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Thread: Martin OM Style Acoustic Guitar

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by george wilson View Post
    At least I'm too far away for you to hit me!!!! ;0
    That's what you think!

    But seriously, what do you mean by "hollow edges"?
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  2. #77
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    The places where the neck meet the sides of the body on your neck are convex. They,at the least need to be straight lines. Better yet,and I would not settle for less,they should be concave.

    I have never seen a guitar with convex surfaces where the neck meets the sides. It would be easy for you to fix the surfaces before you glue the neck on.

    Many Spanish makers glue their necks on while hey are still square all over. Then,they rasp and carve the proper shapers into the neck. That is doing it the HARD way ! It also makes it all too easy to cut the side and ruin the whole guitar.

  3. #78
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    You mean like this?

    Where the bottom cap is a bit larger than immediately above it?
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  4. #79
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    The neck is looking a lot better. That's quite a joint you have made for putting a neck on. I hope the attachment under the fingerboard stays stuck. Ebony is a little tricky to glue.

    If you do this again,find a position marker on the top surface of the fingerboard. Drill down into the underneath attachment. Then you can both screw and glue the attachment to the fingerboard,and it may never come loose. Replace the pearl dot after you are done screwing the screw down tight.

    I am a bit old fashioned,and the last guitar I made,and posted here,was the only removable neck I have ever made. I drilled a 1/2 " hole down through the heel of the neck. Then I drilled horizontally through the neck block with the neck in place. I used a larger drill than the screws for clearence. I had inserted a 1/2" brass rod down through the heel. Where the drill got deep enough to mark the brass rod,I drilled
    a smaller hole,and tapped it to receive the MACHINE screws that went into the brass. I put a washer under the head of the Allen head machine screws. The washers and heads of these screws were concealed inside larger holes I had drilled into the neck block. This guitar was VERY loud,and I think the extra mass of having the brass rod helped the sound to stay at the BRIDGE end,rather than having some leak into the neck,and up into the head stock. I always put a good size headstock on my guitars. This extra mass also helps reduce the vibrations of the strings leak into the neck and get wasted. Some guys put lead weights in the headstock and into the tailblock at the bottom of the guitar body. We want those strings to vibrate the bridge as much as possible.

    I might say as a caution that too much weight at each end of the guitar can make the sound become hard and even irritating(gets on my nerves). I've known guys to put 7 or 8 .45 caliber bullet noses in the headstock and tailblock. One classical guitar I played was very hard sounding.

    I had a very early Gretsch F hole hollow body electric. It had a "bridge" NAILED into place that ran under the pickups and under the bridge inside the
    guitar. Chet Atkins was always wanting Gretsch to make their guitars so they would sustain longer through the pickups and through to the amp. Hope that isn't too confusing. Well,that guitar was too hard sounding to suit me. When I made my 1958 model 6120 Chet Atkins mosel,I left that insidebridge out. Now I have nearly 20 guitars,many Gretsch. But the guitar I ALWAYS play has been the one I made. It is just right sounding.

    I made this guitar before Gretsch came back to life and started having guitars made in Japan. They are nice guitars,and the quality control is perfect compared to the originals. But,These new ones have a neck that is just too narrow for my big hands.

    Why did I make myself this copy ? Because they were wanting about $10,000.00 guitars for the old originals! My guitar has no label. inside it,and no serial number stamped on the back of their headstocks. The fingerboard is ebony rather than the rosewood of the originals. The scale length is greater,too. So collectors should never be fooled into taking my Gretsch as an original. I REFUSE to pay a fortune for an instrument just because it has a famous endorser's name in it. Needless to say,I could not afford to get into the price range of some of these old Chet Atkins models. Besides,the quality control of those old Gretsch guitars left a HUGE amount to be desired.I still have a 1964 Anniversary model with the top glued on 1/2" ++++ off center. There is a 4" square piece of crappy mahogany 1/8" plywood JAMMED under the bottom of the neck block in a half hearted attempt to make the neck block match the curve of the arched back!!!! Needless to say,IT DIDN"T MAKE IT !!!!!!
    Last edited by george wilson; 09-22-2018 at 11:15 PM.

  5. #80
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    I just remembered that I haven't advised you about the ALL IMPORTANT issue of building in LOW HUMIDITY. 45 0r 50. You are likely in high humidity being in Florida.

    I can't tell you how many guitars I made had their tops crack when they were made in humid Summers. When Winter came,the humidity in heated houses can get as dry as the Saraha desert. That is no exaggeration,believe me.

    What they did in the 18th. C.,and on until humidity removing devices were invented was: 1. Build only in dry climates. 2. Build in the Winter. 3. warm the tops before gluing them on. The French,it is mentioned in Diderot,worked in a room with a large fireplace. They carefully measured the maximum width of harpsichord sound boards,them held them NEAR ( NOT RIGHT AGAINST !) the fire. I held the spinet soundboard we made in the movie against the fireplace and removed 1/16" from its greatest width. Then,while still warm,it was glued down. It hasn't cracked since 1974,when it was made.

