My latest - a cherry parlor

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My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Bryan Bear » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:39 am

I just finished up a guitar that we are going to raffle off to support a fund we (the employees of my cancer center) run. the money we raise goes directly to help people who have been left in a financial bind due to their treatments. In an attempt to have something I could email out to the rest of the oncology division (to boost ticket sales) I asked a guy at a local shop to make a video. I pretty much just dropped it off, told him what it was made from, what it was for and asked him to pick some music that would highlight its strengths. The video is long so you can skip to the end to hear it. . .

This is a parlor guitar roughly the size of a martin size 1. I drew up all the plans myself and had some head-scratching with regards to bracing. The body is short (about 18 1/4 inches) so the 12 fret neck pushes the bridge back into the widest part of the lower bout, which I wanted but then I had to figure out how wide and where to put the X to maximize the use of such a small top. I also moved the soundhole closer to the heel in hopes to support more bass. This left a big space between the soundhole and bridge which made it hard to get the pickguard to look right and be in a position to do its job. One of the things I love about this hobby is how every decision affects something else.

I wanted to design a guitar that would be comfortable for a person who may be bed or recliner ridden. Another theme of this guitar was finding woods that were in need of rescue and giving them a second chance at new life.

top : Pine from the cull bin of the Home Depot. The board was twisted and cracked but there was s section of clear wood large enough for this guitar. I could tell by how it had split that it didn't really have any runnout so I gave it a chance. I resawed it and watched. It didn't move. I took it through several baking cycles; that bubbled a ton of resin out of it but it didn't move. I jointed it and watched. It didn't move. I thicknessed it and it felt really good. I kept expecting to have to throw it away but it kept passing the tests. . .

Back and sides : Cherry form our local urban log recycler

Neck : Maple. Years ago I bought craigslist table saw that belonged to the sellers deceased grandpa. it had a giant chunk of maple screwed to the fence as a sacrificial fence for dados. It sat in the corner for years until I realized I could squeeze a neck out of it if I cut it up just right.

Jatoba appointments : Old hardwood flooring

Rats, I just realized the pics I have are too large. I'll resize them later. In the mean time, here is the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCBqhxH8o-U

Thanks for looking.
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Bryan Bear » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:52 am

I knew I was forgetting something. . . this was my first time using Royal-Lac. Royal-Lac is a modified shellac that becomes resistant to alcohol and water after about a month. I figured that would be good since I have no control over who will end up with this guitar. I used normal blond dewaxed shellac for the first few base coats before starting the french polish. I'm not an expert by any means on french polish but I found it to be a fairly easy transition. It feels a bit thicker and stickier than normal shellac, I found myself using more olive oil than normal, but not a ton more. It built well and spirited off nicely. As it was building, it got a bit lumpier than I am used to. I usually don't sand during the FP process but I did some gentle leveling with sandpaper and olive oil. I think it may have been my inexperience with the product. After that I used more alcohol on the pad and it wasn't a problem moving forward.

I'd say I'm happy with the product. It looks good and should offer some extra protection from sweat. I don't like that it is made with denatured alcohol. I try to limit the nasty stuff that I breathe in and use everclear when I mix shellac.
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Waddy Thomson » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:29 am

I love the stuff. I have been using it since it came out, and have had good results with it as well. It does take a little getting used to, but modifies well. I have even tried mixing 1/2 & 1/2 with acetone for the build coats. Dries in minutes for re-coating. I usually put on about 7 or 8 wet coats with a pad after using the Seal Lac for a few coats. Then I usually level lightly with 400 grit before starting to French polish. I have also tried more coats of Royal-Lac then leveling and going through the Micro-Mesh grits then polishing with Meguire's Swirl Remover, then Show Car Glaze. My next favorite finish, now, is to do the Royal-Lac the level to about 4000 Micro-Mesh and then Wax with Triwax and buff by hand. Nice soft gloss finish that holds up quite well. It can also be buffed up again if it gets dull, or re-waxed.

