Square neck spider resonator

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Square neck spider resonator

Post by Peter Wilcox »

I trimmed up the bindings with the router, and cut a 30 degree angle on the top down to the binding.
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bound-box-bottom.jpg
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So now it's just a matter of final sanding and (ugh!) applying finish.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

Mike Conner
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Location: Murphy NC
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Re: Square neck spider resonator

Post by Mike Conner »

Peter,
I really like your design and material choices. I have a locally made square neck from highly figured Sapele and a Port Orford Cedar top plate. The construction is post (not soundwell) and the top plate is supported by a plywood cone ledge. Maple binding (and fret markers) like you have done.

The beveled edge on the top plate is really a neat design choice. Of course, with normal dobro playing (lap style or hanging from strap) you arm would usually be hitting the edge, but it looks really cool!

My dobro really sings and you can feel the whole body resonate (pun intended). I think your version is likely to be pretty amazing. Can't wait to see the final product!

As a side note, guitar straps do not work out as well as a more heavily built leather strap specfically made for dobro. A purpose built one will help keep the dobro steadier when standing. I have a Wechter-Scheerhorn and the Masterso custom dobros, and both have custom straps made by Martin Gross in Germany and fitted with quick release strap locks. No financial interest here, just an appreciation for the craftsmanship of Martin Gross and his straps. A fine build like yours should have some quality accessories to match!

//mike

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Square neck spider resonator

Post by Peter Wilcox »

Thanks for your input, Mike. I don't think the 30 degree bevel on the edge of the top will be a problem - I'll give it a slight (maybe 1/32") rounding at the top edge - it should definitely be better than the 90 degrees between the top and sides of a normal guitar, which doesn't seem to cause any problems.

Those Martin Gross straps are certainly nice looking, but cost as much as my whole guitar. I hardly ever play standing, but I have some Peruvian Indian woven straps that seem to work OK. A wider, stiffer strap would be nice though - maybe I'll make one. :D
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Square neck spider resonator

Post by Peter Wilcox »

Final sanding done. I wanted to try a sort of burst, so I wiped on some dilute violet dye to the periphery, then sanded back a little to try to keep most of the dye in the dark figure. Over this I wiped on garnet shellac to turn the violet a warmish brown. I'm afraid it didn't work out too well, giving it a ragged look - oh well. The pic on the right is after several coats of brushed on (foam brush) General Finishes HPT gloss, which I'm trying for the first time. Weather is too crappy to spray outside - rain and 60mph winds. I'm going to give it about 8 coats over 3 days, hopefully thick enough to sand to flat and finish sand, and polish after a week or so.
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finishing-1.jpg
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Square neck spider resonator

Post by Peter Wilcox »

I've had trouble with this finish. Can't brush on a smooth layer without leaving brush marks, even though I'm using a foam brush. When the weather gets better maybe I'll try spraying it (on a different instrument.)
brush-marks.jpg
After 8 coats, when I sanded enough to get out the marks, I started to sand through, so put 4 more coats on the back. Since the wood figure looks old and grungy due to my attempt at a sunburst, I just sanded to 1200 grit and buffed, giving it an aged looking finish. These pics are prior to sanding. More later.
neck-finish.jpg
top-finish1.jpg
back-finish1.jpg
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Square neck spider resonator

Post by Peter Wilcox »

Made a bone nut and maple saddles. Put it all together - it actually sounds pretty good, even with a cheapie cone and used strings, no sound posts or baffle. I'm happy. Eventually I'll buy a nice cone and new strings for it after I break in in.
top-done.jpg
back-done.jpg
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Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

Bob Francis
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Re: Square neck spider resonator

Post by Bob Francis »

Really nice work

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Square neck spider resonator

Post by Peter Wilcox »

Thanks, Bob. I took it to an acoustic jam yesterday - it sounds pretty nice, is a one-of-a-kind instrument, and style-wise already looks like it's many decades old. Perfect for an old fart like me.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

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