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 Post subject: starting my first build!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:47 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:42 am
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First name: micah
Last Name: medlong
City: parma
State: ohio
Zip/Postal Code: 44129
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hello, everyone! new guy here and had some questions. I'm starting my first guitar I'm going to try and build a dreadnought made of zebrawood and sitka spruce top. I was just wonder what are something I should look at for, tips on what I should do what are some good tools. I plan on buying a cutaway side bender from bluesgreek guitar and a go bar deck. all ready have my form.
I have already found out its imposable to plane zebrawood. whats the best way to thickness it if I can't get ahold of a drum sander?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:03 am 
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First name: Tom
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Country: Canada
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Micah: Plan the steps you are going to take during construction. Think of the consequences of every action in relation to future events. For thinning the sides and back use card scrapers and large sanding blocks made from 1/2 sheets of abrasive. Hard work but accurate if you do it in steps and have a dial indicator to measure the work.
Tom

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:05 pm 
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First name: micah
Last Name: medlong
City: parma
State: ohio
Zip/Postal Code: 44129
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
thanks alot! what grit should I start with? right now im using 80. should I go 60 for a little bit then go finer?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:27 pm 
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Location: Ellicott City, Md - USA
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You can probably get to a thinner size before you start sanding with a Wagner - http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Planes/Wagner_Safe-T-Planer.html

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:23 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:42 am
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First name: micah
Last Name: medlong
City: parma
State: ohio
Zip/Postal Code: 44129
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
That's not a bad idea. my buddy has one and has been wanting to try it out. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:03 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
micahmed wrote:
Hello, everyone! new guy here and had some questions. I'm starting my first guitar I'm going to try and build a dreadnought made of zebrawood and sitka spruce top. I was just wonder what are something I should look at for, tips on what I should do what are some good tools. I plan on buying a cutaway side bender from bluesgreek guitar and a go bar deck. all ready have my form.
I have already found out its imposable to plane zebrawood. whats the best way to thickness it if I can't get ahold of a drum sander?


Micah, the easiest way to thickness your plates is to take them to a cabinet shop, vocational school shop class, or wood supply house and have them run them thru their sander. I regularlay take my plates to a local wood shop and stand there with my calipers while the sand them for me - usually about 5 bucks and well worth it. If you don't already have the wood, you can specify the thickness when you buy it (from any of the wood supplies that support the forum).

Also, consider having the sides bent on your first one or at least practice a lot on scrap wood. Sinking five hundred bucks into a Fox style bender is a pretty big commitment for your first guitar (I just bought one for builds #8 and 9). Bending a cutaway adds one more potential problem, as does using an "unusual" and probably expensive wood like zebrawood (I have no idea how it bends but highly figured woods are often more difficult). I attended a seminar by Fox at the last GAL conference and he broke a mahogany side bending a cut (he shrugged and said "that happens") - if the master can do it there is a good change you will too. If you already have the wood, consider having John bend the sides.

Since you are posting this in the kit subforum I'll say that I think the big advantage of a kit is that the functions that are easy to screw up or require expensive tooling are done (thicknessing, bending, shaping the neck, mitering the fretboard) - what you end up doing are the fun parts. I built a few, they turned out good, now I'm gradually adding the hard parts (and tools) with each new one. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:12 am 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:42 am
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First name: micah
Last Name: medlong
City: parma
State: ohio
Zip/Postal Code: 44129
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hey, thanks for the info. I did find a place to thinkness the stuff so I'm going to that route. I'm just going to get everthing ready like the top and the back and do it all at once.
I was going to buy the bender because i have then money and I want to build two at the same time. I have a freelance job that's paying for the hobby so why not get it. Unless you can think of another good high dollar to that I should get.
Zebrawood isnt that bad. I only paid $80 shipped from eBay for it. I plan on buying the bender from John so I'll for sure pick his brain alot before I do it.
I didn't get a kit so I probably posted this in the wrong spot so will get a chance to do all the hard stuff. I won't lie I'm kind of afraid to do the neck. I'm still up in the air if I'm going go buy a pre-carved or not. It's a heck of alot cheap to by a plank then a premade one.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:00 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 899
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
micahmed wrote:
Hey, thanks for the info. I did find a place to thinkness the stuff so I'm going to that route. I'm just going to get everthing ready like the top and the back and do it all at once.
I was going to buy the bender because i have then money and I want to build two at the same time. I have a freelance job that's paying for the hobby so why not get it. Unless you can think of another good high dollar to that I should get.
Zebrawood isnt that bad. I only paid $80 shipped from eBay for it. I plan on buying the bender from John so I'll for sure pick his brain alot before I do it.
I didn't get a kit so I probably posted this in the wrong spot so will get a chance to do all the hard stuff. I won't lie I'm kind of afraid to do the neck. I'm still up in the air if I'm going go buy a pre-carved or not. It's a heck of alot cheap to by a plank then a premade one.


