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Zebrabird Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by 1bad914, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Afflicted

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    I kind of started this in a Wood Identification thread. I decided I would start a separate thread for the actual build. The wood has been identified as Zebra (Zebrano) wood. I will be building a dreadnought based on the hummingbird. Thus the name. The wood was a given to me by another forum member. It was 34x5.5x2 inches. It was purchased sometime around 2008. I resawed it into 5 .200 pieces and one piece about .440. I will use the 5 pieces for the back and sides, the top will be Sitka spruce. The neck will be mahogany with a zebra wood fretboard, or maybe a rosewood one I have. The scale will not be long as most birds are, it will be 24.7. The wood as I received it.

    D6E80769-C5EB-43A3-8170-276CFAAEDDC8.jpeg 342CF3EC-FA80-40E9-BB6B-3A0EAED791A4.jpeg B74735D2-7658-453B-9841-11D8169A0347.jpeg
     
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  2. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Afflicted

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    The resaw
    7EB29E0E-CD66-4358-B715-10DEB476BB08.jpeg
     
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  3. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Afflicted

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    I ran the sides through the drum sander, taking them down to .085. The back pieces to .110. It sanded really well. This is very dry. Stinks like butt though.
     
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  4. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    20200813_115937.jpg Look forward to seeing it. Zebra makes for beautiful guitars.

    20200813_115937.jpg
     
  5. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, it really does stink when you work on it.

    Not only that. The first time I played mine in a gig it started to stink as my body warmed up the wood. The band thought I was farting for Britain.

    I've had it 8 years now so i think it's calmed down. I think.
     
  6. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Afflicted

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    I initially wanted to make a Grand Concert with a cutaway, but as you can see below the test bends on scrap did not go well.
    353080BF-3ED6-4A49-82A3-6F7A7289D253.jpeg
    Based on this I decided on the zebrabird instead. The cutaway bend was just to much for this wood. So I bent the sides and put them in the forms. I just spritzed these with water, bent okay, but really sprung back once out of the bender. Nothing that some time in the form would not help.
    759012E6-AD3B-4455-BF6B-9CA0F6560A98.jpeg
     
  7. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    :lol:
     
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  8. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Afflicted

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    The next step is shooting the back piece edges flat. This will be a 3 piece back, not the norm, but I am not normal. I hold the pieces together and up to a bright light, if I see any light I shoot them again. My shooting board is made of oak, I use a level with 120 grit paper on the edge, clamp two pieces side to side and run the level back and forth on the edges. Once satisfied I put the pieces in the top and back gluing jig and glue it up.
    B263F235-2A2C-44B3-9911-5024F85A4E29.jpeg AE207CFC-18F4-4B7C-AA65-C2A36973423B.jpeg 89613698-159E-4B67-BFBD-8301DBA06254.jpeg
     
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  9. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    This is going to be a beaut!
     
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  10. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Afflicted

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    The next step is to make the neck and tail blocks. I use mahogany. The grain has to run perpendicular to the top and back grain. It should run in the direction if the grain of the sides. In these pictures you can see the sides in the forms. They extend past the ends of each half of the form. When the forms are made you must pay a lot of attention to this area, make it as square as you can, because the next step is to use those ends as a guide to cut the excess off. I use a Japanese pull saw. Once done I put the two half’s together in the forms and bolt the forms together. Check the fit of the two half’s. If you are lucky they are tight. Most of the time they need some adjustment. Get them as close as you can, especially if you will not be installing an end graft on the tail side. The neck is not as critical. One thing I do is loosen the clamps near the ends, that allows the ends to push against each other. Adjusting this connection takes patience. A lot of loosening of the forms pulling sides out, sanding, put it all back together...repeat. Once happy you put the block in and check the fit. The neck block stays fairly flat where it contacts the sides, the tail block needs to be rounded to match the curve of the sides. I use a belt and disc sander. One thing I need to add is that the top is down in all of this. The top should be flat against the flattest surface you have. Once happy with the fit of the blocks, find the center, Mark them and glue them in lining up the seam and center lines.
    DD403192-B338-46CD-923D-41FAE9F270F1.jpeg ACFA9AA0-5D85-4DEB-8AA7-B449DBD6B56B.jpeg D6601412-6BE2-4E29-AACD-F8AA6745F592.jpeg
     
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  11. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Afflicted

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    Let this dry the full 24 hours. Take it out and marvel at the beginning of an acoustic body. 1BDD263A-A875-422D-9F7B-85F1DB3DB817.jpeg If done correctly the top of the sides should be pretty flat. Since I cut my sides slightly over sized on the bottom it should be proud of the blocks. Just to make sure I run the top over a large sanding block that I cobbled together. 9FEA37AF-3706-4601-A7C8-FD77742AACCE.jpeg It is not pretty, but is effective. I then measure and make a mark every 3 inches on both sides, using a square I make a line down each mark. E7FA703B-44EE-4709-BB66-1676DAC2D156.jpeg
    I label them 1-9 left and right. I use these to measure side width from side to side. Before I start measuring I use the big sanding block and sand the bottom of the sides down until they are level with the blocks. You take the entire body and run it over the block until even. Then I take measurements at each line writing them down as I go. BE13E509-D988-4704-925B-00124A24163F.jpeg I then run the high side over the block a couple times, then measure again. I do this on all 9 marked left and right and the blocks. Here is the final outcome for this. Pretty close.
    07502540-818C-4ABD-A64F-9D19075BEADB.jpeg
     
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  12. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Wow! That's an involved process!
     
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  13. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Afflicted

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    Not all builders do this, I am just a bit anal retentive. The great thing about building any instrument is that everyone does it a bit differently. I learn so much reading how many different ways people do the same task.
     
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  14. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Afflicted

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    The back is now dry, I run it though the drum sander to level the joints and remove glue if needed. I take it to .100. Find the center, set your template in the center line and trace it. I the cut the excess off with the bandsaw. Citing about 1/4 inch out side the line.
    DF53EA66-6BA4-4538-A5D3-AFF2AA138D73.jpeg 353765CB-866E-4806-8CD9-5FEFDD893A9D.jpeg 4705D0B4-7343-4E0A-9CAF-5CD34405B596.jpeg
     
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  15. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Afflicted

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    This is where I am as if today, most likely where it will stay for the next few weeks as we head south to warm up.
     
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  16. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm sorry I didn't get with you sooner, I had an idea for a cutaway but didn't get to it. Have you heard of a Selmer/Maccaferri guitar? Very unique and the cutaway is uh not normal lol

    EimersGuitars_Antique_Model@2x.jpg

    I happen to be a fan of the guitar and Django who played it. Also a note, I built my auditoriums back in the day to 24.5" scale, very close to the Gibson 24 5/8" so common on others. My parlours were 23.5 as in a Byrdland, very comfy

    Dave
     
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  17. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Afflicted

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    I looked at all the cutaway designs I could find, this zebra wood did not like to be manipulated. So I went with the bird. I will build a cutaway, j200, parlor.....can you say addiction.
     
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  18. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    Well, this is off to a great start. Excellent work as always 1bad - love the meticulous sides work.
     
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  19. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    :lol: Yeah you and Freeman ALMOST have me wanting to complete my last two acoustics, madness!

    Dave
     
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  20. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    THAT - is an absolute beauty!

    I don’t wanna derail the thread any, but can I ask what the filler plug is for beneath the bridge pup? Was that an unwanted volume knob area?
     
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