Cucumber magnolia nylon string

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Cucumber magnolia nylon string

Postby John Cross » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:38 pm

Here is my latest guitar. It was built for Jim Hepler who is also a builder on MIMF - he will likely chime in at some point. It has been in progress since April 2012 but was actually conceived a year earlier. He wanted a non-traditional classical. Since neither of us are nylon string players we decided to buck tradition wherever possible. So it is OM shaped rather than a typical classical, 12 fret, X-braced (lightly), plastic binding, abalone rosette, adjustable neck liberon oil finish on the body and tru oil on the neck. I managed to hold off trying to do a sunburst because I didn’t think it would really go with the back and sides. The top is engelmann spruce and the back/sides are something called cucumber magnolia that I bought from Timeless Instruments when I popped into David Freemans shop in Tugaske Saskatchewan for a visit (amazingly it was “on the way” to where I was going). The biggest departure from tradition is that I made this with two necks. When you change strings, you can switch to the alternate neck with about five minutes extra work (switch the tuners over and bolt on the new neck). One neck is pretty standard, the other (which is what is on now) is fretless.
Attachments
Front with spare neck.jpg
soundhole close-up.jpg
Neck close-up.jpg
back and spare neck.jpg
back.jpg
John Cross
 
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Re: Cucumber magnolia nylon string

Postby John Cross » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:39 pm

How does it sound? Well when I play it, out of tune stray cats fighting in the alleyway comes to mind. Jim, however, can get it to sound really cool. He is a much better player than me and also plays fretless bass so he can get it to play in tune and musical at the same time.
Attachments
jim playing 2.jpg
Jim playing 1.jpg
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Re: Cucumber magnolia nylon string

Postby Matthew Lau » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:47 am

Looks nice! I was expecting a green guitar.
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Re: Cucumber magnolia nylon string

Postby Brian Evans » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:42 pm

That scares cats... :)

Since adjustable necks are a fetish of mine, how does yours work?

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Re: Cucumber magnolia nylon string

Postby John Cross » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:39 pm

I spent a lot of time trying to make an adjustable neck as simple as possible. The neck pivots on heads of two round head screws (1/2" long if memory serves me right) installed just below the level of the fingerboard. On this guitar, they are screwed into the neck(s) but I've also done it with them screwed into the neck block. Easy to adjust for lateral adjustment and even minor adjustments to scale length. They compress little dimples into the wood and stay seated quite well. The adjustment is done through a flat top 3/16" stove bolt that goes through a strap pin (reamed out to 3/16") on the heel of the guitar. The strap pin acts like a washer for the tapered head of the bolt. The bolt goes through the heel, through the neck block and threads into a t-nut inside the body. The heel fits in a pocket recessed into the body to hide any gaps. I just scribe around the heel like I would when locating the bridge the route almost to the line and refine with files or sandpaper until the fit is right. It takes less time than flossing the heel like you would with a standard bolt on neck (at least for me). The fretboard floats over the body so there is a small wedge shaped gap between the fretboard and the body but I don't even notice it since the dark wood of the fingerboard matches the shadow of the gap. It is supported with 2 carbon fibre rods epoxied to the bottom of the fingerboard (with a clearance hole in the top so they can sit down into the body). If any of that doesn't make sense, let me know and I'll snap a few pictures.

John
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Re: Cucumber magnolia nylon string

Postby Jim Hepler » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:42 pm

I've finally gotten around to recording this guitar a little, so I will try to post some clips. I've been enjoying playing the fretlees neck so much, I haven't changed to the fretted one yet. When I do I'll take some pictures of the process and time it so you can understand John's neck joint. I have to say this is a really fun guitar to play. It is very light and responsive, and a pleasant warm sound overall. Hope some of that comes through in the sound clips:
Attachments

fretless blues 1 (3).mp3 [ 93.3 KiB | Viewed 941 times ]
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Re: Cucumber magnolia nylon string

Postby Jim Hepler » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:44 pm

I was also surprised to find that I could get a pretty nice slide sound on it which I didn't expect from nylon strings. i have to be careful not to whack the neck with the slide since the strings have less tension than the steel ones I'm used to, and I suspect that I would have a problem with that if I were using the fretted neck. Here's a clip:
Attachments

valley slide.mp3 [ 184.52 KiB | Viewed 941 times ]
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Re: Cucumber magnolia nylon string

Postby John Cross » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:54 pm

Can anybody help me figure out how to play Jims demos?
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Re: Cucumber magnolia nylon string

Postby Jim Hepler » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:03 am

John, I'm not sure how it works, but I can play them on various computers, but not on my ipad. Don't know anything beyond that.
Jim
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Re: Cucumber magnolia nylon string

Postby Barry Daniels » Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:15 pm

Nice.
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