New guitar, daughters Christmas present

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Chris Richards
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New guitar, daughters Christmas present

Post by Chris Richards »

Here's a guitar that I just completed before Christmas for my daughter, she's been playing for a few years now and kind of found her direction in music so I decided to make (what I thought) is a suitable guitar. The main feature is the buckeye burl top, I didn't really want to make the rest of the guitar too fancy as I thought that the buckeye was enough.

The body is two piece mahogany which is chambered for lightness, I'd never worked with buckeye before and it certainly was an experience although managed to get used to it pretty quick, the edge is bound with cream and black marble effect plastic which sets it off really nicely. I've also veneered the headstock to match. It has a set neck and other than that is pretty standard stuff, fitted with an old set of Ibanez pickups.

Really pleased with the way it looks, it's obviously designed around an Iceman which is what she wanted and I have to say that I've always liked the look of them, although I did simplify it a bit.
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Jason Rodgers
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Re: New guitar, daughters Christmas present

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Damn! Merry Christmas, sweetie! That's super cool! How old is your girl? That's a shredder!
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Bob Francis
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Re: New guitar, daughters Christmas present

Post by Bob Francis »

What a lucky girl!
I really like the eyes under the bridge :D

Chris Richards
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Re: New guitar, daughters Christmas present

Post by Chris Richards »

Thanks for the comments.....Charlotte is 16 1/2... She's my youngest (and quietest). very keen on her music and has quite a broad taste which is good but she seems to lack a bit of belief in her ability so I'm kind of hoping that this guitar will make her want to pick up and play a bit more and get over her shyness....

Yes I did go for a flat fretbord profile, somewhere around 16 inch radius, it isn't the type of guitar that I normally make my tastes are a bit more on the vintage style, having said that it won me over as I was making it and has broadened my horizons as well....

Jason Rodgers
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Re: New guitar, daughters Christmas present

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Did you have to do any epoxy fill/stabilization with the burl? Looks like you got it finished out very flat and smooth.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Chris Richards
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Re: New guitar, daughters Christmas present

Post by Chris Richards »

Hi Jason.... Yes there was quite a lot of preparation required for the burl.. The two Eyes were bark surrounded holes so I cut some burl "plugs" and stuck them in with black and brown mixed epoxy putty, there's also a lot of small holes that required the same treatment. I painted the wood with about half a litre of wood hardener before starting work on it which I still don't think was enough, I guess the top ended up about 1/4 inch thick and once roughly finished I applied copious quantities of thinned cellulose sanding sealer and always sanded back with a large flat block. Eventually I managed to get a smooth sealed surface to apply the finishing lacquer but it did take some care and a long time.... Very interesting stuff to work with though.

Gale Sharp
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Re: New guitar, daughters Christmas present

Post by Gale Sharp »

What a beautiful creation!

Jason Rodgers
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Re: New guitar, daughters Christmas present

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Wow, that's a lot of work, but well worth it, I'd say.

And your daughter is going to HAVE to come out of her shell if she's slinging this bad machine: she'll have a dozen people instantly circling her any time she takes it out of the case!
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Gordon Bellerose
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Re: New guitar, daughters Christmas present

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

That is a beautiful guitar! I've never been much of an Iceman fan, but the shape you've given that one is a bit quieter, and very nice.
Of course it is the buckeye that is a real eye popper.
Nice job.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Art Davila
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Location: Chicago, Il U.S.A.

Re: New guitar, daughters Christmas present

Post by Art Davila »

I have 4 bookmached pieces with greens yellows and browns, was yours like that too or was it close to the finished product?
I had 5 set but to screwed up the one so bad it became fire wood, I had a nightmare of a time trying to fill the holes and stablized the top from falling apart when I routed the pickup holes did you have any issues also, or did you have better quality wood?
I have a lot of experience on how "not" to do things.

Chris Richards
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Re: New guitar, daughters Christmas present

Post by Chris Richards »

Thank you all for the comments....As usual my daughter is being very quiet about it! But I know she can't wait to get back to college after her Christmas break and show it off...

Art... The pieces I had were VERY fragile and bits would fall off when I'd get it out of the box, I think the key was to "deluge" it in wood hardener (rot treatment) before doing anything with it, The stuff I used was like water and it soaks into the burl instantly I more or less used 1/2 litre on this piece and could have probably used more. other than cutting it roughly to shape and sanding the centre join I glued it on to the mahogany body before doing any other work to it. I chose to sand the centre join as I'm pretty sure a plane would have taken chunks out of it. I used LOTS of Titebond to glue it to the body and can't pretend that the method was anything cleaver....Really messy and lots of clamps, I glued the centre join at the same time that I stuck it to the body so like I say, messy and fiddly!...Luckily it came out pretty good.

Once set I cut the top closer to the body shape then used an electric hand plane to get the thickness even and roughly the correct thickness, although it was still quite uneven, I then treated the top to a few coats of thinned cellulose sanding sealer, once that had set it was the LONG job of sanding it flat with a large block. from then cutting the binding rebate and pickup cavities was pretty straight forward (with a router)

I had plenty of holes in the top, I used epoxy putty mixing black and brown together (the stuff that comes in bars and you mix it by kneading it together with your fingers) If the holes were big (like the "eyes") I glued-in offcuts and squashed putty around the edges.

I can't compare this piece of burl with any other as this is the only piece I've ever worked with the only thing I can say is that it was VERY fragile something like cork but far more inconsistent.

Hope that helps
Chris

Chris Richards
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Re: New guitar, daughters Christmas present

Post by Chris Richards »

Sorry...forgot to answer the colour issue..... Nothing unexpected popped up during finishing it just took on more contrast as I applied the finish, originally it was far less vibrant and grey (smoky) but the lacquer brought out the golds and browns a bit more and turned the greys more towards black.

Art Davila
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Location: Chicago, Il U.S.A.

Re: New guitar, daughters Christmas present

Post by Art Davila »

Thank you for answering.
Can you tell me the wood hardener (rot treatment) name and your source you got it from?
I have a lot of experience on how "not" to do things.

Chris Richards
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Location: London, England
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Re: New guitar, daughters Christmas present

Post by Chris Richards »

Hi Art,

I live in the UK so I don't know whether the stuff is sold where you are but it was Ronseal wood hardener/wet rot treatment, in retrospect I'd have bought 1 litre rather than 1/2 as the burl soaks it up like there's no tomorrow. I think I purchased it from ebay.

Art Davila
Posts: 292
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:07 am
Location: Chicago, Il U.S.A.

Re: New guitar, daughters Christmas present

Post by Art Davila »

Thank you.
If you bought it on ebay I am sure they would ship it here also. I will look to see if I can source it locally first though. I have purchased my sanding bobbins from the UK and a few other items, so I am not opposed to purchasing out of the US, if I can not find it locally. I have to say it took a long time, compared to things I have purchased from China.
I have a lot of experience on how "not" to do things.

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