My Guitar Project III - S.Yairi 950

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments

My Guitar Project III - S.Yairi 950

Postby HNLim » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:40 am

I bought this guitar a S.Yairi 950 last year through Craigslist in the US. To cut a long story short, my initial impression when I first got it was the sound was tight and subdued. Some thing amazing happened two weeks later after I got this guitar. The sound changes to become the best sounding guitar that I have heard so far. It is better sounding than all the guitars I owned. It has become my favourite.

The guitar was almost scratchless when I got it except for 2 "whip lash" mark just below the 1st & 2nd string at the sound board. This I assumed was sustained when the 1st & 2nd strings slip-off the tie block. I learned from the seller that this guitar used to belong to his father who have passed-on and that he found the guitar under his bed when he went to clear out the belongings when he was making plans to sell off his father's house.

The other thing is that this guitar was too plain for my liking. I have always love classical guitars with beautiful headstock carving. So, I have finally made the decision to give this guitar a new lease of life by giving it several upgrades. The first is to add carvings to the headstock.

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This is the original headstock with a 2mm thick headplate which is too thin for carving.

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First I removed the new Gotoh tuning machine which I replaced when I got the guitar because of cracked rollers.

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I began to strip-off the existine headplate with a mini-plane and sand paper. Now you can see the bald headstock.

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This is the new 6mm thick Indian rosewood headplate. It should be thick enough for the carving.

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Notice that the S.Yairi has a super long headstock and it uses 39mm antique spacing tuning machine instead of the usual 35mm spacing. Notice the two twin peaks pointing extra long. This causes 2 problems for me. The first is to find a hardcase that will fit this guitar as the twin peaks will be pocking into the guitar case padding. The second is to find a headplate that is long enough. I have decided to trim the twin peaks to shorten it.

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Work-In-Progress – 1 . The carving was tougher than expected as I do not have all the tools necessary and second, my hands have not been holding a chisel for more than 30 years.

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Work-In-Progress – 2. After about 5 hours of carving, this is what I have progress to. Take a break, recuperate and continue another day.
1978 Yamaha GC30A - Spruce/Jacaranda
2012 Esteve Adalid - Spruce/BRW
2012 Hippner Custom -Spruce/BRW
2013 Yamaha SLG-110N
2014 Sen Goh Custom - Spruce/BRW (work-in-progress)
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Re: My Guitar Project III - S.Yairi 950

Postby HNLim » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:59 am

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I know that I would not be able to sleep well without having the carved headplate mounted on the guitar. Despite my aching fingers, arms and back, I decided not to wait another day. So 4 hours later, the headplate was glued onto the headstock.

With the almost finished carved headstock mounted on the guitar and the tuning machine temporary mounted for photo taking, I am extremely happy despite all the aching fingers and arms. It’s kind of like a bodybuilder feeling really good after an intense workout at the gym.

I will be mounting a genuine Japanese cultured pearl which cost me $48/- on the upper portion of the headplate where I have prepared a circular base for it.

The craved headstock will not be showing its “full glory” as I intends to redo the entire guitar including giving it a new finish. Hope this will give this 38 years old “dame” another 40 years or more of life.

Still lots of work on the carving to refine bit further before I apply the lacquer.
1978 Yamaha GC30A - Spruce/Jacaranda
2012 Esteve Adalid - Spruce/BRW
2012 Hippner Custom -Spruce/BRW
2013 Yamaha SLG-110N
2014 Sen Goh Custom - Spruce/BRW (work-in-progress)
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Re: My Guitar Project III - S.Yairi 950

Postby chelson » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:18 am

So, you are actually working on both your Yairi ? Although I have my reservation and preference over modification, it's truly impressive!!! Looks like by the time you finish both, it's the best time that we can finally have kopi and chat liao.

加油!
Regards & Cheers!
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Re: My Guitar Project III - S.Yairi 950

Postby Jabberwocky » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:47 am

You have some strange obsession but that is what got most luthiers started on luthiery. HNLim, have you considered a second career in luthiery? I mean that in the nicest way.

Some people play them. Some people make them. You are one of the makers.
1974 Jose Ramirez 1A 8-string guitar (Since 2011)
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Re: My Guitar Project III - S.Yairi 950

Postby HNLim » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:55 am

chelson wrote:So, you are actually working on both your Yairi ? Although I have my reservation and preference over modification, it's truly impressive!!! Looks like by the time you finish both, it's the best time that we can finally have kopi and chat liao.

加油!
Regards & Cheers!

Thanks! for the compliment. At least you didn't drop your jaw this time round. I am free for kopi anytime. Time is on my side.

I enjoy wood working. In fact I did a carving of the merlion in the 70's. When I was about to finish the base, my brother who lives in KL came to visit us and saw the almost finish merlion. He ask me to give it to him which I did and he told me that he will display it in his home. This way people will know that his brother did the carving.
1978 Yamaha GC30A - Spruce/Jacaranda
2012 Esteve Adalid - Spruce/BRW
2012 Hippner Custom -Spruce/BRW
2013 Yamaha SLG-110N
2014 Sen Goh Custom - Spruce/BRW (work-in-progress)
HNLim
 
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Location: Singapore - The City in a Garden

Re: My Guitar Project III - S.Yairi 950

Postby HNLim » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:06 am

Jabberwocky wrote:You have some strange obsession but that is what got most luthiers started on luthiery. HNLim, have you considered a second career in luthiery? I mean that in the nicest way.

Some people play them. Some people make them. You are one of the makers.


