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Thread: 1st acoustic guitar build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    NW Louisiana
    Posts
    497

    1st acoustic guitar build

    I play over in the CNC forum but this may be my first post over here in the Musical Instruments. My first build seems like a good place to start.

    Over the last 30 years or so I have replaced tops, backs, done fret jobs, inlay, glued braces and lining, refinished, made bridges, saddles, and nuts, replaced tuners, and all kinds of repairs, etc. but this is the first guitar I've built from scratch.

    I cut all the wood for this including resawing the back/sides/top, cutting the binding and bracing from lumber or billets, etc. Along the way I've designed and built my own modular cantilever side bending fixture that will accommodate sizes from Jumbo down to 0, possibly smaller like a Ukulele. I'll post photos of the side bending fixture later and also built all the forms, fixtures, templates, and jigs for the build. I started the build a couple of years ago just working an hour in the evening, sometimes two, and some on weekends, but I put it aside and didn't touch it for about 8 months.

    I'll tell you ahead of time that it sounds good, is bright, has great sustain, and plays very easily with good action. But it may be a while before I make a video of it being played.

    Back and sides - Honduras Mahogany
    Top and bracing - Sitka Spruce
    Neck - African Mahogany with Maple and Honduras Mahogany center pieces
    Headstock, rosette, arm bevel, heel cap, and tail wedge - Walnut burl
    Headstock inlay - Zebrawood
    Fingerboard, bridge - East Indian Rosewood
    Binding, purfling - Zebrawood and Maple
    Sound port lining - Macassar Ebony
    Solid lining - Honduras Mahogany
    Side braces - Honduras Mahogany
    Finish - Shellac (French polish), measured just over 1 mil at the bridge

    The neck is bolted on and I devised a way for it to be completely removable. It can go from tuned to pitch to neck off in about 5 minutes. In the week that the guitar has been tuned to pitch it is holding its tuning as good as my other guitars. The intonation still needs some minor tweaking but I'll play it a while before working on it again.

    Assuming I like it enough to play in church I'll install a K&K Pure Mini pickup. If I decide to just play it at home and with friends I'll save the pickup for a future guitar.

    In the meantime, here are a few photos of the build and some of the finished guitar.
    Back bracing with Padauk glue strip -
    022 - Back bracing, Padauk strip.jpg

    Top bracing -
    023 - Top bracing.jpg

    Gluing the back in place -
    024 - Gluing back on.jpg

    Finished guitar. I didn't want a super high gloss finish but rather decided to do an old world vintage patina. Nothing against the super high gloss finishes but I have 5 guitars with high gloss finish and wanted this one to be different. Now that I've done it this way I like it even better than I thought I would.
    025 - Build #1, front.jpg
    026 - Build #1, back.jpg
    027 - Build #1, rosette.jpg
    029 - Build #1, sound port, cutaway.jpg
    030 - Build #1, headstock.jpg

    So feel free to comment, ask questions, critique. I have about 1,500 photos of the build and good documentation but these few photos tell the story just fine, I think, so I'll spare you the copious extras.

    Enjoy!
    David
    David

    Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - Go to YouTube and search for Airline Baptist BC - enjoy!
    YouTube Woodworking Channel for David Falkner (just search for me by name)
    Romans 3:23

    Etsy shop - CurlyWoodShop

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    NW Louisiana
    Posts
    497
    David

    Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - Go to YouTube and search for Airline Baptist BC - enjoy!
    YouTube Woodworking Channel for David Falkner (just search for me by name)
    Romans 3:23

    Etsy shop - CurlyWoodShop

  3. #3
    Wow, this really looks great!! Thanks for posting, I love seeing projects like this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Yorktown, VA
    Posts
    2,408
    Stellar work!! Thank you for sharing this beauty with us.

  5. #5
    David, fantastic work, very clean and well designed. You win the prize for the best 1st guitar anyone has made!

  6. #6
    Nice, clean work.

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