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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:35 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
It's a Monarch, imported by Carl Fisher if I remember right. Story was that they quit building them in 1959. This one is a bit strange. It's the same outline as a classical, but a little thinner. A zero fret, no truss rod that I can tell, but the slotted head has steel string thin 'rollers'. The neck is sad, twisted and bent. The top has quite a belly below the bridge which I don't believe was original, was pulling up and had been glued down with I dunno, some sort of glue that's filling in missing wood in the top. It's got quite a bit of a different color glue inside around the headstock. The funny thing is, the mahogony on the arched back and sides looks almost pristine, so I'm guessing refinished. I didn't pay much, figuring I could use it to learn how to get a neck off. Then I started thinking..rather than building my first kit acoustic guitar, couldn't I fit a bolt on neck, and try and replace the top with a cedar one? If this is too stupid, I still wanna get the neck off as a learning experience, and will need to ask some questions as I try to figure that out. Roy, (but my brother calls me stubborn)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:05 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Having trouble posting pix rather than links from smugmug...
Image
Image

Mebbe that's working...


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:09 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Image


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:29 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 4266
Location: Virginia
In the 90's when I got started building and repairing I would find old junkers like that and re-top them, remove the necks and so on. I think it's a fine way to go about learning. The only pitfalls is that you might not learn about some more traditional repairs. Like for example it might not be a dovetail neck, rather one that is just doweled in place. BUt you could do a sawed off bolt on conversion too.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:08 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Thanks for the encouragement. It's a 12 fret neck. I pulled the 13th fret and tried drilling a coupla holes, but I did not feel the drill break into any open space. Should I have been at the 14th fret instead? I see no bolts or truss rod inside, not sure what type mount it really has. Roy


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:39 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1696
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hard to tell from your pictures but could it be a Spanish heel? If so the neck ain't coming off.

Also some times you need to tilt the bit - I just took the neck off a harmony and I had to drill at an angle towards the heel to find the pocket.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:27 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Never heard of a spanish heel, googled it and not sure, although the 'heel' (Not so great with luthier correct terms) had a wood screw going into what I suppose is the heel block inside the guitar, which looks like a solid block from the inside view. That's where a hole mess of yellow looking glue is when the purfling is all white glue making me think this is a previous repair. This was never an expensive guitar methinks. So, by angling toward the heel, that means more toward the fretboard side of the guitar? I tried that a bit, but not very agressively. Will give it another try tomorrow.Thanks for inputs. Sorry I don't know all the right terms yet. I have some books, but not with me right now.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:58 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Just looked inside a classical I have that was made in Spain...it has a curved heel block that looks like the pix of a spanish heel I googled, which is definitely not what is inside the Monarch. Learned something new today.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:18 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Neckterectomy wildly successful, largely due to Mister Coffee and my wife's iron. Funny how little I know, like exactly where I should have been drilling. It is a dovetail. I'd never actually understood how the sides are angled. Seems like I only learn by doing, and trying not to make the same mistake twice.
Pix tomorrow, when my hot spot data resets. Right now I'm at dial up speeds. I need to study up on how to rout off a top. If I can do that successfully this patient might actually have a chance. Roy


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:56 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1696
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Roy, I know lots of good builders got their start by doing repairs but I think building from scratch is infinitely easier. Virgin wood, the right glues, no prior repairs, able to do things in the proper order, yadda yadda. I do repairs when I have to and cuss every one of them. Good luck with this, I'll be rooting for you.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:29 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Actually, my brother told me exactly the same thing. He built a few guitars for the family when he was actually building mandolins. I have two of them, one is my favorite guitar. But I am pretty stubborn, coupled with being fairly cheap. So for now I'm just trying to get enough confidence behind me to think about doing an acoustic kit, plus I need to learn something about the fixtures and tools I may not have. If ok I have another question or two. Turns out I have an old nylon guitar that was made for me in the Phillipines in 1967. Top is cracked all to hell, so I'll have two tops to practice routing. Looking inside, I thought it was a spanish heel, so I figured it was a good candidate for a bolt on conversion. After cutting the neck off, I think I was mistaken and it's probably a dovetail. I'll post a couple pix, but my first question is how do I really tell a spanish heel? It is all hide glue, so it's a shame I didn't just heat it off.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:30 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
This guitar is sorta interesting. The kerfing is all bamboo. I guess the top went on after the neck?
Image
The neck nut is 47 mm, a width I really like as I have fat fingers. Howsomever, the heel looks a bit thin for the insert nuts a bolt on will need.
Image
But I'm a long way from that. It never sounded very good, although I didn't realize it at 19; I'd never tried to play a guitar before. I see it has ladder bracing on the top. I need to study up on how best to brace the new top for better sound. If I could get it to sound decent, I'd like to play it again. Got no idea what the back and side wood really is. Again... planning a cedar top. Most of the guitars I've played that sound half as good as my D28 kit have cedar tops. Roy


