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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:40 am 
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What Diane said.... You should be able to mount the fretboard so the 14th fret lines up, and just sit the nut on the headstock between the end of the freboard and the headstock veneer. The overall height of the nut will need to be a bit greater to account for the headstock slope, but that's not a problem. You can also shade the lining-up of the 14th fret a bit and still have it look "lined up."

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:43 pm
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Ahhh, that looks like a very good suggestion. thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:46 pm 
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An update:

I went and bought special glue to glue on the ivoroid binding that I decided to use for the binding. I couldn't figure out what to use for the end wedge. I ended up talking to a local luthier and he hooked me up with the ivory tops of some piano keys. This seemed cool, but after all this I went home and looked at the curly maple binding strips that I had purchased. At the beginning of all this I wanted to do curly maple binding and end wedge and then chickened out and bought the ivoroid. For some weird reason I chickened in and decided to try to bend the maple strips. I added a thermometer and a charcoal lighter to my bending iron. Similarly to bending the sides, it turned out to be a bit of a pain. First I decided I should thin the binding strips from about 1/8" (too thick!) to about .070". I did this by clamping my block plane down with two shims under it. I would run the binding through, unclamp the plane, remove a couple shavings from the shims and repeat. Worked great but took quite awhile. I also realized that one of the strips had a weak punky spot that just wouldn't work. So I was down to 4 strips (no spares!). I used a bit of windex on the binding (don't know if that helped or not) and did manage to get them bent. It took a long time and I had to reglue a couple little cracks with superglue. The less curved spots were pretty easy. I actually think a dread would be quite a bit easier; there is a tight spot on my guitar that really makes the bending tougher. I wouldn't want to try a cutaway.

I then set to making a binding jig. You can see that in the 'tools' section of the forum. The results were just OK. I think I need to make a few key adjustments to the jig. I ended up spending a long time with file, riffler, and chisel getting the channels looking OK. By the time I got to where I wanted to glue the binding in, I was convinced I would have nasty gaps. I was even looking at getting a black laquer stick, since I realized that I could probably fill gaps with black and it would blend with the black purfling (a huge bonus of bwb purfling over wbw). I used regular titebond for the glueup and the whole procedure took much longer than I expected. I used binding tape from lee valley (pretty much looks like someone took a roll of 'frog tape' painting tape and cut it thinner). It did actually work great. I then took a page from Robbie O'brien and used twill tape to get some extra 'oomph' on the binding. Lo and behold, when I took all that stuff off, the binding was super tight against the top and back. The only place where there are a couple tiny gaps are where the maple meets the rosewood and I can hide them super easily. I also over scraped a bit in one spot and thinned the binding a bit too much. Altogether though I am pretty happy with it.

Recently I sunk the neck down into the mortise the correct amount. I have the perfect neck angle (I think) but the upper bout doesn't follow it perfectly despite efforts made to account for this earlier. There is about 1/16" gap under a straightedge held along the neck when measured at where the fretboard will end. I think this may be a bit too much to just clamp down. The plan at the moment is to sand or plane the upper bout until the gap is about 1/32 and then clamp it down. The top is a bit thicker than it needs to be here anyway. I wonder if anyone has arguments against this plan?

Thanks for checking it out!


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Last edited by Talladam on Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:43 pm
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A couple more pics


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:31 am 
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Your build looks great. Your plan to sand sounds solid. In fact, I use my 19" flat metal sanding beam that I use to level my fretboards and frets, to sand the area of the upper bout, under the fretboard extension area. I put the neck in temporarily, without the fretboard, and I sand to ensure that there's no gap between the neck and fretboard extension, where the fretboard and neck meet the upper bout.

I wouldn't want to sand so deep as to inbed the fretboard into the upper bout in this area, just because there is a gap at the sound hole end of the fretboard. I often have a gap at the soundhole end, and I simply clamp it down when I glue the fretboard and extension down.

I think you'll find that a little sanding to ensure there's a smooth transition between the neck and guitar body, will be sufficient.

I recently helped another forum member with his build, so I have pictures demonstrating pretty much everything. Lol

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
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Location: Hegins, Pa
the fun of a hobby is so you can forget the days worries and loose yourself in something you enjoy. The best advice is get the best you can afford. Also ask questions.
No one here started as an expert we all learned by making and sharing our mistakes.
Have fun ask and post.
we love seeing this and watching you progress as your skills increase

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Blues Creek Guitars Inc
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president of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:03 am 
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What John said is right. Every question and every problem that comes up on the forum, I have experienced myself, which is probably why I pop up so often with solutions that have worked for me (most learned from John). I'm still learning new things and techniques.

But in the end, relax and enjoy building your guitar. You're doing a really nice job.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:09 am 
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I keep saying that there is nothing wrong with filling the gap with a wedge. The luthiier who first taught me to build a guitar maintains that if you have a fully radiused top and proper geometry, there should be a thin triangular gap under the fingerboard extension.

I guess a lot of people build their guitar tops differently than he does, and the way they do it there is no gap, or isn't supposed to be a gap.

I don't think there is one "right" way to build a guitar. As long as the action is correct and the result looks and sounds good, I think how that is achieved is mostly irrelevant. Just because your guitar may not end up looking EXACTLY like a Martin doesn't mean it's in any way deficient. So I'd say, however you end up dealing with the gap, as long as you do it well, don't worry about it.

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Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:56 pm 
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I don't think I'd have any problem about doing a wedge. I'm not sure how easily I could make a rosewood wedge that tapers from 1/16" evenly down to nothing over the 3-4" where the fretboard sits down over the body though. So far I still think I'll try a bit of sanding first. I thinned the main area of the body down a bit before binding because I realized I was still quite thick. I didn't bother with the upper bout at that time so I actually have a bit of extra meat there anyway. If I remember, Hesh mentioned that his method (which I used for the upper bout geometry) included a tiny bit of 'fallaway'. I just think that 1/16 is probably too much.

In response to John, don't worry, I'm not getting too flustered and frustrated. I actually love frustrating hobbies like this. I also like to fly-fish and tie flies (equally frustrating, especially as a beginner). From working as an electrician I'm pretty good at recovering from the mental hit you take when something doesn't go your way. That happened multiple times a day when I was building things, and I had others working for me at the time which adds a whole new level. While I don't always attain the zen like-state of calm relaxation that you mention, I (almost) always enjoy working down in my little shop. I just blast my bluegrass music or a podcast and do my thing for a few hours.

I appreciate all of your help. It helps keep the motivation alive.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:10 pm 
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Yes, making a wedge like that can be tricky. I start with a piece of wood as thick as the maximum thickness of the wedge, and longer. Clamp it in place with a clamp on the excess length, then plane down the free end to the taper you want.

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Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
When things are bad, try not to make them any worse, because it is quite likely they are bad enough already. - French Foreign Legion


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