New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Talk about musical instrument construction, setup and repair.

Moderators: kiwigeo, Jeremy D

Post Reply
Martin
Gidgee
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:06 am

New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by Martin » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:19 pm

Hi,

First guitar so any and all advice welcome.
Finally have drawn up some plans on autocad.
Picture shows the outline next to the old beat up Matrix (ovation) bowl back I'm playing.
I'm aiming for a guitar that is short scale with a wide nut (I have very stubby fingers).Slightly smaller in height than a parlor but with roughly similar volume. I have a dreadnought but find body too big and hard to fret with small inarticulate fingers.

The specs are...
12 Fret.
610 scale length. 460 body length. Lower bout 387. Upper bout 280. Waist 237. Depth probably 110-115. Area of sound board 129858
mm sq. Volume (at 111mm depth) 14284380 cubic mm.
Woods I have found and would like to use are ... Bubinga back and sides. American Hard Maple for neck and binding. Not sourced but will be cedar top.

I've been reading up about Helmholtz Frequencies, Chladni patterns, tap testing etc etc....Bought the books, searched the internet and am thoroughly confused if I'm even on the right track.
Before I go too much further down these rabbit holes... it the guitar design basically sound?

I'm not banking on making the stradivarius of guitars on my first attempt but I also don't want to start on something doomed to be terrible.

Thanks in advance. Martin.
Attachments
20190207_191314.jpg

User avatar
Allen
Blackwood
Posts: 5128
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:39 pm
Location: Cairns, Australia
Contact:

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by Allen » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:44 am

Do the specs place the bridge somewhere closer to the middle of the lower bout than the example you have on the left?

I like the shape though the waist is very tight and you might have issues with getting timber to bend like that.
Allen R. McFarlen
https://www.brguitars.com
Facebook
Cairns, Australia

User avatar
lamanoditrento
Blackwood
Posts: 322
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 9:50 am

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by lamanoditrento » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:17 am

Hi Martin,

I would think 110mm depth is quite deep. You may like to have something more like ~85mm at the neck and ~95mm at the tail. As Allen said the waist is tight, so will be a challenge. Also speaking of challenge, a cutaway introduces a lot of thought and work on a first build. If you don't play much above the 12th fret, I would seriously consider not doing a cutaway.

Otherwise, bravo for taking on your first build from design up.
Trent

Martin
Gidgee
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:06 am

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by Martin » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:44 am

Thanks for the advice.
The reason for 111mm was to keep the internal volume up around a parlour size.
The Taylor GS Mini is a smaller guitar overall with nearly 113mm body depth, so I thought I'd get away with a deeper body.
Will tapering from tail to neck make the build more difficult? What are the advantages of tapered body ... can't seem to find much online with pros and cons or even the rationale behind it.

Just spent ages trying to slim down my waist ( a bugger of a job over 40 ) I'll definitely consider making it more curvy again.
More pi's with autocad.

I don't really play much beyond any fret at the moment, but love the idea that one day I will.
Always up for a challenge, but I have enough timber for 2 guitars, so may try the cutaway and a non cutaway at the same time.

Thanks again.
Martin.

Martin
Gidgee
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:06 am

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by Martin » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:07 am

Specs place the bridge closer to the centre of the body than the old Martix.
I've attached a pdf.
First line above the 387.69 measurement (which is the widest part of the lower bout) is the saddle. The second line is the 305mm down from the 12th fret.
Bridge not drawn in as I have not got that far yet.
Hope this makes sense.
Thanks for the help.
Attachments
ACad Drawing.pdf
(109.94 KiB) Downloaded 51 times

Martin
Gidgee
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:06 am

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by Martin » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:15 am

I think the pdf may not have loaded... I've added a Jpeg.
Attachments
WIP-Model.jpg

User avatar
Steve.Toscano
Blackwood
Posts: 351
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:43 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by Steve.Toscano » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:13 am

Nothing wrong with those measurements.
The dimensions for the upper & lower bouts, and the depth are rather close to my OM size which i get great results with.

