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Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:56 pm

Next - purfling and binding. Not a nasty bowel bowel affliction as implied by Wonks earlier ;) but annoying thin bits of wood that need to be bent to shape and glued round the edges..

In line with the re-use/recycle ethos of the project we delved into the 'this might be useful one day' bin and found a strip of purfling that Colin thinks he made about 27 years ago, and two slightly different binding strips left over from other guitar builds. The purfling is Bubinga or rosewood in a boxwood sandwich. One of the binding strips is rosewood with a boxwood trim, the other rosewood with beech.

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Cutting the purfling to size:

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Unfortunately, probably due to its age, one of the strips lost some of its boxwood on one side in a few places. Luckily Col had some boxwood veneer offcuts that I could use to patch it up.

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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:56 pm

Next I need to cut a channel round the edge for the purfling. Allowing space for purfling plus binding, using a purfling cutter I score a deep line round the top.

Then I rout round the edge almost to the scored line.

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Next I clean up the routed channel with a chisel and finish off with a file.
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:11 pm

I can't avoid it any more, I'm going to have to bend some wood. Colin heats up the iron and does the first bit of purfling to show me how easy it is, haha.

I bend the second bit and the layers start to separate out in places (maybe getting it too hot?) Then on the sharpest corner the boxwood separates and splits on both sides leaving just the centre strip for a couple of inches. Don't worry says Col, you can glue that back together as you go. That particular corner is jinxed, it's where I split the top earlier..

Here's some old bloke breaking some wood:

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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:18 pm

Then it's just a case of working round the guitar in small sections, gluing and pinning the purfling tightly in place. Anywhere the boxwood has come away I glue back together as I go, including the bits that completely split away.

Here it is all glued and pinned. The tape is just providing extra support where the purfling split.

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And here it is with the pins out. The middle pic shows 'problem corner'. Not too bad, but the centre strip does look a bit thicker there now. The outer pics were taken after routing again for the bindings, hence no pinholes.

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Now, as I said last month - "Next month, binding"........
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby Wonks » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:27 pm

You could simply have made the whole guitar out of glue! ;)

Well done Adrian. Just keep going and you'll get there in the end.
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby Watchmaker » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:31 pm

Wow!

I just caught this thread. I'm amazed at your good fortune and skill!

I've been avoiding doing a guitar build for years, but this is totally inspiring. Time to order that thumb plane and 476 pins...

Cheers for sharing this with such grace, as far as the corner of the damned goes - the gods demand a sacrifice either in blood or pain. I see you're wise enough to give it gladly.

When you're done please post a recording of it somewhere like sound cloud so we can hear its voice.
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:16 pm

Wonks wrote:You could simply have made the whole guitar out of glue! ;)

Yes but what would I use to stick the glue together? :headbang:
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:29 pm

Watchmaker wrote:I've been avoiding doing a guitar build for years, but this is totally inspiring. Time to order that thumb plane and 476 pins...

Go for it! If you do though you might want to go to a thumb gym first, all that thumb planing and pinning I can’t play barre chords at the moment :bouncy:
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby ReadySaltedChris » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:38 pm

Wonks wrote:
Well done Adrian. Just keep going and you'll get there in the end.

Yeah, you're doing a great job. Most fascinating following your adventure!
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby Folderol » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:14 pm

I always enjoy reading about these projects. I can't see me doing anything like that myself, but it's great to read how people find and overcome problems. :bouncy:
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby Wonks » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:02 pm

He's got it easy. He's got all the expensive tools to hand, plus a brother who definitely knows his onions (and guitars).
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:18 pm

Yes having access to the tools means I can get things done quicker, which is important since I’m only working on it a day a month. The main thing though is having a good teacher with nearly 30 years experience of making and doing major repairs on all types of stringed instruments.

If I lived closer I’d just join his evening class. If there were any spaces that is..
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:59 pm

Right here we go with the April progress report. First off I had a spare half hour between sanding finishes for Col so I started on the neck. This was made by Hofner some time in the early 70s and has never been on a guitar. Col bought a job lot of ex-factory stock, used the others but this one has been hanging on the wall for years. The rosewood fingerboard is looking a bit sun-bleached:

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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:59 pm

To make this usable for me I'm going to have to put a heel on it, attach a perch pole, get rid of the zero fret and replace with a nut (could keep it I guess but don't want to), and refret it with some slightly meatier frets. So, frets out:

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I was surprised that the fingerboard wasn't more dried out, I was expecting more collateral damage from removing the frets, but they came out clean as a whistle. Which was nice.

The dots are cheap white plastic so I might drill them out and put some pearl-like ones in, depending on how brave I'm feeling. I'll also get a decal done - maybe 'Frankenbro'... hmmm...
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:16 pm

adrian_k wrote:Right here we go with the April progress report. First off I had a spare half hour between sanding finishes for Col so I started on the neck. This was made by Hofner some time in the early 70s and has never been on a guitar. Col bought a job lot of ex-factory stock, used the others but this one has been hanging on the wall for years. The rosewood fingerboard is looking a bit sun-bleached:

I bought an ex Hofner body, sort of 135 style an while ago, decided it wasn't for me in the end and my pal Brian Eastwood built it into a really nice ES135/Hofner for another friend of mine using an original Hofner neck, Turned out to be a really nice and unique guitar for Squier money.
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:43 am

Brian makes some seriously wacky guitars!
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:06 am

Next job was to get on with the binding.

Last month we used a bandsaw cut 2mm-ish binding strips from some leftovers that Colin had. As they were from two different guitars, the back binding is slightly different from the front, both rosewood but the contrast strip is boxwood on one, beech the other. I decided to use the boxwood on the front so it matches the purfling.

The process was to plane lengthwise to remove previous saw cuts and provide a nice smooth face for gluing, cut a strip off, then repeat. Mostly went OK except one rosewod/boxwood strip I somehow ended up not cutting parallel to the cleaned face so the strip is narrower at one edge (the one that shows on the front) than the other, and the width varies along its length. And there wasn't enough left to cut another one. Not perfect.

I could have either started again and made a new set of matching bindings (but I'm limited on time), or used the rosewood/boxwood bindings on the back where they won't be as obvious. But here's where my stubborn brain kicks in and says I've made a plan and we are sticking to it - we are putting the boxwood on the front to match the purfling and that's that. Brain convinces me it won't be too bad. I must have a serious chat with brain sometime.

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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:15 am

It's gone from 10 deg C to 25 deg C overnight and I've chosen this day to stand over a hot bending iron.

The good news is that once I have the temperature of the iron set right the bindings are easier to work with than the purfling. Pretty soon I have the first one bent and taped in place so that I can cut it roughly to length.

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See how close the guitar is to the bending iron? That's how I got this blister on my right elbow. I moved down the bench a bit after that.
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:22 am

Here are all four bindings bent and taped in place.

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The last binding on the bottom is cut slightly too long, I'll cut that to size once I've cleaned up the binding channels and glued the one on the other side in place.

Even before I've cleaned up the channels it's not a bad fit:

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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:39 am

Bending went quite well, just two small issues. First, I was concentrating so hard on getting the curves right, not burning myself, and wiping sweat from my glasses that I managed to bend one of the bindings the 'wrong' way i.e. the smooth side out, so I had to sand the inside smooth for gluing later.

Second, there was one bit of wood that I just could not get to bend as I wanted, and I ended up splitting it. I superglued and clamped it straight away, then when it was dry Col had a go and managed to get just enough bend on it for me to finish the job. Now I have a some repaired binding at the exact point on the the back to match the split in the top and repaired purfling on the front. There is definitely something jinxed about that corner. :evil:

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