View Poll Results: 1st Build Floater Suggestions

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  • KA Handwound 12-pole PAF humbucker

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Posts 251 to 300 of 405
  1. #251

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    Yesterday, when I had to halt the gluing of the inlay, I decided to use the time to plane/sand the headstock to the lines. I used a standard LN block plane to plane down the long sides down to 3 6/16" at the widest part on top, so the ebony veneer would cover the entire surface. I then sanded the top curve and long edges with 150grit sand paper. Here is the current state of shaping:
    First-timer Archtop Build-14b81064-2abf-487e-93ad-710f1594857c_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-d0a0b17b-7b09-460e-8201-611e143d593e_1_201_a-jpg

    First-timer Archtop Build-6d9993ca-9c00-4005-a5d1-d22c618d815e_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-d631a377-9146-4171-b121-0de3aae12d6a_1_201_a-jpg

    From this picture, it seems like I need to go back to the spindle sander to take down the transition area/heel a bit more.

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  3. #252

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    Got to the shop this afternoon and decided to start with installing the side dot position markers.

    I thought about using my calipers to measure each fret or get the numbers from the fret calculators online. I was uncertain that mine would be exactly like the calculators, so I decided to measure in some way. Because the calipers give decimal, it was sort of painful to get the halfway points from that. So I decided to use a ruler to measure the best I could and then compare each fret to the calculators and ensure they were close. The fretboard thickness on edge turned out to be 5/32" as I planned, so I'd use the halfway point of that (2.5/32" - this particular ruler didn't have 64ths).

    I bought recon turquoise markers from LMI (figured these may match the abalone and look unique) as well as the 2mm drill bit specifically for these.

    I started by using the white chalk pencil to mark out the halfway points:
    First-timer Archtop Build-d9cc6baf-e448-4f33-a682-536b2c88800f_1_201_a-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-c8b94d48-e3bc-4414-bd57-7d14a913d63c_1_201_a-jpg

    Benedetto book says place markers on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 17th, 19th. My PRS didn't have one on the 1st fret, but I decided to include one anways.

    The point on the drill bit was fantastic (you see below), so once I had the halfway spots, I decided to use the point of the drill bit to mark it out at the 2.5/32" location:
    First-timer Archtop Build-16d95806-f448-4bb8-bf23-9ad2b39737e1_1_201_a-jpg

    The dots were 0.060" long, so I tried to guestimate with calipers and place tape so I knew the depth to stop drilling:
    First-timer Archtop Build-a8cac6c9-3a78-4faa-8396-f20f533c25c3_1_201_a-jpg

    Then drilled the holes by hand with a powerdrill. I think the drill press would've been a bit painful since it's carved already:
    First-timer Archtop Build-fc2c6f48-d0d8-4f7b-b369-f743f4794080_1_201_a-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-171e8317-63e8-4df9-9710-6148b03b3c5f_1_201_a-jpg

    Then I masked around the drill holes with tape, to protect the ebony from any squeeze out of CA glue:
    First-timer Archtop Build-7852135e-7387-4b52-af80-878d8f19e9ef_1_201_a-jpg

    For this part, I used Locktite Gel Control CA glue. I held the tiny marker with forceps and placed a drop of CA glue onto the bottom of the marker, placed it into the hole, and tapped it in with a small felt-covered mallet:
    First-timer Archtop Build-fea81b81-aa14-4411-af61-be91043bb341_1_201_a-jpg

  4. #253

    User Info Menu

    I used a scrap block double-stick taped with 100grit paper and sanded down the markers until they were flush. Here's the final appearance:
    First-timer Archtop Build-f33f50bc-d901-45e4-b51d-e3b3f10c3da5-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-0355c199-668e-420a-84b2-1865650f635c-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-aa09005e-3257-4ea8-b01d-a7b0c61c366b-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-b347a6ca-7ad8-407a-b6ee-1eb2ddfd922c-jpg

  5. #254

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    I've been wanting to post this subject, but it took me a while to make a move on this stage.

    Because of having violin-style (edge overhanging the side ribs), it makes placing a tailpiece saddle a tricky situation. One option would be to include a fulcrum on the bottom of the tailpiece, but I really wasn't a fan of that. Plus, the spruce on this guitar is so soft, I wouldn't hesitate to guess it would make a depression or indentation with all the string pressure over time. So, over the last several months, I researched violin tailpiece saddles.

    In my research, I found that many saddles are placed all the way down to the tail block (and some even below into the ribs):
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_2f16c92e358b-1-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-img_e7f672ffe204-1-jpg

    That being said, I wasn't really excited to cut the edge all the way down not knowing what I'm doing and wreck the top plate.

    I also came across this variation by E.H. Roth (German luthier near Czech Rep. border) who used this technique of inlaying the saddle into the actual top plate:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_89f9254e9109-1-jpg

    This satisfied my criterion of not completely removing the edge, and inlaying seemed like it was within my scope of woodworking skills.

    Benedetto plans call for having the saddle 1/4" into the tailblock with 3/16" protruding above top plate.

    I didn't want to make my own saddle from ebony, so I bought the violin saddle from StewMac. I calculated my top plate at the violin edge at 0.201" thick. The saddle measured 11/32 tall, so I chose to place the inlay halfway into the top plate at 0.100".

