Just completed! Blackmachine B7 clone build :-)

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Silence2-38554, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. Silence2-38554

    Silence2-38554 SS.org Regular

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    This is my second Blackmachine clone build, third build from scratch. The first BM clone was a more basic B6, you can check the thread out HERE. The B6 build went great & I learned a lot from it, so I figured I'd step up my game and go for a 26.5" B7, with as accurate specs as possible to an authentic BM:

    African Mahogany body, chambered.
    3mm ebony top
    Ivoroid binding
    1-piece cocobolo neck w/ scarf joint headstock
    Spalted maple fretboard & headstock veneer
    Dunlop 6100 frets
    BKP Impulse humbuckers w/ coil split
    Gotoh-style Hipshot bridge (the Gotoh BM used to use has been discontinued)
    Sperzel tuning machines
    35mm thick body, total guitar weight: 7lbs

    Let's start with some eye candy & I'll get to the build pics after-

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_7394 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_737a by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_7377 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_7376 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_739e by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_738d by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_7390 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_738c by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_738a by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_7381 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_7399 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_739a by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_739b by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_739c by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_7398 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_7389 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_7393 by Kris Yates, on Flickr
     
  2. Silence2-38554

    Silence2-38554 SS.org Regular

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    And now the build!

    African mahogany board from the lumber yard:
    [​IMG]IMG_0054 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    Beautiful piece of spalted Maple:

    [​IMG]IMG_0026 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    Body planed, glued & clamped!

    [​IMG]58zYKhYWQISOYvk7GXyoew by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    Top planed, glued & traced
    [​IMG]IMG_0128 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    About to start chambering
    [​IMG]rRFPXcllQ6uzGWzJz9+T0w by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    Done & done
    [​IMG]1GlkysrxSbyOF5Fw89X%xg by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    pre-glue
    [​IMG]IMG_0138 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    glued & clamped:
    [​IMG]IMG_0144 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    gluing done, flush trimmed to template:
    [​IMG]IMG_0235 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    rear 45º bevel routed:
    [​IMG]IMG_0209 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    cavities routed:
    [​IMG]fMAA%3EiQcS+LAYNFWgvwg by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    scarf joint glued:
    [​IMG]LBvpf2xqSXWRKtqpbC7KoA by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    headstock veneer glued & clamped:
    [​IMG]kKlgEW70R662n00Cvziq5Q by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    headstock rough cut done & truss rod channel routed:
    [​IMG]BDpNOKHmR1+hTP7q9Dj%fg by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    headstock & neck flush-trimmed & test fit
    [​IMG]IMG_0291 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    Time for binding!
    [​IMG]IMG_0366 by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    ....and binding!
    [​IMG]jKvpga3WRWaPjVr4oQjK5w by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    aaaaannnnnndddddd binding!
    [​IMG]0RJ3WAPITsusGgCoYF0w%w by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    scraped & done:
    [​IMG]rfiVGa6tQ06aBC%lrxDPUQ by Kris Yates, on Flickr
     
    setsuna7, J_Mac, Kyle Jordan and 8 others like this.
  3. KR250

    KR250 SS.org Regular

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    Wow, tasty! Well done. The only thing I would change is recessing the bolts on the rear plate, if you allow me to nit pick. Otherwise perfection. What kind of finish did you do? All the wood choices look great together.
     
  4. Silence2-38554

    Silence2-38554 SS.org Regular

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    carving the neck profile:
    [​IMG]6ZJqU4EoSYaeZfF3eAUIGg by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    test fitting:
    [​IMG]0V066JblTpC+BbH2dzoDsw by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    After oiling (OMG)
    [​IMG]ljDjWduLR%uWBjBfVfPBmQ by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    Fret leveling
    [​IMG]wsgcQHxSTjeL+mY2bDFjhw by Kris Yates, on Flickr

    After that, it was just final assembly & setup! Still trying to dial in the 7th string gauge / intonation but other than that this thing turned out pretty amazing. The whole thing resonates like crazy, I suspect due to the hard(er) woods than the B6 and the chambering.

    The cocobolo neck has seriously ruined all other necks for me. Not only is it gorgeous to look at, the raw feel is perfect and it's solid as a rock. Doesn't even flinch under string tension! The only downside is that because it's so oily, it slowly stains the neck binding yellow in a very short period of time :-/

    This will probably be the last BM clone I build (for a while at least.... may try to do a B8 some day). 2018 will be a year for my own designs :)
     
  5. Silence2-38554

    Silence2-38554 SS.org Regular

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    For the rear plate bolts, I tried to mimic an authentic BM as closely as possible, which means using this style bolt. They don't get in the way at all when playing, so I don't mind.

