View Poll Results: 1st Build Floater Suggestions

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  • KA Handwound 12-pole PAF humbucker

    8 57.14%
  • Zoller AZ-48

    2 14.29%
  • Biltoft Dual Blade Humbucker

    4 28.57%
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Posts 301 to 327 of 327
  1. #301

    User Info Menu

    I think you can add a few strategically placed copper bits and have your strings grounded through your tailpiece. Here is how I grounded a wooden tailpiece. You can't see the wire at all when it is on the guitar. I ran the wire through a slot in the fulcrum to keep it hidden from view.
    First-timer Archtop Build-p1010004-jpg

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  3. #302

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Cushman
    I think you can add a few strategically placed copper bits and have your strings grounded through your tailpiece. Here is how I grounded a wooden tailpiece. You can't see the wire at all when it is on the guitar. I ran the wire through a slot in the fulcrum to keep it hidden from view.
    That's slick maneuvering, Matt. Very nice.

    My tailpiece design is a tough one for stealth grounding. I'll think about it a bit, as I have a little while before i get to that point.

    After the discussion last night, I emailed KA about the 12-pole pickup and he recommended to first see if there is any noise without grounding. If not, it isn't necessary.

  4. #303

    User Info Menu

    There is no doubt about it, that a well shielded circuit is all you need. It is safer not to ground your strings but most people ground their strings without problems. If you use all shielded wiring to a set of thumbwheel V/T controls you probably will not need to ground your strings.

  5. #304

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Cushman
    There is no doubt about it, that a well shielded circuit is all you need. It is safer not to ground your strings but most people ground their strings without problems. If you use all shielded wiring to a set of thumbwheel V/T controls you probably will not need to ground your strings.
    I got the Schatten thumbwheel controls that have shielded wires to use with the KA pickup.

  6. #305

    User Info Menu

    Hit the shop yesterday after work to move forward on the fittings.

    On Monday after I carved out the string recess, I sanded the front on the radius block to remove some marks. This removed some material and decreased the back wall of the cavity making the depth a little less. I wanted it to be around 1/8", so I took the tailpiece home and on Tuesday night, I did some re-chiseling and filing to deepen it a bit more to a final depth of 5/32":
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5703-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5705-jpg

    Next, I needed to transfer the locations of the holes to the top edge of the tailpiece. I first measured the distance on my model guitar (Godin Flat Five X), which was 2 1/32" across from string to string:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5679-jpg

    Then, I made a center mark on the top of the tailpiece and placed it as best I could on the actual bridge of the Godin and transferred the lines:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5701-jpg

    As Matt said, drilling the holes wasn't totally straight forward. Using a hand power drill, it's easy to not stay at 90degrees to the front edge of the tailpiece, ESPECIALLY the high and low E strings because of the slant (curvature) of the top edge of the tailpiece.

    We decided the drill press was definitely the best option to keep the holes at 90degrees and stay straight. We used a mechanics vise attached to some plywood that Steve had, which held the tailpiece upright. I then zero'd the Wixey angle gauge to the drill shaft and then held a ruler on top of the tailpiece to make it totally perpendicular at 90degrees:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5707-jpg

    It's not well-seen in the photo, but there's a Bora saw guide/edge clamped behind the plywood to keep it in line.

    I planned to use 1/16" drill bit for high E and B strings, 5/64" for G and D strings, and 7/64" for A and low E strings.

    I then tried to mark (from the top) to the middle of the cavity wall on the top edge and tried to get this as closed to 2.5/32" as possible. You can see the markings on the low E hole. Once I drilled the first, I just went down the line switching bits as described above:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5709-jpg

    Here's a view from the bottom, up (with a test string):
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5712-jpg

    It ain't perfect from a cavity wall perspective, but the measurement for keeping the strings at bridge spacing (so the strings run straight) is dead on!:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5728-jpg

    I'll finish chamfering the edges in the shop tomorrow.

