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 Post subject: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:13 am 
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First name: Doug
Last Name: Balzer
City: Calgary
State: Alberta
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I'll be making an OM mod. with materials from the family farm just north of Calgary. The only non-local woods will be the top bracing (Sitka) but is found in the neighbouring province of BC and the purfling. This will be a surprise birthday present for my wife's sister who lives on the farm and loves to play the guitar. This is a unofficial entry as a winner of the 2013 Challenge but I wish to post the build progress nonetheless in this most interesting challenge theme.

The colour of wood in this part of the world is quite light and uniform so I will be creative and ebonize some of the elements for needed contrast using the vinegar & steel wool method.

-top: salvaged cedar from a beam in the 80 year old barn...6 piece top. Btw, looking at the pic can anyone specifically identify the species?
-b/s: birch
-neck: birch
-fretboard: ebonized mountain ash
-bridge: crab apple
-head plate: crab apple
-end graft: lilac
-linings: mountain ash
-back braces: birch
-binding...mountain ash

Coincidently, not knowing of the theme for the current Challenge, I began scavenging materials for this a year ago and began work on it a few weeks ago.

Below- cedar top source on left
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Last edited by Doug Balzer on Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:14 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:27 am 
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looks great, doug. niece choice of woods. Don't know why you can't enter the voting?

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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:22 pm 
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Looking good! I love the idea of using those very personal reclaimed woods. It's not obvious to when looking at the pictures that this has a 6-piece top. I'd love to see your process and results for ebonizing the wood if you feel like documenting it!

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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:52 pm 
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First name: Doug
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Ebonized mountain ash fretboard. Darkened with a vinager/steel wool stew that brewed for a month. Tung oil on top.


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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:37 pm 
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How many applications did you do to get that colour, Doug? It really pops under the tung oil!

Alex

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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:57 am 
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Alex Kleon wrote:
How many applications did you do to get that colour, Doug? It really pops under the tung oil!

Alex


Maybe three coats. I stopped when it stopped getting darker but is really relative to the sanding grit used. I first went to 320 but could not get it dark enough so I backed off to 220. My test boards sanded to 80 grit through the drum sander went a chocolate brown without using any oil!

I have also tested on apple, which I may use for the bridge, and I hope to achieve a deep charcoal colour...but we'll wait to see.

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Last edited by Doug Balzer on Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:29 am 
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Another question, Doug - did you use food grade white vinegar, or cleaning vinegar? I think the cleaning grade is about 2% more acetic, and might speed the process.
One thing for sure, you wouldn't want to put a water based finish over this stain!

Alex

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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:44 am 
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Food grade vinegar.

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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:47 am 
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I'll bet you had the urge to go to a chip truck for french fries after staining!

Alex

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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:29 am 
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That colored beautifully. I don't understand the reference to sanding and how that affects the color. It sounded like you were sanding from higher to lower grits instead of the other way around?!


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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:52 am 
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Lower grits exposes more micro-surface area where the solution can take effect...at least that is my theory.

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Don't let fear or common sense stop you from trying to build something



These users thanked the author Doug Balzer for the post: Beth Mayer (Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:08 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:20 pm 
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So a few updates...the very soft b/s were causing a lot of cracking, etc. let's just say nightmare. I also didn't like the very light colour with the darker cedar top. So I dyed the b/s a deep brown/black along with the ash bindings but did so in a 'distressed' manner. This is a farm guitar after all...rough and tumble.


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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:30 pm 
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Getting close...


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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:57 pm 
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Doug I'm amazed at the quality of your instruments and how far you've come in the short time you have been building. This guitar is amazing. Keep up the good work. When are you going pro? Lol



These users thanked the author ZekeM for the post: Doug Balzer (Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:15 pm)
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 Post subject: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:18 pm 
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First name: Doug
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Finished. She is a warm sounding guitar but does not have as much sustain as my other builds...likely due to the soft materials used in the neck, back and sides. Nice tone though, with lots of tonal range, shimmer, and response. I gave it to my sister-in-law today after the farm was hit hard with hail and tons of damage. She cried. She didn't know it was coming. My 14 year old joked afterwards, "Auntie Michelle cried because when she saw the guitar she realized that it sucked so badly...." Glad to have him poke fun.

Specs:

Top: Red cedar salvaged from cedar post on farm. The darker streaks are likely from mineralization over the decades
Back & sides: salvaged from dead birch tree felled in 2010.
Back bracing: birch
Neck: birch
Fretboard: dyed mountain ash
Body binding: mountain ash
Interior lining: mountain ash
Body end graft: lilac
Headstock veneer: crab-apple
Bridge: crab-apple
Heel cap: crab-apple
Nut & saddle: Whitetail deer antler found on the farm. No, I didn't shoot this one.
Tuners: Grover
Scale: 25.4"

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Last edited by Doug Balzer on Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:27 pm 
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It looks great Doug!
I really like the look of the Crabapple.
The top has some really nice color too.
Great job!
Dan

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These users thanked the author dzsmith for the post: Doug Balzer (Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:56 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:44 pm 
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Pretty amazing, Doug! You are really talented :)


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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:46 am 
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Wow. Nice job. Thanks for sharing its journey.

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These users thanked the author CommGuy107 for the post: Doug Balzer (Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:34 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:52 am 
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Not much for cedar, but that top went together VERY well!
I like the looks of it and good to see you are experimenting with the woods of the future.
That you gave it to your sister-in-law is outstanding!!!

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These users thanked the author Haans for the post: Doug Balzer (Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:34 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:03 am 
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Nice outcome, Doug! In particular, I like the shape of this guitar very much, but all the little details look very nicely brought together. Congrats.
Patrick



These users thanked the author cphanna for the post: Doug Balzer (Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:34 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:14 am 
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ZekeM wrote:
Doug I'm amazed at the quality of your instruments and how far you've come in the short time you have been building. This guitar is amazing. Keep up the good work. When are you going pro? Lol


+1

It's lovely, Doug!



These users thanked the author Nick Royle for the post: Doug Balzer (Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:34 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:21 am 
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That's a killer looking guitar, Doug! You worked some guitar alchemy with those woods, turning lead into gold!

Alex

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These users thanked the author Alex Kleon for the post: Doug Balzer (Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:50 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 2:56 pm 
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Doug, I keep coming back to your build as a sort of inspiration. Any word on how these materials are weathering? I'm especially curious about the bracing and the neck.

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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 3:01 pm 
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Outstanding Doug - very well done!

I love the shape and it reminds me of the Jetsons. Cool shape for a contemporary guitar!



These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: Doug Balzer (Mon May 04, 2015 9:09 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Doug's Farm Guitar
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 3:02 pm 
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Alex Kleon wrote:
Another question, Doug - did you use food grade white vinegar, or cleaning vinegar? I think the cleaning grade is about 2% more acetic, and might speed the process.
One thing for sure, you wouldn't want to put a water based finish over this stain!

Alex



I have been ebonizing various wood for awhile and the site that I learned it from was very clear apple cider vinegar. Also it is not a stain the wood itself changed colors from a chemical process. I found the change has enough depth that I can finish sand the raised grain from the water in the vinegar no problem. Also no problem with water based finishes.

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