Abridged Build Thread - Acoustic Thunderbird 5 from Reclaimed Wood

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by 2groggy, Feb 17, 2021.

  1. 2groggy


    Jan 17, 2015
    Toronto, Canada
    This year's winter build challenge ended up being run on a different site. I don't want the TB members to miss the builds, so I'm creating an abridged after-the-fact build thread here.

    The neck is build from a reclaimed poplar door jamb. The fingerboard and accents are from some leftover walnut from previous builds.

    Sides and back are build from cedar that was reclaimed from the playscape that used to be in the back yard.

    The top is made from may small pieces of a variety of wood from the scrap pile, layered around an interesting slice of worm-holed mystery wood. After gluing, the panel was reinforced on the inside with fibreglass. The body has wood binding reclaimed from old venetian blinds.

    Here are a few pictures of how the body was assembled.


    top glassed inside.jpg

    sealed top.jpg

    face and sides 2.jpg

    binding back 1.jpg

    back bound.jpg

    I forgot to take pictures of the internal bracing. I did run a wooden I-beam from the neck block to tail block for strength and rigidity.

    More to follow.
  2. 2groggy


    Jan 17, 2015
    Toronto, Canada
    The neck is made from three pieces of poplar plus a walnut fingerboard and headstock veneer. None of the poplar was quite thick enough so I put the widest and thickest piece to the back and one thin strip each side of the truss rod.

    neck pieces rough.jpg

    neck with finger board.jpg

    walnut FB and headstock.jpg
    Matt Liebenau likes this.
  3. 2groggy


    Jan 17, 2015
    Toronto, Canada
    The neck is bolted on.

    I made a floating bridge out of three layers of hardwood and screws from a TOM guitar bridge to adjust the height. The tailpiece is solid walnut covering a metal bracket.

    I'm using a Lace Sensor magnetic pick-up mounted to the heel of the neck, not to interfere with the vibrations of the top.

    The only thing that I still need are strap buttons.

    I wouldn't call them glamour shots, but here is the finished build.

    headstock nut.jpg
    lace sensor.jpg
    walnut tailpiece 1.jpg
    walnut tailpiece 2.jpg
  4. daveman50

    daveman50 Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Albany NY
    The word "unique" is overused. But this is unique for sure. I like it. How's it sound?
  5. That is seriously cool. Love that top!
  6. Flying B

    Flying B

    Apr 29, 2018
    Very very cool, I'm also interested in how it sounds?
  7. 2groggy


    Jan 17, 2015
    Toronto, Canada
    I'm still getting used to the scale and string spacing, so I don't want to answer just yet. Both acoustically and amplified, I hear every little squeak and clank - sloppiness on my part. I'll woodshed a little and then report back.
    TerribleTim68 likes this.
  8. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    That is really spectacular. Talk about creative! I love the laminated top. I wish more people did interesting builds like that. I've been mentally trying to work by brain around something similar for a while, building a top by gluing up small pieces, it's really helpful to see someone else pull it off.
    2groggy likes this.

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