    Here I had marked the centerline:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_45b4bb3767f9-1-jpg

    So, I set off on planning the inlay cavity by tracing the saddle on the top plate:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_bfa37c957127-1-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_1f75bf0ca3ca-1-jpg

  6. #255

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    Today after feeling buzzed from successfully placing the position dots, I felt a positive push to get this cavity cut. Steve suggested I mark the cavity with the marking knife and use the Dremel with the router base, just like I did for the veneer inlay. I liked the idea, but was nervous to dive right to the piece. I took a piece of leftover spruce neck/tailblock and marked it for a practice run:
    First-timer Archtop Build-e490ac90-fef6-4999-9cf7-473930e034df_1_201_a-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-82f17857-f304-4773-b656-468371f898fc_1_201_a-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-68f7d1cd-57c0-4eb8-a1b2-05c7e34ea28d_1_201_a-jpg

    I set up the Dremel with router base to 0.100" and made a pass. It worked great:
    First-timer Archtop Build-d9d9e9f3-04a9-4581-b3aa-50888b14cd32_1_201_a-jpg

    So, I took that momentum right into the real deal by marking it with the knife:
    First-timer Archtop Build-0c65bdfe-d9a6-4384-bd94-034ace0d7546_1_201_a-jpg

    I wanted to see the edge for the marking gauge (to make a cleaner bottom cut), so I traced lines to the edge and marked it:
    First-timer Archtop Build-4cfcc667-b653-47d3-9276-62720cb0f79e_1_201_a-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-fccc37c7-7218-4e17-97dd-d16a06a502aa_1_201_a-jpg

    Here I is, set to go:
    First-timer Archtop Build-d84120fa-7675-4f48-9355-267f11e089b3_1_201_a-jpg

  7. #256

    User Info Menu

    And the end Dremel result.... :
    First-timer Archtop Build-a7a4c88c-137f-409a-93cc-388d05682811_1_201_a-jpg

    Clean cut!

    I then chiseled to the edges, but I forgot to take a pic. Here's pix of the current fit:
    First-timer Archtop Build-c7fff198-782f-4b9b-ab6e-94dfac1635c0_1_201_a-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-b989bcb2-7181-46d2-84fc-b924006fc0da_1_201_a-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-abd5acab-f2ee-4d2b-b163-798a837c0cce_1_201_a-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-44c3a186-c2a4-43bb-ad13-e14148f62a58_1_201_a-jpg

    Few comments on this:

    1. I completely recognize that this design for a saddle may completely fail from the string tension/pressure initially or over time because of the limited wall height on the neck end of the cavity. However, I feel it was the most reasonable decision being that I'm a fairly novice woodworker and didn't see myself being able to execute other ways (without normal binding). If it doesn't, I'll feel like a pioneer.

    2. I plan to glue the saddle in with a tad bit of space a la this violin (to accommodate for wood expansion with humidity, etc):
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_723c150c81d1-1-jpg

    3. I will need to do final edge refinement sanding after gluing.

    4. Feel free to give recommendations on type of glue for this.
    Last edited by sbeishline; 01-13-2020 at 08:55 AM.

  8. #257

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    This whole thread is awesome! Kudos for the patient, all work done, precisious and thank you that you are sharing so detailed story! Definitely one of the most interesting threads on this forum!

  9. #258

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    Quote Originally Posted by asedas
    This whole thread is awesome! Kudos for the patient, all work done, precisious and thank you that you are sharing so detailed story! Definitely one of the most interesting threads on this forum!
    Glad you're enjoying it man!

  10. #259

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    Amazon hightailed the thin CA glue and it arrived yesterday. Ran over to the shop for a few minutes last night to get the inlay glued in and finished up.

    Most CA glues in stores are geared to be less runny as to have more control, so unless you have a hobby store that has a wide selection, you'll probably need to order online. Lowe's, HD, Michael's, and Staples all didn't have anything that I thought was appropriate. I bought this stuff that Tomy used in the video since I knew that would work with this method:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5457-jpg

    This stuff is ridiculously thin, seems like more that water, which is good for this application. I ensure the cavity had a bunch of ebony dust and tried to ensure the broken pieces of the inlay were as in line as gently as possible:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5450-jpg

    Dropped in the CA glue: First-timer Archtop Build-img_5455-jpg

    Bottle says full cure time is 1hr. After it was dried, it looked like this:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5456-jpg

    And I started to sand it down with 150grit sandpaper:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5458-jpg

    It's exciting when the paper starts to come off and the abalone starts to reveal itself. Here's how she ended up:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5460-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-img_5459-jpg

    And so ends my first inlay experience.

    In retrospect, next time I'll just route a little bigger than needed to avoid inlay fractures and use ebony dust to fill in the cavity.

    Cheers.

  11. #260

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    I previewed earlier when I practiced routing the veneer truss rod access cavity on the router table with 2 different methods using stop blocks. Steve said he had just read something about how you should use a bit that isn't just 2 cutters on the outside and should use a bit that the 2 or 3 cutters go to the middle of the bit. If I didn't see the bits in person, I would have no idea what that means if i read this. I still don't really get it, but we did have some chatter with the bit with 2 cutters only on the outside and he was worried with the thin, brittle ebony, it may jump and mess up the cut.

    That being said, I was looking to see if Benedetto has anything about cutting this opening in the book and I couldn't find anything. I did look at the photos and you can tell he shaped the veneer opening to match the neck cavity. So, I decided to abort and do that.

    We tried to think of how to shape it exactly. I came up with some sort of modeling clay to push in and trace it, but we didn't have any. Then the idea came to Steve. Remember as kid when your caretakers tried to keep you busy and trace leaves under paper with crayon? Yup, you guess it. The flux capacitor method:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5461-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5462-jpg

    There you have it.

    I marked the veneer and traced it in place:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5463-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5464-jpg

    Then drilled a 3/8" hole on the drill press and was planning to use the scroll saw to remove most of the area; however, the saw wouldn't turn on. So I resorted to cutting out by hand with a Fret saw:
    First-timer Archtop Build-60066279200__e0eb54b6-aff7-4621-88fa-cc2d127d15e3-jpg

    Filed to refine the edges:
    First-timer Archtop Build-60066280933__b45539e5-922d-429d-aed6-d699df0c44f6-jpg

    I still need to tidy up the edges, but this is how it looks now:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5468-jpg

    Once I refine it, I'll glue it onto the headstock.

  12. #261

    User Info Menu

    Your headstock looks great! With a double action truss rod, you only need to have your opening large enough to allow access for the allen wrench. With the rod type that Benedetto shows in his book, the opening must be large enough to allow you to slide the washer over the end of the standard truss rod.

