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 Post subject: Fred's 2016 Challenge
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:29 pm 
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Cocobolo
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This is a maybe. I know the pallat guitar thing has been done enough, my first guitar was built out of acoustically challenged wood. No need to go down that road again. But this set of wood keeps calling out to me to give it a try. It was a birch pallet that was sitting at the bottom of the stairs at work. Walked by it many times, thought it looked interesting, eventually had to pull off the two pieces. Dry as a bone, ended up cracking some of it. Managed to resaw it into a few pieces. And then it sat. For whatever reason I decided to put it through my home torrefaction process and ended up with some bad looking wood.

Image

Will have to add wings to the lower bout, not a big problem, whether I can bend the sides is the question. Found out baked wood does not bend that well. So if I can get the two pieces on the left to bend then I'll have a go at it. If they crack and it if a good possibility, then I have some maple that I also baked that will work as a parlor. Bending the maple tonight, going to soak the birch over night before I give them a try.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:10 pm 
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Good luck bending that, I hope it works. I tried every bending method I could think of to bend torrefied maple; I was able to do the gentle bends but nothing tight. No idea if baking will cause the same effect.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:31 pm 
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Cocobolo
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My use of the term baking is making light of the lack of information about the process. More accurately is I lightly torrify the wood. Bent the maple without too much fuss, not a cakewalk but no dreaded snap, crackle and pop. I did soak it in my poor-man's version of Supersoft, fabric softener. I really think I would have had more trouble without it. I did get some cupping as the wood was flat sawn. Part of the reason for the baking the wood was to see if I could make it more humidity tolerant.



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:43 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I like the color and figure. I hope you are able to get it bent.

What are you gong to do with the holes? Leave them open? Fill them with something creative?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:53 am 
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Glad it bent well. Gonna make a good looking guitar!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:18 am 
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I think it's kinda funny how so many folks say that the pallet guitar thing has been done so much over and over.... It hasn't.

Folks talk about it as a thing - but it's generally in reference to Taylor's pallet guitar.
Try to find a post on the usual luthier forums where somebody here actually built one.... I am the only one I know of that has built one in real life. (I may be wrong... But I haven't seen pix) It was a 4 string size 5 tenor back around 2010....

The issue with pallet wood isn't whether the wood is suitable or whether it will make a good guitar.... It's a ton of joints to get wide enough plates.. Most folks really don't cherish jointing plates.. That little size 5 had a 6 piece top and an 8 piece back. It was only 2 1/2" deep. It was super fun and loud loud loud.

I say go for it.... You will be one of a very few to actually do it. I will admit that I like Taylor's treatment of the nail holes. Dye them black and then fill with aluminum "nails" for the stained, weather beaten look. I just filled them with clear epoxy and they were just holes.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:25 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I agree with John that the treatment of the holes is very interesting, there are so many options. It really gives you an opportunity to make it your own and fit it into whatever the larger theme is. You could leave them totally unfilled, fill with aluminum, fill with something else like crushed stone, clear fill, inlay contrasting wood or an overall inlay theme that covers all those spots butt doesn't look like you were hiding something. Have fun. Can't wait to see what you decide.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:30 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Steve, haven't bent the sides yet, just bent the other set of maple sides I was doing. Think I will let them sit in solution one more day, better safe than sorry as they are one of a kind. Bryan, the picture just gives a hint what the wood is like, I hope I don't screw it up. I do have some oak from a pallat that I used on my first guitar and I'll see about using it. Also have two thicker sections from another pallet that might do for the neck, forgot I had it. Think I got a theme going.

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The maple I bent. Have it sitting on the form rather than sitting free.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:03 am 
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Yep, I think you have a good theme going. Good luck with the sides.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:26 am 
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What he said ^^^^

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:50 pm 
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Bent like butter. Mind you I thicknessed down to 0.075". Almost didn't have to turn the heat on, probably wold not hold the shape though so I did. I did get a crack form where there was one in the other side, should glue up fine. Still on the fence about the other wood, do not have anything pallet-wise for the top, and I have no shortage of 'good' tops to use. They were rejects that a local lumberyard was selling as craft wood for $1.29 a sheet. So $2.75 for a top, I could not resist I got a bunch. Should be pretty easy to keep under the dollar limit on this build.

Maybe that mahogany table leg that I found at the side of the road would be a better fit with the cooked birch, looks pretty good wet (the birch). Excited about this project. Really should be working on some guitars for other people though. Probably would be if my band saw was healthy. Needs new bearings and I can't resaw without them.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:19 am 
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Cocobolo
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Further along with the maple one than the birch. Just needed to get it in a state that it won't relax on me and I come back to a flat piece of wood. Actually had the opposite problem. I made the bending mold shape assuming some spring back and I ended up having a shorter body once the neck and tail block was on. Had to rig up my new bending iron and scorched a few places, should sand out.

Image

Here is the body and the top and back, probably will be building them in tandem. At least I will not need to find the right tools for the operation on the second guitar. The table mahogany leg mentioned earlier. Cut it into three strips, relaxed the stresses and did a little banana effect on them. Should have enough thickness to plane them up. They sat around for a couple of years so hopefully they are stable enough.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:19 pm 
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Glued up the sides and thicknessed the back pieces. Did a lot of flipping around and tried different combinations, not really bookmatched pieces. A wonder that I got what I have, the pallet had been used hard and put away less than gently. Three piece back with the nail holes lined up at the lower waist. Will be using a rejected spruce top, has a little color to it.

