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SE Asian Flyfishin' Guitar
Author
Post
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 558
I finished this guitar a year ago, but the finish on the top never turned out very good, and I broke my good camera. So I never posted any pictures. I removed the bridge, sanded down the top, and re-sprayed while I was spraying the mad rose OM. I finally buffed out and re-attached the bridge. The neck had a slight crown from the 3rd fret to the nut that I never really cleaned up the first time, so my action was a little high to prevent buzzing. I spent some time yesterday really getting the frets leveled. I found I had to remove a fair amount of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th frets. I re-crowned the frets and lowered the action. Man, it plays nice now!! I had been too tentative in my leveling the first time. It is a completely different guitar now.

The nice camera is working again, and I shot some pictures with good lighting coming through the window today, so I decided to post a few.

Again the back and sides are southeast Asian rosewood, curly maple bindings, maple burl rosette and end graft, and red spruce top. Finish is EM6000.

Hopefully I'll have some pictures of the claro walnut J-185 to post soon!

Ken















Feb 21, 10 | 7:27 pm
naccoachbob

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
WOW!
Ken, I think that's the best one I've seen here yet.
It's jaw-dropping gorgeous. What wonderful inlays.
Bob

Feb 21, 10 | 7:50 pm
Herman

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
Sparkly!!!!

Feb 22, 10 | 7:53 am
Charles Kuo

Total Topics: 43
Total Posts: 222
Ken,
I love the headstock inlay. I agree with bob, it is gorgeous.

-Charles

Feb 22, 10 | 8:34 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Ken,
I was wondering what had happened to this guitar.
Woooooo Weeeeee! That is sweet. Did you dye that headstock to get it looking so even/black or is it painted? Man, Bling, I like the bling!

Kevin

Feb 22, 10 | 8:48 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Beautiful! Looks perfect!

Feb 22, 10 | 9:54 am
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Thanks Guys, Yeah Kevin, I felt sort of like the mechanic who has the worst running guitar on the road! This guitar needed some work, and I just kept putting it off while I worked on other guitars. Nice to have it finally right! The headstock is just very black ebony. No dye, no stain.

I ham fisted my way through Little Wing on it this afternoon.

Ken

Feb 22, 10 | 10:57 am
mjmeehan

Total Topics: 4
Total Posts: 19
Incredible, Ken. The fly fisherman and the guitar player in me both fell in love today!

Feb 22, 10 | 11:04 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
The guitar is beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous! I think if you used your hands instead of a ham to play, little wing would have sounded a tiny bit better, but for playing with a couple of hams, its damn good! LOL
How did you like working with the pearl? I am doing a similar purfling treatment on the guitar I am building now and I was wondering how its going to go when I get to the pearl part. Mind you, I have not even closed the box, so I am getting ahead of myself. But I am still curious.
Your playing is much, much better than mine btw. I was compelled to make a ham joke since you mentioned ham hands.

Feb 22, 10 | 1:29 pm
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
I forgot to mention, I love, love, love the burl!!! Stunning.

Feb 22, 10 | 1:29 pm
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
MJ, you are flyfisherman? This one was a fun project. I spent several months prior to the build noodling inlay designs. These types of inlays won't have broad appeal, but for those of us flyfishermen, it is kind of cool.

Tony, I tried three or four times to get a clean take, but would always screw up somewhere. I turn a recorder on, and my brain and hands seem to go numb! Not sure if your pearl question relates to the fingerboard inlays or the abalone purflings. The pearl wasn't too hard to cut, it just took some time. I did the abalone purfling around the edge this way (look at the bottom of the page), which is a little unorthodox, but worked well for me.

Ken

Feb 22, 10 | 2:44 pm
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Ken,
I am not sure what part of your pearl purfling was unorthodox. Are you talking about breaking it to make the curve? I plan on using abalam so breaking it is no problem...so I have been told. I was talking about the purfling btw. Thats what is going on my current guitar...though not for a while. It was not too bad in your opinion? I am getting some straight and some curved abalam strips. And it is expensive. But I have a financial backer on this project so its not too big of a problem.

Feb 22, 10 | 4:54 pm
dviss

Total Topics: 18
Total Posts: 165
I too love the burl, and the flyfishing inlay. And the pearl... Dang it Ken you're making the rest of us look bad!

Feb 23, 10 | 4:50 am
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Ack! I am back in the office today after spending the day at home yesterday. I looked at this thread using MS Explorer, and the colors have shifted and have more of a bluish/green cast to them. I recently upgraded my OS at home to Win7 and forgot to change my color space in Photoshop when I reinstalled it. For some reason Safari displays Adobe RGB okay, but MS Explorer doesn't. I'll fix the colors this evening and reload the images.

