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  #31  
Old 12-31-2015, 11:56 AM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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Rog, I would say you have multiple reasons not to use that back.

I always encourage people not to use grade B woods for their first guitar, unless they are really determined to do a bad job of it. The labor involved so outweighs the price difference of moving up a grade to a plain but well-cut set. And you add labor when you get the set with excessive runout and reaction wood. It's like a beginning player getting a guitar that is hard to play and sounds bad, because they expect not to play well at first.

Another $20 will get a far better cedar top. Another $35 will get a much better back and side set (good plain mahogany sets can still be had for $60-80).
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Last edited by Howard Klepper; 12-31-2015 at 12:02 PM.
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  #32  
Old 12-31-2015, 02:31 PM
rogthefrog rogthefrog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
Rog, I would say you have multiple reasons not to use that back.

I always encourage people not to use grade B woods for their first guitar, unless they are really determined to do a bad job of it. The labor involved so outweighs the price difference of moving up a grade to a plain but well-cut set. And you add labor when you get the set with excessive runout and reaction wood. It's like a beginning player getting a guitar that is hard to play and sounds bad, because they expect not to play well at first.

Another $20 will get a far better cedar top. Another $35 will get a much better back and side set (good plain mahogany sets can still be had for $60-80).
That is a good point.

I do like the top, so I'll press on with that, but the warpage from the back is severe and I should find something else.
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  #33  
Old 01-16-2016, 04:19 PM
rogthefrog rogthefrog is offline
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Welp. I destroyed the top cutting it into shape. Oh well, failure (mine) was expected at this point. I might make a tiny instrument out of it.

Back to the wood selection board, and I'll go with higher grades this time.
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  #34  
Old 01-16-2016, 04:51 PM
dekutree64 dekutree64 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogthefrog View Post
Welp. I destroyed the top cutting it into shape. Oh well, failure (mine) was expected at this point. I might make a tiny instrument out of it.

Back to the wood selection board, and I'll go with higher grades this time.
Dang! What happened? Split the plate when cutting around the lower bout? If it doesn't have a rosette yet, make a harp ukulele Best use for long and narrow wood. The back that I posted in this thread came from another builder who blew out the lower bout while thicknessing with a big hand plane taking too deep of a cut.

For cutting out plates, I use a fret saw (not to be confused with a fret slot saw... it's like a deep reach jeweler's saw) with a spiral blade, and hold it at an angle to get as much contact area between the blade and wood as possible. Very clean and gentle cut. I used to use a coping saw, but it's much more violent and chips the wood pretty bad, and certainly could split off the wide points of the bouts. I may have actually done that once, but just glued it and continued...
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  #35  
Old 01-16-2016, 07:09 PM
rogthefrog rogthefrog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dekutree64 View Post
Dang! What happened? Split the plate when cutting around the lower bout? If it doesn't have a rosette yet, make a harp ukulele Best use for long and narrow wood. The back that I posted in this thread came from another builder who blew out the lower bout while thicknessing with a big hand plane taking too deep of a cut.

For cutting out plates, I use a fret saw (not to be confused with a fret slot saw... it's like a deep reach jeweler's saw) with a spiral blade, and hold it at an angle to get as much contact area between the blade and wood as possible. Very clean and gentle cut. I used to use a coping saw, but it's much more violent and chips the wood pretty bad, and certainly could split off the wide points of the bouts. I may have actually done that once, but just glued it and continued...
Yes, the cedar split as I was cutting along the grain. I suspected my saw blade was too coarse, and sure enough...

Next time I think I'll joint the plates, rough cut the shape, and thickness plane, rather than thickness plane before cutting the shape out. A thicker plate shouldn't split as easily.

In the meantime, I have the headstock and headstock overlay all measured out and traced, so I should be able to cut those soon.
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  #36  
Old 01-17-2016, 02:57 PM
rogthefrog rogthefrog is offline
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Today I cut a rectangle out of the remains of the soundboard and a matching rectangle out of the back to see if I could make a cigarbox instrument.

I then inlaid a backstrip and purfling, which turned out passable. Then I tried cutting a soundhole and that turned out hilariously awful. So awful I won't post a picture so I can cling to what's left of my dignity.

It's embarrassing how bad I am at this.

