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Looks like I'm gonna try and build a guitar...

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  • #16
    Nothing happening yet, but I'm planning out the build and the first few steps. I'm most likely going to purchase the OLF plans and buy some plywood to create the mold. Chalk that up to the first $50 or so.
    Gear:
    2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
    2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
    2010 Martin D-16GT
    2006 Larrivee OM-03R
    1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
    1989 Kramer Stryker
    197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N

    Comment


    • #17
      This is interesting to me, and I look forward to seeing the progress. Thanks also for the mention of Blues Creek. I see that it is only a couple hours from me. I probably should finish night school first, though.

      Comment


      • #18
        Neil, I'll look forward to this. As you know, I think building your own is one of the most rewarding (and frustrating) thing you can do. Taking a class from Tim or John or some of the others great builder would be a wonderful (and fairly expensive) way to do it, but there is enough good help on the 'net that you can muddle thru pretty much on your own.



        I'll offer whatever humble help I can give - I have the perspective of a beginner who has made most of the mistakes. We've got a few others on the forum here (as well as Tim and John) with a lot more experience - they can give you good guidence as you post your thread.



        Two small pieces of advice - read everything you can before you start and while you build. I can offer a lot of free resources and book suggestions. Second, build something fairly classic and standard for your first. Do your experimenting on number 5 or 10 or so....

        Comment


        • #19
          Very cool, Kwak!



          Want to attempt my own "from scratch" guitar someday, but for me, the big trick is finding the time!



          Maybe in 10 years or so...
          God(s) bless the rest of the world(s), too

          Comment


          • #20






            Quote Originally Posted by Freeman Keller
            View Post

            Neil, I'll look forward to this. As you know, I think building your own is one of the most rewarding (and frustrating) thing you can do. Taking a class from Tim or John or some of the others great builder would be a wonderful (and fairly expensive) way to do it, but there is enough good help on the 'net that you can muddle thru pretty much on your own.



            I'll offer whatever humble help I can give - I have the perspective of a beginner who has made most of the mistakes. We've got a few others on the forum here (as well as Tim and John) with a lot more experience - they can give you good guidence as you post your thread.



            Two small pieces of advice - read everything you can before you start and while you build. I can offer a lot of free resources and book suggestions. Second, build something fairly classic and standard for your first. Do your experimenting on number 5 or 10 or so....




            I'd really appreciate that Freeman. I'm hoping others chime in here as well. I hear you on the reading; I've got a lot of questions and from seeing others' builds there are a LOT of things to take into consideration.
            Gear:
            2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
            2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
            2010 Martin D-16GT
            2006 Larrivee OM-03R
            1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
            1989 Kramer Stryker
            197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N

            Comment


            • #21
              Good luck with your build. I think you'll find quite a few people backing you on this one.



              Just remember to always at least measure twice before making any cuts.
              IF IT AINT BROKE, DON'T FIX IT.

              Comment


              • #22
                i built a dreadnaught a few years ago. very difficult, but a lot of fun. i'd do it again if i had the money

                Comment


                • #23






                  Quote Originally Posted by Gary Palmer
                  View Post

                  Good luck with your build. I think you'll find quite a few people backing you on this one.



                  Just remember to always at least measure twice before making any cuts.




                  Thanks, Gary. I'd especially appreciate your input. I'm amazed at how well rickoshea's build came out and I understand that you were very helpful.
                  Gear:
                  2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
                  2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
                  2010 Martin D-16GT
                  2006 Larrivee OM-03R
                  1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
                  1989 Kramer Stryker
                  197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N

                  Comment


                  • #24






                    Quote Originally Posted by kwakatak
                    View Post

                    Thanks, Gary. I'd especially appreciate your input. I'm amazed at how well rickoshea's build came out and I understand that you were very helpful.




                    You're very welcome and it's always my pleasure to try and help new/prospective builders in any way I can. Rick truly pulled the rabbit out of the hat during his build and IMHO proved a first guitar - while challenging for everyone - can be successfully completed.



