Finished Pics! Andyjr1515's Piccolo gains a couple of strings

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Andyjr1515Andyjr1515 Frets: 1860
edited January 23 in Making & Modding
Hi
I said in impmann's Alembic-esque thread that I was kicking off a second 6-string electric build in parallel to his own build. It's a bit of an experiment and so I'm building it for myself.

Remember the piccolo bass I built for our band's bassist Pete?




Those who followed the thread might remember that it is essentially a 4-string electric. Same pitch, same scale length(s), even same neck width. And it weighs less than 6lb!

The curved back (notice a theme developing here?) also makes the neck to body transition super slim. This thing is a delight to play.

So ... a couple more strings .... another pickup - surely this has the potential for a 6 1/2lb electric...

With increasing numbers of born-again and never-went-away players suffering arthritis, and increasing numbers of women players and young players looking for something just a bit lighter - well, you never know.

It will be pretty much the same construction, but the neck will be from the laminated beam I'm also using for @impmann 's Alembicesque:


...and the top is likely to be using this wonderful (but eye-wateringly expensive) piece of Amboyna from Kirk at Exotichardwoodsukltd.co.uk:



Probably go for ebony fretboard and non-multiscale frets.

And the reason for building in parallel (I usually do my projects one at a time)?  Simply that the basic construction of the two guitars is going to be very similar so, when I get out, say, the thicknesser, it's as easy to thickness two pieces of wood as easily as one.  Most builders will tell you that you spend a LOT more time getting the equipment out and putting it back than actually using it  

I will also be trying to read across some of the design features into @impmann 's build and, if there is an aspect I'm not sure about, I'll try it on my dodgy sprog before I risk the same assault on @impmann 's beautiful baby  

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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 1187
    Nice!
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • Andyjr1515Andyjr1515 Frets: 1860
    edited August 2017
    Those following @impmann 's build will know that I boo-boo'd and need to remake the neck blank (routed it in the wrong place).

    The timber for that will be on order tomorrow and I will need to put the wider rip saw blade back on the bandsaw.  So while the narrower detailing blade is still on, I cut the top and wings for the half-sister build.

    I've had a rethink about which wood to use for the top (see above), for reasons explained shortly.  Instead of the Amboyna, I will use the other camphor laurel set from the pair that @Impmann chose his from.  Here it is glued:


    You can see that it came from a tree!

    I cut the outline shape using the paper template I used for the piccolo bass, then did likewise for the mahogany back wings.  The neck is taken from the same original blank that @impmann's came from but this one is super, super slim - the whole body is going to be 1" deep - just to illustrate how slim that actually is @impmann's chosen pickups on his, at 27mm, are actually deeper than my whole guitar is going to be .

    The reason to go for the Camphor top rather than the Amboyna is all about the fretboard I'll be using.  At HUGE expense (UK Customs were particularly happy with this one!) I got hold of another piece of snakewood from the States, similar to that used on the piccolo.  Well - if this is going to be a bit of a showcase.....

    The orange of the snakewood would have lost something of the contrast with the amboyna.  On the other hand, here it is with the camphor:


    And when the finish has been applied, it's going to be closer to this:


    So now I can put the rip blade back onto the bandsaw ready to recut @impmann's Alembic-esque neck
     
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  • GagarynGagaryn Frets: 1464
    wow!
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  • TeyeplayerTeyeplayer Frets: 728
    Yet another stunning build thread. Great work.
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  • As most builders will tell you, setting up equipment is almost as time consuming as actually doing the work.  So the advantage of the progress made today on @impmann 's Alembic-esque is that I've been able to whistle the components of this build through the same processes.  Only took about 1/2 hr and normally it would have been an all afternoon job.

    The notch has been routed in the neck blank, at around 2 degrees angle so that when the mahogany wings are glued flush with it, the top and body will be at the correct angle to the neck for the bridge height.

    Here are the components:


    And placed in position:


    Although it looks very similar to @impmann 's, it is in fact quite different.

