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Making progress on #3
Author
Post
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 984
Here are a few pictures of the status of my #3 Cocobolo Dred.
I was excited about my Paua Abalone rosette. This was my first time working with it. The way I did it was to use the teflon strips sold for use around the rims to make the space for the shell purfling. I layed them in on either side of the channel, then spot glued the sections of abalone in between. I had to do a little sanding on each piece so I got a really nice tight fit. Once they were all in, I pulled out the teflon, flooded the space with LMI white glue, and layed in the BWB purfling. Wiped off the excess glue and clamped it up in my go-bar deck. When dry, I flooded the shell area with super glue, and then sanded it all back. I thought it turned out great and was very easy to handle it all this way.
I am ready to glue on the back, and will start bracing the top this week (yes after I cut out the sound hole).







Kevin

Feb 28, 10 | 2:39 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Oh, and I cut out two neck blanks out of my sapele block.


Kevin

Feb 28, 10 | 2:44 pm
naccoachbob

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
Great start, Kevin. Good plan about setting in the rosette the way you did. Posting to my memory bank.
Bob

Feb 28, 10 | 4:07 pm
DanB

Total Topics: 50
Total Posts: 272
Kevin, your work is getting REALLY clean! I'm already excited to see this guitar built.

Dan

Feb 28, 10 | 7:52 pm
RayRay

Total Topics: 21
Total Posts: 190
Kevin, is that a red spruce top ? I LOVE the Pau Abalone...this has all the makings of another georgous guitar! Thanks so much for sharing.. :)

Ray

Feb 28, 10 | 9:03 pm
PJ

Total Topics: 12
Total Posts: 90
Kevin, like the paua - my number three also carries a paua rosette, and I'm as thrilled with it. What does the cocobolo work like?

Mar 01, 10 | 1:20 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Kevin - that looks great. Your boss is going to want this one, too!

Bill

Mar 01, 10 | 4:48 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
It is a Sitka top with lots of bear claw Ray, but it has some color in it too. I guess that also adds character!
I love working with the Cocobolo, the smell is kind of sweet and peppery. The sanding dust is very, did I VERY red, and clingy. If it gets on the spruce, you really can't wipe it off, you have to lightly sand it off. If there are pores, it will get in there. I imagine I will have to use caution when the Koa bindings are in place. The abalone is from De'Paule...nice stuff.

Kevin

Mar 01, 10 | 5:57 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Looking fantastic! Sounds lot like the Padauk I have been working with. I have had much better success scraping with little razor blades than with sanding. You don't get the fine dust. the alternative is to put some sanding sealer on your top right from the start.

Mar 01, 10 | 8:54 am
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Very nice, Kevin. That will be a sweet top under some finish with the bear claw figuring and the abalone rosette. Well done! I also see that your rim reinforcements are a bit decorative. Will be fun to follow your progress on this one!

What are you using for bindings?

Ken

Mar 01, 10 | 9:20 am
DanB

Total Topics: 50
Total Posts: 272
"I imagine I will have to use caution when the Koa bindings are in place. "

Koa bindings it is, that will look awesome.

Dan

Mar 01, 10 | 9:33 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Acutally scraping with the blade works pretty good with Cocobolo. It is hard, but porous. If you sand, you have to blow the dust out of the pores.

I have seen Taylors with the Cocobolo/Koa combination, and they look grand. I don't have the curly Koa, just the plain, but I still think it will look very nice. I may use Curly Koa for a pickguard....hmmmm, maybe.

The sapele neck should go nicely too as it is reddish brown naturally.

Kevin

Mar 01, 10 | 11:09 am
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Sorry I missed the Koa reference earlier. I have done curly koa on two guitars now, and love the stuff! I'll bet it would look fantastic on the cocobolo. Good call!

Ken

Mar 01, 10 | 12:10 pm
John S.

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 94
Looking nice, Kevin! I really like your cocobolo b & s set. Did you find the coco easy to bend?

John

Mar 02, 10 | 1:15 pm
dviss

Total Topics: 18
Total Posts: 165
I like all the color in the top. Very Nice so far!

Mar 02, 10 | 2:47 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
The Cocobolo was very easy to bend. Remember I bent it on my handmade electric bending pipe. I love it!
I am beginning to like the color in the top also. My first impression was to not like it, but it is growing on me. :>)

Ken, is the Koa surface closed enough so that the darker sanding dust will not be a problem, you think?

Kevin

Mar 02, 10 | 4:03 pm
naccoachbob

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
Kevin, if you don't like that top, pick yourself out a good one and I'll swap. I love that bearclaw. It's going to be almost 3 dimensional when you finish it. Your work is really good.
Like to see some pics when you work the neck. I would try most anything in building, but a neck scares me to death.
Keep it up.

Mar 02, 10 | 4:09 pm
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Kevin, Koa does have open grain. Not as bad as oak, but definitely open. Personally, I didn't mind if the rosewood or walnut got in the koa pores as it added a bit more definition. A little run around the rim with a blast of air once your done sanding, and you can clean out all the pores if you don't want coco dust in them. Note that if you want a nice smooth finish, you will need to fill them when you pore fill the rest of the guitar.

I think the top looks nice. Some guys get all hung up over a consistent color (or lack of streaks) throughout the top. That has never been a big deal for me. The red spruce on my flyfishing OM has heavy streaking, but doesn't bother me the least.

