Saturday, 27 July 2013

SB2.7L Custom; Progress

Pleasingly, I have been able to to get in a couple of really productive sessions building SB2.7L, a custom build for Andrew, guitarist for progressive post-metal band, Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster and a good friend! Following the past two sessions, I am pleased to say, that test fitting of parts and electronics seems fast approaching!
For the moment I have put my 24 fret SB3 model in the back burner in terms of production, this I feel may be for the best as I have decided to put a small scratch plate on to the guitar to mount the pickups on, so the guitar has to go back in to design and development for now.

This would ordinarily be the point where I waffle on about the progress made on SB2.7L but this time I thought I would let the pictures do most of the talking!


Positioning cavities with the templates


Most of the cavities cut and wiring tunnels drilled

Headstock planed before veneering, the grain pattern is so beautiful it seems a shame to cover it up!

 I've used a thick ebony veneer on the headstock to give a measure of extra strength to its sewn 10 degree pitch.

To make sure I achieved the correct alignment on the fretboard and neck I decided to glue them together before shaping. Once dry, I traced the neck shape from the template and rough cut it on my bandsaw.

image to the left shows where the fretboard overlapped the body. This I carefully trimmed off using a straight edged saw. 

Neck shaping begins


Andy asked that I give his guitar quite a steep cutaway so as he has good access to the hard-tail style bridge as he is usually used to playing guitars with Tune-o-matic style bridges.

That's it from me from for now, so go check out Tacoma and check back here soon!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Back to work

After taking a bit of a forced break (sadly I had nowhere to work for about a month and a half), I have just recently been able to get in my new dedicated workspace! There is something brilliant about not having to your work space with your parents (I am sure they would agree)! Now I can go to my garage and find everything where I left it (again, I am sure they would agree)! Now, if I want to, I can squeeze in a few hours of more quiet work (no power tools, fret slotting, hand sanding, things like that). So has this increased my productivity? Well no, not at the moment, it is still taking me months to complete a guitar! However, at the time of writing, it is currently reaching highs of 33℃. I should mention also though, that I have had a couple of repair jobs more recently as well. This is a very exciting new development as it has come from the development of SB3 and handing out my business card to practically any one I meet! The first job was replacing broken nut on a Percussion style bass. Needed for a day or two later for a gig. I didn't have a replacement nut, however, I always stock some uncut bone, from which I made a replacement.
Additionally, I also had a fret leveling and set up of Squire Strat which had just recently had Quartertone  frets installed! The guitar itself, was second hand and was fitted out with the slightly odd frets buy a carpenter. The frets where fairly well fitted, but not leveled so required grinding and re polishing. The other major flaw with this guitar is mainly just that it needed a proper set up, the intonation was quite off, the neck seemed to have a slight kink and the action was set so high most of height adjustment screws were barely in the saddles and as a result, some were slightly bent. Fortunately, all of the screws went back in to the saddles and I was able to lower the action, this made the intonation issues instantly better! In addition to loosening the trussrod to match light gauge strings, the guitar was made highly more playable! The really interesting thing about this guitar was of course the additional 12 frets per octave. I am still reading about the uses of quartertone/microtonal guitars but it is my understanding that the origins of this increasingly popular modification come from Turkish music and that by retuning using quarternotes, you have access to a host of new scales. After leveling the frets, I fmput the guitar in to standard tuning, I found the new frets made conventional open chords and bar chords very difficult, however, when playing single notes and power chords, for my somewhat limited talent as a credible guitarist, came into it's own! Sure enough, this guitar modification has found a niche home as well with rock and metal players!