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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I've been discussing this build for quite some time and am ready to at the very least start a thread. ;-) As some of you know my build threads can take quite some time. This hopefully will be quicker than most of my others as I have just been laid off from work. I view this as a good thing as I have lots of stuff to catch up on.


I will be working with Ron Wood, who wrote the book at this guitar. Literally - I highly recommend this book as a must have coffee table book if you are even remotely interested in the modernistic guitars Gibson tried to put out in the late 50's. I'll do a little history lesson in some future posts.

Here is the cover of Ron's book -

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I have started the drawings for two designs of this guitar. One is what would have been considered the "proto-type" and the other the "production" model. Although it is debate whether either type was created. To a lesser extent the proto-types but the production model was never made.

Here is a screen shot of these two designs and their current state of CAD design.

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I'll be building at least 2 or 3 of these guitars, so it should be really fun. This is just a little teaser I'll throw up for now and I will try and update as I continue. Thanks.

Regards Peter.
 

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what are those things like for playing position standing and sitting? they seem on one hand kind of like a flying V modern for its own sake even if it kills you and on the other hand like a sort of proto Stranberg ergonomics before everything approach and I've never tried one to see which one it is

i guess you can get used to anything - i find dreadnaught size acoustics the most comfortable to play and a strat just about impossible. if i could have a telecaster the size of a dreadnaught i'd be all over it ;)

j
 

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So weird looking yet so adorable.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
The hockey stick would look better on it, IMO.

View attachment 324130
I do like the Explorer head stock and it's one of the better head stocks from a constructability perspective. Not so much from a complexity but definitely from size of stock. I can make an Explorer neck with 8/4 rough stock unlike the others where I need 12/4. I'm not sure I would like the Futura with that head stock though.

Regards Peter.
 

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Once again, Peter, you really are going for a model that appeals to me! I believe the Gumbonheadstockmis the one that mimics the known drawings of the instrument, but, all things said, being that it is yet to be proven to be in existence, the other headstock shapes do look good too.
 

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what are those things like for playing position standing and sitting? they seem on one hand kind of like a flying V modern for its own sake even if it kills you and on the other hand like a sort of proto Stranberg ergonomics before everything approach and I've never tried one to see which one it is

i guess you can get used to anything - i find dreadnaught size acoustics the most comfortable to play and a strat just about impossible. if i could have a telecaster the size of a dreadnaught i'd be all over it ;)

j
They're surprisingly comfortable. I have a Dillion Moderne I bought awhile back. Here's a photo of it:

 

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I've never played any of the ModernesGibson (& Epiphone) eventually made--but I have played an Ibanez one--and found it very comfortable.
It had a headstock like the one below--based on the usual Gibson style ones for many guitars, such as Les Pauls & SGs
As for looks--when horizontal it is kind of Shark fin-esque.
 
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Headstock match the body contour?

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Starting to get wood organized for these builds. I've been communicating with Ron quite a bit. As noted above, he wrote the book on the Moderne but also owns a few. He has one from the first "re-issues" that Gibson did back in the early '80s and a couple of the Epiphone versions that were done more recently. We been measuring and documenting everything we can. We may even have the guitar laser scanned at some point. Here are a few pics of his 80s Moderne
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I picked up some Mahogany recently and also some Korina. I managed to find a couple of one piece body blanks and grabbed some Korina for necks and two piece bodies from a friend of mine. Thanks to Tom Bartlett for letting me raid his stash. ;-)
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Cheers Peter.
 

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The Moderne is kind of the guitar equivalent of the Avro Arrow: an instrument that existed on the drafting table but not in the stores..
Personally, I like the look of the classic Gibson "open book" headstock, rather than any of the pointy headstocks. That said, I'm curious about the impact of the various headstocks on string tension. At first blush the Flying V "arrowhead" seems like it provides the most equal path from the tuner to the nut for all strings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got a little bit of time tonight. Decided to joint the Korina and Mahogany for the two piece bodies. Onto the jointer first -
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This stuff looks really nice even in the rough and it is quite light as well. Again thanks to Tom Bartlett for the beautiful Korina.

I cut the one long plank down in two pieces about 5' long each. If I am lucky I should be able to get 3 two piece bodies out of the one 10' plank. Jointed one side then into the thickness planer to plane down to get a look at the wood.

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I really just want to take enough wood off to try an find any imperfections or knots that I will try an avoid when laying out the bodies. Not too much to worry about in that respect.

The body halfs will end up being slip matched trying to keep the same orientation and same side. This is important to make the joint as invisible as possible. It's nice that this board and all the other ones were pretty much quarter sawn.

Laying out the blanks.

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I slipped matched the middle and laid out the others to miss the slight amount of black limba on the edge. Should be good.

Cheers Peter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I cut up and jointed and planed the two piece bodies. I've got one mahogany two piece and one korina two piece. Both planks I purchase were pretty well quarter sawn, so the body joins should be almost invisible. I've marked out the moderne body shape on all the bodies. I haven't glued up the two piece bodies yet.

Two piece bodies -
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one piece bodies -

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Cheers Peter,
 
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