Another '59 Carve Top MOdel...

tjskmlp

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Time for another '59 LP Carve Top modeling project. Unlike other threads I have followed here, I will, from the start, say that I hope this eventually becomes a commercial project. A limited market, but still a very passionate group of fans.
I always wondered what was so special about this carve top that created such devotion, until I made one myself (just the carve top, not a complete guitar,) and fell in love with the feel and sexy look and shape of the carve. Inaccurate, but still beautiful, and I can see the sexy allure of this design. I could easily buy a top and digitize it, but that would be a cheat, not my work, and no pride in the final product. I want to be able to say "This is my design, my artwork, my carve-top." I understand that, because of the way these guitars were made, there is no such thing as the "factory spec" carve top. I want to make a top that fans of the '59 carve top will be happy with.
I understand that time is money, and your time and expertise has value.
I am willing to offer one or more of the following for your help:
______ One carve top in flamed, figured, birds eye, or other high quality wood. Tell me what you want, pics of wood requested will be provided. Local lumber shop has all exotic woods available, A to Z, Ash to Zebra...
______ One plug for use in a copy carver, HDPE; Vacuum form currently being explored along with other substrates.
______ A copy of the finished model, compatible with your software.

I have access to Solidworks, Mastercam, Vectric, Alibre, Rhino, and more. I am sure we can work something out. Anyone interested?
 

pinefd

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I may have missed it, but what is it you want in return (what kind of help)? To borrow someone's 'burst to copy? And where are you located?
 

Mattsta

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Time for another '59 LP Carve Top modeling project. Unlike other threads I have followed here, I will, from the start, say that I hope this eventually becomes a commercial project. A limited market, but still a very passionate group of fans.
I always wondered what was so special about this carve top that created such devotion, until I made one myself (just the carve top, not a complete guitar,) and fell in love with the feel and sexy look and shape of the carve. Inaccurate, but still beautiful, and I can see the sexy allure of this design. I could easily buy a top and digitize it, but that would be a cheat, not my work, and no pride in the final product. I want to be able to say "This is my design, my artwork, my carve-top." I understand that, because of the way these guitars were made, there is no such thing as the "factory spec" carve top. I want to make a top that fans of the '59 carve top will be happy with.
I understand that time is money, and your time and expertise has value.
I am willing to offer one or more of the following for your help:
______ One carve top in flamed, figured, birds eye, or other high quality wood. Tell me what you want, pics of wood requested will be provided. Local lumber shop has all exotic woods available, A to Z, Ash to Zebra...
______ One plug for use in a copy carver, HDPE; Vacuum form currently being explored along with other substrates.
______ A copy of the finished model, compatible with your software.

I have access to Solidworks, Mastercam, Vectric, Alibre, Rhino, and more. I am sure we can work something out. Anyone interested?

Tomasz

Your best course of action is to evolve your CAD models by machining some test carves in cheap material. Plywood is good because the laminated ply creates a contour map of your carve as you machine it.

This is the what I did.

I didn't have a real vintage Les Paul to measure either, just the John Catto drawings and whatever photographic reference material I could find on the internet.

I believe you have the Bartlett drawings now, so you have all the important design parameters for creating your carved top.

I had a top test machined in mdf, then ply and I now have 2 guys test machining tops for me, Nick Drushel at Glaser Instruments in Nashville and a hobby guitar maker in Holland.

I think this is a journey you will have to take for yourself, as I did and as many other people have done.
 

emoney

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Frank's asked the best question, that's for sure.
 

Ripthorn

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I am not a whiz when it comes to 3D CAD, so my course of action would be to carve one out of hardwood that I was really happy with, then digitize that. Then it is still all your own artwork/craftmanship, but avoids all the rougher test machining.
 

NateM

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Magnus (GooCart) posted a good tutorial for how he got to a Les Paul top carve if that is what you are looking for:

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/luthiers-corner/77293-quick-3d-modeling-tutorial-rhino.html

I used his method to model the top and neck for my guitar project (which is sadly incomplete as of yet) and I've been very happy with the approach. I don't know how different my top is from a real burst but, as has been repeated many times, I don't think accuracy is really the name of the game. I think we're all shooting for some personal ideal which may fall within the bounds of what constitutes an "authentic" top.
 

tjskmlp

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Thanks for the responses. I have modeled a carve top and cut it out of scrap pine cutting board style. I will post it for online comment but would also like to send a cut sample or a copy of the model to more experienced builders and get their input for improvements. All my guitar building has been in slab bodies such as Teles and LP Jrs, This is my first attempt at a carve top. At home sick this week but will post the sample and a view of the model when I can get back to my shop.
 

pshupe

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To be totally honest with you it may be an effort in futility to try and do a " '59 top carve model", considering you don't have any bursts to measure, and you have, by your own admission, not built any carve top guitars.

