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Bone Voyage

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by preeb, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    This build is a test for some ideas I had in regards to fully hollow arch-top guitars.
    I love arch-tops on many levels.. the tone, the appearance, craftsmanship.. probably the most advanced and time consuming guitar for builders, and in many cases, the borderline between being a "builder" and a "luthier".
    These instruments were designed many years ago for orchestra players before the electric guitar and amp were invented and the goal was to project the loudest possible sound in order to bring the guitar to mix nicely with the other loud orchestra instruments. This was the reason for the larger size with the arched top and back (similar to Classical Stringed instruments).
    The basic idea is to capture the string vibrations from the bridge with the vibrating top, which reflected the vibrations to the back of the guitar and projected the magnified level out. The top and back of these guitars have a complicated relationship and a good luthier was able to tune them properly to maximize the free vibrations and get a proper projection.
    Today there's less and less demand for arch-tops and I'm not here to judge or point the reasons... but I assume it has to do with both music styles and playing comfort.
    I've been trying to find a good reason to come up with an arch-top design. Something that will make sense and take advantage of the "projection" and will still be usable for the modern player. Something that I can use as a platform for both acoustic playing in the living room with the kids and family or play amplified in the studio or on stage without the feedbacks...

    The Bone Voyage is my attempt at doing all the above and I designed it to be a crossbreed between the Bone-I and a classic arch-top.
    Keeping the size of the Bone-I (13") was a must. I want it to fit in a LP size case, be light as a feather and still perform as a workhorse with a rigid construction, but getting that arch-top projection from a 13" body is rather insane.. or is it?

    I believe that the problem may very well be used as an advantage in this case (-;
    If I was to build a 13" arch-top by using the classic lumber and methods alone
    it would have been a colossal disaster, but changing the design in such a way that will create a totally new instrument that actually sounds good is something I want to explore.

    Here's my plan:

    Smaller size classic arch-top plates (top and back) can't produce the deep low and warm frequencies and need to be done differently so:

    * I will make the top and back from harder and thinner maple and disconnect them completely from the neck joint block. This will give my a 30% larger free vibrating area in the upper bout and will add more lows and highs
    * The sides will need to be thicker to serve as a "heavier" support for the vibrating top/back
    * I will get rid of the kerfing strips - no need for them as they only serve as a mechanical connector that doesn't help the tone TMHO
    * Use solid resonant wood as much as possible and try to avoid unnecessary glue joints

    The above properties will create a very responsive "box" with a more even EQ pattern. This will be a good base for using an AirGap PU but I still need to push things toward the warm tone zone... so instead of using a standard Mahogany or Maple neck I will use a deeper and warmer sounding lumber that will provide a warm low end but still retain all the nice harmonics that the AirGap PU can capture.


    So... we can divide the new animal into 3 main parts, Plates (top/back), Sides and neck. While each part will need to be very unique, they will still be combined into a great sounding instrument.. cross your fingers.. here we go.
     
  2. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    For Top and Back I have selected to use dense maple (Spruce will not work well on smaller plates and will sound too throaty and mid-rangy with less attack).
    The maple I'm using is a perfectly flat sawn Eastern, wide enough to produce one piece plates. Not a drop of glue can be used because the thickness will be smaller than usual and the gluing surface will not be big enough to support the tensions over the years.

    Here's the board.. LOL

    [​IMG]


    One piece flat sawn maple will cap big time after machining so I need to make sure to select the outer sides of the plates as the capped surfaces. This will add rigidness to the plates and will prevent the top from "sinking" over time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I want the top and back to be as similar as possible to each other. This is a very good starting point for harmonic relationship between them as they need to react to the same frequencies to get a loud rich tone.

    [​IMG]


    To get a close to perfect match between the plates I can do the standard thing and carve them slowly by hand hoping to arrive at the sweet spot without passing it by removing too much wood.. (a nightmare), or break the rules a little and create a set of plates that are very accurately carved to exact design specs. In that case, I want the back to be a hair thicker (against the classic rules.. I know) and the top to be thin with the classic X bracing to control the brightness of the maple (X bracing is warmer sounding). I will still be able to tune them properly by working the re-curves after body assembly, but we'll discuss that later in time.
    Basically, I will be using a CNC to rough the plates very accurately and tune them by hand later.

