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

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:47 pm
by Eddie McRae
I've never participated in one of these so I thought I'd give this one a try since I use local woods for alot of my customs anyway. I'm actually going to be building 2 Grand Auditorium Cutaways at the same time but, of course, because of costs, only one will be eligible and entered into the challenge. I'll be using cherry for the sides, back, and some binding and trim and then black walnut for the fretboard and bridge. My local supplier gives me scraps and splits/breakoffs alot of times so I'll be using some scrap mahogany for the kerf linings and scrap spruce for the bracing. Below is my list along with costs for one of these along with a few pics of my materials.

Wood – Cherry (2.25 BF) - Local $4.50
Wood – Black Walnut (.5 BF) - Local $1.50
Wood – Mahogany scrap (.5 BF) - Local $1.00
Wood – Spruce scrap for bracing – Local $N/C
Carbon fiber reinforcement rods – Local $N/C
Spruce top - Old World Tonewood $7.50
2 Way Truss Rod – Bezdez (Ebay) $7.00
Keystone Tuners - GuitarFetish $24.00
Bone Nut – Bezdez (Ebay) $2.00
Bone Saddle – Bezdez (Ebay) $4.00
Ivory/Black dot bridge pins – Bezdez (Ebay) $1.50
Rosette – Bezdez (Ebay) $6.00
Fretwire - Grizzly $3.00
Pearl Dot inlays – Bezdez (Ebay) $3.00
Purfling - Grizzly T1124 $9.00
Backstrip - Grizzly T1125 $5.50
Neck attach hardware - Grainger $3.00
Watco Lacquer – 1 QT $7.25
Misc Tints, Stain, etc $4.00

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

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:52 pm
by Eddie McRae
I decided to get started earlier today so I took a few split scraps of mahogany and ripped/routed/sawed them into kerf linings.

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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:15 am
by Tristan Williams
Cool!
How do you think the walnut will fare as a fretboard? I've always been under the impression that it is too soft. It will certainly make for a very beautiful fretboard.

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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:13 am
by Eddie McRae
Thanks Tristan. I've been using black walnut for fretboards for 3 or 4 years now and haven't had any troubles or complaints so far. I also started building all of my personal guitars with them because I liked it so much.

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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:46 am
by Tristan Williams
Nice! Maybe I'll try using walnut on my 8-string build as well then.

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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:04 pm
by Eddie McRae
I think you'll be pleased with it Tristan. If you'd like to see how some of them turned out, message me with your email and I'll send you a few pictures.

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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:58 pm
by Mark Swanson
I've used walnut before too. I have a telecaster with a walnut fingerboard that it's one of my favorites, it's worked out well so far. I do think that if you are one of those "gator grip" players who mashes the strings all the way down to the fingerboard and plays hard then it may wear faster than other woods but I'm not that guy.

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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:57 pm
by Eddie McRae
I agree with you Mark. I'm not sure walnut would the best choice for the true "dig-in" type of player but for normal playing styles, I think it's fine. I'm actually a harder player myself and the walnut is fine for me. I also think that how the fretboard is finished....in terms of smoothness,etc....greatly affects how it will wear. I always radius-sand mine to 400 using a swing fixture under my vertical mill. And then handrub and polish with lemon oil. I've read lately though about others using paste wax and buffing and getting good results so I'd been thinking of trying that method out. Any thoughts?

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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:53 pm
by Eddie McRae
Made a little progress today. I got the neck blank made and scarfed the headstock on as well as got the heel blocks glued up. Without paying attention, I glued and clamped my scarf joint backwards but luckily realized and corrected it before the glue had time to set.

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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:55 pm
by Eddie McRae
Got the fretboard made and slotted also.

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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:59 pm
by Eddie McRae
I ripped a few thin strips off the edge of the cherry to make the binding. Bent the small end piece to go on the end of the fretboard and glued the bindings on.

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

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:01 am
by Eddie McRae
...and a picture of my shop-made sidebender with cutaway attachment along with the bending forms, template, and mold that I'll be using.

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

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:17 am
by Mark Swanson
That all looks good Eddie, you are cranking right along.
I saw a bottle of the dreaded Titebond II in that one photo...I hope you aren't using that stuff!

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

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:38 am
by Eddie McRae
No, that's actually original Titebond. I buy it in gallon quantities and then pour it off into extra bottles I have laying around the shop.

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

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:11 pm
by Mark Swanson
Ahh yes, you are a wise man. :P

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

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:49 pm
by Louie Atienza
Looks great Eddie... Nice bender!

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

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:48 pm
by Eddie McRae
Thanks guys. I decided to put the bender to work today. Resawed my sides and surfaced them to thickness. Then got the sides and the kerfing bent and temp-clamped into the mold. Had a few minor issues with these two sides though. They didn't actually blow-out but they tried and I've got a little grain break and separation in one spot on each of them. I think both areas will sand out ok plus both areas fall under the kerfings so that should help also. I've been using galvanized flashing for slats when I bend and I'm convinced that I probably wouldn't have had these problems if I had been using spring steel. So I decided today to go ahead and order a set of spring steel slats and hopefully I won't have any trouble in the future.

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

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:49 pm
by Eddie McRae
Both sides in the mold along with the kerfings.

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

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:33 am
by Mark Swanson
Where did you order your steel slats?

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

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:00 am
by Eddie McRae
Mark, I decided to go ahead and get some but I haven't actually placed an order yet. I'm still looking online for sources. So far, I've only come up with LMI and Bluescreek. Did you have a suggestion or know of any other sources?