Erix Brotherhood Build 2022 = Pack Up The Pieces

erix

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Thanks for the tip, Freeman. I'll be fretting the neck tonight or tomorrow and should be able to see if it'll work!
 

crazydave911

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On the one hand, I love that I have a soulmate in trying the weird and wonderful. But I'd flood that entire bridge with CA 😋. Of course an acoustic bridge would have been MUCH cheaper and less trouble but hey, I've used Varithane gym floor poly ladled on a body so who am I to criticize 🤣
 

erix

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On the one hand, I love that I have a soulmate in trying the weird and wonderful. But I'd flood that entire bridge with CA 😋. Of course an acoustic bridge would have been MUCH cheaper and less trouble but hey, I've used Varithane gym floor poly ladled on a body so who am I to criticize 🤣

Heh, if we don't try something new we never learn anything! This is all free wood (to me, anyway) so I've only got my time into it. A premade bridge may be cheap but shipping it to my house is not in my budget!
 

crazydave911

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Heh, if we don't try something new we never learn anything! This is all free wood (to me, anyway) so I've only got my time into it. A premade bridge may be cheap but shipping it to my house is not in my budget!
I'm an Amazon Prime member, free shipping! 😂
 

mjr428

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Heh, if we don't try something new we never learn anything! This is all free wood (to me, anyway) so I've only got my time into it. A premade bridge may be cheap but shipping it to my house is not in my budget!
I'm with you on this... I'm trying to use anything I can find on my build that I already have on hand, which will include the pickups, knobs etc... because I don't want to spend any more money then I have to and also because I want to see how much I can actually make with what I have. I think the only thing that I will need to purchase at this point are the tuners. We shall see how it turns out...
 

erix

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Freeman's comments about saddle height had me wondering over the last couple of days. I found some time at lunch and pressed the frets in to see where it'd end up. I was also thinking about comments made in the beam sanding thread and ran my fretsaw through the board one more time to be sure the slots were deep enough.
I'm using pre-radiused Jescar Medium wire on this one @ .09"wide x .055"tall. This is both narrower and taller than my usual choices but should be just right for this accoustic-y thing.
IMG_3121.jpg


Cut to size-ish
IMG_3122.jpg


Pressed in
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Love Tapped and flush cut
IMG_3124.jpg


The big test
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In the middle of the board I've got about .100" with all the saddles at the bottom of their travel
IMG_3127.jpg


On the bass side, maybe .060"?
IMG_3129.jpg


And on the treble about the same, though it doesn't look it. Hard to shoot this photo with only two hands....
IMG_3130.jpg


Think I might just string this up as-is and see what happens - after I make a nut.
IMG_3131.jpg
 

Freeman Keller

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So if I am interpreting that correctly you have 0.060 gap at the first string. That means you will need to raise that side of the saddle 60 thousands, roughly 1/16 of an inch before the string starts to lift off the fret board so essentially you have wasted that much travel on our screws. A nice low first string action on an acoustic is around 60 thousands so that means you need to continue to raise the saddle another 0.120 - almost 1/8 inch to get playable action. The low E is even worse - a nice low acoustic finger style action on the low E might be 0.090 ( a blue grasser would like it higher). That would required the saddle being raised 0.180 on top of the initial 1/16.

These are rough numbers, string tension will pull some relief into the neck and change things slightly as will have the nut raise the strings a hair off the f/b on that end, but it is a good rule of thumb. It will be interesting to see how it looks with strings on but I can bet you'll be making some changes.

For what it is worth, a guitar with geometry like yours (fret plane above the saddles) is said to be "over set". The more common situation with an acoustic is the opposite, in which case we say the guitar needs to be "reset".
 

erix

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Thanks for that! I was worried that the floor of the bridge was going to be too tall (being made of wood instead of sheetmetal) but it might be too low! If that is the case I can make another bridge pretty easily, I still have the other blank of rosewood that this one is made from.

A quick-n-dirty setup might include longer saddle adjustment screws to get them where they need to be and make the new bridge after that.

Or I could shave some meat out of the neck pocket, effectively lowering the fretplane a controlled amount.....
 

