Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

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

Post by Joe Sustaire » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:57 pm

Thanks for the comments guys, I appreciate it! And yes Jesse, I need to update this build...…

Got a bit more done,
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Got the side braces in,
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Sanding the top of the rimset to a 25' arc. Wrong, it's a 12' radius, not 25'.
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And I'm also working on getting another 12 going. Here's the rosette for it,
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And a shot of the top and back with the back stripe inlaid,
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And that about catches me up here...…...
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Dennis Leahy » Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:56 pm

Lookin real good.

Does your 25' arc trough have ribs to hold that arc, or a single "keel", or what?
Dennis Leahy

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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:39 am

If I'm understanding you correctly you're referring to the sanding board itself?
If so, it's a piece of 1 1/2" laminated plywood that I used a router and sled to route the 25' arc into the ply, like you do when you're making a dish for radiused tops and backs. Yeah, I've seen some where they bow a thinner board to the arc shape using ribs, so I assume that's what you're referring to...….

correction...... it's a 12' radius arc, not 25' radius........
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by mtracz » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:57 pm

Joe, thank you for taking the time to write between the photos. I learn so much from your thought process.

I’ve been jealous of your shop since my first visit to the forum. Either you have some serious natural light or... let me know what bulbs you put in your lights. Stunning photos! So warm.

Can’t wait to see what you have to share next.
Mike Tracz

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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by dgimcmillan » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:51 pm

mtracz wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:57 pm
Joe, thank you for taking the time to write between the photos. I learn so much from your thought process.

I’ve been jealous of your shop since my first visit to the forum. Either you have some serious natural light or... let me know what bulbs you put in your lights. Stunning photos! So warm.

Can’t wait to see what you have to share next.
I totally agree with Mike!

Your pictures are awesome! Of course, it helps that your work is so clean, and good, too. I’m really enjoying seeing your build process.👍😁

Ian

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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by coopman » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:09 am

Joe - great wood combinations. Keep it coming ... remember winter is coming ;)

John
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:07 am

Hey guys, thanks for looking and commenting!

And yeah Mike, it's natural light. Since I'm off-grid and have to crank up a generator to use power tools or lights I tend to just work during daylight when my sky-light over my bench takes care of the lighting. My brother worked in the sign field for many years and gave me two lexan sign faces about 8' x 12'. So I washed off the ink with lacquer thinner and stacked them with airspace between to mitigate the heat loss and it works pretty good for lighting.

Now I see a correction I've got to go back an make. My top arc is 12' radius not 25' radius, says so right on my sanding sled. I noticed my mistake yesterday when I was shaping bracestock for the top using my template and it says 12' on it also. So much for my memory, these birthdays are obviously costing me too many grey cells!
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Eben » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:11 am

Sweet, sweet lines there, my Brother!
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:03 pm

Okay, I've started on the top bracing.....
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Gluing down the longitudinal tone-bars,
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Shaping the tone-bars with a mini plane.
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The ladder braces being glued down,
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Rough shaping with a chisel,
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This shot shows the mini Stanley toy plane I cut down to use for shaping braces along with a chisel.
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Just getting going good.
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And after much planning, carving and tapping here it is about 90% carved and sounding pretty good when I tap on it. Just need to add the soundhole bracing now,
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And here they are in the go-bar deck.

So the top is nearly braced and tapping good, always makes me feel good.
Thanks for stopping by!
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by John J » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:38 pm

A thing of beauty, Joe. I am intrigued by your asymmetrical approach to the bracing. Have you done this type before?

Some very nice pictures. Keep it up.

John
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Fred Blom » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:11 pm

Looking good, Joe. I thoroughly enjoy following your builds!
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:16 am

Thanks Fred, it's good to be back in the shop and building again!

And John I used this pattern on the last 12 I built about 3 or 4 years ago and it sounds great. Hope I'm that lucky this time around...…. I borrowed the pattern from a 12 that Hans Brentrup posted a few years back and he used the longitudinal tone-bars to counter the potato chip curl that ladder braced guitars are prone to after years of string tension. Since then he's gone back to straight ladder bracing and using a thicker top to counter the curl. Who knows, it made sense to me. And the asymmetry to me just seems to be to keep too much bracing from winding up in one spot with the angled bracing around the bridge.

I just kind of feel my way through these things, tapping and listening, who knows for sure...…...
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:09 pm

Hey John, the 12 string with the sandblasted top I had at your first Stringfest had the same bracing. Can't remember if you played it or not...…

Anyway, I spent a bit more time today carving and tapping the top and I think I've got it dialed in as best I can at this stage. Looks and sounds much better to me. I lightened the bracing up quite a bit...….
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Much less clunky looking. A new luthier term for a finely tuned instrument!
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by burge guitar shop » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:13 am

Looking good Joe,
I wonder how that brace pattern would work on a dreadnaught type guitar?
Jess
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Dennis Leahy » Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:10 am

Joe, I love the built-in independent nature of the braces - ladders flying over the longitudinal tone bars. You just look at it and know that it something that is designed to move.