    It makes no difference but a smaller opening needs a smaller TR cover. Here is my bass where I don't use a cover at all and it looks OK from a distance.
    First-timer Archtop Build-p1010001-jpg

  13. #262

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Cushman
    Your headstock looks great! With a double action truss rod, you only need to have your opening large enough to allow access for the allen wrench. With the rod type that Benedetto shows in his book, the opening must be large enough to allow you to slide the washer over the end of the standard truss rod.

    It makes no difference but a smaller opening needs a smaller TR cover. Here is my bass where I don't use a cover at all and it looks OK from a distance.
    First-timer Archtop Build-p1010001-jpg
    Thanks, MC! Means a lot.

    Your advice has helped me along the entire way so far. Allllllmost there. So far, yet so close!

  14. #263

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    Took at few minutes yesterday to finish the veneering opening for the truss rod cavity. I needed to refine the flat portion of the opening, but I didn’t have anything to fit the area. I stopped at Lowe’s to pick up some naphtha to clean the fret wire, and decided to pick up at $8 set of small needle files to use for this purpose. I tried to even it out as best as possible:
    First-timer Archtop Build-517a4d00-1e65-4706-8bb5-13b0ac17d34f-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-c2419431-a218-4903-90da-d02e05902375-jpg

    I used a half round to bevel the inside edges (hard to see in this photo):
    First-timer Archtop Build-9d124697-8429-406c-9605-34e16d0e7828-jpg

    I had to get that finished before gluing on the veneer, because there’s no easy way to make changes once it’s glued on. At any rate, it will only be seen if a truss rod adjustment needs to be made, which won’t be often. Now it was ready for glue-up!

  15. #264

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    I’m shooting to be ready for fret installation by Saturday, if not Sunday.

    Stopped by the shop tonight to glue on the headstock veneer to the neck blank, as well as the saddle into the top plate inlay cavity. I took some small pieces of wax paper and placed them along the sides to allow for plate movement. I then chiseled a hair off of one side of the cavity side walls to fit the paper and did a test fit:
    First-timer Archtop Build-45139b24-ad8a-4354-9103-6cf0859ff633-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-157a8787-7e2c-440e-93eb-a54a4b0a29f0-jpg

    I applied some glue:
    First-timer Archtop Build-912decd6-005e-419e-8c44-bdc3e979d6b9-jpg

    And brushed it around and set it into place:
    First-timer Archtop Build-041d406d-28ab-4ef2-b399-42901b091d4c-jpg

    I had applied some masking tape to hold it in place, but I couldn’t tell how it was seated and was afraid it wasn’t holding even pressure. So in the end, I just pressed it in by hand and will let it cure for 24hr.

    For the headstock veneer, we contemplated the best way to clamp the veneer into place. I didn’t have any excess veneer width, so it had to be done exactly right.

    I thought about using Bessey clamps, but they are heavy and wonky, and was not helpful to get the centering right. I decided to use the big spring clamps I used for the bending the sides in the mould.

    I traced the centerline of the neck blank to the top curvature as well as the veneer centerline around to the back to help with alignment:
    First-timer Archtop Build-539f4ead-f160-42dc-9ff8-ec139b73d054-jpg

    Additionally, I centered the veneer to the fretboard centerline, and then marked the veneer on the bottom edge on both sides where it met the neck side edge (can show a pic later), because there’s no other way to line up the bottom when the caul is over the veneer.

    I cut a piece of 3/4” plywood to use a caul. You can see my marks where I planned to cut to make the call just bigger than the veneer. I did that on the bandsaw:
    First-timer Archtop Build-4d02947a-ec01-471f-ba53-0799447fada0-jpg

    A benefit of the using spring clamps was I could use one to hold the veneer in one area and being able to move the veneer as needed with other clamps to line it up. Here’s the point of glue application:
    First-timer Archtop Build-8ac9e6d5-9236-4e65-b672-8bbe1bb4cd1b-jpg

    When I added the caul it started sliding all over as expected. Because I didn’t want to mark or drill holes for tuning pegs until this is glued, I wasn’t able to make stays using Brad nails like the fretboard. Maybe I’ll do that next time.

    I started by placing one clamp on top to hold it in place, then added clamps as needed to hold it all. I folded a towel to cover the volute so I could clamp it and the bottom.

    Here’s the final glue-up:
    First-timer Archtop Build-b8fdbf0c-4c7c-47c2-8808-2bc006493c2a-jpg

  16. #265

    User Info Menu

    I hit the shop for a couple hours after work and took the headstock out of the clamps. Overall, the veneer glue-up looked pretty good and I was happy with it:
    First-timer Archtop Build-e18e5740-9761-48f0-ad97-9c5c79ad7a7b-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-860716f2-d8ea-4dc1-b0d5-6cfdf5923644-jpg

    You can see from these 2 photos, I had just enough veneer at the widest part of the headstock and it stayed in place during the glue-up.
    First-timer Archtop Build-3abff1a0-c959-484b-9d93-eed82b90b154-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-9e2c8c09-9283-449e-8954-e15dcb4c4007-jpg

    In addition to the centered position of the truss rod cavity, you can see here from the centerlines it all stayed pretty much straight:
    First-timer Archtop Build-ad44d4e7-3cda-495b-8dd9-159b7d2936b9-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-bb4e6ec1-ec67-46a5-b9d2-a4288113598d-jpg

    I mentioned in the last post- here are the lines (white chalk lines adjacent to fretboard edge on veneer) I used to line up the nut end of the veneer during the glue-up:
    First-timer Archtop Build-21d2828a-09d4-4729-8607-84404ea99c97-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-f74f34be-2eda-41e9-95cf-e35f8e7aa864-jpg

  17. #266

    User Info Menu

    I needed to get the veneer close to the neck blank, and did this on the bandsaw. I started with marking a couple of relief cuts:
    First-timer Archtop Build-56a550ca-a2f8-4435-b64e-a6c3df355185-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-d4a7185b-1d45-4a3f-81b4-74bd25d09d27-jpg

