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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 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:32 pm

Folderol wrote:
adrian_k wrote:
zenguitar wrote:Won't be long until you are stringing up and playing :D

Andy :beamup:

Hope so Andy. Feels like ages since I started this, just want to get it done now!
Ah!
The most dangerous phase of any long-term project. be careful.

Hopefully learned my lesson last month, wood has its own ideas about how things will go...
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:38 am

Back to the workbench at last, having missed a trip in January.

Last trip I had got the heel/body joint to somewhere within spitting distance:

Image

I thought I wouldn't have much more to do to get the neck on, well I guess it's better to be optimistic otherwise I probably wouldn't have started this. However. The maple on that heel is like rock, trying to to take off small amounts in a controlled way is a bit above my skill/experience level. See how white the knuckles are:

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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:47 am

But I got there in the end. Next thing was to see how it all lined up. I clamped the neck in place then screwed through the fingerboard into the block under the top. (Managed to drill through the fingerboard when I was recessing one of the screw heads so needed to patch that - ho hum).

Image

Then checked the centre line on the fingerboard to the one at the tail end of the body. Close, but not quite there:

Image

Another round of removing small shavings, filing, sanding, test fitting until it's all lined up. Great!
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:11 pm

Now I had to check the action/neck angle. With the neck clamped in place I fitted the cone and spider and using a long rule between the bridge and the nut position measured the distance above the fingerboard around the 12th fret:

Image

I had just over 5mm, or about 4mm above the frets when I eventually fit them. Even though I want a high action for (mostly) playing slide that'll be too much once the saddle is fitted, even allowing for string pressure compressing the cone. The neck is too flat to the body, I need it angled back slightly.

So, another round of removing small shavings from the rock hard heel, filing, sanding, test fitting until I have just under 3mm above the fingerboard at the 12th. It's a judgement call at this point whether to take more off but I decide to go with it.
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:14 pm

Finally, what's the scale length like? If I've positioned the cone correctly I should have ended up with 642mm at the saddle. Seems like a long time ago that I made these measurements...

Image

.... but all looks close enough. So Now I can glue the neck to the perch pole.
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:27 pm

Just a case of using some epoxy to glue the perch pole to the neck and clamp it in place having masked off the body under the heel to protect against any glue squeeze out.

Image

I'll need to make a shim to go between the body and the fingerboard to fill the gap made by angling back the neck, and the neck/perch pole joint will need more support (more epoxy to fill gaps and screw up through the heel into the tenon), but hopefully that's about there now.

I found that pretty tough. Col said I shouldn't feel too bad, I'm doing something more complicated than a scratch build (wish he'd told be earlier). Having a fingerboard in place and that wood around the truss rod end makes the whole thing more tricky. Come to think of it, a few pages back in this thread Wonks suggested I could take the fingerboard off and fit a shorter truss rod. Might have been the way to go...
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby Wonks » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:31 pm

Surely you want the spider slightly angled so top E is nearer the neck than bottom E to get a reasonable intonation? Which might mean that the spider is a now a bit too near the neck if the scale length is correct in the middle? And you'd normally need a longer length than the nominal scale length.

For a 642mm scale length, the StewMac calculator gives the nut to saddle distance of

Treble "E" or 1st string: 644.238mm (± 0.5mm)
Bass "E" or 6th string: 647.402mm (± 0.5mm)

...which is approximately a 3mm difference at the two E positions. With heavier strings (which you'll want for slide), then the bridge will need to be back a little bit more.

If you play purely slide, then it won't matter too much as you can compensate for distance and angle (though it makes it harder work). But mix some slide with some fingered notes and you really want the intonation to be as good as possible.

From the photo, it looks like that it's about 5mm too short a distance from the nut to the leading edge at the centre of the spider.

What you don't want to do is glue the neck on now and....

Oh. :o
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:42 pm

Pass!

I've got a couple of mm wiggle room on the cone position if I need it, and the contact point on the saddle can be adjusted a little. But it is what it is at this point, I'm just going to have to go with it for now and find a way to make it work :)
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby Wonks » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:14 pm

You could simply cut the body in half from side to side, then add a 4-5mm section to make the body longer. :D
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:01 pm

Yeah simple ;)

Of course since the neck is not glued to the body I could pack out the tail end of the perch pole which will push the fingerboard away from the bridge. I’ll need to make up the resulting gap between the body and heel, but I guess in the worst case it’s an option...
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby blinddrew » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:20 pm

It's a blues guitar, it's not supposed to be in tune... ;)
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby Wonks » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:22 pm

Are you able to rig up a tail piece, put a saddle in, fit the two E tuners, put some strings on and check the intonation? Whilst measurement is OK, there's nothing like the empirical test method.
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:12 pm

blinddrew wrote:It's a blues guitar, it's not supposed to be in tune... ;)
And with my slide technique it’s irrelevant anyway! :tongue:

@wonks yes I agree, I’ll only really find out when I rig up a temporary saddle
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