So, you've got a big sanding trough for tops (I've gotta make one), and you do backs in a radius dish?
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:53 am

I think it would be interesting Jesse, why don't you test it out for us?

Yeah Dennis, I'm just using my old 15' radius dish for the backs as of now. Hanns had made a 10' radius trough that he used for his backs, would like to try that at some point, just haven't got there yet...… I like curves in a guitar!
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by mtracz » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:15 am

Joe,

Sandblasted top, what did I miss? I'd also like to try cylindrical tops and backs as well. Nigel Forster references historic instruments in similar fashion. I've never heard a guitar with this type of shape but I imagine the longitudinal stiffness would have a sonic affect.

Keep em coming.

Thank you sir!
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:11 pm

Finally managed to spend a little time in the shop the last couple of days...…..
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Got the back braces in and carved.

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Glued the top onto the rims.

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And now the back is glued on.

So if all goes right, looks like I'll have a box, hurrah!
Just a little insight into how it is working in a shop with no temp or humidity control. We've had a lot of rain lately so I'm sure the humidity level is high. As we all know, not good for gluing braces onto plates or gluing plates onto rims. I've got a loosely vented closet in my shop built from some old doors, with a small bathroom gas heater inside. So glue bottle, plates, braces, and rimset spend a couple of days in there to cook off the moisture before glue up.

You do what you gotta' do.........
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by johnparchem » Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:07 pm

The guitar is looking great as it is coming together.

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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by John J » Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:12 pm

Good to see you back in the shop, Joe. I was just thinking of asking you where you were at on this one. What are you doing for binding?

John
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:27 am

Thanks for the comments guys! And I believe I'm going with tortoiseshell celluloid binding on this one since that's what I used in the soundhole, but don't hold me to that...…..

Speaking of memory...…. anyone notice anything funny about the back bracing?

Yesterday about 4 in themorning it dawned on me I didn't add a reinforcment strip on the back join..... I usually do that first, then cut out where the braces go and add them. Now I know I've seen threads about how necessary that strip is on the back since we usually don't have one on the top plate, and as I recall many think it isn't necessary and don't use one, that it's more tradition than anything. I guess now I get to decide whether to try and go back and add it through the soundhole or take the gamble that it isn't vital.

Damn, so much for memory.......
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by John J » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:55 am

Joe, my two cents on the back reinforcing strip necessity is that it’s probably not an absolute must, especially if your glue joint is good. And if I read your posts correctly and you routed in the decorative back strip after the back was glued up, we’ll that in my mind does essentially the same thing as the interior reinforcing strip.

I think it’ll be ok.

John
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Dennis Leahy » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:02 pm

Joe Sustaire wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:27 am
... I guess now I get to decide whether to try and go back and add it through the soundhole or take the gamble that it isn't vital.

Damn, so much for memory.......
My $0.02 would be to add one "diamond", a little 3/4"x3/4" or 1"x1" square rotated into a diamond, between each brace pair. I would probably attach the reinforcement diamonds using those damn rare earth magnets that I always swear I'll never use again just before I use them again.

You might want to do some artwork on the one diamond that will be most visible through the sound hole. Like maybe a reproduction of the Sistine Chapel (or, even better, an original Sustaire!)
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by mtracz » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:24 am

Joe, I noticed the back strip right away and assumed you did it in purpose. If you are in the fence go do what Dennis suggests.

The guys over at Lame Horse Guitars don’t use a back strip but instead glue down Texas circles in between the braces. They even call out the back strip as unnecessary in an interview on Michael Bashkin’s podcast Luthier on Luthier.

https://lamehorse.net

I am getting more and more interested in a cylindrical top and want to try and find one around me to play to hear what they do.

Thank you for the keen documentation and kudos to you on what you get done in your shop. I’m done ‘needing’ tools to get the job done. Huge inspiration!
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Re: Indian Rosewood low-tuned 12 String

Post by Joe Sustaire » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:59 pm

Thanks for looking in guys! And yeah, I'll probably add the diamond cleats in between the back braces just as a little insurance.

IMG_2549.JPG
Did a very simple end graft on this one with some of the purfling that's going to be on the top.

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Love cutting the purf and binding ledges with this router set-up, hardly any butt clenching involved!

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Got all the purfling and tortoiseshell binding taped and glued in place with thin CA.


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Binding all scraped down.



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Another back shot.

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From the front.

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Detail shot.

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And another shot of the end graft with top purfling and tortoishell binding.


And that's a bound and closed 12 string box. And best of all, it's tapping pretty good, nice drum!

Thanks for watching!
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