2 New Cutaway Archtop Plectrum Guitars
Working with a builder overseas, trying to get what I
need for a 22 fret cutaway
First Bodies and necks
Something is always lost
in translation so the
necks are too long, and the fingerboards are not slotted.
So I will use these necks
to make template necks so that one can be sent back for build changes.
I'm going for 26 1/2 scale since I found a quality board I had
in stock tonight.
Rosewood, CNC slotted
I will not use dove tails, preferring a bolt on neck
Dovetail removed to get measurements
The neck scales out at 29", far too long.
The also misinterpreted "No Frets" as "No slots", that is easily
remedied on next run
I will have to come forward this amount, all of the heel will go
away, extension will grow longer
With a 26-1/2" board, this shows how far I have to go with this
neck neck, to get there
Taking off the heel looking for the end of truss
Now to get as close to it as I can....
I can see it at the back of the cut, stopping here
Now this is how the finished neck would look, in
I will fabricate the old heel back to the neck, shape it all
in, and make it fit the body with the attachment method I have
Then pull old Fingerboard, install bound - CNC
Then we will have a good template to go forth
As time permits, this is a pet project
More on the Prototype neck
Building up with laminate to level my rough cut
Heel attached where I want it, glued and screwed for the initial
set, more to follow.
Now to Sure-form it all to the level I want
Close, now some finer cutting
Building up around periphery of the heel, will use cut wood,
wood dust and glue
Profile I want
Removing the un-slotted fingerboard
very easy, going well, and quick
Their glue is the equivalent of our construction adhesives used
Sort of a Strong caulk, it feels just like what I have used in
New CNC board from Allen Guitar, 26.25" scale
Scoring the neck and board for good glue anchor bond.
Never leave your stuff "Slick"
ready to rough shape with sure-form.
It takes years of using one , to know how hard to push, very
aggressive but fast, and I'm not trying to make a perfect neck,
just the proper template for others to come.
A shot of black just to give me some sanding indicators, and a
look of where it started to where it is now.
My plan is to come in
thru the heel as I stated, and have threaded collars set in the neck
block to sink screws into that will be hidden with plugs
I will also come
thru fingerboard with 2 screws that go down both sides of the
heel, missing the truss pocket but adding extra retention for
the Mule neck.
They will be
covered with inlays, in the National Triolian manner.
Made a dot so I wouldn't have to look for 12 every time.
12.75" from nut face to 12 fret ctr.
Making me right on the F hole cut, suits me.
Here I am "pinning the heel with 3/32 brass tubing.
Will cut it short enough to get inlay over it
Thru the fingerboard, I want some retention for this Prototype
neck because I
guarantee you some poor player out there will want this
first guitar no matter the research and development and
that will help finance a few more is my guess.
It will be very affordable.
This heel will be as strong or stronger than a normal heel, and
finish /inlay will hide the efforts.
Simple split diamonds, leftovers from Liberty Banjo Co. , many
many moons ago now.
R.I.P. Paul, thanks for helping me get started.
Side markers in
All inlays in
Now I am coming from the bottom with 2 more tubes, and ending up
in the fingerboard, just more retention
After final sanding
Ivoroid heel cap to hide it all, a shot of tint and clear, its
looking like a heel.
Now to the top for awhile
Drilled for 3/8 tuners, will use Banjo style, not Horizontal
Fretting with 147 wire
Stopped to cut the extension. I like a flair.
Ready to for inlay on peghead
Something else from the box.
Now to dye it and add a logo furnished by Mr. Mike Soares, the
man that keeps the parts coming.
Ready for some clear coats and a nut
Coming along, now I will have something to show the builders so
the next run will be more "production"
Shot a coat of sealer on the body
Stuck some mock up parts on for a look
Now to mount the neck
I will do a simple
mount that will be very strong and easy to remove.
One screw thru
2 thru the
fingerboard at the 15 fret, into the neck block
3 point mount
will hold this neck nice and tight with no glue joint.
I will get 2.5" into the block, plenty of retention
The next 2 will go on each side of this inlay.
Drilled thru top for 2 more mounting screws to be hidden with
Tuners installed, Gotoh
Tortoise shell colored pick, now a truss cover
No expense is spared on this Mule.
A part from a banjo armrest that will suffice for a string post
for the G-D string angle needs
After installing strings, the scale pressed the bridge too
far towards the tailpiece which would choke tone.
My measurement for scale appears to be this much off, to
get my octave correct, and the bridge centering the Fholes
So I must add a spacer block to push the neck back to where it
will compensate the scale and make the bridge land where I want
Not sure where I missed the mark, but I missed it big time.
It matters not other
than hours spent, this is all an experiment to get
something right, and then the maker can build to suit..
Adding the block
Stringing up to check octave
Body now meets the neck at 15.25" from nut face to body
before it was 14.5"
Once again checking the scale for the 100th time...
12.75" to center of 12 fret
26.5, on the F hole split....moving on as time allows,
Not this week.
Tone, for sure will
only be good as electric.
This will not be an acoustic wonder without amplification.
Since I want to have this neck ready for showing as a prototype
I will add the "D" profile that I like, not what was on it.
Its a temp finish and good to show contour as I remove it
quickly with Sure-form
After adding the tint back on and fading it to the heel and
Body also got its fine sanding, tints and 1st clear coat.
3rd tint, that makes 3 :)
now it will be clear coats to the finish line.
That is 2 coats on, showing some depth. it will get 6 total, not
looking for thick mirror'ed finish on prototypes
Bottom tape will stay on until I shoot the back next
Tint 3, with 1st clear coat
Now for 3 shots of clear, that will be all for this Mule.
Shaping the contour on bridge base to
Starting with flat bottom.
Out of long sand paper tonight so will get the bulk of it done
and then go get paper tomorrow.
This is 80 grit, with 2 sheets paper under so as not to allow
finish to heat up with the friction.
I stay as centered as possible with strings over fingerboard and
You see the middle cutting first
Then it gets wider as it matches the radius
We will go until we run out of paper at the side
That's close, will finish it up tomorrow.
Going ahead with setup.
Finish is cured enough to go ahead
Will not worry about buffing it.
I will the neck, because I'm practicing some "distressing"
techniques I have been working on.
Some players want a worn look, its like Blue Jeans :)
I will say again ..."Prototype"
its never been meant to be perfect, just get a point across
to our parts makers.
I will stop here and wait on the electrics.
My old amigo Kurt Abell and our buddy Dave Frey looking
over from the back.
What better people to have in the background of a Plectrum
Mike made me a simple setup, he calls it "Vinnie Proof"
I am not known for my knowledge in this realm:)
I made a paper template for the cut out
Will place the pickup and controls in the same place as my ETG
Rough cut made
Smoothed up, control and pickup holes drilled
Making a trim plate from ivoroid
I will get it strung up to see how high the pickup needs to
go, it is a high elevated fingerboard on this one.
I may need to make a taller trim plate, we will see.
Strung to pitch, I plugged it up and got tone and volume, will
MORE TO FOLLOW