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Resonator build update

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by alathIN, Dec 5, 2020.

  1. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    Steel body spider bridge resonator.
    Round neck and set up to play like a regular guitar.
    It's going to have a P90 in the neck position and maybe a piezo under the bridge. My experience with peizos has been that they sound good if you run them through a preamp or clean boost.

    Moved the truss rod access to the heel - will get to it through the cutout for the P90.
    Render 10 capture a.JPG
    I got Nic at Great Lakes pickups working on the P90 for me.
    I had never seen these "rennaissance" pattern f holes but decided I like them.

    Got some 20 ga cold rolled semi-killed steel and made the kind of drawings so the water jet guys can cut the top and back for me. Those f-holes in particular would have been a hassle to cut.

    Found my neck wood and laminated it together.
    20201129_144552.jpg

    It's dry now and just needs to run thru the planer.

    Close up of the cherry and maple
    20201128_111154.jpg

    Nickel plating is affordable and that is probably what I will do.

    But I'm very tempted to do one of these in copper and hit it with the torch for heat patina. 01cd1a177704b8c3e3482c20e767f95b.jpg

    I think the neck woods I chose for this are not quite right for the copper thing - so maybe I will leave that for the second one.
     

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  2. Lake Placid Blue

    Lake Placid Blue Poster Extraordinaire

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  3. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    I built a Tricone years ago out of german silver (white brass). How are you planning to solder / weld the body together? Also are you using a neck stick or a neck block to attach the neck?
     
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  4. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    I'll use silicon bronze - basically brazing with a heliarc machine.

    The center maple part of the neck extends through the body to become an integral neck stick.
    I copied the neck design from a DIY posted on Stewmac.

    I thought about German Silver but it's kind of pricey for my first go. I might try that for #3 or so ;-)
    Same with tricones. They sound great but a little complicated for a newb.
     
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  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    As I mentioned before, I have a brass bodied single cone and would be happy to take measurements or pictures if you would like. I also play resonators so I somewhat understand their set up and last, but far from least, I come from a metal fabrication background so I can at least talk that talk.

    Get your cone, bridge, tail piece and cover plate (unless you are going to make them) before you start. You will need some very careful measurements of the actual parts and as we talked before, you will need to decide on your stringing and playing technique.

    And I'll be watching with interest.
     
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  6. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    I have ordered the slow boat from China spider, bridge, cone, tailpiece, and cover set.
    I've heard it is generally serviceable but benefits greatly from a cone upgrade.

    For this one I plan to adapt it to my playing style - playing upright fingerstyle just like I play my other guitars.

    As long as it keeps being fun I may make more than one.
    I already have ideas I'd like to try in the future.
    Tricone being somewhere near the top of the list.
     
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  7. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    You people that build your own metal resonators impress the heck out of me. I enjoy watching these builds. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  8. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    Here is the Tricone I built. It's 20 years old now and showing a little wear.

    10363619_10152413617834651_857365564149143778_n.jpg
    10359166_10152413617744651_7407939800327082536_n.jpg
     

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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2020
  9. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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  10. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    UPDATE:

    Project slowed when my wife got covid - then the kids got it. Kids just had a day or two of draggy/febrile/crankiness. Wife had a 3 week ordeal and about 4 days sitting on the fence of hospital admission criteria.
    Meanwhile the guy who works in the covid OB clinic and rounds on covid patients in the ICU by the grace of providence, masks, and handwashing, never got infected. Wife brought it home from a church small group.

    So here's what's been happening in the meantime.

    Found the cone, cone cover, spider bridge, etc parts kit under the Christmas tree. So I was able to get the exact measurements and update my Solidworks drawings with the correct measurements.
    Review of the cheap eBay parts kit: the cone cover is surprisingly solid and well made. I think the spider will work fine also. The cone has faint circular tool marks all over it so I suspect it is spun not pressed. Or - more likely - spun then pressed.
    The tool marks do have a kind of "digitized" texture making me wonder if someone in China is making these with CNC automation. It looks like it will at least be good enough for development work - may call for an upgrade later.

