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Thread: Meanwhile in Las Vegas...

  1. #1
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Meanwhile in Las Vegas...

    I haven't taken on many projects lately. I was pretty depressed after my storage unit was burglarized a little over a year ago. I lost all of my vintage amps, conversions, and kits. It was hard to work on anything without dwelling upon my treasured equipment that was gone forever. It's difficult to type this 15 months later, but I'm getting tired of my Vibro Champ SX that was the only working amplifier that I had left. Maybe that was the inspiration I needed.

    At the time I was robbed, I had on my bench a Silvertone 1482 that I was in the process of rebuilding, and in queue a Bogen CHB10A PA amp that I planned to convert. I've knocked the year plus layer of dust from them, and dug back in.

    I've got the 1482 running after replacing the filter capacitors in the power supply, and changing out cathode capacitors. It was kind of a mess. At some time someone had moved the inputs to the front of the amp. I guess they didn't like plugging into the back. I didn't like the look of it, so I moved everything back to the original locations. It's as quiet as a church mouse, and sounds pretty good, but I'll wait to do any other modifications until I get the speaker cabinet completed. I've got a vintage P12R that I plan to use, and want to optimize for it.

    I've just started on the Bogen, and haven't done much yet besides gutting the things that won't be needed. I tested the amp initially. It was working, but noisy, and after a few minutes it burned out R14 in the power supply. Today I plan to replace the filter caps, the bad resistor and change the input to something like a champ amp. It's cold here today, and the propane heater has been warming up the shop for the last hour. I'm going in...

    I'm not over it, but it's fun to get back into the amps.Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    I have the Bogen amp back together. I mounted the new filter caps on a pair of terminal strips. The input is now 67K on the grid with a 1 meg to ground.

    It doesn't sound bad. When it's dimed, it's a little farty, but rolled off a little the bass response is ok. It's a bit noisy, but for the first fire-up I'm happy. I'll check some voltages tomorrow.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Great that you're back on the horse Looking forward to seeing how it progresses.

    Sucks about the thievery. Especially so when it's stuff you've made or restored because you can't even quantify the personal value. It's happened to me too and there's definitely an added feeling of violation when you've loved and nurtured the things that were taken. I swore if I ever caught the bastards that I would peel them. A very unattractive thought to have, but I was seriously pissed.

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    "Never bet your life on somebody else doing their job." SoulFetish's good friend

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

    "Back to the amp. It makes horrible sounds when I play my guitar thru it... because I suck at playing guitar." Mike6158

  4. #4
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Thanks Chuck, The whole experience was one that I'd like to forget. I wen't through something similar about thirty years ago when my house was burglarized. This time was worse though. I lost less, but it felt like much more because of the personal nature of the items taken. Anyhow, I'm not defeated, and I can cobble some new stuff together.

    The shop's warming up. Today I'll probably be working on a couple of guitars. One is a parlor sized electric that was somewhat inspired by a thread a while back about B&G guitars, the other a Duo-Sonic replica.

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  5. #5
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    I made some progress on the Duo-S. Sunday wasn't the most productive, but I did get the fingerboard glued on. Yesterday afternoon we had nice weather, so I took the opportunity to cut up the material for the cabinets that I'll be needing, and for another that I'm doing for a friend. They're nothing special, just some birch plywood, nails, and glue. I assembled the head cabinet, and speaker enclosure for the 1482. It's going to get a brown/oxblood combination. For the Bogen, I think I'll use some python snakeskin tolex that I've got on hand.
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  6. #6
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Nice work, John!

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  7. #7
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    There's not much to report. I'm pretty busy working at the stuff that pays bills this week. I'm making some design drawings for the pickup on the parlor. I'm going to try something on a six string, six coil format. I've got some 2mm X 4mm neodymium disc magnets that I picked up just for this purpose a few months ago. It'll be mounted in the sound hole.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    Nice work, John!
    Thanks Dude!

