Festool Owners Group

GENERAL DISCUSSIONS => Member Projects => Topic started by: fritter63 on May 11, 2018, 01:45 PM

Title: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: fritter63 on May 11, 2018, 01:45 PM
Just some pics of the (finally) finished Solariego #13 - "Frankie"

Was a rough winter for building/finishing guitars in an uninsulated/heated barn, even in California!

As usual, this is a charity raffle guitar, boosters covered materials costs, my labor donated, and all proceeds will go to support the band program at our local high school.

A few improvements this year:
1) the articulated neck joint now recesses into a pocket on the guitar body so you don't have to see the ugly gap that sets the neck angle
2) was able to get the CNC to inlay the side markers on the fretboard, not just simple dots anymore!
3) upgraded linear motion components on CNC allowed for "seamless" rosette inlay (no purfling for slop)
4) was able to get the CNC to carve the major X-braces for a perfect parabolic cross section

I now have a youtube channel dedicated to showing how I use the CNC for guitar building:

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH-idAUB_TYdNS4EkQGsVUQ

Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: Peter Halle on May 11, 2018, 02:33 PM
Beautiful isn’t adequate enough for this.  What are the Woods you used in the body?  Spruce, Koa, mottled / figured eucalyptus?

Peter
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: Don T on May 11, 2018, 03:20 PM
That is very beautiful.
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: Sparktrician on May 11, 2018, 04:06 PM
Sweet, Fritter.  Sweet!!!   [smile]
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: HMR on May 11, 2018, 05:13 PM
Beautiful work!  I’m a very experienced CNC owner (I have 2 in the shop) and use CNC extensively for furniture design and building.  I can’t hold a candle to what you’re doing with these guitars.  Well done and thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: fritter63 on May 11, 2018, 07:50 PM
Beautiful isn’t adequate enough for this.  What are the Woods you used in the body?  Spruce, Koa, mottled / figured eucalyptus?

Peter
Thanks Peter!

Sorry, forgot to detail those!

Tonewoods are waterfall bubinga ($65 eBay win!!!!)

Curly Koa bindings
Sitka spruce top
Sappelle neck
Indian rosewood fretboard , headstock, and bridge
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: Cheese on May 11, 2018, 08:17 PM
Nice stuff...really nice stuff.  [thumbs up]

Love the notes on the fretboard.

Just curious, how many hours goes into this work of art?  Also curious if the owners actually play the instrument? It’s almost too pretty to play.

I assume the off center sound hole affects the sound?
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: Michael Kellough on May 11, 2018, 09:04 PM
@fritter63 Thanks for posting the beautiful work and interesting videos.

On the CNC carving the final contour of the bridge, what bit produces that almost polished result?
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: jobsworth on May 11, 2018, 10:05 PM
Very nice fritter
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: grbmds on May 11, 2018, 11:29 PM
@fritter63 You are very talented artist.
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: neilc on May 11, 2018, 11:34 PM
Fritter -

That's excellent work.  Thanks for sharing your craft!

Reminded me of a video I saw last week on making Goodall guitars.  The video suggests a father/son team make about two a week.  And best I can tell prices are in the $6K to $12K range.  I hope you can earn similar returns from your time!

What was interesting about the techniques in the video was the range of special jigs and tools that they created for making the guitars.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS78naDiB4k&t=1s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS78naDiB4k)


I don't play but the idea of building a guitar is certainly intriguing!

Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: Michael Kellough on May 12, 2018, 12:19 PM
After seeing all the machinery and jigs used by the Goodalls having a good cnc setup is really the way to go for a one man shop.
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: fritter63 on May 13, 2018, 09:23 PM
Nice stuff...really nice stuff.  [thumbs up]

Love the notes on the fretboard.

Just curious, how many hours goes into this work of art?  Also curious if the owners actually play the instrument? It’s almost too pretty to play.

Tough to say, I didn't keep track. And I'm still constantly changing how do things and creating new jigs, so that adds but wouldn't 't really count if doing regular production.

Last time I kept track, it was probably around 80 hours including lacquer work. I think I can get it down to 20 hours of construction, and then outsource the lacquer (finish) work. That would make me have to think about doing this as a business.

Quote
I assume the off center sound hole affects the sound?

