Page 1 of 13
#1
Hey guys, it's been said numerous times (mostly by my opposition, or those trying to be) that I don't help out enough people starting out in the field of lutherie. I certainly don't think that is true, as Ive trained numerous guys how to build guitars either from one on one training, group training, work experience programs, email or forum based training (I had my own forum at one stage to assist budding guitar makers), or the international clinics I often do whilst travelling on my holidays.

Some of those guys have already gone off and started businesses, and are working full time building and repairing guitars.

I'm certainly busy, and I don't get time every day to help people out online, so I'm often quick and concise with my replies. That's something you'll have to deal with The information will be there though.

I'm currently restructuring both my work and home to allow me more work time, and more recreational time, so I'm now able to step up and offer support and guidance to you guys on this forum. I'm doing it because I want to. I don't need more sales, I'm inundated, so I post here hopefully to inspire someone to do something special, and because Im as proud as hell of what I do for a living.

When I started out, no one helped me, at all. I had to make all the mistakes. I enjoy helping people out, in fact we schedule an hour a day at work for people to drop into the shop and ask questions or advice.

There are of course a couple rules...
1. Please think about your questions before posting. You'll learn a lot more by thinking through things first. You might even find the answer yourself. Try the search bar.
2. Questions about pricing/quoting, or how much I pay for certain parts/woods, or where I source them from are off limits. My negotiations with my suppliers are my business. It's taken me years to find the right guys to deal with. Telling you guys means they get busy, put prices up, and reduce quality. Been there and done that too many times now Same goes for guitar quotes if you want me to make a guitar. My website covers all that.
3. If you have a question about something I've previously done, and a photo would help, then please link to the photo from my website. Same goes for your projects, post a clear picture.
4. Dont ask a question that needs a ten page answer eg: explain how to stain and finish a guitar from start to finish) I dont have THAT much time... keep everything to the point.
5. I will discuss general ideas regarding some items I believe I've innovated or developed, but not actual measurements. Eg: pickup winds and patterns, nut compensation, etc etc.
6. Feel free to pop in and dispute, or offer a different solution to what I suggest, but please only do so if you have the experience to back your claims.


So, need help with a jig, or how to stain something? Want to know what grade sand paper to use, or what glues are best for holding frets? Found a timber and want some advice on how to machine it? Want to know how it was to work with a particular client? How to store woods, or which types of lacquer I prefer, etc etc etc

Ask away...

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
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#2
You said you taught people to make guitars with a work experience program. Are people allowed to apply to do work experience there for 2 week year 11/12 SWL programs?

Also what kind of services do you have avialible to the public apart from full guitar builds/setups? Do you allow people to use your machinery for a fee and do the Inlay/Pickup winding courses often or only during the full guitar build course on the website?
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Last edited by random_B-RAD at Jul 19, 2009,
#3
I really hope this won't take that much time to write a response to...

Regarding sunburst finishes. I've seen some do it with inks, and I've seen some do it with spray paint...And from what I've seen the staining method is harder to screw up. Have you ever done it this way? That was with a yellow/green burst, but would would it be doable with a traditional burst (with solid black)?
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#4
Quote by random_B-RAD
You said you taught people to make guitars with a work experience program. Are people allowed to apply to do work experience there for 2 week year 11/12 SWL programs?


Yes, we have just had one guy complete his three months (one day a week) and have another guy starting in a week or two (two weeks full time). As long as the school provides the insurance, it's all cool. We only do these 4-6 times a year though. The work you do depends on how busy we are for those weeks, and how good you are.

Quote by random_B-RAD
Also what kind of services do you have avialible to the public apart from full guitar builds/setups? Do you allow people to use your machinery for a fee and do the Inlay/Pickup winding courses often or only during the full guitar build course on the website?


We will machine you timber, but you cant use our machines. Public liability insurance is a pain.

We only to the pickup and inlay course in addition to the full guitar making courses. That might change in the future.

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
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#5
Quote by AntiG3
I really hope this won't take that much time to write a response to...

Regarding sunburst finishes. I've seen some do it with inks, and I've seen some do it with spray paint...And from what I've seen the staining method is harder to screw up. Have you ever done it this way? That was with a yellow/green burst, but would would it be doable with a traditional burst (with solid black)?


Its MUCH easier to stuff up but wiping on the sunburst. (is that what you meant?) In fact, i'd never ever do it like that. I'd only ever use a proper spray gun, or airbrush. An aerosol doesnt have a fine enough spray pattern to work properly either, unless the stain is mixed with clear to dilute it.