  7. #306

    User Info Menu

    After drilling the tailpiece string holes, I wanted to make headway on the bridge base:

    For this part, I just made a photocopy of the Benedetto book and cut out the 'actual size' images from his book to use as a template:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5714-jpg

    Unfortunately, the of ebony that I resawed for the tailpiece was a bit too thin to use as a bridge base. So, I had to sacrifice another chunk from the iceberg, which I cut on the band saw:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5715-jpg

    Here's the piece post-band saw:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5716-jpg

    Next, I cross-cut the blank to width on the table saw to 5 1/2":
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5718-jpg

    Next, I marked the piece to rip on the table saw to closer to the final width 9/16":
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5717-jpg

    Then, I marked the blank to rip on the table saw closer to the final height (enough to house the bottom thumbscrews of the Schaller T-O-M bridge):
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5719-jpg

    And ripped it on the table saw:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5720-jpg

  8. #307

    User Info Menu

    Here's the width (bout 10/16"). Can always hand plane this closer to 9/16" later if desired.
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5721-jpg

    After having a milled blank, I traced the transition lines on the ends:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5719-jpg

    And cut them on the band saw:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5723-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5724-jpg

    Then took them over to the spindle sander to sand to the line and make them even. Here's post sanding:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5726-jpg

    Before heading out, I practiced drilling hole spacing for the T-O-M bridge in a piece of scrap wood:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5729-jpg

    Unfortunately, I think I need to get an actual 7mm drill bit for this. I used a 9/32", which is slightly bigger and because it's not a totally snug fit, the thumb wheel outer portion spins and doesn't easily lift the bridge up and down. May have to wait till I order the right bit.

    Once back in the shop tomorrow, in addition to chamfering the tailpiece edges, I'll also plane the sides of the bridge base; although, I may wait until I have the holes drilled so I can the tapering even.

  9. #308

    User Info Menu

    While at home this week, I used my eBay-acquired, Chinese-made bender to pre-bend the fretwire:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5692-jpg

    I don't think it's necessary to spend the dough on the StewMac version - it's way overpriced, IMO.

    I purposely overbent the wire a bit past 12degree radius to help keep the fret ends from popping up:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5730-jpg

    I then cleaned the fretwire and tang with Naphtha to remove all of the residue from machining:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5700-jpg

    Tonight, I'll do a final fret slot clean-out, so it's ready for fret installation this weekend (hopefully).

  10. #309

    User Info Menu

    Nice hardware! Suits the not-too-dark wood of the guitar body.

  11. #310

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by sbeishline
    My tailpiece design is a tough one for stealth grounding. I
    Quote Originally Posted by sbeishline
    Here's post sanding:
    First-timer Archtop Build-img_5726-jpg
    Take a cue from James D'Aquisto: Run your strings through a fairly thin piece of copper or brass, ground the metal.

    You can see it pretty clearly here:


  12. #311

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Sherry
    Take a cue from James D'Aquisto: Run your strings through a fairly thin piece of copper or brass, ground the metal.

    You can see it pretty clearly here:

    Thx, Sam.

    I'll see how it goes once I string it up and consider getting some of the 1/4" copper tape on Stewie. Can probably cut a thin 1/8" width to run along that cavity wall.

  13. #312

    User Info Menu

    Late arrival to the shop in the afternoon yesterday, and started with putting the chamfer on the tailpiece edges:
    First-timer Archtop Build-c11b22c3-8188-4eee-b32f-6c46c77bdc00_1_201_a-jpg

    I double-stick taped the tailpiece to the workbench, and attempted to use a spokeshave; however, it was very chattery. There's no easy way to hold the piece to do this in the vice. So, I aborted and just used a sanding stick instead:
    First-timer Archtop Build-410b5c48-653d-44c2-bb25-4a6237619b14_1_201_a-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-a7271159-5ada-4c6b-9f49-a8d25ec30d13_1_201_a-jpg

    I'll do all the final finish-sanding together.

  14. #313

    User Info Menu

    Next, I needed to place the roundover edge on the bridge base. I chose to do this by hand using the LN 101 plane. Because I don't have the 7mm drill bit yet, I haven't been able to drill the thumbwheel post holes yet. I marked a centerline on the top to ensure I didn't plane into the hole area.

    Again, I double-stick taped it on its side to the workbench:
    First-timer Archtop Build-66005e40-90d6-4e9b-bc9a-128ef11a99f5_1_201_a-jpg

    And just took passes slowly until I felt it was as symmetric as possible:
    First-timer Archtop Build-666366ea-7ed0-455b-88aa-7a504c4a139a_1_201_a-jpg

    Here's how it looked afterwards:
    First-timer Archtop Build-a0d3aca0-6561-4986-a01e-30bc513d8fd0_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-f1c69195-3535-4f55-90d6-c6fe0cd72d9d_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-7073d230-8fe5-44e5-9c37-7dd20ed93900_1_201_a-jpg

    Here's the contour with the flat bridge base.
    First-timer Archtop Build-2ed15a65-8518-4133-8b05-17bd38ebad1b_1_201_a-jpg

    I think it looks good and will work as is.