    And after making those cuts, I started with the top curve:
    First-timer Archtop Build-ce604499-5562-4ab6-8129-0210369f710d-jpg

    And then made the cuts on the long sides and transition areas. I tried to get to about 1/16” or so:
    First-timer Archtop Build-d9f4abf6-9b07-4fb7-b4dd-f96583992efa-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-ef1954bc-0a2f-4068-bf11-01cf63f75e35-jpg

    Here’s a view post-band saw from the front:
    First-timer Archtop Build-554ad291-ed51-4be3-97ca-d1025d600378-jpg

    Steve recommended against flush trimming the remainder because the bit would be cutting against the grain in an area and bring so brittle it could chip out. I don’t need any disasters at this stage, so I went to the spindle sander next:
    First-timer Archtop Build-8925e29f-ee93-4647-9b89-067680b76024-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-d11382e3-5b01-4611-8e16-12d1ef096815-jpg

  18. #267

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    Once finished getting close to the mahogany blank on the spindle sander, I made a small sanding block with 100grit sandpaper. I used this to straighten the long sides and refine the top curve:
    First-timer Archtop Build-fc5ec58c-5820-4c3c-91dc-a0c45896c5a4-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-8c879971-abae-43e4-86c1-95807f06453f-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-14b69d3a-9ec3-4a48-a704-1e02b89a44ed-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-1c8820b6-2c79-4317-90b2-36191ac83034-jpg

    I did put a couple of the smaller cylinders on the spindle sander to refine the transition area to get it as symmetric and smooth as possible. Here’s its current state:
    First-timer Archtop Build-04cdf1ec-8c83-4e3e-a95d-0e31a0419294-jpg

  19. #268

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    I have the curved top of the headstock and figured I’d mirror this for the end of the fretboard at the neck extension. My headstock template wouldn’t fit on the underside of the extension, so I traced it onto a small piece of 1/4” plywood:
    First-timer Archtop Build-0b7027c0-a22c-4c84-b27f-92939c9f7d4f-jpg

    And cut it out on the band saw:
    First-timer Archtop Build-3ae85cb1-80ab-4774-9311-c17833851cc3-jpg

    The centerline was true, so the bottom didn’t need to be straight. I then chose how far beyond the 22nd fret and traced the lines around to the underside:
    First-timer Archtop Build-24f19fa1-2182-4450-8741-ceae377bfb12-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-07640c24-ab1e-46aa-95bc-c6ff2b9e8b9d-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-2b369cfc-7591-4b5f-8a2d-fd5828036a0d-jpg

    I then went to the band saw at cut just beyond the line:
    First-timer Archtop Build-654a330d-5fe8-4d32-a9e3-bdb21b7daa48-jpg

    And then went to the spindle sander to sand to the line and freshen it up:
    First-timer Archtop Build-79f37bd1-7d0f-49c8-a5ea-8ef7ba817707-jpg

    Here’s how it looks:
    First-timer Archtop Build-0e52153f-f3aa-43d8-b633-1285059867f7-jpg
    Last edited by sbeishline; 01-18-2020 at 10:46 AM.

  20. #269

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    Let the glue cure for 24hr and this is how it looks:
    First-timer Archtop Build-5b0835ec-6eb7-415e-80e5-fe5a802ccaaa-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-7f3c300e-45d8-4396-be40-6395bd80cf7f-jpg

    I put a little pressure on it, but it doesn’t mean much, so I’ll just wait and see how it holds once it’s strung up.

    I used the 100grit sanding block and sanded the overlying edge flush with the saddle.First-timer Archtop Build-06a5d6e2-c7fb-4d4d-bf24-47bb6235c0b5-jpg

    I’m very happy with the result. Hopefully it doesn’t fail.

  21. #270

    User Info Menu

    Went back to spindle sander to deepen the heel transition. Once that was better, I used the orbital sander to shape the heel for the cap.

    Current state of neck:
    First-timer Archtop Build-e47c3afd-edf2-4485-9b31-f90547c67614-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-84688241-468f-486c-b0c0-c00244eed4ab-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-ac758534-b453-4564-8672-8515652d99ce-jpg

    And heel:
    First-timer Archtop Build-8aee4557-2839-4730-9b92-a718f5807eb8-jpg

    Still a hair to tweak with final sanding.

  22. #271

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    Took some pics at current stage. I’m thrilled with the appearance of this thing so far:
    First-timer Archtop Build-929805a7-2587-41db-b637-218ab8c15868-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-b7c93c49-93a8-47d0-9c5e-aadea78ee53e-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-6b0d72de-7a38-44bd-9872-ba22f7347cd3-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-90c438af-377d-4023-afa6-690ee502a5da-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-8d6f1f74-9976-4be2-ba6b-b599dd2656e3-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-31730e6d-1955-48dc-8fec-201eeda99bab-jpg

    Really starting to be an instrument.

    What a buzz!

  23. #272

    User Info Menu

    Pulled an audible on my initial plans of working on frets today. When I got to shop, I decided to get the tuning peg holes drilled. I started by making sure I had the holes exactly where I wanted them on the template. I had researched photos of other guitar maker’s instruments and it seems that there is some variability depending on shape as pointed out by teeps in a previous post. I decided to split the difference and try to keep the the string path as close to straight as possible and keeping them as close to being even on the side.