Thanks for the compliment! I love to play and also to make guitar. I love woodworking and carpentry but only as a hobby. I used to repair antique furniture as a hobby, but that was a long time ago. I don't think there is much money to be made from guitar making unless you are as famous as Smallmam or Ramirez. I am just enjoying the many free time that I have. Most of all I have a very good friend and luthier to help me put together all my guitar projects. I just manage to purchase a set of BRW for my next guitar project.

Let me take my time to dream out the headstock and bridge carving first.
1978 Yamaha GC30A - Spruce/Jacaranda
2012 Esteve Adalid - Spruce/BRW
2012 Hippner Custom -Spruce/BRW
2013 Yamaha SLG-110N
2014 Sen Goh Custom - Spruce/BRW (work-in-progress)
HNLim
 
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:02 am
Location: Singapore - The City in a Garden

Re: My Guitar Project III - S.Yairi 950

Postby guitarist09 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:07 am

WOW! Awesome work! I love your Yari! :D
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Re: My Guitar Project III - S.Yairi 950

Postby HNLim » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:04 am

guitarist09 wrote:WOW! Awesome work! I love your Yari! :D

Thank you for your compliment. You will love it even more when you listen to it.
1978 Yamaha GC30A - Spruce/Jacaranda
2012 Esteve Adalid - Spruce/BRW
2012 Hippner Custom -Spruce/BRW
2013 Yamaha SLG-110N
2014 Sen Goh Custom - Spruce/BRW (work-in-progress)
HNLim
 
Posts: 1002
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:02 am
Location: Singapore - The City in a Garden

Re: My Guitar Project III - S.Yairi 950

Postby HNLim » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:15 am

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After mounting the headplate, the entire headstock has to be stripped of its finish to match the headplate to the headstock.

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The completely “naked” headstock and neck. I have no choice but to strip the entire neck and headestock, otherwise I will have difficulty matching the stained lacquer used by the manufacturer.

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The headstock, shorten by 5 mm due to the short headplate is completed with a genuine Japanese cultured pearl. The new and the old headstock.

The task has proven to be more difficult and time consuming than I had anticipated. After seeing the result, It is well worth it.
1978 Yamaha GC30A - Spruce/Jacaranda
2012 Esteve Adalid - Spruce/BRW
2012 Hippner Custom -Spruce/BRW
2013 Yamaha SLG-110N
2014 Sen Goh Custom - Spruce/BRW (work-in-progress)
HNLim
 
Posts: 1002
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:02 am
Location: Singapore - The City in a Garden

Re: My Guitar Project III - S.Yairi 950

Postby Jabberwocky » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:45 am

Bravo. I think you achieved your objective.
1974 Jose Ramirez 1A 8-string guitar (Since 2011)
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Re: My Guitar Project III - S.Yairi 950

Postby koa » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:53 pm

Jabberwocky wrote:You have some strange obsession but that is what got most luthiers started on luthiery. HNLim, have you considered a second career in luthiery? I mean that in the nicest way.

Some people play them. Some people make them. You are one of the makers.


I dont thing it is a "strange obsession". He just want to perfect his belove Yairi 950.
I love to have his skill.

Koa
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Re: My Guitar Project III - S.Yairi 950

Postby HNLim » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:06 pm

Thanks Jabberwocky and Koa for your kind comments. I am not quite done with this project yet.

I have just completed this simple task of filling the plain tie-block with some simple wood inlay.

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The original plain tie-block.

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I start by gouging out the plain rosewood center. Noticed that the surrounding areas are well protected.

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All ready to receive the inlay.

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Filled with 3mm thick wood inlay.

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Excess inlay being shaved off.

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The completed tie-block.
1978 Yamaha GC30A - Spruce/Jacaranda
2012 Esteve Adalid - Spruce/BRW
2012 Hippner Custom -Spruce/BRW
2013 Yamaha SLG-110N
2014 Sen Goh Custom - Spruce/BRW (work-in-progress)
HNLim
 
Posts: 1002
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:02 am
Location: Singapore - The City in a Garden

Re: My Guitar Project III - S.Yairi 950

Postby Jabberwocky » Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:25 pm

HNLim, you should try your hand at making a rosette next! That'll keep you busy for a bit.
1974 Jose Ramirez 1A 8-string guitar (Since 2011)
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Re: My Guitar Project III - S.Yairi 950

Postby HNLim » Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:53 pm

Jabberwocky wrote:HNLim, you should try your hand at making a rosette next! That'll keep you busy for a bit.

I have thought of it, but then even if my hands are ready, my eyes may not be. I have still not acquired enough experience in headstock carving and I do not have all the necessary tool to undertake more complicated carving yet. My carving is self-taught and I need to figure out what are the tools I need. At the moment I am working with very basic carving chisels. I think these projects will keep me busy till next year.

After completing the 2 projects, I have a third one lined-up. I have already bought a set of BRW for it. Still undecided if I want a 6 strings guitar or a 10 strings guitar. BTW my project II is a 7 strings guitar.
1978 Yamaha GC30A - Spruce/Jacaranda
2012 Esteve Adalid - Spruce/BRW
2012 Hippner Custom -Spruce/BRW
2013 Yamaha SLG-110N
2014 Sen Goh Custom - Spruce/BRW (work-in-progress)
HNLim
 
Posts: 1002
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:02 am
Location: Singapore - The City in a Garden

Re: My Guitar Project III - S.Yairi 950

Postby koa » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:45 pm

Are you planning to convert to 7 Strings ? Wonderful idea. Do you need to replace the neck/fingerboard & Bridge so it can accomodate the width ? Or you want to keep the current 52mm (I assume) at nut at 58mm at Bridge ?
How about raise (elevate) the fingerboard a little bit while you changing the neck too !

I dont think you need to change the bracing for the current soundboard to support extra tension for 7th string, if you drop down tunning semi step


Please update your work
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