CS-336 Single Cut, Scratch Build.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by johnP-90, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. Flyin Z

    Flyin Z Member

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    Maybe you guys can help me out here. . .I am trying to carve a top for the first time. Problem is I don't know how the final thickness is supposed to be for a 336 or how much arch to have. I have some 335 plans that say .225" thick with a 1/2" arch for a starting plate thickness of .7225".

    I am thinking that i'll go with about .4" carved out and another .2" thick for the 336. Any input?
     
  2. johnP-90

    johnP-90 Senior Member

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    Hi Fying Z, 1/4" or .225" is spot on for the final carve thickness with a starting plate thickness of just over 1/2" or 13mm. After the top is carved the inside of the plate is also carved like an archtop guitar, mostly around the F holes to "scoop" it out down to 1/4" thickness. The sides tend to naturaly end up at 1/4"ish with the top carve so its just over the 2 main chambers that get carved inside, if that makes sense!

    This is how I did the inside... (The drill press depth stop is set to a 1/4" gap over the pin, using a 1/4" drill bit as a thickness gauge).
    [​IMG]
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    I hope that may help!


    Cheers, John
     
  3. Flyin Z

    Flyin Z Member

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    Thanks! That is exactly what I needed to know. How far do the horns stick out past the neck mortise? It looks like about 3/4".
     
  4. johnP-90

    johnP-90 Senior Member

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    The plans for a generic cs-336 are available here, there are no shortcuts and no one else doing similar as far as I am aware, so be warned. It is not a walk in the park and need to make yer own templates and go from there....

    Here is where ze plans are....

    http://www.guitarplansunlimited.com/Gibsonish Pages/CS-336.html

    Best few $$ I spent in a while and great world wide service and arrive in a few days UPS or similar. good luck mate as driven me nuts, or more so...:thumb: But the Tone n feel is what it is all about and worth the ton of work.

    Cheers, John
     
  5. Bend'n'Slide

    Bend'n'Slide Senior Member

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    Now she's been up and running for a few weeks, how are you getting on with her, John?

    :)
     
  6. johnP-90

    johnP-90 Senior Member

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    Thanks man, yeah I have been playing her most evenings doing everything from country to skater punk and Who stuff on her, and seldom disappoints! It took a while to get used to the different chime and voice being Limba/korina body and neck rather than mahogany which is warmer but this makes up with a lovely brighter more resonant kind of tone. Limba is a great tone wood and has more snap and mid range me thinks, bit like swamp ash on a strat or Tele compared to alder or bass wood tone wise.

    Forumite "valvetoneman" is dropping by next week, he has a killer set neck strat also in Limba and with a similar "dark burst" I borrowed a bit from spraying this one! :hmm: Anyway I will be asking him for an opinion as he has a great ear an knows his stuff when it come to "burst tone" etc...

    What I am hearing is more Gretch or LP on this one and when the volume is passed 7 it becomes a rock monster. Below 7 it is mild mannered and does nice Beatles jangly stuff very well, so very happy with the build. I may even build another over the winter as hate not finishing a project.......................:fingersx:

    [​IMG]



    Cheers, John
     
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  7. valvetoneman

    valvetoneman Senior Member

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    It's the all limba special I made that has really surprised me, it's got a bubinga fretboard
    It's bloody good, the whole body vibrates when it's played
    Very raw and rock n roll and loves a bit of gain, sounds huge with drop d tuning, it still has great clarity
     
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  8. johnP-90

    johnP-90 Senior Member

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    Nice on Darren, :thumb: and a fitting description for this beastie too! Limba has a lovely chime and great sustain, I'd be interested in your feedback Darren as I am crap at putting it to words, all I know is I I like it, a lot. The chambering does not take anything away from the "sizzle" imho but gives up some nice retro Twang, man....:slash:

    Cheers, John
     
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  9. cmjohnson

    cmjohnson Senior Member

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    I was also inspired by the Gibson CS-336, once upon a time. I built something based on the design, but went with a chambered solidbody approach.

    I think it came out quite nicely.

    It has kind of a "Lucille's little sister" vibe, with no F-holes.

    This winter I restart work on its twin brother, with a top cut from the same billet.

    DSCN7615_mid.jpg
     
  10. johnP-90

    johnP-90 Senior Member

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    Wow, a lovely top billet you have there, stunning figure and au natural. Very nice work man. Have a lovely LP jnr "special" sitting in the house, courtesy of forumite valvetoneman. This needs its 15 minutes of fame (sorry mate but she is lovely).
    [​IMG]

    Photobucket is playing up again and not letting me upload any more pics of this stunning Jnr "Special", Limba n Tone Monster with Mojo P-90's and chimes for England, and Harry mate. I want one!:thumb:
    [​IMG]

    Found a way to cheat photobucket n paste this one, best play a few Who songs, ah hem... Very nice work Darren n thanks for lending.

    Cheers, John
    Ps Whats up with photobucket? Useless at best of times...
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  11. cmjohnson

    cmjohnson Senior Member

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    Thank you for the kind words. That top is in what I called my "SuperNatural" finish. It's a stained top, using a secret combination of reds, browns, and yellow dyes. Secret because I don't actually recall the precise mix I used. I just experimented until I found it. To replicate it, I'd just experiment until I found it again. And maybe keep notes! The undyed wood was actually about as white as maple gets.
     