    I made my template and was 5/8” short of the fretboard- this was the 5/8” for the truss rod cavity markings. So, I used 5/8” worth of setup blocks to use as a base to make sure the template fit was correct:
    First-timer Archtop Build-1c686c18-bbb2-4656-94f5-ac862179cd14-jpg

    Once I decided on the locations, I marked with an awl and drilled a small hole with a brad-point bit:
    First-timer Archtop Build-8b71f940-b7a2-4f83-adbb-b7b2285245e0-jpg

    I drilled the hole just big enough to get a nail point through to make the spots:
    First-timer Archtop Build-59151ef1-3849-4a32-b4e6-8659f586ee37-jpg

    With the tuner centers marked, I used the string spacing rule to mark the locations of the string slots:
    First-timer Archtop Build-a8a2b79d-94f0-4f54-b309-b8f7a074654f-jpg

    Then I marked ~1/8” to the medial side and traced out the string paths:
    First-timer Archtop Build-7549a798-57aa-4a4f-b305-537ec43b1443-jpg

    I thought the E strings were angled medial instead of straight, and the center was too close for comfort to the bypassing A and B strings, so I moved those string tuner peg centers 1/16” laterally. This straightened the string and made a tiny bit more room. I liked this better. From lateral edges, measurements were 15/32" for E strings, 19/32" for A and B strings, and 20.5/32" for D and G strings:
    First-timer Archtop Build-3c6c5714-aadf-4ef7-a012-a63631152e00-jpg

    I then made some firm marks with an awl and used the drill press with a 3/8” Forstner bit to make the top 4 holes.

    Because of the volute, the headstock wouldn’t rest flat (face up), so I cut a small 1” block to prevent blowout. This made for a challenging drilling of the 2 holes because of the teetering, so I double stick-taped the Wixey angle gauge so I could try to keep it flat:
    First-timer Archtop Build-ab29f24e-4e30-4f55-9f84-8f4697b8b458-jpg

    Here’s the final outcome:
    First-timer Archtop Build-ec121ed4-8fc2-4260-9de5-706041131794-jpg

    These holes should probably be a tad bigger (10mm or 13/32”), but I don’t have those bits. I’ll have to tweak that some other time.
    Last edited by sbeishline; 01-19-2020 at 08:28 AM.

  24. #273

    User Info Menu

    Hadn't thought too much about the tailpiece details as I was planning to do the frets yesterday, but I just went it. I researched a little about string after length (distance between bridge and tailpiece) and read that for violin's a good starting point is 1/6th of the scale length. That brought the distance for me to 4 1/8". Being that the distance between my bridge location and tailpiece saddle is 8", the tailpiece length would be 3 7/8":
    First-timer Archtop Build-4bae3f9b-944a-4725-a32f-1997480904d3_1_201_a-jpg

    I then made a mark at that point (I moved the line up an 1/8" from this pic):
    First-timer Archtop Build-4a348d52-e8e9-4043-adbb-58c7ed9994c7_1_201_a-jpg

    I looked at google images of various tailpiece designs, and wanted something symmetric to keep with the rest of the guitar profile and decided on a wider violin-esque shape. I made a grid of lines and traced the bottom part of the Benedetto book tailpiece to get a start:
    First-timer Archtop Build-b61eef7c-2b4d-4a5c-8a61-7cf7139bfdd6_1_201_a-jpg

    Then I free-handed it a bit to try and get a shape that I liked:
    First-timer Archtop Build-9ed2e45d-a1f2-4175-871b-e029326ebbee_1_201_a-jpg

    I then checked to see if it fit my marks, which it looked pretty good:
    First-timer Archtop Build-a7111510-9633-4dbb-a024-5d75f0c2e2c7_1_201_a-jpg

    I obtained a bit chunk of ebony for a ridiculous price (unnamed source), and milled a piece that was about 3/8" x 4" x 5 1/2". I re-sawed it on the band saw so I can try to get a piece for the bridge base out of it, too.

    Then, I cut it out, taped it to the ebony blank, and traced it on. I then put a centerline on the blank for marking the tailpiece adjuster cord slots:
    First-timer Archtop Build-d4db2a1c-76f6-4710-9541-ef8c724b647c_1_201_a-jpg

  25. #274

    User Info Menu

    I guess you could route out the tailpiece adjuster slots on the router table, but I didn't really look into the details of doing it that way. I decided to take it more the old fashion route by hand.

    I first started by measuring the slots using the 4" double square. The adjuster knobs are 1/4", so I decided to make them about that wide and guestimated on how long and where to locate the adjuster corder:
    First-timer Archtop Build-9000888b-5562-4788-a228-cb881ce85443_1_201_a-jpg

    Then, I used a marking knife to scribe the slots, so I could chisel after routing out the majority of the wood waste:
    First-timer Archtop Build-21e626ac-feb5-47e5-a70e-2d2ae7b901cd_1_201_a-jpg

    Here's the setup after routing the first slot using the Dremel on the StewMac router base. I made the cut in 2 passes: ~1/8" then 1/4". Who ever thought I'd use it for this much after the inlay? I didn't! The thing is great!
    First-timer Archtop Build-1d0872b1-a3b3-47e5-9967-00bd99abb471_1_201_a-jpg

    Here's after routing both:
    First-timer Archtop Build-b5b6bff0-a1ae-4079-af8c-c2c1214fa5b0_1_201_a-jpg

    And a close-up view:
    First-timer Archtop Build-1448ba28-0509-468d-8470-e0ef151ff59c_1_201_a-jpg

    And finally, chiseling to the line.
    First-timer Archtop Build-88bb6d8f-9b82-4d1e-a221-f0a7a60600fe_1_201_a-jpg

  26. #275

    User Info Menu

    After finishing the slots (forgot to take a final pic), I drilled the 2 holes with a drill bit just larger than calipered measurement of the adjuster cord.

    I did this on the drill press with a portable vise. I used the Wixey angle gauge to make the piece straight:
    First-timer Archtop Build-6459cb1b-90c8-4fda-b641-792150e75de5_1_201_a-jpg

    As you can see, I had tried to mark the area to drill prior to drilling. The slots were 1/4" deep, so I marked ~1/8" in from the edge with the slots and did my best to get the hole straight into the slot:
    First-timer Archtop Build-b7b98f38-b6b9-4332-a3b9-5fd6612ebe8a_1_201_a-jpg

    The holes are a bit small as the cord is fairly snug:
    First-timer Archtop Build-be8796e9-4473-483d-9280-305bf69422e0_1_201_a-jpg

    Here's the general appearance on the git:

    First-timer Archtop Build-68a7fa6e-190c-41c8-85b9-6408af2605a6_1_201_a-jpg

    Still to go: bandsaw out the shape, cut an angle at the bottom, refine the contours, and chisel out a string cavity and drill the string holes! All for one fitting.......

