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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:46 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Well back from vacation and bicycling racing is done till the Fall cyclocross season starts up. Wasn't sure if I could do it but since I accepted the challenge here goes. I've built a few electric guitars from this wood but never an acoustic. There is an old crumbled down 90 year old barn in my back yard made of oak and pine planks. I've been wanting to do a foraging build project for some time now. The plans you see in the back are for a C. Bruno Parlor guitar so I am basing this build off of that. My guess is this was built for gut strings and I want to use steel so I may use an x-brace. I'd like to hear opinions on that. You can sort of make out the bracing pattern in the one photo below.

Lets see if we can find some quarter sawn boards.

Image

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Maybe I can use this hinge some how.
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This one for the back is not perfect but it will do.
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There, looking better now.
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Here is the pine board. Will have to be a 3 piece top. It's a pretty rough piece.
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But it is quarter sawn and that knot will be cut out.
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Not sure how to deal with the nail holes.
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And here is my back and side boards before going to the band saw.
Image


Last edited by jfmckenna on Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:49 am 
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I love old wood and I think oak makes great guitars. I would probably go with an X for a steel string but I'm not exactly the voice of experience. Glad to see you jumping in!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:25 am 
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Good thing you didn't have to adjust the price of those boards for inflation. 80 years old? I'd say the pine piece alone would have put you over budget!!
I can't wait to see it finished. It's gonna be cool with that old wood.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:01 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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This is going to be awesome!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:43 pm 
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Personally I would leave the nail holes , make this a rustic build based on the wood .

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:55 pm 
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WudWerkr wrote:
Personally I would leave the nail holes , make this a rustic build based on the wood .


Book-matched nail holes - that'll work [:Y:]

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:44 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Yup all the nail holes will be left but I did manage to get around most of them.

I ran all the boards through the band saw and the planer and finished them up on the drum sander. Here is the wood so far, all of it free.

Image

The three piece top:

Image

and then under weights to adjust to the shop. I'm probably pushing it a bit but I have to at this point.

Image

Marked out the bracing. I decided to go with an X brace rather then the slanted ladder bracing of the C. Bruno plans. I like how the braces go right over the knots. For the exposed one's I think I will tighten them up with a little CA on the inside.

Image

Here is the Bruno plans but I don't feel comfortable using steel strings on that:

Image

The back bracing is pretty standard:

Image

This weekend I hope to close the sound box. Next week I am in Kansas for work so will be making no progress.

I have some pine to use as the back braces but I think I will use Sitka for the top. I wanted to keep it a local forage type build but I think Sitka would be better than regular old pine. What do you think? I'm also a bit torn with what to make the bridge and fretboard out of. I'm thinking I can get away with using the oak for that as well but I know it would look superb with cocobolo, it's just the right color.

Oh and here is one more picture because I think it's cool and it's a feature on my phone camera :)

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:19 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Ok moving right along. Last weekend I completed my goal of finishing the sound box.

First the rosette. I decided to do a mastic rosette which is a simple technique that looks great. It's just pulverized charcoal and white glue mud filled into the routed out channels.

Image

After it dries you just sand it flush:

Image

Then brace the top:

Image

Glue on the head and tail blocks:

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Bend the sides, I use a hot pipe:

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Glue the sides to the top:

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I used some kerfed linings premade that I've had in my shop for years. Normally I bend them but I was pushing time:

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The box ready to close:

Image

Closing the box, gluing the back on:

Image

The box is closed:

Image

I'd never be able to to this without help :) =^,^=

Image


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:45 am 
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Very cool and interesting. Can't wait to see some more pics.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:42 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I can't wait to hear this one. Keep up the nice work.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:20 am 
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Koa
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I think the knots and grain are actually very nice features of your guitar. I dig your shop kitty, too.
Patrick


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:32 am 
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Yeah, great shop helper. This is a really interesting project. Can't beat the price of that wood for sure.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:35 am 
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Cocobolo
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Love it!

I dig the creative use of material!!!

Best,
_Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:33 pm 
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Gotta love the way cats seem to be able to plop down anywhere and get completely relaxed.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:44 pm 
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Mahogany
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That mastic rosette is sweet. I'd think it would be hard to get a clean visual line between the routed edge and charcoal mud. Can you show a closeup of that? Very much digging this build!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:22 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Fillipo I'm not sure what you mean by Lamp Black? It's just a piece of charcoal out of a BBQ charcoal bag ground down with a mortar and pestal.

