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Ayers - first build
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Author:  Rienk [ Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Ayers - first build

Hey ya'll... we'll, I've thrown my hat in the ring to build my first guitar for this challenge.
I won't be starting for a few more months, as I've got a long way to go getting my home shop set up, and acquiring some tools that will actually fit in it (we have commercial tools at work, but it's way too dirty there to build guitars). So, I'm staying busy building tools, jigs, and fixtures - and acquiring wood. I have a lot of wood collected - twenty species and probably enough to build 100 guitars - except for the necks (hoping to buy a pallet of mahogany soon).
I would actually like to build my first guitar from wood we have resawn from our own lumber, but most of it is not dry enough yet. Here are a few pictures of some of the wood that I've recently acquired. The Redwood beam is 20-50 lpi and probably 80 years old, but the Acacia and Sycamore have only been dead for about eight years, and still very wet. I'm going to be building a vacuum kiln, so I hope I can accelerate the drying a bit.

Author:  Rienk [ Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ayers - first build

I'm a bit of a maverick, and so usually like putting my own spin on things.
Thus, I have designed my own shapes, which include a family of instruments; guitars from parlor to jumbo, as well as Uke's and Mandolins.
Here are a few pictures showing the outlines of our guitar shapes (our Uke's are mathematically similar to this family of shapes).

The first picture shows the different guitar shapes side by side. The larger ones will have an option of a cutaway (one shows a low and high cut).
The second picture shows some of our shapes overlaid with some of the well known Martin shapes.
The last picture shows some of my shapes overlaid on each other. The set on the right is the actual size of each, and on the left is how they would compare if they were scaled to all be the same length (included in both is McPherson's body shape, which I happen to like).

[edit: when I get some time, I'll try to convert the PDFs below to JPGs, so that you don't have to open them separately, but can see them directly in the post]

Author:  Rienk [ Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ayers - first build

I've already posted these elsewhere, but here are a few photos of the Side Bender that I designed. It's basically a blend between the LMI and the Fox style... it can use either the LMI style rollers or the spring loaded sliders for bending.
What I like the most about it is the front loading capability - especially for cutaways.
Eventually, I will be adding pnumatic tensioners, and maybe even computerized controls like Taylor (one of my goals is to develop a boutique shop that has the same technical capabilities of the big boys - and maybe even share that with others).

The first photo shows the bender without a mold in it.
The next three pictures show it with our 14-38-CL shape in it, with the standard 14-38 next to it.

Author:  Rienk [ Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ayers - first build

Some explanation about our shapes and their nomenclature.

I did a fair amount of research comparing body shapes of various guitars; from the big boys like Martin and Taylor, to some of the boutiques like McPherson, Olsen, Ryan, Batson, Tacoma, Breedlove, etc. I realized that I wouldn't have enough time (or talent) to research what difference these shapes would make sonically (tone, etc), but I figured I could compare whatever I could get my hands on, analyze the differences, and come up with my own take on how the different sized guitar shapes would transition from one to the other. I think that our shapes exhibit a good blend of engineering and aesthetics.

I am going with metric sizes, and the nomenclature reflects this.

The first number is usually going to be 12 or 14, designating how many frets to the body.
The second number ranges from 28-42, representing the width of the lower bout in centimeters.
The CL stands for "Cutaway-Low" (CH would be "cutaway-high", the difference can be seen on the 14-40 shape above).

The length of those guitars will proportionally range from 45-52cm.
The upper boat, waist, and ten other design dimensions are all proportionally changed as well.

Other model designation numbers will reflect the body depth (heel and tail) as well as the placement of the soundhole.

For now, we intend for all of our guitars to have cantilevered necks.

Some may accuse me for getting ahead of myself on all this, since I haven't even built my first guitar yet - but being an ADHD Aspie with obsessive compulsive tendencies - I rather enjoy planning things out like this.

I just hope that my craftsmanship will eventually warrant it!

Author:  ZekeM [ Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ayers - first build

Wow! U are my opposite. I jump in things with little to no planning :)

Looks like you have a good plan, I wish you the best of luck with the execution.

Author:  Doug Balzer [ Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ayers - first build

Welcome Ayers! We will all have high expectations for this your first build with all that great tooling. ;)

Author:  Rienk [ Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ayers - first build

Doug Balzer wrote:
Welcome Ayers! We will all have high expectations for this your first build with all that great tooling. ;)

May be akin to all those ski bunnies thinking their expensive equipment makes them good on the slopes!
Fools with tools does not a good guitar make (I think Yoda said that)
But of course, having good tools to start with should help!

I can't wait to get the shop set up... I'll probably post pictures of that progress, since it's all I'll have to offer for quite a while. This thread may be a bit quieter than others for some time to come.

Author:  Rienk [ Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ayers - first build

Well, three months have gone by, and my shop is still not anywhere near completed, let alone ready to work in.
I'm having to play 'musical chairs' with all my stuff... moving things from the attic to the shop to the garage and back again, trying to install 220/460 electrical, as well as air and vacuum throughout. My business GM won't let me take over a section of the work shop to get started (why did I give him that authority when I hired him?), so I'm not-so-patiently waiting to set up the tools and go to work.
Got the ceiling air and outlets done, attic insulated and the plywood floor screwed back down, so now I can start putting junk back in the attic. then I get to move the garage stuff into the shop, so that we can install the subpanels, central Vac and Air. After that's done, I can move all the garage stuff back, and MAYBE I'll have some shop space that I can start building my workbenches in.

This obviously isn't just for one guitar, so ultimately it will all be worthwhile - but it sure is a lot of work during the few free hours we have. But it should end up being a really nice shop, enjoyed and used by me and the kids, and eventually the grandkids!

Okay, I realize I'm just rambling because I have nothing better to do, or show.
Quit wasting your time reading this and get over to someone else who's actually building a guitar!


Author:  Rienk [ Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ayers - first build

Three more months and still little progress on the shop - which means no progress on the guitar.
Too much "life" getting in the way. My son and I spent part of the weekend closing up the attic remodel, which needs to be completed before we can finish the garage remodel, which needs to be completed before we can finish the new shop. I feel like crying every time I see the boxes of new workbenches and all my tools covered up in a pile...

... I have a feeling that I'll be joining the "2014 New Build" contest instead :oops:

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