Erix Brotherhood Build 2022 = Pack Up The Pieces

1bad914

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Love this build. Thinking outside the box. The braces should support the bridge just fine. What is the final thickness on the top, .25 also?
 

erix

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Had some time last week so... flooded the recesses with CA
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Drilled some starter holes and started cutting with a jeweler's saw
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Later, after files and sandpaper I felt I was close
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But when I overlaid the template, I was not so close
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and
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The pencil tells the story
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and
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More filing and sandpapering yielded
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and this.
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Stick a fork in it 'cause I'm done with the F-holes!
 

erix

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With the holes done, time to think about the bracing the top. I read up on parallel-braced archtops and x-braced flat tops and decided to do kind of a hybrid approach. First I needed to make the bridge plate but it is a bit different than a flat top unit as the strings will mount through it like a tele. I settled on a block made of mahogany that will float above the inside back of the body by about 1/4"
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Yup, I'm using ferrules. There will be a narrow slot milled in the back to directly below the ferrules to allow restringing. Here's the first pass at reducing mass of the plate.
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And then some more off the ends
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Glue it!

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erix

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Next the braces. I ripped the plank I had so that I had three widths of quartersawn stock.
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I chose the middle one, .25" wide and about .625" tall
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Profiled and tapered by eye on the ROSS
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I went with a semi-parallel design with the bass side brace splayed a little farther out off the center line than the treble side. Why? I don't know, seemed like a good idea.
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Befoe the F-holes the top was relatively stiff. After the F-holes were cut the center was noticably more loose. Now it is STIFF. Amazing what those two braces can do! I'm gonna mask off the glue surface and shoot some sanding sealer on the insides and glue it up tonight!
 

erix

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Such BEAUTIFUL weather at our place so I have had a busy weekend. On friday I masked the glue surfaces and shot the insides with sanding sealer.
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Signed and dated, this will be my last guitar build at this house.
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Titebond 2
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And into the clamping rig
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Used everyone I had, good squeez all around.
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Glued face down so the glue will run toward the top where it can't be seen through the f-holes.
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Next day it looked like this
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Shaved off the glue boogers, marked the outline, and off to the ROSS to get as close to the line as possible
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Happy accident detail: The orange stripe under the neck pocket.
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The hole. Still trying to decide if it is worth fixing. It is filled with epoxy and the surounding area has been bathed in CA, still can't help wonderin....
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erix

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Off to the router table! I didn't take pictures of every step but here it is after routing to shape with a 3/16" roundover
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Then cut a neck pocket
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Sand sand sand - and drill the neck screw holes
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Had a sliver blow out when I cut the neck pocket. Made me a little sad.
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Naptha bath!
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Guess I better design a bridge. I'm thinking of making it out of this chunk of rosewood.
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I'm going to use Tusq saddles
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The rosewood is nice and the grain is running the same way but not sure if the color will go. Seems too pink. I have some other blanks of zircote, bocote, jarrah, palm, and this flamewood, another variety of rosewood
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Guess I'll have to cut one up to see what the color looks like with the maple and walnut.

Also worked on my son's guitar, cocobolo over paduak over maple. We're going to have a zpoxy grain filling party tinght!
GTQB6802.jpg
 

crazydave911

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Planning a piezo perhaps? I can't imagine you aren't with that hollow and the bracing. I've done many hollow guitars, no holes to get a particular tap tone I was after but nothing really acoustic. Just curious
 

erix

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This won’t have any electronics, not even a piezo! Just a hollow experiment for sitting on the couch. It does make a nice sound when you tap on it, though. Not like a hollow log, kinda musical and clear. I‘m quite excited to string it up! Thinking of light gauge flatwounds with a plain third…
 

crazydave911

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This won’t have any electronics, not even a piezo! Just a hollow experiment for sitting on the couch. It does make a nice sound when you tap on it, though. Not like a hollow log, kinda musical and clear. I‘m quite excited to string it up! Thinking of light gauge flatwounds with a plain third…
Hmmmm, not a wound 3rd?

On my tenor I DID use one phosphor bronze in each wound pair exactly for that reason, worked well. Nice quiet practice unplugged and a nice chimy effect plugged in 🙂
 

Freeman Keller

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This won’t have any electronics, not even a piezo! Just a hollow experiment for sitting on the couch. It does make a nice sound when you tap on it, though. Not like a hollow log, kinda musical and clear. I‘m quite excited to string it up! Thinking of light gauge flatwounds with a plain third…
I've been following this with some interest and will be very interested in how you think it sounds. I just finished building an acoustic archtop and learned a lot about carving and voicing the top. Adding the f-holes really weakens the edge of the top and dramatically changed the tone. I also had the choice of parallel or X bracing and chose the X based on what archtop builders said about the difference they hear.

