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Shoestring Acoustic Guitar Build Anyone Can Do

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by printer2, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    I shrunk them down, out of the camera they are 2.7 Mb and they end up anywhere from 50 kB to 150 kB depending how I crop the image. Even with the buzz I keep picking up the guitar and picking on it for a few minutes. It is so darn light. I am already itching to make a mark two with better wood for the body and wooden pegs instead of the tuners. The tuners are about 3.5 ounces while pegs are around half an ounce. No longer neck heavy. Why do I think of these things?
     

  2. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    I never posted a picture of the back. I added a piece of cherry on the back of the headstock to make up the thickness difference needed for the tuner posts as I changed my mind on which tuners I would use and the previous ones were smaller. I showed my brother and he liked the neck. Proud of him for that. He used to do sound for a few years when we were wet behind the ears and it was only the past year or two he thought to pick up the guitar. It never stuck but at least he knows what would feel nice to play. I have a few frets to touch up and then I will put this one to bed.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
    Barncaster, Zepfan, Mat UK and 2 others like this.

  3. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    So I made a saddle out of Jatoba with the right arc and the middle strings do not buzz anymore so I can hear what this thing sounds like better. The arc reduced the height of the E strings making it easier to play also. But I hardly could get the D string tuned up the tuner just froze and I could not turn it any more without the possibility of breaking it. I did say these were bottom of the barrel tuners, I just did not know what lurked at the bottom before this. I took the tuner apart and lapped the surface that contacts the plate on a cheap diamond stone. I then gave that surface and the other sliding surfaces just a touch of molly lube. The change was night and day. There is a horrid amount of backlash but tuning up is as uneventful as it should be. I then proceed to do the rest of them. Even though it was meant to be a wall hanger I did want it to at least be playable.

    So next was the nut. I didn't want to waste a bone nut on it especially if the saddle was not bone, Jatoba to the rescue again. Now the nut was at a tolerable height. Actually other than the low E I don't I would want the strings any lower on a nylon string guitar. I was excited to try it out but I subdued my enthusiasm and decided to take care of the frets. I knew I had one that was a little high, might as well just get it done and out of the way.

    Tuned it up and did a couple of exercises up and down the fretboard. Wow, that was fun. It is actually quite playable. Except for the tubbyness centered about the C it did not sound too bad for the size of instrument. And then I did something that I do not do much if the guitar has a live back, I rested it on my, I paid for it I am keeping it, belly. Darn it if the guitar does not sound even up and down the fretboard. You loose some of the engulfing surround sound effect of a live back but the guitar actually sounds listenable. No I would not spend $100 for it but if I wanted a little beater travel guitar I would not be disappointing in it.

    Except for the holding it next to my belly. I could loose a few pounds but not all that much. So what do I do with it now? I can't stick my whole hand in the sound hole, I am not sure what I would do to the back to dampen it down anyway. A bunch of oak glued to the back, maybe an oak plate with a bunch of white glue between which might help dampen it down? I am sure the other guitar in the works will nudge this one aside but I still would like to make this the best it could be given what it started from. Although it has exceeded expectations already.
     

  4. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    I did not like the resonance from the back so I took some double sided tape and saw what some mass to the back would do. Dropped the soundhole resonance and it is less present.

    [​IMG]

    Now how am I going to clamp the blocks about where the bridge is? With the length of the rods I have I had the reach to get in. I used a section of oak that was used to transport machinery on a truck.

    [​IMG]



    Stopped in at work and caught one of the guys in the lunchroom. Stuck it in his lap, put my tablet on record and said play something. Not really fair to him but he did not seem to mind too much. I think I will leave it as is, maybe better tuners but I think it sounds fine for what it is also considering it is tuned like a regular guitar.

    https://1drv.ms/u/s!Av1OkLMNLzpEizsGeoeB--18jbGF
     
    Barncaster and Zepfan like this.

  5. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Oct 23, 2011
    Lynchburg Tennessee
    Looks and sounds good!! Don't think I would hang it on the wall.
     

  6. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston

  7. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    I built it with a buddy in mind who wanted one for that purpose. It did end up pretty decent for what I built it from but I have another one on the bench that is built out of good wood and is a touch wider and deeper so it should fill out the response. And once I finish that one I just cut some poplar for one the same size as the one on the bench. And then one out of maple for me. It won't bother me if it ends up on a wall. Just keep tuned, I have about four interesting ones coming.
     