    Here, the neck is thinner than the body sections to allow for the convex and concave carves of the top and back respectively.  The neck, and thus the body at it's thickest, in the centre, is around 1".  But because of the neck angle dropaway, at the tail it is closer to 3/4".

    Told you it was different.

    Could all end in tears.... ;) 
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  • Andyjr1515Andyjr1515 Frets: 1860
    edited September 2017
    Next machine set up for @impmann 's Alembicesque is getting the scroll saw out to cut the control chamber.  So while the router jigs are out, I've done the main cutting for the main back wing of this build.

    This, if you remember, is going to be curved in cross section, so I needed to know just how deep I can cut the weight relief chamber at different points from the neck join.  From the back, it will look something (very approximately something!) like this:


    The actual cutaway will be on the bottom only.  The upper dotted line is just a datum.

    So this is how deep I can go in mm.  The fact that I can only go 6mm deep near the neck illustrates just how skinny this guitar is going to be:


    Still got some chiselling to do, but the bulk is out:


    And then at the back, to save a bit of effort, I've routed some carving steps:


    So the router can be put away and the scroll saw brought onto the bench for both builds...
     
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9144
     I hope the router ledge method works for you.  I think doing the same front and back should give a very even curve.
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  • WezV said:
     I hope the router ledge method works for you.  I think doing the same front and back should give a very even curve.
    The last couple of builds I've just used a pull-shave.  Quick enough but the radii were not terribly accurate.  This one is too slim to take those chances so I thought I'd better be a little less cavalier :)

    Having said that, I will do the top manually - too much can go wrong too quickly with a router! - but I should have a decent curve at the back as my reference :)

     
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9144
    I think I would be happier with router and sander on a burl top than a pull-shave.  But that's the point, always best to stick with the tool you are most comfortable with
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  • Andyjr1515Andyjr1515 Frets: 1860
    edited September 2017
    WezV said:
    I think I would be happier with router and sander on a burl top than a pull-shave.  But that's the point, always best to stick with the tool you are most comfortable with
    The pull shave is a curved one (the Veritas one designed mainly for dining chair seats) so only good really for concave curves (ie the back).  For the top, I'll probably go with fine microplane or the fine side of a Shinto file and then sanding block.  The Camphor is close in workability to walnut so not a big job for a simple curve. 
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  • @Andyjr1515 Where did you get the snakewood from in the states? I've got some from:

    http://www.gilmerwood.com/

    But any other sources would be good to know :)

    Lovely looking fingerboard too!
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  • @Andyjr1515 Where did you get the snakewood from in the states? I've got some from:

    http://www.gilmerwood.com/

    But any other sources would be good to know :)

    Lovely looking fingerboard too!
    Pretty sure it wasn't from there.  Can't recall off the top of my head.  When I'm back on the desktop in the morning, I'll dig out the invoice and let you know :)
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  • @Andyjr1515 Where did you get the snakewood from in the states? I've got some from:

    http://www.gilmerwood.com/

    But any other sources would be good to know :)

    Lovely looking fingerboard too!
    Pretty sure it wasn't from there.  Can't recall off the top of my head.  When I'm back on the desktop in the morning, I'll dig out the invoice and let you know :)
    Thanks - loving both these builds - the wood (oh err misses) is amazing! :)
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  • @Andyjr1515 Where did you get the snakewood from in the states? I've got some from:

    http://www.gilmerwood.com/

    But any other sources would be good to know :)

    Lovely looking fingerboard too!
    Pretty sure it wasn't from there.  Can't recall off the top of my head.  When I'm back on the desktop in the morning, I'll dig out the invoice and let you know :)
    Thanks - loving both these builds - the wood (oh err misses) is amazing! :)
    It was a US ebay trader deluxeexoticlumber2013. 
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  • @Andyjr1515 Where did you get the snakewood from in the states? I've got some from:

    http://www.gilmerwood.com/

    But any other sources would be good to know :)

