Acoustic Build - J-45ish

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by buffalohunt, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Whatever you do, you won't go wrong. Most guitars are overbraced and they do sound good. I have scalloped almost everything I've made and they have all turned out good.

    I don't want to snatch your thread but this is my basic approach. Start with something that looks pretty much like yours. Cap the X (or put a piece of linen on it, follow Char's advice about not doing it like Gibson does). Feather the ends of the UTB, X and tone bars to fit into your notches in the lining (again, don't do like Gibson did). I then shape the braces to a peak on the top, more or less like this

    IMG_4912.JPG

    That would pretty much look like my 1957 plans and would be acceptable for a floppy top or a guitar that was going to see medium strings and lots of hard strumming.

    If you want to scallop then follow the established shape, just take a big swoop out of the middle of the X and tone bars. The bridge wings sit right over that valley in the X braces - in theory they are imparting energy to the top at those points.

    One of the things I do with the ends of the braces that will be tucked is lay a piece of scrap wood next to them and swoop down with the chisel to that scrap - I use a cutoff piece of the top. That will make all of the ends a certain height, say 0.110 and if you use that scrap to set the depth of the notch everything will just snap into place. The little finger braces get feathered and are not tucked.

    IMG_4934.JPG

    Here is that top pretty much finished - I would consider this typical scalloping for a fingerstyle OM sized guitar.

    IMG_4939.JPG

    This guitar is now a couple of years old, has opened up nicely, has no structural issues and sounds pretty darn good.
     
  2. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    @buffalohunt - I'm glad to hear that there are still places that offer a wood shop class to middle-schoolers.

    I had a wood shop class in 9th grade and it opened up a cool new world for me.

    Nice looking build :)!

    .
     
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  3. buffalohunt

    buffalohunt Tele-Meister

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    Pretty well every public school in Canada has shop classes. There has been a real push for trades and technical exposure to kids in the last 5-10 years. At least in BC, shop classes are quite valued and the stigma of a career in the trades being for "lower class" is starting to wane. It's now seen as a great alternative to going to University/College.
     
  4. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    That's great to hear :).

    There is a lot to be said for making a living by doing something you really enjoy.

    And, not everyone is cut out for a white-collar job.

    You can do your 4 or 6 (or more) years of college and then start your working career quite often deeply in student loan debt (at least that's how it is here in the States) :(.

    Or, you can serve a 4 or 5 year apprenticeship in one of the building trades and draw a pretty decent paycheck as you are doing so :).

    Your hands and clothes might get dirty, but that's what soap and water is for ;).


    .
     
  5. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Holic

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    I built an all mahogany J45 last year. Love the instrument. I scalloped the braces.
     
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  6. buffalohunt

    buffalohunt Tele-Meister

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    The last few days have been slow progress as we have began welcoming students back into the school and with the crazy times, it has been difficult to find time for personal projects.

    Today I began gluing the back braces. Same method as the top. Cauls, clamps and ratchet straps on the radius dish. The back is radiused to 15'. It's a slow process, doing only one brace at a time.

    Another opportunity to use my DIY wooden cam clamps. They work pretty well.

    IMG_1368.jpg

    IMG_1367.jpg
     
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  7. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    Just caught this thread, looking good so far. You guys who make acoustic guitars just blow my mind. Such intricate work. Can’t ever see myself doing one, but you never know. But with 6 or 7 more electrics in my plans I’ll stick to that for now! :D
     
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  8. buffalohunt

    buffalohunt Tele-Meister

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    To be honest I used to think the same. Solid body electrics was my limit. After watching a few build series on YouTube I was able to demystify the processes and see that it wasn't all that more complicated - just more steps and some different processes.

    With that said, I'm still early in the process. So, there will likely be some bumps along the way, but I feel much more confident than I ever thought I would.
     
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  9. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    Looks great.
     