  27. #276

    User Info Menu

    I used the 100grit sandpaper on a broomstick/dowel method to finish smoothing the neck transition and heel area, which I think worked pretty well:
    First-timer Archtop Build-dc58e87a-47c1-427c-ac24-41d79b9800f6_1_201_a-jpg

    Here are some pics at the end where I think it feels pretty good:
    First-timer Archtop Build-65a7e8b5-292a-496d-92a2-701d8b232328_1_201_a-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-b5ea22b1-d675-418f-9494-2a78799e76df_1_201_a-jpg

    For fun, I ran some 400grit sandpaper over the headstock:
    First-timer Archtop Build-c0f3397a-5b45-48af-9347-15c0b737f182_1_201_a-jpg

    Not sure where I'll end up today or the point when the baby arrives, but I'm really trying to hightail it!

  28. #277

    User Info Menu

    Prior to heading to the shop this morning, I ran to Harbor Freight to grab a set of brad point drill bits that had odd sizes. Being a tad wider than 3/8", I had to use a 25/64" bit. Its a great place if you're not looking for anything high quality- they have a huge selection and the prices are ridiculous. Glad it was open on a Sunday.

    I was not looking forward to re-drilling the holes as this never tends to go easy, and I didn't want to ruin the headstock.

    I did the same setup as yesterday. I started with one of the top holes. The entry wasn't smooth and I was not too happy. It dawned on me that I should fill the 3/8" holes with dowels for the brad point, just like when I needed to adjust the end pin jack hole in the body. The one benefit of having used the 3/8" is that we already had a 3/8" dowel since it's common:
    First-timer Archtop Build-1ce7ed83-41e9-4b20-b4ef-af6d9c43d207_1_201_a-jpg

    The dowels didn't help 100%, but they at least allowed me to check the centering position before I plunged in. We also had trouble with the drill press table somehow coming out of level- ugh. Here's how it looked after the drilling massacre:
    First-timer Archtop Build-7cfb776d-0431-4329-8b62-029631566c36_1_201_a-jpg

    Biggest chip out was on the D string peg hole, which I tried to sand out with 100grit as much as possible. Here's the look (front/back) post-sanding:
    First-timer Archtop Build-98d30e23-fdd6-4f22-ab09-025c923578bc_1_201_a-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-ac2b1684-abe7-4c9c-89d1-f72ce3fb0568_1_201_a-jpg

    Because of the incline towards the volute, I had to do some sanding in that area to allow the back portion of the tuner to sit flat against the back of the headstock. Here it still had a hair to go:
    First-timer Archtop Build-33b4bbf9-3a88-4c85-bb3c-caa0fc94f251_1_201_a-jpg

    Fortunately with some sanding and the washers on the front, most of the war wounds are not visible to the eye. I'm satisfied with the outcome considering it was a battle getting to this point. Here's the final appearance with the tuners installed.

    First-timer Archtop Build-eda7718d-f217-49f1-8fcb-afd6ddfd6c6c_1_201_a-jpg

    Once everything is ready to be finalized, I have a tuning peg drill guide and bit from StewMac for the back single screw. Hopefully after all, we won't hit any snags with the string paths running into one another.

    *Learning point - save yourself unnecessary struggles and use the right drill bit size the first time.

  29. #278

    User Info Menu

    After the tuners, I was mentally tired from the drilling debacle and physically tired from the sanding. But, time is of the essence with the upcoming soft deadline, and I needed to wade out of the muck and decided to keep moving on the tailpiece.

    After yesterday's progress I was ready to cut out the general shape on the bandsaw:
    First-timer Archtop Build-edb7317c-e4f5-4899-b95d-c06c63ef14e8_1_201_a-jpg

    The shape I traced was very rough and didn't have solid lines to which I could sand. So, I did my best to find a side I liked better and tried to keep things symmetric. There was a point I felt like I was chasing tails and used a metric ruler to try and map out one side to get closer to the other:
    First-timer Archtop Build-b8e4aa87-36b4-4675-a572-dae11b87b152_1_201_a-jpg

    I tried using the contour gauge to help a bit, too:
    First-timer Archtop Build-80c2e1f2-59d9-4966-a4e1-bde2e760b6b1_1_201_a-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-208697a1-542d-498e-bd58-e8eda4d4548d_1_201_a-jpg

    Here's where I decided to stop and accept the imperfections, and appreciate the mark of the maker:
    First-timer Archtop Build-79b58f1d-d7be-48a2-902f-fdc692ae3105_1_201_a-jpg

    I'll probably make some some adjustments by hand sanding before its shape is absolutely final.

    Next, I wanted to create an angle at the end of the tailpiece on the bottom side to hide the exiting of the adjuster cord.

    To do this, I marked the area I wanted to cut off (the corner):
    First-timer Archtop Build-05fea413-6f8e-4c02-b2bf-6de20dcc748d_1_201_a-jpg

    I then used a piece of cutoff from band sawing the milled blank to practice on the belt sander to see how it would go before using the real piece:
    First-timer Archtop Build-ce62a9bb-cd76-4d08-8d0e-927b5c0fa92d_1_201_a-jpg

    The practice run went well and I gave it a go on the real piece:
    First-timer Archtop Build-ac53a329-6cbb-4df6-a48e-4e83d3291a86_1_201_a-jpg
    Last edited by sbeishline; 01-19-2020 at 11:22 PM.

