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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 1:36 pm 
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Koa
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So I want my first guitar to sound like an early Martin D35 or 28. Unlikely but where would I start? Even Martin can't seem to do it. What radius for top and bottom?

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Get the heck off the couch and go build a guitar!!!!
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"Alan Carruth, IMO the 12-fret 000 or 14 fret OM size (15" wide lower bout) is god's size for the steel string guitar, especially for fingerstyle. I would also try to get away from scalloped bracing and lean toward 'straight' or 'tapered' bracing. Scalloped emphasizes bass and 'punch', where straight bracing, and especially 'tapered' (sometimes called 'parabolic') leans more toward treble and sustain."


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 2:13 pm 
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The trick is build it like an early Martin; you will have to do some research to find out exactly how to do that. It is a worthy goal and I know several guys doing that but none of them did it on the first guitar. But that's ok, most of us started out to build the "dream guitar" and got hooked.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 2:40 pm 
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SteveSmith wrote:
The trick is build it like an early Martin; you will have to do some research to find out exactly how to do that. It is a worthy goal and I know several guys doing that but none of them did it on the first guitar. But that's ok, most of us started out to build the "dream guitar" and got hooked.


Better yet, build it like an early Martin, then play it for 80 years.

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These users thanked the author Bryan Bear for the post (total 2): Jules (Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:43 pm) • dpetrzelka (Tue May 22, 2018 2:43 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 2:45 pm 
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First try to describe what an early Martin D-28 or D-35 sounds like, then endeavor to achieve it.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 2:50 pm 
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In my mind they have a lot of low end. That's what I'm after.

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Hutch

Get the heck off the couch and go build a guitar!!!!
That's a reminder for me.

"Alan Carruth, IMO the 12-fret 000 or 14 fret OM size (15" wide lower bout) is god's size for the steel string guitar, especially for fingerstyle. I would also try to get away from scalloped bracing and lean toward 'straight' or 'tapered' bracing. Scalloped emphasizes bass and 'punch', where straight bracing, and especially 'tapered' (sometimes called 'parabolic') leans more toward treble and sustain."


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 2:54 pm 
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banjopicks wrote:
In my mind they have a lot of low end. That's what I'm after.


That's pretty much what you should get from any decent dred, IMO.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 3:06 pm 
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Start with red spruce and BRW.
Good luck on the rest of it...took me 15 years of building before I could build a Loar F5 copy and 5 years of playing it before it started to sound like one.



These users thanked the author Haans for the post: Jules (Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:44 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 3:10 pm 
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Martin construction has changed over the years for a variety of reasons. A few years back they did a limited run of what they called the Authentics - in theory built just like a prewar D18 (and later a couple of other models). There are a few builders at Martin who work on the Authentics, there are some special steps in the construction.

No reason you can't duplicate that - hide glue, red spruce tops, bar frets, no truss rod. Since you want a D28 or 35 you'll have to scrape up some Brazilian and of course real elephant ivory and hawks bill tortise shell. Its out there, but unfortunately its pretty hard to add the 80 years of play to a new guitar and its pretty unlikely you'll have the building chops to put it together.

I'll tell a little anecdote. I happen to own one of the "over built" D18's from the '70's - the least desirable of all the Martins. However mine has had some after market modifications - rosewood bridge plate replaced by small maple, the braces scalloped thru the sound hole. When it came back after having the work done my wife's comment was "you are playing louder tonight"

I took that guitar to a bluegrass jam - there was a D18 Golden Era and a real 1937 D-18 (yes, the grail). Guitars were passed around and the feeling was that my little dread stood up to the cannon very nicely - in fact the owner of the old one asked to buy it because he hated taking the valuable one out to play.

Short story, no you can't build a prewar D28, yes, you can build a pretty darn good guitar



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: ChuckH (Thu May 24, 2018 5:51 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 3:49 pm 
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I can maybe understand the BRW but the tortoise and ivory I wouldn't consider necessary for tone. I don't really care what it looks like as long as it has that tone.

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Hutch

Get the heck off the couch and go build a guitar!!!!
That's a reminder for me.

"Alan Carruth, IMO the 12-fret 000 or 14 fret OM size (15" wide lower bout) is god's size for the steel string guitar, especially for fingerstyle. I would also try to get away from scalloped bracing and lean toward 'straight' or 'tapered' bracing. Scalloped emphasizes bass and 'punch', where straight bracing, and especially 'tapered' (sometimes called 'parabolic') leans more toward treble and sustain."


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 4:50 pm 
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Maybe you could look to these guys for inspiration (though to be fair, I haven't played one or heard from the few folks I know who have that it is truly like a pre-war Martin): https://www.pre-warguitars.com/

To the other responders, kudos to you. OLF is truly a safe space. :)

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 12:22 pm 
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banjopicks wrote:
So I want my first guitar to sound like an early Martin D35 or 28. Unlikely but where would I start? Even Martin can't seem to do it. What radius for top and bottom?

