$100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Mark Swanson » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:35 am

I got mine from Bluescreek. I am using them and they do work, but they seem too thick to me. I have seen other slats that are a lot more flexible, when I use mine to bend a cutaway it takes one hell of a lot of force to crank my bending machine down to get those slats to bend.
I asked you because I wanted to see if you found any better ones.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:40 pm

Measure the thickness of your slats and let me know what it is.....I'll go from there and see what I can find.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Mark Swanson » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:12 pm

Well, mine are about .015-.012 thick as far as I can tell with a quick look. But I think it has more to do with just the thickness. These are spring steel slats, and I think- but am not sure- that different alloys and types of steel will be more flexible than others. I know I have seen slats used by other builders that are a lot more flexible than these.
If I put these two slats into the bender with no wood at all, they are still quite hard to bend. A standard non-cutaway shape isn't too hard but bending these slats around a cutaway requires a hell of a lot of force.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:22 pm

This is the best deal I've found so far. They offer several different thicknesses in either 6"x25" pairs or 6"x50" singles. They're blued but that doesn't bother me as I wrap my sides in foil before bending anyway.
http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INPDFF?PMPA ... M=505-3821
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby David Ackley » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:57 pm

Hi Eddie,
Looking good!
I'm going to have to consider black walnut for fretboards as well.
For steel slats, I had good luck checking in with local metal fabricators and the price was very reasonable. They will even cut to size.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Louie Atienza » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:12 pm

I have some stainless steel sheet that seems to be pretty flexible, that I was going to use for a bender. Got it from my buddy who is a tinknocker...
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:39 pm

David, I'm located in the sticks (VERY rural area) so there's really nothing local for me. lol The nearest city is 40-50 miles from me. So there are really no metal fabricators (other than myself) nearby. I normally just order anything I need online. I use Enco and MSC products a good bit for my mill and lathe work so I'll most likely give the Enco .010 spring steel a try. I think stainless would give me a problem holding it's memory, especially in the case of cutaway bending. As for my acoustic build, as is the norm for me, it's given me a few problems, but I think I'll still be able to get past them with no trouble. My 2 problems areas on the sides went ahead and blew out completely on me. Luckily, they're both right on the very edge of the sides and since I cut them oversized, I think most of the trouble areas will be removed during radius-sanding. I glued the kerfings in yesterday and they seemed to have completely stabilzed these bad spots so I think I'm in the clear. Plus, since the original plan was for a burst finish, any bad areas around any edges will be hidden by the finish anyway. I decided to wait on bending the second set of sides until I get some new slats though, which hopefully will be here next week. I also decided to try using a stronger top radius so I also ordered a new 25' radius dish last week and I'm still waiting on it to arrive as well. I have a few other aspects that I can be working on in the meantime (preparing the back and top) but for the most part, I'm dead in the water until that stuff arrives.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:15 pm

Kerfings glued and carbon fiber support rods installed. Also glued in some side braces as well. I've got quite of bit of sanding to do on the radius dish now.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Mark Swanson » Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:14 pm

That's looking good! I often use the Cf supports like that.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:38 am

Thanks Mark! Since I use a 3-bolt neck attachment system, I use the CF supports on all my acoustic-type builds. A good friend of mine owns an archery shop and he saves all his shaft cut-offs for me rather than throwing them away.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Thomas Dooher » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:06 pm

Eddie, people like you make me sick! ...People with skill and talent, that is! All I can say, is WOW! :D
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:11 pm

Thank you Thomas. It's given me a problem or two but I'm still managing to move along.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:43 pm

Finally had a chance to get back on this one and get a few things done. Since I'm actually building 2 of these simultaneously, I really didn't have any progress to post lately since I've been catching up on the second one. I ordered new spring steel slats and also incorporated spring tensioners to the top slat which made bending the second set of sides a total breeze. So I now have 2 bodies with no tops or backs yet. But both have been radiused and are ready for tops. In the meantime, I decided to go ahead and make a few headstock overlays since I needed a couple for these 2 acoustics as well as one more for another custom order. I used some dropoffs from the cherry sides. Since 2 will be going on guitars with gold hardware, I decided to use goldtop inlay rather than the usual MOP, etc. I actually use this method quite often by mixing goldtop powder with clear epoxy and then wicking it into the engraved areas.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:48 pm

The goldtop powder/epoxy combo is very brilliant until you make the mistake of level sanding it. Sanding it flattens the metallic and makes it look drab and gray. So, with that in mind, I don't completely fill the engraved areas.....I leave it low. And then finish filling with straight clear epoxy.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:51 pm

I also cut the bracing stock from scrap spruce and then radiused to 25' for top and back.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:56 pm

One of the spruce tops from Old World Tonewoods before planing and thicknessing.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:57 pm

..and after planing and thicknessing to .100",
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:59 pm

Joining the top.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:05 pm

In case anyone is wondering.... that's a top joiner that I made a while back after finally getting fed up with the results I was getting from using both the "tape method" and the "nail-board" method for joining tops. I designed this in a similar fashion to a joining station that I built to clamp and join solid body blanks. This is basically just a mini-version but it works great.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Mark Swanson » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:43 am

Do you join your top after thicknessing? Most of the time final thicknessing is done after the top is all joined up.
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