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Old 10-23-2017, 06:12 PM
Kieran Kieran is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 54
Default Small body first build

Hi folks,
First post and first build. Great information here in the archives that has enabled me to get busy reading and start construction, thanks.

I have decided to build myself a really small bodied steel string guitar because I live on a small sail boat with my girlfriend and newborn son and the cheap full size classical guitar that I have been learning to play takes up a lot of space.
Initially I was going to make a all plywood guitar to keep at my parents house to practice on with no expectations of it sounding any good. As I started reading about techniques and materials I quickly got absolutely obsessed and changed to my current plan.
The back is a laminate of birch and chestnut, high quality birch ply sides with a red cedar top. The neck is from my initial plan and made from a branch of cherry that I cut myself only a year ago, I've no idea if it will be stable enough? Probably not, but it is a simple butted bolt on arrangement, so if I can make a good body I can always remake the neck if necessary.
The neck heel is mahogany (I think)and white oak and the bridge is also white oak. The guitar will be subject to fairly large changes in temperature on the boat and the relative humidity is very high here in Sicily therefore I think the laminated back and sides are a good idea.
The body measures 32cm (13" ish) by about 28 cm (11") at the lower bout, scale length of 23" or 23 1/2" with neck joining body around the 16th fret.
The top thickness is 2mm with 25' arch and the back (15' radius) and sides 1.5mm, I'm trying to keep the build as light as possible especially because of the small size. However, I'm really struggling to not worry about the whole thing caving in. As you can see from the pictures I have decided to lap join the soundhole braces to the UTB and pocket them into the x and the heel block. I intend to heavily scallop these along with the upper x brace legs and taper the bottom legs of the x. The bridge plate is of unknown mahogany like hardwood with a 0.6 mm brass plate. I still need to thin the bridge plate down as it is still 3mm thick in the centre. I am tempted to not add any more braces on the sound board especially with the small distances to the linings. What do people think? Any suggestions welcome.
This is going to be a slow build mainly because I now have a 3 day old son but also because I am building this in the cockpit of the boat with basic tools and a frustrating lack of work surfaces and a good vice.
Feel free to tell me I am mad but I would prefer some constructive advice and encouragement.



Last edited by Kieran; 10-23-2017 at 06:19 PM.
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