    I was able to bend all the legs of the spider down so it lays flat on a surface plate.
    Based on this picture of how the cone and cone cover fit together, I don't think I need the cone offset very much below the top of the guitar at all. I believe the expedient of brazing a ring with slightly smaller ID to the back of the top will work (fingers crossed).
    20201225_151046.jpg

    I did get the planer up and running with fresh blades, and planed the neck blank.
    20201220_145104.jpg 20201220_150257.jpg

    And today I got the sheet metal back from the water jet guys.
    This would have been a colossal hassle to cut out without their service.

    IMG_0445.JPG
    If you look closely you can see the cone support ring sitting underneath the top.

    Oh, and I've got Nic at Great Lakes Pickups making me a P-90 for this.
    He said his pickups have been used in steel bodied guitars before and he does not anticipate any problems.

    Next Jobs:
    Route the truss rod channel.
    Cut out the body forms (just got the hopefully correct bandsaw blade today from McMaster-Carr).
    Rough cut the neck (another band saw job)
     
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  11. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Wow, looking good. Nice to have something to keep you occupied in the shop during these trying times.
     
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  12. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    Couple more pics for fit testing:

    IMG_0447.JPG

    IMG_0452.JPG
     
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  13. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Very kewel. And also very fortuitous that "that guy" dodged the virus despite all that extra exposure!
     
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  14. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    It would be interesting to know how the cone was made. In the old days they literally were made on a lathe out of 0.020 aluminum that was pressed against the spinning wood buck with some sort of a hand tool (wood I think). Lots of cones then have the stiffening ribs pressed into them - my NPR cones do, the Quarterman ones don't. I do know that cheap cones were simply pressed on a hydraulic press just like any other metal foruming.

    Paul Beard had a great video on setting up spider bridge instruments - the one he was demonstrating was a cheap PacRim import. He took the stock cone out and tapped it with his finger - it gave kind of a dull "thud". He took a nice spun cone and tapped it, it rang like a bell. The cone really is the heart of a resonator.

    Thanks for the update, keep 'em coming.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2021
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  15. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I got into building CBG's and a couple Canjo's with the rustic homemade look and then I made the Strat-O-Rez guitar which was a plywood body, salvage neck, a set of 60's pickups, a piezo and a small aluminum skillet.
    upload_2021-1-1_16-8-20.jpeg It looks like something from the hills, but it actually works well and sounds very good.

    I used to gather metal from curbside to supplement my disability and take it to the scrap metal place. while I was there, I found several aluminum turntable platters. The tops are smooth, but the bottom sides have a spider bridge like construction for stability. They also have a inner ring that would allow you to reduce the circumference for smaller bodies. They would make great reso cones.
     
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  16. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    So putting a woodcutting blade on the band saw made a huge difference. Cutting like buttah.
    These are the body forms.
    20210102_150805.jpg

    I asked my dad about possible ways to put a subtle arch in the back.
    He pulled out this thing - a pneumatic hammer for shaping metal.
    He picked it up used ages ago and never used it - found a different way to do the job he bought it for.
    It does need new O-rings but it should be perfect for my job.
    20210102_151636.jpg
     
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  17. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Are you familiar with an English wheel?

    Also, the backs on most acoustic guitars are more or less spherical, but they also drop off from the waist to the head block. My metal resonator has a pretty significant dome to the back, the top is flat.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
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  18. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    You are describing exactly what I am aiming for.
    Dad said the 3 ways to do this job are English wheel (he doesn't have one but described it), shot bag (he has one somewhere) and planishing hammer (which he found right away). Planishing hammer wins!
     
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  19. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a friend who builds race cars, specifically land speed record cars. Watching him shape a panel on the English wheel is really a joy. On the other hand I have an old British sports car with a body that was hand formed over wooden bucks - when I refinished it a few years back I was amazed how rough the panels were. I wondered why the British didn't seem to know about English wheels.

    Carry on.....
     
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  20. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    Cut the truss rod channel today.
    This would have been easier to do before I laminated the 3 pieces of the neck together.
    20210103_154401.jpg
     
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