Another odd hollow body experiment

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by maxvintage, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    that is fascinating -- how without bending would *plywood* react that way? I thought the point of plywood was essentially to glue randomized stresses in layers, and in place, so the compilation would be ultra-stable

    UPDATE: oh wait, I get it. You're talking about what the French call pliage, i.e. the top is cut in a shape that means you have to force it down on the outline of the body, and forcing it to conform to the body's outline makes part of it (under the bridge) stick up -- right?
     
  2. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Well it's sort of done. I made a series of bonehead blunders in my "finishing schedule" that led to the sides being all messed up. Kind a cascading system failure relating to the purfling on the back, and as a result I got sick of the thing. But the top came out ok. I rubbed the tailpiece to a satin finish. The homemade tort pickguard could maybe use a polish

    plya.jpg


    The binding still needs scraping (i hate scraping bindings) and the whole thing needs setup refinement and polishing--I forgot to take the plastic film off the top of the pickup! I made a bridge out of scrap and part of a different bridge I had around. The finish is garnet shellac, "french polished."


    plyb.jpg


    Here's a clip of how it sounds, recorded direct into my computer with some reverb and a hi-pass filter rolling off some of the low end, about where it would roll off in an amp and cab.


    Plycoast blues


    It's not quite setup right yet.



    It was fun, sort of, till the binding screwups. Lessons learned: 1/8 birch ply bends oddly--it kind of puckers up on the deep bends. Also the top ply is pretty thin. It would be easy to sand through it. Installing the Lollar pickup was a byotch! I used a new kind of glue for the binding which I will not use again, and also screwed up the cut depth on the back for both binding and purfling: there are days where everything turns out bad.

    Doing it again think I would go for a solid color and two pickups: something less "I'm a jazzbo" and more rockabilly-ish
     
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  3. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    I have thought of that but could not imagine how to make the mold or how to apply pressure. You'd need a male and a female mold and I suppose a vacuum press. Or maybe just one mold? I dn't have any gear for vacuu m. There are guys on the web selling pre-molded arched ply tops. I have a friend who makes selmer style guitars and lays up his own plywood. I need to ask him.

    This was an experiment on doing it on the cheap.
     
  4. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    pliage in the selmer style guitars is just the wood forced to bend--I think he was describing two pieces of ply cut on and angle and joined at the angle. You could do that--you'd probably need to make the bridge feet notched to fit the top?
     
  5. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Ok I had to do another clip. I think that Lollar CC pickup was too close to the strings

    Late Afternoon Blue

    I think this gets reasonably close to Kenny Burrell's tone. Although you can hear some fret buzz on the high E string
     
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  6. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    The second pickup issue is pretty easily addressed. I love the look! It’s very early Hofnerish.
    Rob
     
  7. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    This has be
    en really interesting to play. I made a few changes. Switched to 500K pots. Put a set of Thomastick jazz flats on there. I played it at a couple jazz jam sessions.

    Here's a clip of this guitar played along with a backing track. Tune is "there will never be another you"

    Yet another you

    I'm not sure if I like it better than the hollow teles with P90s I've made.

    Here's a clip of a hollow tele with P90 in the neck against the same backing track, same settings in the DAW

    Another you2

    I think I may be switching the CC pickup out for a P90
     
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  8. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Holic

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    Man!!! If ever a guitar screamed coodercaster pickups it's this one. Leave the Charlie Christian in the neck but add the Tesco in the middle and add the
    Supro/valve lap steel from Jason kollar at the bridge.

    This guitar is already sick.. but man....that would send it over the top!!!
     
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  9. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah I'm considering one of those, would be cool

    I'm a little worried about carving up the top too much. The CC pickup route is actually a little bit into the neck block, so it's at a very strong point in the top. And it's a 1/4 ply top, so it's pretty strong, but an alternative bracing scheme would have been to run two parallel braces, like in the original archtops, running one on either side of the bridge up to the neck block. So there wold be bracing on either side of any pickup routs. I've done that with the hollow teles and they do have a different response.

    The bass I built like this is holding up well so far. I might wait a bit and watch how the top settles. Surface mounted gold foils would be cool, and I have a Lace surface mount acoustic pickup I've been thinking about trying. It's like 1/4 thick.
     
  10. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    I think this thing looks perfect for me right now. If it sounds at all like I expect, I'd be a little sad to see a bridge pickup on it, because the weight dampens the top so much at the bridge where it counts. Some hollowbodies work great with bridge pickups, some sound pretty dead. I think a big horseshoe lap steel pickup would probably deaden the sound pretty bad, but who knows?

    As it sits, it's like it was custom made for me.
     
  11. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    The above-surface mount new Rhythm Chief repro pups can do either neck or bridge mount. They are surprisingly inexpensive and the claims are the repros are true to the originals. Definitely worth a listen. I have an original and it’s an amazing pup.
     
  12. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Those new above surface "Flatpup" HB's for 3, 4, or 6 string guitars that are sold for CBG's are really nice for Jazz/Folk, but they can get gritty for Blues or Rock too. They also work great with Bronze Acoustic Strings with good string balance.
     
  13. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for all the kind and useful comments on this.

    The guitar plays really well, and sounds good, or at least sound like what I’d hoped. I’m going to mull a second pickup for a while.

    One thing it would benefit from is a neck heel. The feel is a little inelegant at the neck body joint. I love bolt/screw necks—they seem better in every way than glued in necks to me. But if I build another one of these I’ll probably make a stacked heel. Shape the 1x neck blank to fit the pocket, mount it, and then glue a block onto the back of the neck, flush against the body. Then carve the whole thing to have a more gibson style neck heel.

    It would be relatively easy to attach the neck via the heel, and even build in neck angle adjustability. I’ve followed a lot of discussion by luthiers about building acoustics with hardware mounted necks that can be adjusted for angle. Rick turner makes acoustics that way. They adjust for angle with a single screw, so you can make small changes in the neck geometry.

    The whole Kay/Dano Chicago approach is really interesting. It got a bad rep for being cheap—which it deserved. But it’s a smart approach and as people have found out the are are some cool sounds to be had
     
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  14. tdoty

    tdoty Tele-Meister

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    You could also do a stacked heel, double the thickness and bolt it on. Nothing says the neck has to be 1" thick for a custom bolt on.

    I think that's what I'm going to do on my next build....which you've inspired. I work in such fits and starts that I'm terrible at documenting anything though.
     
  15. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Holic

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    The coodercaster pickup by lollar is surface mount, lightweight and comes with shims for height adjustment.

    Since it's a bridge pickup it's unlikely to affect the acoustic tone.
     
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  16. macaroonie

    macaroonie Friend of Leo's

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    Hi Max , if you read from here

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/copycat-gretsch-chet-jet-build.291403/page-2#post-3583026

    you will see how I went about making a ply top . Actually very easy and well worth a dabble.

    As it happens I have yet to use the top but it remains very tight and stable.

    I've enjoyed reading your hollow tele experiment , good fun.. I have come to like the Chet Jet shape, a little more lush than T style at 13.5" wide. I have a template pdf somewhere if you want a copy , it's a much easier shape to execute.

    Cheers Mac
     
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