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Old 01-19-2020, 10:02 PM
printer2 printer2 is offline
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Default A Thin Spruce Acoustic

In the General section a poster wanted to know of any thin nylon guitars. I did not have a suggestion but thought it would be a good time to show off what a good thin guitar sounds like. So I showed this video. Then I found out he wanted electric, not necessarily acoustic. Oh well, but it got me started.



So I asked about building a thin guitar on a luthier section of a classical guitar forum. Basically given the two thumbs up, go for it.

So the reason for such an animal. There are times I can't hold a guitar due to pain issues. Can't use a Telecaster unless it has an arm bevel on it, I sold my G&L because of it. Now I have some small acoustics I built, one with enough bevel on it I should be able to play it. It is being humidified for a couple of weeks before I do the neck fitting and bridge, the rest of finishing it up. But I would like to have a full scale guitar that I can practice on that is light in weight.

So going through my wood I decide to use a top I already have joined and some funny looking Sitka that came from a reject pallet of tops for the back (got it?). They are not even bookmatched but seem to come from the same log. I am using a 2"x3" wall stud for the neck. It is some light Engelmann spruce, Just enough depth for building a neck for this guitar. The light weight will go to keeping the guitar more balanced, hopefully not a lot of weight to the body. Going to use some ukulele tuners on it.

So the lineup. Minus the 2x3, I forgot to get it in the picture.



So I chopped the 2x3 and sanded the two surfaces flat using sandpaper clamped to the top of a tables saw. Glued it together. Split the board for the sides down the middle. Left them thick as my tablesaw had a fine tooth blade on it and the power bar that it is plugged into trips the breaker easy. Took a lot of patience to get through it, especially with the garage at -10 C. Rather than freeze longer I just took a plane to the sides so they were a reasonable thickness to put through my drum sander. So off and running. I hope I don't embarrass myself with this one.

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Old 01-19-2020, 11:14 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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A few years ago, I played a guitar that Serge de Jonge made that had spruce top, back, sides and neck. His was a standard depth. It sounded pretty nice, as good as many rosewood-backed guitars.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
A few years ago, I played a guitar that Serge de Jonge made that had spruce top, back, sides and neck. His was a standard depth. It sounded pretty nice, as good as many rosewood-backed guitars.
My first acoustic guitar had a cedar top with pine b&s's, fir neck. I brought it to a local luthier to get a professional opinion. He told me a few structural things and I wanted to know how the sound was, he said it was fine. It surprised him when he finally realized it was built with pine rather than a hardwood. Some pine is not all that much dense or hard than Spanish Cedar. I would love to make a whole guitar out of Spanish Cedar one day, I have a piece of it for the neck already.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:37 AM
redir redir is offline
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2x3 wall stud?

Anyway look forward to seeing this project. I am thinking when you say thin you also mean light weight right?
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:58 PM
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Light weight for sure. It was suggested that I use pegs rather than metal tuners but I would need to insert plugs into the headstock to give them a harder wood to work with. I screwed up this morning. I was routing the trussrod slot and one of my clamps let go on my guide. Why was I using plastic clamps? Shaved off 3/16" and started again but with metal clamps. Going to have a thicker heel cap it seems.

The 2x3 is light, it is hard enough to find straight grained wood that is not cut right out at the pith but finding a light one also is. Also looking for a higher grain count, most are juvenile trees. But I have been looking for a while. I glue up the sides so that the grain will be angled out, makes for better carving than if you flip the piece over as shown. Going to have an aluminum trussrod epoxied in.

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Old 01-27-2020, 03:49 PM
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Sorry for the delay. I was looking for a mold I had of a body the right length, nowhere to be found. I did find the template for it and made another. A bearing is shot in my band saw and I am surprised I managed to get it cut out. I have a lot of maintenance to do on equipment, lot of my tools were bought used. But the form came out ok. I did the cutaway side first just in case I broke it. I thinned out the cutaway to 0.045", brushed on some SuperSoft II, wrapped it in food wrap, bent it on a hot pipe with a damp rag over it. Clamped it in the form and left it overnight. Not much spring back, did the other side today. Tomorrow I will do the linings.



Feel pretty good about getting the cutaway done. Bending softwood is not the easiest thing and the turns are tighter than the diameter of my pipe. Just a hint of a crease. I did a test piece before doing the side. I was thinking of laminating it to the side, I'll think about it today. I need to think about wedges, bevels and the like, what I eventually want to end up with.
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Old 01-31-2020, 10:03 PM
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You know, I get distracted by shiny objects. I thought, you wanted to make a lightweight headless electric, why not make it with that quartered 2"x3" and the offcuts of the acoustic? So I started figuring it out moved a bag of cigar boxes out of the way so I had some room on the floor to lay a Strat copy down. Then the one cigar box caught my eye. I might be able to fit a class D amp in it with a 12AX7 for the preamp. So I took it and used a hairdryer to get the labels off. I'm a little concerned about getting rid of the heat but I think it might fit.

Oh right, bent the sides, about the size of a Tele. Still not 100% sure if I will go headless, just thought it prudent with no weight in the body. I also figure it would be a good test run on doing the acoustic.

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Old 02-04-2020, 09:03 PM
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My niece's husband sent me an email asking me if he should buy this Harmony that among the usual problems of a 50 year old guitar it also had someone sit on it and cracked the sides all the way around. And sill wanted $350 for it. I think I disappointed him and thought I better finish the guitar I was making for him. I had the body done but needed to do the neck. It seems to have moved up on top of my list of things to do bumping my guitars. Did the scarf joint today and the truss rod slot. Should build up the heel today but it is late already.

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