As for the bracing I was thinking it was a bit heavier. I've never built one of these before. But it's definitely no where near as heavy as my other steel string guitars and also the top is .85in and was pretty floppy. I took my steel string bracing and scaled it down but as I was building I was thinking it was a bit heavy.. we'll see. The closed box makes a nice drum beat but again I don't really know what to look for aside from scaling down from my experience.

I do plan on using regular light gauge strings too.

The sound hole is big enough to get into if I need to lighten up but I'll wait till I get her all done first.

Randy the visual line can be blurred using this technique but it's probably not as bad as you think. IT works quite well. Of course if your routed out channel has tears on the edge then yes you will get run out.

I'll get close ups, it still needs to be filled with CA or stick shellac to get all the pits out.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:06 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Ok time to do the binding. Some one a while back gave me some maple floorboards and I found one that had a little curl to it.
Image

After sitting back and looking at it I thought it would look nice with a black mastic lining, so I routed out a channel.
Image

Then fill the channel with the powdered charcoal and drench with thin CA, after shellac of course.
Image

It always looks like it's going to be a disaster with this mastic technique but you carefully sand it right out.
Image

Here's the neck, the headplate was scrape wood from an electric guitar I built for a customer years ago, it's spalted maple. I also got a free piece of bar steel for the truss rod at a metal shop in my area. Those are cheapo tuning machines from Stew Mac, I think I paid around $8 bucks for those
Image

Fretboard is oak, I hope that works out ok. I may have to glue the frets in
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With maple binding
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The project is now moving right along so I better mix up some shellac. Nothing like using a coffee grinder to speed up the process
Image

Finally, I bolt on the neck to check the fit and angles, came out perfect. Next step will be slotting the peg head, gluing the fretboard down and then carving the neck
Image


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:52 am 
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I'd be a little concerned about the oak reacting with the metal of the frets, especially if it's coupled with a little sweat from the players hand. Other than that it should be fine. That mastic technique is really cool, isn't it? I've done similiar, but I used ebony dust instead of powered carbon, or bone dust where I want a white inlay.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:20 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Rodger Knox wrote:
I'd be a little concerned about the oak reacting with the metal of the frets, especially if it's coupled with a little sweat from the players hand. Other than that it should be fine. That mastic technique is really cool, isn't it? I've done similiar, but I used ebony dust instead of powered carbon, or bone dust where I want a white inlay.

Rodger, I was thinking of finishing the fretboard with thin CA or epoxy. Do you think that would help? I probably could lacquer it to not unlike a Fender with the maple fretboard but I don't think I would like the look of that.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:05 pm 
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Thats really cool! I'm digging it.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:14 pm 
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That might help, but there will still be the tang in direct contact with the oak. Fretwire may not corrode from contact with oak, and the oak may not darken from contact with the fretwire. Stainless frets may be a good idea.
I'd do a quick test. Cut a couple of slots in a scrap piece of oak and seat some fretwire. Soak is down with water and set it aside. Wet it down every day or so, in a week or two you should be able to tell if there's a potential for corrosion of the wire or discoloration of the wood.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:04 pm 
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I have used oak for two fretboards without problem. The first was a longneck dulcimer made in 2005. I used the old steel wool and vinegar trick to make that one black, so it won’t answer the staining issue, but there is no sign of undue corrosion. The second was made about a year and a half ago, no staining or corrosion to speak of; it has not gotten a ton of play time though (but I am confident this will not be an issue). There is a picture of it in my challenge build thread (sitting next to my mando project and a guitar for size comparison) but it won’t show much from that distance.

I don't think you will have color issues from the tannin issue, but any light wood with pores will collect gunk given enough time.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:21 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Bryan Bear that's very good to hear thank you. What is this vinegar and steel wool technique? Does it make the oak black like ebony? I came real close to using ebony on this guitar because it would jive real well with the mastic but I decided not to and stick with the cheapest guitar I can build out of the back yard theme.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:25 pm 
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I believe Bryan's refering to disolving a little steel wool in vinegar and using that to darken the oak, should work great if you'd like a darker fingerboard. Also works for popping the figure in curly maple.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:36 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Wow I just spent the last ten minutes Googling it. Yeah that's exactly what I am looking for. Thanks for the tips.


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