  30. #279

    User Info Menu

    Here's how it looked afterwards:
    First-timer Archtop Build-5b24ac54-83c4-4f00-8a9f-4f442ffb43ee_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-a53a1eed-801b-45e1-b951-370ece2e91f1_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-5ff33cc4-7b42-4115-a77a-44e1cceb136f_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-57d05a30-b94a-46b3-9271-7a4110f6b09a_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-6a793be0-0831-49f3-a37c-68a217656840_1_201_a-jpg

    Here's how it looks against the body:
    First-timer Archtop Build-3f45efc3-02c5-4de6-a89c-9212a8472f64_1_201_a-jpg

    This shows I was purdy close to my calculated mark:
    First-timer Archtop Build-5a0dc8e1-a9fb-43b8-936d-35171cf0e23c_1_201_a-jpg

    Next I need to radius sand it to the 12deg radius, chisel out the string cavity (on top), and drill the string holes. I'll probably make some chamfers on the edges, too.

  31. #280

    User Info Menu

    Current stage:
    First-timer Archtop Build-6bb49b27-40d3-4e73-a912-3f211b234955_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-f91b664b-fc3e-4fbb-90a5-652945c4caf1_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-be19647f-b33a-4ca0-9868-33f74ac65cd8_1_201_a-jpg

  32. #281

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by sbeishline
    *Learning point - save yourself unnecessary struggles and use the right drill bit size the first time.
    ... or use a tapered reamer to enlarge the hole.

    Lookin' great!

  33. #282

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu
    ... or use a tapered reamer to enlarge the hole.

    Lookin' great!
    Thx- needed that.

    I got a reamer when I was doing the end pin jack hole, because the Benedetto book says 15/32"... But the jack is really a half inch.

    I had it out today for this purpose and was fearful that I'd end up making the hole too large. I figured that (if drilling from the back) by the time the size you want for the back gets to the front, the back will be too big? I guess I don't understand taper reamers.

  34. #283

    User Info Menu

    Use the reamer from both sides. The holes will be slightly larger than necessary on both the front and back when the center is just wide enough to get the tuner through, but it's not much.

  35. #284

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Use the reamer from both sides. The holes will be slightly larger than necessary on both the front and back when the center is just wide enough to get the tuner through, but it's not much.
    Thx, sgosnell. Makes sense.

  36. #285

    User Info Menu

    When adjusting your tailpiece cord, I recommend that you have your tailpiece a bit more forward so that there is not too much pressure pulling down on the tailpiece where the cord exits the end of the tailpiece. With your fulcrum on the guitar rather than on the tailpiece, the area where the cord exits the tailpiece is a bit weaker than a tailpiece with a fulcrum glued under the drilled area where the cord exits the tailpiece. The holes leave the area weak and the lower end of the holes have a habit of cracking or breaking over time. I think if you have the tailpiece in the "flying" position you should be OK. When I say "flying", I mean to have all the downward pressure on the fulcrum and as little downward pressure on the end of the tailpiece as possible. The cord made from steel or nylon will likely cut into the fulcrum over time but if there is downward pressure on the holes where the cord exits it could possibly destroy the end of your tailpiece.
    Last edited by Matt Cushman; 01-20-2020 at 01:01 PM.

  37. #286

    User Info Menu

    What Matt said. Happened to a friend of mine... ;-)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  38. #287

    User Info Menu

    Thanks for looking out, luthiers!

    What’s it like watching a rookie try to pull off this stunt?

  39. #288

    User Info Menu

    I’m loving it! I wish I had the patience and focus to document a build like that. I see people document builds on YouTube and am amazed. If it were me I would have to mute the video —else I would likely get de-monetized for inappropriate use of language.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  40. #289

    User Info Menu

    Got to the shop tonight and wanted to start by radiusing the tailpiece to the 12deg radius.

    Because the piece is small and the sanding block is 12" long, it's hard to use the sanding block on top of the tailpiece. Steve recommended holding the joystick of the sanding block in the vice and double-stick taping the tailpiece to a block of wood and that's just what I did.

    Here's the sanding block loaded with 100grit paper in the vice with the tailpiece stuck to the block:
    First-timer Archtop Build-20d8bf9d-bba8-4d11-9c4c-2d6756d49fc8_1_201_a-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-f593f990-4f63-4c87-a98e-27b2747aee6d_1_201_a-jpg

    I transferred the centerline of the tailpiece to the top so I could align it while sanding with the radius block centerline:
    First-timer Archtop Build-b67778fb-d31a-4f3d-b5a8-4dda651293ae_1_201_a-jpg

    I marked the top of the tailpiece with white chalk pencil so I could track the progress a la fretboard radius sanding:
    First-timer Archtop Build-f04dfcdb-fcd7-46a4-93a5-cf75725aefe2_1_201_a-jpg

    Here's some progress after sanding a while:
    First-timer Archtop Build-e7fbc0cf-1b66-4e3e-87be-cd1704f3e847_1_201_a-jpg

    The block to which the tailpiece was stuck had been sanding to probably 400 and was a bit slippery. I considered double-stick taping some sandpaper on the block for grip, but I ended up just double-stick taping my hand to the block and that worked well enough. You can see it in the following pics post-radiusing.

    Here's it is after finishing:
    First-timer Archtop Build-924ef85e-34b4-4798-ae3f-1c19d83069e0_1_201_a-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-67ef2036-74e5-41a9-9342-ecbbd26a2526_1_201_a-jpg

    I think I was pretty close to my goal of just over 1/4", which is similar to the Benedetto tailpiece you can buy unsanded or prefinished.

  41. #290

    User Info Menu

    After radiusing I was ready to create the recess for the string cavity. I typically like the clean look of strings that are hidden underneath the tailpiece; however, I do enjoy seeing the colors of the ball ends of D'Addario strings. In the Acquired of the Angels book, D'Aquisto designed a lot of his later guitars with the cavity on the top of the tailpiece, so I guess this is my tip of the hat to Sir Jimmy D'Aquisto.

