Organic Soundports

Guitars by Grant Goltz of Hackensack, MN
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Joe Sustaire
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by Joe Sustaire » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:02 pm

Wow!!!
This is looking great Grant, what's not to like. Built in "mojo".

Joe
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by whitespruce » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:57 pm

Well, I have been gradually doing a few things on this one in between other projects. I have moved this one to the front of the line ahead the other nine in my new builds and will keep it as a separate thread. The snakewood will also be a separate thread, but the other eight will all be handled in one thread, except for when I do the external neck adjustment part on one of them.

So, I braced the top and carved the braces. Just my same old strange bracing pattern that I have shown several times, so no photos of that. Then I made the neck and tail blocks and glued them to the top. Nothing really different there, except that, since the tailblock will show through the ends of the openings in the sides, I faced it with a layer of black veneer.
Image

The next step is to dry fit each of the sides and adjust it on the end blocks to where it will best fit the body outline penciled on the inside of the top
Image
This is the critical step in getting the final size and shape of the body as close as possible to what I have intended

I next mark the final length of the side and mark where the end blocks stop on the inside of the side
Image
This allows me to cut the laminated linings to their proper length. After I cut the top linings to length, I glue them to the sides. That glue-up is drying now and tomorrow I will be ready to finish prepping the sides so that they can be glued to the top. Because of the openings in the sides, I will need to instal the side braces and a few other details before I can glue the sides on. More on that as it happens. I did the same for the other side.

Meanwhile, jumping ahead a bit, I searched my ebony pile for a chunk of the quality that I will need for the fingerboard on this guitar....just any old ebony will not do.

Here is what I selected
Image
Scarey, eh? :shock: Well, I will let you think on that a bit. I know exactly what I intend to do with this, but will keep it under my hat until the time comes ;)

Stay tuned,

G

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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by Dennis Leahy » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:39 am

whitespruce wrote:The next step is to dry fit each of the sides and adjust it on the end blocks to where it will best fit the body outline penciled on the inside of the top
{image}
This is the critical step in getting the final size and shape of the body as close as possible to what I have intended
Check. Double-check. Noted. :~)
whitespruce wrote:Meanwhile, jumping ahead a bit, I searched my ebony pile for a chunk of the quality that I will need for the fingerboard on this guitar....just any old ebony will not do.

Here is what I selected
Image
Scarey, eh? :shock: Well, I will let you think on that a bit. I know exactly what I intend to do with this, but will keep it under my hat until the time comes ;)

G
Well now. Fill it with clear epoxy, and it will look black, and will look like a repair rather than a deliberate act of artistry. You can keep it under your hat, but I'll wager a side bet on a fill with light colored (epoxy+wood dust) material - I'll guess a creamy off white or light tan. I have seen wood turners fill cracks with teeny turquoise chips and epoxy, but I don't think you'll do that. Maybe smashed abalone? Maybe Bloodwood dust? Sumac dust? What's your binding? hahahahaha Don't pay any attention to the pesky kid with all the guesses and questions. Make me wait along with everyone else!

Dennis
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Garry Hallam
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by Garry Hallam » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:45 am

My Guess is that it will be those Nakashima butterfly joint holders that Steve mentioned!
They will also double as position markers 8-)

Garry
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by whitespruce » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:40 am

Dennis and Garry, it takes both of you, but together you are on the right track.

In the meantime, here is how the buterfly keys go in the sides.

I made a template that I clamp on the side and then score with a small X-acto knife to mark where to cut
Image

Then I carefully cut on the score lines with a razor saw and cleaned up the cutouts with a needle file,(no photo because it takes both hands)

Here are a couple of photos of the keys going in
Image
Image
A bit of fidding to get a good fit. I start with a small rectangle of ebony and just file down the keys, then just touch them up with a file until they fit well. Then I CA them in place and sand them flush, inside and out.

Here are all of them on the first side
Image
I will back these up with ebony side braces and file those down in the openings to match the butterfly keys. These will look better with the sides finally sanded.

I am thinking ahead to fret wire. Normal fret wire won't go well with this, so I am thinking about making them out of work hardened copper. Any other thoughts?

G

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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by mziegler » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:59 am

This is a fantastic build. Love the concept. The suspense on the fretboard is working on my brain. Maybe the fretwire will "reinforce" the defects and no fill will be necessary?

