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Thread: "Dichrocaster" - a laser cut Guitar

  1. #1
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    "Dichrocaster" - a laser cut Guitar

    Laser for much, but traditional tools for most. The body is back-textured and backpainted 1/4" acrylic, laser cut for all pickup, Floyd Rose Tremolo Bridge, switches, knobs and neck opening, then flush trimmed around a squire body in which I milled off 1/4" off its face so finished face is original level.

    The neck was lasered for inlays, and the inlays were lasered with same cut file. Next time I will enlarge the inlays a tad more, as the laser burned a wider "kerf" that I expected. The knobs were laser cut from black acrylic then overlayed with a dichroic lens in which the lettering was lasered, then paint filled.

    The headstock was also lasered with logo and signature, then paint filled. Pretty white knuckle, as I knew I only had one shot at it, and the test panel turned out perfect. As it turned out, the white lacquer wrinkled the cut edge of the two day cured 2K urethane, and looked like crap. SO then was a REALLY white knuckle re-lasering over top, which did not index perfectly, but this time I used waterbased white paint. Should have done that from the beginning.

    The guitar was kindof built around the Floyd Rose, which had the rainbow dichroic PVD plating as a special finish. Thus, all the dichroic pigments and dichroic materials used in the build complement it perfectly. A bit much, one would say, but not when you are addicted to color.

    Next one will be all gold and silver pearls on a texture that simulates quilted maple, and the hardware will be all gold. Looking at thermofoming the acrylic for an archtop too.
    Dcstr-Studio-skew-1920.jpgDcstr-Studio-Clsp-knobs-1920.jpgDcstr-Studio-headstock-1920.jpg
    Yes, we went to the moon. Back when men were men and didn't have the computors, CAD and CYA policies.
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    Delta Unisaw, various diamond wheels for carbide, Diamond lap, Accuspray guns, and the usual assortment of cool toys / tools.

  2. #2
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    How did you attach the (painted side? of the) acrylic to the milled wood body?
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    How did you attach the (painted side? of the) acrylic to the milled wood body?
    Good question Lee, which reminded me that I need to post my construction pics. I decided to "key" the acrylic into the body so no fasteners are seen, and small key hole bits didn't undercut enough, so I custom ground a T slot bit from an old 3/4" straight bit, milled the slots, and glued the keys onto the back of the acrylic. When the face snaps into position, I put one screw under the output jack plate for a 3 point hold.
    DCRs-keyedin.jpgDCRs-KeyBit.jpgDCSTR-Lasering-1920.jpg
    Yes, we went to the moon. Back when men were men and didn't have the computors, CAD and CYA policies.
    Rabbit QX-80-1290 80W Laser
    twin custom made 5 x 12 ft laminating ovens
    20,000 watt (48") UV curing chamber
    480 F hot butyl gun made from a caulk gun, heat tape and a 24 oz beer can - performs like a $3000.00 system for 40 bucks, and I got to drink the beer
    Delta Unisaw, various diamond wheels for carbide, Diamond lap, Accuspray guns, and the usual assortment of cool toys / tools.

  4. #4
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    Ah, thanks. I was thinking maybe the bridge screws plus maybe a slot in the end of the neck, but it didn't sound secure enough. And I couldn't come up with an adhesive-based solution that didn't cause more problems than it solved.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  5. #5
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    Very cool work John!!!! Wow!! Thanks for sharing!!!!
    900x600 80watt EFR Tube laser from Liaocheng Ray Fine Tech LTD. Also a 900x600 2.5kw spindle CNC from Ray Fine. And my main tool, a well used and loved Jet 1642 Woodlathe with an outboard toolrest that helps me work from 36 inch diameters down to reallllllly tiny stuff.

  6. #6
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    Awesome! That is one really cool guitar, John! While all the laser lingo went right over my head, your workmanship was eye candy.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  7. #7
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    I am blinded by all the glitz!!!

    Interesting peghead shape. Haven't decided if I like it, but the curves are well drawn.

    You could loan it to the Star Wars movie makers for use in their next intergalactic bar scene,with a band playing!!
    Last edited by george wilson; 03-10-2017 at 9:13 AM.

  8. #8
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    Thanks George and all! Headstock design is partly based on my love of a crescent shaped type of wind blown sand dune called Barchan dunes found in the Sahara and photos from Mars, which is the dunescapes that the "dune" acrylic molds were based on.

    Complex story but I recently invented this method of 3D shape casting onto acrylic sheets, then backcoating them with metallics. My recent mold is based on actual quilted maple figure called "Quilt". This will make an unreal guitar face. The next one is even wilder - tiger striped effect in Lamborghini orange metallic against tropical blue metallic to look like a tropical reef fish.

    Here is todays casting of "quilt" in which I sprayed a burst effect. Will be thermoforming the acrylic, then laser cutting the pickup openings, neck pocket, etc then scribing it to the body, then flush trimming, shaping, polishing, etc.

    Notice the "bookmatch" in the quilt pattern.

    QuiltBurstRaw2.jpgQuiltBurstRaw-clsp.jpg
    Yes, we went to the moon. Back when men were men and didn't have the computors, CAD and CYA policies.
    Rabbit QX-80-1290 80W Laser
    twin custom made 5 x 12 ft laminating ovens
    20,000 watt (48") UV curing chamber
    480 F hot butyl gun made from a caulk gun, heat tape and a 24 oz beer can - performs like a $3000.00 system for 40 bucks, and I got to drink the beer
    Delta Unisaw, various diamond wheels for carbide, Diamond lap, Accuspray guns, and the usual assortment of cool toys / tools.

