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MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

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MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Michael Lewis » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:05 am

We are starting a new project for the MIMF forum and if you want to participate just e-mail me or send a PM. We have some materials and some offers of parts and now we need some hands to actually do some of the processes. This project will not run on for years, I expect it to conclude some time this year if all goes well.

The guitar will be a 17" with cutaway as Eric Foulke has offered a set of top and back plates he got from Bob Benedetto.

More to come later, I gotta go to bed now.<G>
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Nelson Palen » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:07 pm

Is that California bedtime or UTC bedtime?
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Michael Lewis » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:31 am

I'm in California.

I
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Michael Lewis » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:41 am

Louie, we have one offer of ebony but still sorting things a bit. I'm trying to come up with a way folks can participate and actually do some of the work, like make a fingerboard with binding, so the person making the neck can receive the fingerboard and fit it to the neck, then send the neck to whoever will fit it to the body, etc.

We need to find someone to bend sides to match the top and back plates Eric Foulke has offered and glue blocks, linings, and the plates.

Then someone to rout and install bindings. And so it should go.
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Louie Atienza » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:42 pm

Michael Lewis wrote:Louie, we have one offer of ebony but still sorting things a bit. I'm trying to come up with a way folks can participate and actually do some of the work, like make a fingerboard with binding, so the person making the neck can receive the fingerboard and fit it to the neck, then send the neck to whoever will fit it to the body, etc.

We need to find someone to bend sides to match the top and back plates Eric Foulke has offered and glue blocks, linings, and the plates.

Then someone to rout and install bindings. And so it should go.



OK let me know. I'd be interested in possibly doing the fingerboard and binding. I might have some neck wood if you plan to go the laminated maple route.
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Michael Lewis » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:55 am

OK, we do need a neck. Steven Wilson had offered to make one on the old forum but I don't see him here. I'm not opposed to laminating a neck but I'm not a fan of putting dissimilar materials together. All maple would be nice. I can supply a Martin style truss rod, and will post measurements of it for whoever makes the neck.

To be clear, Louie, were you offering to just supply the materials or to make the neck? I have some parameters we need to adhere to so all the parts fit together when they all arrive at John Hamlett's.
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Louie Atienza » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:12 pm

Michael Lewis wrote:OK, we do need a neck. Steven Wilson had offered to make one on the old forum but I don't see him here. I'm not opposed to laminating a neck but I'm not a fan of putting dissimilar materials together. All maple would be nice. I can supply a Martin style truss rod, and will post measurements of it for whoever makes the neck.

To be clear, Louie, were you offering to just supply the materials or to make the neck? I have some parameters we need to adhere to so all the parts fit together when they all arrive at John Hamlett's.


Michael, I could do either. You could let me know how you need it, I have some nice figured boards; nothing super crazy but not plain either. I can send some pics for you to look at. I could either rough the parts out or glue it and shape it. I could also leave the joint area rough for John to do final fitting...

I guess if you had some drawings or specs for me to work off of that would be great!
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Michael Lewis » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:51 am

Louie, I will send some info for this.

To all: those of you participating in this project can see another thread when you go the the Archtop Guitar and Bass Guitar section, it appears above the main body of the list of discussions of this section. This is where we discuss more details and decisions, and THIS (this one here that you are reading right now) discussion is for the general 'public', to generate interest in the project and possibly some more folks that want to participate. So we should take the discussions there and show progress etc. here.
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Michael Lewis » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:03 am

Top and back plates arrived today from Eric Foulke, and I will bend some sides and get the box closed up. Likely to be a few days for sure as I need to graduate the plates before putting it all together. I will get the technical information to Louie, and when he is ready with the neck and fingerboard it all goes to John Hamlett for binding and fitting the neck. We need someone to do the finish work, and someone to install all the hardware and fret the fingerboard. For those of you not already signed up for this project there is still time to think about getting in on this project but I don't want this to drag out too long.
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Michael Lewis » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:34 am

Sides are bent and in the body form. Paying work has taken priority of my shop time, so I did this on my day off so as not to hold up the project. It may take a bit longer than I originally estimated. Go figure. :oops:
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Charlie Schultz » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:18 am

Thanks Michael!
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Michael Lewis » Fri May 11, 2012 1:18 am

The plates are finally graduated, braced, and ready to be glued to the rim assembly, I'll get that done in a couple days or so and then ship it off to John Hamlett. The Benedetto plates were rough carved with a machine to Bob's shapes and preferences thus left very little room for "interpretation". I would have preferred my own arching pattern but the main difference is mostly visual and shouldn't detract from the acoustic performance.

We are still looking for someone to do the finish work, and I know some of you guys idly reading this might like to step up for the MIMF and take the task on. I have seen some of the archtops shown on this website that really show some skill, and I'm hoping one of you will donate some of your time to this project. You are getting benefit from the Forum, why not give something back?

We also need a case. I had thought I was getting a case from Vinyard Guitars but they are no longer in a financial position to carry them as they now have to order by the container load and then warehouse them. So, we will need a case to fit a 17" archtop guitar, like a Gibson L5, L7, L10, or a J 200. I have a few connections to pursue in this regard and will report what I can scare up in the next few weeks.
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Bob Gramann » Fri May 11, 2012 11:12 am

Will either of these work?
http://tkl.com/site_item_details.php?pn ... uitar+Case
http://tkl.com/site_item_details.php?pn ... uitar+Case
I can add one to my Cedar Creek order later this year if that turns out to be the best path to a case for you.
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Dave Stewart » Fri May 11, 2012 4:41 pm

My standard cases are the 9116 & 9120 for my 16" & 17" archtops. Not sure what the difference is with the 9121.
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Michael Lewis » Sat May 12, 2012 1:15 am

Bob, thanks for the offer. It is not yet time for a case but we will need one before long. That 8820 with the 17" lower bout sounds like it should fit.

Dave, have you seen the 8820 to compare with the 9120 you use? Both have arched top and back and from the text looks like the same covering material.

I started binding the f holes today and will glue the plates on when the sound holes are done. It looks like we are using maple for the binding.
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Dave Stewart » Sat May 12, 2012 9:19 am

I've not seen the 8820, but from the specs, it looks arch toped only (9120 is arched top & back). Neck support sounds a bit different as well, but I'm sure it's fine.... never seen it
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Bob Gramann » Sat May 12, 2012 11:02 am

Michael, just let me know when and if you want me to do something. I will be making my order near the end of the summer as I start to finish my current batch of guitars. TKL is 80 miles from my home. Once every year or so, I make an order for cases and drive down and pick it up. As a small builder, I deal with the Cedar Creek division. They can only sell me cases in the 8900 series and up (unless a case is only made in the lower series). I get a good price.
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Michael Lewis » Sun May 13, 2012 12:53 am

Bob, I'm sure the MIMForum will love you all the more if we go that route. I'm thinking of logistics at this point, when the guitar leaves John Hamlett's it will need a case for shipping to the next person to work on it. I have a couple music festivals to attend in the next month and there are some connections I will see that owe me a favor. Let's see what appears in the time we have.
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby Matthew Lau » Mon May 28, 2012 2:40 am

Michael,

I just stumbled upon this, and I have to give you a hearty thanks for heading this project!
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Re: MIMF Archtop Guitar Project

Postby John Hamlett » Tue May 29, 2012 1:04 am

Michael, I'm even closer to Cedar Creek, I could pick up a case. (I deal with them too.)
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