LumberJocks

A Tale of Two Guitars #1: Introduction

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by fatandy2003 posted 01-24-2016 11:58 PM 758 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of A Tale of Two Guitars series Part 2: Some Jigs and a Neck Glue-Up »

Here goes my first blog ever.

My dad is a huge guitar enthusiast, and I have always been fascinated with the beauty of these instruments and the complexity of their construction. So, we have been tossing around the idea of building a guitar together for over a year now. This last Christmas, we finally decided to take the leap. We bought Solomon and Cumpiano’s book Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology: A Complete Reference for the Design & Construction of the Steel-String Folk Guitar & the Classical Guitar.

We bought 2 sitka spruce tops at Stewart-McDonald (www.stewmac.com), 2 sets of walnut backs and sides from www.superiortonewoods.com (pictured below), and plans for a Taylor Grand Auditorium guitar from Georgia Luthier Supply (also pictured below).

I am not sure how long it will take us, but our goal is to have 2 completed guitars by this time next year. I am going to TRY and blog the entire process, but I promise nothing. I usually think about taking pictures as I am walking out of the shop for the night. Enjoy the blog series and please feel free to make comments. Since this will be the first guitar build for both of us, any recommendations will be accepted warmly.

Thanks for reading,

Andy

-- -- Andy, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of liberty must undergo the fatigues of supporting it” - Thomas Paine



7 comments so far

View onoitsmatt's profile

onoitsmatt

227 posts in 642 days


#1 posted 01-25-2016 04:07 AM

I’m planning my first guitar build too. I also recently got the Cumpiano book. Are you planning to use a mould for shaping sides or follow the Cumpiano method more closely?

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1140 posts in 1140 days


#2 posted 01-25-2016 01:30 PM

My hard won 2 cents. Don’t second guess the dimensions of tops, backs, braces etc., build exactly to the PRINTED dimension and you will produce a very nice tone and volume instrument. These plans are usually slightly over built to avoid complaints of guitar failure. It is very easy to make a baseball bat neck or non responsive tops and backs by not trusting the plans. If you can, build them one at a time because you will learn much on the first one.

Good luck and have fun! There is nothing quite like stringing up and playing your first instrument. I kept stopping and looking and saying… WOW!

Helpful luthier forums

http://www.anzlf.com/index.php

http://luthiersforum.com/

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View fatandy2003's profile

fatandy2003

258 posts in 1710 days


#3 posted 01-26-2016 12:15 AM

Matt, I have built an inside mold and will post it in the next blog in the series (tonight if I have time). I am trying to glean the most efficient and practical techniques from a bunch of sources; the mold seemed to be one of those “practical techniques.”

Bill, Thanks for your input. I have read through a number of your stringed instrument blogs (more like stalked you because I didn’t really have any comments to add). I have already been tempted to modify the shape of the lower bout from the plans, so I am glad to hear you say NOT to. My dad and I are starting at different parts of the guitars (the neck for me and the body for him), so I am hoping that will help us learn our lessons. This activity is as much about being able to spend time together as it is about building guitars…

Cheers, Andy

-- -- Andy, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of liberty must undergo the fatigues of supporting it” - Thomas Paine

View bearkatwood's profile (online now)

bearkatwood

1210 posts in 478 days


#4 posted 01-26-2016 01:37 AM

I used to love playing around with lutherie. I haven’t touched any of it for years and seeing this blog made me pull out the tub of stuff I had stored away. I had three guitars in the works. I had one made from Myrtlewood that was getting close to gluing up and then a bug crawled out and left a hole in the face which took the wind out of my sales so I quit. I wasn’t sure if it could be saved. Maybe I will get back at it sometime.

Thanks for your blog, it inspired me to pull that stuff out and maybe I will do something with it. I really like your use of the sapwood, that is going to look beautiful.

-- Brian Noel

View fatandy2003's profile

fatandy2003

258 posts in 1710 days


#5 posted 01-26-2016 03:09 AM

Brian,

That myrtlewood has a sweet burl-like quality. I hope you decide to finish the guitar. I am sure it will be a phenomenal instrument.

-- -- Andy, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of liberty must undergo the fatigues of supporting it” - Thomas Paine

View bearkatwood's profile (online now)

bearkatwood

1210 posts in 478 days


#6 posted 01-26-2016 01:43 PM

I will be following along with your blog and who knows, I might just have to get that stuff out and do something with it. It will be hard to find time to do it, right now I am incredibly busy with everything else going on. Of course by everything else I mean woodworking, woodworking and woodworking! ;) poor me. Don’t you feel sorry for me?

-- Brian Noel

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1140 posts in 1140 days


#7 posted 01-27-2016 11:44 PM

Bill, Thanks for your input. I have read through a number of your stringed instrument blogs (more like stalked you because I didn t really have any comments to add). I have already been tempted to modify the shape of the lower bout from the plans, so I am glad to hear you say NOT to. My dad and I are starting at different parts of the guitars (the neck for me and the body for him), so I am hoping that will help us learn our lessons. This activity is as much about being able to spend time together as it is about building guitars…

Cheers, Andy

- fatandy2003

Andy, I was referring to component thicknesses and widths …. tops, backs and braces. My next flat top is going to be slightly under built just to push it and find the limit. This is where a bolt on neck pays it’s way, it can be salvaged. I dovetail my bolt on necks so I also have a real mechanical joint.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com