Books for Christmas

You can ask questions here about Trevor and Gerard's exciting new book on Luthiery.

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Onoitsmatt
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Books for Christmas

Post by Onoitsmatt » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:36 pm

Hi All,

I have asked my wife and she has agreed to get me "The Books" for Christmas this year.

I've built a uke and am most of the way through my first guitar build with two other builds planned within the next year or so.

My question is that I just glued the top to the sides, but the back is still not glued. I'm ready to forge ahead with this build, but thought if having easy access to the braces (it is an x-braced OM) would be beneficial after reading the books, that maybe I should hold off on closing up the box.

From what I am gleaning from various posts on the books and frequency readings, etc. it sounds like maybe the top without braces gets tapped, but not much can be determined about a braced top without the back in play as well.

Just wanting to know if I should glue the back on or wait (Is there anything measurable I can improve with a top glued to the rim with no back glued to the rim or are all measurements at this point best taken with the box closed).

Thanks!
Looking forward to reading these books and making a much improved 2nd guitar!
Matt -Phoenix, AZ

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Mark McLean
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Re: Books for Christmas

Post by Mark McLean » Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:25 pm

Hi again Matt
Firstly - good choice of a present for yourself.
Should you stop building until you get them? I would say no, because you are not going to exercise every idea in the books on your first build. You are already thinking about number two and three, so they can represent the evolution of your ideas and learning. You will still have the ability to do some brace shaving through the sound hole if it is a traditional OM with X-bracing.
But one thing I would suggest you do before you close the box is to install some small blocks with t-nuts so that you can later add mass to the sides if needed. This would be hard to do later. There is a thread here which shows what they might look like:
viewtopic.php?t=3649

An important consideration at the stage you are at now is relative humidity in your workshop. But I know you were involved in some earlier discussions on RH - so you are probably alert to that issue (and humidity no problem in Arizona, right?)
cheers
Mark

Onoitsmatt
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Re: Books for Christmas

Post by Onoitsmatt » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:24 am

Thanks, Mark. I appreciate the input. You are correct. Humidity isn't an issue here. I have had to wait all summer to glue the top, as humidity is at its highest from July through September. Humidity finally came down and I got the top glued up. Now with Christmas coming, I thought I may want to hold off to finish closing the box.

I remember reading about side mass being one of the many levers to use to control the frequencies. I looked a the thread you linked but don't understand how these blocks are afixed to the sides without drilling through the outside-in. Would gluing some blocks in place be advisable and shave them down as needed to remove mass? Or is the idea here to use these T-nuts and be able to remove the blocks and replace them with various sized ones to dial in the numbers you are looking for?

Thanks again as always. I love this forum. I read it much more than I post, since I generally have nothing to contribute. Hopefully someday I'll learn something valuable to share :wink:

**Edit - OK. I revisited the link/photos. Seems like maybe I'm misinterpreting what I saw in the photos. The blocks shown aren't the "mass" but rather, they are a vehicle for adding mass. In other words, the blocks pictured contain the T-nut and additional mass would be added to the T-nuts in the pictured blocks. I was thinking the blocks pictured were the added mass. Seems that's not the case.
Matt -Phoenix, AZ

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Mark McLean
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Re: Books for Christmas

Post by Mark McLean » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:55 am

Yes - you have worked it out. Those blocks are not the "mass"(although I guess they do weigh a little bit). They just anchor those nuts to the sides so that you can later bolt in something with greater mass. Trevor recommends blocks of wood with embedded metal weights. I have used lead (fishing sinkers). If your plate frequencies end up on target you don't need to use them. In that case the blocks then just sit there, but also act as side reinforcement to help prevent cracks.
Only 32 sleeps before Christmas!

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lamanoditrento
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Re: Books for Christmas

Post by lamanoditrento » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:38 am

Mark McLean wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:25 pm

Should you stop building until you get them? I would say no, because you are not going to exercise every idea in the books on your first build. You are already thinking about number two and three, so they can represent the evolution of your ideas and learning. You will still have the ability to do some brace shaving through the sound hole if it is a traditional OM with X-bracing.
I would agree. The thing about the books that I found is that are they are SOOO dense with knowledge. I don't think it is possible to both implement and completely understand everything (which I am still far from doing) in one go , so you would end up putting off your build for too long when you could just keep building and incorporating things as you go build by build.

Plus, lutherie is already such a resistance training for my patience, stopping a current build for a month would break me :lol:

Onoitsmatt
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Re: Books for Christmas

Post by Onoitsmatt » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:52 am

Thanks guys. Yes. I did go ahead and cut fret slots today and wrecked the tenon on my neck drilling holds for the barrel nuts. So some repair work to do there.

I'll glue in a couple of those wood blocks with T-nuts and then close up the box.

Very helpful. And really looking forward to reading the books. I've been trying to convince myself to spring for them for months and just couldn't justify it, given the ridiculous amount of money already spent on specialty tools and wood and all the rest. So Christmas is a good option for me. Plus my first build is a gift, so my second build will be my keeper (and in theory will be a better guitar). :P
Matt -Phoenix, AZ

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