Slow birthday build

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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tom0311
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Slow birthday build

Post by tom0311 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:22 pm

Had a busy year but I'm chipping away at a guitar that will be a birthday gift for someone. Luckily they're not very good so I doubt it'll be under intense scrutiny sound-wise. Used sapele and european spruce for this one. The sapele didn't plane nice at all. Luckily I now have a thickness sander so while I did the back by hand, I machined the sides. I made a mistake while cutting the sound hole so I ended up having to take the soundhole right up to the edge of the rosette. I actually quite like the look, so that's fine :chaud:

Binding and purfling channels are all cut. I'll start installing the inlays this weekend. The sapele was pretty rough to chisel out in places. Glad that's over with. I usually enjoy that stage of the build but not this time. Not as therapeutic to work with as rosewood/padauk. Probably my best headstock so far, not much competition there though.

Finish will be tru-oil all round on this one. Supposed to be finished in October. Better hurry up I suppose.

Image

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“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats.”

Bruno Piancatelli
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Re: Slow birthday build

Post by Bruno Piancatelli » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:38 pm

Hello Tom, looks very clean and tidy. Can I ask about the bridge patch, maybe the shadow but it looks thick.
Thanks for sharing!
Bruno

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Chris Sobel
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Re: Slow birthday build

Post by Chris Sobel » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:45 pm

Wow Tom, your work has come a long way in the last year. Everything looks nice and clean. Regarding the rosette... in some Spanish and Mexican shops that was the standard to bring the rosette to the edges. Juan Pimentel comes to mind. Also Simplico did that, who probably took it from Enrique Garcia. Usually the innermost decorative ring was ebony or a similar brown/black hardwood. And hey, when you're not living off guitarmaking income you can do whatever you want! I've found that the African mahogany-esque woods do tend to have more ropey grain and are not as easy to work as the real stuff... Sapelle sounds really good though.

Did you redesign the headstock? I like the look.

Chris
CE Sobel Guitars

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geoff-bristol
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Re: Slow birthday build

Post by geoff-bristol » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:11 pm

Don't worry about the soundhole - fixing mistakes is an art form in itself ? Just doing an 'skin graft' of cedrella shavings on the outer side of a tuner slot !

Is this a particualr model outline/ fans etc - or your own ?

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bear
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Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:55 pm
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Re: Slow birthday build

Post by bear » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:22 pm

My birthday is coming soon.
2013 Jeff Medlin '37 Hauser 640mm sp
2006 Michele Della Guistina Concert 10 string 650mm ce
2005 Jose Ramirez 4E 650mm ce
2005 Manuel Rodriguez Model C3F 650mm sp
2003 Manuel Rodriguez Model D 650mm ce

vesa
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Re: Slow birthday build

Post by vesa » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:18 am

Back in the bizz again Tom. As Chris said looks better.
Vesa Kuokkanen

Antonio Marin nr. 813 1995 (Bouchet)
Vesa Kuokkanen 2016

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tom0311
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Re: Slow birthday build

Post by tom0311 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:41 am

Bruno Piancatelli wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:38 pm
Hello Tom, looks very clean and tidy. Can I ask about the bridge patch, maybe the shadow but it looks thick.
Thanks for sharing!
Bruno
Hi Bruno. The picture makes it look worse than it is, but it is pretty thick. Having no closing bars I was worried about it not being strong enough, but in reality it would have been fine if I had shaved it down a bit. Live and learn :)
Chris Sobel wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:45 pm
Wow Tom, your work has come a long way in the last year. Everything looks nice and clean. Regarding the rosette... in some Spanish and Mexican shops that was the standard to bring the rosette to the edges. Juan Pimentel comes to mind. Also Simplico did that, who probably took it from Enrique Garcia. Usually the innermost decorative ring was ebony or a similar brown/black hardwood. And hey, when you're not living off guitarmaking income you can do whatever you want! I've found that the African mahogany-esque woods do tend to have more ropey grain and are not as easy to work as the real stuff... Sapelle sounds really good though.

