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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:49 pm 
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Hi everyone,

I thought I'd share photos of my current build, a small classical for a good friend's daughter. Here is the mockup...

Attachment:
rty.jpg


Some of you will recognise it from this, http://www.luthiersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10101&t=41311, thread.

This is only the third acoustic guitar I've built (the second on my own as I built my first under the supervision of a tutor) so I'm still a newbie trying to get to grips with things but I thought I should show my work and expose myself to some critical eyes.

I did post pics of my last guitar here, http://www.luthiersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10101&t=41035, but none of the actual build process as I decided from the very beginning not risk losing focus by worrying about taking pics all the time. This time, I've been taking photos as I go along and compiling a photo book for the young owner-to-be! She's enjoying seeing it come together and hopefully some of you guys will too!

I've just finished binding the body so there are a good eleven messages worth of pics. I'll upload them all as quick as possible.

(The language in the photo book is written for a child so I'll just quicly summarise each pic, if anyone has any questions about how I did something (or why I didn't do something), let me know!

All comments welcome!
---------------------------------------------

Attachment:
image001.jpg


Here is most of the wood. Very inexpensive from Madinta but I don't think I could be happier with the grain if I'd have chosen from stacks. Carpathian spruce top with EIR back, sides, faceplate, and fretboard, and maple neck rosette and binding (not in picture).

Attachment:
image002.jpg


The sides

Attachment:
image005.jpg


Working on the thickness sander

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image006.jpg


Getting there!

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image007.jpg


After sanding to 2.2mm, I cut to size and the first one spent 10 minutes in the bath to get wet

Attachment:
image008.jpg


On the bending iron! (Just for the record, I don't recommend using a heat gun. It only just got the pipe hot enough and it took over 30 minutes to heat up. The propane torch takes less than half that time and gets higher temps.) Oh, and the tin foil obviously isn't enough heat protection to avoid the smell of smoldering plywood! I'll use a tile next time. If I don't make a sidebender.)


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Last edited by Nick Royle on Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:32 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:54 pm 
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Attachment:
image009.jpg


Checking against the template

Attachment:
image010.jpg


Nearly there

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image011.jpg


One side done

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image012.jpg


Both sides done. I made that one ply mold but it was next to useless so, really, I built this guitar free form.

Attachment:
image014.jpg


Splitting braces (not at all staged after I forgot to get someone to take a pic!)

Attachment:
image015.jpg


Braces

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image016.jpg


A spruce tree! :) or four.


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Last edited by Nick Royle on Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:57 pm 
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Attachment:
image017.jpg


Smoothing

Attachment:
image018.jpg


Roughly sized

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image019.jpg


Everything so far

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image020.jpg


Sides together

Attachment:
image021.jpg


Kerfing going on

Attachment:
image022.jpg


Kerfing on! I used a flat top and a 16 foot radius back. Used a radius dish for the back.

Attachment:
image023.jpg


Marking for end graft


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Last edited by Nick Royle on Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:01 pm 
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Attachment:
image024.jpg


Chiseling slot

Attachment:
image025.jpg


Clamping

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image026.jpg


Shooting the back

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image027.jpg


back together

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image028.jpg


Joining top. I used the tape method this time, worked well! (And that Elvis sleeve was for the first record I ever bought!!!!)

Attachment:
image029.jpg


Top joined

Attachment:
image031.jpg


Maple ring for the rosette


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Last edited by Nick Royle on Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:06 pm 
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Attachment:
image033.jpg


Took me a few goes to cut!

Attachment:
image034.jpg


Gluing rosette purfling with drawing pins (push pins/map pins)

Attachment:
image035.jpg


And the inside... actually, I broke that rosette in a momnent of furious sanding so I had to make another one. I forgot to tape pics but second time around, I inlaid a maple ring into rosewood and then cut it out again. I only wanted the rosewood line to be 0.5mm, so it was risky cutting that close, but it turned out ok.

Attachment:
image036.jpg


Practiced the inlay first

Attachment:
image037.jpg


Finished! Not tooo bad. I ran out of the maple a few photos back so I used some 0.7mm maple veneer. Just got to be careful not to sand through it!!!

Attachment:
image038.jpg


Thicknessing the top to 1.9ish. Will be 1.8 when final sanded I hope and thinner round the edges.


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Last edited by Nick Royle on Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:11 pm 
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Attachment:
image039.jpg


Thicknessing the back. I stopped at 2mm, maybe slightly less, because it was practically flapping in the wind!

Attachment:
image040.jpg


Top and back stickered for 5 days at 47% to prepare for cross grain gluing. Hopefully an adequate precaution.

Attachment:
image042.jpg


Gluing a soundhole patch... I cut the thin top and back panels out with the Dremel in the Stewmac base. Didn't fancy risking it with a coping saw, however small or big.

