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Posts 101 to 117 of 117
  1. #101

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    Ended up stuck at home today and was able to finish planing the second brace and shaping them to size:
    First-timer Archtop Build-adc45b80-1da6-4ea3-a7d5-f68ba88db67e-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-84cec020-96d1-4e53-986f-9b47c5bd31f2-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-eee7901f-20f8-4a1e-8f96-a98ede43e110-jpg

    Took a few pics outside in better lighting:
    First-timer Archtop Build-088ca2d1-cc43-428d-8512-04ed0f82952f-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-cbd9e741-d550-4164-af2f-2aaf5d294a99-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-32df3de5-be8a-4846-934c-9c72df008bdb-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-0ba42a8b-9069-4cd6-8e67-1e079577e563-jpg


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #102

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    In general you want your brace ends to feather out rather than come to an abrupt end. That helps prevent a stress riser at the end that can ultimately lead to braces coming loose down the line.

    Also, a rough and ready way of knowing if your braces are still too tall is to place the plate on your work surface and press down with your thumbs about where the bridge will be. Press like you mean it, but obviously not with all your weight. It should give just slightly, but noticeably. If it doesn’t give at all with just your arm strength then shave them down a little. Double check by holding the plate lightly about an inch in at the top bout and give it a good rap with your knuckles at the same bridge spot. If it sounds like a Tom you should be ok. If it sounds like a snare shave them down a little.

    Good luck! Looks great.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  4. #103

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett View Post
    In general you want your brace ends to feather out rather than come to an abrupt end. That helps prevent a stress riser at the end that can ultimately lead to braces coming loose down the line.

    Also, a rough and ready way of knowing if your braces are still too tall is to place the plate on your work surface and press down with your thumbs about where the bridge will be. Press like you mean it, but obviously not with all your weight. It should give just slightly, but noticeably. If it doesn’t give at all with just your arm strength then shave them down a little. Double check by holding the plate lightly about an inch in at the top bout and give it a good rap with your knuckles at the same bridge spot. If it sounds like a Tom you should be ok. If it sounds like a snare shave them down a little.

    Good luck! Looks great.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Thanks for the tips, Rhett! Always appreciated. I’ll tweak them into a more gradual taper and test it out.

  5. #104

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    Next step I decided to get the end-pin jack hole made. Decided to take advantage of not having the body together yet, and do this on the drill press

    Measured to the halfway point of sides and used the end-graft butt joint as my bullseye. Marked the spot with an awl and placed some masking tape over to protect the sides (covered in sawdust and not well-seen):
    First-timer Archtop Build-2fec8e31-8f4a-4e10-8941-5f879381c6a7-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-3909ee87-0e87-41d0-b185-c6ff314863df-jpg

    Used a regular 15/32” drill bit as per Benedetto, and can always enlarge to 1/2” with hand reamer if needed once I get a jack:
    First-timer Archtop Build-c8a65f02-2d75-40ff-957e-f217d5d28bb1-jpg

    Easy peasy.

  6. #105

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    Nearing time to close the box, I applied 3 coats of shellac to the inside of the top plate. I reapplied the side rib shell and retraced the glue surface to ensure I didn’t get shellac in that zone:

    First-timer Archtop Build-c9652fef-93e1-474a-9899-03acde155831-jpg

    After 3rd coat:
    First-timer Archtop Build-bf5101dc-9949-4e45-b968-8a636237ba93-jpg

  7. #106

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    Seemed it varies widely who glues the back first vs the top first, and decided I’d do the back first. I spent some time and thought a bit of what to clamp against and decided to cut out a guitar shape using the guitar mold from a piece of 3/4 plywood, so that I could get the clamps in close. Made it without a cutaway to keep the clamping pressure even:

    As I mentioned before, I am using the info from Matt Cushman’s thread for closing the box. Although I’ve used HHG for everything so far, I made the call to accept my fear and use Old Brown Glue as I’m not skilled enough yet to close up the box with HHG. I wanted to keep the benefits of hide glue, but also wanted the comfort of a bit more open time. I placed a bead of glue around the top plate without brushing, and brushed a thin amount on the side glue surface and lining. I’m glad I went warmed LHG, because it did take me a few minutes and I bet I wouldn’t have made the tack time. Overall, I was happy with the fit as there was no obvious gaps.