    If you have already glued your top on,about the only thing you can do is keep the guitar in the case (A GOOD CASE),with a humidifier inside during the Winter. Fail to do this and you will be in for a lot of trouble. I wish I'd remembered to tell you this sooner.

    Gibson's fine models were made in Montana due to the dry climate. They had a miserable time trying to build in Nashville,in an un air conditioned factory.

    You must carefully measure across the lower bout of the top AND BACK,and remove close to 1/16" width before gluing it on. It would be the best policy to also do this BEFORE GLUING THE STRUTS ON. Especially the ones in the back,since they go straight across the grain.

    Don't get the top (especially) too hot as it can have the center seam open up if you get carried away.

    Even real old wood needs this treatment,as wood never stops swelling and shrinking over the seasons.

  6. #81
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    Warren, ThankYou for posting that Tommy E. video. I like his approach to learning the guitar.

    Julie, I have been watching your guitar build and think your guitar is coming out fantastic. Thank You for taking the time to post the build. It will be beneficial to many I'm sure.

  7. #82
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    This thread deserves an ending...

    I wasn't happy with what I did. My expectations far exceeded any realistic results. So the guitar sat and I came to view it with nothing but criticism.

    In October of 2019, my neighbor came over and told me a friend of his was coming into town and needed a guitar to play at some family and friend function. "I know you made that beautiful guitar. Could Garrett borrow it for just one evening?"

    Oh boy. What should I do with this? And then that fire within me started smouldering again.

    "I certainly have no problem lending it out but can't he find a better guitar?" I was doing my best to keep this out of the hands of anyone who actually knows how to play.

    "Oh. Well, unfortunately, I kinda gushed over you and told him what a great luthier you are."

    At this point I was screaming inside my head, "NO! I'm NOT!" But outwardly, I remained calm.

    "Ok," I said. "When is Garrett coming in?"

    In the mean time I'm wondering how do I get out of this?

    A couple of weeks later, Garrett knocks on the door. He's with my neighbor and the wife of another neighbor. She sings. Garrett plays. They have been doing this for over 30 years. And, I was told, they are pretty good.

    I do my best to be cordial but immediately delve into apologies.

    "I know Glen said the guitar is playable and all but it's really not and I'm perfectly okay if you need something better." And then I told him how I never set the nut or checked the relief in the neck or even smoothed the frets and on and on I went...

    "That's okay, Julie. It's nice to meet you, by the way."

    Of course we invited them into the house. And got to know them better. By that time, Garrett had a pretty good idea I felt he should look elsewhere.

    "Can I play it?"

    Sometimes you just have to hit them over the head with a brick.

    "Sure." And I handed him the guitar. Ready for confirmation of all my criticism.

    "Julie, this is pretty nice. The action is bit high but I love the feel of the neck and the sound is amazing."

    Okay. I know he's being nice but I'm not an idiot. So I thank him and give him a way out.

    "Thanks, Garrett. But I'm sure you need something better. I'm sure someone has a decent guitar they can lend you."

    "I'm sorry Julie. I didn't mean to press you. But if you're willing, I'd like to use your guitar."

    I have read countless articles about building an acoustic guitar. I've read about the masters. I've viewed numerous videos about everything from soundboard selection, tuning it, and so many other things. There's no way I could have gotten this right on the first round. No way.

    Garrett was just being nice. That was pretty cool.

    So Garrett left the house, with the guitar, and a couple hundred dollars in luthier tools that might hopefully make the guitar more playable.

    A couple of months later my neighbor calls. "Did Garrett return your guitar?"

    "No," I tell him. "He said he had some more gigs to play and would return it before he went back north."

    Sure enough, Garrett shows up at the door. With the guitar. And the tools. And a smile.

    "Julie. Thank you so much."

    I looked at him, wondering why he hung onto the guitar for so long. Maybe he read my eyes.

    "I got the action set perfectly. The relief is spot on. And it plays like a dream. Can I show you?"

    With that he sat down and played for long enough for me to appreciate that maybe I got it wrong.

    Since that time, this has been my go-to guitar. I'm beginning to enjoy playing again. Whatever Garrett did, it worked.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  8. #83
    [quote]Whatever Garrett did, it worked.[/QUOTE)

    He gave a talented friend some encouragement after finding the guitar well made and and beautifully voiced.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 09-12-2019 at 5:59 PM.

  9. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Moriarty View Post
    This thread deserves an ending...

    I wasn't happy with what I did. My expectations far exceeded any realistic results. So the guitar sat and I came to view it with nothing but criticism.