    I first measured the string spacing at the bridge of the Godin Flat Five X, which is the nut string spacing I'm using (~ 2 3/64"):
    First-timer Archtop Build-6a2ec397-9490-496c-813c-fc8e100765a8_1_201_a-jpg

    Next, I traced out my cavity shape:
    First-timer Archtop Build-6ddd2e6b-6238-4e0c-9f55-b58565cb9bdd_1_201_a-jpg

    Then, I measured to ensure it would fit my string spacing requirements and it seemed like it would be alright (pic taken afterwards):
    First-timer Archtop Build-6c43313e-5fcc-4358-99da-9771939a5b8d_1_201_a-jpg

    We debated on the best way to create the slop down into the cavity and determined that, once again, the Dremel in the Stewie router base would come into play. *So glad I bought that damn thing. I set the depth of the 3/32" inlay bit to about 3/32" deep, so I could creep up to ~1/8' deep (the width of the string end ball).

    Next, I scribed the marked cavity line with a marking knife, so I could chisel after routing the deep end of the cavity:
    First-timer Archtop Build-41b2dded-ab2c-4aef-9e0b-ede1415603aa_1_201_a-jpg

    I didn't take a photo, but I ran the Dremel pretty close to the deep end scribed line. Then I started the 2hr of chiseling/filing/sanding. Here are some highlights:
    First-timer Archtop Build-83c42351-3cf5-41a2-b320-6e219ffc3871_1_201_a-jpg

    You can see I accidentally routed above the marking near the end on the right:
    First-timer Archtop Build-7d173f53-c3f7-4fdc-9c5e-097e46e22200-jpg

    I wasn't worried, because I figured I this would be a good use for those needle files I got, and they worked great! Here's some further refinement:
    First-timer Archtop Build-fdf1e3fb-7090-4070-a1ed-fac9efc7ddf1_1_201_a-jpg

    It's amazing how much you can screw up, yet the refinement process evaporates any evidence of the craftsperson struggles.

    I ended up having a tiny bit of chip out here and there, so I ran it again on the radius block. This decreased my deep end wall height a tad, so I'll have to deepen it a little bit more to ~1/8" during the next session on Wednesday. Once that's done and sanded, I'll add the chamfers along the sides and finally, drill the string holes in their respective locations.

    Here's where I stopped for the night:
    First-timer Archtop Build-652b2851-41cc-40be-b711-38317d34b398_1_201_a-jpg

  42. #291

    User Info Menu

    First-timer Archtop Build-4a97d953-0fa9-40af-a7fc-e7208d4159f3_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-50aae5db-2f3a-441e-8bce-34182d1589c4_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-64b07f59-dbb3-48e3-83a9-7b0c028b74eb_1_201_a-jpg

    Cheers.

  43. #292

    User Info Menu

    This is going to be a great guitar. I love the violin/'cello touches (will you put in an âme too?), and those soundholes are truly elegant. Would you post a clip of how it sounds before you add pick-up and guard, please?

  44. #293

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Zina
    This is going to be a great guitar. I love the violin/'cello touches (will you put in an âme too?), and those soundholes are truly elegant. Would you post a clip of how it sounds before you add pick-up and guard, please?
    Thanks, Zina!

    No to the sound post. This is because of the physics of bowed strings vs. plucked string...sound posts are counterproductive for a guitar like this. At least that's how I understand it...

    Sure, I'll post it all as I go along. I'm assuming I definitely won't get the guitar "finished" until things settle after the arrival of the baby. I decided to snag an ebony end pin to use for setting up the strings when getting the nut fit, as I won't be getting near the StrapJack/electrifying stage for a while (after it's completely finished).

    I plan on french polishing, which will likely a few weeks. However, we'll get to hear it in action before I remove everything for finishing.

  45. #294

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by sbeishline
    Thanks, Zina!

    No to the sound post. This is because of the physics of bowed strings vs. plucked string...sound posts are counterproductive for a guitar like this. At least that's how I understand it...

    Sure, I'll post it all as I go along. I'm assuming I definitely won't get the guitar "finished" until things settle after the arrival of the baby. I decided to snag an ebony end pin to use for setting up the strings when getting the nut fit, as I won't be getting near the StrapJack/electrifying stage for a while (after it's completely finished).

    I plan on french polishing, which will likely a few weeks. However, we'll get to hear it in action before I remove everything for finishing.
    What, you don't want to spray nitro around a newborn baby? Dilettante ...


    John

  46. #295

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    What, you don't want to spray nitro around a newborn baby? Dilettante ...


    John
    So true. LOL

  47. #296

    User Info Menu

    Drilling the string holes could be a bit tricky. In woodworking it is often best to drill the piece in advance of shaping. It is much easier to drill accurately while the workpiece is still square.

  48. #297

    User Info Menu

    I am far from an expert but I don’t see how to ground the strings with that tailpiece design. Is that not an issue?

  49. #298

    User Info Menu

    It's not an issue for an acoustic-only guitar. For amplified, there is copper or aluminum tape available that works fairly well. The tape goes in the string slot and down the underside of the tailpiece, or wherever the ground wire comes out of the body. My impression, based on little other than a cursory reading of the thread, is that this is an acoustic archtop. If amplified, not having the strings grounded results in a lot of noise. I say that from experience.

  50. #299

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Cushman
    Drilling the string holes could be a bit tricky. In woodworking it is often best to drill the piece in advance of shaping. It is much easier to drill accurately while the workpiece is still square.
    Steve and I vocalized that exact sentiment last night in talking about it.

    Because the bottom side is flat, we were thinking of creating a sandwich of small cauls to use on the drill press that we could slide along to keep the drill paths in alignment?

    We'll see tomorrow night!

  51. #300

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by TedBPhx
    I am far from an expert but I don’t see how to ground the strings with that tailpiece design. Is that not an issue?
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    It's not an issue for an acoustic-only guitar. For amplified, there is copper or aluminum tape available that works fairly well. The tape goes in the string slot and down the underside of the tailpiece, or wherever the ground wire comes out of the body. My impression, based on little other than a cursory reading of the thread, is that this is an acoustic archtop. If amplified, not having the strings grounded results in a lot of noise. I say that from experience.
    It will eventually be electrified. I've read a few varying opinions about whether it contributes to noise. I think I may try it without shielding and can figure out how exactly to shield it if necessary. There's a JGF thread on this topic that's been discussed before.