    No new pictures, but here's a guitar that I finished last month. It's my take on the Fender '51 with an ash body, and a one piece pao ferro neck.
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  8. #8
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    I don't have the tools, time, or inclination for the woodworking side of things. (Probably not the talent either). I do have great admiration for those of you who do. Thanks for the pics, John. I never get tired of seeing the awesome creations some of you are building.

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  9. #9
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    What he said^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    I always find your builds very 'eloquent'. Designed to be eminently useful and not so much simple as well considered. If I'm ever flush you're going to hear from me.

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    "Never bet your life on somebody else doing their job." SoulFetish's good friend

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

    "Back to the amp. It makes horrible sounds when I play my guitar thru it... because I suck at playing guitar." Mike6158

  10. #10
    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    You can get flush in Vegas!

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  11. #11
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I'm looking forward to a day off on Monday to get back to things. I've been working 10-12 hour days setting up exhibits at the convention center all week. I may need the day to just heal.

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  12. #12
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Yesterday was a short day. It was cool to be home early enough to make some progress. The speaker cabinet is moving along. I need to get some hardware ordered. It's nearly ready for covering.
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  13. #13
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    The weather over the weekend was much warmer than it had been here for weeks. For covering cabinets, I use a water based contact adhesive. It works great when it's warm, but it doesn't do as well in cold, or humid situations. Sunday was the day I'd been waiting for. I covered the shells, and screwed the shiny pieces on. I really like the color combo. The grill fabric was marked down in price because of irregularities. It's crap, and I'll be replacing it soon. Next up is beautifying the face of this mutt. Last night, I Listened to the old P12R in the new speaker cabinet for the first time. It all sounded very solid, and louder than I expected.

    Here are a couple of necks that I'm working on as well. One will be for the Duo-Sonic, and the other is for a friend.

    I went back to work full time mid January. I'm loving it, but I sure don't have much spare time anymore.

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  14. #14
    Senior Member TimmyP1955's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_H View Post
    I have the Bogen amp back together. I mounted the new filter caps on a pair of terminal strips. The input is now 67K on the grid with a 1 meg to ground.

    It doesn't sound bad. When it's dimed, it's a little farty, but rolled off a little the bass response is ok. It's a bit noisy, but for the first fire-up I'm happy. I'll check some voltages tomorrow.
    Which cap did you change to roll off the low end? What did you change it to? Perhaps you should go even smaller. You should also play with the amount of negative feedback to see what you like best. Maybe change R11 to 51k in series with a 500k pot just for experimentation. (Is R9 really connected like that? (I'm no circuit guru, so it it is correct, I'm at a loss.)

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  15. #15
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Which cap did you change to roll off the low end?
    I was referring to rolling off the volume. The amp is a little better now that it's run for a few hours. I set it aside for a while to concentrate on other stuff. I'll get back to it soon.

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  16. #16
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Laser cutting, 3D printing, CNC, and a huge workshop full of about every power tool you could imagine. Hopefully, my brain won't explode. I joined a Makers Space to learn the digital tools, and take it to the next level. https://synshop.org/This place is pretty cool. I've met a couple of people that have been very helpful so far on my new pursuance. Starting out, I'm concentrating on laser cutting. I haven't cut anything yet, but I'm getting familiar with "inkscape" which is the design program that was recommended. The results that I've seen so from the 90w full spectrum laser look amazing. I'm anxious to use it. Maybe this weekend I'll get a chance to do a few practice cuts.

