Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

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Superoo
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Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by Superoo » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:01 pm

Hi to All... what a great forum.

Chris from Bunbury WA here.

I'm about to start my 3rd and 4th guitar build, as a pair of GS Mini styled guitars.
I am just finishing my 2nd guitar build, a GS Mini with Indian Rosewood, Spruce top, Maple neck, Ebony Fretboard and Bridge which is for my son for xmas pressie.

I have ordered Trevor's book so will be using any of that information I can get / understand at a basic level through these builds, to try and have some control over the sound, which I don't think I can achieve at this stage without some help.

One of the pair I'm about to build is a surprise birthday present (next June) for a mate who is totally blind, and the other is for me.
I'm making them as a pair of twins. I have chosen GS Mini size because he has quite small hands, and the shorter scale length will work well for him. He already plays guitar, mostly fingerpicking style.
I am using WA She-oak which was cut from his family farm in WA 20 years ago, and was also hoping to use Jarrah from their farm for the Fretboard and Bridge (although its heavy so I'm not sure).
His guitar will have dimples instead of fret markers, and next time I have a jam with him I will take pics of his thumb positions etc so that I can locate the dimples nicely. I should be able to put some nice touches on it for him.
I am also hoping to find a way to add some braille wording around the rosette and headstock etc.

I have a couple of queries regarding using She-oak on the guitar, and would appreciate any thoughts / suggestions you care to submit here...

1- I was thinking Spruce for the top with the Sheoak back and sides, unless somebody has built with she-oak and can advise another type ?

2- Would She-oak be suitable for the neck ?
I have 2 large (1200x100x100) Sheoak blanks and can make necks one piece which would look nice, but I also have plenty of nice QLD Maple for the neck if opinion says it would be more stable. Maple would blend nicely with Sheoak anyway.

3- Thoughts on using Jarrah for the fretboard and bridge ?
I can get a lovely piece of Jarrah which has a white stripe in it, and was also cut from their farm, which would look nice and also adds to the 'home grown' factor.

4- Any other thoughts / ideas on features which might add to the playability for a totally blind person.


I also have a set of very nice WA She-oak back and sides large enough for Dreadnought if anybody is interested in purchasing (just text me 0419957064).
I was hoping to sell a set to help pay for materials for the build.

Any thoughts and ideas would be very much appreciated.

Cheers,
Chris
Sold the GT... Bought a bandsaw... best decision ever...

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kiwigeo
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Re: Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by kiwigeo » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:45 pm

Superoo wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:01 pm

I have a couple of queries regarding using She-oak on the guitar, and would appreciate any thoughts / suggestions you care to submit here...

1- I was thinking Spruce for the top with the Sheoak back and sides, unless somebody has built with she-oak and can advise another type ?

2- Would She-oak be suitable for the neck ?
I have 2 large (1200x100x100) Sheoak blanks and can make necks one piece which would look nice, but I also have plenty of nice QLD Maple for the neck if opinion says it would be more stable. Maple would blend nicely with Sheoak anyway.

3- Thoughts on using Jarrah for the fretboard and bridge ?
I can get a lovely piece of Jarrah which has a white stripe in it, and was also cut from their farm, which would look nice and also adds to the 'home grown' factor.

4- Any other thoughts / ideas on features which might add to the playability for a totally blind person.
Welcome to the forum Chris, My responses to your queries:

1. I haven't used sheoak for back and sides on a guitar but I think others in here have.
2. Queensland Maple definitely a good choice for neck wood...I use it on most of my builds.
3. Jarrah for a fretboard...maybe but for a bridge I wouldn't use it. I tend to avoid heavy woods for my bridges....
4. All I can think of for making a guitar more user friendly for a blind person would be raising or indenting fretboard markers and maybe having raised/indented side markers on both sides of the fretboard.
Martin

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demonx
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Re: Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by demonx » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:24 am

Martin has a good suggestion about raised markers, it'd be pretty easy to do as well, use an oversized fret dot type concept on the underside of the board, leave them proud and round them off so they're domed.

The bonus of this is, it can always be filed flush if you want it gone at a later point in time.

