$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 Eddie McRae » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:03 am

I don't have a thickness sander in the shop so I normally try to get pretty close to final thickness when planing. I keep an extra set of dedicated planer blades that are used for tops only. The reality is, my planer will only take a top down to a range of .113" - .120". And the rest, I'll have to do after joining. So actually, this particular top came out at around .115". So I'll have around a 1/64" of final sanding to do. But I'll wait until after I've done the rosette work to do it.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Mark Swanson » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:05 am

I see...that is a good example of how each builder learns his process for and with the tools he has at hand!
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:19 am

Yeah....plus it also explains why I needed and wanted a better and more accurate fixture to use for the actual joining. At any rate, if I can ever find the time, I do have plans to build a thickness sander.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Mark Swanson » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:07 am

I do have plans to build a thickness sander.


Go for it! You will be so glad you did. You'll think of a million uses for it.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:25 am

I used another guitar for the basic design of this project so I never had a blueprint or plan to work from. I've basically just made things work out as I went and kept a log of all specs for future reference. With that in mind, I figured it was about time I sat down and drafted out a bracing design. In the process, I decided to draft out a side view as well so I could go ahead and determine neck angle plus I was curious to see how the fretboard extension would work out in conjunction with the 25' top radius. Neck angle worked out to be 3.5 degrees and the fretboard extension will require very little work for a final fit. I also went ahead and made a couple of bridges from black walnut.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:28 am

Installed inlay dots on both fretboards and then radiused using a swing fixture on the vertical mill.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:32 am

Cut neck angle on both neck blanks. A shot of both blanks along with both fretboards.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:33 am

Glued extensions onto both headstocks.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:39 am

Cut the rough heel contours and then cut the rough shape on both neck blanks. I already have one top joined so I guess it's time to get the rosettes done and then on to the top bracing. I'm hoping to have both of these closed up by the middle of the week but that remains to be seen. At this point, allowing for finish and cure time, I'm not so sure I'll be able to make the deadline but I'm gonna try.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:28 pm

Both necks with fretboards glued.......ready for final shaping and contouring.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Steven Wilson » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:41 pm

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

Postby Patrick DeGreve » Tue May 01, 2012 2:08 pm

Very, Very nice, Eddie! I love the pegheads and logo. The neck binding is just right, I am curious about the cherry. One of my local hardwood dealers has cherry all the time, and I have thought about using some of it. I know that cherry aften darkens when exposed to light, and becomes very rich looking. I have seen it listed on several tonewood dealers, and have a couple of orphaned sides, but haven't tried it yet. Again very nice work, Eddie, these two guitars are going to be beautiful.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Mark Swanson » Tue May 01, 2012 3:29 pm

The cherry is great wood for an acoustic guitar. I've used it a lot for necks, backs and sides and so have many others here.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Tue May 01, 2012 9:37 pm

Thanks Patrick. As Mark said, cherry is a wonderful wood....and not just for acoustics. It's great for solid-bodies as well. Actually, if you look close in the background of the neck pictures, you'll see another special order custom that I started on April 7. It's a custom LP-type and it is completely all cherry with the exception of the fretboard which is black walnut. Hence my slow progress with this challenge! Cherry and black walnut are actually the predominant woods that I use mostly....due to the fact that they're both common to my locale...plus I have a friend who owns a mill that gives me great prices and lets me handpick the woods that I want. I've built at least 20 guitars (probably way more) that were mainly cherry and I've never been disappointed. You should definitely give it a try.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Tue May 01, 2012 9:41 pm

Well I made a little progress today. I got the 2nd top thicknessed and joined and then got both of them cutout to rough shape and ready for rosettes. I use the top of my go-bar deck as a work surface to do rosette work.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Tue May 01, 2012 9:45 pm

A few more pics of the tops and herringbone rosettes.....
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Tue May 01, 2012 10:37 pm

I'm at a point here where I wouldn't mind a little input regarding the top bracing. I used another guitar that I own as the basic guideline to make all my templates and forms and such for this bodystyle. It's been one of my favorite guitars for over 20 years and has withstood the test of time as well as outperformed almost every high-end acoustic that I've owned including too many Ovations, 4 Guilds, and a Martin. I also used it when laying out the bracing pattern for this build as best I could along with using pics of Taylor's X14CE bracing design. The bracing in my existing guitar is not scalloped. So, that is my question. "To Scallop or Not To Scallop?"
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Mark Swanson » Wed May 02, 2012 12:05 am

Hmmmm...you might get several different opinions. So I'd ask you, have you made a guitar with scalloped bracing before? If I had to make this choice I would just take all that I knew about all the different bracing patterns that I had tried and what they sound like, and decide which direction I want this guitar to lean toward. Then design and go from there to best get that tone and the best guitar out of it.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Eddie McRae » Wed May 02, 2012 9:26 am

Yes I've built with scalloped bracing but it's never been in a comparative situation. In other words, I didn't have another identical guitar with unscalloped bracing to compare it against. It's always been my train of thought that unscalloped would provide a more balanced tone and that scalloped would let more low end come through. I may be wrong with that line of thinking though. At any rate, it occurred to me, this is the perfect "laboratory" situation for me. Since these guitars will be identical in every way, I think I'll scallop one and leave one unscallopped and compare the two when done.
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Re: $100 Local Materials Challenge, Eddie McRae, Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic

Postby Mark Swanson » Wed May 02, 2012 9:39 am

Good plan! That's what I'd do too. I feel that the two patterns do have a different tones but I wouldn't want to try and describe it.
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