    Here's a rockabilly mashup guitar that I built for a friend. The overwound filtertron (43AWG) at the neck sounds really neat. Enough so that I want to build a guitar around one. Anyone have a template for a Gretsch Corvette?
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  17. #17
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    I haven't posted anything in quite a while. The job keeps me pretty busy most of the time, and makes it hard to find time for projects. I only built three guitars last year. Two were TV Junior replicas, and One for myself. The Sonic Blue offset has a 25.5 scale. Alder/Maple. I gave it a big bathtub rout, and made a master template for the router so I can make as many blank identical pick guards as I wish. This should be great for testing pickups. It's only the second bolt-on I've ever made. The fret access is excellent with the rounded heel plate. It's lightweight, and jumbo frets were perfect for this one. I put it together for peanuts. The only place I splurged was on the mini-roto tuners. The Silvertone amp sounds great through the vintage P12R. I have other plans for the face plate. The one on there was a quick fix. I've built a few pedals in the last year. Mostly, I use cheap Chinese clone kits as a baseline. I never expected that I would be the guy looking at the old radios in the thrift store, wondering what the transistors were inside, and how they would sound in my fuzz.

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  18. #18
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    I love it when you post pictures, John, because I always know it's gonna be some good gear porn. Great work as always! That guitar is beautiful!

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  19. #19
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Like a 25.5 scale Mustang on steroids. Who wouldn't love it?!? I always love John's guitars for their form follows function, with a twist aspect. Always something practical, eminently useful and special in some regard. Good designs.

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    "Never bet your life on somebody else doing their job." SoulFetish's good friend

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

    "Back to the amp. It makes horrible sounds when I play my guitar thru it... because I suck at playing guitar." Mike6158

  20. #20
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Thanks Guys! I took some better pictures of the blue guitar, and here's the little parlor shaped electric that I started a year ago. This is going to be a fun guitar. The pickup will be sound hole mounted. I'll be making a mold for the vacuum former for a custom mount that I can reproduce. It would be cool to swap pickups easily. Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	46842The lower bout measures 13 1/4", the upper, 9 3/8, 8 at the waist, 18 long, and 1 3/4 thick. It's 38 3/4" long overall.

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  21. #21
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Wow, I haven't put anything up here in a while. I need to update more often. It seems that I've always got a slew of projects going, but with no real focus on anything. I did finish the parlor shaped semi-hollow. It's a fun guitar. I like the way the Grover bridge worked out with the string-through. I had originally planned on using a trapeze tail piece. I like this much better, and I've never seen one used like this before.

    The filtertron sounds great. I made a few pickup carrier blanks. I plan on trying a P90, and humbucker as well.

    I built the little 22"scale lap steel a couple of weeks ago. The fret marker graphics are a decal that a friend gave me. I used a 1/8" lexan overlay so it wouldn't look so cheap. A red celluloid pickguard, some used tuners, and a strat pickup. The bridge/nut is from guitar fetish. I didn't want the finish to be the nicest feature, so all it got was a couple coats of enamel.


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  22. #22
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Here are a couple that I've finished recently. The Metallic Ice Blue offset is the sister guitar to the blue one that I built for myself not long ago. Alder body, and maple neck. The mini-hum balances well with the tele neck pickup. The lap steel is a 24 inch scale tuned in open E.

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  23. #23
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Great work as always! Love the blue, John. I have a strat style guitar built from Warmoth parts that is a very similar color. One of my fav's.

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  24. #24
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Thanks Dude! I enjoyed making the two offsets. They couldn't be much more simple, and inexpensive to build. I really like mine. It's hardly ever put away.

    This one was for a friend. He did the finish, and shaped the neck. It's lightweight, and super solid. I like his pickup choices. They compliment each other well.

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  25. #25
    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Have you got a Vegas Golden Knights guit worked up yet John?
    I'm pulling for them to win the Stanley Cup since they hosed my team (Jets). Quite the Cinderella story for the ages.

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  26. #26
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Canadians follow hockey? Who knew?

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  27. #27
    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    It's a summertime thing.

