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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:12 pm 
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Koa
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Location: Virginia, USA
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I thought I would try to share my first acoustic guitar build. I am documenting it on Youtube, but thought that I would try to share it here. Pictures will be screen captures of the aforementioned video series.
I'm using a combinaton of techniques, using Cumpiano general references, but incorporating any other technique I think is useful. I know the usual cautions on mixing techniques, however, I have been studying this build long enough, soaking up every bit of relevant info from this forum and others, and I'm confident in what I am attempting.
I'm over a year into this build, so over the next few days I'll attempt to bring you up to speed.
OM-ish based on the Grellier plans
Sitka top
Spruce bracing, scalloped as per Grellier plan
Sapele B/S
Maple and Black Cherry neck

Here I am about to start side bending.

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And...bending the sides. These were actually practice sides from LMI. I shot video of practicing side bending. The actual sides were bent the same way, so I thought it was redundant to do another video of that. You will see the actual sides as we progress through this build.

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In the Mold

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And here is the neck wood. Black Cherry sandwiched between two pieces of Maple. Yes, I know it is flatsawn. No, I'm not concerned. I have built several electric guitars and basses, and never had an issue with flatsawn. No going to sweat it now, either. These are the woods I had to hand, these are what I will use.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:33 pm 
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Koa
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Jointing the neck woods with the plane.

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Glue up

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In the clamps. Lots of them.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:53 pm 
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Koa
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Cutting the scarf joint. I was originally going with just maple for the neck. This is what I filmed. I later changed my mind and added the Cherry in the center. Once again, there was no point in filming this process again. The techniques used were the same.

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Squaring up the face of the Scarf

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Prepping it for glue up. I used a combination of the hand plane and a sanding block. In this case an old plane body.

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Cutting the headstock to thickness.

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Planing flat and square

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:12 pm 
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Walnut
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Great! Please keep us informed with more pictures of the process... I am just gearing up to get started myself, and can’t get enough of the doc-I-builds from this forum! I have answered quite a few questions, and already benefit greatly from the wealth of info gathered here. Thanks!



These users thanked the author FlyingFred for the post: Mike Baker (Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:32 am)
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:52 pm
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Location: Oregon
First name: Zach
State: Oregon
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Hi Mike, good job getting started. I built my first guitar from those OM same plans, and I also had the Cumpiano book, as well as a few others (Kinkead, a few really old ones, and the Robbie O'Brien video course). I probably over thought most of the that build. I remember spending most of my time on the jigs to build the guitar, rather than the guitar itself.

One of my favorite things about this forum was a place to document what I had done. I love having it as a reference, now that I'm looking at builds #2 and #3, it helps me remember that I did it once, so I can do it again.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:36 am 
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Koa
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FlyingFred, thanks for commenting, and welcome to acoustic guitar building. I am having a great time, mistakes and all, and am grateful to everyone who came before me, from Cumpiano/Natleson, to many others who have influenced and helped me. Particularly the members of this forum.
I can't think of a better resource than this place and the builders here. Jump on in, you will love it!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:45 am 
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Koa
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Location: Virginia, USA
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Zach, thanks!
I picked up a ton of ideas on this build from all over. Some of it comes from having built several electric guitars. Although not much of that translates except neck building, being used to having a plan and a process helps tremendously.
But there are builders, like Robbie O'Brien, Todd Stock, and a gentleman named Hesh, who has not been here in a bit, that really helped me to understand certain processes and, more important, the reasons behind them.
There are a whole bunch more, and if I tried to name them all I'd never be able to.
Good luck and have fun on your next builds. I'm already playing around with ideas for my next as well, lol.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:05 pm 
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First name: Ed
Last Name: Minch
City: Chestertown
State: MD
Zip/Postal Code: 21620
Country: United States
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Mike

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These users thanked the author Ruby50 for the post: Mike Baker (Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:22 am)
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:23 am 
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Koa
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Ruby50 wrote:
Mike

LOVE your shop

Ed

Thanks, Ed. So do I. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:30 pm 
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Koa
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Location: Virginia, USA
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Head and tail block get some glue.

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And some clamps.

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Back gets a taper per Cumpiano/Natleson. Kind of.

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Head block end got a full one inch of taper. 4" at the tail block, 3" at the heel. This was a mistake in cutting the taper in the heel block. I rolled with it, mainly because I think it might make the guitar a bit more comfortable for me and some of the physical issues I have. Some of you might remember that before I started this build I was contemplating building it shallow. So this might be a decent compromise. We will see what effect it has on tone after I'm done.

Installing kerfing, top and back.

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The only thing nescessary for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.


Last edited by Mike Baker on Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:48 pm 
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Koa
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Top and back were jointed using a sanding beam.
Every time I joint a top (have done it twice before on restores) I try to do so with a hand plane. I usually have to resort to a sanding beam at some point because the wood removed attempting this begins to be so much that it threatens to make the plate too small for the width needed. Was the same in this case, so I moved to a sanding beam. Each time I build, I'll keep trying until I learn the proper method.
Top and back were joined using Kathy Matsushita's method.

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I used the plane I tried to joint them with, and an old plane body I use to level frets, to add weight in the center.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:58 pm 
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Koa
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Thicknessing the top and back.

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Mike

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:00 pm 
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Koa
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Backstripe installed.

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Mike

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:37 pm 
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Haven't seen an update in a while. How's the guitar going?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:51 pm 
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Koa
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J De Rocher wrote:
Haven't seen an update in a while. How's the guitar going?

Winter kind of threw a wrench in my outdoor set up, lol.
And now with Spring Cleaning, I've been busy.
But I will be starting on the truss rod and fretboard/fingerboard as soon as I can.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:57 pm 
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Koa
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Sorry there has not been an update on this in so long. I am also an amateur photographer, and with Spring "springing" as it were, I sort of went crazy with a camera for a while. Still not finished with that, but thought I better get moving on this build again.
Obligatory bracing shot
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Signed

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And glued to the rims.

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And bracing for the back.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:01 pm 
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Koa
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And some of what has kept me away.
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Image

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:06 am 
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Koa
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Once the box was closed I used a gramil and chisel to cut the binging ledges.
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Then it was on!

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I chose a simple bwb purfling scheme.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:54 am 
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Nice work on the binding channel. On my traditional classical guitars I have to use a gramil and chisel near the neck where I do not want the router to hit. I know it is not as easy as you made it look.

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These users thanked the author johnparchem for the post: Mike Baker (Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:01 am)
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:06 am 
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Koa
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Location: Virginia, USA
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Thanks, John.
No, it was not easy, and I made some mistakes, in the channel and particularly cutting the rossette channel, where I got a lot of tear out.
First time, though, I will get better as I go.
I know a lot of builders use shellac to coat the top and edges before using a gramil/circle cutter, to help avoid tear out. I did not because my wife has serious issues with any type of odor; she can go into seizures, very bad ones. Most folk would say that shellac does not have very much of an odor, but I could not take the chance.
But I know in carpentry masking tape is very often used with routers to avoid tear out or chip out on finishes. I will give that a shot on the next one.
Live and learn.

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