walnut semi hollow body

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walnut semi hollow body

Postby Jim Hepler » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:58 pm

walnut front.jpg
Here is my latest:

Walnut neck, back and sides.
Cooked osage orange fingerboard.
Hickory binding and linings.
2 P-90 style pick-ups made by MJS
1 volume, 1 tone, 3-way pick-up switch and master series parallel switch
Bigsby!
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Jim Hepler » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:02 pm

It has a neck substantial (spruce) neck block in it that ends somewhere between the pickups.
The top and back are carved - like and archtop, but the arch is shallower. My blanks were about 9/16" deep.

Here's the back:
Attachments
walnut back.jpg
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Jim Hepler » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:08 pm

I learned a lot making this guitar. In particular I improved my chiselling technique. (See instruction for using a chisel in jam session...). At one point one of my rims split, so I glued it back together, a little imperfectly, so I knew the "scar would show a bit, so to commemorate my had injury (no lasting effects, thank goodness) I inlayed 4 "stitches" where the break had been. They are purely for looks/entertainment. the heel block is behind the break, so there's not a structural problem there. Here's a construction picture of that:
Attachments
scar.jpg
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Bryan Bear » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:24 pm

That looks delicious!

I love the stitches. What a great way to memorialize the injuries to yourself and the guitar. I'm glad the hand is going to be okay.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Barry Daniels » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:57 pm

Why no bloodwood drop shaped inlays?
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Jim Hepler » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:03 pm

Thanks Bryan. I have been enjoying playing it, although I haven't had the chance to take it out and really let it loose yt.t

Barry, that would have been a good idea. Wish I'd thought of it. Well, I don't have any bloodwood anyway, and besides, I bled enough that I'm sure there's some of my actual blood somewhere in there.
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Bob Francis » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:24 pm

Barry Daniels wrote:Why no bloodwood drop shaped inlays?

:lol:
Looks great!
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Markku Nyytäjä » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:00 am

That's a beautiful guitar! :D
Is that a roller bridge you've used or a standard tune-o-matic? I'm building a semi-hollow six-stringer with a Bigsby type trem and a roller t-o-m bridge - and the 011-series strings keep jumping off the roller grooves when I pick them.
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Jim Hepler » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:28 pm

Thanks Markku. I like your yellow one a lot.
My guitar has a regular tune-o-matic. I couldn't find a suitable roller bridge, so I went with the regular one. Gretch often seems to use the regular ones, and from what I see, they are the guys who sell the most guitars with Bigsbys. I haven't found that I have any real tuning issues or anything with the bridge as it is, so I'm thinking in this application, while a roller bridge sounds like a good idea, it isn't really necessary. It may depend on how you use the Bigsby though. I'm not a real whammy bar guy, so mostly I just use it for a gentle wobble when I remember it's there. Sometimes I think I might be happier with the sound if I replaced the saddles with those tusq ones, but I'm still sorting out what strings I want to use and getting used to this guitar in general, so I haven't started changing it yet.
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Freeman Keller » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:14 pm

Jim, that is a beautiful guitar. A quick comment about your roller bridge - here is a semi solid that I recently built with a Bigsby and a roller ToM. The bridge is the one StewMac bundles with the B70 - it seems to work fine with 11 gauge flatwounds. The player isn't a heavy whammy guy either. Picture gives some idea of the break angle

Image
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Jim Hepler » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:14 pm

Freeman, that's spectacular! My bridge is more like this one: http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Par ... uitar.html
except that I made the bottom part myself. I see bridges that look like that on lots of Gretch guitars these days. All the roller bridges I saw seemed to be made for a different (larger) post style, so I bought one that works with those little thumbwheels like in the picture. My guitar has substantial braces under the bridge, but the block stops short of the neck pickup, so I wasn't comfortable sinking those big posts into the top.
Do you think the rollers improve things somehow? The idea seems good, but I really can't say I've found the regular bridge to be an issue. Another difference between mine and yours is that my Bigsby is a different model that doesn't have that bar in the front that the strings go under. I have what I consider to be a reasonable break angle over my bridge which was a concern to me. I must say I was surprised at how shallow the angle was on the Gretches I looked at. I'll see about taking a picture to show that part of my guitar.
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Jim Hepler » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:40 am

Here's a side view of the bridge. Hopefully you can see the break angle and the type of posts on the bridge I'm using.
Attachments
small bridge pic.jpg
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Jason Rodgers » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:02 am

Great work, Jim! That top is beautiful.

BTW, I'm a big fan of Osage. How did you "cook" the fretboard?
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Jim Hepler » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:13 am

Jason, I wrap the fingerboard blank in aluminum foil and bake it in the oven at 350 F for several hours until I like the colour.
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:33 pm

Jim, that's a really interesting and beautiful guitar! Nice touch with the stitches.
A lot of thought had to go into those raised pickup blocks also.
It was good to finally meet you at the guitar show too!