Tony, the abalone purfling went in very easily the way I did it. The more conventional way is to use a filler strip the same width as the shell. The bindings, filler strip, and any other purflings are glued in at the same time. Later the filler strip is removed and the shell inserted. This method ensures the shell width is consistent all the way around. I guess you can go either route. If I were to do another, and I likely will, I'll do it the same way I did this one. I really like the shell. It certainly adds bling! The one thing I would change on this guitar is to make the burl rosette ring narrower. A lot of guys like the big rosettes, but I have now done several narrower ones, and I personally prefer the look of those more.

Thanks dviss. I should use some more burl again. I haven't used any since this guitar.

Feb 23, 10 | 5:33 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Ken C, I am using IE 8.0 and the colors look fine to me.
So you put the pearl in while you glued the binding and purfling and skipped the extra step of the filler strip? What kind of glue did you use?
I was going to do my pearl like this:
1) Route channels for binding and purfling.
2) Spray sanding sealer on channels and surrounding wood
3) Tape binding, pearl, and purf into place tightly but leave gaps between the tape strips.
4) Drip CA onto aforementioned binding/pearl/purf layup and let dry
5) Slowly remove tape and glue as I go with CA.

Taylor uses this type of method for their rosettes where they seal the rosette area with sanding sealer and the place all of the rosette pieces into the channel and apply CA glue to hold it in. The key is to seal the wood so the CA will not discolor the spruce. I will just have to take care to really seal the wood so it wont get messed up from the CA. Has anyone here tried this method before? Taylor has a video of this method with their rosettes on their Factory Friday video series so it seems to be working for them!

Feb 23, 10 | 7:04 am
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Tony, I brushed shellac into the channels and on the top. But because I was using 1" abalone pieces, I couldn't easily assemble everything at once like you propose. Even though I had curved pieces, they didn't have the correct radius and needed to be snapped to get around the curves. I worked my way around the rim using a drop or two of thick CA to hold the shell in place. When the inner purfling and shell were in place, I taped up the binding and rim purfling as you propose and wicked in CA. I then removed the tape and flooded the shell with thin CA followed by thick CA to fill the gaps. Unless your abalam is perfectly cut to fit around the rim before you tape up, I think you'd be better off using a teflon filler strip during your tape up. Glue as you propose, remove the tape and filler strip, then insert the abalam. Zipflex would work as you propose. I used teflon filler strips when I did the rosettes.

Checked my version of IE at work and it is version 6. If you right click on one of the images and save it to your computer, then open it up there with your photo program, are the colors the same as you see on this forum? I quit using IE a long time ago at home. The work pc environment is controlled so tightly, I have no choice.

Ken

Feb 23, 10 | 8:16 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Ken,
Thanks for the tips.
I understand the problem with assembling everything at once. It will probably be much easier to use the teflon strip like you said. I can see that you didnt have any issues with the spruce discoloring from the CA so sealing with shellac must have worked. I have heard that there were adhesion issues with shellac under other finishes. I will assume from your perfect finish that you did not experience that! I am going to use sanding sealer, not shellac, but it should prevent the staining issues if I seal it properly.
Where did you get your abalone from? If I order enough from Stew Mac its about $150 worth of shell. Kind of pricey and that is without a backstrip! I can not check the pics since I am at work and for some reason I can not download them. Work must not want me to download pictures!

Feb 23, 10 | 9:12 am
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
My apologies folks. I had the color space screwed up on the images I uploaded. The colors should now display correctly on IE. You may need to hit your refresh button if the colors still seem a bit bluish green.

Tony, I got my abalone for the purflings from LMII. I used LMII's kit wizard and ordered the majority of the parts from them. The rosette rings came from Andy Depaule. The burl was from some wood I had lying around. The MOP shell blanks came from Dave Nichols.

Ken

Feb 23, 10 | 5:42 pm
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
OK...so I was wrong about the color. It looks even nicer now!
LMII and StewMac are about the same price for the pearl purf. The guitar I am building now is for my brother and his wife is financing the build, so she just wants it to look nice.
I have ordered from Andy DePaule in the past. In fact, I ordered the 3-D stars that went on the neck of my first guitar and had Dave Nichols do the inlay! Funny how small the guitar community is! I have a really nice piece of spalted walnut laying around that I want to use for the headstock and heel cap, but it needs to be resawn and I am having a hell of a time finding someone in Brooklyn NY who will resaw wood! The piece is about 5/16ths thick so I can get two head plates out of it and a heel cap or two AND two end grafts if I could get it resawn! It would kill me to have to waste so much of it.
Thanks for the info Ken C. I appreciate it.

