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Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Freeman Keller, Jul 12, 2020.
Awesome work Freeman!
My mom took tons of pictures anywhere she went, and though most are missing the ones that shaped my life were from the museum in Verona and Barcelona . When I started a picture from Italy showed a manikin holding the guitar top up in a curious manner. I'd expected tons of dusty violins and got a guitar and mandos lol. By the time I started hearing about tapping I dug out the pics and went hmmm. I decided to make the top in the picture as well as possible and tap it as the dummy was appearing to do. The closet I have is this picture but the bracing in the old picture and my copy was quite different.
The bracing as I've learned was similar to lutes of the time, with J braces and such and many more but lighter ladder braces. To my virgin surprise it rang with a quite loud almost perfect middle C. Unlike others apparently I didn't take the note itself very seriously just the fact it was there and quite loud. Over the following years I got everything from A# to C#. But as Freeman states what it is as the plate bears no relationship to the top glued to a box. I've seen pictures of your U brace around the bridge from the Barcelona photos, not that you'll find these online. Torres competitors were of the traditional type of today and though they reverence him like we do they DON'T want you learning how he often tweaked their sacred cows, the cardboard guitar being the only known existing example. I've seen bracing patterns you will never see I wager. Antonio's obvious point was the top is the only wood that matters. The box other than size didn't affect his thinking. My hero
woo! That's some exciting bit of software, etc. Thanks for sharing; it'll be real interesting to watch what the data ends up telling you. Roy
Looks like a 5 course baroque guitar there. Wow, detailed plans from 1760 (?) -- cool stuff.
About 3 computers back I had tons including the pics from Stradivari and Torres shop, still have the hardrive just in case . My point as always is build what you want outta what you want and it'll make music . Stradivari was building guitars on the Spanish model 200 years before they decided the viheila was the best shape. The first were in the format of the mideval lute about 100 years or more before Stradivari"s time. But the Spanish with a Moor prejudice (who played an oud) went a different direction. But Stradivarius was ahead of them all and Torres was cut of the same cloth . My relatives in Italy were refugees from Spain so it all made sense to me
The Guild of American Luthiers has a number of builders who either build or restore baroque or renaissance instruments and the GAL has a whole library of plans taken from them. I've been privileged to hear some of them at GAL functions (PhredE, if you are watching you should definitely plan on attending next years conference at Tacoma).
And one of my wife's nieces is a trained classical violinist who plays with a number of symphonies as well as playing in a bluegrass group and a jazz trio. She has different violins - an electric for jazz, her "fiddle" for bluegrass and a fairly valuable baroque violin (not a Strad or Guarneri). I asked if she tuned to A440 - she said of course not and even had an A415 tuning fork.
So many interesting aspects to this whole music thing.
Probably better bring things up to date. With the neck close to carved I glued it to the top today. This is kind of critical - the center line of the neck needs to coincide perfectly with the center line of the body. I futzed over this a bunch
Used two toothpicks to locate the top on the neck (remember that little shelf I chiseled a while back?).
Kind of hard to tell what is going on here, but believe me, I was happy when it was done.
Thanks Freeman. If I can break away, I will definitely make a serious attempt at the GAL. I do love those kinds of events. Haven't been to enough concerts lately too, argh.
I've got a musician in the family down here as well (not the classically trained kind, more along the lines of jazz/blues bands -- no, not me!). Anyway, it's good to know.
I like the progress. Fixing the neck is one of those 'crunch time' moments (especially with Spanish Heel) -- you can't really 'undo' it. So, if you're happy with the result I'll assume things went pretty well.
I've got a tree guy coming to take down a couple trees tomorrow, so I may not get back on here for a day or maybe two. They take them to the ground, I do the rest! LOL -- Does that make me a 'wood worker'?
I have a distant cousins old tuning fork over 100 years old. Good memories, and no, not A440 either
Going back to the earlier discussion about voicing the top, Roger Siminoff points out that Lloyd Loar was tuning various parts of his mandolins to different scale notes, but the fact that the standard was something like 430 then means we are not tuning to the same exact note today.
