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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:44 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
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Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
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Hey new guys thinking about building a guitar.

We know you are out there lurking and reading. Come on in!

Now is the time to get going.
Look at your plans and decide what to build.
Order your kit/wood.
Figure out where you will work.
Look over your tools and will you need anything?

Get ready for heating season to dry out your work area.
Your prime building season is starting soon and will run through winter's heating season.

And.. Come on in and ask us your questions... All of us started from the same place you are at. Everybody has to start by building your first.



These users thanked the author truckjohn for the post (total 4): Hesh (Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:56 am) • Braedyn (Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:08 pm) • George L (Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:53 am) • bcombs510 (Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:47 pm)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:54 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:03 pm
Posts: 150
First name: Neil
Last Name: Kwak
State: PA
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
My goal is to finish my second build in the next couple of months. I’m nearly ready to close the box.

On the back burner are several repairs...

First, I wanted to re top my old college beater. Second, I have an old Epiphone 12 string that has a bad neck angle due to a loose neck block. Lastly, I have plans to build a Martin 00 after I complete #2. This one will be closer to being a kit though.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:58 am 
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First name: George
City: Seattle
State: WA
Country: USA
Focus: Build
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Great thread, John. It's always good to see what members are up to, even those just starting out.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:54 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
Posts: 1927
Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Neil,

Sounds like you are having a ton of fun with this whole guitar building hobby.

I got into it retopping a beater that I couldn't get the local guitar repair guys to work on.. Something about bottomless pits and $1,300 worth of work to turn a wreck into a $45 guitar.. Whats the problem? ;). The rest is history...


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:24 am 
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Mahogany
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Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:22 pm
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First name: Phil
Last Name: Joe
State: Nova Scotia
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I completed my last guitar about 2 years ago and planning on getting back to the hobby this fall. Been stocking up on tools I wanted to buy and have all my materials in order to build a couple 000 12 frets off the Stewmac plans, 1 mahogany and 1 rosewood. Can't wait to get started!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:03 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
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Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I know the feeling... I had an almost 6 year gap between completed guitars.. My kids are now 6... I will let you do the math there...

But getting back into building last year was fantastic!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:54 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:43 am
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I've been in only a year....... kicking around the "I love doing this, but can I afford to get serious about it" question as it pertains to both time and financial investment.


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These users thanked the author SnowManSnow for the post: Bri (Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:21 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:36 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
Posts: 1927
Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
That really is a good observation. I think its worth considering... There's "hobby builder" and then there is "professional/day job".... If you already have a day job - you don't need to tool up like Taylor or Martin.....

Since its a hobby... Do it on your terms... Don't let it rule you or demand how you are going to spend your time or money.... Let it be your fun and relaxation at the end of the day... Its Ok to buy a little here and there if you want to... Its perfectly OK to "Make do" with something till you prove the actual need...

On the expense of components.... Figure out ways to have fun on the cheap... Steal necks and fretboards off junkers.. Use A grade wood instead of AAAA/master... An A grade top runs ~$10.. An AAAA top can run $200+.... Buy stuff out of the classifieds here to save some cash.. Etc...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:37 pm 
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Mahogany
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Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:01 pm
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City: Medford
State: Oregon
I built the first guitar body about 4 years ago after ruining the first one, made the first neck and didn't notice the plans called for it to be thicker on the end near the guitar so now I get to start a new neck. Maybe I need to work on it again after a couple of night stands.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:00 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
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" made the first neck and didn't notice the plans called for it to be thicker on the end near the guitar so now I get to start a new neck."

How thick is the neck you made?
Some makers make necks that are close to the same thickness the whole way through. Possibly you could taper the neck a little and make up the difference with a thicker fingerboard.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:26 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 10:35 am
Posts: 106
Location: Hopkinton, MA
First name: Robert
Last Name: Ionta
City: Hopkinton
State: Massachusetts
Zip/Postal Code: 01748
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Today I took the plunge into my first experience with hot hide glue. I glued the bridge on my Serial #1.

It’s a plain-Jane, mahogany/Sitka OM built to the OLF plans. The only part I think I really botched up so far is the binding & purfling. I need a lot more practice on that. I think I managed to patch it up well enough that I won’t have to hide it in a closet but it’s not great. But ... I haven’t had strings on it yet so who knows what still may happen. [FLUSHED FACE]

I used a bridge clamping caul that was shown to me by my guitar teacher who is also a builder. His was mahogany but mine is cheap 1/4” plywood. Doesn’t seem to have affected it’s function. It’s very simple and seems to have worked great. The PW has a bit of flex and there are pads glued to the corners of the caul to press the wings down when you crank down the wing it’s until glue squeezes out from the center. I stuck a little wedge under the caul at the back where the bridge is thinner. I think my teacher’s caul was shaped to contact the whole bridge better. That caul and the one inside are covered with plastic packing tape to prevent sticking. A little wax on the screw threads. Used a heat gun to warm the bridge and a light bulb on the guitar top. Followed Hesh’s great advice to lightly scrape a fresh surface before gluing. (That guy - and you all here - have a lot of good advice for we newbies. Many thanks!)