  8. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    So, one more time but without all the headaches. I did use another board for the back and sides, better wood up to a point. Off quarter but not too bad wood to make a cheap guitar. I did use some actual guitar spruce for the top. Speaking of the top, when you are doing the final rout for the sound hole it is best to tighten the wingnut well that locks the diameter of the circle jig.

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    Took me well over an hour to fix it. Not elegant but this ain't going to be that kind of guitar.

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    Don't tell Taylor, I am doing a V bracing. I am disguising it by calling it an inverted fan style. I this does not mean much to you, not to worry, for others the pattern goes back before Taylor. I was planing to try it but with all the excitement no time like the present.

    [​IMG]

    The sides were being a little difficult, hope they set well overnight. The top is next to the sides, a little twist developing for tomorrow. The neck blank is laminated and the back is sitting on it. Not bad for two days.

    [​IMG]
     
    Zepfan likes this.

  9. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    Continuing on, fully braced and the linings done with the back ready to be glued.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    This is a guitar that I wanted to test out a few ideas with. One of them is rather than producing a neck and then attaching an extension under the fretboard to support the fretboard rather than relying on the top. So far so good.

    [​IMG]

    Until the bearing on the router decides to have a bad hair day. I bought it used and cheap, time to grab another router.

    [​IMG]

    Another thing I am trying is to put a small bevel on the edge by bending the wood rather than building up a section to carve away. It will effect how the top will vibrate but reducing the top with a classic bevel will also. I am not too concerned as I comfort to high on the list of attributes, just want to be able to extend practice times. Even a guitar small as this can cause me pain because of some health issues. Wish I put a little more bevel, we will see how it goes.

    [​IMG]
     
    Barncaster likes this.

  11. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    I will be using hanger bolts to attach the neck. Drilled some holes and cut down some finishing nails to stick out and mark the hole locations in the body.

    [​IMG]

    Well what do you know, it worked.

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    I have the neck more or less lined up. I was in a thrift store and they had a bunch of T squares for drafting. Not a lot of call for drafting on paper, $0.75 each I took all three. Good for lining things up. I went with an oak fretboard as I probably would not use the piece for any thing else. I bought it years ago when I first wanted to make a box guitar. Little did I know I would still be at it years latter.

    [​IMG]

    I have to run out and get some hanger bolts, I wonder what they have for wood today? When I get back the enjoyable part of carving the neck. I think I like doing it because it makes a mess. The seeing it go from lumber to neck is also part of the fun.
     
    crazydave911 likes this.

  12. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    471
    May 10, 2015
    Gilbert

  13. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    Have been to Indonesia many times ( lost count) since 1978
    and seen their woodworking skills, houses and Temples.
    That video had some big name headstocks and other signs of big names. Have seen the Fender/ Samick factory in Surabaya
    and it makes me think how poor we Westerners who are not skilled. I never cease to be amazed at their ability to work woods skilfully and in a cheerful manner. They also spend a lot of time helping each other. A totally different approach to work than ours.
     
    Slim and crazydave911 like this.

  14. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    I had to pick and choose what to do today and tomorrow. I really should clean the house and make it look livable. Then there is the couple of guitars I need to fret and do the tuner holes, mount them and side dots. Thought about doing the circuit change of my 6K6 amp to the input circuit I thought up. Or try and get the latest quickie guitar body sanded and ready for finish and carve the neck.

    Monday I am having surgery on my wrist and I'll have my right hand in a brace for a couple of weeks. I am going to have to really take it easy, I am not one to sit around if I can be doing something. So let's say I can manage the amp with mostly my left hand. Alright, decided.

    [​IMG]

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    I got most of the neck to shape, tomorrow make it look pretty. The body is done and second coat on it. I'll do a rough house cleanup after the neck. See, I can prioritize.
     

  15. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    I have some fretting and setup work lined up.

    [​IMG]

    That is all for the foreseeable future as I had surgery on my wrist this morning. The local anesthetic wore off and I am due for a couple more pain killers. Darn it feels like somebody took a baseball bat to my arm. And today my fret wire comes in the mail. I might be able to do a heel cap on the newest neck and maybe a head plate but I think I will be out of it for the next couple of weeks.
     

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