Aug 21, 2011

Chet Plays Jack's Banjo


Jack Examines Something

Soundboard while guest Gary, and members B.B. and Justen look on.

Piano Soundboard

Soundboard Soundboard

Wood From Belize

Gary Hunt brought some wood back from Belize. We're planning to build a guitar with this wood for Bookbag Santa, a charity that helps schools in Belize. Wood Wood Above, Chet Dickerson checks the grain on a piece of poisonwood.

Justen on his Bernie Rico Custom: C

This guitar was custom ordered due to my frustration with how limited the options are in the 7 string electric guitar market. It includes many of the best features from some of my favorite production guitars. The most notable influence would be the Parker Fly. The Parker Fly is a production electric guitar that features an almost non-existent neck heel at the point where the guitar neck meets the body. This is usually a blocky transition and requires a shift in playing technique on most other guitars. The Fly also features a set of piezo pickups that allow it to sound like an acoustic guitar in addition to the electric sounds it is able to produce. However, the Fly is only available as a 6 string guitar and has a glossy painted finish on the neck. Since I prefer both the look and feel of natural woods, as well as the additional low B string that a 7 string guitar offers, this guitar was ordered to suit my needs. This guitar was ordered long before I had the confidence to do any sort of guitar building myself. Now that I have made the dive into making guitars, I hope to make similar instruments, but with some additional improvements.

B.B.'s Dreadnaught in Progress

After the meeting B.B. Rierson used Larry’s binding router jig to rout channels on the dreadnaught that he's building. The binding will be rosewood and it should complement the mahogany sides and sitka spruce top very nicely. Wood

A few days later B.B. came back and used another jig of Larry’s to rout out a channel for an end graft. Wood Wood

Meeting - August 21, 2011

Piano Soundboard, Banjos, Group Projects, and more

We met at Larry Sakayama's shop and laid out guitar top templates on an old piano soundboard, saw two recently completed banjos - one a traditional fretless and one very non-traditional six string, saw a custom made 7-string elecric guitar, examined some wood from Belize for one of our group projects, and more.

We had three visitors, Jim Thacker,who joined the group, and Gary Hunt and Anne Sampson (photographer) from Bookbag Santa.

Details below.

Click on an image to see a larger picture.

Binding Channel Jig

New memberJim Thacker, brought a binding channel routing jig.

It was beauitfully constructed with a dial gauge for setting depth of cut.

The base was a piece of acrylic plastic and drawer glides were used for the vertical motion of the router. The router was a Bosch Colt Laminate Trimmer.

Jim's machinist background was evident in this machine.

Piano Soundboard

Before the meeting, Larry removed the bracing and other attachments from the piano soundboard that we freed from it's former life on January 16, 2011 You can see how we dismantled the piano here.

At the meeting we laid out a dreadnought template on the soundboard to get a feel for how best to use the soundboard for guitar tops. We had to work around some of the holes from previous piano attachments.

Soundboard Soundboard

Early American Banjo

Jack Gellerstedt showed the early American banjo (c. 1850's inspired) he recently completed.

It features a mahogany neck with natural finish, a scrolled peghead, and ogee shape on one side of the neck with an English boxwood fingerboard. Pegs are standard, violin type.

Banjo Banjo
Banjo Banjo

Custom 7-String Electric

Justen Lazzaro brought his new, custom made, Bernie Rico Jr. Jekyll 724. See his comments in the left column. Here are the specs.

  • Spalted maple top/headstock
  • Birdseye maple fingerboard
  • Maple neck
  • Mahogany wings
  • 24 Stainless steel jumbo frets
  • Special neck heel carve
  • Bare Knuckle Pickups "Nailbomb" camo covered humbucker set
  • Graph Tech Ghost Piezo system w/push pull piezo volume knob for mid boost
  • 3 way switch for switching between magnetic, piezo, or magnetic+piezo pickups
  • Killswitch for magnetic pickups
  • Volume knob for magnetic pickups positioned for ease of pinky volume swells
  • Shockingly responsive tone knob
  • Hipshot 7 string fixed bridge
  • Graphtech ghost saddles
  • Bone nut
  • Stereo output jack, used in conjunction with a splitter adapter to allow piezo signal to be sent to PA or acoustic amp and mag pickups sent to electric guitar amp.
  • 5 way switch for Magnetic pickups
    • Position 1: Neck humbucker
    • Position 2: Outer coils in parallel
    • Position 3: Neck and Bridge Humbucker
    • Position 4: Inner coils in parallel
    • Position 5: Bridge humbucker

6-String, Staved Rim Banjo

Larry Sakayama showed his recently completed 6-string banjo with staved rim.

Banjo Banjo
Banjo Banjo

Larry on his 2-Tone Cutaway

This OM Cutaway was originally going to have a redwood top and walnut back and sides. After messing up my first cutaway bend with the walnut, I changed my bending process and did a test run with a piece of cherry which bent ok. I decided to use both walnut and cherry to make a 2-Tone instrument. Top is now redwood and cedar.

The fretboard and headstock will also be 2-tone using walnut and maple. The binding will be maple.

Banjo Banjo