Lets build something that looks like an L5 archtop

Freeman Keller

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Love the tool made from a fret...bravo!

If you use different sizes of fret wire make one from each. Even from the same manufacturer tang measurements can vary a lot. I got bit by this once, the tool was made from a wire that wasn't as deep as what I was going to put in. Just a heads up.
 

Freeman Keller

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Since I had my dremel out and mounted in its router base I figured it was time to put my name on the guitar.

Mother of pearl letters and small dremel bits

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Here are the letters positioned on the head

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Highlighted the edge of the F with a soft pencil lead

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Excavate the cavity for the F. It's not glued in at this point

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Same for the K

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Cut the letters where they intertwine

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Glued them in with medium CA. Then powdered a little rosewood and pushed it into the small gaps between the pearl and sides of the cavities

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Finally sanded and scraped back flush with the head plate

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Telekarster

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Nice FK! Do you make the MOP letters yourself or have them made? Curious to know how they come to be. Also, are they real MOP or simulated? Thanks FK!
 

Freeman Keller

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Nice FK! Do you make the MOP letters yourself or have them made? Curious to know how they come to be. Also, are they real MOP or simulated? Thanks FK!

As I mentioned in the posting about the fret markers, I have tried cutting inlay and have decide that it just makes more sense to buy precut pearl. Andy Depaule imports pearl from the seafood industry and can provide the paper trail for CITES issues - his product are true white and gold mother of pearl and pau abalone.

https://www.luthiersupply.com/

I kind of standardized on the interlaced F and K for my logo but they are standard letters from Andy site, mine happen to be his Maiden word style. A letter costs about 7 bucks for MOP and 8 for pau.

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My friend Jac wanted his name on a guitar I built for him, these are standard letters in gold MOP (Jac plays a little jazz...)

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And this was fun, when I built a parlor guitar for my daughter I wanted to inlay her spirit animal, the blue darner dragon fly. This was the inspiration and Andy provided the pearl

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I guess its OK to derail my own thread....
 
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Telekarster

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Alrighty then :lol:

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::cool:

A quick, funny story for this past Christmas, at a party: A couple guys I know decided to play Chess, while the party was winding down. As we were watching, one guy made a move that put the other guys Queen in check, but he didn't call it. Someone else piped in and said to the guy "Did you call check?" He responded abruptly with "Nope." LOL!!!! Well.... alrighty then! :lol::lol::lol::lol:
 

Freeman Keller

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:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::cool:

A quick, funny story for this past Christmas, at a party: A couple guys I know decided to play Chess, while the party was winding down. As we were watching, one guy made a move that put the other guys Queen in check, but he didn't call it. Someone else piped in and said to the guy "Did you call check?" He responded abruptly with "Nope." LOL!!!! Well.... alrighty then! :lol::lol::lol::lol:

I haven't played chess in years but is it common to call check for the Queen?

As far as putting a pickup in this, I'm not an electric guitar player, none of my acoustics have pickups. I'm assuming that it will sound enough like a guitar that I won't want to plug it in.

And as far as "the originals", since the L5 was created in the 1920's the originals didn't have pickups (they might of had a virizi tone producer however)
 

Telekarster

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I haven't played chess in years but is it common to call check for the Queen?

As far as putting a pickup in this, I'm not an electric guitar player, none of my acoustics have pickups. I'm assuming that it will sound enough like a guitar that I won't want to plug it in.

And as far as "the originals", since the L5 was created in the 1920's the originals didn't have pickups (they might of had a virizi tone producer however)

Yeah I don't know.... I'm not a Chess player. My Dad was, but I never got into it. It was just a funny exchange at the moment, and I been chucklin' at it for 3 weeks LOL!!! ;) Ya'lls exchange was perfectly similar so I had to share the story. Cracks me up! :lol::lol::lol:

I know a lot of jazz box players use a floating humbucker at the neck, attached to the guard, and jack is usually attached to the lower lobe of the guard, V/T pots mounted to the guard as well i.e. nothing touches the soundboard or installed onto it. Are you thinking of doing something like this or just keeping it strait acoustic?
 

Freeman Keller

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I know a lot of jazz box players use a floating humbucker at the neck, attached to the guard, and jack is usually attached to the lower lobe of the guard, V/T pots mounted to the guard as well i.e. nothing touches the soundboard or installed onto it. Are you thinking of doing something like this or just keeping it strait acoustic?

One of the reasons the archtop guitar came into existence was because it was loud. Body sizes grew from the "little" 16 inch L5 to 17 and finally 18 inches in the search for more volume to be heard in the big jazz bands before the war. Most of these guitars had carved solid tops and most did not have a pickup.

Gibson's ES guitars were designed from the start to be amplified (the E stands for Electric). Most of them have laminated tops, many have magnetic pickups screwed to the top. I have built a laminated hollow body electric guitar (see the very first post of this thread) - it frankly sounds terrible unplugged. I did install a very expensive set of jazz humbuckers and it sounds pretty good thru a little tube amp.

You are right, when someone wants to amplify an acoustic archtop they usually hang a little mag pickup from the end of the fretboard where it won't touch the top and dampen it at all. Seymour Duncan makes a couple of this style pickups which they label with Benedetto's name and he talks about them in his book. If the guitar sounds like crap and the only option is amplifying it that would be an option but I'm gambling that its going to sound OK when I'm sitting on the couch by the fire with a nice glass of wine while I fumble my way thru Satin Doll.

We'll see

ps - I built a guitar for a friend some years ago - he wanted "an acoustic guitar that looks like an ES-175" (which of course is a laminated top electric hollow body). Not knowing how it would sound I hedged my bets and put a set of piezo transducers under the bridge. He does play electric guitar but as far as I know he has never plugged this one in. It sounds like an archtop...

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If I wanted to amplify the L5 I would have done the same thing
 
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Telekarster

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Thanks FK! Man, you do nice work... always a treat to see your photo's and style! Always clean and sharp. Very nice work!
 

Freeman Keller

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Its cold in the shop but I'm kind of anxious to get the neck together so I headed back out. Sanded the top of the neck (again) to make sure its as flat as I can get. The carbon fiber beams make kind of a mess

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Cleaned all the black crap up and put the truss rod in. Made sure it is level or a hair below the neck itself, I don't want to introduce any stress during the glue up

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All ready. The little light colored things are the 1/8 inch dowels that align the f/b on the neck.

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Glue and clamps
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I'll come back in an hour and scrape the squeeze out, for now I need a cup of coffee
 
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Freeman Keller

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Clamps are off and glue cleaned up. I am really happy with this neck, it is flat as a billiard table. Don't know how much the carbon fiber helps but I may just put them in all my necks. We'll see what its like with a little string tension.

Marked the fret tops and ran the big beam with 400 grit on them

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The beam just kisses the crowns. Almost no recrowning needed, I just wrapped some 600 grit wet and dry in the large groove in my crowning file (the frets are medium) and made a few light passes. Gently rounded the ends. Cleaned frets and board with 0000 steel wool.

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I'll hit them again when it comes setup time but I don't think they will take much more work.
 
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Slowtwitch

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FK you ever considered using rubber bands (bicycle inner tube or the like) to clamp the fretboard to the neck to get a more even pressure distribution?
 




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