    For the finish, I used Tru oil on the mahogany, Liberon finishing oil on the ebony, Formby's Tung on the maple fretboard / headstock and Music Nomad's fretboard oil on the back of the neck. All have about 4-5 coats, steel wooled between coats & finished with gunstock wax (except the cocobolo). I took the time to test about 5 different finishes on all of the different woods & chose what worked best with each one.
     
    KR250 likes this.
  6. geoffstgermaine

    geoffstgermaine SS.org Regular

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    Very nice guitar and your build looks to be very well done. I’m partial to Cocobolo necks myself!

    How punky was the spalted Maple you used on the fretboard? Was it treated with anything?
     
  7. Mattykoda

    Mattykoda SS.org Regular

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    Looks really clean. Excellent wood choices and interesting to see spalted maple as a fretboard. Looks like a light figured pme, how's it play?
     
  8. electriceye

    electriceye SS.org Regular

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    Have to say this is an amazing build. What glue did you use for the scarf joint? The cocobolo is so oily, I've read that epoxy or similar glue needs to be used
     
  9. sezna

    sezna undermotivated

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    Guitar looks great! I have a perhaps off topic question. What exactly is blackmachine? I have never heard of anyone getting a real one except Misha, and I have only seen people making clones of them. Was it a brand that shut down? They seem extremely loved for a brand that went under(?).
     
  10. Silence2-38554

    Silence2-38554 SS.org Regular

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    Not exactly sure what you mean by "punky", but I'll assume you're referring to the black figuring being fungus growth. Honestly, I just did a fingernail test, determined that all of the figuring in this particular piece was at least as hard as the rest of the maple (possibly harder, actually) and went about working it like a normal piece of maple.

    If you're asking how the fretboard plays, it plays great! I forgot to mention in the spec thread, I did a 16" radius on the board.

    Titebond 1 and a LOT of pressure while curing. Two screws for alignment, about four clamps. Mating surfaces finished with a blade (scraper) and wiped down with alcohol before gluing. This was actually my first scarf joint so I did a lot of research before diving in. Looking into the science of how exactly wood glues work, etc. From what I could tell, this should hold up. I am also sharing a shop space with a very experienced luthier and he didn't see any reason to not use good 'ol Titebond 1. If it fails I'll update this thread on how I repaired it with epoxy lol.

    Blackmachine is a small brand created by one dude, Doug Campbell, in London. From what I can tell, he is still active but he only builds a small handful of instruments per year and his waitlist is several years out. If you want to see why clone builds are so common, check out the asking price for THIS used one on Reverb!
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  11. Lemonbaby

    Lemonbaby SS.org Regular

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    Really good work! Where did you get that Ebony top?
     
  12. Mr_Mar10

    Mr_Mar10 *space for hire*

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    Stunner!!! :shred: top work dude
     
  13. pondman

    pondman Build Whore. Contributor

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    Beautiful build and super clean work. Congrats.
     
  14. crackout

    crackout SS.org Regular

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    Very impressive! Is this chambering pattern now 'the magical real deal'? :D
    Now it's time for a B2? :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  15. MikeNeal

    MikeNeal SS.org Regular

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    really great build. love the spalted maple fretboard.
     
  16. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire ERG hoarder

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    looks great, love the wood choices :yesway:
     
  17. hvdh

    hvdh SS.org Regular

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    Looks slick and sharp!
    Very well crafted
     
  18. Silence2-38554

    Silence2-38554 SS.org Regular

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    Snagged the ebony top from Gilmer Hardwoods. It wasn’t cheap but it was necessary!

    Unfortunately the clambering pattern was simply a best guess. The only solid info I could find about the “real” BM clambering is that there were 5 chambers, so I just mapped out where they could logically go. If I were to do it again, I would maybe connect the two small routes on the treble side & add a 5th slim one on the outside of the control cavity.
     
  19. geoffstgermaine

    geoffstgermaine SS.org Regular

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    Punky, with spalted Maple is areas that are seriously structurally degraded due to the decay of the wood. I've handled some great looking spalted Maple that you could break apart with a pretty low amount of force. In this case some sort of stabilization is required and as fretboard material I've seen both cyanoacrylate and acrylic resin used and was wondering if this was something you needed to do. Obviously not - thanks for the response.
     
  20. crackout

    crackout SS.org Regular

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    Is it a two-piece top? For the ebony top of my latest build, I joined 5 fretboards. :)

    Regarding chambering: I always wondered about neck dive with these thin guitars, especially with such heavy chambering.
     

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