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First guitar - dreadnaught

DLJeffs

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Went down to my coach's shop today, hoping to watch his CNC mill cut out some necks. Unfortunately, minor glitches forced us to stop partway through. But I got to fondle the body. It's out of the cordage wrap and tape and is cleaned up and ready for finish. Looks and sounds really great. I forgot my camera so these pics are from my phone. The color isn't quite accurate.

back strip 2.jpeg

binding finished.jpeg

end graft and back strip finished.jpg

total top ready for finish.jpeg
 

DLJeffs

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Worked on the neck today...and re-bent a second set of mahogany sides so I can start on guitar #2. My coach is making a few accoustics for his boss so made some jigs and cut out the neck on his CNC. First we joint one side so we have a flat surface to register to. Next, we rough the sides out on the band saw. Then we clamp them to a jig on the CNC and cut two grooves for maple stiffeners. After we glued those in and sanded flat, we clamp the necks back in the CNC and it planes the headstock and the fingerboard surface. It also cuts the groove for the truss rod and the alignment holes for the fingerboard.

I bent a second set of mahogany sides a while ago and put them into a body jig I made from cardboard. One of the sides must have shifted in the bender so the ends wouldn't butt against the other side when I put them in the form. So we tried to re-bend them today. The first side came out better and the second side was still in the bender. Hopefully I'll be able to use them. If not, I have a set of ebony sides and back that will be a gorgeous guitar. I also have a set of figured myrtle sides and back that will be the third guitar.

So while the side was cooling, we worked on the fingerboard. Using another jig, we drilled holes to match the alignment pins the CNC drilled in the neck. The fingerboard I got already had fret grooves but it wasn't 100% square so we had to mark it up and square it off. Then we checked the length and how it fit against the rosette (if it's off center that's where it will really show).

Next I'll finish truing the sides of the fingerboard and we'll finish cutting out the neck. Then I'll shape the back and heel of the neck. My coach is working on transferring my design for an inlay for the headstock and we'll use the CNC to cut it out. Then we'll drill holes for the neck attachment and the tuners and get ready to attach the neck and then the bridge.

necks cutout with cnc.jpg

laying out fingerboard.jpg

rough headstock laying out tuning holes.jpg

fingerboard alignment peg holes.jpg
 

Arn213

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It’s looking good. Have you and your coach decided yet on the neck heel joint whether it would be dovetail or bolt-on?
 

DLJeffs

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We're doing bolt on for this one. He's doing a dovetail on the one he's building for his boss. He's there's pluses and minuses to both (like just about everything we've done so far). Do you have a preference? And if so, why? I'm working on getting a second set of sides bent so I can start on #2 when this one goes to the spray booth. I screwed up on half of the mahogany set I had so we're tried to re-bend them yesterday. If they don't come out usable, I'll switch to a set of ebony sides I have.
 

Arn213

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We're doing bolt on for this one. He's doing a dovetail on the one he's building for his boss. He's there's pluses and minuses to both (like just about everything we've done so far). Do you have a preference? And if so, why? I'm working on getting a second set of sides bent so I can start on #2 when this one goes to the spray booth. I screwed up on half of the mahogany set I had so we're tried to re-bend them yesterday. If they don't come out usable, I'll switch to a set of ebony sides I have.
I am a traditionalist when it comes to joinery, so I prefer the detail and coupling of wood to wood. However, I don’t mind the bolt-on because of the “convenience” factor and you will thank yourself if the neck needs a little tweaking without having to do a reset.

If you are adventurous enough and open to it, I would do one of each since you have the same specs. on both. You can then compare to see if you hear a subtle difference in the sound transfer as the neck is a “tone filter”. The bolt-on will have a very slight bright sound projection in my playing experience. YMMV.

Ebony sides? You have to make sure you have this guitar properly humidified during the winter season. Ebony likes to drink. If it is not properly hydrated, you will see checking and cracking. This is the trouble with ebony.
 
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DLJeffs

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Arn -
Do you have a favorite humidifier for inside a guitar case? I have a very old, very cheap one - it's a piece of porous ceramic inside a plastic yellow snap lid container.
 

Arn213

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Arn -
Do you have a favorite humidifier for inside a guitar case? I have a very old, very cheap one - it's a piece of porous ceramic inside a plastic yellow snap lid container.

Doug @DLJeffs - I use the product below and stretch it out to about 6 months on the acoustic (they suggest shorter period; but 6 months is the max for me). For my electrics, I use the same thing but stretch it out a bit longer because 95 percent of the guitar has a finish on it (the fretboard is unfinished); whereas the acoustic inside the box is totally unfinished including the fretboard and the saddle. I locate this bag underneath the neck close to the neck heel and for acoustic inside the sound hole. See links below.



^This method can be costly depending on how fast you changed the paks. It could run you $ 50 per year or $ 100 per year, but you deal with no water mess or the sanitary debate with using a standard drop in humidifier at the sound hole or loose pod in the case.

The below also works which is a “manual sponge” and what basically most people use because it is economical to use, but you have to do more monitoring to make sure the sponge does not become dry- so refilling schedules is a must. I have used this and it works fine- so does the luthiers that I know. See link below:

Then there are the room humidifiers that works well, but requires monitoring when you need to refill with water and it does add to your electrical bill as it gets plugged into your electrical outlet. My brother and sister in law uses this in tandem with the humid packs because they have very old and very expensive violins and violas.

Oh and you need to invest in one of these and it is a must to have a hygrometer in the room were your instruments reside- “not a hydrometer” lol per @gman2431 ! You have to invest on that if you want to protect the health of your instruments and keep you from paying for or making expensive repairs. You want to keep the relative humidity between 40-50%.

The maintenance factor is the challenging aspects if want your acoustics to stay healthy and be playable at optimal level. It is almost like “following a 2 year old around” to make sure they are fed, they get there proper nap time, time for the bottle and whether it is that time to change their diapers again- I don’t know what is worst between the two? :sarcastic:
 
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