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Dreadnought Acoustic Build


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#91 Westie9

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 04:04 PM

What a great thread... Looks superb...
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#92 Andyjr1515

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Posted 06 April 2016 - 06:02 PM

Thanks, folks :)

Not a lot to show, but actually not a lot still to do

The next job - hopefully tomorrow - will be fitting the fretboard. Now the neck is on properly, I've been able to quadruple check the angles and heights and am pleased to find that I can fit the 'feature stripe' under the fretboard. It is a length of maple veneer:
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I don't recall actually seeing this on a guitar neck before, although I'm sure it's a very well trodden path. Whatever, it should link in nicely to the bwb stripe on the binding....

After this it's fitting the bridge and then final bits 'n pieces :)

Edited by Andyjr1515, 06 April 2016 - 06:05 PM.

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#93 Stu-khag

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 06:43 AM

Loving that feature stripe. And loving your work. Thanks for this thread!

#94 Andyjr1515

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 03:48 PM

Thanks, folks :)

Today was fitting the fretboard.

I had already applied the veneer to the back of the board, so now it was a case of a quintuple check of the fretboard positioning and an final check that, when all was clamped down, the action was still going to be in the right place!

As normal, I used violin clamps again, with a piece of offcut wood at the back of the neck as a protector and to give the clamps somewhere to tighten against. This was the final dry-fit check:

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Action should be spot on!

Next was application of Titebond Extend (the modicum of extra sliding time before it grabs is useful) and some heavyweight clamps for good measure:

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This weekend is fitting the bridge!
Andy R

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#95 Andyjr1515

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 08:38 PM

Onto fixing the bridge.

I have used a fairly standard approach for this. The only variation from when I did the OM is that I had bad floating issues with the OM when I was trying to clamp the glued bridge, so this time, after checking and checking and rechecking the bridge position, I drilled a couple of undersized holes in the two E string positions to put some temporary positioning pegs in:
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Then scored round the perimeter:
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Then scraped off the varnish:
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Added some masking tape:
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Then added the titebond and positioned it using the pegs for an initial clamping and glue squeeze out:
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Then pulled out the pegs, popped a larger caul underneath and a top caul I made last time to clamp the main area, using the captive screws to push the sides fully down:
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Last job was cleaning up the final squeeze-out and removing the masking tape. I'll be leaving this clamped up overnight...just to be sure :)
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#96 Len_derby

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 08:33 AM

This looks brilliant Andy, your usual ultra-high attention to detail.
I might has missed it on an earlier post, but are you installing any pickup system?
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#97 Andyjr1515

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 07:00 PM

View PostLen_derby, on 10 April 2016 - 08:33 AM, said:

This looks brilliant Andy, your usual ultra-high attention to detail.
I might has missed it on an earlier post, but are you installing any pickup system?
Thanks, Neil :)

Yes - Shadow Sonic Doubleplay. Got one on my OM and it sounds great. It has a piezo and a mini magnetic pickup which are fully blendable. Should do the business...
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#98 Andyjr1515

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 08:58 PM

The various usual burdens and tasks of life has got a bit in the way of progress, but there really isn't a whole lot more to do and things are being ticked off each time I get the odd hour or so to work on it.

I've drilled and taper reamed the bridge pin holes:

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I've levelled the frets - call me uncannily perceptive, but I reckon a few of the upper frets and some more down the bottom end are a bit high....

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The once they were level, a bit of crowning:

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I rough them out with the Hosco fret file, but then wrap micro web of decreasing grit round the file to do a progressive polish. The edges of the ebony fretboard still has to be rounded so I should lose the rough and chipped edges in this shot. That and a bit of slurried and buffed tru-oil on the fretboard:

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The gap in the rosette will be covered by the pretty invisible black fretboard shaped magnetic pickup of the Shadow Doubleplay system. This is fully blendable with a standard peizo strip under the bridge saddle.

I'm hoping the tuners will arrive in the next couple of days so I can string it up before the weekend to do the final adjusting.
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#99 Andyjr1515

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 04:05 PM

I have a surprising amount still to do, but I now know that it can take the tension of the strings without clapping hands and actually sounds like a dreadnought acoustic! :D

I am a bit weird (generally, I suppose, but also specifically...) because I do the final neck shaping when the guitar is fully strung. I have all of the critical dimensions now at their final position (eg overall depth and width) but have left the profile a teeny bit clubby. Personally, I can't judge when the profile is just right until I'm playing, so that's what I do. I will get the scrapers out and fine tune the shape - probably creating a soft 'V' profile from what is presently halfway between a 'C' and a 'D'.

Here it is at the first stringing up trial:
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Still to do, as a minimum:
  • Finish profile the neck and re-slurry/oil
  • Polish the top
  • Reset the nut - I am using a zero fret but the nut behind it needs to be higher with deeper slots to keep the G and D strings in position better
  • Sort a truss rod cover
  • Take the sharp edges off the fretboard
  • Install the fretboard side dots
  • Install the electrics
  • Final set-up
In the meantime, I'm well chuffed how it sounds. The comparison with my OM is just as it should be - this is for strumming and has volume, balance, sustain and a bassy smoothness. OK too for fingerpicking. The OM has the edge on fingerpicking but is much rougher with the strumming.

