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Planning the next weird guitar

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Planning the next weird guitar

Postby Dan Hehnke » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:56 pm

Every time I build a relatively "normal" guitar (see blueburst tele style guitar) I usually can't help but go wild and build something really weird next. I'm back in weird guitar phase.

Here's the first physical revision of the design, tested out on some plywood scrap. I don't quite like it yet, but it's getting close. Besides being unusual, I actually really think that the big gap cutout will be comfortable, while at the same time sort of "notching" the guitar into the playing position. I might keep modding it to look more like half of an f-hole built into the cutout shape.

The neck was just an old scrap from a bass neck, I had it shoved way down to simulate the neck length of a guitar while I tried out the ergonomics. The locations of the cutaways and the leg rest area all match my favorite dimensions based on some iterations of other guitars I've built.

The TOM style bridge will fit right above the rounded part of the "f-hole". I think I will carve a wood tailpiece, and I'd expect some pretty interesting resonance to happen across that gap.

The body is going to be Bubinga, as I found a good deal on a nice piece. I know it could be heavy, but I plan on doing lots of carving away and shaping, to hopefully bring the weight down to the sweet spot.

I'll post more as it progresses. Cheers.
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Re: Planning the next weird guitar

Postby Dan Smith » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:26 pm

Groovy Dan!
Is this a left-hand guitar?
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Re: Planning the next weird guitar

Postby Dan Hehnke » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:06 pm

Nope! The cutout goes against your beergut/sixpack/whathaveyou. At least on the mockup it's feeling pretty comfy.
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Re: Planning the next weird guitar

Postby Dan Hehnke » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:09 pm

It kind of looks like a triumphant squirrel to me right now. Might tweak a bit to avoid that.
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Re: Planning the next weird guitar

Postby Jason Rodgers » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:58 am

Dan Hehnke wrote:It kind of looks like a triumphant squirrel to me right now. Might tweak a bit to avoid that.

:lol:

I'm all for experimenting with removal of areas of the typical guitar shape for aesthetic and/or functional purposes, but all I can imagine with that dramatic cut is the lower bout digging into my ribs. Do you hold the guitar lower, or more in front of your body?
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
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Re: Planning the next weird guitar

Postby Dan Hehnke » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:06 am

Haha, I can see what you mean. I tend to hold the guitar a bit off to my right side, where it would never hit my belt buckle. I think my plan is to close the gap a bit, to where it's a little less dramatic. But I also plan to do tons of shaping to where it's all smooth curves and no sharp edges, but enough of a trough to sit in the right place while doing neck bends and what not.
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Re: Planning the next weird guitar

Postby Hans Bezemer » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:41 am

Everytime I see "weird" or "strange" in a title I'm curious to look.

I like the design and be following this with interest.
You probably know this site. I've found it a good resource.
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Re: Planning the next weird guitar

Postby Jason Rodgers » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:48 am

Dan Hehnke wrote:Haha, I can see what you mean. I tend to hold the guitar a bit off to my right side, where it would never hit my belt buckle. I think my plan is to close the gap a bit, to where it's a little less dramatic. But I also plan to do tons of shaping to where it's all smooth curves and no sharp edges, but enough of a trough to sit in the right place while doing neck bends and what not.

Sounds good.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
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Re: Planning the next weird guitar

Postby Dan Hehnke » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:16 pm

Thanks for the encouragement. My bubinga should show up Monday, and I have plenty of nice curly cherry I think I'll use for the neck. I hope to get started soon.

D
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Re: Planning the next weird guitar

Postby Dan Hehnke » Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:09 pm

Well, the Bubinga is even heavier than I thought it would be! Wow, what a beastly hunk of wood. I'll have to do some massive carving to get this thing down to the weight that I like. It will be an experiment for sure.
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Re: Planning the next weird guitar

Postby Jason Rodgers » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:21 am

If you're not familiar with Rick Toone's work, check out his site. In particular, look at his Dove and Orchid instruments. His approach to carving away material is surprising at times, but the resulting sculpture is beautiful.
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