    First-timer Archtop Build-095b465a-2fc8-43c6-8d63-7f4af1231223-jpg

    Left it clamped for approximately 22hr and took it out of the mold. There was some glue squeezeout onto the extended top plate edges, but not much on the interior of the back plate. It is hard to get good photos of the glued pieces because of the squeeze-out I’ll have to sand off. Another advantage of the hide glue is that it is easily removed and is transparent with stain:
    First-timer Archtop Build-f599bae4-573b-41ae-91db-573c1b9dc4b3-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-6e6c812d-251f-4bf9-8674-84872656b4a8-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-f65f4637-b952-4b13-aed5-c8b48599f59b-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-d86cb8d2-c167-4c93-8852-0aba0eaca670-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-41badd7a-f875-42b3-9d12-27cf51f08795-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-f599bae4-573b-41ae-91db-573c1b9dc4b3-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-003ca7b0-66ce-4d6a-9d93-3050b6e26c3d-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-bfc82774-7980-403a-9d1a-aa88e6038970-jpg

    Until I have further detailed inspection after cleaning up the glue showing any issues, I’m happy with it.

    Next step this weekend will be to shellac the inside of the back plate and sides, sign the back plate, and glueing on the front- super exciting!

  8. #107

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    This looks SUPER AWESOME! Congrats!

  9. #108

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    Went back into the shop with a lot of momentum to close the box, but ultimately veered off into the grass.

    Started off by removing the LHG squeeze-out on the exterior using a scraper held flat, which seemed to pick up the glue pretty well. I then sanded with the sandpaper double-stuck to small rulers to remove the remainder both against the side as well as the protruded edging:
    First-timer Archtop Build-396b8255-1ac6-4930-a239-5a8f54f8696b-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-f68ec170-7a3e-4ac5-a781-4190c5ac688d-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-aaaf5d2a-cca4-463d-9b46-2c0ad35b4f21-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-4ffa2954-27af-472d-8b7d-9d21c1edc994-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-396f658c-fffd-4f5c-8ee6-8641f9cae955-jpg

    Again, I’m satisfied with the result of the glued surface.

  10. #109

    User Info Menu

    After I did a general glue cleanup, I applied 2 coats of shellac to the inside of the back plate and sides, as well as the side braces:

    First-timer Archtop Build-13b3e23e-9dbd-46c0-ace8-410431a9a408-jpg

    I then became uncertain that I should sign the back plate directly on the wood, and didn’t have access to print a label I could sign and affix to the back plate.

    Additionally, I thought it may be foolish to close the box, and end up having difficulty with the endpin jack/wiring because my f-holes are fairly thin (bottom area just over 5/8”).

    For both of those reasons, I decided to abort and wait to print a label and have the endpin jack in hand. Ordered an L.R. Baggs jack from LMII along with some 2mm turquoise stone side dot position markers.

    Having more time to think, I also realized I wanted to put a strap button just lateral to the neck on the side itself, and not on the neck heel or neck block area. I then took a saved spruce cutoff and glued it to the side to accept a future screw. I spared this area when applying the shellac:

    First-timer Archtop Build-e2453410-e0de-4e61-9b24-bb9a748d533e-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-6b16aa44-d70c-425d-85ab-6655686c53dc-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-d7d26d7f-5112-4ec0-a8e8-e960735c0a7d-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-3abcfbba-d4b2-4e06-9f32-837a417f5e85-jpg

    Also noted a split from the cutaway bend that I’ll repair before I close up the box:
    First-timer Archtop Build-0c407a28-343b-43d6-a59c-3bd641a767f5-jpg

    Until the jack arrives, I’ll start final planning and get going on the neck.

  11. #110

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    L.R. Baggs StrapJack arrived quickly from LMI. I measured the jack with my digital calipers and realized I may need to modify my tailblock for it to fit. I cut my tailblock at 1” + 3/32” for the side, meant that it wouldn’t be long enough to protrude far enough into the strap button (the end has to be at or just a hair past the end of the strap button to ensure the cord jack will adequately make a connection for the electronics to work).

    I also discovered the 15/32” hole as instructed in the Benedetto book doesn’t cut it as the jack wouldn’t easily slide into the hole, so I used a hand reamer to correct the fit to 1/2”.

    I needed to use a slightly larger Forster bit to lower the surface against which the washers/nut screw- to allow for adequate protrusion. Because the Forstner bit requires the center point to grab and drill without moving all over the place - you can’t just put it over the jack hole and widen it - I know because I tried on a practice piece. I came up with the idea to cut a 1/2 dowel exactly the depth of the hole distance and then I’d have the necessary surface so the Forstner bit would cut properly. I measured using the depth gauge on the calipers with a piece of wood as a stop block, marked and cut the dowel, popped it in, drilled away, and voila- presto:

    First-timer Archtop Build-886c6b50-3f29-424c-b3e3-af8c46517c98-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-3ff8a160-3e64-48fa-882e-0ed23d1d7141-jpg

    Now I had the appropriate amount of tail block to work with and was able to thread the end jack and screw to the appropriate place:

    First-timer Archtop Build-9b3c28d1-f06e-4a39-af7b-d342e34320cb-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-659dcff9-3b39-4bb7-864e-7dd0a619a24a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-a3da624f-7049-434d-8607-bcd2b9921478-jpg
    Last edited by sbeishline; 09-07-2019 at 09:55 PM.

