The Ovation Fan Club
The Ovation Fan Club
Forum Search | Statistics | User Listing Forums | Calendars | Albums | Language
Your are viewing as a Guest. ( logon | register )

Random quote: "There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another." -Frank Zappa



Jump to page : 1
Now viewing page 1 [25 messages per page]
Sleepless in Yamato

View previous thread :: View next thread
   Member Communities -> Bottom Feeding Luthiery GuildMessage format
 
arumako
Posted 2020-11-19 9:48 AM (#554305)
Subject: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 962

Location: Yokohama, Japan

Hey OFC/BFLG!
What a crazy year it's been. I really pray all of you are doing okay. It's been so hectic, only one non-O archtop repair project is moving forward, but... there's been some seriously loud construction going on right in front of my house from midnight to 5am for the last 4 days and it has been impossible to get any sleep! Last night some of the construction workers were having a loud argument - just unbelievable! Doesn't even seem like I'm in Japan!

So, to keep my mind occupied I started going through my stash of lumber collected over the last 5 years since my guitar hacking days commenced, and I found some California Redwood and two sets of Hawaiian Koa. Set up my shooting board and have jointed one set a night over the last 3 nights.

3 jointed sets

The right Koa set is for an Aria AMB35s A/E rebuild. The center is California Redwood for a '64 Classical rebuild, and the set on the left is for my CC54i iDea. Currently, the iDea's original top is still intact with no braces; however, I'm very tempted at this point to pull the old Sitka Spruce top off in favor of this Koa set. First time for me to work with Koa for a guitar top; and man are these things hard! Ate through my regular sand paper in no time flat! So after consulting with some folks who know Koa more than myself, a 120 grit scouring pad was called into action, and voila - just great results. Nice, tap tone too!

Still have a set each of AA Sitka and torrefied Sitka Spruce, 2 Western Red Cedar sets, 2 Sakura sets, and a killer set of quartersawn Japanese Keyaki (Zelkova) sets. It's so hard to find a good set of straight grained Keyaki (almost always flat sawn for the deep and beautiful grain). 7 more sleepless nights of this construction, and all of these sets might be jointed! Lol! All kidding aside, this Koa is really inspiring me to take the iDea project off the shelf - not really a realistic assessment, but sure is tempting!

I'll make sure to post updates if the project moves forward. Stay safe everybody! Man, gotta catch some Z's!



Edited by arumako 2020-11-19 9:51 AM
Top of the page Bottom of the page
DanSavage
Posted 2020-11-19 11:58 AM (#554307 - in reply to #554305)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2184

Location: Lake Forest, CA
The Koa tops sure are pretty.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
moody, p.i.
Posted 2020-11-19 2:33 PM (#554308 - in reply to #554305)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15481

Location: SoCal
Solid koa tops are wonderful. Always wondered why Ovation did a koa panel top.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
DanSavage
Posted 2020-11-19 3:58 PM (#554310 - in reply to #554308)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2184

Location: Lake Forest, CA
moody, p.i. - 2020-11-19 12:33 PM

Solid koa tops are wonderful. Always wondered why Ovation did a koa panel top.


If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say, cheaper to buy and fewer warranty claims.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
arumako
Posted 2020-11-19 7:07 PM (#554314 - in reply to #554310)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 962

Location: Yokohama, Japan
DanSavage - 2020-11-19 5:58 AM

If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say, cheaper to buy and fewer warranty claims.


I think your right Dan. When I picked these up back in 2015/2016, these were 50 bucks each (due to a few flaws) including shipping. Maybe it's just me, but it's hard to find a decent set for less than 200 bucks nowadays. Koa is also hard, brittle and difficult to work. The Redwood board was super easy, but squaring up the joint on my shooting board for the Koa was quite challenging.

Remembered how you used naphta on your projects for a sneak peak of the finished top after I read your comment! Really beautiful stuff. Might just be famous last words, but perhaps a Christmas break project... Lol!
Top of the page Bottom of the page
DanSavage
Posted 2020-11-20 7:48 PM (#554325 - in reply to #554314)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2184

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Working with the redwood for Patch's parlor reminded me a lot of working with torrefied spruce. It sounds very similar, too. Like torrefied Englemann spruce, the redwood can be over-driven which muddies the sound.