Feb 24, 10 | 5:01 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Try a cabinet maker or a school.....community college or highschool. They may work with you.

Feb 24, 10 | 3:08 pm
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Ahhh!! A school!! I never thought of that! Thanks Ken H. I have a customer who makes cabinets...or should I say "makes" cabinets. He orders from suppliers but installs them in houses in the Hamptons on Long Island. Thats where the rich and famous go for the summer in NY. Billy Joel, Howard Stern, Alec Baldwin, Jerry Seinfeld, and more call it home in the summer time. Kelly Ripa is there too. Anyway, this customer of mine installs $60,000 kitchens and does not even make the cabinets himself! I already asked him to resaw for me.
A school on the other hand...thats a good idea!
I shall look soon.

Feb 24, 10 | 6:04 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
DanB did that with his $100 guitar project.....thats how I got the idea.

Feb 24, 10 | 6:30 pm
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Still a great idea never the less!

Feb 24, 10 | 6:36 pm
Simon

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 67
Wow Ken; that is a stunning guitar. Great job.

Feb 27, 10 | 1:39 am
mjmeehan

Total Topics: 4
Total Posts: 19
Hi Ken, Been outta town for a while. Yes, I'm an avid fly fisherman and am lucky to live in eastern PA. The abalone inlay is inspirational, looks like something I may have a go at with this summer's build. What type is it?

Feb 27, 10 | 1:29 pm
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Thanks Simon!

MJ-I moved from Northern Cal to Michigan 5 years ago. I really miss the trout streams out there. I have heard great things about eastern PA. Went backpacking in the Wind Rivers in Wyo last summer. Huge cutts out there!! Not sure what you are refering to with the What type is it? question. The abalone is Paua abalone. The fingerboard inlays are mother of pearl. The guitar style is an OM. Maybe one of those are what you are referring to.

Ken

Feb 27, 10 | 3:05 pm
Jim_H

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 212
Ken that is absolutely stunning. ALogn with all of the other beautiful aesthetics, I absolutely love that top. It has some character. I'm not a big fan of perfect looking white tops. The shading gives it a more natural look.

Spectacular!

Feb 27, 10 | 11:26 pm
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Thanks Jim. The top was very white after I sprayed it the first time. I have found that Sitka ambers up nicely without any help. But red spruce seems to stay white for much longer. When I resprayed, I hit the top with a couple of coats of amber shellac to tint it prior to spraying the EM6000. I like how it turned out as well.

Ken

Feb 28, 10 | 12:38 pm
PJ

Total Topics: 12
Total Posts: 90
Ken - I'm late into this, but being in the fly fishing industry, this one really does it for me. If you don't mind, I may use the theme for one of my future builds. Great job, man!

May 11, 10 | 5:11 am
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
PJ - Thx. So you are in the Flyfishing biz, in what way? Just a very enjoyable pastime for me.

Ken

May 11, 10 | 6:41 pm
PJ

Total Topics: 12
Total Posts: 90
Ken - publishing I'm afraid. Turned a pastime into work, not highly recommended...

May 12, 10 | 5:30 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
PJ -- I completely understand what you're sayin', having done the same with guitar building! But now I'm stepping back to the enjoyable "hobby" level.

Ken: Another incredibly beautiful job. You are a talented man!

Bill

May 12, 10 | 6:13 am
longbow

Total Topics: 4
Total Posts: 74
When I was obsessed with fly tying I used to tie every day. Now I'm obsessed with this stuff and I need to get my butt out and get some flies wet. ...Dave

May 13, 10 | 5:42 am
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
PJ - My wife probably wishes I could get paid for some of my hobbies, but as you, Bill, and many others know, when it turns into a job, it just isn't the same.

Thanks Bill. Kind of different with you now just one of the guys!

Dave - Yeah to some degree, me too. My building does slow down a lot during the summer months as I have to take advantage of the few decent months we get here in Michigan.


May 13, 10 | 1:18 pm
naccoachbob

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
Ken C, I have a question about this build, can you email me?
My email is in my profile.
Thanks,
Bob

Jul 05, 10 | 5:58 pm
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Bob, email sent.

Ken

Jul 05, 10 | 6:43 pm



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