    I have designed the plates in a CAD software. The top will have the X bracing carved into it.. or in other words, the bracing and the plate will be carved from a one piece of wood without gluing.


    This is the top in the CAD environment

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The F holes are enlarged to accept the WBW binding

    [​IMG]


    and here it is rendered in the CAM simulation

    [​IMG]


    The back...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    I start from the inner side. Like I mentioned earlier the flat sawn maple will cap a lot during the process and I need to control this in order to get a perfectly flat and relaxed plate.
    By doing the inner material removal first I minimize the initial capping.

    [​IMG]


    Like this

    [​IMG]


    Note the bracing being a part of the plate wood. They are rough and square but will be manually tuned and shaped later.

    [​IMG]


    Here's the capping.. naturally (-;

    [​IMG]


    It's a big mistake to process wood under pressure so before I carve the other side of the plate I will need to completely flatten it.
    I do this by applying moisture to the inner surface and slowly heating the moist surface.
    I stop when the board is flat and true (this can take a long time..).

    [​IMG]


    When dry I carve the front side

    [​IMG]


    Cut the F holes

    [​IMG]


    and trim the outline slightly larger than the actual size to allow for easier mating with the sides.

    [​IMG]


    Like that

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I made a sample of the binding I will be using inside the F holes

    [​IMG]



    A couple more shots of the top plate.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    Looking forward to this build Gil!
    Thanks for sharing!
     
  6. TheZ

    TheZ Tele-Meister

    280
    Nov 13, 2009
    Northwest USA
    What a neat idea, can't wait to see more!
     
  7. barbrainy

    barbrainy RIP

    Mar 2, 2012
    Northampton, UK
    Well, that's the biggest bit of figured maple I have ever seen. :eek:

    I dread to think how much it must have cost.

    But I want one.
     
  8. ludobag1

    ludobag1 Tele-Meister

    213
    Dec 11, 2010
    france
    Hi preeb
    why flat sawn ? most of acoustic instrument where made with quarter sawn wood
    as i know all the top where quatersawn normally ?
    this time i take the thread at beguin ,then i try to follow it ;)
     
  9. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine Friend of Leo's

    Feb 21, 2013
    Galesburg, MI
    This is looking really awesome so far. I'll definitely be watching.
     
  10. KWhatley

    KWhatley Tele-Holic

    867
    Apr 13, 2013
    London, UK
    The carving and flattening process alone speaks volumes of the thought that's gone into this instrument before work was started, and that to me at least, says "Luthier", not builder.

    I think it's a fantastic concept and I'm very much looking forwards to watching this develop Preeb.
     
  11. jipp

    jipp Friend of Leo's

    hey my friend.. anyone to accuse you of being a builder needs to take their medicine ( a perfectionist, well id agree with that one. ). lol. with that said.. im a huge fan of Mr. Parker and his floating neck joint.. one bolt and he can change necks.. i imagine you will get a lot of benefit from a floating neck joint.
    and in this day and age, i think you maybe right about comfort. even tho i would not mind a jazz box.. but im in no rush to get one either. will look forward to see how you continue. i like the idea of no glue joints, and the bracing par of the wood. you will get maximum vibrations. cool idea.. trying to do that with out a CNC would be hard id imagine..

    well stay healthy, hope your family is well.
    chris.
     
  12. love4god

    love4god Tele-Meister

    376
    Aug 2, 2012
    barbourville,ky
    man this is awsome. subscribed:D
    i thought about somthing like this.
    but no cnc thats the prob.
    i realy like the size
    great work godbless
     
  13. Jupiter

    Jupiter Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
  14. telechadster

    telechadster Tele-Meister

    221
    Dec 14, 2010
    Vancouver
    Wow this is going to be amazing!
     
  15. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Thanks!
     
  16. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    I don't remember, but it's very hard to get nicely figured eastern maple in that size regardless of the cost.
     
  17. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    It's a personal preference I guess.
    I prefer the richer and louder tone of flat sawn wood for guitars.
    The only thing I do QS is a Mahogany neck, everything else I do is either flat or rift.
     
  18. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Thank you Lisa.
     
  19. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Thanks. Luthier doesn't mean "better".. it's just an old term used for people who hand carved acoustic instruments. They are builders too (-;
     
  20. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    It can be done without CNC. Takes longer.. but doable.
     
  21. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Thanks!
     
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