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  12. valvetoneman

    valvetoneman Senior Member

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    Most of my paint jobs are secret, no idea what amounts just go with the flow
     
  13. johnP-90

    johnP-90 Senior Member

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    "CMJohnson",Your natural finish and staining is killer, it is also how I pre-stain the top cap with water based stain, then rub back to almost white and leave some stain in the grain. Then spray a wash coat and ze burst with same colours, in lacquer, if so inclined...:thumb:

    Btw "Valvetonemans" LP Jnr "special" in Limba is amazing and been playing all evening. The tail stop bridge and Mojo P-90's plus a great build gives up great tone. If I had cash money I would buy her as save me a ton of time building one as nice! Or Icould build one, ah hem. She is a bit camera shy n photobucketplaying up agin but here goes...
    [​IMG]
    Soddin photobucket will not let me post an uncropped pic but this will do, Tone Monster....:thumb: SC 336 sounds pretty good as well mind but this just fell into my hand, and we were of straight into ze Zone, man with the Mojo P-90's n killer build. Now need an early night as knackered.

    Cheers, John

    PS Just in case this one sulks from lack of attention (Girls) Lol.
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. lowatter

    lowatter Senior Member

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    Lovely John. I was hoping to hear a clip or 2 to hear the tonal qualities of this fine guitar and how it handles feedback etc. with that gorgeous 18 watter you have there. You could pm me for my email if you'd like John if you don't want to post any clips. Best wishes!
     
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  15. valvetoneman

    valvetoneman Senior Member

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    I miss that 18 watt plexi too, when I get time I'll cook another one up, I do have an 18 watt lite to keep me going but only one volume and tone plus full power scaling

    Love those small valve amps
     
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  16. johnP-90

    johnP-90 Senior Member

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    Got to build another 18W Plexi combo man, they are killer with power scaling to get the good Tone, Man.:slash: Lovely demo today with the Jnr "special" n deffinately want one for raw P-90 Tone, nice and not "Jazzclub" ah hem....

    On a different note, my SC-336 is also nice, but in a more refined kind of way with Mojo Paf's and a bit more Jazzclub, until wound up passed 7.:thumb: And becomes Beatles n "Shebador", for 3 minutes! Grin. Will try and sort out a basic sound clip but more of a Jazzer under 7, Jazzclub, nice.....:slash:

    The solid body P-90 Jnr's definatley have the edge on monster tone n burst my bubble, like having a monster in the house that "special", ah hem...Want one or may be a DC Jnr as Tone machines, Man:naughty:

    Tah, John
     
  17. cmjohnson

    cmjohnson Senior Member

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    This is just my take on it. Don't worry about precise dimensions. Carve until it looks and feels right. I go for a rim thickness that is a matter of personal choice, anywhere between 1/8 inch and 5/16 inch. The thickness of the top is, on my builds, generally 5/8 of an inch, with the range being between 1/2 and 3/4 inch. I do not obsess over matching specific carve dimensions, I just carve until I like it. I use a single light to cast shadows across the surface in the later stages of the carve, to highlight imperfections, bumps, dips, and areas where the carve is not symmetrical. Most of my carving is done using a random orbital sander and several different sandpaper grit. I have never used a template to check a carve or create one. You don't really need templates, either, unless you are trying to faithfully copy another
    instrument's carve, which is fine if that's what you want to do. But the way I carve a top is one of the ways I sign my work. I like doing it this way.
     
  18. johnP-90

    johnP-90 Senior Member

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    I replied to this a couple of weeks ago, doing it the "Bob Bernadetto" way but pretty much the same, ending up with 1/8" ish at the rims. But more input helps and very similar dimension as it happens. :thumb: Thanks cmjohnson as it all helps, in a good way.

    On a different note, and after much Jnr special P-90 madness, ah hem an array of Gibbo like set necks built over the years after a quick set up on all of em yesterday. Forumite Valvetone man is up this week so ideal time to get the dust covers off n' give em a noodle.
    [​IMG]

    Photobucket is nigh on useless and having to copy the raw image but get the genaral idea.....

    Thanks, John

    PS I have had to finesse the nut slots a tad more now she has settled in (SC-336) but way harsh on the bridge pickup setting at 4/64" under top E and 6/64" bottom E. Sorted now, got my screwdriver out n lowered em a bit and Tone heaven now and not so harsh! :thumb: Now she is well nice, Jazzclub..:slash:

    Just goes to show the small things make a big difference, Tone wise, ah hem. Huge difference n lovely now. Capt. Happy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
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  19. Spotcheck Billy

    Spotcheck Billy Senior Member

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    Nothin' in the world like happy! Good on ya, John.
     
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  20. Bend'n'Slide

    Bend'n'Slide Senior Member

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    John, all four of those look fantastic but the tobacco burst SC is just amazing!

    Very glad to hear that she's setting in nicely with final set-up tweaks. If she sounds as good as she looks, it would seem that you have excelled yourself!

    :D
     

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