Ken

Mar 02, 10 | 7:14 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
I will definately seal the Koa bindings, along the top edge too. I did that with EIR using CA and it worked fine.
Hey Bob, thanks for the encouragement. When I purchased the top (off Ebay) the picture didn't show the bearclaw clearly, and in person, it is loaded with it, nice and symetrical too. Also, the color wasn't apparent, so I wasn't expecting that so much.
I will show some pictures as I proceed on the neck. My last neck was a multi-piece, stacked heel, scarf joint headstock affair out of mahogany. It went pretty well. I will approach the task similarly on this solid neck, except I won't have to stack and scarf!!!! ha. The neck is actually alot of fun to make, but takes a bit of work. You should try it. I made a poplar neck first to practice on. Took it up to the point of carving the heel, and then figured it wouldn't carve the same as hog anyway, so I stopped there. It did help me nail down some of the processes though.
I will try and post some pics and explanation as I go along, just remember I am still a novice at this.

Kevin

Mar 03, 10 | 1:52 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Today was a very productive day. I managed to get the bracing glued to the top, all of it. The X braces last night, and the rest today. They are not carved, but on there. This top is super light and rings like a bell already. I will have to take it slow as I remove material from the braces. I like the sound already! I also have the rims and back in the go-bar deck tonight gluing on the back...Yippee! I feel good about how this project is coming along so far. I'll put a couple of pics up of the box and finished top when it is done.

Kevin

Mar 06, 10 | 7:09 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
This weekend I was able to get the box closed up, rout the binding and purfling channels and "reinstall" the end wedge....which is still of by a 1/16" at the top center line. I don't know how these things happen!!!!
I will leave it, and figure out how to best butt the ends of the binding so it is does not make it more obvious. If the glue line on the top didn't show, it would not matter, but the glue line does show.....oh well.
So here are a few pictures of where I am now.




I'm going to try and get the binding bent this week, and start on the fretboard and the neck.
Thanks for looking.

Kevin

Mar 28, 10 | 6:02 pm
naccoachbob

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
Kevin, it's coming along really well. Man that top is going to be exquisite. Gotta love that back and side set too.

Mar 29, 10 | 6:48 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Well I spent a couple nights this week and got the bindings installed. Before that, I redid the end wedge. It realized it was not centered, so I cut another one out and it looks better, also a bit more color contrast so it shows up nicely. No photos yet, but when I get the bindings all scraped down Saturday I'll take a pic then. This weekend after some yard cleanup I hope to start the neck!
Oh, I also routed and installed a BWB strip down the center of the back....I just didn't like the little bit of seam that showed. The center strip will match the purfling.

Kevin

Apr 08, 10 | 8:07 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Lookin fantastic, Kevin. Keep it up!

Apr 09, 10 | 11:36 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Looking good! I wanted to build a cocobolo guitar until three things happened:
1) I saw Ken C's Claro walnut J-185. I began to like walnut (which was good because I had just ordered a walnut kit from KMG.)
2) I got my walnut kit from Ken Cierp. Such nice stuff! If I was not having computer issues and camera issues, I would post some pics. Its a beautiful figured walnut that looks even better with a coat of sanding sealer on it than it did when I wetted it with naphtha for my "Back stripe/ no back stripe" debate thread.
3) I found out how oily cocobolo is and what a pain it can be to glue.

Apr 09, 10 | 3:36 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Tony,
I love Cocobolo, but you are right, it has become a worry to glue. I think I'm okay, but I just glued the back bindings on last night, and used LMI glue. I cleaned the coco good so it should be alright, but you know in the back of my mind............
I will not be building too many guitars, and I'm pretty sure I won't use Cocobolo again. I also have a very nice set of Claro walnut waiting to be built into an OM. I am anxious to use it, but there will be a Macauaba Dred before it, and after the Cocobolo guitar.
Ken, how is the Macauaba you're building coming? Any progress pics?

Kevin

Apr 09, 10 | 3:57 pm
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
So Kevin, feeling like you have been down this path before?! I hope your glue holds this time. What a tough go. I have seen several beautiful cocobolo guitars and actually would like to build one some day. Given the wood is so oily, I guess it could cause issues with some finishes. I built a tambor mantle clock several years ago out of very oily rosewood. I tried several finishes with it, and finally ended up just waxing it!

She's gonna be nice!

Question for you: How does the leaf blower work as a luthier tool?

Ken

Apr 09, 10 | 7:53 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Ken C,
That's how I clean out the inside of the guitar!! Is there another way to do it?
It is going to be beautiful, if I can ever get it right.
I have to tell on myself here. No pictures, but I'll just say that I pulled the tape on the bindings, scraped them down, and found that my joints on the back; end and neck are messed up. I apparently became distracted over the last week, thinking I had already checked the binding and purfling channels for fit, I went to the shop Thursday night and just glued up the bindings. Was I just tired? Was I not thinking? Am I loosing it? From what I can tell, my back center strip which is a .060" BWB purfling I installed after the binding channel were cut. I never went back and made sure they were cut off flush with the purfling channel, and with just a little bit proud, (I didn't even notice this when I was taping down the binding joints....), I have a "hump" at the tail end in the purfling, and at the neck end, my purfling joint looks terrible, and the binding was not flush with the side. The moral is....even if you think it was already checked....check it again before proceeding with a task.
I am going to rout off the back binding/purfling, and redo it. It will not be difficult, and will only take a couple of evenings. As much $$ and time as I have invested in this baby, it has to be better than this. The top looks very good, so I don't have to do anything there. LIVE AND LEARN!

I also spend yesterday cutting out the tenon and cutting in the neck angle on my neck blank. It should have fit perfect on the body right off the saw, right? No way! So I have some adjustments to do, but that is part of it. This week I will work on the fretboard and rough out the neck shape, glue on the peghead veener and refine the neck heel fit.

Once I have the back binding redone, I'll shoot a couple of pictures. The Koa against the Cocobolo really does look nice.
Till next time.

Kevin

Apr 11, 10 | 6:22 pm



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