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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:04 pm 
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Walnut
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:52 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Eastern Oregon
First name: Zach
State: Oregon
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
So first off, I want to make it clear that I'm entering this competition as a complete newbie jumping in to a community of luthiers, and not necessarily as an intense competitor :)

Since I haven't posted before, a little info on me:

I've spent the last year collecting hand tools and learning how to use them. While I lean towards hand tools, my dad has a very equipped wood shop and I'm free to use it any time if I need to thickness sand things or use a table saw, etc. I've also been learning more about wood, and reading about how guitars are constructed through books and online. I've read through Cumpiano, Kinkade's book (very visual), and three or four lesser known books I got for cheap. (You get what you pay for.)

On an extremely geek note, I just recently finished a college class on partial differential equations on the off-chance that it might help me understand the acoustics of a guitar in a technical sense. Having finished that, there may be a few things to do with the helmholtz equation that would help in understanding the vibration of the top? Anyone on here play around with this math/engineering approach before? How helpful are mathematical models in the design, such as choosing an optimal back and top radius or whether or not to it would positively affect sound to leave the sides un-radiused? From what I've seen online, much of guitar design is done by looking to historic pieces such as "pre-war" bracing patterns and saying 'yep, that sounds good, let's imitate that'.

Building this guitar is a significant item on my bucket list. I even recently (3-4 months ago) bought a guitar and took a class on how to play it. It sounds a little odd saying it out loud, but the guitar as a form of artistic and technical expression is what captures my imagination. Playing it is somewhat secondary (though I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would.)

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Zach Grammon

"What I cannot create, I do not understand." Richard P. Feynamn


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:04 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:52 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Eastern Oregon
First name: Zach
State: Oregon
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
The black walnut came from a friend of my dad who lives about 30 miles away. I believe the story is the tree blew down in a big storm. I'll have to double check. What's interesting to me is the intense colors I'm seeing (not as evident in the pictures). My dad says one effect of not using a kiln to dry the wood is that it has richer color once it's dry.


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Zach Grammon

"What I cannot create, I do not understand." Richard P. Feynamn


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:47 pm
Posts: 298
First name: Jay
Last Name: Swann
City: Austin
State: TX
Zip/Postal Code: 78739
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
[quote="eigenwood"]So first off, I want to make it clear that I'm entering this competition as a complete newbie jumping in to a community of luthiers, and not necessarily as an intense competitor :)

Since I haven't posted before, a little info on me:


On an extremely geek note, I just recently finished a college class on partial differential equations on the off-chance that it might help me understand the acoustics of a guitar in a technical sense. Having finished that, there may be a few things to do with the helmholtz equation that would help in understanding the vibration of the top? Anyone on here play around with this math/engineering approach before?

Two names for you.... Alan Carruth and Trevor Gore. Both are frequent posters here, and will absolutely bend your mind with guitar physics, and how they actually impact an instrument. They can have differing opinions at times, but both are extremely knowledgeable, and very friendly and free with information. Search for some of their posts.....

BTW, welcome to the challenge!! We look forward to getting to know you better...

--Jay


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:33 pm 
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Walnut
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:52 pm
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Location: Eastern Oregon
First name: Zach
State: Oregon
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Jay, thanks for the two names you gave me. I've been searching for good resources on guitar acoustics and in just the last 10-15 minutes have found far more ever before. Sometime after I complete this first guitar, I really want to go through and start performing some simple experiments to learn how this whole thing works together. In the mean time I'm going to have to trust what I have available.

Which is a great time to field one of my more immediate questions... I'm currently shopping for a good plan for an OM. My original idea was to try to make an OM-28 clone (but with BW B&S) so I purchased the herringbone and zig-zag to attempt it. I'm struggling with finding decent printed plans of a Martin OM, so I'm relaxing my requirements somewhat. Here's what I've been considering:

1. LMI OM plans - I've read that these aren't consistent with a Martin OMs, and that they are not considered great plans by some (maybe bracing issues? not sure exactly)
2. Stewmac OM Plans - not sure, haven't read much about them
3. Grellier OM Plans - free, site reports that they were drawn to Martin 1930's specs (which I assume implies forward-shifted bracing)
4. Kinkade's Kingsdown - these are from Kinkade's book, but I don't have an OM to compare them to

I'm leaning toward the Grellier plans just because I can look at them immediately and they seem suitable up to a point, but I'd have to get them printed. There are definitely details missing that the other plans include.

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Zach Grammon

"What I cannot create, I do not understand." Richard P. Feynamn


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:45 pm 
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Walnut
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:52 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Eastern Oregon
First name: Zach
State: Oregon
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Another option would be to go with a dred instead of OM. I love the sound of dreds, but the size is a little unwieldy. The advantages of this direction are that my dad has a Martin D-28 I could reference off of, and he already has a mold for the dred body size. I guess I would then be making an HD-28 clone, because I would most likely scallop bracing with herringbone purfling.