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:30 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Very small progress report. Glued up both soundboards after they passed the no light test. Need to practice some routing; not even sure I have any of the right router tips I need. It will take awhile to get enough confidence to route a rosette, which I need to mount before I try out a finish sander jig. One of the soundboards is 0.200 inches, the other about 0.150. later, probably much later. Roy


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:42 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Moving at the speed of smell...I have been using the StewMac circle router, and I like it quite a bit. I've done one of the rosettes (purchased, not made), and I need to ask a little about filling the very small gaps..Most of what I read says to use a dark sanded (mebbe ebony) residue and fill with CA. My soundboard is cedar, do I spray around the rosette with lacquer first? I've also read the CA will stain into the cedar, and I don't want that. What would be the downside of just using titebond with the sanding medium?

Image
For the other soundboard I'm still thinking about the rosette. I bought some black/white/black for something simple, but I'm not clear about the process. I'll look around some more and see how it's typically done. Appreciate any advice or links.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:30 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
So yesterday I started working on a rosette...I thought I'd cut thin strips of cherry and walnut and glue then up into a rosette....Searched a bit for processes people use to get the wood to bend that tight, sent a note to my fave guitar mentor, and decided to put that process work off for a later guitar. So I had a backup plan of gluing together some veneer and cutting out a single wood piece for the rosette and use bwb to border it.
Image
Other than the potato chip effect, I thought this would work...
Image
Turns out even when I get it flat, it's not round compared to the slot I routed. Back to thinking...I spent 25 years or so building motorcycles for a hobby. The tolerances I need to learn to use for guitars are a lot more exacting than building brackets for bike saddlebags, seats, lights, whatever. More when I know more. But it is fun to think about how to do each step even if it doesn't work exactly right.
Along the way I decided I needed an adjustable popsicle stick to cut the circle's I thought I'd need for the bwb. I'd say it works ok, but I haven't really proven it to myself yet.
Image
Roy


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:55 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
I think the process is as important as anything in every little step in the assembly.
Image
If you don't know a well developed process, you might end up with something similar to the above.
I gave up on the out of round veneer rosette, and just used the Stew Mac circle cutter on some mahagony I had that was a bit over 0.100" thick. It came out round! I sanded it down to roughly 0.070" to go in a 0.050" deep slot. But I needed it bounded by two BWB trim pieces of purfling that are 0.100 tall. So all this stuff on top is trying to make sure it all stays glued down flat. Wonder how smart people do it? Will find out tomorrow how well it worked. Roy


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:03 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
I think I could have done better if I'd left the inner BWB ring off and tried to install it later. Not sure all my weight arrangement was able to seat the Mahogany tight enough as the BWB was taller.
Image
So I started planing it all down toward the surface of the soundboard.
Image
Not the greatest pix clarity, but you can at least see that I've pulled part of the inner BWB out. Hamfisted? I thought my plane was nice and sharp, but I have some gouges in the rosette, so thought I'd stop and ask for advice. I'm planning to have the overall thickness sanded on a wide belt at a local place called Woodworker's Source. They tell me they are using 80 grit. I was hoping to be able to do a skim on the top and then work the thickness down from the back. The soundboard is now 0.150", I was planning to take it down to 0.110 or 0.120 at least. Since the Mahog is so much harder than the cedar, do I need to get the rosette leveled with the top first, or can I expect the sander to do that for me without damaging the cedar? I do have some smaller planes and a scraper I'm trying to learn to use, but the word hamfisted keeps jumping into my little mind when I think of going much further with either of those. Appreciate any advice. Roy


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:41 am 
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Contributing Member
Contributing Member
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:36 am
Posts: 5708
Location: Southeast US
City: Lenoir City
State: TN
Zip/Postal Code: 37772
Country: US
Focus: Repair
For wood rosettes like that I inlay the wood ring by itself. After the glue for that is dry then I come back and route the grooves for the purflings then install the purflings. The drum sander will level the rosette just fine, be sure to take really light passes.

