J-200 build x2

1bad914

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Worked on the braces for the light colored 200 today. Rough cut them all out and finished the back braces and installed them. This spruce is super stiff, vertically and laterally. This back was kind of flimsy feeling, not anymore. If anyone wants to hear my process for this let me know.
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This is how I mark the radius. This is my multi-use radius caul/marker/sanding tool.
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1bad914

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On my first acoustic build I used a dovetail joint for the neck to body connection. I had so many issues getting it dialed in that I never used that joint again. I used a mortise and tenon joint. Since the 200 usually uses a dovetail, I decided to give it a try again. I borrowed a jig from my mentor. Brought it home and really studied it. I started with the neck. It came out well. I can explain the entire process if interested, it is long and kind of complex. Here is the final product. I cut it close and then dialed it in a little at a time. Once close I used chalk to show where I needed to file. It is dead center right now and the angle is almost perfect. It took a long time to set it up, but once I did , the routes took 20 minutes
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Freeman Keller

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One very small comment - looking at this picture I would suggest shortening the tenon maybe 1/16 or so so there is no chance that it is up against the end of the pocket. You want the ramps of the dovetail pulling the cheeks against the sides and the end of the tenon should not be touching at all.

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That is also where you want the steam to go when you have to remove it..... Otherwise looks good.
 

1bad914

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One very small comment - looking at this picture I would suggest shortening the tenon maybe 1/16 or so so there is no chance that it is up against the end of the pocket. You want the ramps of the dovetail pulling the cheeks against the sides and the end of the tenon should not be touching at all.

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That is also where you want the steam to go when you have to remove it..... Otherwise looks good.
Thx for the input. The pictures do not show it well, but there is at least a 16th gap or more there. That was all part of my staring at the jig for a couple hours. Then calculating how much shorter I needed to make that route. I will be doing this again in a week or so with the other 200. I will change a couple of things when I do, plus I will document the process.
 

1bad914

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A couple of days ago I was gifted a go bar deck. It was not really well made, so I did a rebuild. I used it today. I will say that it is much faster and gives you better access for glue cleanup. If I had more bars I could have glued down almost all of the braces. I will need to get more. As it is I can have most done in a couple of sessions. The radius dishes that came with it are a bit warped, but I was able to eliminate most of it.
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Freeman Keller

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Once you've used a go bar deck and radius dishes you'll never go back. For bars I just bought a bunch of fiberglass rods at the hardware store and cut them to different lengths. If you don't have one quite the right length stack a block or two on whatever you are clamping, that helps spread the pressure out anyway.
 

crazydave911

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Once you've used a go bar deck and radius dishes you'll never go back. For bars I just bought a bunch of fiberglass rods at the hardware store and cut them to different lengths. If you don't have one quite the right length stack a block or two on whatever you are clamping, that helps spread the pressure out anyway.
Driveway flags at Harbor Freight and others work well too
 

1bad914

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About ready to finish carve the braces and start the “tap tuning” process. This is just a guessing game for me. I try to get a nice tone that has some sustain. I also may try this zebrawood bridge plate. I have maple, but I think this wood is very resonate and is as hard as maple or rosewood…I think. Lol
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crazydave911

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Paducah bridge plates rule IMO. Tried one years ago and never looked back. FYI wash the glue surface in acetone and use gloves, you never saw so much red without a bullet lol
 

Freeman Keller

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I have sat in voicing seminars by Dana Bourgeois, John Greven and Roger Siminoff. I have both Siminoff's and Benedetto's books on how to voice instruments. I've watched Alan Carruth dance glitter on the top of a guitar. Everyone does it differently. Remember that factories don't do anything to individual guitars, in fact you can argue that the braces are too heavy for 90 percent of them just so the other 10 won't fall apart.

My goal is to get a nice tone that actually might be called "musical", I certainly want to get away from the "bonk" when I start. I usually end up with it pretty lightly braced - I'm old and don't have a lot of time for it to open up and besides, if it blows up I'll just make another.

It was, however, very interesting to use the spectrum analysis software on the last two guitars I built- the transforms seemed to verify what I thought I was hearing.
 

1bad914

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I have sat in voicing seminars by Dana Bourgeois, John Greven and Roger Siminoff. I have both Siminoff's and Benedetto's books on how to voice instruments. I've watched Alan Carruth dance glitter on the top of a guitar. Everyone does it differently. Remember that factories don't do anything to individual guitars, in fact you can argue that the braces are too heavy for 90 percent of them just so the other 10 won't fall apart.

My goal is to get a nice tone that actually might be called "musical", I certainly want to get away from the "bonk" when I start. I usually end up with it pretty lightly braced - I'm old and don't have a lot of time for it to open up and besides, if it blows up I'll just make another.

It was, however, very interesting to use the spectrum analysis software on the last two guitars I built- the transforms seemed to verify what I thought I was hearing.
Did you use the SW as you adjusted specific braces? Which braces showed the most change as you adjusted them?
 

Freeman Keller

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Did you use the SW as you adjusted specific braces? Which braces showed the most change as you adjusted them?

To date I have only used the software for a fan braced classical and the X braced archtop. I mostly used it to chart the change in primary resonance frequencies and how the partials changed. I did it at major points of the construction - before carving the top, after carving, when the f-holes when it, when I braced it, closing the box, etc. I don't detect enough of a change with carving the braces, its mostly before I start and when I'm "done". Dana Bourgeois on the other hand seemed to know exactly what he was hearing and which brace to work on next. Siminoff was looking for different frequencies (his work goes back to the Loar era). Greven seemed to be working more with the stiffness of the top and braces. There is a fair amount of mumbo jumbo in each of their methods.

I have a wonderful quote that I repeat every time someone talks about "voicing". Here it is repeated from the archtop thread

During the pandemic I have been reading about everything in the house and working my way thru the stack of old lutherie books and magazines. I happened to be reading an issue of American Lutherie that had an interview with Sergei de Jonge and I thought something that he said was interesting. De Jonge was one of that group of Canadian luthiers who apprenticed with Jean Larrivee in the 1970's and in my opinion helped set the stage for the modern independent lutherie movement. Anyway when asked what tapping a braced top told him he said

It tells me exactly nothing to tap a guitar. Believe me, I've made about 1,200 myself and I've tapped every guitar I've ever made ... and every good guitar that lands on my bench. Once the top goes on the body I tap it to death. I love tapping guitar, but it tells me nothing. I'm hoping that someday it will, so I'm still tapping every guitar.
 




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