While it's not super important for me to replicate a certain guitar, I'm motivated to do something along those lines so that I can (a) have a solid historical model to go off of, and (b) have something to compare my guitar against where confounding factors are mitigated.

If I went the dred route, I'd probably use the LMI Martin Herringbone plans, since that seems to be lined up with what I'm going toward.

Any insight/comments? The body size isn't a huge deal to me, and I'll probably end up building the other eventually. So feel free to operate under the assumption that it doesn't matter which body size I end up with.

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Zach Grammon

"What I cannot create, I do not understand." Richard P. Feynamn


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:58 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:50 pm
Posts: 294
Location: Austria
First name: Michiyuki
Last Name: Kubo
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Country: Österreich
Status: Amateur
It is really a personal choice there, not much i can say other than go with what you would rather have.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 8:35 pm
Posts: 2285
Location: Austin, Texas
First name: Dan
Last Name: Smith
City: Round Rock
State: TX
Zip/Postal Code: 78681
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hey Zach,
Welcome the forum!
Man, the Walnut is spectacular , Good find.
I'm working on my 9th electric, and I'm not embarrassed to say that I have never played or owned an acoustic. Sine you took lessons, you are way ahead of me!
Good luck with the build!
Dan

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:45 am 
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Walnut
Walnut
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:52 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Eastern Oregon
First name: Zach
State: Oregon
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
OM it is!

I printed off the OM plans from grellier.fr by taking them down to a local copy shop. It cost me $7.50. The day before I spent taping up printed paper to my picture window trying to get some facsimile of a plan to work with. I think deep down I knew it wasn't going to work, but I really wanted to perform an action that related to my guitar :roll: It helps me appreciate the plans I now have :)

My perspective on the plans...they seem pretty useable. The plans are in mm, which I much prefer ideologically, but all my measuring devices are in inches. So I'll have to do some converting. I double checked the printing I received in terms of scale and they were dead on. I wasn't sure how accurate it would be since the printer wasn't necessarily architectural quality, but suffice to say it's more accurate than I am.

In other news, I've been debating on whether or not to purchase Robbie O'Brien's Online Acoustic Course to hold my hand through this process. If you haven't caught this yet, I have a tendency to over-analyze (or is it over analyze...over-analyse?). I think I could easily spend another year just mulling over how I'm going to build this thing, but I really need to stop thinking and start doing.

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Zach Grammon

"What I cannot create, I do not understand." Richard P. Feynamn


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:47 am 
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Walnut
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:52 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Eastern Oregon
First name: Zach
State: Oregon
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
O'Brien Acoustic Course purchased.

I love the idea of having a clear and directed path this first time around. No buyer's remorse here, just relief that I feel like I just purchased an apprenticeship.

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Zach Grammon

"What I cannot create, I do not understand." Richard P. Feynamn


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:01 pm 
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Mahogany
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:35 am
Posts: 90
First name: Lee
Last Name: Passmoor
City: Newport Pagnell
State: Bucks
Zip/Postal Code: MK16 8JG
Country: United Kingdom
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I can totally relate to where you are coming from. Whenever I embark on something new I spend far too much time researching and not enough time getting stuck in and having a go and learning lessons that stick with you! Good luck on your build, I will be keeping a close eye on how you get on!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:41 am 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:36 pm
Posts: 186
First name: Wes
Last Name: Young
City: Ithaca
State: Ny
Zip/Postal Code: 14850
Country: UNITED STATES
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
How is the Build going?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 4:43 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:52 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Eastern Oregon
First name: Zach
State: Oregon
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hey all! This will be a final update on this build, as the build is barely started at this point.

My last effort back in May ended up with a split top after accidentally knocking it off the table. I was going to purchase another from LMI, but then my old man connected with a local luthier and after a few months of phone tag, ended up trading some black walnut back and sides for master grade spruce.

This being my first build, a lot of my work has been on molds, jigs, tools, and workshop stuff. I'm still working toward finishing it (maybe even by the end of the year), but it's pretty slow going. I believe winter will be more conducive to consistent shop work.

Good luck to all who managed to get work done over the summer! You are truly dedicated [:Y:]

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Zach Grammon

"What I cannot create, I do not understand." Richard P. Feynamn


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:29 am
Posts: 502
First name: joseph
Last Name: sallis
City: newcastle-upon-tyne
State: tyne and wear
Zip/Postal Code: ne46xe
Country: UK
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
It took me over a year to build my first. Like you say, so many jigs moulds etc. can be made. Goodluck with it.

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