Thursday, May 1, 2014

Experimentation part 1

Archetype Part 1
While we are waiting on finish to cure I guess I will post up a project I worked on over the winter. I had a body or two laying around that were not going to be used for anything so I started with that.
I wanted to take a new look at building modular guitars that were headless, ergonomic, visually interesting and futuristic. This is a first pass using conventional materials and construction methods to test some shapes. This is ground work for more radical changes in the future.
The initial body shape is based on my Icarus model from a few years ago. I am not sure I will continue with this shape but it was easy enough to get it out of the left over S9 body I was using as a starting point.
I want to test some chambering ideas. So I chambered the body.

Working with a thinner top to use less exotic woods was also in the works. These pieces were basically not big enough to do a full body so I made a crazy joint and used them on the smaller bady.

Time for some crazy ideas on replaceable arm rests.

Flash forward with the top on and cavities in place but body is not cut out yet.

This is the neck I started with. However later I find out it will just not work as a 7 string neck as it is a hair too narrow and it makes the low B too close to the edge. Later I turn it into a 6 string neck...

Test fitting the parts with the old neck. The first arm rest I cut was too small but you kinda get the idea.

At this point I am not sure how I am going to do the arm rest. I have ideas in my head but not sure what they will look like in reality.

I ended up building a new neck mostly on the CNC. It was basically my first attempt at a fretboard on the CNC. It went well I didn't break any bits. What is different about this neck? It has a macassar veneer fretboard, 20in radius, and a rear installed trussrod. It is made from Amazon rosewood. I have never used it before and was surprised at how it worked. Splintery but really ridgid and light.

It is not fully carved on the CNC but roughed out enough I can do whatever I need with it quickly.

Using a hipshot headless unit for the first pass onthis one. I think at some point I am going to design my own hardware for this.

Putting the radius in such a thin board is nerve wracking. I am not using the Fender technique for this where the neck has the radius and the veneer is bent to fit. I have different plans for future necks.

For frets I am going to use medium EVO hypo alergenic.

New neck is considerably wider and required some routing.

Profile for the neck is very very trapezoid. The edges are almost sharp they are so thin. Again we are breaking conventions.

How do we put some things together? With inserts and threads. I made a toold from an old drill bit to put them in with.

Control plate.

Like an idiot I attached the neck without drilling the top strap jack recess. Of course a normal drill and bit will not fit that close to the neck. So we cut an old bit in half.

Moving forward.

Arm rest work. Flexible plastic for a first pass.

Testing before finishing.

Cavity is not big enough for the vintage breadboard I used to make the electronics user serviceable. I will have to rememdy this at some point.

The new pickups for this one.

Waiting on finish to dry and building the pickups.

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