    .... *insert laughter here....

    Next, I wanted to mark the general arch onto the bridge for the majority of the wood waste removal and took this pearl from Tony Hovington's video:
    First-timer Archtop Build-25addea8-64f4-40fb-9db2-e32dd4217c36_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-06f14ee9-fa47-45da-a5b2-ba026d8da748_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-61c16c15-9ab3-4421-8fe0-3dbd522fd9bd_1_201_a-jpg

  15. #314

    User Info Menu

    Before taking it to the band saw, I spent a lot of time pondering over this image:
    First-timer Archtop Build-f128dde7-5f3f-4d7a-b3eb-ab227a1d4f05-jpg

    After being cut, it wouldn't have enough height to house the entire thumb screw in its lowest position. It was brought to my attention that the bridge WOULD fit the inserts and I could just cut the screw to fit. After dry testing, I don't think I'll need to raise the bridge super high, so I think this is the route I'll need to take.

    Another option would be to remake a bridge with a couple of high areas to raise it up to allow the screw to fully fit, but I don't really like the look of those bridges as much. And secondly, I don't want to mill another piece at this point unless I have to.

    So, that being said, I took the plunge and cut off the wood excess on the band saw:
    First-timer Archtop Build-943edd32-76cf-4f9a-a480-025402ca5f90_1_201_a-jpg

    Here's the remainder I'll need to remove:
    First-timer Archtop Build-9d6cd4d6-7eb9-45cd-bf8b-cc59cede5cc6_1_201_a-jpg

    Here's the current fit after rough band sawing:
    First-timer Archtop Build-d0f43db3-9c81-4339-9610-b425bbe0f6c7_1_201_a-jpg

    This is the setup of the StewMac archtop fitting jig:
    First-timer Archtop Build-52565289-d851-4cf5-bbc3-e30a2ccda767_1_201_a-jpgFirst-timer Archtop Build-56946139-febb-4c88-b4c2-05240e7fc103_1_201_a-jpg

    I don't have the bit to drill the holes yet, so obviously this is just staged for your viewing pleasure.

    I wasn't sure if this toy was overkill, but being that it wasn't super expensive and its an important link in the sound transfer chain, I decided the guitar would need all the help it could get and pulled the trigger.

    I'll probably get closer to the line on the spindle sander before employing the jiggity jig.

  16. #315

    User Info Menu

    At times, the building process is mentally fatiguing and it feels like the finalized guitar is a carrot that's dangling in front of you. Maybe I'm just impatient, but I'm just documenting some of the emotions that come along with this ride.

    Having the 7mm bit delay, I decided it would be a good time to get moving on the frets.

    Of note, I bought the StewMac neck caul to hold this, because I had already shaped the neck. Next go around, I may shape after installing frets.

    First thing on the list is to cut the 22 frets to size. It's recommended to give it about a 3/16" overhand on each side, and I did this using the StewMac fret cutters. Here's fret #1:
    First-timer Archtop Build-4b4d3e62-a6e5-4f33-a3c2-7721c700d3d0_1_201_a-jpg

    I then remembered I wanted to make the fret holder because fitting the tang to the fret slot/binding is very specific, and I can see it'd be easy to mix these up. I just used a 1/8" bit and drilled 22 holes in a piece of cherry scrap:
    First-timer Archtop Build-5bd321f6-41aa-407f-9e45-d85074c6631e_1_201_a-jpg

    Sometimes these easy "projects" are mental stepping stones to feel like something is completed.

    Then got to cutting the remainder of the frets:
    First-timer Archtop Build-f27569ad-9117-4a00-9a4f-2027ed087652_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-f41391ac-baba-4a78-b023-c7420aec264e_1_201_a-jpg

    Before leaving the shop, I decided to try the Radioshack nibbling tool I had bought months back.
    First-timer Archtop Build-47a06095-bdce-4cb3-bf60-af0016a4ed55_1_201_a-jpg

    Well it nibbles, but that's about it. It doesn't cut very close to the crown. I'm not sure if that's because this is a cheap tool, as I thought it was rare and I'd made a score.