I mix the stain with clear, the mixture rate depends on the colour i want, and spray it on (over a clear coated body). Wait five minutes for it to tack off, then clear over. You could spray stain directly onto raw timber, Ive done that before too, but you cant wipe/sand it off if you go too far.

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
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#6
First of all thank you for taking the time to make this thread and offer your time, I'm sure every one appreciates the info as much as I do I cant really think of many questions at the time but I look forwards to reading this anyway.


Can you outline the playability and limits of your multiscales.

e.g. whats the biggest difference in scale length do you think is possible between the outer strings? (I imagine the more strings you add, the wider the neck, the bigger the difference can be?)

You say the perp should be around the 7th fret, is that always true? (I imagine if you moved the perp to the 5th fret, or the 12th for what ever reason the difference in scale lenth must be reduced to stop it getting to far at the nut and bridge?)


On a different note, what do you think about compensated nuts? Do any off the shelf nuts compensated nuts work (earvana etc), why is it that additional nut compensation is needed as well as inontation, just for the open chords?


Cheers


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#8
The shark was an inspiration for me to start building my guitar, I have a picture of the shark hanging on my wall(True!)

When you started making guitar, who bought from you? I mean how did you start wining your reputation, did you start making copies of traditional models (Strat, tele, LP) , did you take in custom orders, or did you just do guitars and later on sell them?

Cheers!

EDIT: How do you engrave your logo on the guitars, watermark decal?


THANKS A LOT!!
Last edited by divinorum69 at Jul 19, 2009,
#9
Quote by ormsby guitars
Its MUCH easier to stuff up but wiping on the sunburst. (is that what you meant?) In fact, i'd never ever do it like that. I'd only ever use a proper spray gun, or airbrush. An aerosol doesnt have a fine enough spray pattern to work properly either, unless the stain is mixed with clear to dilute it.

I mix the stain with clear, the mixture rate depends on the colour i want, and spray it on (over a clear coated body). Wait five minutes for it to tack off, then clear over. You could spray stain directly onto raw timber, Ive done that before too, but you cant wipe/sand it off if you go too far.
Cheers. Yep, I'm pretty sure that's what I meant. If I got what you meant
Anyway, that doesn't matter now, since I'm probably gonna airbrush it on.
Thanks again.
I have a ponytail fetish.
..And a labcoat fetish. SCIENCE!
#10
im not sure if you've ever put this anywhere or already answered this..


what was your first guitar you built?
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#11
Quote by WTF!!is a TAB
How much will a
PRS Custom 24/Schecter C-1 copy
with a Vine Of Life inlay
an Ibanez Lo-Pro
a Flame maple Top
Trans-Black finish
Tasmanian Blackwood cost??

im in the US BTW
and are you gonna make amps soon?? i watched some of your vids and i saw an amp with an Ormsby logo.

*facepalm

2. Questions about pricing/quoting, or how much I pay for certain parts/woods, or where I source them from are off limits. My negotiations with my suppliers are my business. It's taken me years to find the right guys to deal with. Telling you guys means they get busy, put prices up, and reduce quality. Been there and done that too many times now Same goes for guitar quotes if you want me to make a guitar. My website covers all that.
GENERATION 11: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.
#12
Quote by conor1148
what was your first guitar you built?
This I believe

http://www.ormsbyguitars.com/galleries/gallerypics/vine.html


Quote by dogismycopilot
Absent Mind, words cant express how much i love you. Id bone you, oh yea.

Quote by lumberjack
Absent Mind is, as usual, completely correct.

Quote by littlemurph7976
Id like to make my love for Neil public knowledge as he is a beautiful man
Last edited by Absent Mind at Jul 19, 2009,
#13
This is like one of those "if you could ask God anything, what would it be?" things

Serious thought required.

Something I would like to ask, with regards to wood prep.

If a thicknesser and jointer (bench planer) aren't available. Is there an effective way that you could describe, in order to make good, glueable edges, that would incorporate either a manual or electric hand plane, for those that are less experienced in using those things?

I am keen on the idea of a router thicknesser, for larger stuff but neck lam's for example?

I am not sure if you have machines when you first started or not, so...
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#14
I'm starting my first build soon, and I'm a little nervous about Neck Stabily, as it's going to be a neck through, and I've never built a neck before.

What can I do to ensure the neck doesn't bend or warp in any way?


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#15
Quote by Scowmoo
I'm starting my first build soon, and I'm a little nervous about Neck Stabily, as it's going to be a neck through, and I've never built a neck before.

What can I do to ensure the neck doesn't bend or warp in any way?


