem to be unfixable.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:02 am 
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Koa
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Lex, we all make small mistakes and fix them as we go; it's part of the routine. But we're not talking of fixing a little thing here; sounds like the whole of it is messed up, and is just sinking the entire ship. Time to bail <g>


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:25 am 
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I like to keep the screwed up pieces around to remind me not to do "that" again.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:38 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 9:36 am
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Location: United States
First name: Wayne
Last Name: Clark
City: Driftwood
State: TX
Focus: Build
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Mike Kroening wrote:
As of today I gave in to the gremlins and removed the neck and top, salvaged the fretboard, back and sides. They will sit and wait for a new project.


It sounds like your next project is half done already ;)

I have noticed I make my worst mistakes when I try to change directions in mid-project. Decide up front what you want to build, then stick to the plan. Take notes on all the cool ideas that come up while you are building. You can put them to use on the next one.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:48 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Location: Dallas, Texas
Again I want to thank all of those that have responded so far.

Yes, I have added the things not to do to my list. Yes I have learned from this. Yes, I already have new ideas for the remains. :)

I removed the truss rod today and salvaged that as well. I also cut the neck in half from stem to stern. This is valuable info for me as I use the martin style truss rods and now I know exactly how much wood I have left on the neck by examining this. I have stayed to a certain feel and thickness but at times wanted to go a little thinner on certain projects. Now I know what my limits are from the neck which now will become a reference part. :) Good things do come out of bad.

Again many thanks to all of you,
Sincerely,
Mike

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:49 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Toss it and move on. I've got my second, overly ambitious guitar project sitting in quasi-finished state; big huge fine inlay (ugly, clumsy, poorly design, poorly cut, reasonably inlaid), completely screwed up bindings, top (carved top semi hollow) too thin in places, overall too large an instrument, neck a baseball bat, and several other screwups along the way....I keep it to remind me to challenge myself, but know my limits, and know where to stop. Pity about the nice maple top and back, but there's nothing to be salvaged there, really. Still have the set of gold humbuckers and gold/ebony button shaller tuning machines sitting in the box, waiting for the right project.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:57 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Last Name: Faust
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I call it when I dont feel comfortable with putting my name on it.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:22 pm 
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When it's somewhere between Little Rock and Texarkana, depending on which way you're going.

Here's a tip: don't tell non-luthier friends about your mistakes, especially major ones. They get fascinated by them and keep bringing them up, long after you would like them to be forgotten, and sometimes to your embarassment. Or at least that's what I've heard.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 3:04 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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First name: Jim
Last Name: Kirby
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The back and forth on this thread spoke so much to what I do for a living that (despite putting off responding for days) I felt compelled ...

As a trained professional, you learn quickly that the path of greatest reward is the one where progress can be made quickly, not the one where you are doing this:

[headinwall] [headinwall] [headinwall] [headinwall] [headinwall] [headinwall]

(to paraphrase Enrico Fermi - Never work on a problem until you know the answer.)

And yet, as a teacher of people who are headed to be those professionals, you need to emphasize that the development of chops is really important, and that that doesn't come if you give up easily on hard problems. Further, someone without the chops developed can't tell which are the problems that need to be surmounted, and which are the ones that are simply impossible.

So, it's a very two-sided issue. For a pro, it isn't necessary to ask when a problem is just a dead end. For a student, the dead ends can be situations where the advise is to keep going - you aren't going to make it to being a pro otherwise.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:26 pm 
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Im putting my first guitar to the side, until I have more time, and going for the second one.Bracing into the top and sides was messed up, and filling it in is a pain, among other dozen things. Not chucking it, I want to hear how perfect my first build was one day.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:46 pm 
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Koa
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Location: Jacksonville Florida
First name: Chris
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State: Florida
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Status: Amateur
giving up....Hmmmmmmm.........

I'm on my first build...and am cursed with the following:

A personality that really likes things to be perfect...and a forgetful mind. Bad combination

Since this is my first build...let's count:
1.) I am doing my third top and rosette
2.) I am on my second set of sides because I was a 1/2 inch shallow on the 1st set of sides
3.) I am on the second neck...and have already thought of something I want to change
4.) I am on the second set of neck and tail blocks
5.) Second wedge
6.) I had to make 2 molds to get it right
7.) 4 rosettes....don't ask

So where does this leave me?....Persistent?....I suppose

I have been woodworking for most of my adult life and have always wished my skill level would catch up to my demands.
gaah

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:42 am 
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sniggly wrote:
giving up....Hmmmmmmm.........

I'm on my first build...and am cursed with the following:

A personality that really likes things to be perfect...and a forgetful mind. Bad combination

Since this is my first build...let's count:
1.) I am doing my third top and rosette
2.) I am on my second set of sides because I was a 1/2 inch shallow on the 1st set of sides
3.) I am on the second neck...and have already thought of something I want to change
4.) I am on the second set of neck and tail blocks
5.) Second wedge
6.) I had to make 2 molds to get it right
7.) 4 rosettes....don't ask

So where does this leave me?....Persistent?....I suppose

I have been woodworking for most of my adult life and have always wished my skill level would catch up to my demands.
gaah


Sounds more like you are on your second or third guitar. All occupying the same space. :)

That being said, I couldn't do any better. Hang in there and perservere. As was stated above on onother reply... put it aside and do another and then come back to the first, if you want to.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:50 am 
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Cocobolo
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Location: Dallas, Texas
It is interesting the different ways we all choose to set our standards. Many of you have stated opposing thoughts and all are very much appreciated.

I know from my experience in cabinet making and other woodworking as well as electric guitar building that problems do come up, these are usually minor and fixable. This project seemed to have it's fair share of those and most were doable and fixable with minor work. My mistake came from the square neck to roundneck change in midstream.

This really doesn't sound like much of a change but it is. Intonation was the main problem. after changes and adjustments there was no real way to get a consistent intonation bass to treble. In part the bridge is not compensated and has little room for string slot to bridge face adjustment as well. String height was another matter and I had to add neck angle to minimize the problems that caused as well. By dropping the nut height this also brought on the problem of head angle. As it was originally made to use a much taller nut therefore problems arose from that as well ( yes I could have made another neck to fix that). Even if I had made a new neck I beleive that I still would have had intonation problems as I had spent many hours trying to remedy that problem. That is when I decided to call it dead.

So, now I'm sure I'll hear the well I would've and I should've, Well I did what I know to do based on my experience with electrics and have moved forward .
Thanks for your listening to my rambling and also your support and thoughts on this,
Sincerely,
MIke

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