Your title of this thread, and the body for that matter, suggest you want to sell replica tops. There are a number of people already doing that. They have measured multiple real bursts, and have done tons of research on the subject. Even after all of this effort I doubt they really do much business in selling just the tops. Also the grief involved in explaining why their tops are the dimensions they are, to people that either don't have a clue, or wouldn't be happy if it was exactly the same as the original concept, really isn't worth the effort.

I'm not telling you not to develop a carve top but I wouldn't call it a " '59 model ".

Just my 2 cents.

Cheers Peter.
 

tjskmlp

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HI! Sorry for not replying. Been busy earning a living.
I have not been able to find my carve top model, so have to start from scratch again. $%&(*%^$%^#$ and any other profanities that may apply.
When I have completed my model (again...), all I am asking for is any luthiers knowledgeable in the classic carve top designs to give me their honest opinions in developing a "generic" model for the carve top.
I understand that the classic carve tops were sanded individually and there is no realistic standard for a "perfect" carve top model. I am working for an "acceptable" model.
What I can offer in return for your help is the following:
-A completed model in whatever format I can give you. I work mainly with Solidworks 2013.
- A model for a copy carver in a hardwood. Other materials can be negotiated.
- A completed body in materials of your choice (minus cutouts for neck, pickups, etc., unless otherwise negotiated to your specs.)
I will ship body samples to you - cheap materials (probably pine/fir) but showing design at that stage of development - until an acceptable design is reached.
Thanks for your interest in this project.
 

tjskmlp

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No responses needed until I post my files/images of my model.
Then the fun begins...
 

pshupe

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Here is one I made up for my CNC machine. Based on the 7 step top carve pdf that was shared a while back.

2rf4ydi.jpg


Looks perfect to me! ;-) I'm not sure how anyone is going to be able to comment on a carve that varied so much, but ... knock yourself out. It's been done to death.

Cheers Peter.
 

pinefd

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In case you hadn't already seen this, check out this thread that was started a number of years ago, which may be of some help. And there have been many threads since that have dealt with this issue...http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/luthiers-corner/29558-3d-carved-top-i-need-some-opinion.html

Also, in case it's of any help, here's a link to some photos I took of the top of my '59, which show some areas of the carve that aren't obvious otherwise: http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/vin...tday-updated-detailed-pics-3.html#post3146860


Frank
 

Mattsta

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Here is one I made up for my CNC machine. Based on the 7 step top carve pdf that was shared a while back.

2rf4ydi.jpg


Looks perfect to me! ;-) I'm not sure how anyone is going to be able to comment on a carve that varied so much, but ... knock yourself out. It's been done to death.

Cheers Peter.

Looks bloody fantastic to me

This whole carved top thing is a real saga. It can get quite amusing. Everyone seems to think their interpretation of the design is better than everyone elses.

This looks pretty bloody good to me though
 

pshupe

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My mesh modeling skills are horrible, so I just traced the PDF with the 7 carve steps then added 3 more steps inside each of the 7 steps, which made each contour about 1/16" in the Z direction, then used a 1/4" ball nose bit to carve the fine toolpath. A light sanding with my ROS and the carve was pretty much done. I did some hand shaping which is kind of fun, and cathartic. I even added in a couple steps for the recurve.

I wasn't trying to match any real burst, just trying to get a top I was happy with, and IMO I succeeded.

Cheers Peter.
 

Mattsta

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My mesh modeling skills are horrible, so I just traced the PDF with the 7 carve steps then added 3 more steps inside each of the 7 steps, which made each contour about 1/16" in the Z direction, then used a 1/4" ball nose bit to carve the fine toolpath. A light sanding with my ROS and the carve was pretty much done. I did some hand shaping which is kind of fun, and cathartic. I even added in a couple steps for the recurve.

I wasn't trying to match any real burst, just trying to get a top I was happy with, and IMO I succeeded.

Cheers Peter.

Yes! You did!

Some people just have an eye for the subtleties of this kind of thing, even though there is no definitive, written in stone, endorsed by God himself, ubercorrectamundo vintage carve.
 

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