    At any rate, it did the job to get me a medial edge to file:
    First-timer Archtop Build-22cac6c9-d7b9-4a82-8186-80c84a7e991e_1_201_a-jpg

    Here's one edge filed and another after tang-snipping:
    First-timer Archtop Build-c60382f0-5222-49e6-a414-80f58b78c134_1_201_a-jpg

    Here's a length check:
    First-timer Archtop Build-6da91f7d-b5cf-46d2-9084-e637db6757c6_1_201_a-jpg

    And a fit check:
    First-timer Archtop Build-f9b91116-a4a8-4bdf-9c2a-27fcfb72d08d_1_201_a-jpg

    Took the neck, Stewie neck caul, clamp, frets in the holder, and mechanics vise home to do some work at home.
    Last edited by sbeishline; 01-26-2020 at 11:22 PM.

  17. #316

    User Info Menu

    After dinner, I clamped the neck caul to my kitchen counter. I started the process of de-tanging the remaining 21 frets and filing the overhangs:
    First-timer Archtop Build-745a11b3-bb8d-49f9-9666-b0849f4661d5_1_201_a-jpg

    As you can see, this process requires proper hydration and fuel.

    Tool note - I used the StewMac fret file and another fine file for this process:
    First-timer Archtop Build-6c5c1144-178b-453b-8e3d-5108bba6a2e5-jpg

    It took me about nipping and filing 3 or 4 pieces of fret, that holding the wire/tang is really hard on the fingertips. I decided to see if the vise could help at all and to my glorious surprise, this vise holders has little tiny diamond shapes in the design that are the exact shape for holding the fret wire/tang perfectly without squeezing it awkwardly:
    First-timer Archtop Build-dadcca77-d146-4061-9a93-ad727aff7c91_1_201_a-jpg

    Without a doubt godsend from the universe. It's hard enough on the neck/shoulders alone, let alone the fingers.

    This helped me move along a bit quicker:
    First-timer Archtop Build-a1e807fa-8b08-4678-b67e-91a025ee9505_1_201_a-jpg

    And after about 3-4 hours of my Saturday night, all were complete:
    First-timer Archtop Build-2080cd33-622f-4591-b7f4-6098a81804ad_1_201_a-jpg



    Hopefully, will get some time in the shop later on today to make a little progress on some other small things.

    On the pondering stand: to glue or not to glue the frets in?
    Last edited by sbeishline; 01-26-2020 at 12:01 PM.

  18. #317

    User Info Menu

    It may be easier to install your frets if you cut the tang just a bit short of filling the entire slot. It is also best to have a bit of space left for the end of the tang just in case the fingerboard contracts over the years. Judging from your photo showing fret and slot, I would move each fret down a slot or two as in fret 20 placed into slot 21 or 22 which is much easier than making all the fret tangs shorter. Frets also have a way of getting longer after being pressed or hammered into the slot. As far as gluing is concerned, it may depend on how well the tang fits the slot. I prefer to glue in frets that fit the slot well. I have my trusty fret tang filer to bring the tang size down to size for a perfect fit. How wide are your slots and how thick is your fret tang?
    Last edited by Matt Cushman; 01-26-2020 at 01:25 PM.

  19. #318

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Cushman
    It may be easier to install your frets if you cut the tang just a bit short of filling the entire slot. It is also best to have a bit of space left for the end of the tang just in case the fingerboard contracts over the years. Judging from your photo showing fret and slot, I would move each fret down a slot or two as in fret 20 placed into slot 21 or 22 which is much easier than making all the fret tangs shorter. Frets also have a way of getting longer after being pressed or hammered into the slot. As far as gluing is concerned, it may depend on how well the tang fits the slot. I prefer to glue in frets that fit the slot well. I have my trusty fret tang filer to bring the tang size down to size for a perfect fit. How wide are your slots and how thick is your fret tang?
    I'll move them up and just re-do another fret or so. I don't have a tang filer, and it's gonna be a tight fit. The tang is 0.022" and the saw cut the slot at 0.023" - not sure if that pushes towards no glue?

