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Guest Wes McMillian

Actually a little progress!

17 posts in this topic

Hmmm...where to post this? I guess this'll work...

Thought I'd throw out a couple of pics to prove I do actually work on guitars a little, too. Had a fairly productive couple of days off, I think. This one is an Englemann, EIRW OM. Nothing out of the ordinary, scalloped bracing, bolt on neck with A-frame upper bout bracing and a soundport. This one does have a bit of a taper, too.

Rebraced the top got the side braces and soundhole reinforcement in and got the rim set prepped.

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Got the back glued on. Mmmmm...hot, fresh, hide glue...

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Had to redo one of the tone bars and add the X-brace patch.

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A couple of pics of the finished top and back before closing the box.

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A dry run just for kicks to see what she'll look like.

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I had the glue hot, the top and rims heated, all ready to put it together when I realized I hadn't signed my top OR built a PMTE (I'll explain later for those who don't know what I mean). I stopped and got 'em ready to go.

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Closing the box.

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How 'bout that squeezeout....

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One for Hesh. The pump quit on my humidifier, so I had to control by temp. Ah, well, perfect for closing the box with HHG!

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Next, I decided to throw together a fret slotting jig. Been intending to get to this for a while. Nothin' fancy, just functional.

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And the results.

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At that point it was getting late and I was cleaning up the shop when I decided, what the heck, I'll cut the tail and neck blocks for the other box on my bench. This one is for me, an Adi/EIRW dread. Oh, yeah...

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And one final shot of the shop. Been some progress, still has a way to go. I'm pretty happy with it for now.

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It was hard to pull out of the shop. I was having a blast. After 10:00 now, though. 4:30 comes early in the morning. Thanks for looking! At least now y'all know I can do a little more than talk about guitars!

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Trivia question. Who will be the first to figure out what "kinda" important step I left out! I was sorta in a hurry. My wife was trying to get me to go to town with her and I was trying to get the box closed. Oh, well, live and learn...

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Trivia question. Who will be the first to figure out what "kinda" important step I left out! I was sorta in a hurry. My wife was trying to get me to go to town with her and I was trying to get the box closed. Oh, well, live and learn...

Hey, Wes, lookin' good!

Does your truss rod get accessed through the soundhole? (through the upper transverse brace?)

Dennis

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Hi Wes, I see you have one of those "PMTE" braces behind the bridge plate (I thik it used to be called a "Musser brace", anyways...) Questions: Do you always use them? How high is it? I just put one in a guitar I'm building too, but I don't know what to expect, really. I'm thinking I can always take it out if I don't like how this guitar sounds and see how the sound changes... How do you feel it affects the sound of the instrument?

And is that an osage bridge plate?

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Wes

Great to see you getting it done.

So, when do you put the patch on the "X" brace ?

The shop is looking very clean and functional. Nice bench.

East Indian rosewood box - that should give you some big bass - the way you have it braces.

Good to see the pictures.

Steve

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Oh we know you do much more than talk about guitars!

Don't forget, we've seen your earlier builds, (The Midnight Special comes to mind),

And some of us have been fortunate enought to hear you pick, too!

Beautiful work, Wes - Thanks for sharing!

Cool little PMTE!

E

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Looks like you're rolling Wes...keep on gettin it and taking pictures...

Glenn

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Thanks, all. Yeah, Urban, you could call this one Midnight Special #2. Uh, huh, you know what I mean...

Dennis, you're close, but not what I was looking for. I debated whether to drill the hole on this one or keep it clean. The truss rod can still be accessed behind the UTB.

Arnt, I'm in the same boat as you with the PMTE, first one I've tried. I followed M*rio Proulx's advice (why does the forum software always change M*rio to "kermodie bear one"? There's more than one M*rio out there.) and made it but left it out. After it plays in a little, I'll glue it in and see if I like the change. And, yes, it's an Osage Orange bridge plate. I got several of them (rift sawn) from Tim McKnight during last year's OLF swap meet.

