Sunday, 30 August 2009

Coarse tuners part 4

Since everything - restringing, tuning and playing - worked fine with the latest version of the coarse tuners, I decided (as mentioned in this post) to keep this layout and cut off the remaining headstock. The shape it has now might be altered slightly - I'm not quite sure about that. I have to paint the headstock black where I've cut and sanded it, but apart from that, I am just going to play it for some time and not alter anything (or not much, at least).

It's a real pleasure to play without the head. Much more compact and manageable.

The P90 neck pickup is just for testing. I'll put the other humbucker back in soon.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Coarse tuners part 3

As mentioned in this post, I am trying to make a set of coarse tuners, compact and light, for use with my fine tuning bridge, allowing me to ditch the headstock. The first version used T-nuts, but this time, I made a brass plate with threaded holes to hold the tuning pegs. I have also managed to lower my failure rate in drilling holes in the tuner pegs (which are blind screws). Now I am down to around one broken drill bit per finished peg. And I've made twelve of them, six short ones and six long ones. Progress!

It's all mounted on the guitar I use for experiments. And it works. It works well, actually. Stringing up - especially getting and keeping a correct length of the string ends through the peg holes - is a bit troublesome, but I believe that once I've done it a couple of times, it'll be almost as easy as with a traditional set of tuners. The coarse tuning itself is easy. The tuners are sufficiently precise, and the fine tuners of the bridge do the more delicate tuning.

Once I've used the system long enough to believe that it works in the long run as well, I'll cut off the excess headstock and shape the remaining part - plus the brass plate itself - in a more elegant way. I will also tidy up the recessed holes for the allen nuts on the back of the headstock - those are the nuts that fix the peg when the correct note is reached. Plus, I will also buy get some prettier nuts. The ones I used are modified from those that you use for assembling IKEA furniture (Zachary isn't the only one building IKEA guitars ;-) The allen nut on the far left in the picture is for mounting bicycle brakes and I am going to get some more of these.

I also intend to recess the screws that hold the brass plate to the headstock and perhaps some time in the future, I will do a galvanic etching on the brass plate. It seems that I'm not even half way with this small project yet. Meaning that lots of fun remains.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

To-do list - Status

I am having slow progress on the T-beam bass (remember the to-do list?). I have carved out the curves for neck and body on the aluminium beam using hacksaw and file. There is still some filing to do before I mount the mahogany sides, which will also have the same bottom shape as the T-beam.

Time to buy a decent plane and spokeshave.

And to learn to use them.