Myrtlewood "Equator" Build by Chad McCormack

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Chad McCormack
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Re: Myrtlewood "Equator" Build by Chad McCormack

Post by Chad McCormack »

Thanks, Jason. I wish I could find just 2 or 3 people per year to build for. Not looking to quit my day job or anything (high school AP calculus, personal finance and electric guitar building teacher), but it would be really nice to see (and hear!) my guitars get out into the world after refining this equator design over the past almost decade.

Jason Rodgers
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Re: Myrtlewood "Equator" Build by Chad McCormack

Post by Jason Rodgers »

You get to TEACH guitar building?! That's awesome!

I may be hyper-focusing on that neck/fret-to-body intersection right now because I'm coming to the realization that the fairly original body shape I am using (drawn in about 2002 when I was only dreaming about building guitars) puts some of the expected ratios of guitar bodies in the "wrong" places. It wasn't something I was thinking about when drawing it up, and I didn't find out until I had built one and can now feel it. The treble side waist is too far forward, putting the bridge too far back. This is important if you're playing sitting down.

If you look at a few popular body styles, you'll see that the waist is somewhere between the center of the cutaway and the bridge. The Gibson ES-335 has the tuck of the waist about on the front edge of the bridge pickup. The Les Paul about right between the bridge and neck pickups. The Fender Telecaster waist is a little further toward the neck than a Les Paul, and the Stratocaster is about the same as a Tele, if not a little bit further toward the neck. When the guitar is sitting on your right thigh, this puts your picking hand (and more importantly, for ergonomic reasons, your shoulder) at a comfortable and relaxed location just in front of the bridge.

On either of the scale versions of your Equator, the waist would fall in what would be considered a comfortable and acceptable location. On my body shape, the waist is right on the neck pickup. This puts the bridge too far back. When played in a seated position on my right thigh, I must pull my right shoulder and arm back to put my picking hand in the usual location. This creates fatigue. It's not a problem when playing standing, but it's something I'm seriously considering modifying as I go forward, refining this body shape.

Anyhoo, that was a ramble! Keep making Equators! They're cool axes!
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

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Pete Halliday
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Re: Myrtlewood "Equator" Build by Chad McCormack

Post by Pete Halliday »

I should have asked--was the point of tinting the EM6000 to eliminate or offset the bluish cast?

Art Davila
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Re: Myrtlewood "Equator" Build by Chad McCormack

Post by Art Davila »

I love it as always I am a big fan of your design. I want to do a claim shell like yours with a thru neck that i have and base the body on a gibson 339 shape and smaller dimensions, but with a longer upper horn.
I have a lot of experience on how "not" to do things.

Chad McCormack
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Re: Myrtlewood "Equator" Build by Chad McCormack

Post by Chad McCormack »

Hi again, Pete. I tinted the EM6000 at Mark Swanson's recommendation. His claim was that walnut tends to finish a bit "cold" with waterborne products and that a little amber tint in the clear would help to "warm" it up. He was certainly correct. Also, the curly maple neck benefited from that little bit of color, too. As for the blue cast, I think the EM6000 cures pretty close to water clear, with maybe just a hint of a hint of that bluish cast you refer to. Again, I have no choice but to use waterborne finishing products in my little basement shop, so the EM6000 is a product that I am very happy to have discovered.

Art, thank you very much for the kind words. I haven't really given any thought to a neck through Equator. Could be interesting with the inlaid binding coming around to meet the end grain of the neck near the lower bout strap button position. I imagine it would end up looking like one of those "hippie sandwich" through-neck guitars... which isn't a bad thing IMHO.

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Mark Swanson
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Re: Myrtlewood "Equator" Build by Chad McCormack

Post by Mark Swanson »

Chad, glad that the tinting worked out well! It looks good. I see I said that already way back at the start of this discussion but it is worth saying again.
  • Mark Swanson, guitarist, MIMForum Staff

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Pete Halliday
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Re: Myrtlewood "Equator" Build by Chad McCormack

Post by Pete Halliday »

Thanks, Chad. I have not used that finish but would like to find a waterborne finish that I can get along with for the same reasons. I have gone the TruOil route instead and am liking that option as well for finishing indoors.

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