    In October of 2019, my neighbor came over and told me a friend of his was coming into town and needed a guitar to play at some family and friend function. "I know you made that beautiful guitar. Could Garrett borrow it for just one evening?"

    Oh boy. What should I do with this? And then that fire within me started smouldering again.

    "I certainly have no problem lending it out but can't he find a better guitar?" I was doing my best to keep this out of the hands of anyone who actually knows how to play.

    "Oh. Well, unfortunately, I kinda gushed over you and told him what a great luthier you are."

    At this point I was screaming inside my head, "NO! I'm NOT!" But outwardly, I remained calm.

    "Ok," I said. "When is Garrett coming in?"

    In the mean time I'm wondering how do I get out of this?

    A couple of weeks later, Garrett knocks on the door. He's with my neighbor and the wife of another neighbor. She sings. Garrett plays. They have been doing this for over 30 years. And, I was told, they are pretty good.

    I do my best to be cordial but immediately delve into apologies.

    "I know Glen said the guitar is playable and all but it's really not and I'm perfectly okay if you need something better." And then I told him how I never set the nut or checked the relief in the neck or even smoothed the frets and on and on I went...

    "That's okay, Julie. It's nice to meet you, by the way."

    Of course we invited them into the house. And got to know them better. By that time, Garrett had a pretty good idea I felt he should look elsewhere.

    "Can I play it?"

    Sometimes you just have to hit them over the head with a brick.

    "Sure." And I handed him the guitar. Ready for confirmation of all my criticism.

    "Julie, this is pretty nice. The action is bit high but I love the feel of the neck and the sound is amazing."

    Okay. I know he's being nice but I'm not an idiot. So I thank him and give him a way out.

    "Thanks, Garrett. But I'm sure you need something better. I'm sure someone has a decent guitar they can lend you."

    "I'm sorry Julie. I didn't mean to press you. But if you're willing, I'd like to use your guitar."

    I have read countless articles about building an acoustic guitar. I've read about the masters. I've viewed numerous videos about everything from soundboard selection, tuning it, and so many other things. There's no way I could have gotten this right on the first round. No way.

    Garrett was just being nice. That was pretty cool.

    So Garrett left the house, with the guitar, and a couple hundred dollars in luthier tools that might hopefully make the guitar more playable.

    A couple of months later my neighbor calls. "Did Garrett return your guitar?"

    "No," I tell him. "He said he had some more gigs to play and would return it before he went back north."

    Sure enough, Garrett shows up at the door. With the guitar. And the tools. And a smile.

    "Julie. Thank you so much."

    I looked at him, wondering why he hung onto the guitar for so long. Maybe he read my eyes.

    "I got the action set perfectly. The relief is spot on. And it plays like a dream. Can I show you?"

    With that he sat down and played for long enough for me to appreciate that maybe I got it wrong.

    Since that time, this has been my go-to guitar. I'm beginning to enjoy playing again. Whatever Garrett did, it worked.
    That was an awesome post Julie, made my day. I built a dovetail hinged box last year and was not satisfied with it. It was my first attempt at hand cut dovetails. The more I look at it and use it the more I have grown to really appreciate the job I did, in spite of knowing all the imperfections.

    The fit and finish is as good as anything I have seen ... my passion in building this box is now more obvious to me with time.

    Bravo on. Great outcome.

  10. #85
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    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    50,260
    I think that one of the important things from this story is that we can build an incredible instrument using our skilz and tools. And then we need to finish the job, even if we have some misgivings...it would be a very, very rare thing for any instrument to be "totally amazing" before that final setup. Learn from what Garrett did while your beautiful guitar was under his wing. You know your guitar because you built it, so carefully look at the admittedly minute changes he made to refine the action and shape and polish the frets. You CAN do that, too, on your future builds!

    I still have to do that with my first build...it needs a "nut job" to get the action where it needs to be to make it playable enjoyably. I keep putting it off because of so many things I'm juggling, but hope to accomplish it soon, especially since I have additional builds just about to start. There are "craftsmanship" things I'm not totally happy with on that first build, but even without the final work on the action, all the setup I did get done made it sound pretty darn good. It doesn't matter that mine is an electric and yours is an acoustic. The final setup is still the key. And that's my observation as a keyboard player who is a horrible guitarist.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #86
    Here's Joe Walsh (what a character!) showing how to setup a guitar.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7gMwE7phoM
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  12. #87
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    Prior to this experience (and it was October 2018, not 2019 - but I'm sure everyone figured that out) I thought the most important part of any build was to get the neck right and do a proper setup. I learned the setup process from Ron Kirn and, when I follow through with all the steps, the results are impressive.

    But then came the Garrett experience. From that I learned never to give up on yourself.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  13. #88
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MA
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    1,758
    Thank you for sharing Julie.

    For me, music (not the instrument) has an emotional impact. Your story illustrates this beautifully.

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