Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #111186  by proshy
 Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:07 pm
Long time reader and researcher, first time poster, but here it goes.
First off, i love this forum! I love to hear people think thank and talk about everything related to music and the dead, so message to the admins: thanks.

Anyhow, I got an idea and want to hear what people think about it. I absolutely love Garcia's guitars and just like Garcia guitar playing influenced me to play guitar like him, Irwin's guitar building influenced me to want to build guitars like him. So here is my comparison: In my mind, a musician initially learns from his/her influences and eventually as the musician gets better with the instrument, the musician begins to create his/her own sound, based off of what HE/SHE wants music to sound like. My brother told me this as i was learning guitar and the comparison is using that concept in the building of instruments.

So, after reading up and down these forum listings on construction mods on wolf, tiger, travis bean, ibanez etc..I clumped them all together. While this idea is probably not new (because there are a lot of skilled, talented wood workers on this forum), i think it would be a pretty cool idea to make a guitar baby from travis bean and the wolf: a aluminum neck through wolf.

Here is my method for specs of wolf: i took a flat faced pic of the wolf guitar and took it into kinkos where i had the pic scaled to a 25.5 in scale length, printing out an exact template for the guitar. As an extensive measure, i correlated the specs of the pic with the measurement recorded with dozin, and they matched up exactly.

With this research already underway, i discovered this post: ... uitar.html

BLAST! My idea had already been thought of, i thought. At first, i was discouraged with this discovery but i decided not to give up and i thought i would design a better model, that would be stronger and way cooler looking, and i came up with the i-beam construction rather than the plain t-beam.

Moreover, this idea would be a exact recreation of the wolf guitar (in terms of specs) and would offer the unique tonality similar to a travis bean. The neck would have would inserts and the wings would also be inserts, offering a swimming pool route cavity. Now the only part is that i have to find somebody to do the metalwork and the wood work for me as a prototype(Good luck).

Eventually, i would love to turn this into my own guitar company and offer this product to you guys, because i know how much all of you love Irwin's guitars. But as i truly value all your opinions and thoughts i welcome all criticisms and comments. Would this be something of interest for you guys? Would you be interested in the future purchase of this kind of instrument if it was appropriately priced? Things like that..

Also, all the hardware and inlays would be exact, of course, as i have already designed the majority of them :)

Mr. Paul
 #111188  by hippieguy1954
 Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:35 pm
Sounds like it would look cool!
I’m just not sure enough people would want aluminum involved for it to be the only way to offer it. That would also depend on if you want to make or supplement your income with it. Or is it just for the fun and love of it. I guess that’s what you’re trying to find out.
What price point were you thinking?
Would love to see a prototype.
:smile: :smile: :smile:
 #113157  by proshy
 Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:13 pm
An update:
After a long period of research, i found a company in indiana that does custom metal work. check'em out, they are pretty legit :

For the last few weeks i have slaving away with the cad software and finally got to a design that i like. I sent this design to Cut2size and they offered me a decent quote for the wolf tailpiece and the neckthrough. So, now i'm in the funding process...almost there.

Moreover, it should only be a week or two until i can get this thing actually going. Pictures to come!

Also: I realized that my post kinda sounded a bit sales-y. Sorry about that, i'm just really curious to hear what everyone thinks.I've decided to forget about that part of this for now and just see if it will work and sound good. So for now, this project is just for the fun of it!

Mr. Paul
 #113161  by TI4-1009
 Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:47 pm
Very cool! What is it about this place that draws all the nuts out of the woodwork... :lol:

FWIW- In the Les Paul exhibit at the R&RHOF last weekend I saw one of his prototypes- even earlier than "The Log". It was a pickup mounted to a 3 foot length of railroad track! He liked it, but realized it wasn't practical- 150 pounds- took 4 guys to carry it around (Billy & Micky never had that problem...)!

Will be curious to see (hear) the tone of an all-aluminium guitar. Great rigidity and stability, but the metal is light (not dense), so I'd think the tone might be somewhat "light" too? But well worth the experimentation- keep us posted.
 #113162  by waldo041
 Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:08 pm
an often overlooked aspect of the Travis Bean guitars is the fact that the pickups are mounted directly to the neck. just wanted to pass the info.

 #113164  by proshy
 Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:09 pm

Well, the really cool thing about cut2size is that they are very professional. They are super responsive! You don't have to wait forever to here back from them. Also, they team you up with an mechanical engineer that goes over your project with you. Pretty awesome customer service. And, they have a very strict privacy policy which is REALLY comforting!

Yeah hopefully mine doesn't way that much :lol: i am slightly worried that its going to be pretty heavy, but since its a prototype, it doesn't matter that much because if it works you can give a trim job in places that are to heavy (like the big "T" in the headstock of the travis bean). But aluminum is pretty light...we'll have to see.

Since the strings would be hanging over the aluminum in the body and partly with the neck the tone should be nice and bright, i'm currently looking into different tone woods for the fingerboard, neck and body inserts (i know that the travis beans used koa?) as well as different types of pickups that would sound best up against the aluminum.

 #113169  by TI4-1009
 Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:49 pm
Curious about any kind of "relief" in the neck. Usually you want the neck very close to dead flat, but depending upon your picking style you could could want some bow or relief (if you pick more aggressively). Wondering how you would do that on a metal neck. Waldo- how is it done on a Bean? Is there some kind of a double truss rod "welded" on?

EDIT- just googled this- looks like no rod: ... review.htm
 #113176  by waldo041
 Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:27 pm
TI4-1009 wrote:Curious about any kind of "relief" in the neck. Usually you want the neck very close to dead flat, but depending upon your picking style you could could want some bow or relief (if you pick more aggressively). Wondering how you would do that on a metal neck. Waldo- how is it done on a Bean? Is there some kind of a double truss rod "welded" on?

EDIT- just googled this- looks like no rod: ... review.htm
corrct, no rod. in fact that is exactly what Travis Bean was looking to eliminate with his aluminum designed neck, no relief issues.

 #113183  by redeyedjim
 Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:00 pm
I think your project is a cool one and look forward to seeing how it turns out.

I don't want to seem like an attention whore, but since there aren't a lot of aluminum neck guitars it seems relevant to post an image of my aluminum necked Kramer 450G (with the Wolf/Tiger electronics):


The Vintage Kramer page has a nice history of the brand and some details about the construction of Kramer's aluminum necked guitars and basses.

I don't know if I can answer any questions for you about my own guitar, but I'd be happy to if you have any.
 #113190  by TI4-1009
 Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:03 pm
Attention whore...