#6, Zebrano body, maple/carbon fiber neck, ebony fretboard, Lace Alumitone P-90 pickups. For sale.
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EGS Pro 7. Trapezoidal Neck Profile (contact Rick Toone for more information about this neck profile).
#5 and #6 are being finished at this time. They have received a few coats of oil and a round of wet-sanding with oil and are now drying before fretwork and final assembly. #5 had an accident (or two actually) with heads of screws that broke inside the wood! Only explanation is that it was a bad batch of screws. The now enlarged holes have been plugged with mahogany plugs.
#5 will have Lundgren M7 pickups and #6 will have Lace Aluma 90 pickups (which are in fact wide enough for a 7-string). Weights are 1890 grams for #5 and 2130 grams for #6 without hardware. I expect them to weigh pretty much the same after the pickups are mounted, since the conventional pickups are so much heavier.
#5 has received the first pass of sanding and described earlier, it is time to string it up while there is still opportunity to alter its wooden properties. A secondary purpose is to verify that the neck set angle is correct, before routing the individual recesses for the bridges. Note that these recesses are not required, but I find it a nice touch. Here, I have fastened the bridges flat onto the top.
Detail of body
The string locks are mounted in line with the strings, but staggered. Note that there will be a graphite nut fitted, to guide the strings and set an accurate string spacing. On previous guitars that have had a straight nut, I have used just the zero-fret and string locks mounted close to it.
It plays beautifully! Next is routing the bridge recesses and pickup and control cavities.
I am continuing to work on #5 and #6 with the intent of having them both completed before the Uppsala International Guitar Festival, which is headlined by Paco De Lucia this year. Unfortunately, I will be travelling so I can only attend the last two days of the festival, but will be exhibiting for the full four days. If all goes well, #5 will be on its way to Chris Letchford and not at the festival, though.
Below, you can see the neck set of both builds. #5 has an extra 5 mm as it will have a wenge top glued on.
I am removing weight from the body of #6 in a new way. About 250 grams was saved by routing these channels into the body sides.
#5 fretboard radiused, inlaid, and fretted:
I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time: gluing the sides on to make the instruments complete.
I am doing things in the following order:
So, it’s an easy 20-step process.
Here, I have created a steamer to soak/heat the top so that it can be bent. The rule says 1 hour per inch thickness, so with a 5 mm thickness, I steamed it for 15 minutes to be on the safe side.
And then I clamped it on top of the body, which was protected by aluminium foil.
I had solicited advice on bending both from the literature, my friend Tommy Jakobsson and Rick Canton. I was nervous not only for the thickness, but more about the graininess of the wenge and having to bend it across the grain on an angle. I did some experimenting on smaller pieces in advance and ended up cutting a groove on the underside of the top where the bend starts. It kind of worked, I think. It’s being glued right now so I will know soon enough.
Full pictorial progress below: