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Thread: St. Vincent itch

  1. #1
    Member dozymuppet's Avatar
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    St. Vincent itch

    Now I've got tools and materials, I've got a weird impulsive enabler. Woke up this morning and decided I needed to build this MM signature model from scratch.





    It's about an inch narrower than intended, constrained by the paulownia slab I'm working with.

    It's going to be an interesting weight challenge, assuming I don't pivot to a heavier wood. Currently the body is 1054g. An S-style PB neck with stock paddle weighs in at 634g. I'll need to make some smart hardware choices methinks, especially as I'll be taking some weight off the body for comfort and stylistic purposes.

    Thinking about acquiring an MM-style neck (4+2), but also wondering if I could take a whole tele-style approach, neck and bridge plate and all. However, still not quite sure about paulownia's ability to hold screws with bearing, so also thinking about a bridge and tailpiece solution with posts...

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  2. #2
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    I'd trust screws more than post inserts in a light wood like paulownia. Bridge posts aren't an issue as almost all the force is downwards, with just a bit of fore-and-aft pressure at times when tuning or bending strings. But the stop tailpiece post inserts have to counter the string pull towards the neck and also upwards to the bridge. I think paulownia is the wood that the Pit Bull hollow and semi-hollows have bridge blocks made out of, and it's never particularly impressed me as being very strong, so have always used the longest inserts I can find for the stop tailpiece.

    Don't forget that with a Fender style bridge, you can always use longer fixing screws of the same diameter for a bit more grip and load spreading. The standard ones are typically about half the body depth, so you can normally add an extra cm or so to the screw length if you want to (plus it adds slightly more mass to the body ). And with string-through bridge, the strings are also helping to hold the bridge in place.

  3. #3
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    The St Vincent is certainly a weird body shape, but the more I see it, the more it grows on me. Certainly I much prefer it to the MM Albert Lee body shape.

  4. #4
    Member dozymuppet's Avatar
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    I don't mind the Albert Lee (or the Mariposa), but the St Vincent shape grew on me too. Particularly when I realised it was larger than I thought at first glance, and that it can look quite metal strapped on.

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  5. #5
    Member dozymuppet's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post hole info. Food for thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Barden View Post
    And with string-through bridge, the strings are also helping to hold the bridge in place.
    Yep, this also occurred to me after I posted. Possibly a nice chunky Babicz FCH will be called for here...

  6. #6
    Member dozymuppet's Avatar
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    Mucking around with the MM headstock on a PB paddle. I reckon I can make it work. A little bit more finessing, and a plan to cover the filled 5th hole with a decal perhaps.



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  7. #7
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dozymuppet View Post
    ...still not quite sure about paulownia's ability to hold screws with bearing, so also thinking about a bridge and tailpiece solution with posts...
    I was worried about this too for my paulownia bass project, so I did some testing. I have a bunch of 9mm paulownia boards lying around that I screwed together to make the width of a paulownia body. I attached a heavy bridge to it using the 4, thin 26mm screws. these seem light and short to me, and I had been considering using longer, thicker ones.

    The bridge allows me to do either string-through or string-on-top, so I tested both ways. Both tests involved stringing with bass strings, 34" long, and tuned 3 half-steps high (G,C,F,B-flat). Every time I thought about it, I grabbed the jig by the strings and shook it a few times to simulate hard play. After surviving 2 weeks of this string-through, it survived about 6 weeks string-on-top. Screws did not budge. The string tension warped the plywood that the paulownia was attached to just a bit, but both the paulownia and the screws stayed nicely fastened to each other.

    I was worried enough about this to get a bridge that would accommodate string through, so I'll build that way. But FWIW, I don't think it's necessary. With a Fender-style bridge, stock or slightly larger screws should be fine.

    Some pics of my testing jig here if you are intersted:

    https://www.buildyourownguitar.com.a...t=10529&page=3

  8. #8
    Member dozymuppet's Avatar
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    Thanks f3x, that gives me some comfort (though I'm still likely to go with the string-through option as well anyway).

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  9. #9
    Mentor robin's Avatar
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    Hey DM, I wanted to do a similar thing with the headstock of a 4 string fretless build. Handmade a plug and covered both front and back with some maple headstock veneer. Even at close inspection its almost impossible to tell its veneer.

    Before
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    After
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    Finished
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    Cheers
    rob

  10. #10
    Member dozymuppet's Avatar
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    Very nice work. Did you sand off a mm or anything from the headstock before affixing the veneer?

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