I've used Jarrah on electrics, but something about using it on acoustics doesn't seem right. I'd tend to stick with a more traditional material.

I wouldn't use sheoak for the neck, go the qld maple. It's stable and proven.

You can't go wrong with a spruce top, however if he's a fingerpicker/fingerstyle kind of player, Cedar could be a good option too. Cedar has a bit of a darker sound which tends to lends itself well to fingerstyle.

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Re: Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by Superoo » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:42 am

@ Allan, Yes I thought about the side fret markers, with just the slightest protrusion, rounded would work nicely.
If Cedar is known to be nicer for picking then I will look at that, as he mostly fingerpicks.

@ Martin, I never thought about doing it both sides, nice idea.

Thanks for replies Gents ...

Cheers,
Chris
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Re: Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by blackalex1952 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:21 am

If the end user is a fingerpicker, perhaps a live back? Ross
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kiwigeo
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Re: Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by kiwigeo » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:13 pm

Superoo wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:42 am


@ Martin, I never thought about doing it both sides, nice idea.
An extension of this idea...markers along the back of the neck shaft...where the thumb pad will be resting.
Martin

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Re: Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by Superoo » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:28 pm

Thanks Martin,

Yes thats why I will get some photo's while he is playing so that I can see what line along the neck his thumb runs.

He won't need too much in the way of marks, its amazing the sensitivity of the fingers in anyone that can read braille :)

Possibly just a spot directly underneath each fret.
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Re: Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by simso » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:43 pm

Sheoak is a nice wood for backs and sides, way to heavy for making an electric guitar ( I have made one, nuts idea). Neck should be okay, clearly the maple is safer as it’s a well known option.

Western red cedar for a top, jarrah works well for bridges and fretboards.

Austim here in Perth are good for all those woods.

Steve
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Re: Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by TallDad71 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:11 pm

I love the idea of Braille sized bumps running underneath the lower edge of the fret board. Perhaps alternating too. One bump at 3rd, two at 5th, one at 7th etc etc

If Sheoak has great tonal properties I would definitely use Gore to design a live back.

The only other thought I had was the finish you put on the frets. If you rounded off your frets as opposed to bevelling then at 45° then that might give better information to a blind player about how close they are to the fret. There’s a great post in the forum somewhere about doing this.

Whatever you do I think your mate is a very lucky man indeed.
Alan

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Re: Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by Crafty Fox » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:13 pm

I built an OM acoustic a few years ago of sheoak back and sides with spruce top. The neck is cherry/sheoak/cherry and fretboard is sheoak.
I'm very happy with that guitar. It's the only solid timber acoustic I've built so far and I'm close to completing a sheoak/spruce archtop, with maple neck.
Like Steve said, the sheoak is a bit heavy on a solid body electric. I used it for a Les Paul junior and its definitely on the weighty side. I have made laminated sheoak necks on a few guitars and I'm satisfied with them. It's one of my favourite timbers, but I think the West Aussie variety is preferred for instruments?
I have also used jarrah for fretboards, with good results.

Keep us posted with your progress on this noble project.
Ken

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Re: Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by Superoo » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:35 pm

Well... its started :)
Tried to attach image, will try again tomorrow.
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Re: Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by Superoo » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:22 am

Sincere thanks to everyone for the suggestions you've posted so far, plenty to think about...

I started on it recently, see pic attached.
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Re: Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by Superoo » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:04 pm

More progress...
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Re: Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by Superoo » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:04 pm

And today I am assembling the body :)
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Re: Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by Superoo » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:34 am

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Re: Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by Superoo » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:50 pm

Getting there. More sanding / finishing to go.
Love the look of she-oak, hoping it sounds nice.
594F6414-2F66-44D8-843D-C59033C9041E.jpeg
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Re: Sheoak based Guitar build for a Mate

Post by Superoo » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:56 pm

Finally worked out a method to make fret ends presentable and consistent.
Have a lot more shellacing / polishing to do, then make bridge and glue the neck.
Have lasered some Braille into the rosette and set dimples into the back of the neck for fret markers.
9391F973-049B-44E9-8567-6A7F80F371C9.jpeg
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