Every time I play an all mahogany guitar I think that it would be nice to add one to the quiver. Over the years I've played a few new and old small bodied Martins - 15 and 17 series - and always enjoyed them, but two years ago I played an 00 sized all mahogany Santa Cruz - what they call their 1929 series - and the little thing almost followed me home. Instead of buying the guitar I did the next best thing, I bought some wood and put it away ("stickered") in my shop, thinking that one of these days I'd build something out of it.
Four pieces of nicely quartered honduras mahogany for the top and back, two more for the sides, some neck wood, binding, fretboard and bridge. I've wet one set to pop the grain.
Well, that wood has been sitting there long enough - time to do something with it. There has been some chatter lately about small mahogany guitars - EdBega and Thom are both interested in them and Masterbuilt has posted some interesting comments about tone wood. So lets build a guitar and see what comes out.
Next problem after buying the wood is to decide exactly what to build. Just to say "small bodied all mahogany" covers a lot of ground. Lets limit that a bit - I have built an 000 (my go to guitar) and an 0 (my daughters little parlor) - lets make this one right in the middle. That would be a double ought (those are zeros, not oh's) - even that covers a range of sizes and other specs. Martin, Gibson and others have used 00 to represent guitars from 19 to 19-1/2 long, 14 to 14-1/2 across the lower bout, 10 to 10-5/8 across the upper. They are 12 or 14 frets clear (Gibson and SCGC even built some 13's), slot heads and paddle heads, mostly short scale but a few long, 1/4 or 5/16 braces, scalloped or not...... You get the picture.
So I took my little database of 00 specs and three sets of plans (generic Martin 14 fret 00, Gibson L00, and the ones I built my 000 from) and I started consolidating. First the neck and scale - I'm a sucker for long scale 12 fret slot heads so I'll fly in the face of most of the 00's and make this one the way I want it. There, thats one of the biggest decisions, and sets a lot of the body specifications - length becomes 19-1/2, lower bout 14-1/2 and upper 10-3/8. I check to make sure these will fit in a normal case (it is much nicer to buy a standard case at 70 bucks than a custom one at 300). Bracing will be 5/16 but scalloped - we'll see how the wood responds. The old Martins and Gibsons were simple guitars - they saved the bling for the upper models but they were well built - I'll bind mine in mahogany and do simple rosette and inlay. Here's the results of my "engineering"
If this is going to be interesting to folks, I'll keep the thread going and add some pictures and comments as I build this thing. It might be kind of sporadic - I'll try to post several pictures of each step and subassembly as I go along. Also, I apologize for the pictures - I keep a cheap camera in my shop and sometimes forget to stop and take a picture (sometimes I've got glue on my fingers or the router is running and its kind of hard to stop). Anyway, let me know what you think and if there is interest I'll continue.