Not really, sound comes out of that, not how it gets in. But it removes a major weakness area where the soundboard needs it most, and it gives me a nice chance to hide the carbon fiber tube "axial brace" that runs down the center between the head block and tail block .
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: fritter63 on May 13, 2018, 09:26 PM
@fritter63 Thanks for posting the beautiful work and interesting videos.

On the CNC carving the final contour of the bridge, what bit produces that almost polished result?

that's a 1/4" round bit running at .125mm (.005") stepover. Still needs a little 220 sanding to remove the witness lines, but you can only see them in the right light (and scrutinizing it).

You could use a flat "bullnose" radiused edges as well.
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: fritter63 on May 13, 2018, 09:28 PM
After seeing all the machinery and jigs used by the Goodalls having a good cnc setup is really the way to go for a one man shop.

Absolutely. It may not be any faster than doing by hand, but the receptiveness, accuracy, and lack of mistakes can't be beat. And once you get the programs worked out, you can be doing something else while the machine works.

And of course there are some things it can do that you just couldn't do by hand effectively.
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: Cheese on May 13, 2018, 11:16 PM

Last time I kept track, it was probably around 80 hours including lacquer work. I think I can get it down to 20 hours of construction, and then outsource the lacquer (finish) work. That would make me have to think about doing this as a business.

Wow... only 20 hours...2 1/2 days...that seems pretty aggressive for the quality of work you do. I hope you’re right on your assumptions for your future business and I wish you the best, because you produce a really beautiful product.  However we all know that when it comes to musical instruments it’s all about:
1. Quality of sound
2. Quality of workmanship.

For the quality of sound question that’s the reason I asked you about the position of the sound hole.

For the quality of workmanship question, your workmanship speaks for itself.
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: fritter63 on May 13, 2018, 11:28 PM

Reminded me of a video I saw last week on making Goodall guitars. 

That was a great video @neilc , thanks.

I had seen the finish part before, can't remember where. Probably when looking at alternates to lacquer (as I mentioned, I think I'll be outsourcing that next, just my least favorite part!).

They still do a LOT by hand that I've automated, but it's good see different techniques for different building steps.

Interesting to see that they used a router and radial arm saw for initial shaping of the braces! I assume they still do some fine tuning with a chisel after that.

I took special note of how he fit the brace ends into the side/kerfings. I usually rout that area with a dremel and make sure not to go into the sides. That looks like it might be better for ensuring a snug fit of the braces against the kerfings.

yeah, one sale per week at 6K would make me happy. It's just a matter of establishing the name.

Quote
I don't play but the idea of building a guitar is certainly intriguing!

Be careful, it is addictive. You have to keep building because the last one wasn't perfect!
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: fritter63 on May 13, 2018, 11:30 PM


For the quality of workmanship question, your workmanship speaks for itself.

thanks!
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: fritter63 on May 14, 2018, 12:13 AM
Update, #13 was won by a band parent, musician, and cabinet maker! Perfect owner.

Here’s a video of him playing it for the first time: https://youtu.be/xoHkQJ77UGA
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: Alex on May 14, 2018, 02:06 AM
As both a woodworker and an avid guitar player I admire the work and craftmanship that goes into making one. I still would like to make my very own guitars some day both accoustic and electric, so I am always very eager to see other people's work and I am very pleased you post your projects here from time to time.

What seems to me the most difficult thing is to get the whole intonation of the guitar right, the fret distances, string height, neck curvature and placement of the bridge, everything has to be just right to get the right tuning.

I do wonder about your placement of the sound hole, especailly if you have professional aspirations as a builder, I doubt it will become a popular sight, for eastethic reasons, but I also doubt the sound waves exit at the place where they reach maximum vibration and thus the best sound.

Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: fritter63 on May 14, 2018, 10:34 AM
What seems to me the most difficult thing is to get the whole intonation of the guitar right, the fret distances, string height, neck curvature and placement of the bridge, everything has to be just right to get the right tuning.

It's actually not even that stressful with a good jig (I made a custom one) for bridge positioning and then you intonate the saddle for each string by peaking it at the right location.

You can buy one from StewMac: Saddlemattic (http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tools_by_Job/Tools_for_Measuring/Saddlematic.html)

Quote
I do wonder about your placement of the sound hole, especailly if you have professional aspirations as a builder, I doubt it will become a popular sight, for eastethic reasons, but I also doubt the sound waves exit at the place where they reach maximum vibration and thus the best sound.