                    Apart from Cumpiano's book, another I'd recommend is;



                    "The Hand Plane Book" by Garrett Hack (ISBN978-1-56158-712-4)



                    Although hand tool oriented, this book provides a very solid insight into plane useage and a firm grounding in technique. Especially sharpening and set-up.



                    Use as many sources of information and ask as many questions as possible, but always try and consolidate your ideas surrounding method/technique prior to each step of the way. In other words.......Always plan ahead and try to resolve potential problems before they happen.
                    IF IT AINT BROKE, DON'T FIX IT.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Thanks, Gary, I'll definitely check out Cumpiano's book on guitar building. My friend has mentioned another by Alex Willis but like you said, it's good to seek as much information as possible.
                      Gear:
                      2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
                      2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
                      2010 Martin D-16GT
                      2006 Larrivee OM-03R
                      1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
                      1989 Kramer Stryker
                      197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N

                      Comment


                      • #26






                        Quote Originally Posted by kwakatak
                        View Post

                        Thanks, Gary, I'll definitely check out Cumpiano's book on guitar building. My friend has mentioned another by Alex Willis but like you said, it's good to seek as much information as possible.




                        I'm not familiar with Alex Willis, but I'll have a word with one of my brothers regarding reading matter, as he's constantly sourcing literature. My son bought copy of Cumpiano's book and it seems to be a very informative read. I'd recommend it as a pretty solid baseline.
                        IF IT AINT BROKE, DON'T FIX IT.

                        Comment


                        • #27






                          Quote Originally Posted by Gary Palmer
                          View Post

                          I'm not familiar with Alex Willis, but I'll have a word with one of my brothers regarding reading matter, as he's constantly sourcing literature. My son bought copy of Cumpiano's book and it seems to be a very informative read. I'd recommend it as a pretty solid baseline.




                          The reviews on amazon aren't as good as on the Cumpiano book. From what I understand he's only been building since 2003 and in his book his build features a Spanish heel. IIRC they're very difficult to repair.



                          I honestly haven't thought of the neck at all; I want to concentrate on building and voicing the body. It's going to basically be a learning experience for me and my friend. He's generously providing me access to his shop and some materials. The way I see it, it will take as long as it takes. I'm pretty absent-minded so I'm going to have to measure 5-6 times before doing any cutting.
                          Gear:
                          2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
                          2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
                          2010 Martin D-16GT
                          2006 Larrivee OM-03R
                          1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
                          1989 Kramer Stryker
                          197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I don't have anything to really show yet other than what's going on in my head. There's a sweet cedar/mahogany R Taylor style 1 for sale on AGF that pretty much mirrors what I want to do. It has rosewood trim which looks niiiice.



                            I still haven't purchased the plans yet though. The kids have been driving us crazy and things are pretty tense so my wife's even less enthusiastic about my diversions than normal.



                            What I've been thinking about most lately is building the frame. I know that particle board will do but I don't know how much I'll need exactly. A 4'x8' sheet might be way too much - that is unless I can't just take the cutouts from the mold and use them make the template for the bender. If anybody could weigh in on that I'd like to know just to set my mind at ease. Gary? Freeman? Anyone?
                            Gear:
                            2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
                            2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
                            2010 Martin D-16GT
                            2006 Larrivee OM-03R
                            1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
                            1989 Kramer Stryker
                            197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N

                            Comment


                            • #29






                              Quote Originally Posted by kwakatak
                              View Post

                              I don't have anything to really show yet other than what's going on in my head. There's a sweet cedar/mahogany R Taylor style 1 for sale on AGF that pretty much mirrors what I want to do. It has rosewood trim which looks niiiice.



                              I still haven't purchased the plans yet though. The kids have been driving us crazy and things are pretty tense so my wife's even less enthusiastic about my diversions than normal.



                              What I've been thinking about most lately is building the frame. I know that particle board will do but I don't know how much I'll need exactly. A 4'x8' sheet might be way too much - that is unless I can't just take the cutouts from the mold and use them make the template for the bender. If anybody could weigh in on that I'd like to know just to set my mind at ease. Gary? Freeman? Anyone?




