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Sleepless in Yamato

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arumako
Posted 2020-11-19 9:48 AM (#554305)
Subject: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 946

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
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DanSavage
Posted 2020-11-19 11:58 AM (#554307 - in reply to #554305)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2165

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


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15431

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



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2165

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.
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arumako
Posted 2020-11-19 7:07 PM (#554314 - in reply to #554310)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 946

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!
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DanSavage
Posted 2020-11-20 7:48 PM (#554325 - in reply to #554314)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2165

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
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arumako
Posted 2020-11-21 10:21 AM (#554327 - in reply to #554325)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 946

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!

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



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 1357

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)
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seesquare
Posted 2020-11-22 6:36 AM (#554333 - in reply to #554305)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3231

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.
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2wheeldrummer
Posted 2020-11-22 10:17 AM (#554334 - in reply to #554305)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
February 2014
Posts: 572

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

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



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 1357

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.
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arumako
Posted 2020-11-25 10:13 AM (#554356 - in reply to #554338)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 946

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!

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



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 1357

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.
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Love O Fair
Posted 2020-11-25 2:24 PM (#554358 - in reply to #554305)
Subject: Re: Sleepless in Yamato



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 1357

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)
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