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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Finished designing my dream acoustic!

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Marn99, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    18
    430
    Nov 25, 2016
    Brookfield, WI
    So now that I have firmly planted myself in the world of guitarmaking, I recently decided to design my dream acoustic, which I will be collecting the wood and material for over the next few years. I am planning to work with Martin Guitars for this build but everything will be to my specs, just with the martin logo on it ;). I wonder how much of the build process they will let me be a part of, we shall see in the next 5-10 years :). A lot of this guitar will be made with wood on the CITES appendices, and because I am a passionate environmentalist and a environmentally concious woodworker, I won't dare go through with a purchase until I have CITES certificates. A lot of the white parts on this guitar will be Mammoth Ivory, which I expect will be very expensive, and probably the first thing I am going to save up for.
    Here's what I got
    Guitar will be a 000-45
    will be held together with hide glue to facilitate easy repair and upkeep
    Austrian Alpine spruce top, quartersawn, air dried and aged at least 5 years (aging wood is a violin makers thing that I have carried over into guitars)
    Austrian Alpine spruce bracing (I haven't decided about a bracing pattern yet)
    Kerfing (I have no idea what was traditional with the 1890s and 1900s martins, I know the 000-45 wasn't around back then, but I want to mix Martin's golden age designs with their historical features, at any rate, I will likely do Cuban Mahogany)
    Old Growth Quartersawn Brazilian Rosewood back and sides with CITES certificates (I know a guy who deals in brazilian rosewood stumps with certificates, hopefully he can custom saw me a piece that is quartersawn :))
    1 piece quartersawn Spanish Cedar neck with CITES certificate
    Dovetailed neck joint
    Madagascar Ebony fingerboard, quartersawn and black as coal with CITES certificate (does Gilmer woods carry certificates?)
    Madagascar Ebony bridge, quartersawn, CITES certified
    Brazilian Rosewood headstock overlay
    Mammoth Ivory outer binding (just like the pre 1914 martins, except mammoth instead of elephant)
    Paua Abalone and Madagascar Ebony inside binding
    Paua Abalone hexagonal position markers
    Mammoth Ivory heel cap
    Mammoth Ivory fingerboard binding
    Mammoth Ivory headstock binding
    Mammoth Ivory nut
    Mammoth Ivory saddle
    Mammoth Ivory bridge pins with abalone dots bordered by Ebony
    I have no idea what I am going to to with the frets, bar wire or fret wire? Which is easier to refret?
     
    Mbechmann likes this.

  2. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    44
    Feb 24, 2015
    South Lyon, MI
    I admire your enthusiasm. This sounds like a fine build.

    When does one know that they are firmly planted in the world of guitar making? If it is when the wife notices how much is being spent on the pursuit, then I am firmly planted as well! This might get Ron Kirn to raise an eyebrow...or really, anyone that has built more than me. Two is the current threshold for having established roots then. :lol::lol::lol:

    I have mixed feelings on mammoth ivory. They are dead. But passionate environmentalists don't frequently source non-renewable resources. ;)
    On the other hand, tho, I'm not so sure we won't have herds of Mammoths roaming the plains again within our lifetime.
     
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  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    I would think a passionate environmentalist and a environmentally conscious woodworker would be wanting to steer away from just about everything you described above. You might have more fun learning how to build your own acoustic guitar down the road too. You could get the same result for way less cost and the pride of creating it yourself...true ownership. Just my 2 cents.
     
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  4. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    18
    430
    Nov 25, 2016
    Brookfield, WI
    I do plan on making a few acoustics before this! This guitar is going to be a one off made with new old stock woods. This is also the only acoustic that I have designed (I have another parlor build) that is using wild rosewoods. I have been disillusioned with rosewood use in commercial use of rosewood, and I don't think I will ever consider buying a guitar using rosewood fingerboards ever again. (maple is a cooler telecaster neck anyway!)
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017

  5. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's

    I see a list and no design.

    And it's a bad list as well.

    A list like this is where luthiery and custom high end instrument building will head to if we all do not cooperate on protecting certain species. "I have the money to get the certificates!" mentality will create a worse illusion about oh-so-important ingredients than it already exists.

    I'd do some research and then reconsider this list.

    That is after you design something you can show.

    Hard but fair.
     

  6. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    18
    430
    Nov 25, 2016
    Brookfield, WI
    I see your point, fair enough, but I would like to make a counterpoint. Am I to rip apart an antique martin for my materials? Again, it is a one off made from the tusk of an extinct species and wood from an already dead stump. Also why do you think CITES made a certification system? So that artisans can have an opportunity to make something interesting with something special. I would also like to state again that I have been VERY responsible with my past wood sourcing, I don't buy rosewood that I can't guarantee isn't poached. You also talk about certification as if it is a bad thing, but it actually makes enforcement easier, I know this because I have had several conversations about this issue with a friend of mine who is both a guitarist and an employee with the Fish and Wildlife service. Lastly, I stated the design, and it is a Martin 000-45, I don't need to draw that, we all know what it looks like.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017

  7. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    18
    430
    Nov 25, 2016
    Brookfield, WI
    Thanks! I think what I meant by firmly planted was that my interest in instrument building has been solidified. Mammoth Ivory is a non-renewable in the sense that there are no more mammoths, but the estimated number of tusks frozen in the Siberian wilderness is staggering, that being said, its use should be sparing, because once mammoth ivory is gone, so goes up the demand for elephants.
     

  8. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    44
    Feb 24, 2015
    South Lyon, MI
    Sorry if I sounded critical, my comments were directed as much at myself as you.
     