I'm a happy chappy who is hoping this will be complete by the end of this weekend :D
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#100 roman_sub

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 04:53 PM

Looks stunning. Well done Andy :)
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#101 6v6

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 10:03 AM

Looks great, fantastic work! :)

#102 Andyjr1515

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 12:13 PM

Thanks, folks :)

Two more jobs off the finish list. I raised the nut a touch and filed the slots down until they were below the zero fret. This gives proper and secure positioning of the two middle strings where the angle off to the tuners.

I also added an ebony trussrod cover with a routed 'swift'. I also added a maple strip to this to reflect the white line added to the fretboard demarcation. That said, I'm not entirely sure whether ebony is right for the cover - if I get a bit of spare time, I might do a mahogany one and a lacewood one and see which looks best.

Posted Image
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#103 sblueplanet

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 07:52 PM

Super duper stuff!

#104 Andyjr1515

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Posted 16 April 2016 - 09:43 AM

Finished!

Actually, I might give the top one more flatten and varnish, but I have between now and July to decide (that's when the surprise present will be presented!).

Electrics installed, new strings on, photos taken. Forgive the self-indulgence:

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When I first put strings on - very, very old strings and the guitar not set up and no electrics - I did a couple of sound clips here, just recorded staight into a vocal mic, no effects or EQ. I don't know how it comes over, but in real life it has the unmistakeable volume and strumming smoothness of a dreadnought. Well chuffed..

Now the new strings are on, it is set up and the electrics are in, I'll try and do some more clips in the near future.
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#105 Dad3353

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Posted 16 April 2016 - 11:13 AM

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#106 BassTractor

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Posted 16 April 2016 - 12:45 PM

For once, Douglas is right, you know!
:P ;) :D

Thanks so much for keeping us updated with the build!
I loved every minute of it.
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#107 BigRedX

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Posted 16 April 2016 - 05:15 PM

That's very nice both in looks and sound. Good job!

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#108 roman_sub

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Posted 16 April 2016 - 06:07 PM

My favourite detail is the bird inlay in the neck heel. Subtle and very classy. Amazing work.

Any comments on whether you may be focusing more on acoustic or electric instruments in the future? :)
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#109 Andyjr1515

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Posted 16 April 2016 - 06:46 PM

View Postroman_sub, on 16 April 2016 - 06:07 PM, said:

My favourite detail is the bird inlay in the neck heel. Subtle and very classy. Amazing work.

Any comments on whether you may be focusing more on acoustic or electric instruments in the future? :)
Thanks, roman_sub .... and all you folks for your motivating encouragement :)

I've got a number of items on my personal wish list but also have probably an electric bass refurb and an electric bass build coming in shortly.

In terms of my own builds, electric cello is well overdue and I've just got a small drill-press that would be just right for a carved archtop.... pity I'm such a slow builder!
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#110 6v6

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Posted 18 April 2016 - 08:04 AM

Great job, you must be very pleased, and I'm sure the new owner will be also!

It's impressive how you managed to keep the momentum and get this done in (relative to my projects!) quite a reasonable time.

#111 cheddatom

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Posted 18 April 2016 - 09:50 AM

It looks amasing, well done!!!
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#112 jimbobothy

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 03:34 PM

.... great build thread. Please keep it updated when your friend takes ownership, I'm sure they'll be well chuffed.
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#113 TheGreek

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 09:09 PM

I come to this thread late...speaking to Andy earlier about a bass I want refurb'ed he recommended that I look at this and I'm glad I did. Beautiful piece of work - Andy's certainly brought out the best of the woods used - love the back and sides on this. The singer in the band is sure to appreciate this guitar.

Unfortunately reading this thread is making the return of my own project (which Andy will hopefully be starting on Tuesday) that much more frustrating. I'm feeling like a kid on Xmas Eve. I can empathise with Kert (Funkshui) who must have been going through hell while waiting for his bass to be completed but able to follow every step through the thread.

Again, great work Andy...

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#114 Andyjr1515

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 10:15 PM

View PostTheGreek, on 19 April 2016 - 09:09 PM, said:

I come to this thread late...speaking to Andy earlier about a bass I want refurb'ed he recommended that I look at this and I'm glad I did. Beautiful piece of work - Andy's certainly brought out the best of the woods used - love the back and sides on this. The singer in the band is sure to appreciate this guitar.

Unfortunately reading this thread is making the return of my own project (which Andy will hopefully be starting on Tuesday) that much more frustrating. I'm feeling like a kid on Xmas Eve. I can empathise with Kert (Funkshui) who must have been going through hell while waiting for his bass to be completed but able to follow every step through the thread.

Again, great work Andy...
Thanks, Mick!
Mick's new project has me excited already. New thread will be kicking off shortly...and it's going to be one of those very interesting 'challenges' ;)
Andy R

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