  20. #319

    User Info Menu

    Got to the shop late this afternoon and pushed the fret wires up a fret and scoped out the fit. The shifting up one fret seemed to be better for almost all of them except for a few, so I filed those particular tangs down. I moved fret #22 up to #1 and removed more tang and filed it down:
    First-timer Archtop Build-c79c500f-5353-46aa-9126-595994681f5a_1_201_a-jpg

    I then did a Tom Bills technique of overbending the fret at the tang, just a hair. Even though we over bent on the fret bender, this is done as an extra oomph to help keep the fret ends in place:
    First-timer Archtop Build-e88f114c-064d-4279-978e-e2a69e97b539_1_201_a-jpg

    Here's a pic of the final frets before I cleaned them up again with naphtha and put them in the holder ready for installation while awaiting some final opinions/recommends on glue vs no glue.
    First-timer Archtop Build-20b78e40-b505-4777-aa6a-175095dfdd41_1_201_a-jpg

    I don't have a centerline anymore, but I wanted to do a cursory alignment check to see if there was any gross issues before moving along to the next task:
    First-timer Archtop Build-da3f7a1e-099b-4191-a0c4-96f2ce0bfa17_1_201_a-jpg

  21. #320

    User Info Menu

    While holding off on fretting, I needed to utilize the time on the other parts and decided to move on the pickguard design.

    I'm not a big fan of giant pickguards. As a matter on fact, I play without one normally on the PRS and Godin. But, being that I'm going to do a pickguard mounted KA PAF 12-pole, I need to have one. So, I based my general design a la Schottmueller's petite pickguard that is on his Little Leona model. Additionally, I didn't want to cover up the f-holes much, if at all. I decided to keep my rounded-end theme and modify it as such.

    I really didn't do any templating, just eyeballed Schottmueller's general landmarks and guestimated distances, and started spitballing and drawing right on the guitar body. Didn't take long before I was happy with it:
    First-timer Archtop Build-9ebabc53-88b4-4bf2-abb7-8312f65dedfb_1_201_a-jpg

    There wasn't a good way to get it onto paper, but I just sort of placed it on top, lifted it up here and there and tried to replicate it:
    First-timer Archtop Build-c6e9ffad-2f62-405e-92a7-1d4bba07b79e_1_201_a-jpg

    I then cut a hunk of the ebony on the bandsaw:
    First-timer Archtop Build-f561648e-f100-4c36-a5ac-16d9bee1fa8f_1_201_a-jpg

    And cut the shape out on paper and traced it onto the ebony blank:
    First-timer Archtop Build-6b146c0d-a520-4800-b60e-1c9fc1d527a1_1_201_a-jpg

    I then free-handed the curved end:
    First-timer Archtop Build-8559d26c-5618-430b-a19f-4110d50c8634_1_201_a-jpg

    And cut it out on the bandsaw. Here's it raw form:
    First-timer Archtop Build-abe9592f-afec-46da-8865-eafa1962057a_1_201_a-jpg

    Next I took it to the spindle sander to shape the curved side:
    First-timer Archtop Build-2f26ab97-d7cc-4072-acc9-f0b67cdda075_1_201_a-jpg

    Once the curves were acceptable, I then used the LN 101 to plane the long, flat side to narrow the width. I went back and forth sitting it on the guitar until it just cleared the f-hole:
    First-timer Archtop Build-f249854e-5494-4cc9-b8c0-2a28b8c366e2_1_201_a-jpg

  22. #321

    User Info Menu

    After hand planing the edge, I started taking passes on the drum sander to thickness the pickguard to 3/16". I got to about 1/4" when the pickguard got stuck and the ebony started burning - we've had this issue with this machine before. I shut it off, but there was some fairly ugly sniping and a big burn strip:
    First-timer Archtop Build-27b42f6b-941b-49da-8763-65fcaa05d59a_1_201_a-jpg

    Fortunately, I still had some thickness to go and was able to double-stick tape it to the workbench and finish off the sanding with 100grit sandpaper and got it to 3/16" with marks removed:
    First-timer Archtop Build-0af298f0-3c55-4d9e-a122-aa86ea0844b0_1_201_a-jpg

    This is closer to Schottmueller's positioning:
    First-timer Archtop Build-a43e1a70-d5ca-457b-99b9-168a3d0199b0_1_201_a-jpg

    I'll probably raise it up or end up somewhere in between:
    First-timer Archtop Build-53a3ac02-dadf-4df7-9c79-f8b20c2c1bb2_1_201_a-jpg

    Sharp edges need to be sanded, but I will do that with all the final finish sanding.