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  9. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    18
    430
    Nov 25, 2016
    Brookfield, WI
    no worries, I am terrible at interpreting tone through text!
     

  10. mudimba

    mudimba Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    320
    May 19, 2015
    California
    Exactly the opposite. The suggestion is to realize you can make a guitar that sounds and looks every bit as good as an antique, but with renewable resources.

    By all means plan your dream build however you want, we all have a point on the spectrum that our conscience accepts. But, if you are serious about being an environmentalist, you might think of doing your part to push the music industry to the mindset that you don't need endangered woods to make a great instrument.
     
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  11. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's

    I seriously do not want to sound harsh, I apologize. Many here know it's not my style either.

    Yet (as a fulltime european builder) I have the feeling what you are stating is like saying "I am slightly pregnant." which obviously nobody can be.

    Come to us with statements like:

    "Texas ebony for fretboard"
    "Sinker cedar for top"
    "Fretboard inlay made from Ivoroid"

    Basically anything that gives a hint about being responsible in total. Then I'll salute your undertaking.

    Just for the record, just because a material has been used before the ban came doesn't mean you can use it in a reprocessed form, at least not in Europe. YMMV in USA, I understand that.

    Then again that would be an axe that you can not even travel with. What's the point?

    I am not saying certificates are bad. I do, however, think their use should be kept to a minimum, that is if there is absolutely no other way. I personally would tolerate using brasilian rosewood if somebody if "restoring" or repairing an older instrument, not for a brand new one. Certificates were created to absolutely limit the usage or take the usage under utter control.

    I can with all my heart encourage you to take a look at the Leonardo Guitar Research Project that tackles the issue of new and alternative woods. It might change your way of thinking.
     
    Mbechmann likes this.

  12. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Holic

    728
    May 29, 2016
    Kansas
    Marn it seems like you can't do anything without catching some flack! ;) I can agree with the others' point about your materials and if it's in your best interest. I would worry about what would happen down the road if you ever wanted to take your guitar out of the country, sure everything maybe be legal with certificates, but the paperwork nightmare wouldn't be worth my trouble. And then they could still seize the guitar if you didn't do absolutely everything right, and the burden of proof is on you to prove it all in Federal Court if I'm not mistaken.

    My official stance I think is "just because you can does that mean you should?" Brazilian Rosewood has always been thought of as the 'best tonewood' and that's why there's almost none left and you can't get it anymore. But as guitarists we've adapted. It's your guitar and you'll build it how you build it. I for one always appreciate your exuberance for all the builds you'd like to do in future, and I enjoy following along.

    Man, you really ripped him for the whole design vs list thing. Is that necessary? I can understand your position about the materials being used, but cut the kid some slack on the word design.
     
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  13. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    18
    430
    Nov 25, 2016
    Brookfield, WI
    Sorry if I came off as angry in my response, like I said in a different reply on this thread, I am poor at interpreting tone in text. I completely understand your position on Brazilian rosewood. I am not against plastic bindings (I find them more manageable than wood binding) and alternative tonewoods. As a matter of fact, I have considered designs (others, not this one) featuring African Blackwood (see the African Blackwood project for a model of how rosewood conservation should really be done), Palo Escrito, Pau Ferro, Walnut, Maple (European and Eastern US, though I have heard that European Maple is declining, which concerns me as a violinist and a luthier), Hickory, Beech, Olivewood, African Mahogany, Ziricote, Pearwood, Plumwood (if you haven't seen figured plum wood, check it out!), Plantation East Indian Rosewood, Sissoo Rosewood, and many other alternatives. The reason why I chose Brazilian Rosewood for this exquisite build is because I told myself I would only make 1 Brazilian acoustic ever, and here it is. I would like to see more builders, at least as a start, take the approach Martin does, certified sustainable alternatives on their production models and the rare and traditional stuff on their special run instruments.
     

  14. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    18
    430
    Nov 25, 2016
    Brookfield, WI
    On a totally unrelated note does anyone know what the spider webbing figure I see on my Brazilian rosewood and Madagascar Rosewood scraps (old Stanley plane handles) is? I have never seen it outside of these two rosewood species, and Ziricote, perhaps cocobolo but I haven't had much experience with that wood in person.
     

  15. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's

    I am sorry, really.

    I'll enjoy the rest of this thread as a visitor.
     
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  16. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    18
    430
    Nov 25, 2016
    Brookfield, WI
    Really, don't worry! I don't want to make any enemies on this forum, I am just here to share and hear guitar experiences with others :)
     

  17. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    18
    430
    Nov 25, 2016
    Brookfield, WI
    Does anyone know what glue Martin used to bond non woods to wood? I am wondering what the traditional approach to gluing pearl, ivory, and bone. I assume it is hide glue but I have heard that porous non woods like bone and ivory can curl up like celluloid when exposed to water. I have also heard that Steinway used a special clamps and a glue that was part hide part something else to keep tusk from curling when gluing.
     

  18. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's


    Pretty sure you can't make enemies here easily if you do not try to.

    I think you have your reasons for this build. Please go for it and document it if you feel like doing so.

    We all like seeing builds.
     
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  19. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Tele-Holic

    985
    Aug 16, 2015
    Saskatchewan
    So this is more an order from the Martin custom shop rather than an actual build?
    No criticism just trying to get my head straight about it.
     
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  20. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    18
    430
    Nov 25, 2016
    Brookfield, WI
    It is going to hopefully be a dual effort. I would be supplying very specific woods and the documents that go with them.
     

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