I did a Wikipedia rabbit hole again . . .

Talk about modding or building your own guitar from scratch.
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HarlowTheFish
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I did a Wikipedia rabbit hole again . . .

Post by HarlowTheFish » Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:51 pm

. . . and now I'm looking up recipes for DIY aerogel because I'm super curious what kind of crazy shit you could get away with using hydrophobically-treated aerogel as the inside for a resin/fiber sealed build ala Parker or Aristides, probably with some kind of skeleton on the inside (probably aluminum) so you can actually screw parts in and put strings on it without the entire thing just disintegrating.

Super light, I'd guess similar properties to a sealed proper hollowbody (depending on aerogel density -- I'd personally lean to something a bit tougher than a straight basic silica aerogel, maybe a bit less dense than balsa with some kind of skeleton, probably a bit more than balsa without), but with the major advantage that, for all intents and purposes, you're working with a solid body and aren't limited by the kinds of practical considerations that a luthier working with either a thinline or bent-sides hollowbody has to take into account, like stiffness and flex.

I already know I'm in waaaaaay over my head so I'm gonna skip the question with the obvious answer and ask, considering that I'm already barking up the wrong (or at least a needlessly-complicated-but-oh-so-scifi-chic) tree, do y'all think this would be that one crazy axe at NAMM that nobody ever talks about again, or -- obviously, cost and complexity aside because it's more for shits and giggles than for actual production -- would it actually be kinda cool and allow for some cool stuff that isn't practically or feasibly achievable with a more traditional bill of materials than this crap:
Aerogel.org (believe it or not, it's a real place) wrote: Zinc metal powder with a grain size of 1–5 μm
Poly(vinyl butyral)
High-temperature air furnace with minimum upper temperature of 1200°C
High-temperature ceramic rings to serve as molds
Multizone (two zones or greater) split-hinge (“clamshell”) tube furnace
Quartz processing tube (this recipe used a tube with length = 1300 mm diameter = 110 mm, dependent on tube furnace size)
A liquid feedstock injector for CVD furnaces (e.g., syringe pump attached to a injector nozzle)
I know there's a few crazy inventive folks on here, what would you make if your for-all-intents-and-purposes solid-body weighed like, 16 grams for 4sqft of body blank?

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mbene085
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Re: I did a Wikipedia rabbit hole again . . .

Post by mbene085 » Mon Jun 14, 2021 6:28 am

There are ergonomic limits to how light you can make a guitar body. Neck dive is an issue. You'd have to do a carbon fiber neck with a headless design in order to eliminate the headstock and tuners and transfer that mass to down by the endpin, but even those need truss rods, which put some mass in the neck that requires counterbalance, though I'm not sure how much. Would depend on on shape you use.

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Gordon
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Re: I did a Wikipedia rabbit hole again . . .

Post by Gordon » Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:02 pm

Wouldn't it dampen the sound and have little to no sustain? :ph34r:
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mbene085
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Re: I did a Wikipedia rabbit hole again . . .

Post by mbene085 » Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:26 pm

Gordon wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:02 pm
Wouldn't it dampen the sound and have little to no sustain? :ph34r:
Depends on the neck design, and how the bridge is secured. It's not a question of mass alone. If you built it as a headless neck-through, the weight of the wings of the body would have little effect on anything, as far as I can figure. String-through and top loading bridges with a regular headstock would also behave differently on a light body, because the mechanics are a bit different. It depends how rigid that body is, and how much it would vibrate and flex.

This guy built a 3.5lb Tele out of a Styrofoam body and regular wood neck and Tele hardware. If you watch the video, it basically sounds like a regular guitar. Seems like it damps some high frequencies but it sustains just fine.

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HarlowTheFish
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Re: I did a Wikipedia rabbit hole again . . .

Post by HarlowTheFish » Tue Jun 15, 2021 12:47 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 6:28 am
There are ergonomic limits to how light you can make a guitar body. Neck dive is an issue. You'd have to do a carbon fiber neck with a headless design in order to eliminate the headstock and tuners and transfer that mass to down by the endpin, but even those need truss rods, which put some mass in the neck that requires counterbalance, though I'm not sure how much. Would depend on on shape you use.
What I was thinking, if I ever get around to trying this, is basically a really lightweight aluminum rod/rods from headstock (where the tuners are mounted to it) to the bottom strap button, with all of the hardware mounted through the aerogel into the aluminum underneath. Truss rod optional (would have to do math to make sure it can handle the pull of the strings long-term) but not impossible by any means -- plenty of wood necks have metal reinforcement, and while there's not much in the way of wood, the truss rod would be acting on the same principle, just connected directly to the section of reinforcement that's under the fretboard. Works for headless (probably better balance) and maybe with a headstock too (depending on how much difference it makes that there's also not really any wood there, it's essentially a sheath for the aluminum skeleton and a mold for the fiber exoskeleton.
Gordon wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:02 pm
Wouldn't it dampen the sound and have little to no sustain? :ph34r:
Nah, it would be a super transparent and airy tone :P

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Re: I did a Wikipedia rabbit hole again . . .

Post by SignoftheDragon » Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:08 pm

There's a guitar company called Switch guitars (yeah- try googling THAT.) that did some cool stuff with variable-density foam for their bodies and necks- Made it so the foam was rigid through the neck & center-body, but more 'fluffy' out in the wings- to provide more resonance, I think. I'm not sure if they had any frame skeleton to bind onto, but I don't see how it could be done without. (and be a playable instrument)

Ahh, yes- they called it Vibracell (TM)

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Re: I did a Wikipedia rabbit hole again . . .

Post by SignoftheDragon » Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:18 pm

They made a 12-string, too (which is what brought it to my attention in the first place, circa 2005ish)

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Re: I did a Wikipedia rabbit hole again . . .

Post by Veitchy » Thu Jun 17, 2021 4:38 pm

SignoftheDragon wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:18 pm
They made a 12-string, too (which is what brought it to my attention in the first place, circa 2005ish)

Image
I can't explain why but there's something truly hypnotic about this guitar. I can't stop looking at it.

Edit: It looks a bit like a 12 string Hagstrom Swede.

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HarlowTheFish
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Re: I did a Wikipedia rabbit hole again . . .

Post by HarlowTheFish » Fri Jun 18, 2021 8:18 am

SignoftheDragon wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:08 pm
There's a guitar company called Switch guitars (yeah- try googling THAT.) that did some cool stuff with variable-density foam for their bodies and necks- Made it so the foam was rigid through the neck & center-body, but more 'fluffy' out in the wings- to provide more resonance, I think. I'm not sure if they had any frame skeleton to bind onto, but I don't see how it could be done without. (and be a playable instrument)
Yeah, these and Aristides out in Haarlem are part of the inspiration. In both cases, they use very tough resin-cast shells that are fit around a different resin-thing that's supposed to be similar in density and resonance characteristics to more traditional guitar-building woods. I'm not 100% on the Switch stuff, but Aristides doesn't do an endoskeleton but does include a truss rod, and they're actually not that light -- I messed with one for like 5 minutes, 6-string hardtail, and it weighed like 7ish, 8ish pounds.

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