Springs

Bodies, necks, fretboards, frets, and manufacturing tools
7 Dying Trees
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Re: Springs

Post by 7 Dying Trees »

I'd be really interested in some having just bought my first parker fly... subscribing!
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vjmanzo
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Re: Springs

Post by vjmanzo »

Terrific, @7 Dying Trees; welcome! Congrats on your Fly!

I believe Mike G. may have some new springs coming in made to the same specs they were using during the USM days, so I’d keep an on his inventory as well if that’s of interest.
mmmguitar
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Re: Springs

Post by mmmguitar »

vjmanzo wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:52 pm I believe Mike G. may have some new springs coming in made to the same specs they were using during the USM days, so I’d keep an on his inventory as well if that’s of interest.
Mike recently got back to me - He reached out to Excel about having another batch produced, but it doesn’t seem to have gone beyond that. I was relieved to find a ‘97 Classic listing with a few extra springs - It’s still of great comfort knowing that two capable Fly fans are trying to get these essentials available again.
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vjmanzo
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Re: Springs

Post by vjmanzo »

mmmguitar wrote: Sat Dec 05, 2020 4:29 am
Mike recently got back to me - He reached out to Excel about having another batch produced, but it doesn’t seem to have gone beyond that.
That is unfortunate, @mmmguitar! 😑
mmmguitar wrote: Sat Dec 05, 2020 4:29 am It’s still of great comfort knowing that two capable Fly fans are trying to get these essentials available again.
Oh yeah! I’m hoping to share some of our findings soon—perhaps by the end of March, but we are working on both “new” and “improved”!!
vertigocycles
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Re: Springs

Post by vertigocycles »

I just found this forum and wish I found it much sooner. I bought a pre-refined Fly back in August and have mostly kept it in its case for lack of a hanger, tremolo bar and proper spring for my favorite string gauge. I gave up on my spring search after popping for a way overpriced 11g spring on eBay yesterday that turned out to be out of stock.

I'm going to keep an eye on what's going on here, but will start trying to work out if I can make a spring system that uses more commonly available coil springs, fits into the available space and is easily retrofittable. Probably not of interest to anyone who wants to keep their guitar stock, but I'd just like to play mine more often.
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vjmanzo
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Re: Springs

Post by vjmanzo »

Welcome, @vertigocycles! Glad to have you here!

Yes, the spring shortage is an issue, but I’m feeling good that we’ll be able to come up with a solution that fits the bill! In the meantime, you can block the Vibrato bridge with a block of wood to make it like a hardtail. Here’s a little guide if you’re interested.
vertigocycles
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Re: Springs

Post by vertigocycles »

has anyone worked out the spring rates for these springs? If so, are you willing to share your data? If not, I'll make a jig and will measure my 9g spring. With an extremely rudimentary setup, (deleted), which is about the max compression with my bar at full dive.

I know you guys are working in repro springs and I don't want to step on your toes if you're intending to make a sellable product, but I'd like to make something using standard compression springs if possible. I have a very capable machine shop, but I'm fully manual and therefor have little to no interest in making a production run. If it's not already evident, I'm the kind of person who would rather spend a week designing and making something than to spend $100 on a $10 piece of spring steel, even though I know full well that it's cheaper just to spend the $100.

So...never say never...but without the intent to make a production run, if I knew the spring rate, it'll save the effort of making a test fixture and extrapolating the results to different string sets. If it's not available, I'll go ahead with it and will post my results here in case anyone wants to have a lively discussion about it :) If I can successfully make this from commonly available parts with minimal machining, I'm happy to post a detailed design so other folks can follow along in their garage.

edit: FWIW, I recognize that this is called "fly CLONE" I've built a few Dumble style amps and some folks get twisted into knots if you call your amp a clone without using NOS 6PS caps, Roedersteins and unobtanium RCA 6L6's. Personally, I'm cool with sticking to the spirit of the original while maintaining or improving the functionality. If this isn't the place for that, it's fine, just say so and I'll be on my way.

edit again: I've been burned hard a few times in the bike industry by posting designs for the benefit of others only to have some people "borrow" it, claim it as their own and making a pretty profit from it. I'm guessing that this market won't support that type of scheme, but please don't do that.

EDIT: I deleted the rate from an above paragraph because it's incorrect. I've since measured the force over various points of travel, repeated ten times and got consistent results over each test.
Last edited by vertigocycles on Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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vjmanzo
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Re: Springs

