Both builds are now well underway!
As you can see, I went with the thin-line type build in the end, opting for a hollowed out upper wing, rather than the 335 type, construction as owing to the small size, I figured that this will be a little stronger, also, it gets me using my router some more. First I took excess material out with Forstner bits, then using a new template, I cleaned up the cavity with my trusty Elu router. Ive left a some material in the wing for the pickup cavity and a forearm cut-away.
The lower body block, I have left solid (apart from the control cavity) but i have capped it, with a sandwiched veneer, as with the top wing, so we have some symitry in the design. This will also form the roof of the control cavity.
The wings will next be planed and dowel jointed to the body.
I’d tossed with the idea of whether to pitch the body away from the neck. This is something I usually do as standard to about 2/3 degrees for comfort, but as this guitar has a large overlap between the body and the neck, this does throw up some new design and construction issues. The bridge I have picked out however is a Schaller Hannes bridge. There is a few reasons why I have picked this bridge, but I will got on to this in a minute. The bridge has a minimum string height of about 10mm, the fretboard and frets usually sit around 7mm at there highest, if I don’t raise the neck block above the body, this would mean that the lowest I can have the string height is 3mm, which is not acceptable on a high performance guitar. For this reason, I think that the best combination is to raise the neck joint up a little (this shouldn’t weaken the joint, which is my main concern) but also pitch the neck to around 1 degree, to raise the string height as it hits the bridge.
For this build I have selected this glorious Hannes bridge from Schaller, and a set of 3×3 gold Gotoh mini’s. The machines are pretty standard, but I have always wanted build a guitar with gold hardware! The bridge though, is a truly modern bridge. Sturdy and simple, the saddles are pretty much in direct contact with the body, each saddle has a grub screw to indevidually raise the string height, while keeping the bulk of the saddle in contact with the body. The bridge also has a solid base plate for mounting the strings through the body, the real key to this design as I understand it is the saddle material. As quoted from the Schaller website;
“The saddles were developed in close collaboration with Graph Tech. They are made of a special compound material. Teflon is one of the materials used in this special compound. In being a highly effective lubricant material (one of the most effective in the world), it dramatically reduces saddle-related string breakage, since no sharp edges can form on the saddles due to wear.
“This patented saddle material measurably increases the instrument’s sustain by up to 25% compared to brass and steel.
“Your guitar will sound much more harmonious. This is characterized by singing high notes and quick response, not to mention a well-defined, powerful and even tone.”
Bold claims. But even the design of this bridge looks fantastic, everything anchors on the back, giving strong support with no screws or fixings to hinder the hands.
That’s about it for now, but in the meantime, I’m going to give my electrics a think about. But I gotta say, I really like the look of the Lace Alumitones…