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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:41 am 
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This is going to be a total experiment for me as I can't find any information about it at all! So I'm going to make it up :lol: . It will be a small bodied, 6 string guitar. I don't even know for sure what it is called!

Body length: 380mm / 15in
Lower bout: 285mm / 11in
Scale length: 484mm / 19in

I'm trying to make it all out of wood that I already have, so the soundboard will be parana pine, neck, back and sides will be some more of that mahogany shelving of which I have stacks and the back, fingerboard and binding will be jatoba (I think). I'll probably use a carbon fibre insert instead of a truss rod, as I don't know where you could get one that short.

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Last edited by PeterF on Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:26 am 
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You could always make your own truss rod. They are very simple to make. All you need is some 3/16 rod, a couple small pieces of brass or steel, and a nut. I'm sure you can find plans or I can show you if you wish.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:35 am 
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Check the lengths on Mandolin and Mandola Truss rods . You may find what you need .

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:28 am 
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Thanks for the suggestions. It looks like a mandolin truss rod would be perfect.

Incidentally, does anyone know if this size instrument has a name? I forgot to say that it will be tuned like a standard guitar with capo 5 (ADGCEA)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:55 am 
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Not sure how closely the dimensions match, but there is a rob and gary's piccolo guitar build series on you tube.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:28 pm 
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Randy Jones wrote:
Not sure how closely the dimensions match, but there is a rob and gary's piccolo guitar build series on you tube.


Yeah, that's the only place I've ever seen the bracing on one of these small guitars. It looks fairly similar, just an inch or so smaller all around.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:53 pm 
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I'll be following this one with interest. In the back of my mind, I have a terz of similar dimensions. I was thinking in the neighborhood of 16 inch long body (maybe a little wider than yours too) and 21ish inch scale depending on where I end up after I play around with bridge location. Terz would be like having the capo on the third rather than 5th fret. . .
I can’t wait to see and hear what you come up with. I liked your first challenge entry too BTW.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:35 am 
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Well, I have made a start. Just been pushing all my wood through the massive band resaw in college. It has motorized feed rollers and a blade about 2 inches wide! Not the best thing for cutting delicate thin sheets of wood, but it does the job, albeit with much nail-biting :shock: . The wood looks great, but the jatoba has extremely wavy grain and is very difficult to plane without tearing to shreds - luckily it's a small guitar, so there isn't as big an area.

A few pics:
Image

Parana pine (almost perfectly quartersawn by the way!)
Image

Image

Jatoba
Image

Mahogany
Image

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:38 pm 
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So then, here's the plan. I always like to draw out my designs before making them to see what they will look like. This one is rather ambitious, but I think it's doable! I'll probably change the rosette a bit though.

Image

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:51 pm 
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Nice design Peter! Thats a sweet rosette! I like that style, the one I have drawn up is in the same family. The accent purfling lines really add character, as well as the double cutaway. Before you bend the sides be sure to make your headblock, measure carfully and plan for it to be the width of your neck minus sides. This will assure your sides will blend in nicely with the neck and there will not be an odd step there. I like for it to blend seamlessly into the heel, which is why I use a heel that is wide all the way down. If that makes any sense. Its just a little detail that I find adds a lot to the guitar and shows off your craftsmanship. Just a suggestion for ya.

Oh also did you draw that by hand or use a program, it looks nice!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:21 pm 
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I haven't decided what heel shape I'm going with yet. I might do a modified version of the one I used on my last challenge build - I really love that shape, but I get what you mean about it blending in.
I use Autosketch for all my 2D design work and Fireworks for the texturing. I scanned some of the actual pieces of wood that I'm going to use so I can really see what it will look like.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:41 pm 
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very cool ill have to look into those programs.