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vertigocycles wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:57 pm has anyone worked out the spring rates for these springs? If so, are you willing to share your data? If not, I'll make a jig and will measure my 9g spring. With an extremely rudimentary setup, I just measured about 40lb per 0.5" of travel, which is about the max compression with my bar at full dive.
Hi @vertigocycles; yes, we've got a full simulation of the springs right now including what they ought to be and what they are. Our lab is on break right now for the holiday, but we'll be back in full swing in late January. Would love to loop you into the discussion thread, so please PM if you're interested. Our plan is to share a full write-up and the data when we have reached a few of our milestones, but we're not there yet.
vertigocycles wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:57 pm I know you guys are working in repro springs and I don't want to step on your toes if you're intending to make a sellable product, but I'd like to make something using standard compression springs if possible. I have a very capable machine shop, but I'm fully manual and therefor have little to no interest in making a production run.
No toe-stepping sensed; there are plenty of places that could remake these springs as they were being made, but, as I've noted in other posts on this thread: there are areas of adaptation and potentially improvement that we're exploring. My research lab is part of a non-profit university, and, with Fly Clone, I am not at all interested in making a sellable product in the sense that we'd capitalize off of the needs of the Fly players out there. If/when we're able to make a reliable spring that does what it should, we'll find a way to make them accessible to the community at the fairest rate possible. I have a pretty long fuse, but I've been absolutely disgusted by price-gouging of springs for sale on eBay and Reverb; there is such a small community of Fly players, and it doesn't make sense for us to turn on eachother.

I'd be happy to collaborate with you on your interest in using standard springs, so let's communicate off-line, please.
vertigocycles wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:57 pm FWIW, I recognize that this is called "fly CLONE" I've built a few Dumble style amps and some folks get twisted into knots if you call your amp a clone without using NOS 6PS caps, Roedersteins and unobtanium RCA 6L6's. Personally, I'm cool with sticking to the spirit of the original while maintaining or improving the functionality. If this isn't the place for that, it's fine, just say so and I'll be on my way.
Thanks for the thoughts on this. As you've likely noticed, Fly Clone is one of the last open-access places where you can find reliable information on these guitars; I happen to love Flys, I enjoyed the wealth of knowledge on the old forum that Parker Guitars operated, and I'm in a position to support and maintain this project with the help of many talented students working in my lab, so starting Fly Clone was a no-brainer.

I would like to clarify, respectfully: Parker Guitars did not “go out of business” in the sense that your favorite guitar store in town “went out of business”. Parker Guitars is/was owned by the larger conglomerate U.S. Music Corp, which is/was owned by Jam Industries, a multinational, multi-million dollar publicly held corporation. Given the resources of Jam Industries, the people who make decisions at Jam could have implemented some support and continuity plan to serve customers of Parker Guitars when they closed the company, but they did not; that’s where the problem begins for all of the Parker Guitars customers. My personal opinion is that it should not be impossible to find a manual online for a flagship guitar sold four years prior from a multi-national company, but, that's exactly where all of us were when the official Parker Guitars website and forum went offline in September 2019.

Fly Clone is one approach at addressing that problem; it's people like yourself and many others who value these instruments and want to make sure we can continue playing them without interruptions. I've got students and a guitar research lab, you've got experiences and a shop, someone else is an electrical engineer, someone else used to work for USM...for that matter, @Ken Parker has his own section here where he discusses specific Fly issues and fixes! So, with Fly Clone, together, we can address some of the major pitfalls that we'd otherwise each be facing in isolation. If there's another community that is primarily concerned with being purists about component usage with the Fly then great, but that mentality is absolutely not consistent with Ken's efforts past or present; to this day, Ken is still experimenting and trying new things with his archtop guitars. FWIW: when we showed him our 12-string Fly mod, he high-fived my students, told them that the project was awesome, and that they did an awesome job! So there you have it: if experimentation and innovation is something Ken continues to do himself and encourage others to do (even with instruments he designed), in this community, any well-reasoned adaptations and innovations related to the Fly are welcome and encouraged as well!

For me, the bottom line with Fly Clone is that at this point, I'm not gonna go back to playing a Strat, :lol: so my Flys better last a lifetime! As far as my lab is concerned, this particular area of "research" is primarily self-indulgent if nothing else! Fly Clone is completely supported by this community, and, in fact, we run it at a loss; if we do get to the point where we can sell parts, it will be so that we can continue to support this project. The Fly was never profitable even with Ken at the helm, so I have no illusions that there's some untapped gold mine here! If we can make some critical components and tools for the Fly community we will have met our primary goal.
vertigocycles wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:57 pm I've been burned hard a few times in the bike industry by posting designs for the benefit of others only to have some people "borrow" it, claim it as their own and making a pretty profit from it. I'm guessing that this market won't support that type of scheme, but please don't do that.
I'm sorry to hear that. There are some things I can do to help protect against this type of scenario, and, of course, I don't want to see that happen, so let's discuss offline sometime. This is a public site, as you know, so we can work together on disseminating information in a way that is safe.
vertigocycles
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Re: Springs

Post by vertigocycles »

Thank you for the thoughtful detailed response and for the link to the 12 string project. Nice work on that one, and Ken's response tops it off!

PM coming shortly.

Sean
mmmguitar
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Re: Springs

Post by mmmguitar »

Finally broke a spring while divebombing to break in new strings. Fortunately, the guitar is unharmed.

The spring broke into three pieces and caused my wife to ask “what happened?” from the next room over. @vjmanzo, PM me an address if you’re still collecting these.