    Also, I need to mill a mounting block to attach the pickguard to the neck, which I dunno how to mount.

  23. #322

    User Info Menu

    ARRRRGHHH! After finishing the pickguard, I wanted to get the truss rod cover made. Unfortunately, I wasted a bunch of time all to discover I made a bonehead mistake.

    I started by measuring the cavity:
    First-timer Archtop Build-5a79faf8-97fa-4b8f-95a3-2ec9adfa4f27_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-3a39bcfb-11e3-45b3-95f7-0d8d69ab90a9_1_201_a-jpg

    And creating/cutting out a pattern template (like I did previously) that would cover the cavity:
    First-timer Archtop Build-bd6bed6d-23ec-4109-9793-3c68e463be07_1_201_a-jpg

    I then traced the pattern onto a leftover piece of ebony and cut it out on the band saw:
    First-timer Archtop Build-685b3d71-fa07-43be-86d4-b261e962cf6c_1_201_a-jpg

    I worked for a bit getting it shaped on the spindle sander:
    First-timer Archtop Build-c95b6fbc-d4d4-445a-9fc5-e850c4893c6f_1_201_a-jpg

    Next, I then marked it for thinning on the band saw to 1/8" (piece was other half of tailpiece blank and close to 5/16"):
    First-timer Archtop Build-005f93ff-29ee-4217-9555-790e2ec0a65d_1_201_a-jpg

    And then ran it on the band saw. As expected, this left some very uneven surfaces in a thin piece of wood. So I first spend time sanding, then planing with the LN101 to save time:
    First-timer Archtop Build-47c3e6d7-cafa-4c16-90de-bb5f8adaf7c2_1_201_a-jpg

  24. #323

    User Info Menu

    After all that, it wasn't near flat on either side. I tried to come up with an idea of flattening at least one side - here was a sanding block sandwich idea that helped, but didn't solve the issue:
    First-timer Archtop Build-2258e10f-98a3-4a81-855e-7ad132cf593e_1_201_a-jpg

    After all that, it was 1/16". BUT the grain was SIDEWAYS!!!!

    So, I recut a new piece (grain running top to bottom) from the blank on the bandsaw and band sawed it to shape. Then, I decided to double-stick tape the 5/16" thick shaped cover to the wood block and just hold it flat against the belt sander. I did this until the piece became hot and I had to go home, which was about 1/8". I still have a bit of shaping and thicknessing, but at least it's totally flat:
    First-timer Archtop Build-c2bf4f54-978b-47a1-9ac8-853b8f5161f9_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-393184fa-8d42-4db0-8939-dd8226392324_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-9196114a-ff6d-4d3c-bf23-e08a042f5a40_1_201_a-jpg

  25. #324

    User Info Menu

    I think that I had mentioned way back when I was fitting the dovetail with the next extension still full, I had loosened up the dovetail while using the carbon paper and chiseling to lower it the extension onto the fretboard.

    Steve happened to have 1/42" mahogany veneer that I was able to cut and shape, so that when I glue it on the grain is running the same:
    First-timer Archtop Build-c01a250e-1ced-4c68-aa79-d4949fbb96d8_1_201_a-jpg

    I cut it so that it fits about 1/4" from the tip of the dovetail:
    First-timer Archtop Build-418f900f-b421-44eb-b6c6-a33aff1f6c9f_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-4e050842-2f9a-46c3-b332-69d33c21a795_1_201_a-jpg

    If I only use 1 piece, it snugs up the joint pretty well and the neck extension is just about touching the top plate. If I use 2 pieces, it's too tight, but would let me have more to work with in sanding it to fit again. Steve recommended using 1 since the offset left or right is pretty negligible and it gets us close to start, and we can work it to fit well.

    I'll do this final fitting after getting the frets are installed and cut.

    I just realized - it's fortuitous that I'm posting tonight. When I look back in my phone pictures, I took the Moffa Mithra photo to Kinko's on January 26, 2019 and started the design on paper, and a woodworking fantasy to become a reality.

    I've come a long way in exactly one year, and learned a ton - especially to check the grain direction before cutting.

    Gonna try to squeeze in some post-work shop evenings this week to get closer to string up, but I'm not sure I'll be making the baby deadline considering m'lady is due on Saturday and may labor at any time. May be a shop silence for a while, but the chips will fall where they may.