Here is something I found while doing a bit of research on Bigsby Vibratos.
If you look at the front roller, you will see that it is extended upward. This of course causes a more shallow break angle, which they say lessens tuning issues.
I can see this working on shorter solid body electrics, where the distance between the vibrato and the bridge could be an issue.

Bigsby Vibrato Extended Roller.jpg
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Markku Nyytäjä » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:35 am

Thank you for your replies, folks.
My break angle may bee just a bit too low for a roller bridge, it might be wise to use a regular t-o-m. It's my first build with a Bigsby type trem, so I still have a lot to learn.
I also have another unfinished project that will have a Floyd Rose type trem, and I have never installed any of those either. Either I'm eager to learn or just asking for trouble. ;)
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Jason Rodgers » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:51 am

Jim Hepler wrote:Jason, I wrap the fingerboard blank in aluminum foil and bake it in the oven at 350 F for several hours until I like the colour.

Oh, that sounds familiar. Maybe you gave that info in a discussion a while back. Thanks!
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Jim Hepler » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:38 am

Jason, You are right, there was a bit more discussion of cooking wood in a thread called "orange is the new brown" which you can find from the search box at the top of the page. There's a few more details and some conjecture and ideas for experimentation, but so far, I've just been using the same recipe - wrap in foil and bake at 350 until done, which works for me. I do this on unshaped blanks that are close to final size. If you play around with this and find any new information, please share. Thanks for your interest.
Jim
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Freeman Keller » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:41 pm

Jim Hepler wrote:Freeman, that's spectacular! My bridge is more like this one: http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Par ... uitar.html
except that I made the bottom part myself. I see bridges that look like that on lots of Gretch guitars these days. All the roller bridges I saw seemed to be made for a different (larger) post style, so I bought one that works with those little thumbwheels like in the picture. My guitar has substantial braces under the bridge, but the block stops short of the neck pickup, so I wasn't comfortable sinking those big posts into the top.
Do you think the rollers improve things somehow? The idea seems good, but I really can't say I've found the regular bridge to be an issue. Another difference between mine and yours is that my Bigsby is a different model that doesn't have that bar in the front that the strings go under. I have what I consider to be a reasonable break angle over my bridge which was a concern to me. I must say I was surprised at how shallow the angle was on the Gretches I looked at. I'll see about taking a picture to show that part of my guitar.



Markku Nyytäjä wrote:Thank you for your replies, folks.
My break angle may bee just a bit too low for a roller bridge, it might be wise to use a regular t-o-m. It's my first build with a Bigsby type trem, so I still have a lot to learn.
I also have another unfinished project that will have a Floyd Rose type trem, and I have never installed any of those either. Either I'm eager to learn or just asking for trouble. ;)


There are several different Bigsby designs depending on the shape of the top and whether there is enough wood to mount it to. The only one I've used is the B70 which does have two screws into the top and requires an internal block. I know that there are lots of Gretsch and other semi hollows that have floating bridges like yours and different vibratos than the B70. They seem to work fine.

The roller bridge just seems to make sense - you are rubbing a small area of string across a knife edge - that has to be wearing the string and possibly causing it to hang up and go out of tune. The guitar in the picture has expensive flatwound strings - I want to do everything I can to keep from wearing them out LOL.

Markku, if you haven't committed to the Floyd consider a Kahler.

https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/ ... olo?page=5

I installed one on a customers guitar recently and was really impressed - it installs easily and is totally adjustable (height, intonation, string spacing, tension on the strings, fine tuners, and you can even lock it with a single setscrew). Like a Floyd it requires a locking nut which I don't care for but the fine tuners seem to work OK.

If you are going to install a Floyd, there is a pretty good set of instructions in Dan Earlewine's book on guitar repair.
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Re: walnut semi hollow body

Postby Markku Nyytäjä » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:54 am

Thanks, Freeman. That Kahler looks interesting, but I already have a couple of Floyd Rose type trems in stock. I think I'll use them before purchasing new ones. I believe it's good to learn to install and set up all the most common types of trems, They're the most likely ones clients will want to get help with. Maybe I'll get a Kahler some time later.

By the way, the strings have stopped falling off the roller saddles. I loosened the strings to file down some frets and after tuning the guitar again the strings kept in place nicely. That's a big relief for me, now I won't have to replace the bridge. :D

Rebelle_unfinished.jpg
Here's the guitar project, strung and with the Bigsby type trem. The chambered body resonates nicely. Once I have leveled the frets, I'll start painting the instrument. I have hunch she'll become a really nice guitar.
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