I’ll use the opportunity to mention that I’ve gotten no new updates from Mike about getting the old manufacturer to produce more after he reached out to them.
8EC18D5E-0A35-4C7F-AD2D-7E91AA952BCD.jpeg
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vjmanzo
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Re: Springs

Post by vjmanzo »

Ahh, sorry to hear that, Marc!! Glad your instrument is okay!

Yes, PM-ing you shortly! Thanks!!

Too bad that things don’t appear to be panning our with Mike G. and new springs. On the positive side: we are well into this project on our end and making great strides (despite the trying conditions/times/restrictions)!!
MrWalker
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Re: Springs

Post by MrWalker »

Very excited to read about this project. I know that getting a Fly is a somewhat risky project, since everything is custom made for this guitar and there is no official support for it at all. But at least knowing that someone is making an effort of getting spare parts available is a big relief! :-)

That said, what do you consider the chances of success of this spring project is? I'm considering securing (a very expensive) 12 gauge spring for my Fly, just to be sure that I have one available should the current snap. But my current spring is still working and holding up (haven't checked it throughly, though) so I was thinking that if you are "somewhat" confident that there will be a source of new springs in the not too distant future, than I could save my money and rather drop them on you to support the project instead :-)

So, do you have a gut feeling about this?
mmmguitar
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Re: Springs

Post by mmmguitar »

@MrWalker, do you own just the one spring installed in your Fly? If so, you may wish to block the trem and retain your spring until more are available. I would absolutely advise against spending money on a 12 spring unless you play 12s. What is your preferred gauge? There’s a chance someone in the community would sell or even trade springs without taking advantage of you in the manner those 11 and 12 listings on Reverb and eBay exist to.
MrWalker
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Re: Springs

Post by MrWalker »

@mmmguitar, I only have the spring installed. I got my Fly a week ago, and no spare came with it :-) So haven't got anything to trade.
Since I'm mainly a bass player and have other guitars, I think I'll ride with the spring I have until it snaps and then block the vibrato if it should become a problem. Will hold back on the high-investment options on eBay and Reverb then, for the time being.
My preferred string gauge is 009 or 010, however, I haven't owned this guitar for long enough to know which strings I prefer on it yet. But definitely either 9 or 10. :ugeek:
Will pay close attention to the board here :) Thanks for your answer!
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vjmanzo
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Re: Springs

Post by vjmanzo »

MrWalker wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:42 am what do you consider the chances of success of this spring project is?
Thanks, @MrWalker; we are well on our way, and we will ultimately be able to do this, I have no doubt. The pandemic is certainly not helping our efforts, but, we’re on track toward achieving “new and improved”.
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Re: Springs

Post by MrWalker »

vjmanzo wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:56 am Thanks, @MrWalker; we are well on our way, and we will ultimately be able to do this, I have no doubt. The pandemic is certainly not helping our efforts, but, we’re on track toward achieving “new and improved”.
Fantastic!
Holding my horses then and stay tuned here! 😄 The pandemic is putting the brakes on all over the world, that's for sure!
Good luck!
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vjmanzo
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Re: Springs

Post by vjmanzo »

🙏 stay safe, @MrWalker
Bissa Verde Guitars
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Re: Springs

Post by Bissa Verde Guitars »

The use of a plate spring opens up modifications that are not possible with other spring geometries.

Given that there are 0.010 and up springs still in circulation, couldn't they be modified in the following manner :
Nominal spring width =x
Donor higher rate spring =y

Using an available 0.010 spring set, and trying to achieve an 0.009 equivalent:
if it is narrowed in width to be (0.009 / 0.010) *y
Wouldn't this result in same effective spring rate as 'x' ?
The load on the spring would be less due to the use of lighter strings, compensating for reduced cross area.

Robert
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vjmanzo
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Re: Springs

Post by vjmanzo »

Thanks, @Bissa Verde Guitars; welcome, and thanks for the great questions.

This is something we’ve considered, and in principle, yes, you’re right: a “higher rated” spring y could be modified to produce a “lower rated” spring x, but this assumes that y is truly functioning as it should, but, unfortunately, we can’t make this assumption, especially if we’re talking about used springs found on eBay and Reverb.
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Re: Springs

Post by Bissa Verde Guitars »

An increnental approach might work.

Any method used to reduce section width in active areas of the spring should be performed with minimal heat to avoid affecting the temper of the spring.

The method of scaling width to reduce spring rate might open up a path to perhaps manufacture of a single spring that can be derated to suit lighter gages.

A simple mechanical test could be used to provide an indication of rate change. (3 pt bend in a simple fixture or cantilever deflection under a constant load)
This could be used for comparison of unused and used springs as well. If we make the test simple enough than it can be a standard to use for quick evaluation, potentially by anyone motivated to do it.

The behavior of the Fly spring is complex in use. But we can apply simple methods to sort and screen them. And most importantly evaluate actual performance installed.

I admire the design and execution of the Fly tremolo but own a Nitefly and Southern Fly...!

Cheers
Robert
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