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  #1  
Old 05-07-2014, 04:14 PM
kirtley2013 kirtley2013 is offline
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Default Ladder braced 12 string, hopeful build...

I have never built a guitar before I've been learning a lot about guitar building and I am hoping to do my first.
I am going to do a ladder braced 12 string, very similar to the ones made by Oscar Schmidt(Stella), Fraulini etc.

I've wanted a Stella 12 string for ages, and since I cant afford one, I thought 'why not make one'

This'll take a while (considering I have few more tools than a dremel) but I have a firm idea, I'll try and write up some specs...

Lower bout: 16"
Upper bout: 12.5"
Body depth: 4.5"
Back/sides: white Oak (salvaged from good quality skirting boards)
Top: Sitka Spruce
Neck: Oak
Scale: 26.5"
Slotted headstock
nut width: 2"
Bridge: floating (using a tailpiece)
Bridge/fretboard material: undecided, preferably ebony
Neck type: bolt on, 12 fret to body
Bracing: ladder

Like I said, this will take a while, If I ever get around to doing it at all and it will be a great learning experience with many mistakes along the way...probably


Anyways, so far all I have managed to do is to draw out a scale drawing of the neck blank:



There are many long pieces of oak in the garage that were going to be used as firewood, hopefully it will now become a guitar, I will hopefully take that to a wood yard who can cut it roughly to size for me since I don't have access to a band saw, this will include cutting the neck blank and the back and sides.

Oh, and luthiers..... brace yourselves for questions
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Last edited by kirtley2013; 05-07-2014 at 04:45 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-09-2014, 03:02 PM
kirtley2013 kirtley2013 is offline
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Let's see how far I can get with this...

Here are 5 lengths of oak being glued together to create one large block, this will become the neck.



I have also made a basic paper body to scale to envision the final shape




Sorry for the bad photo's, It was dark and taken on my phone.
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:01 PM
SJ VanSandt SJ VanSandt is offline
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This should be quite the adventure - keep the photos coming!
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:02 AM
Haans Haans is offline
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Alex, you have chosen to model the finest 12 string made. Sitka and oak will make a fine sounding instrument, but I don't know about the oak neck. You might try to find some African mahogany (khaya) if you can't afford Honduras mahogany. Khaya is acceptable and quite a bit easier to work.
Good luck in your quest!
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Old 05-10-2014, 05:46 PM
kirtley2013 kirtley2013 is offline
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Has anyone ever tried different bracing materials (oak, mahogany etc.)?
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:00 PM
Jim.S Jim.S is offline
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Do yourself a favour Alex and buy a nice straight grained split spruce billet for your bracing, you can always muck about with other woods but spruce is used for very good reasons. "Spruce for beginners" is a phrase I have heard repeated many times too. Maybe buy a couple of sets of bracing, save on postage. Cause once you're bitten by the bug.......

Jim
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:05 AM
Haans Haans is offline
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Alex, get some spruce. All the bracing in Stellas was spruce except sometimes they used a birch bridge patch.
I have used Larson style laminated bracing, spruce and BRW or Wenge, but it is a different sound. If you want it to sound like a Stella, you have to make it like a Stella. Do you have any specs of the originals? Info? A large part of building is sourcing materials and gathering info on the originals. Most Stella auditoriums were either 15-1/2 or 15-3/4".
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Old 05-24-2014, 12:34 PM
kirtley2013 kirtley2013 is offline
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what type of bolt on neck heel join would guys here recommend?, I've seen a few different ones (as shown in the photo below), do any have a particular advantage for a big 12 string neck?

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Old 05-24-2014, 03:04 PM
kirtley2013 kirtley2013 is offline
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Here is the neck blank cut out.



Here's a strange coincidence for you, my dad got a job to build a staircase for the owner of an engineering company, so my dad went to a workshop to get the parts made and asked if he could have the neck, back and sides cut out whilst he was there, turns out that one of the workers there makes acoustic guitars, so he cut out the neck blank and is cutting out the back and sides for me.
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:43 PM
MBE MBE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirtley2013 View Post
Here's a strange coincidence for you, my dad got a job to build a staircase for the owner of an engineering company, so my dad went to a workshop to get the parts made and asked if he could have the neck, back and sides cut out whilst he was there, turns out that one of the workers there makes acoustic guitars, so he cut out the neck blank and is cutting out the back and sides for me.
Now that's what I'd call serendipity!

Also, my tiny hands cringe at the mere thought of a 26.5" scale 12-string, but I'm impressed by what you're doing here!
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:49 PM
kirtley2013 kirtley2013 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBE View Post
Also, my tiny hands cringe at the mere thought of a 26.5" scale 12-string
They won't like the 2" nut width either
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Old 05-25-2014, 07:58 AM
kirtley2013 kirtley2013 is offline
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a bit more shaping on the neck
I'm starting to impress myself here!



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Last edited by kirtley2013; 05-25-2014 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:10 AM
MBE MBE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirtley2013 View Post
They won't like the 2" nut width either
Yikes! I envy the baseball mitts you must have for hands!

Kidding aside, these old guitars have a lot of mojo and it's great that you're trying to stick as closely to the original specs as possible.
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:24 PM
kirtley2013 kirtley2013 is offline
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Started getting the neck profiled and the heel shaped, still a bit of shaping and smoothing to do.





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Old 09-29-2018, 02:21 PM
viento viento is offline
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What a pity you stopped showing the further going on with your ladder braced 12-string!
My next guitar will be one of that brand.
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Martin D28 (1973)
12-string cutaway ... nearly finished ;-)
Hoyer 12-string (1965)
Yamaha FG-340 (1970)
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