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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:51 am
Posts: 145
Location: Fishers, IN
Looks great, and thanks for sharing some of the challenges along the way. Very good to hear more about your opinion on the walnut - I'm very curious as to how you find the sound compares with your others.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm
Posts: 1340
Nice volute!

My first guitar is black walnut. It sounds great. I think you'll like yours.

I suggest for any new guitar that you try several type of strings on it to find out which one sounds best. I tried seven or eight typed on mine, and the GHS Americana Cryogenic Treated Acoustic Guitar Strings, light gauge, were very noticeably the best -- on that guitar.

n.b when I tried them they were called Laurence Juber Signature Bronze, buy GHS rebranded them when Juber signed a contract with Martin.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
Posts: 253
Kind words appreciated! Yes, I am anxious to hear what this will sound like. Once you start this, every instrument gives you an opportunity to learn something. And it's great to learn from the experience of others. As for strings, a nearby guitar shop owner and long-time tech recommended I try DR strings, particularly the Veritas. I like them but I also tried DR Rare and like them even better. I switched to mediums (13-56) on my short scale 12-frets, but will start with lights when this 14-fret is ready. You are right though - you have to find what the guitar likes best! Bruce.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
Posts: 253
Ed asked in another thread about how this volute was done so I will answer here. I started accidentally by not thinning the headstock portion of a one inch walnut neck blank before gluing the scarf joint. I could see there might be enough wood to leave the volute behind when I did thin it down. I searched around a lot to find information on how to go about it, and also where to position it in relation to the nut. There is not a lot of concrete information out there, but Stew Mac has some information on modifying their pre-carved necks. This thread in the Ultimate Martin Guitar Forum was also good:

https://umgf.com/carving-the-martin-vol ... ChdlktGEso

I also found a drawing on line from the Birkonium CNC people which I used as an eyeball reference, but it is marked proprietary so I will not reproduce it.

I started by marking a centre line for the volute, and rough angles for the sides, then rough-planed the headstock to final thickness using a Safe-T-Planer, working close to the volute lines, leaving some room for adjustment. I had to eyeball the angles of the sides with a gent's saw. From there I pretty much worried it into shape with files and sandpaper and chisels. As jread says in his thread about 'Three Os", my first volute came into final being "by feel".


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 12:26 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
Posts: 253
This guitar has been sitting since last October waiting for good outdoor finishing weather, and has been further delayed by new projects to fill pandemic downtime. I still had to do the frets and side dots, which took a little time. Then I made an ebony bridge for it. This is my third guitar, and the first with a lacquer finish, and the first with a new-to-me Fuji spray unit. I've followed John Hall's suggestions pretty faithfully, and I am pleased so far. I did goof after the first two sealer coats, when I used Mohawk filler on the walnut out of the can without tinting it . I backtracked, wiping and rubbing it off, even with a brass brush to get it out of the grain. I put more sealer on, then used filler tinted with Minwax stains which went much better - though I still think I could have got it smoother. After sanding I sprayed four coats of finish as John suggests, about an hour or more apart, thinned about 50-50 with a thinner mix of 75% thinner and 25% retarder. I used a 1 mm nozzle. Given my limited experience with spraying I am pretty happy with the results - much better than my first attempts with a different sprayer and different finish. (That might be for another thread . . . ) Since these photos, I have level sanded with 400 grit, and today sprayed two finish coats cut 65 - 35 with the thinner mix. It's looking very promising! I'll leave it for about two weeks I think before I start wet sanding and polishing. The guitar does have warts. Bindings and purflings have been a problem for me. I could see it was looking pretty good otherwise though, and I thought I should try to improve some of the blemishes. They are much better, but still visible (see photo of one spot). I'm getting better though - the 12-string I have mentioned in another thread is looking pretty good so far. It's rewarding when you get over these hurdles that you didn't even think were hurdles as you approached them.


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