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Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

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  • #31

    Re: Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

    With all the work your doing I wouldn't say it's cheating, best to keep it simple so then the project actually gets done.

    That's probably a good idea to go with the bolt on neck, be easier to repair something I would think. I've always thought it be tricky to set the neck on an acoustic. From what I've seen though I'm sure you can do it, good luck.

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    • #32

      Re: Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

      This is a legitimate question, as I have little idea of the answer.
      Which is more important when it's done: what it looks like, or what it sounds like?
      (Is it art, or is it function?)
      .
      And, related
      With all the work you are putting in, when/how do you know what it sounds like?

      Noel
      "Being so impressed with the beauty of nature, I never cease to be amazed at how the
      'touch of the human hand' can transform it into another kind of beauty that is so uniquely human.
      "
      John Snow, Outdoorsman and Retired Teacher

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      • #33

        Re: Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

        Originally posted by gdtrfg View Post
        Thanks for bringing us along for the ride. Building a guitar has always been something that has interested me, but the lack of any playing ability makes sure that being interested is all I do. I am enjoying the process though.
        Leo Fender couldn't play guitar, but look what he accomplished. ;)

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        • #34

          Re: Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

          Originally posted by rangerdave1 View Post

          Although the neck is already shaped, there is still a lot that can go wrong attaching it to the body. The guitar could easily turn in to firewood if the joint is not done correctly. There are a couple ways to make the neck joint and I'd love to make it a dovetail joint however I also want to end up with a useful guitar so I'd say I'll make it a bolt joint which is what a lot of well known high end brands do any way.
          It may not be "traditional" but it's a pretty good way to attach a neck, and allows for easy future adjustments if required.

          Really nice job you're doing. I've built 2 acoustics from scratch. neither one of them turned out the way I wanted. I think if I had started with a kit like you are, my scratch builds would have been more successful.

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          • #35

            Re: Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

            This has been a great build thread! Thanks for sharing the journey with us Dave. What kit did you start out with??

            Ken

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            • #36

              Re: Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

              I started out with a kit made up of 2nd quality Martin parts. The fellow I bought it from stated he had purchased a large amount of Martin parts which had not quite made the cut for their builds or the complete kits they sell. A 1st quality Martin kit at a starting price of $700 and this kit cost me around $200. The back is not perfectly book matched, the top has a slight imperfection (which I think will be covered by the bridge), the neck I can't find anything wrong with. The neck block was wrong for the neck I have. The sides were not perfectly formed (although perhaps as a result of being bent many years ago). The kit came with cheap plastic binding which I replaced with my own curly maple binding..

              All these little things did not bother me as the price was right, and I am able to rectify most of the issues one way or another while putting my own touch on it.


              Originally posted by beachburl View Post
              This is a legitimate question, as I have little idea of the answer.
              Which is more important when it's done: what it looks like, or what it sounds like?
              (Is it art, or is it function?)
              .
              And, related
              With all the work you are putting in, when/how do you know what it sounds like?

              Noel
              Noel, to answer your questions,

              There are some who only care about the sound, some that care for the looks and some that want both. I read a lot about guitar building and there are always debates about the sound vs looks and it comes down to what the individual values and often can afford..Same can be said about most things we acquire. An example being vehicles and how a 1/2 ton pickup with the same drivetrain and cab/bed combo ranges from 50k to 80k. or a 10k wrist watch that is out performed by a Timex at keeping time.

              Being a hobby wood worker with extra material laying around, making the guitar look good is a great way to test my ability while making it look good and having fun doing it. BUT ultimately, I want a good sounding guitar because if it doesn't sound good, what's the point...

              Regarding when and how I'll know what it sounds like.

              Since I am not a professional or have any experience doing this, I'll find out once it's strung up and I play it for the first time. An experienced builder has a very good idea of what a guitar will sound like based on the material, shape and build they choose and that can only come with time and experience. For people like me, it comes down to trial and error. Oh and failure.

              Before I started this build, I accepted the fact that it may be a complete failure, may sound horrible and end up hung on the shop wall as art..


              Thanks for all the interest.

              Dave

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              • #37

                Re: Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

                Dave to get the best of your instrument once completed you'll probably want to try several brands & tensions of strings , stings can make quite a difference on an instrument , i.e. low , medium or high tension strings will make the guitar sound quite differently as well as make for a better or a less friendly playability.

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                • #38

                  Re: Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

                  That's probably the thing that would mostly be on my mind: you have no idea what it will sound like until it's finished. Nonetheless, it's still a fun project and I've often said of projects that I had more fun building it than using it once done. If you're thinking the same way then I'm sure you're fully enjoying the process. Another thing is that you gain a new appreciation for a good commercially made guitar (or whatever) that you couldn't really acquire otherwise. That's priceless. I'm currently making a musical project of my own: a Leslie speaker, using some parts (the rotors and motors) coming from a couple of different actual Leslie models, plus some of my own electronics to create an unusually compact unit. I'm having fun figuring all this stuff out!
                  Happiness is a new blade!

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                  • #39

                    Re: Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

                    Today I glued the binding around the back and I’m happy with results. I still need to scrape everything flush once the glue is fully cured. Tomorrow I might start shaping the top binding and purfling if time allows.

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                    • #40

                      Re: Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

                      Today I formed and glued the purfling and binding in the top. I then used a card scraper to smooth it all out.

                      Next is mount the neck

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                      • #41

                        Re: Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

                        I love it

                        You're a very handy craftsman

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                        • #42

                          Re: Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

                          Still watching ! Looking good !

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                          • #43

                            Re: Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

                            When all is said and done, will there be an audio file attached?

                            Noel
                            "Being so impressed with the beauty of nature, I never cease to be amazed at how the
                            'touch of the human hand' can transform it into another kind of beauty that is so uniquely human.
                            "
                            John Snow, Outdoorsman and Retired Teacher

                            Comment


                            • #44

                              Re: Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

                              Originally posted by beachburl View Post
                              When all is said and done, will there be an audio file attached?

                              Noel
                              I'll see how it plays first!

                              Since I plan on building a guitar from scratch after this one is complete, I decided on keeping the neck, fingerboard and bridge so I have a model of each piece to keep in the shop for future builds. I already had some Sapele on hand for the neck and some Ebony for the fingerboard and bridge. It also made sense to me to get the first attempts at making these pieces out of the way on this guitar.

                              I decided on a lamimated neck to add stability and to tie In the look of the body with the Maple binding. I started cutting the Sapele and a 3/8" strip of curly Maple to match the backstrip on the body.

                              Unfortunately, when I ripped the Sapele, there was a lot of stress in the wood and one of the halves bowed a lot... I straightened it on the jointer and cut both to the same width. Well now the board is not wide enough so I either need to cut a wider maple strip but it will be wider then the backstrip already on the body.. The other option is to cut some more Sapele which is probably the wiser choice given how much stress was in The wood in the first place. Since it was 10pm. I called it quits for the night.

                              The last photo is the look I am trying to achieve



                              Last edited by rangerdave1; 04-27-2019, 10:04 PM.

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                              • #45

                                Re: Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

                                Awesome, that's going to look great!

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