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Jason's #4: All maple, dyed black and... purple?

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  • Jason's #4: All maple, dyed black and... purple?

    Happy New Year, MEF friends! I present to you my fourth complete instrument. She was strung up and played New Years Eve, and given final fittings and adjustments New Years Day.

    Details are as follows:
    - One-piece maple body, purchased from David King.
    - Two-piece maple bolt-on neck, scarfed headstock, CF tubes, flame-y maple fretboard, two-way truss rod.
    - 25" treble to 26" bass multi-scale fretboard, perpendicular fret at the 12th. Jumbo nickel frets 1-24 and stainless steel on 0.
    - TransTint black onto bare wood and sanded back for much of the instrument. Fiebings Leather Dye Ox Blood red on the fretboard, with some black, too.
    - Finish is a splash of shellac and then Formby's Low Gloss Tung Oil on everything. 6 coats on the body and 3 on the neck and fingerboard.
    - All the black plastic is ABS sheet with the textured side up. Pickup covers are thermoformed 1/16" sheet and the pickguard, cavity control cover, and truss access cover are 1/8" sheet.
    - Tuners are budget locking (i.e., Chinese Sperzel clones... a little rough).
    - GraphTech Wilkinson saddles with a custom phenolic base plate.
    - The humbuckers are my own pickups of a special hybrid recipe (slugs with neos and blades with ceramics that I've mentioned elsewhere). Simple 3-way switch for bridge, bridge-neck, and neck. Volume and a push-pull bypass tone: pull up for tone with a .022uf cap, push down to bypass the tone circuit.

    This is, by far, my best effort. It plays and sounds soooo good! It's #4, and I think I'm getting the hang of this!
    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Nice work Jason! Transparent black is difficult to get right. I've done some samples, but didn't have results that I liked.

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    • #3
      Thanks, John! This dye treatment took a lot of mucking around. I'd lay it down too thin, then too thick, then sand it back too far, then creep up on what I liked. This guitar and its walnut/spalted maple twin were experiments in finish/aesthetic approaches at opposite ends of a spectrum: the walnut guitar is all about showing off gorgeous wood under a gloss finish; this guitar is all about the dark, edgy, ninja look. I learned that my design can handle both, and it they have taught me a lot going forward. On one of the next ones, I might give the body to my brother to play with: he's a hot rod builder and has mad painting skills and knows pinstripers and airbrush artists.

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      • #4
        Are those wide head furniture bolts going into threaded insert on the neck? I used those for my 8 string, a forstner bit countersinks them perfectly. I also like the totally straight string path at the (big) peghead. The fretboard is riftsawn flame purple heart? Very nice!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tedmich View Post
          Are those wide head furniture bolts going into threaded insert on the neck? I used those for my 8 string, a forstner bit countersinks them perfectly. I also like the totally straight string path at the (big) peghead. The fretboard is riftsawn flame purple heart? Very nice!
          Yep, I've used these "knock down" furniture bolts on all four guitars. Actually, all of my hardware is hex machine screws and bolts. Not a single Phillips head to be found.

          The perspective in the picture from the headstock makes it look a little long, and I probably do put a little more length in the "throat" area between the nut and the "ears," but the headstock profile itself is fairly narrow and comparable in length to other examples out there. The cool thing is this headstock will work for 6-, 7-, and 8-string arrangements, with only a slight adjustment to the width. My first was a 7-string, and the next will be an 8-string. If anything, I'm having a hard time figuring out where to put my logo on the headstock: the straight string pull puts all the tuner posts in logo real estate. Might have to put it on the body or fingerboard somewhere.

          But no, the fingerboard isn't purple heart: dyed maple!

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          • #6
            here is my 8 string
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            I really like utilitarian re-purposing, that's Dragonplate CF on the control cover and I have black oxide 1/4-20 flat head hex bolts with threaded inserts as strap buttons (agro!)
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            Neck is so wide I put thumb groove down middle, takes getting used to but probably not as odd feeling as Strandberg's Edurneck (see https://strandbergguitars.com/strandberg-endurneck/)
            Last edited by tedmich; 01-10-2016, 09:40 PM.

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            • #7
              Cool wood combo, Ted! Yes, I used the same bolts for strap buttons, too! They really hold a strap well.

              I've been following strandberg for a while, and have read every article on his site. It was through Rick Toone's site that I found strandberg. Between these two guys, they're really breaking down traditional barriers with some cutting-edge ideas and technology. Actually, I attempted a trapezoidal neck profile on my 7-string. Eventually, though, I will reshape it, as it's chunky as hell and not suited to my hand position. Instead of my thumb riding the flats, as is intended, my thumb rides right on the ridge!

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              • #8
                Yes there are so many hand positions for guitarists, at least non-classical ones, that its difficult to make a non-uniform cross section thats amenable to all. The groove really allows for great leverage for bends in classical hand position yet doesn't feel lumpy when palming the neck. Cudos for Strandberg for realizing hand position changes with axial positioning. Some of my playing is currently without the thumb behind the neck at all, ala Jake E Lee
                Click image for larger version

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                (hair/clothes quite different though)

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