    Lovely looking fingerboard too!
    Pretty sure it wasn't from there.  Can't recall off the top of my head.  When I'm back on the desktop in the morning, I'll dig out the invoice and let you know :)
    Thanks - loving both these builds - the wood (oh err misses) is amazing! :)
    It was a US ebay trader deluxeexoticlumber2013. 
    Thanks very much :)
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  • Did the contour steps on the other wing while the router was out:


    In terms of weight, the total wood content is going to end up around 5lbs, assuming I don't do any more chambering.  That's fairly comparable with the piccolo bass (which ended up at a touch under 6lbs total finished weight) but the hardware on this will, of course, be heavier.

    Just got to cut out the control chamber and the back wings can then be glued to the neck  :)
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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 1187
    Good work Andy, always interesting...
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • paulnb57 said:
    Good work Andy, always interesting...
    Thanks, @paulnb57 ; :)

    A small bit of progress but one that makes a difference ;)

    The f-hole is cut:


    Next job is to confirm in my head what p/ups and controls.  I'm tempted to take the p-rails out of my '2014 TheFretboard Summer Challenge' (was it THAT long ago??) build:


    If I do, I'll probably go Neck Vol; Bridge Vol; Master Tone with and three-way and two micro toggles to give me the 4 P-rail options  (there isn't the depth for push/pull or push/push)
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  • While I ponder about fitting @impmann 's Hannes bridge - and while the appropriate equipment is out, I got the Andyjr1515 lightweight out again.

    First I cut out the control chamber shape from the back wing and then I glued both wings on.  It looks much the same but now I only have to move two bits around rather than four :)







    Here it is with the top loosely placed - I need to rout the cable runs and add the demarcation veneer before I glue it on:


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  • It's a bit easier to show how the back will be carved out now the wings are glued.  Ignore the bottom dotted line...it will be the added top that follows this radius.


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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 1187
    Wow! That looks thin! Excellent contours!
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • paulnb57 said:
    Wow! That looks thin! Excellent contours!
    Clearly, the top will be on too, but that will follow the same curve.  It will be a touch under 1" thick across the whole width.
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  • I've actually got Pete's piccolo bass with me this week to go to a show - I'd forgotten how nice it is to play.  If the 6-string electric works out as well I'll be well chuffed :)
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  • This is wicked. Such a unique melding of ideas. What's the plan pickup wise?
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  • This is wicked. Such a unique melding of ideas. What's the plan pickup wise?
    A pair of sd p-rails :)
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  • Andyjr1515Andyjr1515 Frets: 1860
    As @impmann 's build is progressing OK, I thought I ought to dust down my own sister build.

    I used the last of my 2mm wenge constructional veneer on Tim's, so am using a slightly thicker 2.5mm version:


    Glued and clamped between two flat, substantial sets of cauls:


    A small but important step...because after a tiny bit of routing, I can glue the top to the body :) 
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  • Andyjr1515Andyjr1515 Frets: 1860
    Still working up the courage sorting the final preparation and checks before gluing @impmann 's fretboard on so, while the clamps are still free....

    Finished the prep-work for gluing the top to this.  Basically, routing the cable run, routing the back of the 'f-hole' chamber, darkening the inside of the chamber:


    And glued, ready for bearing flush-bit trimming.  Again, I'm a bit weird in that I will use the top as my routing template.  Generally NOT recommended but (usually) works for me:


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  • rsvmarkrsvmark Frets: 572
    Loving this. Great work. Question- will the reduced depth result in any tuning instability?
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  • Andyjr1515Andyjr1515 Frets: 1860
    rsvmark said:
    Loving this. Great work. Question- will the reduced depth result in any tuning instability?
    Thanks :)

    And no, not at all, as far as I'm concerned.  I learnt a lot about what matters and what doesn't with a build called 'Tom's African Bass'.  When I get back to the desktop I'll try to summarise the conclusions and explain why I think what I think.
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