                              I'd recommend you go with whichever timber combination and body style you'd prefer on a personal level. I would however recommend considering the use of a slipper style head block as it tends to provide more stability over the long term and reduces the likelihood of a premature need for neck re-setting.



                              Which frame are you considering the particle board for? If for a Fox style bender I'd stick with either plywood or MDF and it's well worth considering the use of a heat blanket, with temp control switch and a pair of 6" x 36" spring steel guide sheets to sandwich the blanket and side set during the bending process.



                              Quantity-wise, much depends on the thickness of the sheet material you're using, but I'd tend to keep away from particle board as it can often shed particles while sometimes. Gauge the bending unit as being 6" in width and you won't go far wrong with sheet materials.



                              The simplest route is to use something akin to an Ibex bending iron (They're not difficult to use), as it gives you more of a feel for the work and tends to prove less expensive unless building more than one instrument.



                              I'd recommend working from plans or an existing instrument who's detail can then be transposed onto working templates and moulds. Design-wise, I typically run off one full sized diagram with scale length and bracing patterns illustrated and then produce my templates from it. Template materials can be anything ranging from 1/4" MDF to plywood and on to sheet metal or plastics.
                              IF IT AINT BROKE, DON'T FIX IT.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                First comment, Cumpiano is one of the classic books and should be in everyone's reference library. He describes very thoroughly each step of building both a Spanish heel classical and a steel string using his own kind of funky bolt on neck (he has since modified that design - maybe newer copies of his book have the revisions). He builds on a workboard (which is a classic technique) but many of us use body molds now. He spends a lot of time talking about traditional methods of doing things - thicknessing plates with planes, spokeshaving necks - that the first time builder (or a kit builder) will not have to do (I take my plates to a cabinet shop and the run them thru the thickness planer, and while I have carved necks, that seems like a good place for a cnc mill).



                                Along with Cumpiano, Kinkead is a good one



                                http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Books,_p...ic_Guitar.html



                                I would also recommend Bill Cory's book on kits - it is pretty general but has a lot of basic information. Download the free pdf instructions from StewMac and will as Ken's great information



                                http://www.kennethmichaelguitars.com/kitmanual.html



                                When you get read to finish, Dan Erlewine's book is highly recommended.



                                Go to the new kit forum and hang out - I've posted some build threads in the archives as well as a little article on the minimum shop for a kit build.



                                Notice as you read these things that people do things differently. Cumpiano builds on a solera, StewMac uses an simple internal mold, Kinkead and others an external mold. Many ways to skin the cat - think about what it is you are trying to accomplish.



                                OK, now to the mold. I've posted pictures of how I have done it before, here is the simple method. Take your plans to Kinkos or an architect an have a couple of full sized copies made. Get some 3/4 MDF (recommended) or particle board and cut four pieces a bit larger than your guitar. Clamp all four together, cut out one of your plans and trace the shape on the boards - line it up so the centerline is on one edge. Cut them out together - I use a band saw however a saber saw will work. Keep the cutout pieces, you will make your waist expander from them.



                                Sand all four pieces together. If you are bending your own sides you can use the clamped pieces as your bending mold. Now flip two of them over, put the centers together and put one or two 3/4 inch pieces across the neck and butt end - you want the mold to be just a little thinner than the shallowest part of the body (the neck heel). I use flat headed carriage bolts to clamp everything together, cut the bolts off flush with the nut heads (the nuts are a bit of a hassle but I haven't come up with a better way).



                                Cut the middle pieces down to a reasonable size and glue two pairs together to make your waist expander (since they were cut out of the MDF they will fit the waist perfectly. Chisel a couple of notches in them for a turnbuckle and presto!. Some people make multiple expanders - upper and lower bout and possibly length - I've found the waist to be sufficient.



                                I'm shooting blind here (can't view my photobucket pics on my work pc) but I think this is a picture of the mold







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