Image

The back pieces are about 0.070", same with the sides. Might double them up with a thin sheet of spruce to give them a better chance of not splitting over time. Keep the back radius at 15' or go for 25' since it will have the spruce laminate? Oh sorry that was a bad word. Double back and sides. The doubling up is my something new here. Really don't know what I am doing. Never stopped me before though.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:24 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I really like the way you managed to line the nail holes in the sides with the holes in the back. Nice work!

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:59 pm 
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First name: Fred
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Stupid Microsoft, and you wonder why we hate them? Upgraded to Win 10, all kinds of problems because of it besides not liking how they have things arranged. Could not get the card reader for my camera to work. Said that the device is not working or it does not recognize it. Same with another reader or directly from the camera, a Canon and not some fly by night type. Had to get another old computer up and running in order to get the pictures off the card and then transfer it to my normal computer using a usb stick. Besides that my computer now has a hard time doing two things at once, playing music and surfing online. Not real hard tasks. Thank you Microsoft.

Finally found the second piece of mahogany that I wanted to use for the heel of the neck. Pulled a piece of wood out of a box to be burnt in my dad's stove. Stove long gone and I am just cleaning up. It was a piece of mahogany that already made a trip into the fire but only had one end burnt. Cut it into a couple of blocks to be used for the neck joint. Glued one to the neck but looked all over and could not find the other one. Finally found it.

Image

Cleaned up one piece of the mystery pallet wood, could get a good neck out of each. Do I use it, still up in the air. Speaking of not finding stuff, could not find my circle jig for my router. I tore apart my workshop area to do some remodeling and I am still looking for stuff otherwise I would be further along. Going to be a while before I get back to normal. Next up is doing the rosette.


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 Post subject: Fred's 2016 Challenge
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:57 am 
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I upgraded my shop computer to Win 10 and it was unstable; kept crashing. Did a new install of W 10 and it still kept crashing so I did a system restore back to Win 7. The computer is stable again.

Cool story on the mahogany, you're making great progress!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:56 am 
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I always look at hardwood pallets and think "I wonder what's in that?"
Dismantled a red oak pallet and cleaned up some of the slats once, beautiful wood in there.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:18 pm 
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Not much happening on the birch guitar at the moment. I thicknessed four maple backs and need to get on the sides. The scarcity of pallet guitars just keeps on hanging with me. Then I came across a pallet at work that had a 6" wide slat without a knot in it, well, a small one but I can avoid it. Might make a three piece top. So I went hunting for some more wood and came away with some pieces on a 'take me home for firewood' pile.

Ended up much of what I brought home was unusable, found one piece that might do for the back. The thing is, the pieces for the front and back are flat sawn. More like almost into the pith, grain lines about two per inch. No cherry picking new hardwood pallets that has wood which may have made it to an EBay tonewood seller (sometimes I shake my head), actual honest to goodness crap wood one step above firewood. Stuff you could find without too much looking. Not even going to waste the couple of almost good enough for neck wood in the picture above on it. Mind you I do have a 3 1/2" board that only had staples in it which might make a couple of sides.

Why bother? Just curious what a real world pallet guitar would sound like. Won't be a work in progress, more of a back burner kind of thing. Will be a build and try it out thing, doubt it would last long without splitting all over the place. But by that time, who cares.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:45 pm 
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While this isn't exactly a pallet guitar, it's pretty close. It's from a challenge several years ago.
viewtopic.php?f=10132&t=35192

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:31 pm 
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Pretty rough pallets around here. Smelly ones also. Tossing the wood I had for the back and sides. I think I might have a 3"x3" oak somewhere that came in under a piece of machinery on a flatbed, may have to stretch my boundaries on what constitutes a pallet or keep looking. Not a big concern right now.

What is derailing me from building my birch guitar is four maple ones I have started. Joined the tops and backs and thicknessed everything. They will be the same size of the birch so when I have a jig set up I can just do the operation one after the other. Hoping to get these done for Christmas for some people. Have one I am building for my niece's husband, he plays out and wanted a guitar for on stage.

Was going to build a 00 but thought the sized does not matter too much as it will be plugged in. In that case I want to make it double as a couch guitar and making it an 0. One of the things I am doing, glue is setting as we speak, is laminating the top. Only two layers, a harder heavier one on the outside and lighter one glued cross grain on the inside. Never done anything like this before, thicknessed them down to 65 tho outside and 50 tho inside. Once they are glued I will take it down a touch more. I had to glue the inside on in two sections, below the waist and above. Calculated the weight gain due to the glue and it is about 5%. Used Tightbond watered down 5%, might evaporate some yet. Worth the weight gain as the guitar will see all kinds of conditions. So have been keeping busy.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:22 pm 
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Did a inventory of the guitars I will have and plan to build in the next while. Was planning on building a guitar for extra light strings or nylon and it occurred to me that t the birch would probably be a good candidate for it. It is not exactly the most robust wood and might do well with a light duty application. So on the sides goes a torrified cedar top, walnut rosette.

Image

Image

Simple scalloped x-brace, need to brace by the sound hole yet. Some cracking on the sides where the nail holes are, will double them up with some spruce I think.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:13 pm 
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Back on and all the little bumps and ripples sanded out. This is going to be a thin one, wonder how long it will last? It is light enough. Thinking of a white oak binding, maybe ebonised, not sure yet.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:50 pm 
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Should look good under finish. How thin is thin?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:42 pm 
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Sides are not too bad, the back a little thin. Both around 0.070" Might not bee too bad it being a smaller guitar. Barely takes much of a tap to make it sound like a drum. I thicknessed some mahogany and it might be up in the running for the binding. And then I have some flamed maple. Probably will get something on it this weekend.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:47 am 
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Maybe a bit thin on the back but I agree it should be ok for a small guitar.

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