User avatar
Mark McLean
Blackwood
Posts: 753
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:03 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by Mark McLean » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:24 am

Shape and size seem good. Most guitars with that type of size are thinner. It is not unheard of to have deep small body guitars (one of my favourites is the Nick Lukas model Gibson L-00, which is similar to your plan) - but it is more common for them to be more like 95mm. But as long as you are happy with something with a depth similar to your dreadnaught, then go for it.

For your first attempt at guitar building keep the degree of difficulty manageable. A cutaway is definitely more complex, but not impossible. Doing two at once - probably not advisable.

You will have lots of questions as you go along. Don't be afraid to ask advice here.

Be aware of humidity issues as you do the bracing and gluing the box up. This is one of the most common causes of grief for rookies.

vandenboom
Blackwood
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: Melbourne (Ringwood), Australia

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by vandenboom » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:29 pm

No comment on specs but rather the choice of Bubinga for back & sides. I've been told it's a bugger to work with, particularly sanding but maybe I'm confusing it with something else.
Rod (rocket) and I got a lovely 250 x 50 qsawn slab a couple of yrs ago which we r now just using for fingerboards.
FWIW
Frank

Martin
Gidgee
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:06 am

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by Martin » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:52 pm

I'm reasonably limited in getting timber.... unless someone can tell me a good place.

I have found some flat sawn bubinga about 470mm wide with no blemishes I can see.
Not sure if it would be better to use 1/4 sawn, but if its better I'll try to find some.
I found a tone wood data source online ... http://tonewooddatasource.weebly.com/wo ... s-a-b.html
it says the following about bubinga ....

Bubinga Guibourtia demeusei, often called “African Rosewood”, but not a true rosewood.
H=3.7, M=3, B= 4.2, S=3.8, O-3.5, T=4
This is a wonderful wood in every respect. It is as hard or even harder as the rosewoods, but has a finer texture with no pores to fill. It bends easily (some disagree, especially with the more wildly figured wood) and holds its' shape. The brownish-purple color is close enough to rosewood to look familiar. To top it off, it is red brown with a clearly demarcated lighter brown to white sapwood. The pinkish mauve cast may darken more to reds and browns over time. There is a three dimensional effect to it. It is a hard, durable wood with an interlocked grain which can make bending challenging.

Bubinga is quickly becoming a favorite wood with custom builders, and may soon find its way into large production shops. This wood, which comes from Africa, has a tremendously rich and full sound replete with warm even tones, a glassy ring, and a brilliant sparkle across the entire spectrum. It provides a slightly dark and woody overtone content with a low to mid end predominance- much like Indian Rosewood! Lacks the same low end of Rosewood but is more balanced than Mahogany. Lots of volume too. It is plentiful and available in a wide variety of cosmetic appearances. Typically Bubinga has a mottled "bees-wing" appearance under finish that is absolutely gorgeous, and also can be acquired with strong ropey curl.

Well balanced tone with round basses and a fine mid range, bright trebles. Ample sustain without a sacrifice in clarity or separation in the kids and trebles.

Stephen Kinnaird is a big fan and says :”I have a growing appreciation for Bubinga. Visually, it can be quite stunning, with deep curl, Pomelle figure, bees’ wing mottle, etc. Even the plainer versions when well quartered are attractive. The pinkish mauve color is off-putting to some, though I find it attractive. It is hard, heavy and dense. The interlocking grain, which makes the wood so attractive, also make for an exciting time at the bending iron. This wood can resist you with a stubborn determination. A good night’s sleep is essential before bending. The sound is so close to rosewood, that Bubinga well earns its nickname of “African Rosewood”. That overtone structure one hears with rosewood is equally present in Bubinga, and yet at a reduced price tag. If one wanted a guitar with a traditional sound, but with more visual drama than Indian rosewood, Bubinga should definitely be considered.”

It has a Janka rating of ~2000-2500 and a specific gravity of approx. 0.9.

There is also White Bubinga, far rarer, with a little warmer tone than regular Bubinga.

