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Winter Build-Off: The Damned Thing

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JSC, Jan 21, 2018.


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  1. JSC

    JSC

    Mar 25, 2016
    (name courtesy of Ambrose Bierce, thx)

    Using scavenged walnut from our local arts-reuse center, The Scrap Exchange.

    I plan for a fairly long-gauge fretless 2 or maybe 3-string.
    Since I have only rebuilt guitars and bass guitars thus far, this should be a hoot. Unless I have to douse it in gas and set it on fire at the end.
    Attached is the woodpile. It's walnut and some oddly-figured lighter hardwood that I can't identify.
    The build is mostly going on at Splatspace, the local makerspace here in Durham.

    20180120_134404.jpg
     
  2. JSC

    JSC

    Mar 25, 2016
    Did some work with the planer-joiner to clean up the scraps and get them surfaced for glue-up. One possible layout is below. Ignore that stuff to the left that is probably cherry; it's not being used.
    I have a pretty poor aesthetic visual sense sometimes, so I'm having trouble visualizing how the pattern will look.

    I'll probably just wind a pickup; I've done that before and it's easy on the lathe. Ditto for fabbing the bridge and tailpiece. 20180121_201308.jpg
     
  3. JSC

    JSC

    Mar 25, 2016
    So tonight I went in and cut some accent strips out of whatever that light stuff is (ash?).

    Then I started messing with this wood that one of our members brought back from some beach in New York: Horse Beach or Plague Beach or whatever. Apparently there are many old bottles littering the shore, and also wood. This was driftwood planks that had definitely been badly burned.

    When I ran the heavy one (on the left) through the planer I uncovered what looks like walnut- it has the right figure and weight and is almost the right brown except for this weird greenish tinge. It was in the water long enough for the nails to rust completely out, so I think the green is from being in the ocean for so long. The other pieces were not hardwood and not any good, but they had the same green tinge under the burn.

    Oh yeah, I'm using it. I don't have much but I think right on the edges of the wings I will have enough. It's probably cursed by the ghosts of the sailors who burned to death, though.
    20180123_203420.jpg
     
    IconBasser, b3e, Beej and 1 other person like this.
  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
    Whoa, built-in mojo...
     
    b3e likes this.
  5. JSC

    JSC

    Mar 25, 2016
    Mojo. Yeah. the-fog-zombies.jpg
     
    BritFunk likes this.
  6. IconBasser

    IconBasser Scuba Viking

    Feb 28, 2007
    Fontana, California
    Oooo a junkyard build! This'll be cool!
     
  7. JSC

    JSC

    Mar 25, 2016
    Picked up 2 hardwood plaques for 50c but when I sanded them I think they're oak.

    Also got 2 surplus brass drawer handles, which I think I can make hardware from. Buzzed them w the wire wheel to verify they're brass.

    Started the glue-up. 20180127_145624.jpg
     
  8. JSC

    JSC

    Mar 25, 2016
    The next thing is to lay out the glue-up and measure carefully so that I can exactly place all the body components. Then I'll know where to cut the neck and put the headstock.

    it's a bit backwards but The Damned Thing is sufficiently weird that I have to feel my way forward. Plus the exact body is determined by the wood I can repurpose.
     
  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
    Wow


    :thumbsup:
     
  10. JSC

    JSC

    Mar 25, 2016
    Darn it, received 3 Right tuners when I specifically ordered Left. :bored:
     
  11. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Reverse headstock it is then :thumbsup:
     
    BritFunk likes this.
  12. Five String

    Five String Supporting Member

    Looks pretty intersting
     
  13. JSC

    JSC

    Mar 25, 2016
    Oh,sure. Just add some more *** to the whole thing.

    -throws up hands, walks away-
     
  14. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    I was thinking more go-with-the-flow...
     
  15. JSC

    JSC

    Mar 25, 2016
    "When one cannot avoid a kludge, claim it was on purpose."
     
  16. JSC

    JSC

    Mar 25, 2016
    Welp, looks like I don't need to stress over having enough walnut anymore... 20180129_170334.jpg
     
    Dark Horse, b3e, Beej and 1 other person like this.
  17. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Where did you go, WalnutMart? :roflmao:
     
    NKBassman, Beej, b3e and 3 others like this.
  18. JSC

    JSC

    Mar 25, 2016
    The Scrap Exchange here in Durham, NC. Everything there would have ended up in a landfill. I hack and make a lot of stuff, and virtually everything I do has Scrap Exchange parts in it.
     
    NKBassman, Beej, raphaeld and 2 others like this.
  19. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    That's awesome. I really think there is a market for reclaimed material instruments. Will your newfound walnut riches have an effect on the size/scope of this build?
     
  20. JSC

    JSC

    Mar 25, 2016
    Not so much. It's more that I can make sure I'm really over the walnut % requirement. I can probably replace some thicker strips of the ash(?) with this walnut and just have the lighter accent strips.
     
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 22, 2021

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