Freeman Keller

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Or I could shave some meat out of the neck pocket, effectively lowering the fretplane a controlled amount.....


With normal acoustic construction that is basically what you do - the bridge height is fixed and the neck angle is "set" to that height. Same thing when it is "reset" - you take the neck off and change the angle until everything lines up correctly. With an acoustic you don't have much or any overstand to work with (archtops and violins do) so its the angle itself that changes.

The other part of all of this is that with most acoustics there is a sweet spot with the height of the saddles relative to the top. The saddle is a little lever that is imparting a torque to the top and for most guitars if the strings are about 1/2 inch off the top the torque is about right. All of that gets wrapped up in bracing and top thickness yadda yadda, much of which doesn't apply to the guitar you are building. However on most acoustics a 3/8 thick bridge combined with about 1/8 of saddle sticking out gives a pretty good mechanical system for making sound.

A quick and dirty fix might be shimming the bottom of your bridge. I assume you are going to glue it on but if you planned to screw it that would be easy to experiment with.

Here is kind of an interesting look at the forces on an acoustic guitar bridge and top

torquemodel.gif


You have both rotational and shear forces. As you move point C farther back the model changes from a pinned bridge to a tailpiece guitar like an archtop or mandolin.

Here is another that kind of shows what is going on in a conventional pinned acoustic bridge

TORQUE-LOAD-300x160.jpg


Hope that helps, I find it interesting.
 

erix

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Thanks Freeman for the advice and knowledge you share. I confess I didn’t really put much thought into building this thing before I started cutting wood but I do read your posts and file them away…

This morning I drilled holes in the neck, drilled holes for the bridge mounting screws (incorrectly, more on that later) and strung it up. I didn’t have any new strings so I pulled a set off another guitar that is getting an electronics makeover. The used strings weren’t quite long enough on the B and E so I couldn’t get them to hold tune but the others did hold.

it sounds….. pretty good, I think. Kind of like one of those old blues recordings from the 20’s or 30’s. Tight, not boomy, woody, not too loud but loud enough. With a nut that is way too high, saddles that aren’t adjusted to the fretboard radius, and a bridge that is far off from intonation from bad screw locations…. I plucked and strummed on that thing for half an hour. Very enjoyable!

Getting the strings back off was no fun at all through the maze of holes they have to get through so I will have to work on that a bit!

Now it is on the bench with maple plugs in saddle screw holes, to be sanded and redrilled tomorrow. Then, a set of 10-50 acoustic strings (with a wound 3rd Dave, just for you!) will go on and the intonatin’ will begin.
 

erix

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Its a big day at erixland! This build made some noise this morning!
Got the tuners installed yesterday
EOQW3117.jpg


and mounted the bridge in the wrong place. Made some maple plugs and glued them in overnight.
IMG_3144.jpg


Drilled new holes and strung her up with a set of acoustic strings.
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No deflection at all in the top, even with a big 'ol 50 up there.
IMG_3147.jpg


Going to have to make some adjustments though = sky high action. I think I shaved a tad too much off the neck pocket and I'll have to put it back in the form of a shim. Maybe .060" or so. I have to consult with a specialist.
IMG_3148.jpg


Likewise the nut needs some love too but I can't/won't do that until I shim it up.
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The bridge is held on with pick guard screws right now. I will probably glue it on after finishing the body (masking off that area of course.
IMG_3150.jpg


I REALLY like the little smooth curvy chunk of rosewood under the high E and I find my pinky and ring finger resting there when I pick. Next bridge I make with this construction will be longer, maybe even standard telecaster length, so I have a place to anchor my fingers.
IMG_3151.jpg


Family portrait. I'm headed out of town for the week so I'll leve it hanging and strung to see if there is any movement or weirdness. If it is stable I'll disassemble and give it a natural oil finish, perhaps TruOil or something like that.
IMG_3152.jpg


Gotta figure out how to post sound clips now...
 

1bad914

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I was able to play this guitar this past Wednesday. It is the perfect guitar to sit on the couch and pick away. Has pretty good projection. I liked it.
 

peteycaster

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Great job. Came out looking fantastic. I've really enjoyed the thread and detail of the process. Looks like you've ended up with a great little noodler.
 




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