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Thread: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

  1. #1
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    22" scale, carved Sitka soundboard, Australian blackwood sides and back, mahogany neck with ebony fretboard. Allen tailpiece with a Peterman piezo installed under the soundboard. The new owner picked it up this morning. I am quite pleased with it. The neck bolts on with a flat heel recessed into a U shaped neck-block and covered with a piece of wood on the front.

    Cheers

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  3. #2
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    It's a beautiful instrument, Graham.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
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  4. #3
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    If some clever administrator type person could change the = to - in the thread title that would be appreciated.

  5. #4
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    that's lovely!!!
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

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    OM: Paul Shippey Tone. Mandola: Davidson 2 point.
    My band's website

  6. #5

    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    Awesome, Graham. I had a carved top, guitar-bodied zook of your's a few year's ago and the sound was fantastic. One of the few instruments I regret parting with. What's the nut width?

  7. #6
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    Nut width is my standard 34mm / 1 5/16". Thank you for the kind words about the zouk.

  8. #7
    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    Lovely pierce of work there, Graham. I particularly like the neck design. What kind of join does it have?
    AH! I read your original post and see that it bolts on, but can't see the bolts. Can you expound on this join a bit?
    Thanks,
    Bill
    IM(NS)HO

  9. #8
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    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    Lovely, indeed, Graham. I, too, am interested in the details of the neck joint. Any pictures?

    Thanks - Earl Tyler

  10. #9

    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    Awesome work, Graham. I love the shape and f-hole proportions.
    Looks like there's access through the headblock and through the tailblock. Should make future repairs and adding pickups easy.

  11. #10
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    Here are a couple of pics taken along the way. The first is the sides and block assembly, with two carbon fibre tubes (actually arrow shafts) between the neck and tail blocks. The thinking is that these will make the whole structure more rigid. The tailblock is a piece of plywood with the access panel cut out. Piezo pickups were installed under the bridge position before the back was glued so the jack could be mounted in the cover plate after the finish was applied.

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    This is a closeup of the neck block. The heel sits in the rebate and gets bolted in. The linings are two laminated layers of solid timber.

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    The neck before shaping.

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    The neck bolted in place before the back went on. Not a particularly good photo, but I was trying to show the way the neck fits in the rebate.

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    I have set up a corner of one of the benches for photographing the building processes with lots of led lights overhead. Much of the past few months has been spent building a bunch of ukuleles of all sizes and documenting that for a book on making ukuleles. Most of the text is written and lots of photos taken but I am dipping my toes into CAD software to draw plans while wishing that I had the skills to hand draw them as they do for Fine Woodworking magazine. I friend has lent me a pile of back copies and I am so envious of those hand drawn illustrations and plans.

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  13. #11
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    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    Graham - It appears from the photos that the neck heel is a cross-grain block glued to the neck. Is this correct? I admire the simplicity of the design. That would greatly simplify the neck shaping process.

  14. #12
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    Very interesting construction ideas, Graham. Does the piece of wood you mention covering the heel block have corresponding holes to allow access to the neck bolts, or is it otherwise removable for any adjustments that might become needed?
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

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  15. #13
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    I ended up making two necks. The pics show the first one with the cross grained block as the heel. Something went wrong with the glue join and it cracked immediately under string tension. I had also inserted carbonfiber rods vertically through the neck into the heel so there was no way I could remove them the redo the join with a new heel. A second neck was made with a normal stacked heel then cut at the 4.5° angle. I put two long wood screws in from the top of the neck as re-enforcement and wrapped a couple of strips of CF tow and epoxy down the front, under and up the back of the heel for a bit of extra strength! I forgot to take any photos of the second neck under construction.

    The cover plate over the heel is held in place with four small screws. The machine bolts are hidden by the plate.

    Cheers

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  17. #14
    Laps, Banjos, & Mandos rudy44's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham McDonald View Post
    Here are a couple of pics taken along the way. The first is the sides and block assembly, with two carbon fibre tubes (actually arrow shafts) between the neck and tail blocks. The thinking is that these will make the whole structure more rigid. The tailblock is a piece of plywood with the access panel cut out. Piezo pickups were installed under the bridge position before the back was glued so the jack could be mounted in the cover plate after the finish was applied.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is a closeup of the neck block. The heel sits in the rebate and gets bolted in. The linings are two laminated layers of solid timber.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The neck before shaping.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The neck bolted in place before the back went on. Not a particularly good photo, but I was trying to show the way the neck fits in the rebate.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	166167

    I have set up a corner of one of the benches for photographing the building processes with lots of led lights overhead. Much of the past few months has been spent building a bunch of ukuleles of all sizes and documenting that for a book on making ukuleles. Most of the text is written and lots of photos taken but I am dipping my toes into CAD software to draw plans while wishing that I had the skills to hand draw them as they do for Fine Woodworking magazine. I friend has lent me a pile of back copies and I am so envious of those hand drawn illustrations and plans.
    Super nice octave, Graham.

    I used to market printed plans and sold a bunch of tenor uke plans. I could send you a dxf that you might be able to glean some ideas from. It was the plan used for this Tenor:

    https://youtu.be/nGEtVfu4Yio
    rudy44

  18. #15
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    Thank you, that would be great. There is an email link on my website or pm me and I will send it.

    Cheers

  19. #16
    Laps, Banjos, & Mandos rudy44's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham McDonald View Post
    Thank you, that would be great. There is an email link on my website or pm me and I will send it.

    Cheers
    Hi Graham, If you see this could you enlighten us as to string gauges you chose for a 22" scale length and why? I'm assuming GDAE tuning...
    rudy44

  20. #17
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    For gdae tuning Iuse gauges similar to the D’Addario OM set. 12, 20w, 34, 46 with the bridge saddle compensated for the wound ‘a’ string. That felt and sounded about right to me and seems to work on my instruments. It was doing things like this which were the reason for working out the string tension calculator in the first place.

    Cheers

  21. #18
    Laps, Banjos, & Mandos rudy44's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Guitar=Bodied Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham McDonald View Post
    For gdae tuning Iuse gauges similar to the D’Addario OM set. 12, 20w, 34, 46 with the bridge saddle compensated for the wound ‘a’ string. That felt and sounded about right to me and seems to work on my instruments. It was doing things like this which were the reason for working out the string tension calculator in the first place.

    Cheers
    Thanks much, I appreciate it!
    rudy44

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