Here is an EIR/Spruce with Koa bindings and Royal-Lac/Wax finish
DSC01023 (Small).jpeg
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Bryan Bear » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:39 am

That's beautiful Waddy. I probably should not have used it for the first time on an actual instrument, especially one that is going to someone else, but no guts, no glory <G> I'm glad you have found it to hold up well!
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Bryan Bear » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:42 am

Here are a couple photos, I hope they display properly:

guitar 1.jpg

guitar_back.jpg

guitar 2.jpg

guitar tail.jpg
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:14 pm

Brian,

I'm quite impressed with the tone coming from that guitar! Nicely done.
Some very nice purfling and binding work also.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Bob Francis » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:57 pm

Thank looks and sounds great Brian.
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Christ Kacoyannakis » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:38 am

Bryan, that is a killer sounding and very beautiful guitar! Congratulations. Have you checked out Robbie O'Brien's French polishing course (he also may have some free videos on his YouTube channel). He uses Royal Lac, and he does a very fast French polish finish, that always looks great - he has to, this is what he uses in his 7 day guitar building class. I am always impressed with the quality of his finishes. The finish may be a bit thicker than a normal French polish, but they always look fantastic.
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Peter Wilcox » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:01 am

Hey Bryan, ditto ditto ditto to all the above! And great that it's made with salvaged wood.

I'd like to see the relationship of the bridge plate to the x and other bracing. Do you have any construction pics?
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Bryan Bear » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:48 am

Here is the best shot I have of the back and top bracing.
EC59540C-AB70-48B7-AB3E-D5A580B0A17B.jpeg



Here is the top pretty much final carve before I cleaned it all up. I don’t think I made any changes after this picture was take .
3B7100C9-82F3-426C-A48B-6B3E9CD79883.jpeg


The front corners of the bridge catch the x brace about 3/32” behind the front of the bridge plate. Bridge plate is osage orange just bigger than the bridge footprint.
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Bob Gramann » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:04 pm

Very nice! I think I met your urban wood recycler earlier this year when I was on a trip out west. I filled my station wagon with Osage Orange that he had quartersawn for me. You’re lucky you have him close.

I may look into the Royal-Lac as a result of your post.
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Bryan Bear » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:30 pm

Bob, I was thrilled when I got a large, clear quarters board of osage orange from him. Then I tried to Texas it on my cheap saw and ruined it all. I now have lots of bridge plates and binding. I can do wallnunt and cherry if i’m Careful and not greedy. Osage is just too darned hard for my set-up. I need to find someone locally who can resaw it for me because I REALLY want some osage sets. I just finished up a walnut and cedar O that I used osage for the bridge and fretboard. It worked well but the color is a little too close to the color of the top. I like it but the look is ‘t For everyone.

82EB7B28-7376-42BF-850E-046954C0EFCE.jpeg
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Bob Gramann » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:50 pm

Osage forced me to buy a new saw. I was using a 14” with woodslicer blades. They would cut 4 feet of 8” Osage before they dulled and could only be resharpened 3 times. I bought an 18” saw that could use carbide blades. Big difference. The wood I got this spring needs to dry quite a while longer before it will be instruments. That said, the wood is so hard to get and so hard to resaw, that I’ve been quite stingy about letting anyone else have it.

The pictured guitar is Cedar, Osage, and Sycamore. The look isn’t traditional, but it’s all domestice wood and it sounds pretty good.
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Bryan Bear » Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:18 pm

I like that one a lot. I guess, when I find a way to get some sawn, I’ll have to call Tom and make sure you aren’t coming in to buy it all up. <G>
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Bob Gramann » Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:33 pm

Thank you.

I hope I have enough Osage now to last quite a while. I’d like to say I have a lifetime supply but I hope I live longer than that. You’ll like the big saw. You know you’re going to buy it eventually. Just jump to the end and go ahead and get it.

Allied Lutherie has some Osage sets https://alliedlutherie.com/collections/ ... b76e9f7bf8. Make sure you pick a quartered set.
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Bryan Bear » Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:45 pm

I hope you outlive your current supply too. I’m off to tell my wife that I need a new bandsaw to save a couple hundred dollars on osage orange sets. I’ll let you know if she introduces me to El Kabong.
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Bob Gramann » Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:41 pm

My wife said to point out that you are not only saving on the resawn sets if you buy the good saw. You’re also saving as much as $1000 that you didn’t spend on the cheap saw trying to save money and learning that you should have bought the good one. I like her a lot.

When I have a customer who blames his wife for not being able to buy one of my guitars, I ask if he knows the secret of a long and happy marriage. It is “She’ll forgive you.”
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby John Clifford » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:14 pm

Nice job, Bryan. The finish looks great, and it sounded great in the video too. It has a nice depth. What's the scale length?
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Bryan Bear » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:44 pm

Thanks! It is Martin short scale 24.9.
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Re: My latest - a cherry parlor

Postby Peter Wilcox » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:53 pm

Thanks for the pics Bryan. The bridge location looks more like a classical, but with steel string bracing. It sounds very nice.
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