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Acoustic guitar build (first attempt)

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  • Stephan in BC
    replied
    That looks fantastic Dave, I’m envious!

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  • bkrits
    replied
    I can only say you must find it very satisfying, thanks for the explanation / debrief. Good luck with the next 2.

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  • rangerdave1
    replied
    Originally posted by bkrits View Post

    A very interesting thread to follow thanks, In the beginning you seemed unsure about placing those braces on the top and about thinning them, shaping them, will you be following the same pattern this time or do you think you could do better, the real question is, is your ear better tuned than what you admit, is it a case of building trust in your ability, what else have you learnt from the first one it seemed to go very well, but just knowing woodwork if we don't get blazay the second one can always be better. whats your opinion.
    I followed the Martin X pattern for the bracing. Where I became confused and a little lost is when I started carving the bracing to scallop them with the intention of removing as much material without sacrificing strength and long term durability. With every stroke of the wood chisel or plane, the tone changed a tiny bit. I carved until I felt it sounded good and like I thought it “should” sound. With out any previous experience doing this, it was difficult knowing if I had done a good job because the top gets tuned taking in consideration numerous factors like the type of wood used for back and sides, the body shape and depth and the neck material, not to
    mention the guitars intended use and sound. So with all the prior research I had done, there was still no ideal thickness or a measurable brace scalloping so I had no idea how it would turn out. With my lack of experience, It left a lot to luck and trial and error. ultimately this guitar was an experiment and I was ready for the possibly of it being a dud only worthy of shop wall art.

    Now having said all that, the guitar turned out very nice and sounds very good to my ears and a few others that have played it. I brought it to a friend who is a full time professional luthier, performed in a successful band and comes from a musician family and he was very Impressed with the sound and agrees that I removed just enough from the bracing as it would have lacked bass had I never done any scalloping.

    I have started build #2 and #3 simultaneously but the issue I have is that I don’t have 2 of the same back and side woods so I will be building a cherry guitar and a maple Birdseye guitar. Both those tone woods have different sounds and could benefit from differently tuned tops and even different necks to compensate for their tonal differences.. So once again, I am building somewhat blind and the end product will be a surprise, good or bad.

    Last night I thickness sanded the two tops which are Sitka spruce from what believe the same tree. Both tops thicknessed the same have a different sound, one higher pitched then the other. Which would sound better with the cherry or maple? I have no idea.

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  • beachburl
    replied
    Still can't hear it.

    Noel

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  • Andre in Quebec
    replied
    Great looking instrument

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  • bkrits
    replied
    Originally posted by rangerdave1 View Post
    Thanks for the positive feedback. I am now getting ready for the second build. Cherry with Spruce top.
    A very interesting thread to follow thanks, In the beginning you seemed unsure about placing those braces on the top and about thinning them, shaping them, will you be following the same pattern this time or do you think you could do better, the real question is, is your ear better tuned than what you admit, is it a case of building trust in your ability, what else have you learnt from the first one it seemed to go very well, but just knowing woodwork if we don't get blazay the second one can always be better. whats your opinion.

    Leave a comment:


  • rangerdave1
    replied
    Thanks for the positive feedback. I am now getting ready for the second build. Cherry with Spruce top.

    Leave a comment:


  • stotto
    replied
    Great thread and nicely done on the guitar.

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  • John Bartley
    replied
    Wow ! What nice work.

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  • jaywood1207
    replied
    Looks great. Thank you for taking us on the journey with you.

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  • Beaverfever1988
    replied
    Awesome job Dave!

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  • rangerdave1
    replied
    With the finish done, I levelled the frets with a long block with sand paper attached, i then started shaping the nut and saddle (the white bone pieces that the strings press down on). I then used a special 3 degree reamer for the bridge pins and tapered the holes. Put on some strings and assessed what i had. I then began finalizing the nut and saddle shape and height with some more specialty tools.

    Here is the finished guitar. Sounds good and plays well. Needless to say I am quite happy with this first build.
    Attached Files

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  • rangerdave1
    replied
    I polished the laquer using car polishing compounds and my dual orbiting polisher. Quite happy with the result.

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  • rangerdave1
    replied
    I sanded the body and neck and sprayed a coat of shellac to seal everything. Then pore filled 3 or 4 times with a light and between. Once I was done pore filling, I sprayed 5 coats of Emech 6000, then sanded. Another 5 coats and sand, and finally 5 more coats and wet sand to 2000 grit.
    Last edited by rangerdave1; 09-28-2019, 08:49 PM.

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  • rangerdave1
    replied
    Here I lined up the neck and bridge with the body and glued the fret board to the neck. The blue rod is called a trust rod which is accessible from inside the body to add tension in either direction to counteract the string tension.

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