Not sure if this will help or hinder, but I remembered this thread from UMGF https://umgf.com/flat-tops-vs-arched-bracing-t2802.html
FWIW, If I was going for an old Martin type sound, and I stress I never have, I'd maybe try 40' top radius, 15' back, forward shifted X bracing, scalloped braces, maybe a torrifed Adi or Sitka spruce soundboard, Mahogany B&S.

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These users thanked the author Colin North for the post: dpetrzelka (Thu May 24, 2018 9:14 am)
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 7:55 am 
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If it’s a first build just build a guitar that functions:) maybe I’m of the variety that is mechanically challenged but that was and still is to an extent my goal haha. Sure chase after what you want... start w the right woods and patterns, but don’t get hung up on tons of specifics for the first one. Perhaps start with torified wood to get a jump on the aging factor?.
Just enjoy the process:)


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These users thanked the author SnowManSnow for the post: Bryan Bear (Thu May 24, 2018 8:19 am)
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 8:16 am 
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What the heck is torified wood??? Going to google now.

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Hutch

Get the heck off the couch and go build a guitar!!!!
That's a reminder for me.

"Alan Carruth, IMO the 12-fret 000 or 14 fret OM size (15" wide lower bout) is god's size for the steel string guitar, especially for fingerstyle. I would also try to get away from scalloped bracing and lean toward 'straight' or 'tapered' bracing. Scalloped emphasizes bass and 'punch', where straight bracing, and especially 'tapered' (sometimes called 'parabolic') leans more toward treble and sustain."


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 8:28 am 
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Thanks for that tip. If it's all true, my first guitar should be pretty good. Hopefully it'll make up for the EIA back and sides. If I get good at this and someone actually wants to pay for it, I'll get some Brazilian.

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Hutch

Get the heck off the couch and go build a guitar!!!!
That's a reminder for me.

"Alan Carruth, IMO the 12-fret 000 or 14 fret OM size (15" wide lower bout) is god's size for the steel string guitar, especially for fingerstyle. I would also try to get away from scalloped bracing and lean toward 'straight' or 'tapered' bracing. Scalloped emphasizes bass and 'punch', where straight bracing, and especially 'tapered' (sometimes called 'parabolic') leans more toward treble and sustain."


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 8:50 am 
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the 35 wasn't out till the late 60's the 28 started its run in the 30's
so then you have to look inside to see what changed and let me tell you a lot
I am a Martin authorized repair center and do work on these old guitars.
#1
in the original design there was no Popsicle brace
the neck block was 1 9/16
the glue used was Hot Hide glue
tops were Red spruce
Braces were 5/16 scalloped
Brisge plate was smaller than todays as was the bridge
Saddle was a through saddle and nut and saddle were Ivory
Plastic pins
Side supports were ribbon
Brace angle was 99 degrees and the braces were forward shifted ( That changed in 39)
Brazilian rose wood
Neck support was Tee bar and neck was compression fretted
Tops were about .115 thick varies from .095 to .115 thinnest one I was was .085

35
used 1/4 in braces
sitka top
brace angle 95 degrees
Read shifted
larger bridge plate
Drop in saddle
also compression fretted for neck steel neck reinforcement
nor valoute on the neck

top .125 thick
back .115 to .095

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These users thanked the author bluescreek for the post (total 2): J De Rocher (Thu May 24, 2018 7:44 pm) • dpetrzelka (Thu May 24, 2018 9:18 am)
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 9:04 am 
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Thanks John. I'm looking for a good set of plans that don't leave me with an overbuilt guitar. This will be my own so I'd rather err on the light side.

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Hutch

Get the heck off the couch and go build a guitar!!!!
That's a reminder for me.

"Alan Carruth, IMO the 12-fret 000 or 14 fret OM size (15" wide lower bout) is god's size for the steel string guitar, especially for fingerstyle. I would also try to get away from scalloped bracing and lean toward 'straight' or 'tapered' bracing. Scalloped emphasizes bass and 'punch', where straight bracing, and especially 'tapered' (sometimes called 'parabolic') leans more toward treble and sustain."


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 9:14 am 
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Try pasting in this link. This guy did a good deal of research, so no reason to "reinvent the wheel".

http://00-17.blogspot.com//2009/09/pre-war-bracing.html



These users thanked the author surveyor for the post: dpetrzelka (Thu May 24, 2018 9:22 am)
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 6:03 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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that was a 00 that is not the same bracing as a dred
The stew mac print is a good place to start but Martin never had blue prints unti the 70's up to that point everything was done via formans notes on the production jigs. I have documented many of the pre war Dreds as I could and made templates based off that information .

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 9:40 am 
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It wouldn't hurt for you to take every chance you get to examine closely guitars that sound great. Tap it, thump it, look inside with mirrors, try to get in your mind how strong each part is.

Most people when they build their first guitar are still thinking like carpenters, meaning that you try to add value by making everything a little stronger. Most good guitars are built on a philosophy of having some or all of the parts to be just strong enough to keep the strings from folding the guitar up. Since wood is a variable material you have to make judgement calls. You're not trying to copy the dimensions as much as you are trying to copy the weights and rigidities of each part.


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