Of course if you are feeling like some extra work it really does not matter what shape your heel is. You can blend it to the sides. it could be tricky but its been done. here is an example

http://charlestauber.com/Guitars/Guitars_and_Lutes.html#11


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:04 pm 
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Wow I've not seen it done like that before - love it. I'm guessing you would have to build mouldless, but how would you put that compound curve in the cutaway?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:13 pm 
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Never done it but my guess would be to build in a mold. Then to carve your head block to match the heel allowing for side thickness. Then you would very carefully modify the side that has already been bent and sat in the mold for a while to settle. I would carefully bend the modification on the hot pipe maybe using te carved headblock as a guide and backing support.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:06 am 
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Minor problem #1: The parana pine stinks! I think it must have been dredged up from the bottom of a swamp laughing6-hehe

More major problem #2: The grain on the jatoba back is so curly that I can't plane the edges smooth for plate joining. How are you supposed to do this on highly figured wood?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:20 am 
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I use a very long plumbers spirit level, attach double sided stick tape to the edge and a strip of 180 grit sandpaper.

Set up the wood the same way as you would plane it - making sure that the work surface the spirit level is on is flat and run the spirit level along the edges you want to joint.

This is the method I use most often. Make sure the surfaces are free from sawdust before gluing.


Last edited by Ebony on Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:30 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:27 am 
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Ebony wrote:
Cabinet scrapers and sandpaper.


For the faces, yes, but you can't use a cabinet scraper to get a perfectly straight edge for jointing.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:29 am 
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PeterF wrote:
Ebony wrote:
Cabinet scrapers and sandpaper.


For the faces, yes, but you can't use a cabinet scraper to get a perfectly straight edge for jointing.


Please reread my edit. Apologies for misreading, that will teach me to get dinner ready at the same time!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:00 am 
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Ah, that's an idea. I'll give it a go.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:32 pm 
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PeterF wrote:
Wow I've not seen it done like that before - love it. I'm guessing you would have to build mouldless, but how would you put that compound curve in the cutaway?


Very cool that joint, not seen it done like that either - wonder whether he is still using the traditional claical spanish heel joint or how that works on the cutaway side... stunning stuff nonetheless.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:30 pm 
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PeterF wrote:
Minor problem #1: The parana pine stinks! I think it must have been dredged up from the bottom of a swamp laughing6-hehe

Use Spanish cedar for the blocks and linings and back braces, to mask it with a better smell :) Nothin you can do for yourself while working, though.

Quote:
More major problem #2: The grain on the jatoba back is so curly that I can't plane the edges smooth for plate joining. How are you supposed to do this on highly figured wood?

It can be done. If your plane is ultra sharp, set to a very fine shaving, with a very small mouth opening, with a chipbreaker less than a hair's width from the edge, you can plane against the grain. And of course the plane has to be absolutely flat, too.

But for now, use sandpaper, and then inlay a solid wood backstrip at half the thickness of the back to improve the joint strength.

I wonder if a scraper plane would work well for this, too... I've been meaning to make one for ages. Got the blade and everything, but guitars are just more fun to work on than tools :P

Frank Cousins wrote:
Very cool that joint, not seen it done like that either - wonder whether he is still using the traditional claical spanish heel joint or how that works on the cutaway side... stunning stuff nonetheless.

Yeah, this picture came up on the AGF forum a while back, and he said it is an integral neck.
Attachment:
cutaway-back.jpg

Here's another of my favorite styles you can do by exposing part of the integral headblock for carving:
Attachment:
CordobaHeel.jpg

And a variation I did on my harp ukulele, and will do again on harp guitar :)
Attachment:
Heel.jpg


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:45 pm 
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I've got the top joined and almost down to thickness. I love this wood (apart from the smell!). It has no hardness variation at all between the growth rings, so it's really easy to work with and I think it looks great. I also started to lay out the rosette, but I will have to make some sort of circle cutting tool before starting as I don't have a mini router to do it with.

Image

Image

Image

Looking at some of my inlay wood stash to see what would look nice together.

Image

I've made a start at thicknessing the back. Working diagonally across the grain with a very fine plane works fairly well with a little tearout. I'm going to get it close and then attack it with a belt sander to finish.

Image

Now that it's getting smoother, the curl figure is really coming out nicely. I had no idea it looked this good [clap]

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:32 pm 
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I really like the body shape you have there. That upper bout cut compliments the other curves very nicely!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:45 pm 
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So looking at this and i was wondering is this going to be a 14 fretter? with the double cutaway you could almost pull of a 16 fret joint or so. That would really increase the playability, but i wonder if it would comprimise strength in any way? Just curious. Looking good though


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Looks like an art-Deco feel to the rosette layout, like it [:Y:]

Are those pieces of wood veneers?

Ed


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