Monday, 1 February 2010

Exposed cabling in copper tubes

The black SG that I used for experiments with coarse and fine tuners has been modified further. I wanted to be able to phase switch the pickups. Plus, I'd had this idea of having the cables run in copper tubes to shield them from noise. The copper tubes should be on the face of the guitar rather than running inside the body. Each switch or knob should be mounted in its own separate hole with copper tubes running to and from it.

Apart from shielding the wires, I thought it'd look good. And not only good, but also logical. I want to be able to see what's happening with all the switching... to know which pickup is going to what swith and from there to which pot. That way, swithcing would be more transparent. You can't see how the wires go to and from a six way selector switch beneath a strat pickguard, and I missed that. The six-way switch is easy to use, but leaves you clueless as to what is hapenning inside the control cavity.

So I made a phase switching system for the black guitar. Each pickup goes to its own On/Off/Counterphase switch on the upper horn, and from there, they both go to the control cavity. Each switch is mounted in a brass disc. If I should keep true to my principle, I'd have to also mount the tone and volume pots like this, but I'll stop here. I expect that on a future guitar, I will fully implement the copper tube and separate switches/pots design. For now, I'll stick with it as it is.

It looks pretty much as I expected it to. I like the... "functional steampunk" look of it, though I use the word with some caution. There's quite a lot of the steampunk design aspects, that I like ...the combination of wood, brass and copper, for instance. Still, I think that steampunk has become too much about old-fashioned costumes and glueing cogs and sprockets on top of things. And then spraying them with copper. I wouldn't add anything just for its ornamental value. It has to have a purpose.

Opinions are welcome, constructive criticism even more so.

14 comments:

Bertram said...

this is just brilliant and completely makes sense. also like the mix of chrome, brass and copper (chrome knobs will be cool, I just found a Canadian eBay shop that sells big size knobs that would fit perfectly - and also quite functional)...

would you mind if I review your guitar project on my blog?

Alexander Gorm Øst said...

Hi Bertram

Thanks for the kind words. And please do review it on your blog.

I'm glad you like the chrome. Personally, I'm not that fond of it. I'd rather have the bridge looking more rustic... in brass or iron. But I have to use that particular bridge with its fine-tuners so I have no choice but to use it.

/Alex

Bertram said...

I think that 2 metals (copper & brass) wouldn't be enough, but for balance there should have a little bit more chrome - hence the knobs...
what about relicking your chromes?
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoA0O6kSBqk
I'm not a fan of this but in your case it makes sense.

sorry for the cosmetic chit-chat, the whole concept is anyway good!

Alexander Gorm Øst said...

I must admit that the idea of chrome is growing on me. I'm probably just making a virtue of necessity (since I have no choice but to use that bridge), but after thinking about it for a while, I think it will look quite good. It's just that it's a different look from what I originally imagined.

So... could I please have the link to that ebay shop. I'd like to see the knobs you had in mind.

Thanks for the relicing link. The results seem nice, but removing the saddles, screws and fine tunres from my bridge will be a royal pain. So I'll stick to shiny chrome. I'm already planning a different guitar (headless with spanish-guitar tuners on the bottom, bo-diddley-rectangular and with copper tubing and brass discs), so at some stage, my efforts and attention will shift to this.

But still, I want the black guitar to look good, and i'm beginning to believe that chrome knobs will complement the brigde well.

Bertram said...

shining chrome is the good option - imagine the whole thing with the strings...

I have in mind a semi-hollow aluminium bo diddley guitar - we can exchange about it while building them!

http://guitarren.blogspot.com/2010/02/aluminium-t-beam-guitar-blog.html

http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190361684969&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_1914wt_1167

Alexander Gorm Øst said...

Those are some serious knobs. I can see why you think they'll look well on the guitar.

I remember seeing some sketches of a diddley guitar on your blog. Looked good. But don't wait for me. Go ahead and build yours. It might take a while before I get going.

Thanks for the nice post on your blog. I'm almost blushing.

The Dude said...

That is a absolutely genius idea glad to see there is new posts on the blog. Keep up the great innovative work, im thinking about incorporating theese idea's into my own guitar project. : )

Alexander Gorm Øst said...

Hi Dude

Yes, it's been a while since the previous post. I haven't been able to do much work on guitars lately. Glad you like the copper tubes. I'd like to see your project. It could be interesting to see how (and on which body) you'll use copper tubing.

/Alex

Van Mitchell said...

This just made me fantasize a good 10 minutes about a steampunk style inspired guitar. Besides that, this is one of the coolest looking things ive seen lol. I'm jealous.

Alexander Gorm Øst said...

Thanks. I'm glad you like it - and that it's been a source of fantasy and perhaps inspiration.

The Dude said...

The guitar im doing work on right now is a Dean Explorer. Im still doing a lot of basic stuff right now, sanding the body etc. But one thing im trying is replacing the bolts that attach to the neck with stud's. I heard it really helps the guitar tone I will post pictures of the project once it's further along so sit tight.

Alexander Gorm Øst said...

I'll sit tight then. Please let me know if I can be of advice. I found bending the tubes a bit difficult. They tend to collapse when bent in small radii. But using a template to bend them plus inserting a wire in the hollow tube helped me a bit.

/Alex

Bertram said...

hi alex, have you seen this ?

http://guitarz.blogspot.com/2010/03/wilkes-answer.html

Alexander Gorm Øst said...

Yes, I saw it. Guitarz is in the top of my feed reader so I'm up to date on that. Very interesting guitar. Didn't know about it, though I've seen sliding pickups on other guitars, e.g. http://www.nortonguitars.com/.