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Old January 4th, 2013, 03:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Acoustic build

I was helping my daughter learn a new song the other day when she commented that she couldn't form good barre chords because her hands are so small. I loaned her my tele, and she no longer had trouble. This got me to thinking that I could build her an acoustic tele style. As I see it, there are two basic approaches: standard guitar style, or hollowed out tele body.

The main drawback to the standard approach is designing and constructing the forward section where the sides have some very tight curves. The main drawback to the hollowed body is the reduced resonance from the stiffer sides and back.

I'm leaning toward the hollowed body because I can stick in a neck pickup and yet still give the guitar an acoustic feel. I could even throw in a piezo under the saddle.

So, what's your take? Straight acoustic or hollowed body?

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Old January 4th, 2013, 04:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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In saying that you can stick in a neck pickup, are you envisioning a soundhole at all if you go with a hollowed body? If not, you'll simply have a lightweight "solid" electric guitar that will bear little resemblance to any kind of acoustic characteristic. If you do decide on a soundhole, with a hollowed construction, it will not as you say have anywhere near the resonance of a standard acoustic construction.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 04:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Check out the hack build thread. Seems a lot like what you're trying to do, if you go acoustic.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 04:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Stewmac.com have great kits and I'm thinking the little 00- kit might work. I built a dreadnought from a kit of theirs and it was highly successful. They even gave me 2 new blocks and sides when the body came out at 21" -their service is Excellent. You only have to buy tuners and good strings. They also have a technical service to advise you on neck width ( you may also want to shave the back contour yourself).
P.S. I am in no way commercially affiliated to anyone, even though I have strong preferences to some firms/products.
You could also try Ebay for a Fender acoustasonic. Not great guitars but may satisfy your/her immediate needs. JMHO.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 07:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Another option that might be interesting would be a six string cigar box influenced guitar with a slender neck. You would have an easier time constructing a braced rectangle shaped body, and could either run a bolt-on or neck-through style quite easily. If you have the skills, you could even make it a short scale to further accommodate her smaller hands. It wouldn't cost as much as some other items, but gives some pretty spectacular sounds if executed well. Then let her decorate it to her tastes. It would be a nice father/daughter project, and create some fine memories for both of you.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 11:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Another option that might be interesting would be a six string cigar box influenced guitar with a slender neck. You would have an easier time constructing a braced rectangle shaped body, and could either run a bolt-on or neck-through style quite easily. If you have the skills, you could even make it a short scale to further accommodate her smaller hands. It wouldn't cost as much as some other items, but gives some pretty spectacular sounds if executed well. Then let her decorate it to her tastes. It would be a nice father/daughter project, and create some fine memories for both of you.
Amen! Would be a good job with one of those mini-strat necks. I had one, it was very good (they are made all over) and I hated I needed the money. But the neck was the only thing I couldn't abide and was gonna make a new one. The width was fine, but it was just too thin for my hands. At a 22.75 scale and that thin, it would make a perfect 6-string CBG for a little one
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Old January 4th, 2013, 11:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Most barre chords have easy work arounds, especially on an acoustic.
Or build her a nice Size O with a thin neck. Mine has been strung up for a couple of weeks its exceeded all my expectations.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 09:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Check out the hack build thread. Seems a lot like what you're trying to do, if you go acoustic.
A lot of lessons learned in that one, should compile a 'I wish I would have done it this way' list. I am in the finishing touches of it (Is anything ever really finished around my house?) and hopefully I should have a sound clip. From the indications up to now I would say it beat my expectations.

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home...ack-build.html

It would have been better if I knew about this thread first, same idea and came out great.

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home...tic-build.html


The six string cigar box guitar is also a good idea. Originally that is what my guitar was to be and if I did not see all the hollowbody Tele's around here that is the way I would have gone. I made a three string and was going to make a 6-string. See Rich's build, that other wheelbarow handle must be somewhere.

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home...ow-handle.html

Then there are the lighter cigar boxes like the one I made mine with. Surprisingly nice sounding but given six strings I would guess the top would need some bracing.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 10:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This is essentially what I had in mind. I might lengthen the neck island to accept a lipstick pickup, and use a piezo transducer under the bridge with a pre-amp in the upper horn. Time will tell.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 10:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Most barre chords have easy work arounds, especially on an acoustic.
Or build her a nice Size O with a thin neck. Mine has been strung up for a couple of weeks its exceeded all my expectations.
Great looking work, Greg! I didn't realize you had finished that one up yet.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 11:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I would never try to talk someone out of building another's guitar. But have you done a good setup on the one she has? I had an old acoustic banging around for years that never played very well. When my son decided to take up guitar I gave it to him. After watching him struggle with it for awhile we decided to file the string slots in the nut. We didn't lower them much, but it totally transformed that guitar. It's a joy to play now.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 11:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I would never try to talk someone out of building another's guitar. But have you done a good setup on the one she has? I had an old acoustic banging around for years that never played very well. When my son decided to take up guitar I gave it to him. After watching him struggle with it for awhile we decided to file the string slots in the nut. We didn't lower them much, but it totally transformed that guitar. It's a joy to play now.
I don't think it's the setup so much as a very chunky neck profile. It's something of a stretch even for me.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 11:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Do you mean something like the Telecoustic?

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Old January 5th, 2013, 12:16 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Just about every luthier I know that makes acoustics agrees that the sides should be as rigid as possible. There is much debate in the acoustic world about the back being rigid VS. being springy. If you feel more comfortable doing a hollowed out body, go that route. Making and bracing a standard acoustic style top for it will be fairly straightforward and easy. Either way you go, have fun with it.
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