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Guitar build #1
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Muied Lumens
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 4:46 pm    Post subject: Guitar build #1
Subject description: Tap style instrument DIY style
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So... I have been working on this on and off. I am not really a guitarist, and can't find justification for spending a lot of money on a tap guitar or stick. So I decided to build one, just to see if I can do it. If it turns out even slightly passable I might make an other one, and an other, until I have a playable instrument. It all depends on how much time I have as well...

This one is my prototype, and I am making everything myself except the pickup and tuning machines. It is as simple as I can possibly get away with. The main goal with this one is to work out how to fret a guitar... I simply glued some 5 mm metal rods on a plank. I may do some modifications on it as I go along, we will see.

My initial inspiration came from the following two sites:

http://sevensthings.com/

http://www.krappyguitars.com/

More to come...


protogit1.JPG
 Description:
As simple as it gets... A piece of poplar, bought at a local wood recycling yard.
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protogit1.JPG



protogit2.JPG
 Description:
Some shaping for the tuning machines and fret positions marked out.
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protogit2.JPG



protogit3.JPG
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Frets glued on. Yes, they are monster sized.
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protogit3.JPG



protogitbridge.JPG
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Bridge, courtecy of IKEA parts.
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protogitbridge.JPG



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robsol
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow! Nice, Rob!

Les

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modulator_esp
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Cool!! Cool

looking forward to hearing it in action Smile

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DES



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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That's neat! I was going to mention Krappy guitars but then saw your info at the bottom already referencing them. Have a look over at www.tappistry.org. They have a DIY section on making tapping instruments (touch-style, free-hands - what ever method you want to use... a LOT of BS goes on about what to call it)

The frets on the newest Chapman Sticks are called 'Fret Rails' (tm Stick Enterprises) and are really not much more then 1/4" square stainless steel with one corner milled off. I really like them - accurate and tall. But you would have to get a custom router bit made to cut the slot in the wood to mount them.

What scale are you going to make it?

BTW - there was a guy posting at Tappistry by the name of R.J Goos - his prototypes actually ended up inspiring Megatars newer economy tapping instrument (the Zen-Tapper). It's kind of ugly (to my eyes) but does go to prove it can be done.

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Last edited by DES on Sun May 08, 2011 8:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nice!
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Muied Lumens
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for comments! Smile

Dave, I have had a look around over on Tappistry in the past and found some useful bits there - the DIY section is not very active though...

The scale is about 31 inches (79 cm). I wanted to make it a bit longer than a standard guitar for various reasons, mostly to allow for deeper tuning, kind of a baritone range.

I actually meant to say Touch Style in the first post but forgot heheh. I made it to be played more like a keyboard, flat on the lap or a table - which I find easier than normal guitar style playing.

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DES



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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So how goes the project?
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Muied Lumens
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Still working on it... I lost my camera it seems, I had some pictures there with strings on to test - after that I decided to make a new bridge and make it lower. That's done, so now I will have to fine tune the bridge a bit and work out where to stick the pickup. Once I have an idea (probably around the 24th fret position) I will put it on and post some examples.

I am working late a lot these days though, which makes it more difficult to work on the guitar, so progress is slower than it needs to be. But that's life.

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DES



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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Just got back into my electronics/metal shop and started cleaning up / organizing...again. Smile Have to get out to the garage and get my wood working tools back up to snuff now that winter is over. Just have to wait for the rain to stop for a little while.

Sounds like you are having fun - you will really learn a lot about how the instruments work by building one (or two , or three...)

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey Rob if you get into these sticks, let me put together an Own Your Tone pickup system for one of them. I'd like to make a solar powered amplifier to capture the full sound of the bass. Don't worry, it will have a storage cap to keep it running through the night and in dark clubs. I can do this either monophonic or polyphonic or both if you like.

Les

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Muied Lumens
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks Les! That's useful to know. Smile

Please keep in mind though that I am moving house soon and won't have a workshop there. It will probably be a long time before I will have any facilities to make any "proper" instruments even if I had the skills and tools for it, which I currently don't. This is not a commercial project, it is just something I am doing because I can. I still have no idea how well it will work, and have made a couple of fairly serious mistakes - I am a long way from becoming a luthier. Wink

It is a lot of fun though. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well just let me know if you want such a pickup system someday, I'll put a design together and test it for you.