  12. #111

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    After completing the endpin jack installation, I made a move on the neck. Figured out the dimension issue and decided to keep the nut on the headstock angle thus it’s not included in the flat portion distance. I also decided to stray from the Benedetto plans of a 1/2” dovetail and go with 3/4” as it’s a bit more robust.

    So, I took the measurement value from the fret calculator at the distance from the nut to 15th fret (24.75” scale), 14.344” plus the dovetail 0.75” and got 15.094”. I then used my previous plywood template to trace some of the lines ending up with the new appropriate numbers for my guitar:
    First-timer Archtop Build-752336c3-2c69-499a-8178-0451e9070ffa-jpg

    I then retraced the outline using the new appropriate template.

    It was recommended to me that following the Benedetto plans for laminating three 3/4” pieces (totaling 2 1/4”) really cuts it close when band sawing to size. So, I used the other half of the mahogany board which I hadn’t milled and milled it to just over 7/8”. I plan to use the thicker laminate in the middle and the 2 3/4” pieces on the outsides. This should allow a little padding during my narrowing and shaping:
    First-timer Archtop Build-3e2c319c-268c-4355-9154-3727c207c24a-jpg

    I then proceeded to band saw the laminates:
    First-timer Archtop Build-353c3bc2-589b-4825-ae7d-373813b51082-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-79e2e0a9-760d-47a1-9551-94cbbca12fad-jpg

    And glued them up using heated Old Brown LHG:
    First-timer Archtop Build-3d7e2944-71de-4cec-b28b-b4bfb5f6cbb6-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-8bdde0e1-ca28-47ed-adaf-ecccea064e92-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-efa71202-d857-44f4-9c3e-9daff5bf0de7-jpg

    Of note, I decided to try out a 4° neck angle as opposed to the Benedetto 4.5°.

    I’ll head back in the shop tomorrow to remove the clamps and proceed to jointing the surfaces, and planning for the truss rod routing.

  13. #112

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    Took the neck out of the clamps after about 42hours, and overall I thought the LHG looked okay:

    First-timer Archtop Build-c1f21470-b644-4133-a6a2-edb3ecefec1d-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-f95da152-7287-44e3-ab0c-10d82f901212-jpg

    I then moved over to the jointer (set to remove 1/16” per pass) and took 2 passes to flatten the fingerboard surface. I then angled the neck and took 2 passes on the headstock.

    When I inspected the result, I noticed the setback at headstock angle wasn’t square to the neck (1/8” or so off):
    First-timer Archtop Build-3a71df7c-0c0e-4e75-bc04-56b26b4b9edc-jpg

    After some deliberation, we decided the angle location wasn’t square was because the neck didn’t have a solid reference surface when jointing because the laminates were different thicknesses, so we decided to hold the neck against the fence and evaluate what happened to the angle. We noticed it was near 90° after 2 passes, and decided to take one more pass, which ultimately square it up:
    First-timer Archtop Build-9c46e30d-efba-433d-9e9c-4396a63630ec-jpg

    I also realized that each time you joint the headstock face it moves the setback location toward the dovetail joint - and vice versa- towards the top of the neck when you joint the fingerboard surface. When we measured to ensure we had the length needed to get the 15th neck/body joint + 3/4”, we realized we’d now be cutting it close to move the setback location. Unfortunately...the few passes we needed appears to have gotten us over the edge and I’m going to have to re-start the neck over again.

    Some wind out of my sails, I took this as a learning opportunity to practice routing the truss rod channel and eventually practice cutting the dovetail.

    But first, we set the table saw mitre gauge to the 4° angle and freshened up dovetail side of the neck as well as the heel side on the rip fence:
    First-timer Archtop Build-63a6c1a4-9cd0-42f6-8a66-f3733a061ca0-jpg

    I bought the StewMac Hot Rod truss rod (4mm Allen) and it’s companion router bit. This was super quick and easy taking 2 passes on the router table:
    First-timer Archtop Build-da9143cc-d931-474f-b4a9-458a3b24ee19-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-91a14a6d-aad1-45d1-8f0f-146a95c99a9e-jpg

    I didn’t have my Dremel with me at the shop, so I penciled in the dimensions for the pocket hole (that will be hidden with the truss rod cover) in which the Allen nut will reside:
    First-timer Archtop Build-43a0e8ea-589b-4f8f-8de5-934ad5f60993-jpg
    Last edited by sbeishline; 09-08-2019 at 09:47 PM.

