Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

By Mr. Joe Sustaire of Talihina, OK
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Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:16 pm

Well these seem to have generated some interest. The first one I built with off from Stringfest '18 to tour with Andy Cohen for a while to learn some new songs and get edumacated. Now my nephew Kelly in Texas has ordered one for himself, so I guess I better get building.

This one will use my Stella Grand Concert mold with a 1" spacer inserted to give it a 15 1/2" lower bout. It will have a 26 1/2'' scale so it can be tuned down B to b in standard tuning. Now I've only built these with mahogany b/s before to focus on the fundamental tones which go well with the roots music I lean towards, but since Kelly is a young man with more contemporary leanings I thought I'd try IR b/s and see if it has more overtones which I think will work better for him.

So Indian Rosewood b/s with a Thermally Modified Engleman Spruce top. And here they are.......
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by John J » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:31 pm

All right Joe! Glad to see a build log on this. I will follow along. Good to see activity here. My first guitar that I bought way back was a twelve string Yamaha. I have a twelve on my to do list.

Thanks for posting.

John
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:39 pm

Since this will be a ladder with tone-bar type bracing the top is sanded down to just under .140 to start with to help counter the potato chip curl these ladder braced guitars are prone to after a few years of tension. The thicker top and the tone bars running lengthwise with the top will help counter that tendency while still giving that tonal quality that I like.

And since I promised John a full build thread I'll delve into how I join plates following Jonathan Kinkead's "Build Your Own Acoustid Guitar" book.

Some years back I picked up an old Rockwell Delta 6" jointer at an auction for a good price and I use it for general shop jointing and use it to establish a good edge on the plates. Then I do a couple of passes on a newer Delta 6'' jointer that's set up to just barely take off a shaving and is used only for plate joining purposes, a quick check for light gaps against a window and most times I'm good to go. And yeah, I stumbled across this one about a month after I'd got the other jointer and couldn't pass it up.

To join the plates I use finishing nails against one edge of the plates, slip a 1/4" stick under the join and set another strip of nails against the edge of the second plate. Glue up the edges, use a strip of doubled newspaper above and below the plate join so I don't glue my plates down, and clamp the joint with a 2x2 with a long radius cut along one edge so that when clamped at each end it gives good pressure all the way down the length.
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And that's about where I am at this point, and no that's not the Engleman top in the plate joining pics, it's a Thermally Modified Lutz Spruce top that will be used for another 12 stringer.
Thanks for watching!
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Dennis Leahy » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:54 pm

Very cool, Joe! Thanks for showing the whole enchilada!
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by burge guitar shop » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:59 pm

Good on ya Joe for showing us this build,
I hope to see it in person soon.
Jess
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Eben » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:57 am

Amen, Brother
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genius hits a target no one else can see.

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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by coopman » Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:53 am

Joe looking good. Will be interesting to follow along.

So I have a few questions on your scale length of 26 1/2" ...

Background: I play in several open tunings ... going down to C or D. Pretty much all guitars work ok in D (dropped D or DADGAD). Now 'C' get trickier. Only a few of my 'regular' instruments work in C ... but otherwise go wonky especially on the lower strings ... even worse with a capo ... intonation issues, etc. So I've been contemplating longer scale ... 25.9 (called 'long scale'), 26 (660mm classical scale), 26 1/3 (banjo) ... and now you mention 26.5 ... I've also been contemplating fan fret (many variations but I see 25.5 - 26.5 mentioned often) ... Also a (shorter of several) Baritone scales: 27.5 ...

So without hijacking your thread way off track, I have one simple question for now. In your experience with the 26.5 scale, are you still able to tune up to standard pitch as well, or does the tension get too high? In the interest of an "all purpose instrument" I'm leaning towards the shorter long scales ... ie long or classical scales as noted above. Your thoughts?

I really like the wood you have chosen!

John
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Dennis Leahy » Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:21 am

Joe Sustaire wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:16 pm
...
This one will ... be ... Indian Rosewood b/s with a Thermally Modified Engleman Spruce top....
Joe Sustaire wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:39 pm
...
Since this will be ... a Thermally Modified Lutz Spruce top that will be used for another 12 stringer.
...
So, 2 guitars at once, huh? I need to stop you right here, Joe. DON'T DO IT! DON'T build 2 guitars at once! If you ask me, and Grant, and Jesse, the correct number is between 5 and 12. There's a possibility that you could stay sane and work on 2 guitars, quasi-simultaneously, but if you want to dive into the deep end of the pool holding a sack of bricks, you'll need to add at least 3 more. :lol:
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:15 pm

:lol: That's why I'm avoiding the deep end of the pool Dennis, I'm already a few bricks short of a full stack and I just can't risk it!

Hey Coopman, no this scale length won't tune up to standard tuning. You don't have to drop all the way to B-b, you can raise it to C-c or C#-c#, but that's about it. Of course I also string it with heavier strings, sometimes 64 to 14's, but you don't have to use that heavy a string, depends on the feel you like. I've never tried doing a fan fret, but it seems like they make a lot of sense if you play in a lot of lowered open tunings.