MikeZ
Jerry Garcia said of Clarence, "He brought a kind of swing, a rhythmic openness, to bluegrass ...Bluegrass is a kind of forward-leaning music. Clarence's playing was way in the back of the beat, and so added an openness that was really breathtaking."

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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by chrisclendenen » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:25 pm

Grant,

I just found and read this thread for the first time, and I am staggered already by the beauty I see taking shape here! Amazing! I am a big fan of Nakashima, and other furniture builders who find the beauty of the material in its character, and bring it to life- Hank Gilpin and Toshio Odate come to mind. Pat's bark rosette idea is genius also. I will definitely watching this build!

chris

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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by Dennis Leahy » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:08 pm

whitespruce wrote:...I am thinking ahead to fret wire. Normal fret wire won't go well with this, so I am thinking about making them out of work hardened copper. Any other thoughts?

G
For a nylon strung guitar, I think copper might work, but even work-hardened copper sounds like it may be pretty soft compared to the steel and bronze or brass wrapped wires that will be pressing down into it on a steel string guitar. How about hard bronze?

If you contact Meade Metals they will want to sell you a huge sheet or a truckload, but you may be able to coax some sample material out of them if you turn on the charm. They have phosphor bronze at "full hard" and "spring temper" hardness. If you do something like the rectangular bar you used on the awesome Martin parlor copy, and if you want to round the frets, and if you don't have that tool (lots of "ands"), let me know as I have a fret re-crowning file in 2 widths.

After pounded or glued in, and dressed, you could chemically alter the metal frets to a patina, (deliberately "patchy" or uniform) and allow the strings to bite through it where they fall. Sculpt Nouveau has a variety of patinas available (green, brown, black)

Dennis
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by DennisK » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:01 pm

Brilliant! I was thinking those sides really needed some braces, but would be ugly with them visible through the cracks. Butterfly cleats hide it perfectly, and even improve the stability :)

How about some kind of stone for the frets? There's that "crystal frets" site that uses quartz. Maybe jade. Inlay hard maple bars where the frets go so they're isolated from the voids, and to make the color more visible. Or maybe agate, so it's opaque on its own, and you get nice 3D stripey pattens too?

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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by whitespruce » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:13 pm

Hey Dennis L, I hear you on the copper, but judging by tools make over 5,000 years ago out of native copper, and a few experiments, I can tell you that cold worked copper gets hard enough to have sharpened edges that rival iron blades. it gets so hard that you can't even bend thin blades without them breaking.

My plan is to make bar frets, but just for kicks today I tried drawing 10 gauge copper wire through hand made dies to form something similar to "real fretwire". I had to re-aneal it after every pass, it would harden up so fast. Two passes and it was as stiff as nickel-silver. So I think 4 or 5 passes through my rolling mill should be just fine. I was hoping to use 8 gauge copper, but all I can get is 6 gauge (10 is a tad too small), so it will need more rolling.

I looked at other metals online, but could not locate anything that would not require major milling and shaping. If that don't work, I will develop a Plan B.

Dennis K, That might constitute a consideration if Plan B materializes. Thanks for the suggestion.

G

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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by Jim » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:11 pm

WOW!

Jim
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by gilmoreguitars » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:21 pm

For the love of all things lutherie!! I step away from the forum for a couple weeks and all hell breaks loose! Grant goes crazy!!
:clap: :clap:
I am absolutely enthralled with this guitar. As I read, I thought, those sides will never take the strain of gluing the back on. Then I see butterfly cleats.
This isnt just a guitar! It is an absolute piece of art.
I bow down to you!
David
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by whitespruce » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:41 pm

gilmoreguitars wrote: Grant goes crazy!!
David
AGAIN :lol: :lol:

Well, thanks all for the kind words. I must confess that what I really am up to is to get folks stirred up and some things happening here ;) ;) Obviously it is starting to work....even Dennis is building a guitar :whis: :whis: Let's keep up the momentum :D

So, anyhow, I went into town this afternoon and bought some copper wire for the trial frets.

