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Winter 2019 Build Off - the EUV

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ctmullins, Dec 22, 2018.


  1. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
  2. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Cool! :thumbsup:
     
    ReasonablyHappy likes this.
  3. Nice! Looking forward to seeing it come to life!
     
  4. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    I’ve always wanted to add an upright to my stable, and an electric upright makes sense to me because building a “real” acoustic upright is a whole lot of fussy construction that will, for my purposes, still need to be amplified.

    But I have almost zero experience with upright. I’ve never even touched one, with the sole exception of an old plywood Kay that my aunt brought to a family reunion eight years ago. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage. The drawback is the relative unfamiliarity - so many of the dimensions I’m dealing with on this build are quite different from my usual guitar design parameters. Fingerboard radius, scale length, neck thickness and profile, neck-to-body angle, body thickness and construction, it’s all new here. Even the way(s) of fastening the neck to the body, and the way the pegbox is arranged, need to have a re-think.

    But the advantage I have is a clean slate - no pre-conceptions, no need to be constrained by traditional aspects of the upright. For instance, most EUBs have a shoulder that mimics the spot where the neck would join the body on an acoustic; this is (from what I’ve read) used as a tactile reference for going into what’s called “thumb position”. But because I’ve never learned to rely on that, I’m free to shape the entire length of my neck however I see fit.

    Still, I’m having to work through dimensions that I would otherwise take for granted. For instance, usually I shoot for a neck thickness that results in just under an inch for a bass guitar. That apparently doesn’t work for upright, partly because of the extremely small radius for the fingerboard, and partly because of the radically different playing technique. Near as I can tell, I need to aim for about 45mm total, and since my fingerboard is 24mm thick at the nut, that only leaves 21mm for the neck itself, which means I could build a single-piece neck from my 7/8” blank.

    Do I want a truss rod? Tradition says no, as the relief is typically carved directly into the fingerboard itself. But I, being completely out of my depth, am taking a lot of my design cues from Ned Steinberger’s current line of EUBs, and he uses a truss rod, so.... Honestly I can’t decide. My neck joins the body 30” from the nut, so I would have to order a custom 29” rod from LMII, which isn’t expensive, but then I think that with that huge slab of ebony glued to a nice slab of rock maple, things aren’t going to move much at all.

    Bass guitar headstocks are easy - scarf joint, thickness, and shape it, and you’re done. Not here. I could go with a bass guitar style headstock, but I really want something that resembles an upright’s pegbox, only in the shape of a Flying V headstock. How best to construct it? The traditional way is to build the pegbox separately, then glue it on to the neck. I think I would rather create an “open” headstock from the neck wood, and build depth onto the back of it by gluing on another layer.

    So, not much progress to show here, other than laying out the pegbox on the neck blank.

    EUV_0232.
     
  5. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    First steps on the body. The front and back will be figured cherry, facing a frame of maple. I have a slab of 8/4 cherry, which I’m going to slice into panels about 1/4” thick.

    Lay the template on the slab and mark it:

    EUV_0234.

    I don’t have a bandsaw, so I have to rough-cut it with my crap jigsaw and my new Japanese pull saw:

    EUV_0235.

    Take it to the table saw and cut a groove in it:

    EUV_0238.

    And use the groove as a guide for the pull saw:

    EUV_0237.

    It’s tedious and time-consuming. I’m wondering if perhaps it’s time to invest in a small bandsaw instead...
     
  6. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Spent most of the day on re-sawing my body panels. The Japanese saw is really neat, but this cherry is pretty hard, so it’s awfully slow going. Especially at the thickest part of the piece, where the saw is only just long enough. The stick of scrap holds the cut open, to keep the blade from binding, like a riving knife.

    EUV_0241.

    After each one is done, it gets a pass through the planer to clean up the saw marks. But my planer will only close down to a half inch, so I have a makeshift sled for the piece to ride on. The screws keep the piece aligned on the sled, so that the planer rollers push them both through together.

    EUV_0243.

    Must ensure the screw heads are absolutely well below the planer knives!

    EUV_0242.

    After eight hours and 4,863,918 calories, all four are finished. Each one will be about 29” long when trimmed to shape.

    EUV_0240.

    I’m exhausted.
     
    BritFunk, Dadagoboi, Haroldo and 13 others like this.
  7. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    Yeah, I've noticed that cherry is quite hard as well. It is pretty though.

    I use hot-melt glue to temporarily hold wood to the bed of my router sled, etc. works great, removable and I don't have to worry about nicking screw heads.
     
  8. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Those look great!

    I burned out a cheap jigsaw on cherry recently... :D
     
    ctmullins likes this.
  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Does the hot glue leave any residue?
     
  10. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    nope.
     
    ctmullins likes this.
  11. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I have re-sawed like that before, my hands still.hurt 10 years later. Dedication! This is a cool build! I'm a little worried about the long grain on the open headstock, that's a lot of shear along grain lines if the strings are straight pull. Is it going to have more wood laminated onto top or bottom? Never tried a scroll or open headstock of any kind myself, so I don't know what would work best. @brucejohnson might have some words of wisdom on that. Sub'd!
     
    Reedt2000 and ctmullins like this.
  12. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    The peg-box style headstock is pretty strong; Lots of wood vertically and the string pull puts a load that compresses the far end together. Given the theme, maybe something like this to reinforce?

    Trussart SteelScrollPeg
     
    ctmullins likes this.
  13. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Yeah. All that metal spreads the load, I thought maybe you’d need extra wood thickness on the headstock vertically just to have enough meat for standard tuner plates anyway.
     
    ctmullins likes this.
  14. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    My intent is a larger and thicker version of the one I did on Serendipity:

    DSC01060.

    It’ll definitely be double-thick.
     
  15. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Never mind then! That looks plenty strong. I had a chance to play a real upright recently, realized my puny little hands aren’t up to the 1/2” high action, but I’ve always wanted to try an EUB.
     
  16. IconBasser

    IconBasser Scuba Viking Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    Alta Loma, California
    This is getting good. Sub'd!
     
    ctmullins likes this.
  17. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD Supporting Member

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Looks nice Todd.
     
    ctmullins likes this.
  18. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    All four panels trimmed to the template with the trim router. I drew out my plan on a huge box; here I’ve laid the panels and the fingerboard on it to get a visual.

    EUV_0244.

    That’s a three octave fingerboard. Do I really need a three octave fingerboard on an upright? :thumbsdown:
     
  19. postalflunkie

    postalflunkie Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2013
    Westerville, Ohio
    YES! Because extreme Vs must have an extreme fingerboard :hyper:
     
  20. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    Silliest question of the year (so far) Of course you do!
     

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