    Will hate to keep everyone in suspense, but in case I'm on radio silence - thank you for being a great audience!
    Last edited by sbeishline; Yesterday at 09:51 PM.

  26. #325

    User Info Menu

    Stopped by the shop for a little bit his evening to get the frets installed. I was basically set to hit the ground running when I arrived.

    I started by using some plastic tape I perma-borrowed from work. I masked off the main portion of the fret, and then applied a little Tap-Ease (wax stick) to the area just adjacent to the fret slot so that I any CA glue squeeze-out could be cleaned up without messing up the fingerboard:
    First-timer Archtop Build-270a0ebd-5ad9-4fad-93bc-1482330f2cfd-jpg

    I decided to use glue, and went with a medium viscosity glue called Zap-a-Gap:
    First-timer Archtop Build-f953e780-87a2-4299-b644-34b77f4d7adf_1_201_a-jpg

    They have the equivalent of StewMac's "whip tips" that are precision dispensing tips that I used to instill the glue into the fret slot:
    First-timer Archtop Build-89a9a1b7-c658-4fb0-b914-7f243c2dcb4b_1_201_a-jpg

    After instilling the glue, I worked as quick as I could to get the fret hammered into the slot using the StewMac dead blow hammer. Here's after the first 8 frets:
    First-timer Archtop Build-f5516d57-8011-41bf-90fb-a7ee7c33965c_1_201_a-jpg

    And after about the 12th:
    First-timer Archtop Build-d3eab53a-1e4a-475e-8b58-da94fd457fff_1_201_a-jpg

    I was using the StewMac neck caul and once I got to near the heel area, there isn't much support. Here's my setup modification (scrap piece clamped plus a 3/32" setup block) to ensure the heel was well supported for hammering the frets over this area:
    First-timer Archtop Build-87ac8fa4-9e55-4ff8-87fb-40eeeab62449_1_201_a-jpg

    This is at the 15th fret (neck/body joint):
    First-timer Archtop Build-2deb7591-9472-4eaf-9183-c0832b783b72_1_201_a-jpg

  27. #326

    User Info Menu

    Similarly, once I got past the heel and over the next extension, I needed to support that area. Here's my setup mod for this area:
    First-timer Archtop Build-5c684c4c-9a83-42ad-a090-ef519065d58e_1_201_a-jpg

    Because the frets were narrower than the tape, I did the tape/wax stick one at a time.

    Here's after we emptied the fret holder:
    First-timer Archtop Build-d154efa3-1a09-4ca7-925e-995a798e66a1_1_201_a-jpg

    Couple of pix of the post-hammering:
    First-timer Archtop Build-fd7c7d80-9f86-4214-8c05-adbbc55fe6f1_1_201_a-jpg
    First-timer Archtop Build-565efe56-4680-44a8-82da-6e52810a1ed8_1_201_a-jpg

    Then, I used the StewMac fret cutters to nip the fret off at the fretboard edge:
    First-timer Archtop Build-0e48e07e-1e9b-4702-ba97-4cf668062399_1_201_a-jpg

    Overall, I think it went okay. Certainly not the most perfect installation, but there were no panic attacks or tragedies.

  28. #327

    User Info Menu

    Here are some random photos of the current stage (minus tuners).

    Snagged the StewMac No-Jack end pin, so I can string it up before electrifying:
    First-timer Archtop Build-089491e9-ce73-480e-89e4-580a79b469ab_1_201_a-jpg

    I brought the KA 12-pole over to get an idea of where I'll need to inset the pickup shape into the pickguard, and made a general mark in the area of where I think the pickguard will end up. Can see the white chalk pencil marks:
    First-timer Archtop Build-ac33643a-fdc0-44bc-a149-60b9e0f81262_1_201_a-jpg

    Starting to look like a real life guitar!:
    First-timer Archtop Build-e2059410-04ae-4c7b-abb4-4c062e3acc65_1_201_a-jpg

    And starting to look like a dad??:
    First-timer Archtop Build-93447600-5fa0-4ad7-964f-7dbd4f8b21ea_1_201_a-jpg

    If no baby by Wednesday, I'll hit the shop as the 7mm drill bit should arrive that day and I'll get the holes drilled in the bridge base and use the bridge fitting jig to get it sanded to the contour of the top plate. Additionally, I'll try to get the tuners fully installed and screw holes drilled on the back side of the tuner, and glue on either 1 or 2 shims to the dovetail tenon.