The archtop is different enough from my other acoustics and I haven't totally bonded with it yet. I started with plain old acoustic lights on it but the guitar exaggerates the squeak so badly that I put coated lights on it. Much better but its still very bright sounding and I have been thinking of throwing a set off flat wounds on it - I use them on my hollow body electric guitar and really like them there.

One thought is to build a piezo into it while you have a chance - if you are not satisfied with the acoustic sound you can always plug it in. Its hard to add later. Something like a passive K&K would give you that option - you don't have to use it if you like the unplugged sound.
 

crazydave911

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I've been following this with some interest and will be very interested in how you think it sounds. I just finished building an acoustic archtop and learned a lot about carving and voicing the top. Adding the f-holes really weakens the edge of the top and dramatically changed the tone. I also had the choice of parallel or X bracing and chose the X based on what archtop builders said about the difference they hear.

The archtop is different enough from my other acoustics and I haven't totally bonded with it yet. I started with plain old acoustic lights on it but the guitar exaggerates the squeak so badly that I put coated lights on it. Much better but its still very bright sounding and I have been thinking of throwing a set off flat wounds on it - I use them on my hollow body electric guitar and really like them there.

One thought is to build a piezo into it while you have a chance - if you are not satisfied with the acoustic sound you can always plug it in. Its hard to add later. Something like a passive K&K would give you that option - you don't have to use it if you like the unplugged sound.
Yeppers
 

erix

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Yes, I am excited to hear it. I don't actually have any guesses as to how it will sound. I don't like acoustic guitars, either playing them or listening to them so I can't really compare the sound of this guitar to anything in my past. I will find a way to post some sound clips though!
I was thinking ultralight flat wounds on because the tension will be low and no squeaks! GHS makes a 9-42 set with a plain 3rd that I'll start with.

SO! Because I'm so excited to hear it, today was design and build a bridge day! I'm not reinventing the wheel so I followed the geometry of a common chopped metal bridge.
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The blank is a piece of rosewood of some kind. I think Indian, smelled sweet when I cut it to length. Then I masked up and squared all four sides.
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I'm gonna use my neck router jig so I split the blank into two equal pieces. Nice to have backup!
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I'll drill all the holes now, while the blank is oversized and square. You could go crazy with CNC for accuracy but I used the ol' drill-through-a-print method. These are the holes for the saddle screws. The fence makes them align in one plane.
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Close enough!
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Next, drill the mounting holes and the string holes with the same method.
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On to the neck jig where a minor miracle occurred. If I put the blank against the back rail of the jig and use a 3/8" bit, the router path is exactly where the back inside wall of the bridge is supposed to go!
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Brass thumbscrews on either side of the sled limit the left-to-right movement.
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And here it is after the first pass.
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erix

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I took 1/16" deep passes to get the floor of the bridge down 3/8" from the top, similar to a metal bridge. Eventually I broke into the holes I drilled for the saddle screws.
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And final depth, with no drama!
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They fit!
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No the SCARY part, thinning the blank to an overall height of 1/2" or so. Blade raised high, tall narrow work piece, things could go south real fast! I made a new push stick and went slow...
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Whew!
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Next, cut off the wings on each side
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It's a little too long so... more scary fun.
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After a trip to the ROSS (which was scary in itself) it is in this state.
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I'm super happy with the way it turned out dimensionally and the way the wood held together without blow outs. But it looks kind of doughey. I'm going to do some more file work and make it a bit sleeker while still being comfortable to touch.
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Compared to the metal, this one is a bit taller too.
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Most of the height difference is in the floor of the bridge, where the saddle height adjustment screws make contact. I'm hoping it is thin enough that the strings won't be too high, even when the saddles are resting on the bridge - which they shouldn't. If it turns into a problem I'll routed some channels under them with a dremel...
 

erix

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Spent a little time at the ROSS and then tidied up with sandpaper. I think it's close.
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Definitely more svelte now. Think it needs a bit more on the corners and then I'll polish it with fines sandpapers and maybe flood it with CA - at least the floor where the height adjustment screws go.
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Freeman Keller

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Interesting idea for a bridge. The saddles are set up for an unwound third, I guess that is what you want. As far as height I would use the same old adage that the fret plane should hit the tops of the saddles at their lowest adjustment. On most acoustics that will be the top of the bridge which should be about 3/8 off the top.
 




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