SIX ...

Please put your pickup/wiring discussions in the Electronics section; and put discussions about repair issues, including fixing errors in new instruments, in the Repairs section.
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Beate Ritzert
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Re: SIX ...

Post by Beate Ritzert »

Well, i am going to use 0.095" flatwounds on that bass. Simply because i would like to have a real bass sound and not some guitar in a very low tuning.

I just checked: a .080" Daddario chrome string fits through the hole of a chinese copy of a Schaller guitar tuner. But nothing thicker - that's the limit.

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Beate Ritzert
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Re: SIX ...

Post by Beate Ritzert »

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Slow progress in carving the top... This irregularly grown wood is sometimes tricky to work on. Luckily this is "just" pear wood, roughly as hard and strong as maple but easier to cut with chisels and planes.

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Beate Ritzert
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Re: SIX ...

Post by Beate Ritzert »

Outer shape of the top roughly carved. My finger tips tell me there is still some symmetry. But it is really hard so see; the shape is about as "exact" as that of my first archtop. Well i think i'd mark some isolines with a (pencil) marker gauge and try to get it a bit better before i start with the inner arch.

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Barry Daniels
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Re: SIX ...

Post by Barry Daniels »

Bob Benedetto recommends a desk lamp set very low almost at bench top height which will show the arch much better. Turn off the overhead lights in the workshop to enhance the effect. I like to stand back and squint my eyes a bit so I am looking at general shapes instead of details.
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Geoff St. Germaine
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Re: SIX ...

Post by Geoff St. Germaine »

I use a magnetic LED work light that I can move around to the different legs of the table I use for carving the tops on my guitars with the shop lights out as Barry describes. I wind up rotating the body around quite a lot when finalizing the arch to look from many different angles. When I first started making archtops I tried with pin gauges and templates and a few other methods and while they got me roughly in the ballpark of a symmetric carve, the low angle point source light worked far better and is honestly easier to work with.

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Beate Ritzert
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Re: SIX ...

Post by Beate Ritzert »

Thanks for the hints. I'll try it. I put the top aside and started to carve the bottom. Same profile, again using my templates to get very rough orientation. This time i started with the horns - and i'm enjoying the speed and the ease of the progress (alder...).

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But progress will be slowly - i have to travel 50 km to that room, and i am there only occasionally, when i need to organize something for my new old house (i guess the small house in front is at least 150 years old):
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</offtopic>

Greg Martin
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Re: SIX ...

Post by Greg Martin »

One thing i disliked on my first archtop was the bubble carve at the cutaway. I now must use the Gibson carve method on number two. Are there any tips for this , or any deadly pitfalls? Anyone have pics to share?

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Beate Ritzert
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Re: SIX ...

Post by Beate Ritzert »

On my first build i decided to do it "Les Paul" like. I found it a bit cumbersome because the height of the binding material was insufficient and i needed to double it.

Maybe some compromise is preferable - lower the profile in the cutaway just strong enough that the height of Your binding material suffices.

Back to my guitar:
some work on the bottom plate - the last quarter of the coarse stuff

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and then some refinement with my small planes and two scrapers

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And now my arms and shoulders hurt...

John Clifford
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Re: SIX ...

Post by John Clifford »

Looking good. I built a semi-hollow archtop electric guitar something like that, only it had a set neck.

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Beate Ritzert
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Re: SIX ...

Post by Beate Ritzert »

Well, slow progress with my little archtop bass. Today i did the coarse carving of the bottom. Thickness about 5 mm, controlled here and there with my caliper, but mostly with my fingers. Tomorrow the same job on the (much harder!) top.

I'm still a bit unsure wether to carve the space between the bars or just leave that as it is. Even more in doubt for the top. "Leave as is" might result in better electric qualities?

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John Clifford
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Re: SIX ...

Post by John Clifford »

I don't think you're going to get much "acoustic" sound out of this instrument, mostly just a subtle coloration of the amplified sound. Given that, I doubt that removing more material from the center would have a noticeable effect on the sound. However, it would reduce the mass and stiffness of the body, which might mean less sustain. So I'd probably opt for leaving the center solid.

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Beate Ritzert
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Re: SIX ...

Post by Beate Ritzert »

In the past there was very little prograss on this project, and it is still far from finished. The top cracked multiple times when i carved the inner part of the top - and thanks to insufficient sharpness of my tools the precision lacks a lot. Even the joint broke up over ~7cm.
I was actually short of giving up.

Immediately after repairing the cracks two months ago:

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In order to come to an end i decided to clean up the inner arch "a little bit" (actually a lot) but not to try to reach the perfection i know i cannot reach anyway (and now i understand why almost no one uses separate braces...) The top even exhibits something like a tap tone.

As the top appeared stable i planed the glueing surfaces today - You can see the repair on the central joint as well; it is still a bit rough, final shaping will be done after glueing. BTW: total weight of the three parts is 1.9 kg.

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The area of the neck joint is left rough because i need to see if my original idea for the neck joint i possible after the many changes in concept this instrument has undergone during the past three years.

Bob Francis
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Re: SIX ...

Post by Bob Francis »

Well those errors seem pretty mild for the task. That's why they paint guitars.

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Beate Ritzert
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Re: SIX ...

Post by Beate Ritzert »

Minor update - access to the electric cavity from the back:

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