I've never played a Koa-topped guitar. I have read opinions from several people who really dig its sound.

Post a pic or two of the wood wet with naphtha so we can enjoy, too! :D
Top of the page Bottom of the page
arumako
Posted 2020-11-21 10:21 AM (#554327 - in reply to #554325)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 962

Location: Yokohama, Japan

DanSavage - 2020-11-20 9:48 AM

Post a pic or two of the wood wet with naphtha so we can enjoy, too! :D

Thanks for the encouragement Dan. Here it is...

naphtha

Whew, I'm really liking this! Goin' with Hinoki bracing for the Redwood classical rebuild. This is not Sinker Redwood, so it's quite soft, but I'm hoping that the Hinoki combined with a modified Ramirez style bracing will keep the muddiness at bay. Can you tell what's behind the Hinoki bracing stock?

bracing

It's a glue-up (Hysol 9462) of 2mm CFRP sandwiched in 1mm Balsa. That's going to be bracing "stock" for my iDea rebuild. The CFRP/Balsa combination is so stiff, the main bracing doesn't even need to be 2mm high! Thinking about a custom bracing pattern and a low mass carbon fiber bridge design. With the hard Koa top, the guitar should be really sparkly. I don't think, I'll be able to get right to it, but man, the more I think about it the more I want to get going with the project!

So, stay safe OFC/BFLG and have a great weekend!

Top of the page Bottom of the page
Love O Fair
Posted 2020-11-21 5:50 PM (#554330 - in reply to #554305)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 1400

Location: What week?
SPOILER ALERT: Pity party coming up.

My shop space is so greasy, grimy.. 'automotive'.. that I have finally finished embarrassing myself with trying to work with anything.. 'wood'. I spent the summer experimenting with different guitar ideas, like fabric wood coverings and resin concepts, which has resulted in two things. First, was a pile in the corner of completely ridiculous wood-based outcomes that are currently sitting in the pile at the curb in front of my house awaiting the city's annual big trash pickup. I hope the pickup crew doesn't have any luthier-types that will notice them since I don't need the ridicule. Second, are recurring nightmares of my 7th grade wood shop teacher wagging his finger in disgust. I don't mean to wallow in self-depreciation, but facts are facts. It's over. I'm just glad my shower has hot water for winter, because that's where I'm heading.

Now, you guys, on the other hand, are a marvel to witness. No, really, you are! So, just as one may aspire to acting, then finally realize that Hollywood and Broadway are not going to come knocking, and relegate their self to sit in the 7th row with popcorn, I shall now, and most likely forever, take my seat and enjoy watching the masters (you) at work. Nice lumber, Ken. I look forward to seeing it all come together! In the meantime, do you guys possibly need a used EGR valve or a cracked alternator bracket??

(okay.. pity party over. console me, please)
Top of the page Bottom of the page
seesquare
Posted 2020-11-22 6:36 AM (#554333 - in reply to #554305)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3262

Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
(gravelly voice)"A man's gotta know his limitations." They also serve, who stand & wait. Fraternity & fidelity is what counts. You are hereby consoled, LOF. RE: the curb disposal guys--> pearls before swine.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
2wheeldrummer
Posted 2020-11-22 10:17 AM (#554334 - in reply to #554305)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
February 2014
Posts: 599

Location: moline,illinois
Arumako Gorgeous wood I hope you get to make some progress on using it,which way are you going to orient the blank when you cut the top,I think if you spin it 180 you wood get some real cool figuring on the main body under the bridge.

PS I hope you get some sleep soon

Top of the page Bottom of the page
Love O Fair
Posted 2020-11-23 7:57 AM (#554338 - in reply to #554305)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 1400

Location: What week?
@seesquare - >>>. RE: the curb disposal guys--> pearls before swine.<<<

Oh, my. Does that suggest there could still be hope? I mean, there's always Proverbs 26:11. Could be me come springtime!

