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Old 07-02-2016, 09:04 PM
Bruce Sexauer's Avatar
Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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Originally Posted by printer2 View Post
I would not mind you documenting the conversion. Always something to learn from you when you go off the beaten path, sometime even things to learn when you take the beaten path.

Did a Spanish heel on one guitar. I rather enjoyed doing it. If it were not for the reset problem I would use it again.
I continue to use the Spanish heel on my classicals and on my ukuleles.
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Old 07-02-2016, 09:44 PM
dekutree64 dekutree64 is offline
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Thanks for the photos, Bruce! Not particularly useful data, however...

And I agree that replacement is the way to go. Sure you could recarve the original, but it would be more trouble than it's worth, due to the fingerboard binding and the lack of design to facilitate slipping the heel.

It seems kind of silly to have constructed that corner to make it look like a removable neck, but in this case it should make your job easier
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Old 07-03-2016, 02:24 PM
Alan Carruth Alan Carruth is offline
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I started out using the Spanish heel on everything, but realized that, although the heel is certainly stable, the box isn't, and that will make a reset necessary eventually. Classical guitars are often made with very thick fingerboards, which allow for one or maybe even two go-rounds of removing the upper frets and planing the fingerboard down to get the action back. Since the deformation tends to be less with the lower tension that might be all you'll need to do in a lifetime of playing a Classical. I doubt it would work on a steel string, and that's not even taking into account the fretboard inlays.

A couple of years ago I figured out how to make a dovetail neck on a guitar built on a solera, in the traditional Spanish way. In that method everything is built around the neck. Start by joining a block to the neck with whatever style of tenon, dovetail or not, you choose. The only trick is to fit it up with 2mm plastic spacers in place, so that when you glue the neck into the mortise you've got the slot for the sides. Naturally you have to pay attention to the neck angle, but you knew that. Once you've got the block and neck together you just treat it as if it were a normal Classical neck. One nice thing about this method is that you can get the surfaces of the slot a lot smoother than you can do with a saw cut, and you can even size them with hide glue before you assemble it. The one other thing to think about is to notch out the top where the neck will unplug so it can be gotten off when the time comes.
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Old 07-03-2016, 03:12 PM
Tony Vines Tony Vines is offline
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Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
Here's an interesting bit of related trivia. We all know that steel string guitar tension is in the neighborhood of 150 lb in line with the neck, and I think that is true though I haven't measured it. What is interesting is that those who do measure things tell me that this translates into a mere 4 lb +/- of pressure perpendicular to the strings at the nut. Since the neck is just over 12" long, and the heel is just over 3" long, we can see that the lever the neck represents produces just 16 lb (4X) of pressure away from the body at the heel cap. These are not very big forces IMO, though they are constant. This is also an incentive to keep the set up on your guitar in good health, as it does not take a much higher action to double the 4 lb figure.
This is an excellent point Bruce.
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