They are most popular among the high end builders who know what they're doing. You seem to be under the impression that "traditional" sound hole placement was based on science (or a knowledge of physics)..... ;)

Here is a $17,000 McPherson: McPherson (https://reverb.com/item/3309045-mcpherson-4-5-camrielle-engelmann-spruce-madagascar-rw-acoustic-electric-guitar?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvdeEqa-F2wIVxLXACh2O4QliEAQYASABEgIdCvD_BwE&pla=1)

And a RainSong: Rainsong (https://www.laguitarsales.com/index.php/rainsong-co-ws1005ns-unidirectional-top-ws-body-offset-soundhole-fishman-prefix-plus-electronics.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvdeEqa-F2wIVxLXACh2O4QliEAQYBCABEgL6N_D_BwE)

A $10,000 Ribbecke: Ribbecke (https://reverb.com/item/7400308-brand-new-ribbecke-imagine-halfling-pin-bridge-archtop-indian-rosewood-sitka-spruce?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvdeEqa-F2wIVxLXACh2O4QliEAQYDCABEgIeHPD_BwE&pla=1)

A lower end factory: Michael Eklly MKTPE (https://reverb.com/p/michael-kelly-mktpe-triad-port-offset-soundhole-cutaway-with-electronics-gloss-natural)

A Martin Keith: Auriole (http://www.martinkeithguitars.com/listing/models.php?type=EG&model_id=9)

An interesting one by Doolin, but he had to put an access panel in the bottom due to small size: Doolin (http://www.doolinguitars.com/client/abg4/)

And of course, the 2016 "guitar of the year": Guitar of the year (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=450369)

So no, sound hole placement is NOT the problem when trying to sell high end custom guitars.

A couple good discussions:

http://www.thecavanproject.com/offset-soundhole-guitars/

http://www.anzlf.com/viewtopic.php?t=585

Personally, I've not noticed a big change in sound between my centered and off-centered guitars. Too many other factors are more important, including soundboard voicing. And my guitars are quite loud.
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: Cheese on May 14, 2018, 11:23 AM

A couple good discussions:

http://www.thecavanproject.com/offset-soundhole-guitars/

http://www.anzlf.com/viewtopic.php?t=585


An interesting couple of discussions. However, as the first article states "that most of the sound comes through the top, not the soundhole" , then why even bother with a sound hole?  It'd certainly make the manufacturing process a lot easier.
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: Sparktrician on May 14, 2018, 12:03 PM

A couple good discussions:

http://www.thecavanproject.com/offset-soundhole-guitars/

http://www.anzlf.com/viewtopic.php?t=585


An interesting couple of discussions. However, as the first article states "that most of the sound comes through the top, not the soundhole" , then why even bother with a sound hole?  It'd certainly make the manufacturing process a lot easier.
 

Interesting discussions, indeed.  I'm neither a guitarist nor a luthier, but I've often wondered about sound hole placement.  The offsets look too bizarre to me, despite great sound.  Must admit that I'm aesthetically attracted to John Monteleone's more balanced designs (https://www.finearchtops.com/archtop-luthiers/john-monteleone/), and note that he seems to use sound holes placed on the upper sides, as well.  They sound wonderful in the right hands. 
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: fritter63 on May 14, 2018, 12:58 PM

A couple good discussions:

http://www.thecavanproject.com/offset-soundhole-guitars/

http://www.anzlf.com/viewtopic.php?t=585


An interesting couple of discussions. However, as the first article states "that most of the sound comes through the top, not the soundhole" , then why even bother with a sound hole?  It'd certainly make the manufacturing process a lot easier.
 

Interesting discussions, indeed.  I'm neither a guitarist nor a luthier, but I've often wondered about sound hole placement.  The offsets look too bizarre to me, despite great sound.  Must admit that I'm aesthetically attracted to John Monteleone's more balanced designs (https://www.finearchtops.com/archtop-luthiers/john-monteleone/), and note that he seems to use sound holes placed on the upper sides, as well.  They sound wonderful in the right hands.

Those "arch top" jazz guitars.... hollow bodied. More like a big violin in construction (the top is carved out of a thicker piece like a violin, not a braced thin piece). And they are played with a pickup/amp.
Title: Re: Latest guitar (Solariego #13)
Post by: fritter63 on May 14, 2018, 01:00 PM

, then why even bother with a sound hole?  It'd certainly make the manufacturing process a lot easier.

You have to have some way to get the pick out after you drop it! :)