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 Post subject: Contrasting Arm Rest
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:07 am 
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Koa
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
I'm currently building a macassar ebony/red cedar classical guitar. The rosette has some violet colour so I've made up some black and violet purfling to match. For the binding I've got some dark rosewood bent and ready to go. As the subject line suggests, I intend to do an arm rest - nothing too big, just enough to reduce the big dent I get in my arm if I play my guitar or any length of time.

In the past I've always done an arm rest in the same wood as my binding but on this guitar I am toying with the idea of using the same violet veneer as I used in making up the purfling. However I have a couple of concerns so I am looking for opinions.

First off, I can't decide if it will look good or bad to have the arm rest a different wood than the binding. Has anyone done that and were you happy with the result? An example picture would be great if someone could post one.

The second concern is a challenge in execution. I have found that in making an arm rest getting a perfectly uniform binding width (below the arm rest) and junction line between the arm rest and binding to be difficult. In fact, I've come close, but have really managed it yet. To do so would take perfect carving/sanding of the bevel. No big deal so far because since the woods have been the same, I'm probably the only one that has noticed. However if I have violet going up against the dark rosewood I think anything less than perfect will stick out like a sore thumb. So my question is has anyone managed this and, if so, do you have any tips on how you got your bevel perfect enough that the binding and binding/arm rest interface line came out well?

Thanks,
Pat

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 Post subject: Re: Contrasting Arm Rest
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 3:20 am
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Location: Powell River BC Canada
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I can't comment on your first question but I have done a few in lighter coloured woods (Maple, Yew) where there was no room for error. Take the time to make sure your glueing surface is flat and well transitioned and all should be well. I use Titebond and tape the crap out of it. I will likely never use the iron on method I've seen.

You could always lay up some layers of purple veneer and make bindings to match. It would likely be a one off and you would be able to say you were the first! ;) :lol:



These users thanked the author DannyV for the post: Pat Hawley (Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:54 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Contrasting Arm Rest
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:59 pm 
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First name: Trevor
Last Name: Gore
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Pat, it sounds like you're talking more about a bevel than what I usually call a rest. I make the distinction because, especially with classical guitars, it helps the sound greatly if you can keep your forearm away from the top. A rest does that, whereas a bevel tends to make the problem worse (depending on who is actually holding the guitar). Anyway, you may want to consider a (removable) arm rest, held on by e.g. magnets. I usually use the same wood for the arm rest as the B & S, but occasionally just stain the armrest black. Because it's a separate part, the colour integration isn't quite as critical. This one is rosewood, like the B & S.


Image


Image

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 Post subject: Re: Contrasting Arm Rest
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:35 pm 
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Koa
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Nice looking arm rest Trevor. Yes, what I am talking about is a bevel, not what you call an arm rest. I am sure that your arm rest is a better solution in terms of maintaining the sound coming from the guitar. Doing a bevel on a classical is a bit of an experiment I want to try regardless and the box is already completed with the extra material put in to allow for that. I'm also doing a bevel along the bottom edge where the guitar hits my right leg while I am playing. That's another spot where I end up with a dent after playing a while. It will be interesting to hear how it sounds. At least it will be comfortable to hold (I hope).

Pat

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 Post subject: Re: Contrasting Arm Rest
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:37 pm 
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I'd say if you are going to make the guitar in a bold, contrasty fashion, like bright purfling, unusual binding, bold headplate, then a contrasting bevel will be right at home. If the bevel is the only bright feature then maybe not so much, my $.02.

Kind of off topic but..
I've suspected that a bevel will mute the top to some degree, now confirmed by Mr Gore, probably more so the smaller the top is. Assuming that is the case, does anyone have a feel for how a nomax style double top would fare in that situation?

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These users thanked the author Joe Beaver for the post: Pat Hawley (Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:14 pm)
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