Laminate it, hence my question
Quote by Cal UK

...that's what Skeet always says anyway and he's a sex god.


Member of the official GB&C "Who to Listen to" list


I support Shay van Fani
I can supply WD Music, ABM and AllParts products to UK builders at DISCOUNTED prices!
#16
Quote by Scowmoo
What can I do to ensure the neck doesn't bend or warp in any way?
You cant, you could put a million lams together, carbon fibre rods, truss rods etc, but you cant ensure it will never move, you can only help to reduce movement.

but yeah make it at least a 3 peice, if it is not perfect flat or quarter sawn you can oppose grains in a 3 peice to reduce movement e.g. /// ||| \\\ if that makes sence.

and you can re-inforce with carbon fibre rods, I dont know if rods on a 6 string is overkill though, I guess it doesnt hurt?


Quote by dogismycopilot
Absent Mind, words cant express how much i love you. Id bone you, oh yea.

Quote by lumberjack
Absent Mind is, as usual, completely correct.

Quote by littlemurph7976
Id like to make my love for Neil public knowledge as he is a beautiful man
Last edited by Absent Mind at Jul 19, 2009,
#18
Hey Perry, thanks for doing this. What kind of oil do you use for finishing?
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#19
Hokay, so is the slight u-shaped routing for the truss rod channel absolutely necessary? Or can it just be a straight gap? Vertical u I mean.

Thank you good chap!

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#22
What adverse effects do laminate necks have on the tone. Obviously tone will change because of different woods, but will all the gluing of the neck pieces together cause some tone loss?

Thanks.
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#23
Quote by divinorum69
The shark was an inspiration for me to start building my guitar, I have a picture of the shark hanging on my wall(True!)

When you started making guitar, who bought from you? I mean how did you start wining your reputation, did you start making copies of traditional models (Strat, tele, LP) , did you take in custom orders, or did you just do guitars and later on sell them?

Cheers!

EDIT: How do you engrave your logo on the guitars, watermark decal?


THANKS A LOT!!


The Shark is still one of my favourites too!

I was lucky enough to have a fiance that earnt a LOT of money, so I didnt have to worry about an income for 12 months. I just started building guitars and doing repair work for a local store. For some reason, another local maker decided to stop building, just as I was starting out. He sent one guy to me, and that guy became one of my biggest fans (two guitars, another two on order currently).
This business is 50% luck I reckon.
I always have built custom orders, the only time I dont build a guitar for a client, is when I build it for myself. I still do not own one of my own guitars, cause someone always ends up buying them.

The logos are generally self adhesive stickers cut by my local signwriter. They are the same thickness as a coat of lacquer, so by the time I have a few coats on there, its level.

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
HERE!
#24
Quote by conor1148
im not sure if you've ever put this anywhere or already answered this..


what was your first guitar you built?


The Vine.

I spent ten years telling everyone I was going to build guitars one day, and everyone got sick of hearing about it. If I built a strat or tele, Im sure everyone would have just said "so what?". Id been working as a cabinet maker and had built some really cool interesting stuff, so wanted to do that with guitars.
So, I built the hardest thing I possibly could think of:







I got offered $10,000 for it earlier this year. I said no.

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
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#25
Quote by Skeet UK
This is like one of those "if you could ask God anything, what would it be?" things

Serious thought required.

Something I would like to ask, with regards to wood prep.

If a thicknesser and jointer (bench planer) aren't available. Is there an effective way that you could describe, in order to make good, glueable edges, that would incorporate either a manual or electric hand plane, for those that are less experienced in using those things?

I am keen on the idea of a router thicknesser, for larger stuff but neck lam's for example?

I am not sure if you have machines when you first started or not, so...


I used a handplane for the first year, then started going down to the local woodwork school to hire their machines for an afternoon. It takes a lot of effort to do it by hand, so just find a school that will let you use their gear.

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
HERE!
#26
Quote by Scowmoo
I'm starting my first build soon, and I'm a little nervous about Neck Stabily, as it's going to be a neck through, and I've never built a neck before.

What can I do to ensure the neck doesn't bend or warp in any way?


Laminates, if the timber is dry, will stay straight. Personally, I just try and buy timber now, for guitars that I'll build next year. That way they have moved and I can cut the movement out of them when machining the blank.

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
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#27
Quote by Sonic Blast
what kind of glue IS best for frets? i didn't know they were glued, i just thought the barb like things on the frets held them in.


If im doing a refret, sometime the barbs just arent enough. So, I use a bit of titebond on the tang to help it out a bit. It doesnt really hold metal, but it does help make them a bit tighter... maybe the glue expands the wood fibres?
Most of the time I'll drop a couple drops of CA glue down the fret tang after installing frets into new necks.

