You can get a lot of precise information from Plans, but then again that depends on who drew up the plans and how much access they had to the instrument. I can't comment on the GAL Hauser plan because I don't own it. I do own Elliotts Torres plan and it is very detailed, with soundboard thickness measurements in abundance. Of course a good knowledge of the original makers methods and procedures helps enormously, so the combination of the two is key. The rest is experience of working wood and (possibly) altering dimensions to suit.jorpheus wrote:Hello,
There is some discussion in "Making Master Guitars" by Roy Courtnall, pp. 62-63. He writes that after 1940 Hauser's guitars were very much like Torres' guitars, especially the "domed" soundboard. The dome structure gives the soundboard additional strength: "This inherent strength means that the soundboard can be worked quite thin, without any danger of it collapsing in front of the bridge." Hauser also owned a Torres guitar built in 1860. It seems (same book, but based on Romanillos) that the Torres guitars had rather thin soundboards: 2.5 mm around the soundhole, but "thinning out" to only 1.4 mm in the peripheral area. So I think that the pressure exerted by the bouts onto the soundboard also is really crucial here (M. Rodriguez mentions this also in the Introduction of his book).
So I guess you have to take care of the "domed" structure and to use a rather thin soundboard, and to check also about the bouts, but I actually wonder whether you can get this precise information from some plans.
You're right-on Peter. The original poster mentioned something about Hauser (notably thick soundboards), but that could have been an isolated piece of info. I was discussing this on the phone with another luthier today. ... It is usually not a single variable, like thickness, that determines the quality of the outcomes, but a combination of factors... A configuration or system.sdluthier wrote:What is missing in this discussion of soundboard thickness is the other equally important part of the top design, the bracing. I don't know how you can have a complete, meaningful discussion of top thicknesses without taking into consideration the whole design of the top. To say you can build a top at 3.1mm or 2mm is only part of the story. I've seen several Hausers that were a full 3mm in some areas, with extremely light bracing. It not simply a given that one is going to brace the top-the design and details of the bracing are extremely important when discussing top thickness. IMO. Comments?