Attachment:
IMG_1465.JPG


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IMG_1466.JPG


Attachment:
IMG_1467.JPG


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IMG_1468.JPG



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"We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Louis Dembitz Brandeis, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:47 pm
Posts: 995
First name: Jay
Last Name: De Rocher
City: Bothell
State: Washington
Zip/Postal Code: 98021
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I like the color of the top. Very warm. Is that the natural color with clear finish or did you tint the finish? The rosette looks interesting, do you have a photo of it? It'll be good to see it when it's finished.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:57 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 10:35 am
Posts: 106
Location: Hopkinton, MA
First name: Robert
Last Name: Ionta
City: Hopkinton
State: Massachusetts
Zip/Postal Code: 01748
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
That’s a clear finish. The only tint is from a couple coats of garnet shellac (french polish). The top is from a nice guy on this forum - Alan Edie. (Thanks Alan!)

The rosette is not too fancy. Just a ring of elm burl veneer that I’ve had hanging around for a bunch of years. Plus a couple rings of BWB purfling.

Attachment:
IMG_0998.JPG


Thanks very much for the kind words!



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"We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Louis Dembitz Brandeis, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:43 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 2188
"I think my teacher’s caul was shaped to contact the whole bridge better."

One way to make a good fitting caul is to lay a piece of plastic wrap over the bridge, lay on some bondo and press the caul into the bondo in place over the bridge. When the bondo hardens you will have a caul that conforms to the bridge with a wooden backing strong enough to clamp against.
Make sure you don't forget the plastic wrap!



These users thanked the author Clay S. for the post: Braedyn (Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:11 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:33 am 
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First name: Dennis
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State: MO
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Clay S. wrote:
"I think my teacher’s caul was shaped to contact the whole bridge better."

One way to make a good fitting caul is to lay a piece of plastic wrap over the bridge, lay on some bondo and press the caul into the bondo in place over the bridge. When the bondo hardens you will have a caul that conforms to the bridge with a wooden backing strong enough to clamp against.
Make sure you don't forget the plastic wrap!

Thermoplastic pellets also work with this technique, and can be reformed for every bridge if you don't use the same shape every time.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:04 am 
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Cocobolo
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Location: Hopkinton, MA
First name: Robert
Last Name: Ionta
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Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thanks guys. I'll give that a try for the next one. This morning I went out to the shop to remove the clamp and ... gulp ... the inside caul and the 2 bolts are stuck. I can unscrew the bolts slowly so they're not glued in, just kind of tight. But I don't know about the caul. It doesn't want to move. Maybe after I get the bolts out I can rock it a bit and it'll break loose. Gotta go out now for a while but I'll get back to it later this morning. Keeping my fingers crossed.

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"We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Louis Dembitz Brandeis, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:22 am 
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First name: colin
Last Name: north
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bionta wrote:
Thanks guys. I'll give that a try for the next one. This morning I went out to the shop to remove the clamp and ... gulp ... the inside caul and the 2 bolts are stuck. I can unscrew the bolts slowly so they're not glued in, just kind of tight. But I don't know about the caul. It doesn't want to move. Maybe after I get the bolts out I can rock it a bit and it'll break loose. Gotta go out now for a while but I'll get back to it later this morning. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Everywhere the glue gets (Yoda).
Parcel tape is a friend for cauls, glue doesn't seem to stick to it. A light wax on the bolts and the nuts would help.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:01 am 
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First name: Don
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City: Charleston
State: West Virginia
Zip/Postal Code: 25314
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I used to do the bolt through method, too. It works pretty well, but the problem of the glue going down the two holes (particularly with hide glue, which can run faster than Titebond) is something to wrestle with.

I have moved to a different method: No holes that go through the top (yet). Just starter holes in the bridge for each pin, but not all the way through the thickness of the bridge. Three cam clamps are applied: One in the middle of the bridge, and one on each wing. I feel like this applies the pressure where it needs to be applied, and in a variable enough way (three different cams) that adequate wood to wood contact is not an issue.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:35 am 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 10:35 am
Posts: 106
Location: Hopkinton, MA
First name: Robert
Last Name: Ionta
City: Hopkinton
State: Massachusetts
Zip/Postal Code: 01748
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I used the parcel tape and wax on the bolts but I wonder if the glue ran right down inside the holes, creating a bridge (pun intended) between the top wood and the inside caul wood. Maybe next time I'll make a UHMW caul or switch to the clamping method.

_________________
"We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Louis Dembitz Brandeis, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court



These users thanked the author bionta for the post: Colin North (Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:54 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:53 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
Posts: 1927
Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Yikes!

One thing that can work is to fill a ziploc baggie with super hot water and put it on your caul. Let the heat soak into the caul - then gently work a spatula between the caul and bridge plate to pop it off...


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:39 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Location: Hopkinton, MA
First name: Robert
Last Name: Ionta
City: Hopkinton
State: Massachusetts
Zip/Postal Code: 01748
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Turned out to be not bad. Nothing really glued in. Just the bolt holes were too tight and with a little goop in the threads they wouldn’t come out. After about 20 minutes tediously backing the bolts out from the inside the caul just popped out.

I didn’t manage to wipe up all of the squeeze out so I have a little cleanup to do. It looks like a sort of fat fillet around the edges of the bridge. I might just leave it alone because I’m wary of water seeping under the edge.

Now, on to truing the fretboard, fretting, and setup. For this part I feel confident, having taken the class with Hesh and David and practiced on a few beaters.

Oh yeah... I have to route the saddle slot. I made a copy of the Stew Mac jig for that. Another 1st time pucker operation for me.

I can’t wait to get strings on this thing. Kind of late in life I guess I’m learning patience.


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"We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Louis Dembitz Brandeis, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court


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