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  • fretboard length

    i am looking to build a classical guitar and was wondering what the appropriate length of the fretboard is for that type of guitar. 


  • #2

    Are you referring to the scale length overall? Or the actual length of the fretboard itself? Not sure about the latter offhand, but typical classical scale length is 650mm. There are some made in short scale @ 640mm, and Kenny Hill has made guitars in 630mm length. 

    A serviced guitar fingerboard from LMI will usually be about 20" or so in length, and you trim it to final length at your discretion, depending on where you prefer it to end relative to the sound hole. 

    <div class="signaturecontainer">I guess I kinda lost control, because in the middle of the play I ran up and lit the evil puppet villain on fire. No, I didn't. Just kidding. I just said that to help illustrate one of the human emotions, which is freaking out. Another emotion is greed, as when you kill someone for money, or something like that. Another emotion is generosity, as when you pay someone double what he paid for his stupid puppet.<br><br><br><br><br><br>I.K.F.C.<br><br>E.S .C.<br><br>Potato Society<br><br>SAWG</div>

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    • mto93
      mto93 commented
      Editing a comment

      yeah i was referring to overall length of the board itself, tried to google it and all i got was the scale length which is handy just not yet.


  • #3

    mto93 wrote:

    i am looking to build a classical guitar and was wondering what the appropriate length of the fretboard is for that type of guitar. 


    I am assuming that you are building from some sort of plans - if so follow their measurements.   If not, the most common classical that most folks build as their first use the GAL plans for Segovia's 1937 Hauser.    That is 650mm scale length - the fretboard extension is approximately 117 mm to the center of the sound hole and about 125 mm to the edge.    Therefore the total length of the fretboard would be 450 mm - I wold buy it a little longer and shape it to fit the exact location of your sound hole.

    If you want to do a shorter scale as Knock mentions you'll need to do the calcs.

    I also looked up the measurements in Cumpiano - he gives the scale length as 25.6 inches and the distance to the center of the sound hole as 17-27/32.   See chapter 3.

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  • #4

    now how important is the placement of the sound hole, i've seen pictures of guitars with them all over the guitar but they are always forward(toward the fret board) on the guitar. i know i want to centered but not such how far up from the end it should be.

     

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    • knockwood
      knockwood commented
      Editing a comment

      mto93 wrote:

      now how important is the placement of the sound hole, i've seen pictures of guitars with them all over the guitar but they are always forward(toward the fret board) on the guitar. i know i want to centered but not such how far up from the end it should be.

       


      If you want a more or less "standard" sound hole placement, I would strongly suggest working from plans and/or with a template. Both are available from a variety of sources, but I tend to buy most of this kind of stuff from LMI. They have numerous plans for different classical body styles.

      If you'd prefer to do something more *experimental* with the placement of your sound hole, you can place it pretty much anywhere you want it, so long as you work out the bracing to go along with your desired placement. Not difficult at all, I would imagine, but kind of a coin toss in terms of final tonal result. I'm not very familiar with classicals in general, but some steel string makers are known for unusual sound hole placement. McPherson and Tacoma come to mind immediately. Tim McKnight, a very accomplished luthier who sometimes visits this forum, uses sound *ports* on his upper-bout bass sides. I'd suggest trying to find some guitars with uniquely-placed sound holes and try them out yourself to see what impression the different placement makes on you.


    • Freeman_Keller
      Freeman_Keller commented
      Editing a comment

      mto93 wrote:

      now how important is the placement of the sound hole, i've seen pictures of guitars with them all over the guitar but they are always forward(toward the fret board) on the guitar. i know i want to centered but not such how far up from the end it should be.

       


      The length of the fretboard, size of the sound hole or its location really don't matter one little bit.   Build your guitar, post some pictures and clips and we'll discuss more.


  • #5

    DSC\_0032.JPG

    ok here is what i am thinking for the general outline of the body. designed this myself so if you think it wont work this is my first design. so is there anything specific i need to change?

     

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    • #6

      i also have another question. how important is it to curve the back? it shouldnt be too hard to do but it would be easier to just have a straight back.

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      • Freeman_Keller
        Freeman_Keller commented
        Editing a comment

        mto93 wrote:

        ok here is what i am thinking for the general outline of the body. designed this myself so if you think it wont work this is my first design. so is there anything specific i need to change?

        mto93 wrote:

        i also have another question. how important is it to curve the back? it shouldnt be too hard to do but it would be easier to just have a straight back.


        Mto, please pardon my saying this but either you are very naive (which is what I thought originally) or a troll.   Now I'm not totally sure what to think.   Remember that there are several very nice folks here that are trying to help you.

        Your body shape will probably work but its going to be a bitch to bend those sides.   Generally we like nice curves that combine a series of arcs - there are pretty good reasons that traditional guitars look the way they do.  Air volume affects something called Helmholtz resonance - without calculating your volume there is know way to know how it will sound.   Even if you are able to bend that shape, you'll never find a case to fit it (I pay about $300 to have custom cases made to fit some of the odd guitars that I build).

        Next, again, the back (and top) are dome shaped for several very good reasons, including structural.   A dome is much stronger than a flat piece of wood and will move as humidity changes.   A flat back and top will crack.  There is some theory about the way sound wave bounce off a spherical back - I wouldn't worry about that if I was you.    Also, most guitars are deeper in the lower bout than the upper - you can't do that without some curvature.

        I don't know anything about your wood working skills or for that matter, what you are seeking with this guitar.   For most of us the challenge of building a tradtional design that sounds half way decent is hard enough - take my humble advice, buy plans (or a kit) for your first one - you can get creative in the future.

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