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A Guitar for Daniel

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Blog series by Dan Lyke updated 610 days ago 8 parts 14164 reads 17 comments total

Part 1: Okay, you finished high school, now the learning starts...

630 days ago by Dan Lyke | 3 comments »

One of Charlene’s friends from a college years ago has two kids who’ve recently graduated from high school. The elder dived into travelling around Europe and heading off to college on the other coast and generally diving into life. The younger, Daniel, is an Eagle Scout, but post high-school has been casting around trying to figure out what he wants to do. He’s been feeling stuck in a small town up in the Sierra foothills, and we’ve dragged him down to closer to the co...

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Part 2: Physical manifestations of thinking things through

628 days ago by Dan Lyke | 0 comments »

This project has a huge mix of frustration and reward because I’m trying to be a facilitator and enable Daniel to build the guitar. It’s way too ambitious a project to simply be a teacher for, to walk him through the steps of every tool set-up and every element of design (especially when I’m learning much of this myself), and yet it’s not my guitar. So I try to encourage him to set up and do a design or a cut by himself, and then take a deep breath and accept the outco...

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Part 3: Just got real

628 days ago by Dan Lyke | 2 comments »

On the router table, cleaned up the face of the peghead and finished the rest of the truss rod routing, and drilled the hole through the neck for the electronics (totally stoked, I drilled the diagonal by hand and managed to hit with my ¼” pilot hole dead on, then worked up to ½” total). Then with a deep breath and a few carefully placed Dominos, glued the sucker up. Daniel is way stoked.

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Part 4: Wishful thinking and home stretches

625 days ago by Dan Lyke | 3 comments »

I totally screwed up the fret board, so we had to make a new one. This time we figured out how to do the diamond shaped inlays that Daniel wanted. Since the last time, we un-clamped the body from the glue-up, flipped it over, routed the back of the through-neck flat, and then cut out the body There’s the guitar cut-out with the truss rod set in place. The new fret board was cut with the Festool MFS jig and a 1/8” bit, after which we took the corners out of the diamond...

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Part 5: The first 90% of the project...

622 days ago by Dan Lyke | 2 comments »

...takes 90% of the time. The remaining 10% of the project takes an additional 90% of the time. So it feels like we’re closing in, but finishing and hardware installation are still going to take a little while. Sunday morning Daniel was off partying with friends in San Francisco. I went out to the shop and did a bunch of shaping, and then Charlene and I went over to Tall Toad Music and, with the help of the very friendly staff there, dug through the basement ‘til we found ...

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Part 6: Trying to not rush

620 days ago by Dan Lyke | 2 comments »

Daniel’s missing his friends and wants to head home, so while I’m trying to get him to slow down and take his time on the finishing, I’m aware that he wants to ditch us and head for the hills. The finish is still a bit soft, and if it were up to me we’d spend another week adding a layer, sanding it off, adding a layer, and so forth, but we’re not there. So last night we installed the frets, the nuts for the bridge hardware, and the tuning machines. Ho...

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Part 7: Playable!

619 days ago by Dan Lyke | 4 comments »

Daniel wanted to get back to his friends pretty badly, so last night we got the electronics installed (with some pain), and broke a string stringing it up, and there’s a lot of tweaking left to be done, but it was playable: Need to lower the bridge, file the edges of the frets a little better, verify that we’ve got the electronics properly installed because the volume knob was doing less than we expected, and spend some time tuning, tweaking the bridge head position and ...

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Part 8: Done. For now.

610 days ago by Dan Lyke | 1 comment »

Daniel came back for another visit and said “yeah, it sounds really off at the 12th fret”. With visions of “oh, crap, we have to mill off that fret and move it” we started playing with things, and discovered that the bridge was in the wrong place. The bridge had individually adjustable string positions, so we moved them, and got a sound that was okay, but the bridge was also really too high. So I chucked it up in the milling machine, milled it down a bit, then t...

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