I have searched through this website and found a lot of information regarding the lattice bracing. However, I have noticed that sometimes the design does not include the plywood frame (more Smallman ish) and it does include a more traditional body assembly (solid linings, harmonic bars, etc). I would wonder if there is a special reason why to use and not to use the plywood frame in the lattice style construction.
My first impression is structural reasons. If I decide to go very thin on the soundboard, I would need more support. On the other hand, if I don’t go too far, I can use a more traditional assembly.
The reason I’m asking is because I’m about to try my first lattice construction and this topic is a little confusing to me.
I would appreciate any help on the matter.
Practically.... The plywood frame, which I believe is called the tone well chasis (sp?) needs router forms to be executed smoothly, as well as lamination molds for the sides and back. On a practical level I would start out just doing an all wood lattice with heavier sides and otherwise traditional construction see how you like the sound... it will be way less hassle. You could always progress from there into trying the lattice with CF/balsa/CF and go a little thinner. I think that will give you an idea if you really want to try and go "all out" with the frame.
i have not played a smallmann. only a copy with the same frame stuff.
and this copy was really heavy. for me a classical instrument must be light.
at least lighter than that copy.
so if you want to build a smallman replica go that frame-way.
on the other way there are options you can think over how to achieve more support for the construction.
it´s exciting not to copy.
i am sure you will find your way.
Smallman makes the B&S heavy, to 'keep the sound in the top'. It works. The top is a far more effective sound producer than the B&S in any guitar, so making the top light and the rest heavier and stiffer makes some sense from the standpoint of acoustic efficiency. Motion of the B&S seems to contribute more to 'tone color' than anything else, particularly above, say, about 350 Hz. The heavy B&S does give a different sound from the usual construction, of course. Whether the extra power makes up for the change in timbre is a matter of opinion.
Interesting points of view gentlemen. I was thinking also in using a lighter frame without going to thin on the top and without the use of carbon fiber. May be balsa or spruce. Hopefully this will contribute to a more “traditional” sound and the volume I’m aiming for.
The frames I’ve seen so far look very heavy, I think they are oversized. But we’ll see.
I guess what I can't figure out, is if you are going to make a frame and sides so stiff that they don't contribute to the timbre, AND you are going to use carbon fibre to reinforce the lattice... Then why not just make the frame out of carbon fibre? Then you wouldn't have a guitar that weighs as much as an anchor.
Plywood seems like a strange choice of material to me.