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  28. #28
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    Have you got a Vegas Golden Knights guit worked up yet John?
    I'm pulling for them to win the Stanley Cup since they hosed my team (Jets). Quite the Cinderella story for the ages.
    Sorry about your Jets. This town has been wanting a pro sports franchise to call it's own for years. It helps by winning, but Las Vegas has embraced this team as our own. Cinderella had much in common with this team of misfits that were left unprotected in the expansion draft. I'm sure the NHL will change their expansion procedures next time around. I have a tattoo artist friend who makes tribute/art guitars. I often help out with the woodwork, and construction. He's got a couple of VGK guitars in the works.

    It's a summertime thing.

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  29. #29
    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_H View Post
    I'm sure the NHL will change their expansion procedures next time around.
    Maybe the time after the next. I'm pretty sure Seattle will only shell out the half a billion expansion franchise fee on the condition they get the same draft Vegas got.
    The irony is that it has been agreed Vegas will be exempt from the Seattle draft.

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  30. #30
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    The weather has permitted me back into the workshop lately. October is my favorite month. 70's and 80's for highs, and dry cool mornings are very welcome after a savage Summer season. I've got ideas for a couple of guitars that I'd like to do this winter, and a couple that are in progress from earlier this year.

    I bought some Spanish Cedar in the spring, and let it acclimate over the summer. It's very lightweight, and similar in grain texture to Honduran Mahogany. A bit more reddish in color, but otherwise quite much the same. I've cut, and glued four neck billets from the piece that I had. I've heard a lot of good things, and I've wanted to try it out for a while.

    I'm at the point where I need to make fingerboards for two of them. Many of you know that I try to make all of my own jigs, and fixtures for guitar building. Not only is it less expensive, it's fun. In the pictures are a couple of the homemade tools for fret boards. The fret saw jig I came up with after looking at a commercially sold unit. It's accurate, smooth and solid. The router jig for cutting the profile is pretty simple, and straight forward. I copied it from something similar that I saw. This one's for a 12"r.

    I did the amp cabinets for a friend. The speaker earlier this year, and the head enclosure last week. The non-flammable contact cement that I usually use wasn't available, so instead I used Weldwood no drip gel formula. It's not messy, spreads easily, and doesn't run on vertical surfaces. It holds really well. Too bad it's solvent based.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  31. #31
    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    It all looks wonderful. I expect that cedar makes the workshop smell terrific too, what a nice side effect. Diggin' the nylon bolts you use to guide your fret saw, veddy clevah!

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  32. #32
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    John,

    I don't know if it would null the effort of selected tone wood for a finger board to use some sort of impregnation on the cedar to improve wear resistance. Maybe if it doesn't penetrate too deeply? I'm thinking about it because I know cedar isn't as hard as rosewood, maple or other typical fingerboard woods.

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    "Never bet your life on somebody else doing their job." SoulFetish's good friend

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  33. #33
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    John,

    I don't know if it would null the effort of selected tone wood for a finger board to use some sort of impregnation on the cedar to improve wear resistance. Maybe if it doesn't penetrate too deeply? I'm thinking about it because I know cedar isn't as hard as rosewood, maple or other typical fingerboard woods.
    No, I'm sorry Chuck the fingerboards are rosewood. The new neck billets are Spanish cedar. I have a couple of necks that are further along. They're Honduran. One is for a for a guitar with a figured redwood top on a chambered Honduran body. That's where I'll need the impregnation. The grain texture on the figuring is chaotic with a lot of little voids. I'm not sure what I'll do yet. I usually use z-poxy. It's easy to work with, and super clear, but I don't think it'll penetrate well enough to harden the redwood.

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  34. #34
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    It all looks wonderful. I expect that cedar makes the workshop smell terrific too, what a nice side effect. Diggin' the nylon bolts you use to guide your fret saw, veddy clevah!
    Thanks! The scent isn't as strong as red cedar, but it does have a very pleasant aroma. I've used the nylon bolts for a few things. They're super tough.

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    The wood species is cedrela (odorata or fissilis) aka cedro, a member of the mahogany family and close relative to swietenia, right?

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