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Dom in Somerset

Piano recycling GREEN DEATH GUITAR

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Hi, some of you may know me and my previous projects from basschat. These are two basses made using wood from scrap pianos.DSC05232.thumb.JPG.769b7152628dfab3ea88fdd9e3c489fe.JPGDSCF1246.thumb.JPG.4e81661188b86e5120140511a9823d52.JPG
At the moment I'm making a guitar from similar materials. It starts like this with panels taken from pianos , mostly pre 1920 so the wood is likely to be 100 years old. Mostly poplar with various veneers.DSC05119.thumb.JPG.1213ddf7808b06dc8cc54d473bdb8828.JPGody 
The body is made by gluing several pieces together , pianos don't tend to have much wood that's thick enough.
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For this build I've removed the veneer and the front face of the body is made from opposing blocks with the grain at 90 degrees to the centre line. 
It's mostly for me to play in a punk band so I'm keeping it simple, one pickup by the bridge , vol and tone control. There will be some contouring but I haven't decided quite how much yet.
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Edited by Dom in Somerset
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28 minutes ago, ezbass said:

Block inlays from the keyboard? 😃

I have used ebony from the black keys but I'm not keen on ivory even if the elephant died 100 years ago. I might try some of the synthetic key covers but most of the older ones discolour , sometimes ending up muddy orange.
Not sure what I'll use on this one , I'll decide when once I've selected the fingerboard.

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I have decided to call this guitar Green Death because it's green, the name sounds bad ass and it's a Doctor Who reference.
The main timber used for pianos is poplar , it varies a lot in density and colour .It's usually covered in veneer but in this case I've stripped the veneer. I've chosen dense green wood for this guitar and not just the body.
I was originally only having a bridge pickup but last weekend I had a rehearsal/writing session and found myself using the neck pickup a lot. There will be some contouring eventually.
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For the neck I'm using part of an old chest of drawers:DSCF1290.thumb.JPG.39fd750c57ab330d0af4e7fb338a0294.JPG
No idea what the wood is but it's plenty hard enough:
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For the fretboard I'll be using green poplar again:
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I've glued and clamped it over night, I may work on it tomorrow but I have other things on the go...DSCF1293.thumb.JPG.04a898327919790dcc9af3868226bc8b.JPG

 

Edited by Dom in Somerset
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Cracking looking projects. Two things I especially love. One is how you can produce great instruments from wood many would dismiss as scrap. Taylor made a run of gorgeous guitars some years ago from old packing palettes, to prove the point that the build quality and design matters as much or more than so-called "tonewood".  What *really* grabs me about these, though,  is the idea that Music Endures: you've taken an old instrument that was presumably just past saving, and create something new with it such that it can live again in another form, and make music once more. That's pure poetry, that is. Not to mention that it would be a great gimmick if ever you were going to go into selling them! Like barncaster, but somehow a step cooler. 

Love to hear some recordings of these. 

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On 10/10/2020 at 21:11, EliasMooseblaster said:

^ I second Mr Marlowe's comments! (Though I hadn't heard about the Taylor palette guitars - I'm intrigued now)

Good rundown of the story here: http://www.guitaradventures.com/taylor-pallet-guitar-story

Not a fan of the inlay, but otherwise if they did these as a regular model and passed any cost saving on the the consumer, I'd be seriously interested. Only bit I didn't like so much was the inlay. GAK had or maybe still have one on sale used for seven and a half K (ouch!). 

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2 hours ago, EdwardMarlowe said:

Good rundown of the story here: http://www.guitaradventures.com/taylor-pallet-guitar-story

Not a fan of the inlay, but otherwise if they did these as a regular model and passed any cost saving on the the consumer, I'd be seriously interested. Only bit I didn't like so much was the inlay. GAK had or maybe still have one on sale used for seven and a half K (ouch!). 

Very interesting reading - thanks for the link! I take your point about the inlays: I know the holes were already there, so they (probably) had to do something with them, but I expect a wood inlay would have looked nicer. But I guess it was an artistic decision to make a "feature" of them. Looking at some of the photos, I certainly wouldn't have guessed that they joined half a dozen pieces for the top.

But yeah, selling them for upwards of seven grand...feels a little bit cynical. I know you're paying for a lot of expert workmanship when you buy a Taylor, but to fork(-lift) out that much and know that it was made from discarded pallets just makes me feel like you're partly paying for the novelty of it.

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I liked the idea of the aluminium bits in the sides. Definitely they were selling these as a collector's piece,  but it would be really interesting to see somebody give top notch manufacture to this sort of thing in a regular line, see how affordable it could be. I suspect it'd have to be a "non-first world" manufacture, though, given how big a chunk of the cost of something  like this made in the US or UK would be the labour, so it might end up that in reality to do what this is as a regular production model could be hard to market, given the so many people still believe in "tonewood" - especially at the price of a regular Taylor.  Nonetheless, I love seeing thingsl ike this that explode the myths! 

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Hi, I've got a few things planned for next year, notably a flying v build. I'll be starting a new thread for it and going into a bit more detail. It should be a bit different if the finish I have in mind works. It's not something I've tried before and I'm not sure if anyone else has either! Anyway , that's for next year.
Meanwhile ...I took an opportunity to use up some spare parts to make this Frankencaster for one of my partner's grandchildren's Christmas present:
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An old strat body that I re-sprayed + the best fitting of the three necks I had gathering dust. The hardware and pickups are all things I took a punt on to see what they were like but decided not to use on a full build but perfectly good for a first guitar. I'm really pleased with it , hopefully the new owner will be too.

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Last week, someone I know in Washington DC was scrapping an old piano. 100 odd yeas old.... it seems after a certain point, age is no factor in the value of a piano. Which really made me think about the viability here of what you're doing with turning the wood into new instruments. 

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32 minutes ago, EdwardMarlowe said:

Last week, someone I know in Washington DC was scrapping an old piano. 100 odd yeas old.... it seems after a certain point, age is no factor in the value of a piano. Which really made me think about the viability here of what you're doing with turning the wood into new instruments. 

Once the "plank" (the bit that the tuning pins go into) wares out in most cases that's it.  Most of what I'm using are "straight strung" pianos, just not worth repairing and sound like a bag of spanners even when they work. They stopped making them in the 1920's.

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