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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:05 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
Posts: 253
My first two builds were OM-type guitars built following plans in Jonathan Kinkead's book, but I modified them with 12 fret necks, and altered bracing, bridge, and soundhole. I'm very happy with them, and am still tweaking the setup on both. Number 3 is a "straight" Kinkead OM copy, bearclaw B.C. Engelmann top with a nice tap, and black walnut back, sides, heelblock and neck, with pretty but undramatic (and less-challenging) grain. The plates and bracing are a little lighter than Kinkead's somewhat heavy specs. I fitted a herringbone rosette that I think is widely available, but I got mine at Lee Valley. I will use prebent herringbone purfling from Bow River Woods (easier for me to deal with Canadian suppliers), Indian ebony bridge, fingerboard, and headplate, aiming for a bit of a black-and-white look, looking for good quality black tuning machines to finish it off. The kerfing was new to me, from Bow River, mahogany apparently glued to a veneer of perhaps maple, which was very flexible and nice to work with. This is actually only my second "build", as the first two were built concurrently. I'm enjoying having some of the steps more familiar, some of the jigs already made, and doing a better job after some experience.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:55 pm
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Location: Pittsburgh PA suburbs
Very cool, I'm doing something very similar but not as far along. I'll be following this thread now in many ways LOL. Good luck!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:59 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
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It's great that your growing and learning. I've done that same thing and I learn with each subsequent build. It get's very interesting when you start designing your builds. Your build looks great.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:51 am
Posts: 145
Location: Fishers, IN
Very curious about the walnut back and sides. I can't swing a cat without hitting black walnut lumber (Indiana, who knew?), sounds like a good tone wood from the little bit of research I've done, internet says its between rosewood and mahogany, but curious to get feedback from others? Would be a relatively inexpensive material for me to learn on - thanks!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:55 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
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WV is FULL of black walnut. It's a great Tonewood. I've bought a bunch of old stock from our local lumberyard. Even though some pieces are 2" thick you can hear them ring when you tap them, or bonk them on the floor. My first guitar, which I sold, was walnut. It's got a nicely rounded voice with nice bass. I built an OM.

If i were to compare it to mahogany or EIR, I'd place it more toward the hog, with a bit more clarity in the mids and trebles.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
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I got the top and back glued to the sides okay on this, but ran into problems with bindings. I got some walnut binding pieces which happened to be large enough to mill four strips from each, about 3/32 x 1/4" after sanding. But it was a nightmare to bend. I broke one piece just sanding it. Then I broke several (laminated with WBW purfling) on my underpowered bending iron. I have bent three sets of sides (walnut, cherry, and rosewood), and rosewood and maple bindings with this, albeit with some difficulty. I prepared a new set of laminated bindings and took them, plus a set of unlaminated bindings, in case I broke a few, to a friend's shop to use his side bender with silicon blanket, which has bent many sides successfully. We set it up, sprayed the wood, wrapped it in parchment (his recommendation) and put it in the bender at 275F (this is maybe a little low but is still hotter than I have been able to get my bender at home, but still managed to bend walnut sides). Results in photo following, with the breaks mostly pretty straight across the grain. I know this sort of thing can happen, and maybe it was bad wood, but still disheartening, mostly because you don't know what went wrong. So I will order some more and try again, and hope to learn what might have been the problem. While I wait for material, I am gluing up the walnut neck. Two steps forward, one step back . . .


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:49 pm
Posts: 340
In my limited experience, I've noticed that runout and bending don't play well together. Especially noticed in bindings.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
Posts: 253
About time for an update on this guitar. It was put aside for a time to finish a canoe restoration (thread in the "Anything Else" section, and behind the guitar in the photos) and other things. A local luthier named Joe Egan uses walnut a lot for necks, and I wanted to try that for a guitar with mostly North American wood. I found it tougher to work than mahogany (my only other experience) but I bought some carbide burrs for my wife's Foredom tool and that eased the elbow grease required. Part way through I realized I might be able to squeeze a volute in and proceeded using the by-guess-or-by-gosh method and I think it looks okay, though I am not sure it matches what is normally done - couldn't find much guidance on that. The fingerboard ended up with a slight uptilt near the soundhole, so I will level that. The dark marks on the walnut back are shellac used before I cut binding channels. I still have a lot of trouble fitting bindings, despite building a jig for doing it. I enhanced the image of the top to show a little of the bearclaw figure in the Engelmann spruce. The guitar is in a holding pattern now, waiting for final sanding etc. and spring weather to allow my first try at nitrocellulose lacquer (outside). I am emboldened now to make a parallel start on two tenor ukes (one for my wife, who is not a guitar player), and maybe a 12-string. I have not heard this guitar yet of course, but already I like the walnut well enough that I bought a more figured set from Ontario to use on something - not sure what yet.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
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It looks very nice. You did a great job! You overcame your problems admirably. Bindings are most people's Achilles heel. Sometimes it just takes time and experience. But, I think yours look just fine. Your volute turned out great.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 1430
Location: Chestertown Maryland
Your guitar looks great, and the volute looks nice too - looks much like MArtin's version.

Ed

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