@arumako - >>>right Koa set is for an Aria AMB35s A/E...and the set on the left is for my CC54i iDea<<<

Being that those two planks are essentially twins, are you going to orient them the same direction for both guitars? Or maybe one each way? Got any pics of the Aria as she sits before you start?
And I'm with 2WD on the 180 flip for the redwood (assuming he was meaning the redwood). Having that dark streak tailing off the bottom edge at the center below the bridge would make a unique eye catcher. But, hey, that's just me. A guy who's retired from a luthier career he never had.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
arumako
Posted 2020-11-25 10:13 AM (#554356 - in reply to #554338)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 962

Location: Yokohama, Japan

Thanks for the interest and nice comments everybody! The "on my door step" construction stopped for Sunday and Monday, but came back with a bang on Tuesday! Tonight, Wednesday, the construction continues, but has moved a few homes down. Feelin' sorry for our neighbors; but glad to be able to get some sleep!

Love O Fair - 2020-11-22 9:57 PM

Got any pics of the Aria as she sits before you start?

...But, hey, that's just me. A guy who's retired from a luthier career he never had.


Hey Al,
Don't bash yourself too badly! Your recurring nightmares of your wood-shop teacher (my wood-shop teacher, Mr. Hirose, was one of my favorites!), are my recurring nightmare of my elementary PE teacher! At least the pile at the curb was unrealized guitar projects. Had I been an ice skating coach, the pile would have been mangled humans! And a "Master" I am not! just look at my sound board cutting jig! Two wood boxes with the specimen clamped inside! A true hackers delight, and a great way to spend a sleepless night. Stand in the box as I cut and voila! 3mm book matched boards! What's really amazing is my Japanese Ryoba (dual edge) saw.

ryoba  AMB35s  redwood

...and, Yes, I do have a picture of my AMB35s in it's current state. This is not an O build so I won't go into too much detail here, but it's a small body acoustic/electric with the iconic Les Paul shape. This is gonna have one bass side F-hole, and two pick ups: one floating, and one 3 transducer going into a pre-amp. Planning on keeping the arrow like grain in the middle pointing up toward the neck for this project. I see what you mean about the Redwood table. Definitely thinking about flipping this one around! Thanks for the tip!

And below is my iDea Project that has been sitting on the shelf for literally years! The bolt-on neck with a neck extension that does not touch the top is already complete. Gonna try to remove and recycle the ebonized top on this iDea and keep it for another project. For this project, the top can accomodate the size of an O in only one direction.

iDea

This one's gonna get a custom bracing pattern loosely based on the A and Quintad braces. The tips of the CFRP/Balsa braces will need to be covered with fiberglass and epoxy to ensure the tips don't start peeling off the koa too. Of course, it's all a dream at this point, and with the snail paced progress of my in-process hack jobs; it's hard to imagine where the time is gonna come from! Hey, thanks for letting me share OFC/BFLG!

Please stay safe and despite the many limitations we're all experiencing, I pray you all have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Top of the page Bottom of the page
Love O Fair
Posted 2020-11-25 11:58 AM (#554357 - in reply to #554305)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 1400

Location: What week?
@Ken - >>>Thanks for the tip!<<<
Actually, it was 2WD's tip. I was just agreeing with him.

>>>a picture of my AMB35s in it's current state<<<
Thanks for posting. The F-hole cut-out plan will be very cool!! I have a sentimental spot for Aria guitars and wanted to see yours since my very first "nice" guitar was a brand new Aria. A hollow body electric in cherry red with double F-holes and a trapeze tailpiece. As a clueless youngster I did not take very good care of it. I wish I could have it back, so maybe I can do that by proxy with your build. Please keep us posted on your non-O projects too!!

>>>Had I been an ice skating coach, the pile would have been mangled humans!<<<
I do know my share of figure skaters who've ended up with metal hips and knees.. but it wasn't my fault.. so thanks for the pep talk. I feel better now about my guitar work (not!)