Thanks for the comments guys!
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by burge guitar shop » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:25 pm

Hey Dennis, I'm not real smart but 1 at a time is all that I want to try any more. I found out that I cain't swim with all them bricks :D
Joe, 2 at a time is enough to keep your mind addled.
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:19 am

I don't know about you guys, but damn, rosettes are intimidating as hell to me! After a couple of days of studying and dithering about choices and purfing, and lines, I finally got to it today, and had a pretty good Sunday. I think I pulled it off...….

So first off I did a hot water soak on a piece of purfling that I made up some years back, don't remember what kind of wood it is, but it's kinda spruce colored with flecks in it. Anyway after a hot soak I bent it around a circle form so it would fit in it's channel easier without breaking.
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Then while that was drying I used my old hand-made circle routing jig with the trusty harbor freight high dollar router and started cutting some grooves.
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For my bound soundhole I'm using some tortoise binding that's cut down and set it into a groove that when I cut out the soundhole will leave it sitting on a shelf. Gives it a little more support so that it's not just relying upon a glue joint on the edge of the soundhole. This shot shows the differnt purfs I'm using in this rosette.
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And here they are installed waiting to be sanded down and the soundhole cut out.
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Note that outer ring looks b/w/b before sanding. It is that checked flat piece laying across the rosette in one of the former pics. Some purfling I picked up off ebay for cheap from China. Guess I didn't look at the dimensions real good. When I got it I found out it's real thin, too thin to be used as purfling, won't bend laying flat and would probably get sanded through if you used it as standard purfling. So I finally figured out how to get some use out of it by standing it on edge. And when it's run through the sander you wind up with a nice fine checkered line.
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Added another shot...…
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And there you have it. I'm pretty pleased after all that sweating! Ha!
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Dennis Leahy » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:53 am

Looks beautiful, Joe! Nice tasty combination of elements. Brilliant use of the veneer-thin purfling, up on edge!
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by John J » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:19 am

That’s looking really good, Joe. Very nice use of that purfling on edge. I’ve got some of that cheap stuff too. I’ll have to look at it in a new way.

Funny your trepidation about rosettes is completely opposite to my feelings. I love creating a unique rosette that reflects the rest of the woods in the guitar and my sense of aesthetics.

Keep it coming!

John
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by michael » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:35 am

Looking good Joe. I have a home made circle cutter also and like you I write directions right on the tool!! Nice to know which way to turn . Old age isn't for the meek!!

Mike

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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:53 pm

Dang Michael, after reading your post I went back and looked at the picture and cracked up. I can remember using it this time that twice I sat there and mentally went through which way to turn the knob to move the pin piece in order to increase or decrease the radius to widen my routing slot. Sometimes directions aren't enough, I need flashing strobe lights to remind me to read my own instructions! :lol: :lol:
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:42 pm

Got my sides bent. Thinned them to .080", 15 minute hot water soak, then paper wrap, foil wrap, and then onto the bending form.

Here's my high tech, hot water vat.... old gas tank cut in half, using my old coleman stove with both burners going to heat the water. Could only heat it up to about 160f but that seems to be enough.
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And here's my bender form....
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Sides bent great, no ripples, no cracks.
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And into the mold.
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Next I'm going to jig up so I can try the solid linings everyone is using. Seems like a good idea. Got my 1/16" mahogany veneer in from Certainly Woods so now's the time.......
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by coopman » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:51 pm

Joe - looking great! Love your high-tech heating trough ...
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:39 pm

Only the mostest and bestest tools in my shop John!

Wow, the new site does load fast! Great job Dennis!
Now I need to go over to the shop and get my camera so I can update this thread...….
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:43 pm

And I'm back with a little more done on this one.....

So I decided I should give the solid linings a shot. Basically followed Grants demo at Stringfest, bought some 1/16" mahogany veneer and ripped them up into 5/8" wide strips, made my glueing form and here we go.
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Cleaned up the edges with a block plane,
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Used a round-over bit in the router to shape the inside edge,
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And made up a few extra while I was at it,
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When I got ready to glue in my end-blocks I noticed that the bent sides didn't sit real well in the mold. Looking closer I realized I had bent both sides the same way, so I got to experience straightening a side and re-bending it. A first for me and it went well. I never understood how one could bend both sides the same way, still don't get it, but I sure done it........

So now I get to glue in the neck and tail blocks.
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And then it's on to glueing in the solid linings,
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And they're done.
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Sure does make for a stiff and good looking rim set. I think I'm sold!
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Dennis Leahy » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:03 pm

Looking good, Joe!

I love your gas tank side-steeping rig! Looks like it could also be used for guacamole, between bends.

Um, speaking of guacamole ingredients reacting with the iron in the steel in the tank... (we were talking about that, weren't we?) ... I wonder if there will be a reaction when steeping high-tannin woods, like Walnut.
Dennis Leahy

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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Steve Kinnaird » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:15 pm

Beautiful! Well done you!

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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by burge guitar shop » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:14 pm

Joe,
You are really moving on along, you will have this one built before long. I got to get off this computer and get in the shop.
Jess
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Eben » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:48 pm

Nice, Brotha!
Talent hits a target that no one else can hit,
genius hits a target no one else can see.

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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by burge guitar shop » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:29 am

Hey Joe,
How you coming along on this one.
Need an update.
Jess
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Fred Blom » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:23 am

Everything's looking great, Joe.I've taken a shine to solid linings and want to give them a try on the next build.
Fred Blom
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