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  10. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Afflicted

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    This build thread is terribly interesting to me... a good friend of mine owns a '47 J-45 and it is a treasure to play. One of those that I am fortunate to have met, and will never have one of my own. Now if I could build my own [someday] that might be more feasible, and meaningful, than pining for a real vintage Gibson.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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  11. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Afflicted

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    Wish we had a "love" button for this comment. Trades are where it's at... and this is coming from a guy with a four-year degree. LOL
     
  12. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    I never really took this post in when I first read it, but you’re bang on the money!

    I only went as far as what you would call High School, was never interested in College (or University as we call it), and just started to make my way in the world.

    I learnt a ton of things through different jobs and experiences through my more formative years, and have just applied them as I went along. I’ve learned tons of stuff through the building of things (renovating houses etc.), and owned my own businesses, and all these experiences and processes led me to where I am. I’ve done Ok, and now work solely on our lifestyle block whilst whittling away at guitar projects in my spare time.

    That was a great post! :)
     
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  13. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    @buffalohunt , have you considered sharing this thread with your students? :)

    I can see it being a spark that would fire up the mind of a young student.

    I still remember my 9th grade shop class where I made a made a lamp (turned the base on the lathe), a shop stool that I still use (all welded with angle iron legs and flat bar bracing with an upholstered seat), and the ubiquitous dresser top trinket holder (for cufflinks (remember those?), rings, and other manly jewelry).

    To participate in building a guitar would have really been something!
     
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  14. buffalohunt

    buffalohunt Tele-Meister

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    I've got an Instagram account that I use to share photos of student projects as well as my own. Most of my students follow me on there and see the progress. @mr.szalay if you're interested.

    It's cool when I get students from previous years checking in to see what I'm working on.
     
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  15. buffalohunt

    buffalohunt Tele-Meister

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    I'm thinking ahead to the neck of this thing.

    I've got a piece of 1" thick Honduran mahogany to work with. Obviously that isn't going to work for a one piece neck, so I'm looking at my options. I know either one will work fine, I am more worried about the look of a laminated heel block and scarf joint on the back of the neck (it will be getting just a clear coat, no stain or color). Does this style of lamination seem "cheap" to anyone else?

    I'm kind of leaning toward the second option below. I feel that the seams will be less visible once the top is covered by the fretboard and headstock veneer.

    What are your thoughts?
    neck.jpg
     
  16. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I agree that stacked heels along with scarf joint look cheap. YMMV. You can get a small turning square off of ebay and add that to have fewer laminations. My local woodcraft sells genuine pattern grade mahogany shorts by the pound. They are usually end cuts. You may want to check for something like that too.

    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=303188915248


    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=223348071948
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
  17. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Look cheap, PERHAPS, but much stronger yes. And if you stack the heel from the same board, in the order cut, the grain can be quite pleasing

    Dave
     
  18. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Both are much much better than a one piece sawn neck. The first, standard scarf joined head and stacked heel is my go to, it is strong, efficient use of wood and relatively easy to make. You will see the glue lines but particularly with mahogany they are not real obvious. Besides, I think they show off your fabrication talents

    IMG_5195.JPG

    IMG_5287.JPG


    The second can look wonderful, particularly with contrasting woods and veneers, but I think is harder to pull off. I did one a long time ago and I'm happy with the look but it was a lot more work

    Tricone 6.JPG

    Tricone 5.JPG
     
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  19. buffalohunt

    buffalohunt Tele-Meister

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    Thanks.
    I wasn't really considering a contrasting wood strip, but I might consider that now.
    I remember hearing that Gibson did some laminated necks at some point during the war due to wood shortages. I think on the LG2
     
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  20. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Laminated necks are often seen on fancy guitars like archtops. Mine was kind of over the top, I don't think I would ever do it again. The body is some highly figured wood and its got lots of flamed maple binding, I just put maple down the center of the neck. Ordinarily I would do the scarf join and be done with it.
     
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