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Carbon Fiber

Discussion in 'DIY Strat Forum' started by Ian Ashdown, May 18, 2019.

  1. Ian Ashdown

    Ian Ashdown Strat-Talk Member

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    Hi,

    I’m a returning Guitar player, not very good but getting a little better every day, and professionally I’m an aerospace composites engineer. I’ve done all the design work for the manufacture of a Carbon Fiber Strat Neck. A body will follow, and maybe a one piece Strat later.

    I be really appreciative of any input from the forum members as to what features would be important to include. Thing like Fretboard curvature, neck shape, fret type, gloss or satin, tuner brand etc

    It would be a direct replacement for a Fender neck.

    Any thought, suggestions etc would be great to hear an much appreciated.

    Thanks

    Ian
    SoCal
     
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  2. Yaralag

    Yaralag Senior Stratmaster

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    Modern C, 9.5” radius, medium jumbo frets, and tuners? Depends on how you want them to look. Many good brands out there.
     
  3. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two. Gold Member

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    Is the fret board going to be made of wood or you going fiber there as well?

    EDIT: Oh Jeeze… Welcome to the Forum. Where the heck are my manners.
     
  4. garyhoos1

    garyhoos1 Huffing n Puffing. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Welcome on board :thumb:

    I played a plastic guitar once I didn't like it I think Jack White had one, good luck with your venture.
     
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  5. nungesser

    nungesser When I became of age my momma sat me down Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Welcome aboard!
    I'm afraid I'm no help to you on any specs but it sounds like an interesting project and look forward to seeing what you come up with
     
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  6. vid1900

    vid1900 Most Honored Senior Member

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    On other Carbon Fiber guitars I've serviced, the CF weave pattern telegraphs through the finish after a few years. Any new tech to keep this from happening with yours ?

    How does the Polyester/Epoxy material react after a few years and it's time to do a refret? Does it become more brittle and chip out when you heat and pull the frets?

    Things I would suggest:

    Stainless Steel Frets - avoid any future refrets right from the get go.

    Using the conductive nature of CF to **shield** the entire guitar from electrical hum.

    Threaded brass inserts on the neck heel and strap pin locations.

    A modular way to replace the truss rod should it ever become damaged.
     
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  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

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    Stay with the classic specs ... try to get "cute" with what ya may think of as :dream" metrics and the Market strings exponentially...


    rk
     
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  8. Yves

    Yves Most Honored Senior Member

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    Just leave it there. Carbon fiber is goof for formula one breaking systems and aeroplane and other stuff...
    we Love Tone Wood!!!
     
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  9. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

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    ahh yes, but Wood is a carbon based organic material... sOOoooOOOoooooo. :p

    r
     
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  10. cc407

    cc407 Strat-Talker

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    I respect your pursuit but can offer no advice other than letting the weave be your finished look. I have been greatly surprised by my hybrid carbon/glass fiber RaInsong acoustic. Steady as a rock and it sounds really good...not Martin good, but nice. It's my gigging acoustic.
     
  11. StratSounds

    StratSounds Senior Stratmaster

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    B-b-b-but...then there’s no tone wood man! There’s no woody harmonic resonance to mojo stank up my tone when you use freakin carbon fiber dude! C’mon man! Just stop it man, c’mon dewd, just stop it, super suriusly bro, just like, stop it.
     
  12. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    I’m pumped to hear how good this thing sounds.
     
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  13. TremoloJoe

    TremoloJoe Strat-Talker

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    I am a carbon fiber freak (car parts)! I sent away for a sample of all of these new and different geometric weaves...unbelievable what is possible. I salute you! I don’t even care how it sounds...is that wrong? Of course it is wrong...but I think that could all be creatively worked out somehow with tone wood verneers or laminates or some such thing.
     
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  14. Relaxing at Cam

    Relaxing at Cam Strat-Talker

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    I think it sounds great, but I'm not in the market for one.
     
  15. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    Absolutely! It would be silly to use short-lived frets on a CF neck.

    I love the idea of a carbon fiber neck. Didn't Steinberger make them a while back? It would be great to have a neck that doesn't need the truss rod adjusted when the seasons change like all mine do. I wonder how CF compares to aluminum in that application.
     
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  16. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    I totally agree. A neck that doesn't move, with frets that don't wear, would be great.

    I think the original Steinbergers were completely carbon fiber .
     
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  17. Sarnodude

    Sarnodude Senior Stratmaster

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    If you could duplicate the feel of a well worn neck using CFRP that would be awesome. I worked on the Dreamliner as a Liaison Engineer, so I know a little bit about fabrication, tooling and repair of carbon fiber.
     
  18. JamesE

    JamesE Strat-Talker

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    Hello Ian, interesting first post! Certainly welcome, and your experiments will be of interest to many. I won't repeat any of the earlier posts, but you suggest a one-piece. This brings you into Les Paul/SG territory IMHO, where sustain is all the rage. How long would it sustain? If your CF guitar could outsustain a '59 Les Paul - now that would be something!
     
  19. Ian Ashdown

    Ian Ashdown Strat-Talk Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    Great to be here with such a wealth of group knowledge. Some really good thoughts here, I’ll try to respond to all the comments.
    Modern C - Yes. 9.5” Rad. OK, but what about 9.5” to 12” compound? I’m thinking medium jumbo SS frets. I’m considering glued on, like the Parkers, but I’d guess there might be some resistance to that.
    I’m hoping to find some high- reduction locking tuners.
    Fretboard would be CF. Maybe Unidirectional, but probably woven. The body would definitely be woven, got a few trick lay-ups but can’t share yet . . Satin or Gloss available. Probably gloss body, satin neck.
    No Truss-Rod. With a neck built of uni-directional CF it’s possible to over engineer to the point that a truss-rode is not required. No variation with temperature or humidity change.
    I understand the love of wood guitars. CF will never replace my wooden guitars, (Strats, Tele’s, LP’s SG’s Firebird etc), never intended to! The idea is to create a guitar that has its own tone and character. I also believe that the tone can be adjusted by using different fibers, even some natural fibers maybe, not just CF. Also by using different weaves of CF, hi-modulus, low-modulus, different resin systems, fillers etc the tone can be adjusted to create different characteristics.
    Autoclave curing and modern finishes have very good long term appearance.
    I think the one piece, all composite guitar, could have sustain to out perform anything! There may be a relationship between tone and sustain however . . .
    I also think a really light (<3lbs), totally stable, CF guitar would make the life of the touring/gigging musician a whole lot easier. I’d like to do one, all Formula One style (my background), all Carbon Fiber and Titanium. Light, strong, and bulletproof! Actually we could even make a bulletproof one . . .

    My thought is to start off with the neck, then the body, all interchangeable with Fender Strat parts, then the one piece Strat. When we have all that tooled etc we can start to experiment with different materials and processes to customize the tone and character. The opportunities with this material are almost limitless.

    One thing CF will never be is cheap! Any part made from it will always be a premium price, but imagine it it never required adjustment, never wore out, couldn’t be broken, was always stable, and looked really cool, wouldn’t it be worth it?

    So much to think about, so keep the ideas, thoughts, suggestions coming . . .

    Thanks,

    Ian
    SoCal
     
  20. Ian Ashdown

    Ian Ashdown Strat-Talk Member

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    Hi,
    I think I’d take that challenge! It might take a bit of experimenting but I really do believe it could be done.

    I plan to introduce some of the advanced FEA, CFD and vibration analysis software to see if it’s possible to simulate the characteristics of tone, volume, sustain etc.

    Sounds like more science and less art, but for me the two are interwoven.

    Ian
    SoCal
     
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