Did you redesign the headstock? I like the look.

Chris
Cheers Chris. To be honest I'm really bad at headstock carving. I just used a circle template a chisel and lots of patience. It's simple but I'm happy enough with the look. Will use it again. I haven't done a carved slope into the tuning machine slots before, so I'm happy with that bit.

The Sapele I had was certainly of the ropey variety. Mind you for 12 euros a set what do I expect. This has been a cheap build regarding materials. 12 euros for the back/sides. 10 euros for the top, 4 for the neck. If I do a good enough job with it, it'll look like it's got an AA grade top. I got some really fine spruce that wasn't high grade. This top had absolutely no runout - it was lovely to work with!


Geoff - it's basically (torres 7 fan - closing bars + bridge patch + soundhole patch - soundhole struts). So yes a bit different from the book. No logic or real thought behind it, I'm just experimenting really. Interested to see if losing the closing bars actually makes a difference. I'll probably build 2 of these patterns - one with and without a bridge patch.

Regarding the rest of the guitar, it's got a deeper body than all my others. The guitars I've actually finished sound a little thin. They were physically quite thin as well. This one is a good few mm deeper, and after seeing a Papallardo guitar with a massive arch in the back I decided to try a dumbed down version of that - so the guitar is thickest at the waist and slopes down a bit toward to end block. Maybe it'll sound rubbish and I'll regret it :D looks quite nice though. I have applied 0 science to all this. I'm just enjoying experimenting a bit.
“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats.”

chiral3
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Re: Slow birthday build

Post by chiral3 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:40 pm

"To be honest I'm really bad at headstock carving. I just used a circle template a chisel and lots of patience. It's simple but I'm happy enough with the look. Will use it again. I haven't done a carved slope into the tuning machine slots before, so I'm happy with that bit."

Headstock and neck shaping was / is by far the most challenging for me personally. Body, rosette, and finishing all came naturally. But to your point, headstock and neck, at least for me, was, and continues to be, a great meditation on going very slowly and being patient. On one of my earlier builds that I was doing with an established luthier he came in with a belt sander, a gouge, a rasp and banged out a neck in about 20 minutes. It was perfect. I'll never be there.
Whatever catastrophe or dynamic equilibrium this will eventually lead to will be a mathematical not a moral phenomenon. - A Fryer

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tom0311
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Re: Slow birthday build

Post by tom0311 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:24 pm

Yeah, it's the headstock bit that I really struggle with. I am getting pretty good at sharpening these days, the scar on my thumb can attest to that. Going front -> back on the end grain at the top of the headstock is tough, though. I saw a picture James Lister posted on here ages ago of a headstock that had only been touched by a chisel, and it looked remarkable. I think the sharpness has to be another level better for that, although I can make easy work of everything else with my current sharpening skill.
“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats.”

mqbernardo
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Re: Slow birthday build

Post by mqbernardo » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:21 pm

cheers tom,
nice looking, clean work, congrats! can we have a pic of the front?

sapelle seems to vary a lot. i´ve had some that was a pleasure to work with, but it can also be frustratingly hard to plane. some is light (both color and weight) and some can be quite heavy or dark.

i also suck at carving (slightly getting better at it). somehow bridges seem easier, but i always stress before heel and headstocks. those need a lot of venting.
for headstocks a router and a template can work wonders.

all the best,
Miguel.

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tom0311
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Re: Slow birthday build

Post by tom0311 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:06 am

I used a router on a headstock before. It worked OK but I'm not particularly good at using them, and frankly I found it terrifying. I never use routers for anything so maybe I'm just very bad at it!

Sure I'll upload a pic of the front when the binding and purfling are in. I'm slightly worried the arch at the waist will make the back binding a bit of a nightmare, but I'll try to find a way.

Good on you for making bridges. I haven't taken that step yet!
“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats.”

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