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Somebody likes dovetails

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Phil Pascoe

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I must have seen 100's of wooden artifacts in my lifetime that have made me think "that's a criminal waste of wonderful wood!" - I didn't realise for a moment that it was offensive (other than to the maker, possibly), that it was crass, or that I shouldn't actually say it in adult conversation.
I am perfectly capable of writing an offensive post, if I so wish: that wasn't one.
Have a nice day.
Phil.
 

Mr T

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Hi

Is this a private argument or can anyone join in! There is something about cross grain dovetails that just gets my goat. They are completely impractical and add nothing to the function of any piece, be it furniture, jewellery box or musical instrument . Seeing cross grain dovetails just makes me think of them breaking of is put under stress. Dovetails can be beautiful to see, but only when used appropriately. Let's not get carried away just because we can cut some nice dovetails!

Chris
 

gus3049

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phil.p":33v3y066 said:
Gordon, that is extreme toolporn!

AND..... for around £2500 not £12,500. If I had to choose one guitar or five of the planes, I know which I'd go for.
 

speeder1987

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Must say I absolutely love them :) design seems a bit like marmite to me :p

John

Sent from my GT-N7000 using Tapatalk 2
 

gus3049

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speeder1987":qjqxix93 said:
design seems a bit like marmite to me :p
John

Aha, that explains it. Those that like these things don't like marmite then. Must be that. marmite is one of the things that makes life worthwhile along with the ability to make perfect dovetails. In the right place of course.

There is and will always be a 'standard' of what entails good design, art, literature etc. The problems come when folk with lesser taste start to disagree with me. :roll:
 

Benchwayze

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Just one thing I would point out is:
The tone of a guitar has much to do with the quality of the timber selected for it's manufacture. (Among other things of course) So if the top is made from two different species, and not just an exercise in finishing techniques, I can't see how you would ensure the best sound from it.

Time has convinced luthiers of the best methods and materials. So why mess with something that works? (Unless you're on a budget, or you are making a novelty.) In which case you could make a guitar by fitting a one gallon Castrol oil can to a guitar neck. (Yes, I have seen one and I even played the thing; but I wasn't over-impressed. )

As someone pointed out, for a guitar, that 'dovetail' design was a waste of timber. As an exercise in being different, well maybe it succeeded. However, I still prefer my Gibson ES 175!

And Percy, upon which lofty plateau do you reside? 8)
 

gus3049

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Benchwayze":152bxvjt said:
Just one thing I would point out is:
The tone of a guitar has much to do with the quality of the timber selected for it's manufacture. (Among other things of course) So if the top is made from two different species, and not just an exercise in finishing techniques, I can't see how you would ensure the best sound from it.

As someone pointed out, for a guitar, that 'dovetail' design was a waste of timber. As an exercise in being different, well maybe it succeeded. However, I still prefer my Gibson ES 175!

And Percy, upon which lofty plateau do you reside? 8)

Ah but, he manages to sell them at £12,000+ so one can't knock his marketing skills. I'm with you on the top of the guitar. The sides and back I reckon you could get away with.
 

Benchwayze

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gus3049":10anb1on said:
Benchwayze":10anb1on said:
Just one thing I would point out is:
The tone of a guitar has much to do with the quality of the timber selected for it's manufacture. (Among other things of course) So if the top is made from two different species, and not just an exercise in finishing techniques, I can't see how you would ensure the best sound from it.

As someone pointed out, for a guitar, that 'dovetail' design was a waste of timber. As an exercise in being different, well maybe it succeeded. However, I still prefer my Gibson ES 175!

And Percy, upon which lofty plateau do you reside? 8)

Ah but, he manages to sell them at £12,000+ so one can't knock his marketing skills. I'm with you on the top of the guitar. The sides and back I reckon you could get away with.

Agreed Gordon. Quite frequently, top and back are different species. The sides, being sinuous curves, are usually laminated veneer, though usually of one species.

I can't see the point of making the top from two species, unless they were flat-veneered together, (If someone found that worked better.) That would almost be a plywood top, which isn't usually so good; normally used in guitars like mine, which rely on amplification for their tone and resonance.
:)
 

John Brown

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If I was spending 7,000 on a plane, I'd expect it to be the flying sort.
Seriously, would anyone buying one of those planes ever use it to plane wood?
 

gus3049

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John Brown":26ba3cvr said:
If I was spending 7,000 on a plane, I'd expect it to be the flying sort.
Seriously, would anyone buying one of those planes ever use it to plane wood?

I imagine most end up behind glass which is a tragedy as I'm quite sure they are a joy to actually use. Those of us that have to put up with Stanley and the like will never know.
 

John Brown

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So it's a bit like the very expensive bottles of wine, which will never be drunk, and are thus unfit for purpose.
I've always been intrigued by the idea that, once a bottle of wine reaches the value at which it will never be consumed, it should immediately become worthless - or at least plunge in value. I like the idea of building some sort of relaxation oscillator based on this.
 

gus3049

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John Brown":caxuueuh said:
So it's a bit like the very expensive bottles of wine, which will never be drunk, and are thus unfit for purpose.

Sadly, its probably true. The wine thing is just plain stupid. Wouldn't happen in this household anyway. I had some Old Speckled Hen beer that was 'collectable'. I will never know how much better it could get after a few years :D

It was delicious then, thats good enough for me.
 

Modernist

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It is clear this chap is a highly skilled maker and also has marketing and sales under control, he should be a rich man.

But......................

To use dovetails along the grain is structurally indefensible so if they are only for decoration they may as well have been inlaid.

Having two dissimilar timbers for a every part of a guitar body is unlikely to improve the tone

So it's all a marketing gimmick. Fine, so long it is seen as such, well made or not. It is not a classic example of the luthiers art or cabinet making techniques.
 

Benchwayze

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phil.p":26oatbrf said:
I assume someone will try to persuade me that a dovetail through the middle of the front of a guitar makes it sound better : I live in hope .............no, actually it's despair.

Very little that luthiers do today can make any guitar sound any better. I think they have gone about as far as is possible; and the sound of a guitar is like Marmite; especially the sound of heavy metal!
Someone will say it depends on the guitarist... But Sorry. No one could make me appreciate the scream of heavy metal, any more than they could make me like Marmite!

:mrgreen:
 

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