Custom Search


#5 Completed and Sound Clips

The #5 is consider completed for now.
The owner will be doing some modification (armrest etc) and finishing to the guitar.
He is a skilled woodworker so these mods are considered easy to him.
Here is some pictures of the guitar and sound clips


Fretting and Set-up

I also managed to start the fretting work.
Before that I strung up the guitar to have a listen to the sound.
It definitely sounded great much like my #1 with more and deeper bass.
Before I did the fret work I check the neck angle and notice the angle was off.
I had to remove more material near the 12th fret region to correct the angle.
After that I use my new tools to help with the fret work and they definitely help alot.
The tools I recently acquire are:
1) Fret barber from Stewmac
2) Fret tang remover from LMI

All I can say is they both work great!
I use the evo wire which is harder than normal fret.
The barb were reduce in size in minutes
And the tang was removed in minutes.
The fret went into the slot in a few quick taps.
I deepened the fret slot more after sanding down the fretboard.

Sanding smooth and flatten the fingerboard

Taper the fret slot to allow easier removal of frets for future re-fret work. To prevent chipout too.

The fret barber at work. The fret are pull across it reducing the size of the barbs

The bard size reduced

Thickness gauge to set how much to remove.

Fret tang remove from LMI.

The end tangs are remove. How much to remove doesnt matter to me much as I am not using fret board binding. Rather I just want to remove abit of the end tangs to prevent them from sticking out later.

Fretting. A quick few taps does the job. Much easier!

3 completed. A few dozen more to go.

I finished up the fret work and cut the nut and saddle.
Unfortunately the string height is still too high (wrong neck angle).
I need to reduce more of the 12th fret region.
The relief was just nice though.
I tried out the guitar and it sounded very balanced with more powerful bass than my previous guitars.
The harmonics isn't as strong and my other guitars but I think it will improve with time as they did with my other guitars

Frets all installed

Another view

Sawing the nut

Filing the nut slots

I have been trying to set up the nut and saddle for the compensation but I encounter a big problem.
When I tuned up the open string and check the 12th fret note it's flat.
Normally it will be sharped and when I file back the saddle it will be normal pitch again.
But if it's flat I cannot file back anymore else it will become flatter.
So I tried to bring forward the nut instead.
After moving forward by 1 mm the effect is still the same.
If I tune the string according to the 12th fret not, the fret below the 5th fret or so will get sharper.
So in simple words I can't get it in tune.

I think I have over-compensated the bridge. However my previous guitars #3 was compensated in the same way too and that intonation is perfect.
I had several options:
1) Glue piece of bone in front of nut to bring it more forward.
2) Glue a piece of bone in front of saddle to bring it back.
3) Remove teh bridge and reglue it.
4) Remove the fingerboard and shift it toward the saddle.

So after I made a block of ebony and place it in front of the nut the effect is still the same.
So that just eliminated my 1st option.
Out of curiosity I check the bridge location and guess what! I found out where is the problem: I had misplace the bridge. It is set-up more by 10mm.

Normally I use a meter rule to locate the bridge, I will place the 325 mark on the 12th fret
And from there I check the 652 mark for the bridge.
But this time round i place the 315 mm on the 12th fret.
This ultimately adds another 10 mm back for the saddle.
No wonder it's out of tune.

Now I have to remove the bridge and re-glue it.
After checking online on how to remove one, I began the process.
I just use a pallet knife one for spreading paint I think.
It's quite thin and flexible without any sharp edges.
So I apply heat to the frosting spatula and slowly work beneath into the bottom edge of the bridge.spatula.
Finally after 1/2 hour I remove the bridge.
There were some tear-out in the top but not much.
After sanding the top all is good.
Just to be safe I scrape off all the hide in the bridge too.
I relocated the bridge and drill the 2 pilot holes again.
This time round I double and triple check the position.

Funny thing is when I apply the hide glue and re-clamp the bridge.
I actually glue it back into the original wrong position.
Luckily I took of the central clamp and check the position once more.
I discover the same mistake and quickly remedy it.
And so I remove the bridge while the glue is still have not set and glue it back to the correct position.
Then after I double and triple confirm the position before applying the clamp.
Now hopefull all will be well; finger's crossed.

Wrong position of the bridge. It's off by 10mm!

Slowly removing the bridge. Apply heat only to the spaltula / pallet knife. This won't affect the brace glue below the top.

Bridge removed!

This time round ensure the 325mm mark is correct

The final length is 652mm

Prepare to glue

Apply hide glue

Glue and clamp

I set up the guitar and now the intonation is spot on.
I didn't need to adjust anything.
I tried the guitar and the bass is indeed powerful as previously mentioned.
The treble seem to lack the brighness of my #1 but have that lovely mellow tone.

After trying out the guitar I glued on the heel cap.

Prepare to glue the heel cap

Glue and apply the clamps

I rework on some of the frets as they are buzzing.
I remove the frets and sand and scrape the fingerboard to adjust the frets
After that I hammer in the frets and try again.
The buzzing improved a little but I think there are still some to adjust more
After that I sand the neck and shaped the heel cap and heel.
Now its considered almost done.

Adjusting the frets to reduce buzzing

Shaping the heel cap

Planing the heel cap

Sanding the neck

Shaping and sanding the neck profile.