Steve, the X-brace patch is pretty well the last thing I do. And a little trick photography and selective cleaning does wonders for the shop pics!

Sounds like at least a couple of you are familiar with the PMTE. This is the little extra brace at the back side of the bridge plate, so nicknamed "Proulx Magic Tone Enhancer" by Bryan Kimsey because, by all rights, you would think it does the opposite of what it's perceived to do. I don't know that M*rio was the first to ever try one, but it got associated with him pretty quickly. If my understanding is right, the perceived change is an improved overall response, particularly in the bass register. (I forget, specifically, if that's exactly correct. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.) All I know is, pretty well without fail, every one I've seen use one was impressed with it.

I think the idea is using some well-placed mass and stiffness in the bridge plate area to our benefit. We sometimes get the perception that mass is our enemy and we should do all we can to eliminate it. Now, I don't have nearly the build experience many of you do, but I'm of the camp that mass is your friend and should used and manipulated to work where it will do the most good.

Of course, any system is just that, a "system". I know in M*rio Proulx's case, it works for him but he builds very lightly, too, with a small bridge footprint. It could be that the brace somewhat makes up for that lost mass, while adding a greater degree of stiffness than that same mass would if left on the bridge? Dunno, just thinking out loud. With time and a few more builds, hopefully I can start putting together something that makes sense.

Thanks again, all!

Wes

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Thanks, all. Yeah, Urban, you could call this one Midnight Special #2. Uh, huh, you know what I mean...

I do, I do!! Cracks me up every time I think about it, my Brother!

:lol:

E

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Hi Wes my friend - I can't figure out what step you say that you missed but I wanted to tell you that your guitar is looking great. Very nice build quality IMHO - nice job!!!!

And those Caliber III hygrometers are excellent, inexpensive, and available lots of places. I have two also and checked them and they were dead on accurate.

This is going to be a killer guitar.

Edited by Urban
Put in a link to the referenced tool!

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Yep, my Calibers are two of my most important tools. And you can't beat the price.

Here's a hint. Remember it's a bolted neck guitar. :blush::rolleyes:

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No mortise in the neck block.

Joe

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Well, he could be of the route it outta the body school, tho...

:mellow:

Urb

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Yep, my Calibers are two of my most important tools. And you can't beat the price.

Here's a hint. Remember it's a bolted neck guitar. :blush::rolleyes:

Aaaaah, no holes drilled for the neck hardware.

Dennis

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Yep, my Calibers are two of my most important tools. And you can't beat the price.

Here's a hint. Remember it's a bolted neck guitar. :blush::rolleyes:

Aaaaah, no holes drilled for the neck hardware.

Dennis

And we have a winner!! I don't know how many times I looked at that and said "don't forget to drill the holes in the neckblock", but, no....

I can still drill 'em from the outside, not a show stopper. Just need to carefully line 'em up and keep them straight, but that applies no matter when you do it.

BTW, this one will actually be a bolted butt joint. First one. I know quite a lot of high end builders have gone to these and Taylor has gotten by with it now for many a year with no issues, so the bolted butt joint has somewhat of a track record now. We'll see how I like it.

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Looking good Wes, and I like your shop :D .

Be sure and let us know how that bridge plate brace works out.

Jesse

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I pulled it out of the mold tonight, too. It's yet to be seen how it does as a tone generator, but as an air mover, I'm impressed. I first noticed when I tapped in the bridge area, I could feel the air moving a good six inches or so in front of the soundhole. Decided to give it the "match test" and it passed with flying colors. (Holding a lit match an inch or two in front of the sound hole while giving a good tap in the bridge area. Flame should blow out.) Tried the second match and also blew it out, so I got my wife's Bic lighter. Good strong flame and the air moving from the box blew it out like it was nothing. I'm more and more excited to get this one strung up!

It's obvious this one is going to be very much in the "active back" camp. Just tapping the bridge area, you get some very strong response from the back plate. Holding it against your chest you can feel the rumble - just from a tap! I think I'm going to like it.

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