Attachment:
image043.jpg


Hole cut

Attachment:
image044.jpg


Gluing fan braces

Attachment:
image045.jpg


Carving 'em... Took 'em down to 3mm ish in the end as per a Torres plan. If that's too thin, I don't want to know! Well, I do. But break it to me gently. :)


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Last edited by Nick Royle on Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:14 pm 
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Attachment:
image046.jpg


Gluing the a-frame

Attachment:
image047.jpg


After carving/before sanding = 85 grams (and oversize, and brace ends still long. Will be a fair bit lighter really.)

Attachment:
image048.jpg


Gluing marriage strip

Attachment:
image049.jpg


Chiseling slots

Attachment:
image050.jpg


Gluing back braces

Attachment:
image051.jpg


Carving

Attachment:
image052.jpg


Gluing top


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Last edited by Nick Royle on Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:17 pm 
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Attachment:
image053.jpg


Trimming top back

Attachment:
image054.jpg


Guitar without back! :) (The a-frame was meant to be inlet into the headblock but I screwed up!) [and the tailblock was meant to be tapered in line with the kerfing but in a moment of lucidness I lost confidence and all logic and just lost the plot with that one.]

Attachment:
image055.jpg


Gluing back

Attachment:
image056.jpg


Guitar with back. you can just see the template with tabs cut to transfer brace lines to the top. Worked well.

Attachment:
image057.jpg


From the front

Attachment:
image058.jpg


Bending binding. (That may be my new pseudonym, Mr Ben Bendingbinding.) I had an epiphany whilst bending these: I hadn't been holding the bend for long enough so I was bending over and over and not getting the bend to stick! Once I started counting to 60 or 90 whilst holding the bend (off the iron), there was hardly any springback at all... Maaaaybe I don't need the side bender now after all.

Attachment:
image059.jpg


Binding jig. ugly isn't it? wow7-eyes (EDIT: I should say, although my tutor used a slightly different jig that operated on the same principles, this is blatant copy of the KMG Binding Machine. Search on Google for his site and pricing, etc)


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Last edited by Nick Royle on Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:27 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:22 pm 
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Attachment:
image060.jpg


Cutting the binding channels. I said to a friend I could've done three in an afternoon with this jig. actually, I could've done 20 ... even if I had to adjust settings for each one! Great jig. With careful testing. (I don't really feel the urge to replace it with a tower rig or swivel arm rig. Maybe I'll try one of them and think it better but I just don't think I will.)

Attachment:
image061.jpg


All cut

Attachment:
image062.jpg


Binding back

Attachment:
image063.jpg


Binding top

Attachment:
image064.jpg


Lots of tape! Thanks to Todd for recommending the strapping tape. Bleedin good!

Attachment:
P1070048.JPG


Scraping flush... Wow, a sharp scraper is just a joy! I sharpened by rubbing the square end on my 320 grit paper on the scary sharp board (and/or the coarse side of a Stanley oil stone) and then burnished with the Veritas variable burnisher (bought it with Christmas money from m'grandma). First time I've been able to repeatably get a good hook.

Attachment:
P1070049.JPG


Scraping top


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Last edited by Nick Royle on Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:34 am, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:24 pm 
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Attachment:
P1070050.jpg


Attachment:
P1070068.JPG


Attachment:
P1070070.JPG


Attachment:
P1070072.JPG


Attachment:
P1070073.JPG


Attachment:
P1070075.JPG


I'm pretty pleased with that. Only the second time I've done wooden binding. (Binding only looks a bit thicker on one side because I'm yet to scrape around the bit I had to retape.)

(The guitar isn't symmetrical but I think I'd get sucked into the underworld if I ever made a symmetrical guitar! To be brutally honest, the reason it isn't symmetrical is mainly down to me not holding the bends for long enough and them not setting properly, so by the time I got to this point, I just said, "that's close enough"... Never again.)


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Last edited by Nick Royle on Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:25 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:27 pm 
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Attachment:
image065.jpg


Cutting fret slots

Attachment:
image066.jpg


Cutting MOP for inlay

Attachment:
image067.jpg


All cut

Attachment:
image069.jpg


Practicing routing inlay cavities

Attachment:
image070.jpg


Done!




Well, that's about it for now. Just working on the neck now. Hope those who enjoy build threads like what they see! I welcome any comments!

All the best,
Nick


Here's a test dying the spruce purple...

Attachment:
PURPLE-WOOD!!!!!!.jpg


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:04 pm 
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That is a fantastic photo journey.
Keep the pictures rolling.

dl


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:10 pm 
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Thanks Dave, glad you like them!
I'll be posting more within days!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:17 am 
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'Binding jig. ugly isn't it? wow7-eyes '
A binding jig is only as pretty as the binding job it makes, and yours looks great!