That said, I'll keep going and try to make a box anyway.
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  #37  
Old 01-22-2016, 04:25 PM
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Bill Kraus Bill Kraus is offline
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great thread Rog! good luck.
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  #38  
Old 03-19-2016, 06:00 PM
rogthefrog rogthefrog is offline
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With some free time, energy, and good weather (it's been raining like mad in Northern California), I went back to my build project.

To learn how to use my Craigslist special bandsaw, I cut a birch side leftover from the ill-fated set I started with together with a rosewood headstock overlay, then joined them with some bw purfling, resulting in this:



I made another with the other halves, and glued it onto my neck:



Then I made a go bar deck with salvaged plywood, bars made from offcuts from some trim I installed a while back, and some hardware:



I'm hoping to join the top and back in the next couple of days, then make a radius dish so I can start bracing them.
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  #39  
Old 03-19-2016, 08:47 PM
rogthefrog rogthefrog is offline
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With unexpected extra energy, I decided to try shaping the headstock. That meant removing about 5/8" worth of wood. I used chisels, a rasp, and some sandpaper to arrive at this rough shape:



I aimed for 5/8" thickness where the tuners will be, and a bit of a... recurve? Bump? towards the center (convex profile) and towards the tip of the headstock. Surprisingly, it worked.



My goal is to make the corners and the overall geometric shape a bit sharper.

I'll leave it alone for now and move on to jointing the top and back soon.

Spanish cedar smells good, but the dust is nasty.
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  #40  
Old 03-20-2016, 12:06 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Where will the tuning pegs/machines go in relation to the shape and curved contour of the head? Typically, the housings of the tuning machine housings require a flat surface against which to seat on the back of the head. With a curved surface there will be (likely) unsightly gaps between the flat surface of the housings and the curved surface of the back of the head. Depending on the relative orientation of the housings and curved head, the machines may even rock obliquely.

There may also be the issue of having posts long enough to protrude far enough through the thickness of the head.
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  #41  
Old 03-20-2016, 02:25 AM
rogthefrog rogthefrog is offline
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Charles: the section for the tuners will be flatter than it currently is. I got the thickness straight off another guitar with the tuners I'm planning on using, so hopefully that should work. Thanks for looking out!
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  #42  
Old 03-20-2016, 09:59 AM
Pat Foster Pat Foster is offline
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Rog,

Good on you for taking the plunge!

I'd suggest something more substantial for your go bar deck. The combined force of the bars often adds up to hundreds of pounds, so if the deck lets go, the bars go flying. Very disappointing, not to mention dangerous.

From the pic, it looks like you have t-nuts on the base. I'm hoping there are also backup nuts on the bottom side, otherwise the t-nuts will pull out easily.

The top piece looks questionable from what I can see. I'd go with 3/4" good grade plywood at a minimum.

Keep at it!

Pat
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  #43  
Old 03-20-2016, 01:45 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Foster View Post
Rog,

Good on you for taking the plunge!

I'd suggest something more substantial for your go bar deck. The combined force of the bars often adds up to hundreds of pounds, so if the deck lets go, the bars go flying. Very disappointing, not to mention dangerous.

From the pic, it looks like you have t-nuts on the base. I'm hoping there are also backup nuts on the bottom side, otherwise the t-nuts will pull out easily.

The top piece looks questionable from what I can see. I'd go with 3/4" good grade plywood at a minimum.

Keep at it!

Pat
Or, the lower board could easily be flipped so that the t-nuts are at the bottom... I'd put fender washers under the wing nuts as well.
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  #44  
Old 03-20-2016, 02:35 PM
rogthefrog rogthefrog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Foster View Post
Rog,

Good on you for taking the plunge!

I'd suggest something more substantial for your go bar deck. The combined force of the bars often adds up to hundreds of pounds, so if the deck lets go, the bars go flying. Very disappointing, not to mention dangerous.

From the pic, it looks like you have t-nuts on the base. I'm hoping there are also backup nuts on the bottom side, otherwise the t-nuts will pull out easily.

The top piece looks questionable from what I can see. I'd go with 3/4" good grade plywood at a minimum.

Keep at it!

Pat
Thanks! That's great to know. I'll add bottom nuts and beef up the top.
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  #45  
Old 03-20-2016, 02:36 PM
rogthefrog rogthefrog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouieAtienza View Post
Or, the lower board could easily be flipped so that the t-nuts are at the bottom... I'd put fender washers under the wing nuts as well.
Will do! Thanks Louie and Pat for the advice.
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