  14. #113

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    This is fascinating to me. Many thanks for the continued posts.

  15. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by wengr View Post
    This is fascinating to me. Many thanks for the continued posts.
    Appreciate your following and comments.

  16. #115

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    After I arrived home, I decided to practice Dremeling the pocket for the truss rod nut.

    I started using this bit for for most of the shaping:First-timer Archtop Build-3f3da260-749d-49cf-84f1-f7dbef772321-jpg

    Refined it a little with this:
    First-timer Archtop Build-c5d482e4-426e-458d-aaa5-07b4e493cacf-jpg

    And trialed this to see what it did (not too much different):
    First-timer Archtop Build-251eba50-f3fa-45e0-8604-613f4433ae7e-jpg

    This is how it looks now:
    First-timer Archtop Build-ceaaa034-eea6-4cf4-af8f-8a259826603c-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-a8cc95c9-8e80-4816-b28d-365fe7f935b8-jpg

    I forgot to bring the truss rod with me to check the fit.

    Back to Northland Forest Products for another board or 2 of mahogany on Tuesday. Before I left the shop, I remade a new template with bigger dimensions to ensure I can joint to appropriate squareness with an adequate amount of wood leftover for shaping - forgot to take a pic.

    Im planning to trial 2 different methods of laminating the neck to determine the most reliable method that I won’t explain here. IMO, Benedetto’s template doesn’t have enough room for error for a novice. It does have plenty of room for learning.

    Have a great Monday, forumgoers.

  17. #116

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    Looking good. However, since you are starting over I can offer a few suggestions:

    1) Benedetto’s heel is VERY dainty. When you cut out your blank I suggest you make the heel/tenon an extra .5” thick. This gives you the chance to make the heel a little more robust and gives you a little insurance if the apex of the nut moves on you when flattening the neck. You can always cut it short if you want that dainty heel later but you can’t add wood.

    2) Old brown glue is NOT the same as true hide glue and is generally avoided in luthier communities for its tendency to fail. Original wood glue (Titebond I) is a perfectly good glue with all the open time you need. Otherwise fish glue (Stewmac sells a good one) is the closest to hide glue that doesn’t require a hotpot.

    3) you should true up the sides of the neck blank before you attempt to flatten it. You can pass one side on the jointer and then through the planer. Now you have parallel sides from which to register the face on the planet to ensure 90°.

    4) 1/16” is a HUGE cut on the jointer. I think you’ll have better luck and your blades will last longer if you set it to 1/32”.

    Take my suggestions for the price you paid for them, you seem to be making great progress on your own.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  18. #117

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    Went to the lumber yard yesterday AM before traveling out of town for the rest of the week.

    I picked up another board of mahogany to redo my previous neck blank. While there, I also bought a board of Spanish cedar as I’ve read that makes a nice neck as well:
    First-timer Archtop Build-56c93f92-bf00-468f-8421-ae97b2e3d7a9-jpg

    Below is my redone, beefier neck template made from leftover mahogany piece:
    First-timer Archtop Build-570e60cd-51c0-40a0-ba28-8c1322db7d4c-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-32ffb99c-aac6-476d-b09a-9e8cf3613ed5-jpg

    This time, instead of just band sawing out my 3 laminate tracings and gluing them up, I decided to take it a step further. For each band sawed laminate, I double-stuck taped it to the template and pattern routed each one on the router table. I felt a little better about them being exactly the same shape and size.

    Of note, another thing I did different is the laminate thicknesses- this time, I make the outer 2 laminates 7/8” and the center laminate 3/4”. This will provide a tad more meat on the sides for joint/planing and other shaping:
    First-timer Archtop Build-f8931beb-152a-44bb-8b54-6a2493f78d2f-jpg

    Used this flush trim router bit:
    First-timer Archtop Build-5c422d88-f597-4a24-8d8f-2662089d3916-jpg

    Parts set for glue up with clamps ready:
    First-timer Archtop Build-d7e8675a-e6bd-46b7-90e0-4ed1685d8b2a-jpg

    Glued up and drying till I’m back next week. Once out of the clamps, we’ll start by jointing 1/32” from 1 side of neck blank and planing the other side to create solid reference edges (as explained by Rhett) before jointing the fingerboard and headstock surfaces, and routing truss rod cavity again.

    First-timer Archtop Build-d5b95af1-5e40-4955-8a7f-282c9aed2206-jpg