Very cool, I like the headstock.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:22 am 
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That's awesome, Nick! Looking forward to seeing that "subtle" color when you're done.
Thanks for sharing.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:00 pm 
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Quote:
A binding jig is only as pretty as the binding job it makes, and yours looks great!

Thanks Joel, very kind of you to post and say that! I'm quite proud of it!

And I'm glad you like the headstock. At one point I thought I'd never make a nice loooking design for it and the bridge... for this guitar or any other! My creativity was letting me down! But with a very kind and helpful OLF user to bounce ideas off, I eventually got to something I like! Maybe there is hope for me yet! I thought I was doomed to only copying others for a moment!


And, Eric, thanks for the compliment!
Quote:
Looking forward to seeing that "subtle" color when you're done.

I'm looking forward to seeing it in that subtle colour, too! :lol: Still lots of fun to come trying to mask off/seal the binding!


Thanks for looking!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:11 pm 
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I thought I should show the plan for the bridge, too! Would be useful if anyone could cast their eye over it for me...


Attachment:
BRIDGE-DESIGN.jpg


It's a "wrapover bridge"... Tie a knot in the end of the nylon string and it goes though the hole under the saddle and back out over it.

The genius (if I do say so myself :lol: - Nah, I copied James Riggle... umm, his :P Uke) is that it is will be drilled for 6 and 4 string spacing. When Rosie's fingers get too big for the 6 string spacing, converting it into a baritone ukulele is as easy as making a new saddle and nut! And chopping some headstock off but that's easier than replacing the bridge and it means she can get a lot more use out of this guitar than I originally intended. Hopefully, this guitar will actually spend most of its life as a uke! But until that new life begins, it needs to be a great guitar!

(The bridge plan isn't totally up to date, I just noticed. The top view is closest to the actual measurements.)


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These users thanked the author Nick Royle for the post: johnparchem (Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:42 pm)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:42 pm 
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Wow! A wonderful project, nicely documented. Thank you sharing this.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:50 am 
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Thanks for the comment, John! My pleasure to share the pics!
A pleasure too to hear such nice feedback!

Cheers!
Nick


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:40 am 
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This is the frequency response curve before the binding went on. I'll have to do it again now the binding is on, but I'm still studying, trying to get my head around these things so I'd love if someone could help me understand this one. I've written my conclusions (hesitantly and without any idea if I'm right) based on it but I'm not sure if it's appropriate to post them here. If anyone could help me I'd really appreciate it. By PM if necessary. I'm unsure of which peaks are which.

Image

Many thanks in advance!
Nick

(500th post!? Do I post too much? :lol:)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:06 pm 
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I just checked again post-binding and the difference seems negligible in the low to mid range. The main air resonance is 157hz. Then there are four peaks at 224ish (though it doesn't seem very distinct) 277ish, 373ish, and 471ish... 224 to 277 is just under 4 semitones, so I'm guessing 224 is the top and 277 is the back. But then I don't know what 373 and 471 are. I don't even know if such a small body can be analysed in the same way as a large one?!

From there up the peaks have changed position slightly but remain fairly constant... From 2k - 4k there are a decent number of peaks too, so... bright!?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:56 pm 
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Attachment:
image0699.jpg


Planing fretboard to size... So much fun!

Attachment:
image073.jpg


Cutting scarf

Attachment:
image074.jpg


Smoothing it

Attachment:
image075.jpg


Gluing head

Attachment:
image076.jpg


Gluing stacked heel

Attachment:
image077.jpg


Gluing head veneer

Attachment:
image078.jpg


Cutting heel


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:01 pm 
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Attachment:
image079.jpg


Cutting heel to size. (Also note the 1/8th inch deep pocket I routed)

Attachment:
image080.jpg


Installing M6 self tapping threaded inserts... I drilled the holes on my local school's pillar drill.

Attachment:
image081.jpg


Carving primary facets... Love my whittling knife!

Attachment:
image082.jpg


More carving

Attachment:
image083.jpg


Cutting out head shape

Attachment:
image084.jpg


My apologies to the wood gods for wasting maple by using such a large neck blank for such a narrow neck. I wont do it again!

(The keen-eyed will notice I put the R on the wrong fret. That was me relaxing my OCD [not that any of my work is usually evident of it! lol] when the going was good.)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:45 pm 
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The neck is on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
bliss bliss bliss

Attachment:
P1070123-SMALL.jpg



A million more apologies to the wood gods for using such a wide neck blank... I'll make use of the offcuts!!!!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:40 pm 
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Couple more pics... (I got excited and just had to post that oen but thought another view or two would be nice.)

Attachment:
P1070124-small.jpg

Attachment:
P1070125-small.jpg

Attachment:
P1070132-small.jpg


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