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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:44 am
Posts: 5
Hey everybody, my name is Phil and I'm from Central PA, just about an hour and change away from Blues Creek Guitars

I've caught the guitar building bug the past few years and have recently decided to try my hand at an acoustic build for a change. I am a Les Paul guy at heart and have built a few of them but wanted something a little different. Heres the first LP I built from a kit:
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The seed was planted and I wanted to build one totally true to late 50's spec and from scratch so picked up this hunk of mahogany (this will become important later) and it became a Les Paul
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I am still trying to learn the ins and outs of Martin style builds, especially nomenclature with different models, and I am positive I will have lots of stupid questions along the way but I'm excited. My brother used to have an early 60's Guild M20 that I really wish I still had because it had an amazingly warm tone to it, despite being very small. I found the closest thing in the world of Martins is the 00-17M, this is basically what I will be building except in the larger 000 body and 24.9" scale.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:44 am
Posts: 5
Body
So a few months ago the idea was swirling around my head that I wanted an acoustic to build, when the seller I bought my LP body from put up a set of mahogany sides and back and I realized it must be fate. I actually had to buy two sets to get a front as well so I have any extra set of sides that I'll either use for a later build, or use as scrap pieces for finish testing. These are currently up with John at Blues Creek getting put together with the rest of the little odds and ends that are needed. I actually forgot to take pics of these so these are from the seller:
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Front/Back pieces with some naptha
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Side set with naptha
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:22 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:44 am
Posts: 5
Neck
When I was up dropping off the wood to John he recommended a member here named Rod (sorry don't know your online name yet!) to build the necks for me. I had weighed buying the jig and bits etc from LMII to cut my own dovetail joints since I actually really enjoy making necks, but am so grateful I went with Rod instead. It was basically cheaper to have him do this for me and the work is top notch, certainly better than I would have come up with my first time around!
With the magic of editing we can go from a blank like this:
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Down to Florida and back where it looks like this:
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As you have realized by now I'm a total flamed mahogany dork :oops:


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:44 am
Posts: 5
Fretboard
Ok on to some actual building on my part! Spent today getting the FB ready, it is Cocobolo which is nasty stuff so anyone reading wear protection and use a vacuum system to get rid of the dust this stuff gives off!

First up is cutting the fret slots to the 24.9" scale that 000's use and putting a radius on the board. As I said (a while ago before my rambling) I am a Les Paul guy so I decided to go with a 12" radius on this. I know Martin's usually use 16" so I hope I don't regret this but for the style of music I hope to play with this guitar I think the short scale and 12" radius will go well together.

First up is the radius jig so you keep the block centered over the FB, I use a piece of blue painters tape on each side of the piece and the jig with a few dabs of super glue to keep them together. The bond is very strong and yet the tape can be peeled off and it doesn't leave behind the annoying residue that double-sided tape leaves in my experience.

Anyway, tape the board down, then you can adjust the MDF side pieces with the clamps to make sure it is perfectly centered:
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Down to approximately 5.5mm and sanded up to 1000grit
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I'm still not entirely sure how many dots I will have inlayed into the board, whether I'll go vintage correct or more LP-style like I'm used to...
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Its really a shame, Cocobolo is gorgeous when it is oxidized and properly oiled but quickly looks like gross teak or something once you start working with it. I want to get this finished so I can let it age in the sun and oxidize again so it doesn't look so terrible :lol: Here is the newly sanded piece with its sister board with a bit of bore oil on it to show the character:
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I also don't know what sort of fretwire I will use, I normally go with Jescar FW45100 on my electrics and have it on hand, but I see FW37080 is recommended for acoustics. I prefer low action on my guitars so the smaller fret would probably be a good thing for me so I'll probably order some but any recommendations will be much appreciated!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1879
Nice looking build. I prefer a low action as well and I've been happy with jascar FW37080.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 1088
Location: Chestertown Maryland
Nice looking wood. A friend has an all-mahogany 00-15 given to him for his 13th birthday in 1952. It is in XXXXcellent shape, sounds great, and is very easy to play.

In the shot of your neck blank - is that a solid piece that you got 2 necks out of? Where did you get the piece?

Ed


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:44 am
Posts: 5
Thanks for the advice Diane, looks like I'll order some of the FW38070 tonight so I can get to fretting this weekend!

Ruby I'm seriously jealous of your friend! Thats a bucket list guitar for sure...

The blank in the shot is actually for a future electric build, but I got my acoustic blank from Hibdon Hardwood:

https://www.hibdonhardwood.com/collecti ... -3x4-necks

Locally (at least ~40min or so from me) I go to Hearne Hardwood, neck blanks are usually in the $90 range and you can sort through and try to get one that is well quartersawn.

They have some very nice wood there, just be sure to bring your wallet as it goes for a hefty price. I've found some online places are cheaper than Hearne but they have a ton of extremely gorgeous wood and supply to Gibson, PRS, etc from what they've told me. I buy fretboards from them as I'm pretty picky about figuring and they are very reasonable though, $20-25 for jet black Gabon Ebony or the figured Cocobolo, and right now they have some gorgeous striped Macassar Ebony...


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 1088
Location: Chestertown Maryland
Hutch

I have made an annual trip there for the last 4-5 years. Last time they were cutting Koa and on the sorting table was the the most spectacular set of b+s. I lusted, but at the $1200 price tag, my lust passed.

Ed


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