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A Burlap Guitar Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Nick JD, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    A couple of folks said they'd like to see a build thread of a guitar I built a while back for a $100 Challenge on another site.

    I still have the photos (although they are shrunk in quality a bit for the other site's requirements) so I can kinda do the same build thread if I can remember how things went.

    Here's the finished guitar.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. kwerk

    kwerk Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2010
    New Zealand
    Is that genuine '59 Burlap?
     
  3. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    It all starts with a few meters of burlap. I tried to get Hemp but no one sold it, and "jute" as it's called here is very similar. Onion sack material stuff - pretty common round the world.

    [​IMG]

    I got a few colours. Can't remember what it cost, but it wasn't much.

    [​IMG]

    Did some experiments to see if the dyes in it would bleed when wetted with epoxy, and they came out successful.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. melomanarock

    melomanarock Tele-Holic

    540
    Jul 5, 2010
    Argentina
    edit: already answered
     
  6. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Yes. The modern stuff has the wrong tone for this. :D
     
  7. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    IIRC (this was a year or two ago) I first tried to make a black binding version. It kinda worked, but there was a lot of feedback and ideas getting thrown around, so it got dumped.

    [​IMG]

    "Binding".

    [​IMG]

    A few grams of epoxy resin.

    [​IMG]

    Laying up the experiment.

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    Vacuum bag etc attached and a thousand pounds of atmosphere stacked on top.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    It came out a bit wonky. The binding was pulled off the edge in a few places. So I tried a few other things.

    [​IMG]

    Like a patchwork in one colour. No binding.

    [​IMG]

    Then I did a Queensland Walnut veneer version, but no one liked that.

    [​IMG]

    The idea was then suggested that a patchwork in a couple of colours would look good, so I got busy with that.

    Had a pretty big pile of garbage by then!
     
  9. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Since that was all good to go, I got started on the rest of the parts.

    The headstock face plate.

    [​IMG]

    The fretboard.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And of course the back of the body and neck.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Popped the headstock out when it was cured a bit (can't remember if I postcured or not - I don't think I did because I was worried about the burlap being an organic critter and getting uptight under heat).

    [​IMG]

    The inside was the dark brown burlap. Otherwise know as "tone burlap".

    [​IMG]

    Needs trimming.

    [​IMG]

    And here's how the top plate came out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Fretboard (looks bent, but it was the camera fisheyeing it).

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Stuff got trimmed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And started to misbehave. This was my first insight into the future of Burlap as a fiber for reinforcing ... perhaps not as good as Kevlar and Carbon :D.

    The thing started to potato-chip. Nothing a few clamps can't tame.

    [​IMG]

    There's an f-hole drawn on there. Not sure why now - it was never cut, hich is a good thing, because it's on the treble side :eek:, probably had had a few beers at that stage.

    It was time to brace the top. Now, electricamic guitars don't need to be subtly braced - so it's out with the aluminium bars.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And the back's cured - so that's popped out. Note again the use of the "tone burlap".

    [​IMG]

    So all the bits are there. Here's them all sitting where they will need to be glued. Almost looks like a guitar!

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    The fretboard needed slotting. So it's to the slotterer!

    [​IMG]

    And we whip the slotterer's slotting blade back and forth to makes the slots.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Seems about right for depth...

    [​IMG]

    And placement for 25.5".

    [​IMG]

    Might as well do another 21 of them.

    [​IMG]

    Glue some frets in there.

    [​IMG]

    And press 'em flat against their bases.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    I think I was going to do a burlap scratch plate kind of strat style, but there were too many boos and hisses about covering up all that beautiful raggedy burlap patchwork :D, so I added that to the pile of crap this build generated.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And then for irony's sake, I made a nut from wood. It's an Aussie desert hardwood Acacia.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Finished the nut.

    [​IMG]

    Somewhere before this I must have glued the guitar up, because the next photos are of the guitar getting a preliminary string up - to see if the whole thing would fold in half, or not.

    [​IMG]

    It didn't fold in half. Not at that point anyway... :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Played pretty nicely (and loud - fully hollow) IIRC.
     
  15. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Since it was to have three "Strat" pickups (I think from a Squier) and no pickguard, it needed some rings. So I whipped one up out of perspex as a master moldplug.

    [​IMG]

    Made a mold.

    [​IMG]

    And stuffed it with a mixture of burlap and epoxy resin.

    [​IMG]

    And it came out like this.

    [​IMG]

    Always remember the ground wire!

    [​IMG]

    I went with three on/off switches, one for each pickup. Simple and effective.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    And this is how it turned out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    I'd still be playing it now if it wasn't for the neck. See, it had no trussrod. And I made the assumption that although burlap is not as strong as carbon fiber, if I use enough of it (I used A LOT!) it'd hold up in the long run with string tension.

    It didn't. Just before I stripped all the hardware off it (probably a year after it was made) it had about 3/8" of action at the 21st fret :eek:. And there was pretty much zero I could do about that.

    Trussrods folks - they are great!

    So it went in the bin. But it was fun. And you don't lean things without prototyping. Above all it really made me appreciate just how strong carbon fiber really is.

    It sounded like a Strat. Unless you cranked it (with overdrive). Then it did a fair bit of feeding back, which wasn't surprising being fully hollow - but it wasn't a guitar built for high volume.

    Hope you've enjoyed this speed-build thread. :D
     
  18. IB62

    IB62 Tele-Holic

    621
    Jan 12, 2010
    UK
    wow - now there is so much in that to admire- uge range of skills!
     
  19. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    65
    Jan 6, 2005
    Iowa USA
    Admin Post
    I've said it before, but I'll say it again, Nick, you are a crazy man!

    :)
     
  20. telemcCaster

    telemcCaster Tele-Holic

    Age:
    58
    637
    Jun 5, 2010
    Michigan
    Cool stuff Nick. I know a guy who puts a layer of silk between maple to laminate his double bass ribs. I can appreciate your approach and prototyping.
     
  21. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Silk, eh. Interesting. There's a 0.5oz glass fiber cloth that looks and feels like silk - it's so fine you can misplace it in the workshop!

    Is silk used historically in the bowed instruments?
     
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