  9. #9
    That's some beautiful work John!
    Fred

  10. #10
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    Thanks all! Here is the latest acrylic casting for a guitar face. Used the laser to cut the masking perfectly, coated the blue/magenta boro with sky blue burst, then pulled masking and sprayed the Lamborghini bright orange and red candy. Will be forming this to a basswood body soon, then the neck will be inlayed with Fire Burl.
    Fire-RawCasting.jpgFire-RawCasting-TopHorn.jpg
    Yes, we went to the moon. Back when men were men and didn't have the computors, CAD and CYA policies.
    Rabbit QX-80-1290 80W Laser
    twin custom made 5 x 12 ft laminating ovens
    20,000 watt (48") UV curing chamber
    480 F hot butyl gun made from a caulk gun, heat tape and a 24 oz beer can - performs like a $3000.00 system for 40 bucks, and I got to drink the beer
    Delta Unisaw, various diamond wheels for carbide, Diamond lap, Accuspray guns, and the usual assortment of cool toys / tools.

  11. #11
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    Yes, we went to the moon. Back when men were men and didn't have the computors, CAD and CYA policies.
    Rabbit QX-80-1290 80W Laser
    twin custom made 5 x 12 ft laminating ovens
    20,000 watt (48") UV curing chamber
    480 F hot butyl gun made from a caulk gun, heat tape and a 24 oz beer can - performs like a $3000.00 system for 40 bucks, and I got to drink the beer
    Delta Unisaw, various diamond wheels for carbide, Diamond lap, Accuspray guns, and the usual assortment of cool toys / tools.

  12. #12
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    Quilted silver guitar and quilted carbon fiber

    The first of the new builds came out awesome. My buddy Steve Raz is the lead guitarist for E5C4P3, the best Journey tribute band, and gigs with it regularly now. Bummer, is that I was planning on introducing this acrylic version of the "quilted" figure at NAMM, but then figured out how to use my quilt molds to texture Carbon Fiber, and ended up getting a patent on it, as it can be directly glued to wood - same directional expansion / contraction as wood. It actually has higher luster and is an "exaggerated" version of real quilt figure due to its higher light refraction off the fibers.

    Then made another mold in a "fiddleback" figure, and using it as the fingerboard on the quilted CF guitar. Now this one is going to NAMM.
    BlazyGuitar-features-MedRez.jpgQuiltSilver-Boro-Burl-Clsp-right.jpgCF-quilt-Face-sprayshot.jpgCF-BCRB-neckClsp-Sprayshot-fulloutside.jpg
    Yes, we went to the moon. Back when men were men and didn't have the computors, CAD and CYA policies.
    Rabbit QX-80-1290 80W Laser
    twin custom made 5 x 12 ft laminating ovens
    20,000 watt (48") UV curing chamber
    480 F hot butyl gun made from a caulk gun, heat tape and a 24 oz beer can - performs like a $3000.00 system for 40 bucks, and I got to drink the beer
    Delta Unisaw, various diamond wheels for carbide, Diamond lap, Accuspray guns, and the usual assortment of cool toys / tools.

  13. #13
    Looks good John!
    Fred

  14. #14
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    You certainly can draw and use a spray gun. As you have found out,lacquer doesn't stick to poly finishes.

    Don't loan that guitar to any clown who has a large belt buckle! I made a futuristic electric bass for a local band member. Even made the bridge and potted the pickups.

    He loaned it to someone who did a real number on the back of the bass with his belt buckle. I don't know what is wrong with some morons! Really!!!!! I didn't take pictures, unfortunately. Kalimba wood was used for the body.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by george wilson View Post
    You certainly can draw and use a spray gun. As you have found out,lacquer doesn't stick to poly finishes.

    Don't loan that guitar to any clown who has a large belt buckle! I made a futuristic electric bass for a local band member. Even made the bridge and potted the pickups.

    He loaned it to someone who did a real number on the back of the bass with his belt buckle. I don't know what is wrong with some morons! Really!!!!! I didn't take pictures, unfortunately. Kalimba wood was used for the body.
    Thanks George! Whenever I work on my guitar for whatever reason (had to tighten the bridge as it slid on the acrylic under string tension- added a cement dam) I always flip it over to see any buckle scrape marks. Steve (my buddy who plays it) evidently doesn't have a buckle - its always pristine. For some guys, rub marks are a badge of honor for wear, but I'm not into relic'd guitars.

    Wow - you potted the pups? Sounds like its a nice bass. Let me encourage you to look into scatterwound pickups for your next electric build. I simply wanted to employ local artisans, not really buying the hype of the crisper tone of scatterwound, so I ordered two hand wounds from Turnbull Pickups. All the professional sound guys at the scores of gigs that Steve has done this summer all say that the guitar soars way above Steve's Les Paul. They even showed me the digital output graph. Steve himself heard its crisp crunch right off the bat, "cutting through the mix" and I just thought they were all just being nice, since its such a cool custom build.
    There even was a guy that asked my wife saturday (I wasn't there - had to work on Dichrolam for a casino) if they were handwound, because he could hear a difference.

    So look up scatterwound humbuckers - a ton of boutique pup builders out there. Evidentally, crossing the wires when winding decreases capacitive resistance, bringing out crisper trebles without losing low-end. Seems important, since its first part of tone chain. Can't believe Gibson or the other big guys don't use scatterwound, or at least offer it as upgrade option.
    Yes, we went to the moon. Back when men were men and didn't have the computors, CAD and CYA policies.
    Rabbit QX-80-1290 80W Laser
    twin custom made 5 x 12 ft laminating ovens
    20,000 watt (48") UV curing chamber
    480 F hot butyl gun made from a caulk gun, heat tape and a 24 oz beer can - performs like a $3000.00 system for 40 bucks, and I got to drink the beer
    Delta Unisaw, various diamond wheels for carbide, Diamond lap, Accuspray guns, and the usual assortment of cool toys / tools.

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