A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

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Stephen M. Faulk
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Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:58 am

A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by Stephen M. Faulk »

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Someone wanted to see more of the cedar topped guitar I posted in anther thread...here's more. And a I'll throw in a few other things I like that I've done the last few years.

The cedar top with the blonde back was made after looking at a photo of a narrow lower bout guitar by Barcelona makers Ribot Y Alcaniz. They made student and low cost guitars at end of the 19th century into the 1920's. I was attracted to the narrow lower bout to work with the idea that less wide can have an efficiency that broad lower bouts possibly don't have. Not a fact, just a working theory to play around with.

It came together by circumstance of having some mismatched components already sitting around the shop. There were a set odf bent Indian rose wood ribs that I cut off of a guitar I made for myself which I end up not liking and I used as a tester for changing tops. The ribs were re-scraped and added to the project. I choose a cedar top, because why not. I got the Australian Gidgee head plate veneer in a wood trade with an Aussie violin maker. I sent him some cherry for baroque violin pegs he sent me head plates. and the back is made of staves of Hinoki a kind of Japanese cypress very similar to Port Orford cedar, which as we know is not a cedar, but actually Lawson Cypress.

The thing that kicked it off was the rosette, which was a total fluke. I was testing out a new router compass I had made and cutting out circles. I grabbed a few scraps of ebony which had a lot of light wood in them, very striped, and I edge joined them in funny ways to make a big sheet about 8" square. I glued it to a thick piece of paper and then glued it to a board. I routed out a rosette sized circle, but first i randomly used a Forstner bit to make some half in holes in the flat square of ebony sheet. Using the corresponding plug cutter, I made some plugs of the ebony and popped the plugs into holes and glued them. I broke out the surrounding areas and used a wet knife to free the rosette circle from the board. I stared at it for three to four months as it was pinned to the wall of the workbench.

Eventually the space aliens in their invisible ship in orbit around the Earth told me what to do with the wooden ring. They said mount it in a cedar top. And I obeyed because I always do what they tell me to do. Then the top was thinned and braced.

To add to the total confusion and randomness of this guitar, I used a variation on an open lateral brace scheme I had seen on a plan for a 1973 Jose Romanillos guitar where both upper and lower later braces are open with small braces passing through them. The Aliens were pleased.

That is how the guitar was built. more pictures to follow.

Stephen M. Faulk
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by Stephen M. Faulk »

The multi piece Hinoki back with Macassar spacers.... and the ebony rosette.
When you make an older style and dimensioned headstock, you get into trouble if you make the neck a modern width! Bass string a bit unruly in position, but it's ok. If the nut was 2 or 3 mm narrower it would all sit a little better. But this is probably a one off, so I'm happy.

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Last edited by Stephen M. Faulk on Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

Stephen M. Faulk
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by Stephen M. Faulk »

The bridge is Indian rosewood, and the Gidgee head plate.

I copied more or less the bridge on the Ribot y Alcaniz, and the headstock also, they made a very Torres style head with the well known 'three hills' motif.

I might make more guitars with this kind of retro style, the smaller shape the bridge wings rounded ends, but this one gets a lot of looks and swoons but so far no mad dashes for the checkbook.

it sounds goo too, but it sounds more dry to the player than out front, it is crisp and has good sustain with a nice ability to sing out. A guitar major student is going to record some Villa Lobos with it later in February, at least she said she would.

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Stephen M. Faulk
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by Stephen M. Faulk »

One for tomorrow, a Maple cutaway. Everyone love a cutaway, right?
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Bill Raymond
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by Bill Raymond »

Nice job on that cutaway, Stephen.

Randy Roberts
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by Randy Roberts »

Beautiful work you put out Stephen!

Still wanting to hear what that body would do as a steelstring and a light X (g).

Chuck Tweedy
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

good stuff mister
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

Stephen M. Faulk
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by Stephen M. Faulk »

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A coupe more of Maple cutaway.

Stephen M. Faulk
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by Stephen M. Faulk »

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A Madagascar rosewood cutaway, a super good guitar.
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This one is a Bulgarian Tambura with a scooped out cherry back. Four courses tuned like D through 'e on regular steel string.

Stephen M. Faulk
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by Stephen M. Faulk »

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On the left, the smaLl bodied one, has a D-45 next to it to show the size. It is a small bodied guitar with fan bracing, an experiment I made for myself. The guitar is tuned in fifths and in the cello range. The strings are over wound d'Darrio and the tuning is CGDA exactly like a cello.

I made it for myself to play the Bach Suites with picado and thumb like a flamenco technique and it worked great, it was like playing a cello with guitar technique. I was playing it in the shop most days. The problem was people would come look at it and think it was a giant Ukulele. One guy who is a good uke player said too bad it's not a big uke. I said hold on, I took off the C string and swapped it with the G and then used a lighter string on top and tuned it in reentrant tuning like a huge uke and handed it to him. He never handed it back to me, and instead gave me all the cash in his pocket to take it home. I lost my toy. I have to make another....
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A freaky rosette from a 7 string classical, about like the Madagasar, but with 7 strings.


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Tambura back Cherry.

James Meloan
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by James Meloan »

Nice work Stephen. I think I recognize the rosette on that first guitar from over at foroflamenco?

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Bryan Bear
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by Bryan Bear »

Beautiful work!
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

"The strings are over wound d'Darrio and the tuning is CGDA exactly like a cello."

That's kind of like a nylon string tenor guitar (except maybe down an octave?) I have been building some ukes lately and have been contemplating building a "bass uke", but with a "low G" tuning rather than reentrant.

Are you still living in Japan?

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Bob Gramann
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by Bob Gramann »

I really like the neck to heel transition on those cutaways. Beautiful work.

David King
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by David King »

Great looking instruments Stephen.

Stephen M. Faulk
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by Stephen M. Faulk »

Thanks for the encouragement, yes Clay still in Japan. Having a good time mostly, but am considering a change to build steel strings half the time. So I may be lurking to ask a lot of questions.

Jason Rodgers
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Cool stuff. You've been away too long.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Stephen M. Faulk
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Re: A few projects from the last five years- Stephen Faulk

Post by Stephen M. Faulk »

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Here is the cutaway form I use. We call it The Bendi-Pig TM* You can see the wedge shape that bends a compound curve from top to back.

This is a good one to learn because customers eat it up. The sculptural effect is wonderful, but the access to the upper frets is good because it allows the left wrist to move in to occupy space normally blocked by the back edge on wider parallel curve cut.

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