Well, in my humble, some of the hardest parts are the very things that you were talking about - I know people thickness plates by hand but I sure wouldn't consider it. And I bent several pieces of practice wood before committing my precious figured koa to the bender (and wouldn't have considered a cutaway). I carved the neck on a long scale twelve string - hated it, stripped the finish off and shaved it down some more. It is tolerable, but I've pretty much gone back to buying preshaped necks (last one was from http://www.hanalei-moon.com/) To carve a neck you need a good bandsaw, a table saw is useful but not necessary, and a spoke shave, chisels and rasps. I did a slot head on mine which required making some router jigs as well as a drilling jig for the tuners.

I looked at what LMI says about zebrawood - sounds like it works about like EIR so it should bend without too much trouble. John is a great resource - I bought my bender from him and one of my kits. Good luck with this - post pictures when its done.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:49 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 433
First name: micah
Last Name: medlong
City: parma
State: ohio
Zip/Postal Code: 44129
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hey, thanks for all the great advice so far man! I love how friendly everyone is on here and willing to help.
Yeah, I have or have access to all the tools I need for shaping the neck. That planks are cheap so I may just give it a shot and see what happens


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 10:31 am 
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 11:43 am
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First name: Aaron
Last Name: Craig
City: Kansas City
State: Missouri
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
I think it is a good thing to take a go at carving the neck. Yes, it can be difficult, but it can also be one of the most rewarding aspects of the build. Too many seem to be so intimidated by the thought of the task they repeatedly buy pre-carved necks. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but IMHO it is a task a luthier should become competent doing, and, like so many other things in life, the sooner you learn, the better. Plus, prefabbed necks are pricey, and you can easily buy enough neck wood to carve two necks, screw one up, and still know you saved some money and gained new skills by making your own.

Regarding the bender, John's bender looks great and John is a great guy. I would not hesitate to buy his bender. However, I would suggest considering making a bending iron and practicing bending on that. Even using the bending machine, you will likely need to retouch sides to maintain the correct shape, and a hot pipe is perfect for this. Also useful for bindings and backstraps.

Good luck and have fun.

Aaron

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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:10 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:42 am
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First name: micah
Last Name: medlong
City: parma
State: ohio
Zip/Postal Code: 44129
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
thanks for the info. I got a plank and I'm going to try and carve the neck myself. after getting some tips from some people on here I'm not as afraid to try and do it. I got my bender from john friday and I'm going to try it out tomorrow night. hope it goes well.


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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 7:39 am 
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Location: Houston, TX
First name: Chuck
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Hey Micah,
Those benders are NICE huh? Well..........how'd it go with your first bend on the bender....speaking of benders, I still have a headache from last weekend.
gaah


Post sum pics,
Hutch

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 1:24 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:42 am
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First name: micah
Last Name: medlong
City: parma
State: ohio
Zip/Postal Code: 44129
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
the bender works great!! I have to come up with a better way to lay everything but I"m getting it. I have all ready scrap some pieces but oh well they were for practice. by they way thanks for the planks and the binding they are great!
oh I want to post photos but not sure how to


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