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Steve Smith
"Music is what feelings sound like"


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:56 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Sounds like a good approach...only the BWB's I was trying to use are .036" wide. Where would I buy a dremel router bit that would cut that groove? I believe the sander I have lined up is a wide belt sander instead of a drum. Does that make any difference? Thanks, Steve!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:46 pm 
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Contributing Member
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User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:36 am
Posts: 5708
Location: Southeast US
City: Lenoir City
State: TN
Zip/Postal Code: 37772
Country: US
Focus: Repair
Use a 1/32" (0.0325") downcut bit. You'll likely need to open up the slot a few thousandths after the first pass but maybe not, typically the slot will be wider than the bit size due to the play in the router bearings.

StewMac sells them https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Routers_and_Bits/Bits/Carbide_Downcut_Inlay_Router_Bits.html

There are other sources that are less expensive.

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Steve Smith
"Music is what feelings sound like"


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:58 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Thanks! I'll order one. That sounds a lot smarter than what I was trying to do. Roy


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:16 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
In keeping with trying to document the process steps a newby might have some confusion with...I took both soundboards to get thickness finish sanded. I really didn't understand the best way to fixture for the wide belt sander, so I glued a sacrificial strip to the edge of a piece of MDF, and bought some double sided tape used for scrapbooking that's about the thickness of regular scotch tape to hold the soundboard down flush to the MDF. I wanted to skim the top, then turn over and take the rest of the thickness from the back. Although this actually worked, a better method would have been to use sticky back sandpaper, so turning over and/or feeding from different angles would have been easy. I think I'll keep the sacrificial strip.

Roy


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:38 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 4266
Location: Virginia
IT looks liek it could have been a dove tail but like you said it also looks like hte top was glued on after the neck which would have made removing it impossible or caused lots of damage. You might consider using hangar bolts in that since the heel is so thin.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:47 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Yeah,I'm a good ways from dealing with the neck on the Italian guitar, but when that comes, I have lots of questions; it's pretty warped. I do have a little progress. This is the Italian (Monarch). It's the same outside dimensions as my classical, but I decided to brace it like a steel string, just smaller. Had fun making the braces, and chiseling them into some sorta shape was not as stressful as I expected. I was afraid I'd gouge the soundboard.
Image
But the Phillipino guitar I bought when I was 19 (cost me forty pesos, at the time that was 10 bucks) didn't do so well at the finish sanding step. I had bought an ebay rosette, which was .040" thick, but I was just learning to set up my circle router and I didn't get it set as deep as I thought. So, the first coupla skims of the top side took away most of the rosette. So I brought it home and looked online for some help. Ended up making a version of the Eric Schaefer radial rosette fixture.
Image
It was actually kinda fun to use, and helped my routing skills a touch.
Image
Not sure why that pix is so dim, it actually looks pretty decent, although I need to do some fill around the inside edge. Anyway, I'm ready to go visit the sander again, and then start working on the bracing for it. I call it the Sam T guitar, cause it's signed inside in pencil by Sam, from Tarlac. Meanwhile, I need to make a stand to hold the body and study up on how to rout off the top. I doubt I even have a router bit for that. Two steps forward, one step back, but there's some much needed learning going on. Roy


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:53 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:06 am
Posts: 69
First name: Roy L
Last Name: Smith
City: Apache Junction
State: Az
Zip/Postal Code: 85119
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
JF, thanks for the feedback on the Sam T neck. I actually like that neck and plan to try using it again. I dunno what hanger bolts are. I think I have enough room to use insert nuts, but it'll be tight. It's just a nylon guitar, so I'm thinking I can use some that are fairly small, 10-24 might fit...Been wondering if I just bolt it back up the way I sawed it off, or whether I should rout some sort of cavity and try gluing a corresponding protrusion on the neck.


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