Instructions and FAQs

Posts and pages that contain instructions or answers to frequently asked questions.

Fix for snapping Es

Posted by on May 14, 2014 in Articles & Tutorials, Instructions and FAQs, Product Images

Attention all .strandberg* guitar or hardware owners: Some batches of hardware have had an issue that will lead to breaking strings (generally, the 1st string) in gauges .009″ – .010″. The root cause has been determined to be a combination of the size of the set screw and the head of the Pozidriv wood screw seen in the picture. The fix is to simply unscrew the set screw, remove the string, drop our newly developed small plate inside, and replace the string and set screw. It has been tested successfully on a variety of guitars and has worked in 100% of the cases. If you are suffering from this issue, please get in touch and we will send you the plate free of...

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Parsons Collaboration Part 2

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014 in Articles & Tutorials, Instructions and FAQs, Non Lutherie

As noted earlier, I have been part of a collaboration project with Parsons The New School for Design, and specifically, the Center for Transformative Media, and Mannes College of Music. In the fall of 2013, our first guests in this project included some of the most internationally recognized and innovative guitar designers of recent decades (in addition to myself): Ken Parker, Ned Steinberger, and Gary Lee. Each lecture was accompanied by panel discussions, performances and demonstrations by internationally acclaimed artists including Allan Marcus, Charlie Hunter, Fred Hand, Charles Yang, Barry Salmon, Dom Minasi, & Ratzo Harris. The full lecture that I did, titled “An insight into innovation in Guitar Design” is available on UStream. The Radical Future of Guitar collaboration is continuing during the spring of 2014, with several additional lectures by Ezio Blazetti, Joe Ravo, Michihiro Matsuda, and Florian Vorreiter. Additionally, I have donated scrap (but usable) parts from the Boden 7/8 production, for a group of students to instrument with sensors and assemble into complete guitars. As work progresses, we will make more announcements regarding what will become of them, but suffice it to say that there are lots of exciting plans for them! I have participated via Skype during a few of the classes and I...

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Parsons Collaboration

Posted by on Sep 6, 2013 in Articles & Tutorials, Instructions and FAQs, Non Lutherie

Months ago, I had an e-mail from a gentleman called Ed Keller, with some general questions about some of my work. We exchanged a few messages and pretty much brought the thread of discussions to an end. But his e-mail signature had caught my eye: “PARSONS THE NEW SCHOOL FOR DESIGN”. And “Director | CENTER FOR TRANSFORMATIVE MEDIA”. I associated to Project Runway, which is one of my favorite TV Shows. I’m sure the show doesn’t have much to do with the school itself, but instead of ending the e-mail thread, I opened up for a new one with “I’m intrigued by your day job! We should brainstorm about some cool collaboration.” Here we are, roughly 6 months later, in the final preparation stages of a lecture at the school and a workshop collaboration for the spring! More details will be provided later, but I can promise that there are some very interesting things in store. The September 30 lecture is planned to be open to the public and held in the evening (exact arrangements TBA) so start planning to attend if you can. For more details, see the Parsons website at...

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Design Licensing & Permissions

Posted by on Mar 1, 2013 in Articles & Tutorials, Instructions and FAQs, Non Lutherie

More and more of you guitar builders out there are asking for permission to use my designs, which is encouraging. More and more completed builds are also starting to surface on YouTube, on forums, and even as commercially available guitars. And most of you handle the intellectual property side of things well. Starting July 2013, my designs are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. “Attribution” means that you have to state that you are using the design with permission from me, and (at least) provide a link to my website. “Non-Commercial” means that this applies only for self-builds. You are not allowed to use it for commercial purposes. (Historically, the license did not include this restriction, but unfortunately, I had to impose it in order to keep the trademark situation under control.) “Share Alike” means that you have to make your own enhancements/modifications available under the same license, so your website/YouTube video description/forum post should clearly state that others may use your modified design. For more information, visit the Creative Commons site and you will get a page like this: The guitar shape that is available under Creative Commons is called “Boden”, and it, along with the .strandberg* EGS bridge system, are components of the...

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Bending Burl

Posted by on Dec 12, 2012 in Articles & Tutorials, Customer Projects, Instructions and FAQs

Here’s what’s cooking right now (redwood burl top for #33): Burl and spalted wood is very brittle and full of imperfections. Normally, I cut grooves into my tops along with the bend, then steam the top simply over boiling water for 15 minutes, before clamping into shape and let cool and dry. But initial trials with scrap wood of spalted walnut snapped and broke, whatever I tried. I studied the tips I could locate and ended up soaking the wood in water overnight as in the image above. I did not cut any grooves into the wood since this would weaken the wood further. A nervous wait ensued. I then steamed the pre-soaked top (which was literally soaked all the way through) as usual and it turned out that the top became very easy to bend. I clamped it, and heard no snap! Mission accomplished! But even after two full days of drying, it is still very wet. The shape seems pretty stable though, so now it is simply drying out, taped to another body. Tomorrow, we’ll see how the burl...

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Vacuum Doesn’t Suck!

Posted by on Aug 12, 2012 in Articles & Tutorials, Instructions and FAQs, Prototyping

Having implemented my guitars in serial production over in Ohio (see previous post) I finally had a picture of how things were done in larger scale. Two things stuck out, both driven by vacuum, and I brought materials back home with me. Now that I have them running, I don’t know how I could do without them for so long. But it took some experimenting… I find that the biggest challenge in running a CNC is figuring out the ordering of the steps, from a construction perspective and from a tool change minimization perspective (my small hobby CNC needs to have tools changed manually). The next challenge is figuring out how to fasten the workpiece so that any screw holes will be milled away in a subsequent step, or hidden by another part. When I first got it, I broke several bits and ruined several workpieces by running into them and causing all kinds of mayhem. All in all, pretty tricky. Now, the second challenge is much easier to overcome, but having said that, I have revisit the first for every single operation… First, here is the end result: The front of #20 is being routed for cavities and the bridges, held to the table by vacuum. And here...

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