Les

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It is finished! I need to make some adjustments to the bridge, which means some new parts, and would ideally like to try an other pickup as well, but for now I am happy. I really like the huge frets. Smile

There are a couple of buzzy frets and it is far from perfect, but turned out much better than I had expected.


SSL25596.JPG
 Description:
Prototype guitar.
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SSL25596.JPG



SSL25608.JPG
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Jumbo frets, 6 mm in diameter, glued on to the top.
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SSL25608.JPG



SSL25604.JPG
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Bridge, with intonation adjustment scews. No height adjustment is possible.
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SSL25604.JPG



SSL25597.JPG
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Pickup, borrowed from an other guitar.
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SSL25597.JPG



protogitar.mp3
 Description:
Protoguitar sound sample, unprocessed. Played like a keyboard, tap style, tuned in fifths.

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 Filename:  protogitar.mp3
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is a shining accomplishment, Rob - more than I could have done so I admire your precision and your attention to detail. well done!

Les

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks Les. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Very Nice Rob! It came out realy well. With regards to the jack....I don't know how thick the wood under the bridge area is, but you might want to see if a jack plate from a Stratocaster could be imbedded in the side. Use a Forstner drill bit to bore the hole to fit the jack and plate in. A jack plate should only be a couple of dollars and will protect your connection. You drill a hole from the pickup cavity to the hole drilled for the jack.

Awesome job Rob! The recording sounded good.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Beautiful work Rob!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks guys.

DES wrote:
With regards to the jack....


I completely agree, and will get a recessed jack - but probably for the next version. This one is not really meant for anything other than getting started somewhere and the only thing I bought (apart from the wood) is the rod to make the frets out of. Total cost for this instrument amouts to about £7 if you exclude bits and pieces I had lying around and the parts I borrowed from other guitars. I will probably return those parts when done and start afresh on a new instrument where I will pay a lot more attention to it being a playable instrument. At that point I will buy original parts and even rehearse the presision building stages like fretting and related things.

For the time being I have no workshop, and it will be a while before I get one, so I have lots of time to plan it out and decide on a design. I also have a few other more experimental ideas I'd like to pursue.

I will however work a little more on this model to perfect the bridge as much as possible and see if I can can get it intonated properly.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

looks good rob!, love the big frets Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

DES wrote:
(touch-style, free-hands - what ever method you want to use... a LOT of BS goes on about what to call it)

BTW - there was a guy posting at Tappistry by the name of R.J Goos - his prototypes actually ended up inspiring Megatars newer economy tapping instrument (the Zen-Tapper). It's kind of ugly (to my eyes) but does go to prove it can be done.


Dr. Goos is a dear friend of mine.. he's also a registered member here on electro-music.. he was in the chat for this past new years concert... anyway, his tap ladder is a very nice minimalist design... you'll find everything you need to build one in isle #5 at home depot Wink

furthermore.. on the subject of tap guitars in electro-music land... one of my music heroes, Frank Jolliff is now playing in the band Artcrime with Darren Bergstein... we'll hear them at electro-music 2011 Smile

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This Zen Tapper?

I don't really know that much about this tapping world, but that, on the face of it, seems way overpriced to me. Shocked

It's far from the only instrument which has tickled that reaction out of me (which is partly why I am rolling my own), but then again... Tradesmen repairing our roller shutters the other day charged us more per hour than I would expect to pay a lawyer. Rolling Eyes

I don't mean to offend anyone, I just find it hard to understand.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

yep, thats the one... lol





again, congrats on your diy project...

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks Dan! And phobos too! Smile

Don't get me wrong... I see some really beautiful creations which are clearly works of art. In a few cases they are even underpriced as far as I can tell with my limited knowledge.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

D.Miñoza wrote:

Dr. Goos is a dear friend of mine.. he's also a registered member here on electro-music.. he was in the chat for this past new years concert... anyway, his tap ladder is a very nice minimalist design... you'll find everything you need to build one in isle #5 at home depot Wink


What's his user name here? I would like to say hello!

D.Miñoza wrote:
furthermore.. on the subject of tap guitars in electro-music land... one of my music heroes, Frank Jolliff is now playing in the band Artcrime with Darren Bergstein... we'll hear them at electro-music 2011 Smile


WOW! Shocked When did Frank start playing again? I had contacted him through his website several years ago hoping to take some lessons and when he finally got back in touch he said he wasn't playing anymore. He was working on an MLS degree in the town practically right next door to me! No amount of begging got him interested in teaching though... Sad This will be a real treat to hear them play!

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