And a happy Thanksgiving to you as well.. but steer clear of any raw turkey sushi.. it'll make you sick.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
Love O Fair
Posted 2020-11-25 2:24 PM (#554358 - in reply to #554305)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 1400

Location: What week?
Oh and..
>>> a "Master" I am not! just look at my sound board cutting jig!<<<

You have it backwards. It's that type of thing that DOES make you a master!
(but I'm still trying to figure out that saw)
Top of the page Bottom of the page
seesquare
Posted 2020-11-26 6:08 AM (#554361 - in reply to #554305)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3262

Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
I would dearly love to see that Ryobi in action. How do you keep that instrument aligned, to make equal halves? Just the grain structure & figuring would make that pretty challenging. A poor man's bandsaw, I suppose. And, agreed, you are probably a cut-above the average hacker.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
arumako
Posted 2020-11-28 9:44 AM (#554369 - in reply to #554357)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 962

Location: Yokohama, Japan

Love O Fair - 2020-11-25 1:58 AM

I do know my share of figure skaters who've ended up with metal hips and knees.. but it wasn't my fault.. so thanks for the pep talk. I feel better now about my guitar work (not!)


Hey Al, Didn't mean to sound patronizing, but that was my attempt at "consoling"... with all that's going on, I figured I'd better lay it on thick. LOL!

This will be my last post of the Redwood top here, but I wanted to thank you and 2WD for the tip. I definitely like the direction you all suggested. Final thickness sanding, bracing, and assembly for this rebuild. Shouldn't be too much longer...

redwood w/ rosette

After rough cutting my iDea top, I was also able to cut my CFRP/Balsa bracing stock down to the strips I needed. CFRP is a bear to saw, but it grinds and sands well, so I bought some inexpensive Japanese diamond cutters that fit my Dremel. And set-up my "hacks-r-us" jig (thanks for the kind comment seesquare! After re-reading my post, it almost sounded like I was fishing for compliments - sorry!). By my calculations, the brace stock didn't need to be more than 3mm, but after my first cut, 3mm seemed to be way more flexible than anticipated... so much for calculations. The brace height with the right flex turned out to be 5mm.

diamond cutters  CFRP/Balsa brace stock

In either case, I'll need some 3mm braces for tone management too so none of this stuff will go to waste. Cut CFRP is really sharp and dangerous. Some say even the dust is dangerous for the lungs if inhaled so masks and goggles are a must. I forgot to wear my gloves, but CFRP is sharp and hard so it will splinter your skin easily and deeply. I was lucky this time, but gloves - definitely. Uploaded a simple video with my shopvac and Dremel at full blast (meaning turn speaker volume down!).

 

Was really pleased that this method worked! The jig took awhile to get right, but once set-up, it was pretty easy to finish the work. Just had to work really slow for each cut. The CFRP powder gets all over the Balsa, but each of these braces will be sanded to remove burrs, hand ground for flatness and shape, and cleaned. The CFRP provides hyper-rigidity and the Balsa provides a wide enough footprints for the adhesives to keep the CFRP/Balsa sandwich attached to the Koa top. The edges of each brace will most likely need to be further secured with fiberglass and resin. Even then, I should be able to make low-mass high rigidity bracing that will help the top resonate just a wee bit better. Will start a new rebuild thread, once the work of bracing the top begins. Thanks for letting me share!

Top of the page Bottom of the page
keldon85
Posted 2020-11-29 1:26 PM (#554374 - in reply to #554305)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato


Joined:
July 2019
Posts: 77

Location: northern Georgia
Wonderful stuff. I am certainly interested in how your experiment with the balsa and graphite reinforcement works. Greg Smallman uses that for the lattice bracing on very thin tops of classical guitars (John Williams has played Smallman guitars for more than 20 years). From what I recall, Smallman mentioned that he had to throw out a sizable proportion of the tops he made, still, he manages to make his instruments both loud and with good sustain.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
keldon85
Posted 2021-01-02 5:30 PM (#554621 - in reply to #554305)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato


Joined:
July 2019
Posts: 77

Location: northern Georgia
Hope things are going well with the project. Smallman puts the carbon fiber sheet on the top of his balsa braces, which are arranged in a lattice. Another approach is shown on the Luthiers Mercantile site, https://www.lmii.com/carbon-fiber-reinforcements/2373-carbon-fiber-0... . This is closer to what you mentioned doing. Smallman mentioned only emphasizing the first three overtones of the note, and I suspect that not having a stiff part inside the brace may encourage damping out the higher overtones; for classical guitars, the higher overtones don't have a lot of energy due to the strings used. I suspect running the CF through the brace may preserve the higher tones a bit better.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
arumako
Posted 2021-01-03 12:11 PM (#554643 - in reply to #554621)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 962

Location: Yokohama, Japan

keldon85 - 2021-01-02 7:30 AM


Hope things are going well with the project. Smallman puts the carbon fiber sheet on the top of his balsa braces, which are arranged in a lattice. Another approach is shown on the Luthiers Mercantile site, https://www.lmii.com/carbon-fiber-reinforcements/2373-carbon-fiber-0... . This is closer to what you mentioned doing. Smallman mentioned only emphasizing the first three overtones of the note, and I suspect that not having a stiff part inside the brace may encourage damping out the higher overtones; for classical guitars, the higher overtones don't have a lot of energy due to the strings used. I suspect running the CF through the brace may preserve the higher tones a bit better.



Thanks for asking Keldon85. The project is progressing slowly. Just started to thickness the top today. Really appreciate the information from Smallman and LM. Didn't even know LM sold CF bracing! Smallman's lattice braced guitars are highly regarded, so I'm sure he's got things figured out for nylon guitar voicings, but I was hoping to preserve the higher tones as you mentioned and felt a vertical sandwich method was worth some experimentation. Don't have the luxury of throwing tops away, so I'm taking it slow and thinking as I go.

Was also working on an heirloom rebuild of a '67 Maruha No. 232 nylon as well as an AMB35s A/E guitar. Both are interestIng bracing experiments in and of themselves.

bracing experiment

The heirloom (left) rebuild features a slight variation on a '66 Ramirez bracing pattern. The soft California Redwood (not sinker) is complemented by slightly wide low profile ultra stiff Ezo spruce braces with a Koa bridge plate. The original laminated top collapsed two years ago. It was my Mom's first guitar, and I've been using it for years. This inexpensive student guitar had only 3 tone and two cross braces. 

laminated top  66 Ramiez

The AMB35s features a variation on Ovation's awesome Quintad brace pattern. The Koa top is very hard and heavy (even when thicknessed to 2.5mm), but the braces are ultra light and relatively flexible Sugi cedar bracing that are shaped like the letter "I" and layed out in such a way as to treat the bridge on the top as a kind of "brace."

brace profile  i-beam bracing

Voicing both tops took an enormous amount of time, but they both have excellent tap tone and sustain. The heirloom rebuild's box has been closed, and I'm waiting for parts to arrive for the AMB35s. Slow going, but definitely rewarding! Thanks for letting me share!



Edited by arumako 2021-01-03 12:14 PM
Top of the page Bottom of the page
tpa
Posted 2021-01-03 1:40 PM (#554645 - in reply to #554305)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato


Joined:
December 2004
Posts: 477

Location: Denmark
Happy new year, arumako. The beauty is in the detail, as they say. Thanks for sharing another of your projects.
If I may ask ... How did you trim the acoustic response of the top - the process, I assume, that gave the the bracing profiles their final shape.

Edited by tpa 2021-01-03 1:45 PM
Top of the page Bottom of the page
Jump to page : 1
Now viewing page 1 [25 messages per page]
Jump to forum :
Search this forum
Printer friendly version
E-mail a link to this thread

This message board and website is not sponsored or affiliated with Ovation® Guitars in any way.
Registered to: The Ovation Fanclub™ Copyright (c) 2001
free counters
(Delete all cookies set by this site)