Here is what I had done prior to that using 10 gauge wire
Image
The silver piece is neckel-silver bar fret from LMI. You can see that the 10 gauge made a smaller fret wire. As I mentioned, I think 8 gauge would come out just about right, but I will have to settle for 6 gauge. BTW, the little rolling mill is a leftover artifact from back in my wine barrel and brandy keg making days. I used it for rolling the hoop stock so it would fit the taper of the barrels. The barrels and kegs were for storing our, er......concoctions 8-)

So here is one length of wire done rolling and another one ready to roll
Image
I started with 24" lengths of wire and they ended up 33" long after rolling. I had to hammer them partially so I could feed them into the roller and that hardened them enough that I had to anneal them before I could do the rolling. After rolling, I had to lightly hammer them with a small smooth-faced hammer to get them straight.

Then I gave them a light pass on each face through my thickness sander to even them out
Image
Here they are with the piece of bar fret. They are oversize to that because I want them thicker(the bar fret is .056" thick and I need about .07" or so), and the extra width will allow for me to file the lower edge flat before instaling the frets.

I checked the hardness against the nickel-silver bar fret with a file and pushing on a center punch. They seem comparable, so we shall see.

G

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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by dviss » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:32 pm

Grant, this is a true inspiration. :clap: :clap: thanks for sharing!
~ Darren

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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by roboboblehat » Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:30 am

really enjoying following this! copper frets are gonna look fantastic!!,its gonna be one hell of a special guitar, i challange anyone not to want to get out and build after taking a gander at this :)

Rob
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by BaldEagle55 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:27 am

Grant,

My first read of this as well and all I can say is you are a master! I love watching your builds.

Tom
:D :D :D

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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by timo » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:44 am

Grant, you are on a roll here. Thanks for sharing and reminding me to get out of the box. Can't wait to see the tuners?! :clap: Tim

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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by Pat Foster » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:10 pm

Rolling your own! Very cool, Grant!

Pat
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by chrism » Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:37 pm

This is looking amazing! Awesome ideas coming together. Love the copper frets!
Chris

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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by whitespruce » Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:35 pm

Well, I have been working on the neck and such. I already showed the fingerboard and the fret materials. The neck is just my normal one-piece mahogany cut for my usual adjustable neck joint. What I did with the fingerboard is fill the gaps with epoxy/maple dust mixture. Leaving them open would not work very well when fretting strings, so this levels out the surface.

For the position marker inlays, I am using the butterfly keys placed across the fills. They will be randomly spaced across the board to center on the gap fill. Here is how I routed the cutouts
Image

I also routed the peghead, both for my logo and for some more butterfly keys, since the headstock overlay is just an extension of the fingerboard wood
Image
Note that I have a few diviots yet to fill on the headstock. Also, the fill color is actually a warmer tan than these photos.

Another photo showing the fingerboard
Image
I was careful to lay out the fingerboard so that there are 2 cracks at the 12th fret, allowing me to use 2 butterfly keys. The 7th fret marker also crosses 2 cracks and I have to lengthen it a slight bit so that the ends get into the ebony a bit. These are just the rough routes and I still have to clean up the corners and such

So, What do I use for the inlays?

Well, about 20 years or so ago, another archaeologist gave me some pieces of fossil whale bone that she had used in her graduate studies. It has been in a drawer in the back room all these years. it has a bit of a funkey look and should be just right.
Image
Image

So, that's where I am at the moment.

G

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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by DaveWhite » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:39 pm

Grant,

I'm very tempted to say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and add "just roll with it and make it work". With so many makers trying to make things "art deco" without really understanding what it means it's great to see someone that understands mojo and nature in all it's forms and going with it. A really interesting project - hats off 8-) 8-) 8-)
Dave White
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by Jim » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:03 pm

Man, Grant! You really have your theme complete throughout. Funky and beautiful. If you sell it, don't do so before Stringfest, which is already on my 2013 calendar. You should then find someone who will understand what you have done and will thus treasure it and care for it.

Jim
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by Pat Foster » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:20 pm

Fantastic! A great theme well-executed! :clap:

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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by Dennis Leahy » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:02 pm

Gotta get me a thesaurus and find some other words for "way cool" and "awesome."

Dennis
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by WaddyT » Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:16 pm

Wow! That bark rosette is just beautiful. This is really an intriguing build, Grant. Hope it works as well as you think it might.

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