Has anyone else used this?
The only other stuff I can readily lay my hands on, are a ton of flat sawn Purple Heart which I hear is a bugger to work with.
I'm generally looking at timber merchants such as Timspec in NZ.
Where else does one look for good guitar woods?

User avatar
Steve.Toscano
Blackwood
Posts: 351
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:43 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by Steve.Toscano » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:02 pm

Why complicate things on your first build by using flatsawn and/or difficult to bend timbers.
Just buy a set ready to go from stewmac or lmi, or even better one of the local tonewood suppliers.

User avatar
56nortondomy
Blackwood
Posts: 516
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:56 pm
Location: Melbourne western suburbs

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by 56nortondomy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:38 pm

I always keep an eye on ebay, you can pick up some nice sets for a reasonable price ( sometimes ). We've got some good suppliers here in Aust. maybe check them out. I haven't used Bubinga but I've heard the figured stuff is really hard to work with so if you're going for a cutaway on your first build I'd try something a bit easier. Good luck Martin
Wayne

User avatar
TallDad71
Myrtle
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:20 am
Contact:

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by TallDad71 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:59 pm

You are going to spend considerably more time building templates and jigs than you will building your first guitar. Build them well and research different ways of cracking the nut thoroughly before you do.

Since 70% of your first build with be spent on creating jigs, you will go on to build a 2nd and 3rd. With that in mind I would suggest starting with very straight grained hardwood for the back and sides for your first, develop the skills you need. Curly timbers are stunning but are more prone to damage from planing, heat and humidity changes.
Alan

User avatar
Mark McLean
Blackwood
Posts: 753
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:03 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by Mark McLean » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:16 am

No reason to be scared of bubinga. It is known to be fairlly easy to work with. I bent a set of highly figured (waterfall bubinga) sides which I thought might present trouble - but found it was no problem at all.

seeaxe
Blackwood
Posts: 501
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:20 pm
Location: Auckland NZ

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by seeaxe » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:05 pm

Hi Martin

I'm assuming from the Timspec comment that you are in NZ and possibly in Auckland. If you are and would like to meet up for a chat I'm happy to do that. Ive bought wood from timspec and they were really good. An established local builder gets his cedar for tops from Herman Pacific in Silverdale.

I started off building two at once but they were both kits, one (spanish) with a lot of the work done, the other (dread) just flat boards. One benefit I found was that when I struck a problem on one of them, I could work on the other while I sorted out what I was going to do or got bits, etc. It was OK but if I started again I wouldn't do that. One issue is space to put/store a guitar in bits while you work on the other one. Fine if you have a big workshop but not so good if you are in the broom closet in your inner city apartment!

Good luck mate.
Richard

Martin
Gidgee
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:06 am

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by Martin » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:17 pm

Thanks for the offer Richard.
I'm actually down in Wellington.
Have been to the local Crightons and spoken to a chap who supplies a guy in Upper Hutt with guitar woods.
I may end up going down the Stewmac route.
I'm busy collecting bits of MDF and ply for the first of my jigs.
Thanks to all for all the help and advice.

blackalex1952
Blackwood
Posts: 643
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:36 pm
Location: North East Victoria

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by blackalex1952 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:41 am

Try a Canadian supplier. The exchange rate is better and Canada is full of spruce! Cheers! Ross
"Everything I say on the topic is based solely upon inexperience and assumption!"

Online
User avatar
kiwigeo
Admin
Posts: 9738
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:57 pm
Location: Adelaide, Sth Australia

Re: New build advice, on plans I've drawn.

Post by kiwigeo » Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:20 am

You could chat with Paddy Burgin and ask him where he's sourcing his wood. I suspect he may be sourcing some of it via Dave Freeman. Dave and Paddy run a guitar making course in Wellington every few years.

Martin wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:17 pm
Thanks for the offer Richard.
I'm actually down in Wellington.
Have been to the local Crightons and spoken to a chap who supplies a guy in Upper Hutt with guitar woods.
I may end up going down the Stewmac route.
I'm busy collecting bits of MDF and ply for the first of my jigs.
Thanks to all for all the help and advice.
Martin

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 33 guests