Meanwhile, continuing with the build. The neck-top joint looks good, I clipped the toothpins off and and sanded it flat
Put the top and neck in the solara and glued one side in place
Where the braces tuck into the linings I took out two of the kerfed blocks and replaced them with "tentellones". On other guitars I just notched the braces into the lining, this is a more traditional way to do it
After a few hours for the glue on the first side to harden I glued on the second side
This was a big day. I'm tired but I think it went well.
Master Freeman - Looks really good. You can never have too many clamps, right?
The standard on tuning say in lute days say was much lower than today. Gut strings and frets and light shell sides/back. Wire strings are why we are where we are today
What kind of strings are you planning on trying Freeman? I like Nygut personally. Consistency of nylon and brightness and clarity of gut. Just my opinion lol. I know one thing,I really wanna hear it . I have a theory it may surprise even the purist
Me too. I am curious to hear it also.
It looks fantastic so far.
Do any of you builders ever use a ToneRite on your newly built acoustics?
A few years ago the tonerite (or several other incarnation including putting your guitar in front of a loud speaker and bombarding it with music (or white noise) was a big deal in the lutherie circles. Its another one of those tone things - how do you measure something happening over a period of time, how do you describe what is happening in words, how do you measure it, yadda yadda yadda.
I was given a Tonerite unit, it sat in a box under my work bench, some time back I gave it away. Never tried it, might have been a mistake.
Before this goes off the rails I will say that I do believe that guitars change and "open up" with age and I believe that roasting a hunk of wood probably changes it so it will sound different, I just let it all happen naturally....
One of the things you can kind of see from those pictures is the absolute genius of the solara. The rim of the top is held perfectly flat and supported by the cork lined board, while the center with its dome is not under any pressure that might damage it. The neck plane is aligned with the top plane and the builder can set any angle she wants for the neck - it is built in from the beginning. You have access all the way around for as many clamps and many kinds will work (C&N use cam clamps, lots of beginning builders make spool clamps). The only real problems are applying clamping pressure to the relatively fragile sides (the Irwin clamps are nice for this) and the fact that nothing is holding the sides perfectly perpendicular, altho many work boards have little angle pieces for this.
I've probably got 4 bucks worth of materials and a couple of hours time in making mine. If I was going to build lots of guitars of this size and shape I'd make a better one but for one cheap guitar this will be just fine.
Glued the kerfed linings on for the back. Unlike the top, the sides curve where they meet the back, the butt end of the guitar is 4 inches thick and maintains that to the waist, then it drops off to 3-1/2. The linings need to establish that curve
Almost exactly the dimensions of my parlour. Curiouser and curiouser
Shaved the excess sides down to the linings
and glued some vertical sides supports across the grain
The top on an acoustic guitar is more or less flat all the way around the rim. The center has a slight dome but it is small enough that the sides can be made flat all the way around and the top simply clamped to it.
The back is different, is has more dome and as I mentioned before, the sides are pretty much "flat" up to the waist, then then drop off to the neck. Its even more complex when you think about the rim cutting thru the 16 foot sphere - the waist actually has to be higher than the lower bout.
Cumpiano and Natelson handle this by making a flat sanding board that will span the sides and end to end, then tipping it as they sand the sides to receive the back. They talk about making it a 1/16 of an inch here or there manage to get everything sanded to fit,
There is, I think, a better way. If I use the 16 foot radius dish instead of the flat sanding board then the sides will take the necessary up and down curve to match the section of the sphere. Its easier to see than explain, here is the rim sitting in the radius dish with a piece of sand paper double stuck to it, you can see the gap at the waist
I need to take material off of the upper bout and the lower bout to bring the waist down to the sand paper
Some people will stick a great big round piece of sand paper in their radius dish for this, I have even seen dishes mounded on motor drives to turn them while the shape is sanded into the rims.
I didn't take a picture of it when I was done but after enough sanding I was satisfied of the shape.
Notch out the lining as before and glue in the tentellones for the back braces. Sign and date the top
Make a label and glue it to the back
Mix up some fresh glue. Get all the clamps ready, practice putting the back on until I can reach for each clamp and have it just drop in to place. It is a lot of glue to put on and lots of clamps in a very short time window. Take a deep breath and do it
Resume breathing and clean up