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
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#28
Quote by bv310
Hey Perry, thanks for doing this. What kind of oil do you use for finishing?


At the moment, Danish Oil with tung oil and lemon oil, plus a touch of mineral spirits. Id really like to try Tru-oil, but I havent found it here yet.

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
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#29
Quote by Dawginator
Hokay, so is the slight u-shaped routing for the truss rod channel absolutely necessary? Or can it just be a straight gap? Vertical u I mean.

Thank you good chap!

Have a cigar.


I use a square channel, which suits the square rods I use.

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
HERE!
#30
Quote by necroscience13
how did you do the inlay on this guitar? also, what did you use to hold the inlay in there?



also, do you cut the neck to the size you want and then attach the fretboard and cut off the excess? or is it the other way around?



That inlay is metal shavings, plus epoxy glue.

I rough cut the neck to a square slightly oversize shape, then glue the fretboard down, and carve away the excess.



The line you see, is the offcut. Im using it to support the neck while i work on it.

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
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#31
Quote by apak
What adverse effects do laminate necks have on the tone. Obviously tone will change because of different woods, but will all the gluing of the neck pieces together cause some tone loss?

Thanks.


Tone loss?
Laminations tends to have a more even effect. Some single piece necks might sound brighter, or bassier than the should (compared to other single piece necks of the same species), but laminations are kind of a 'will always sound middle ground'. I have a video somewhere on me demonstrating the tone difference even between three pieces of timber cut from the SAME PLANK. I just gotta find it one day and upload it.

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
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#32
Perry, what do you use when you do your carves?

I know some people use a dremel, some use chisels, some go for rasps...
build 1, finished 1/15/11

Every time I try to pick it up like falling sand,
As fast as I pick it up,
it runs away through my clutching hands.
There's nothing else I can really do...
#33
Quote by Copaman
Perry, what do you use when you do your carves?

I know some people use a dremel, some use chisels, some go for rasps...


How would a dremel work for carving a neck or a top?

I use rasps, spokeshave and an orbital sander for neck carves, and an angle grinder with 80 grit disc and an orbital sander for top carves.

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
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#34
Quote by ormsby guitars
How would a dremel work for carving a neck or a top?

I use rasps, spokeshave and an orbital sander for neck carves, and an angle grinder with 80 grit disc and an orbital sander for top carves.


Who knows, but I've seen it in some builds.

Thanks mate
build 1, finished 1/15/11

Every time I try to pick it up like falling sand,
As fast as I pick it up,
it runs away through my clutching hands.
There's nothing else I can really do...
#35
How would you recommend that someone carve a neck if they've never done it before? I know you use a spokeshave, but is that how you've always done it?
#36
Do you make a steady, middle-class income building guitars? It seems like you must only just be starting to profit from this, because of the costs of renting space, buying tools, etc. I hope that's not too personal of a question... I have been considering guitar lutherie as a career (amongst many many other things).
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#37
Quote by Issor
How would you recommend that someone carve a neck if they've never done it before? I know you use a spokeshave, but is that how you've always done it?

I know that's how I would do it if I were building a guitar It's a tried and true method.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

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Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

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#38
Thanks for the answer!

Quote by Issor
How would you recommend that someone carve a neck if they've never done it before? I know you use a spokeshave, but is that how you've always done it?


And for Issor, I did my first neck shaping with rasp and a file, then sand paper. What I did is I traced with a pencil my limits, and I started rasping away evenly, always checking with a digital calibre the thickness of my neck. When I got to 2 mm before of what my final thickness aim was, I stoped, then I sanded following the shape of the neck.
#39
I know you recommend "Build your own guitar by Melvyn Hiscock", but i think someone said you would be bringing out your own book, is this true?
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#40
G'day,
My Epi is finished in that horrible plasticy polyurethane,but I'm a big fan of the nitro finish.
Is there anything I can do short of re-finishing to get of rid of that sticky feel?
I've heard of several people sanding the very top layer of finish off the neck,what kind of sand paper should I be using for this? and would there be any specific technique to this?
Also,I picked up Australian guitar a while ago and it explained your multiscale guitars, but I still can't quite wrap my head around them.I will admit I don't know alot about the technical side of things to do with the guitar,but from what I understand,each string has a slightly different scale length?
Or am I completely wrong?
Seagulls,the chicken of the ocean.

Originally posted by Gunpowder:
Everyone just jumps on the bandwagon and gives the same advice in these situations. You know what? I'm going to be different. Call the firemen.