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LMII Acoustic Steel String Build

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by pypa, Apr 21, 2021.

  1. pypa

    pypa Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I am embarking on a kit build from LMII of a parlor guitar. Is this the appropriate forum to post this?
     
  2. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    Sure why not. We've seen a lot of different stuff here.
     
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  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah baby!!
     
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  4. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Abso-friggin-lutely. More parlor!
     
  5. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Afflicted

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    You bet. I do it. Lol
     
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  6. pypa

    pypa Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    AA7A631C-592C-436F-B9D2-56D158226FAF.jpeg I’ve built 6 electrics and wanted to try my hand at an acoustic. Freeman suggested looking at a kit for the first build. The Lmii wizard (and customer support) is fantastic.

    The incremental cost of thicknessing and joining some of the parts was nominal so I saved myself some time by opting for that. I also had them bend the sides. The back is black limba and the top is Sitka spruce, other woods make this very pricey.

    is that rosette supposed to be open on the bottom? Looks like an error... 94776A16-49C8-4C8D-A66B-10CDF2F19CF4.jpeg
     
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  7. pypa

    pypa Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I wish the kit came with instructions. There are two (that I can find) online video courses by Robert OBrien and Eric Shaeffer. Each is about $275 and get great reviews. However some of the content is going to be redundant for me and I am looking for a cheaper alternative. Freeman has guided me to some resources; I wish he would write a book already.

    Anyway, I am going to attempt this a step at a time using the Stewmac instructions and hopefully you fine folks...


    my first step is to make a mold. I am in the middle of making the spreaders. I’ve seen opinions on how many to make. I have the scrap, so I’m making 1 for each bout and the waist.

    After this I plan to attach the end blocks to the sides. Advice welcome!

    26B72A92-6F75-4D01-B5CA-66E1CFABDFDC.jpeg
     
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  8. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    Is the opening on the rosette the bottom, or is it the top that would go under the fret board?

    The figuring on the top is beautiful. I'd like to see that flipped around and hit with some alcohol so I can see what it will look like with finish! I'm impatient that way.
     
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  9. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
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  10. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Ditto. The rosette is correct, the fretboard will cover the open spot.

    If you search "parlor guitar build" on YouTube, you'll get several hits on multipart builds.

    That's a great looking top! I prefer interesting figure.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
  11. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When you measure the height of your end blocks, don't forget to take the thickness of the top and back into consideration. If you don't, then it becomes harder to remove material after the sides are glued on. It would be helpful to do a side view of all the parts.


    side view.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
  12. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    The opening in the rosette always goes under the fretboard. I'm so glad to see another parlour being built, it was always my favorite to build :). Is it a 12 or 14 fret clear of the body?
     
  13. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I've got the Cumpiano book around here somewhere. "Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology". I haven't looked at it for years...but full of good stuff.

    The luthier's I've hung around prefer their mold to be cut on the outside, parallel to the inside. This allows clamping all around with simple F-clamps...if you need it. Lots of ways to skin that cat. The luthier I bought the estate from evidently went off the deep end for simple. He drew his outline on a piece of ratty plywood and glued/nailed blocks all around as a mold. Same for his mandolins. For such crappy, inconsistent beginnings, his instruments are revered among those who have them.
     
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  14. pypa

    pypa Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    So glad I started this thread! Thank you all!

    I do plan to cut my mold to 3" concentric with the center, with tabs at the top and bottom for clamping.

    The end block gluing seems pretty straight forward (famous last words?) I'm starting to think about thicknessing the sides now. I really don't want to have to buy a couple radiusing plates. Will the angled stick like in the Stewmac plans give me the radius? How do you guys do it?
     
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  15. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My first dozen acoustics were made with a flat top and radiused backs. I radiused them with a long and wide mahogany block with the radius milled into it. Sanding from back to front after using a plane to taper the sides and binding. Results were OK...

    I bought a radius dish for my last two. What a difference for the better on the backs. I'd say make or buy the dish for at least the back.

    The domed top is a " thing" done the last 20 years or so...same as sound ports. The flat top has been around for a hundred fifty +years .

    The string pull on the bridge will create a dome if your top and braces are flexible. You can sand an arch into your bridge bottom to help with too.

    You need to consider the neck to top angle to the bridge with all of them. On the number one I built at Charles Fox's place, we built in the spanish foot style and put layers of wood under the neck to create the minute angle sanded into the foot.

    I've been experimenting with putting a slight angle into my tenon and that has worked out well so far.

    If you want to make your own radiused dishes, they can be done on a CNC or using a router and a jig that rotates in the center of it. The ones I bought are just cnc'd mdf. I didn't want the MDF dust, as I hate MDF, so I just bought mine from Blues Creek:

    Blues Creek Guitars, Inc – Martin Authorized Repair Center



    How To Make Luthier Radius Dish (start to finish) - YouTube
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
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  16. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    That top has some really nice bear claw figure - it looks good and thats usually a sign of a good piece of wood.
     
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  17. pypa

    pypa Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    What radius do you recommend for the parlor guitar? If I get a dish, I'd like not to have to buy one for each top/back for each style. Is there a common size that I can use for most backs and tops?
     
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  18. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I went with the 20 foot Martin Dreadnaught one. I figured I could use that on my 000 builds or Parlors just as easily.
     
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  19. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Very common, and close to the martin standard which seems to vary, is 15 or 16 for the back and 22 to 24 for the top. I believe that is what I used on mine.

    A radius dish is by far the best way to do both the clamping and to fit the top to the sides but you don't have to do it that way. For my first several I made two long cauls - they need to be slightly longer than the guitar

    IMG_0977.JPG

    IMG_0979.JPG


    You can use them to radius the glue surface of your braces, then use them a clamping cauls. You can only glue one brace at a time but you're in no hurry. Then when its time to fit the top and back you can sand the kerfing flat , then put the radius on with these two sticks.

    The top works very well, the back is a little funky because of the way it curves from the waist to the heel and because the waist is actually a tiny bit taller than if it was straight. If you decide to only make or buy one radius dish make it your back radius.

    Make the cauls anyway - they are handy to have. You can either draw the radius with something like Autocad, calculate it (its called the sagitta of an arc), or simply tie a pencil on a 16 foot piece of string, tie the other end to something that won't move and you have a giant compass.
     
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  20. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    This shows you what happens with the back kerfing - you can see the gaps between the side and the sand paper. The back fits best when that becomes a section of a spherical dome.

    IMG_4918.JPG

    The rim is out of the mold to sand altho some folks leave it in. I'm being very careful while I do this - it will go back in the mold when I'm done. However this does show how well it holds its shape
     
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