Guitar #1

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Project by joseff posted 08-31-2011 07:30 PM 2356 views 4 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi guys,

After three weeks of applying the finish, my first guitar is finally done.

The top is made of Spruce, while the back and sides are of Indian Rosewood. The neck is Sapele, with a Macassar Ebony fingerboard. The inlay is made of wood fiber sheets and the binding is Ebony.

This is a very big learning experience; from using a hand plane, scraper, chisel, bending wood, and finishing. And I still have a lot of details to learn and work on. To quote a teacher of mine, “I would like to see it as if it has grown into the created object”, which I think I still have not achieved, but hope to get to. I just hope it won’t take me another five months to make another.

17 comments so far

View Country's profile


9 posts in 2659 days

#1 posted 08-31-2011 07:34 PM

That is really great. I always wanted to try making a guitar. Are you happy with the sound?

-- If it doesn't break apart into oblivion at least once, it's not bowl turning

View joseff's profile


44 posts in 2972 days

#2 posted 08-31-2011 07:54 PM

I am happy with it. Although, right now, the sound is not “open” yet. I’ve read that spruce will take some time to “open up”. Other than that, I could say that I will now be playing with this one, I created, instead of the guitar I’ve been using for four years now.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16280 posts in 4416 days

#3 posted 08-31-2011 07:57 PM

That is really beautiful. As a player myself, I’ve always wanted to make on of my own… I just have not been brave enough to attempt it yet.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View SignWave's profile


451 posts in 3233 days

#4 posted 08-31-2011 09:28 PM

Looks great to me. I hope it’s as nice to play as it is to look at.

-- Barry,

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2838 days

#5 posted 08-31-2011 09:32 PM

OK, How much ? (Buying guitars kicks the crap out of planes, let me tell you).

Very nice. I am without acoustic right now (for the first time since I was 11).

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3152 days

#6 posted 08-31-2011 09:45 PM

Lovely instrument. You certainly have a future as an instrument maker! An accomplishment to be proud of. Like Charlie, I still have my first guitar on my project list.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View bobasaurus's profile


3544 posts in 3382 days

#7 posted 08-31-2011 11:27 PM

Looks great. How did you finish it? The shine is amazing.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View jim1953's profile


2736 posts in 4040 days

#8 posted 09-01-2011 02:41 AM

Great Lookin Job

-- Jim, Kentucky

View joseff's profile


44 posts in 2972 days

#9 posted 09-01-2011 02:45 AM

Thank you, guys. All your comments are very much appreciated.

Bob – the guitar is finished with a French Polish technique I found online. It took eight sessions to build up the coat. Then I used 3M Rubbing Compound followed by Meguiar’s Show Car Glaze 7.

David – I know what you mean about guitars and planes (reasons I’ve been avoiding Ebay recently). However, this one is not for sale. Keeping this first one as a reminder/reference or starting point, or maybe I am just a bit sentimental over this first one. Anyway, I have already started working on a second guitar project. :)

View Michael1's profile


403 posts in 2858 days

#10 posted 09-01-2011 06:39 AM

Looks like now you get to graduate from wood worker to Luthier. Or however it is called. Nice work

-- Michael Mills, North Carolina,

View Willie1031's profile


141 posts in 2735 days

#11 posted 09-01-2011 10:36 PM

That is my favorite body style for a classical…is it 000?

How does it sound?

-- A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. -- Mark Twain

View SheriDi's profile


145 posts in 3502 days

#12 posted 09-02-2011 04:40 PM

I’m jealous!!! I’m building a classical guitar myself, but am only about half finished with the neck. Lots more to go.

You did a fantastic job on your first guitar! Hope mine is half as good.

-- A Veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to and including their life. That is beyond honor

View joseff's profile


44 posts in 2972 days

#13 posted 09-04-2011 07:42 AM

Willie – Sorry, I’m not really familiar with the 000 body shape, but based on what I’ve seen on CF Martin’s site, I guess the shape/fullness of the lower bout and waist are a bit similar. The plan I used is based on a classical/flamenco guitar made in 1933 by a Spanish maker. As for the sound, all I could say is that it “rings” (I hope I’m making any sense). On my old guitar, there are notes that suddenly go “thump”, while on this new one I could go up on the fingerboard and could still get good sustain. Also, it is louder than the old one I have.

Sheri – Thank you very much. Don’t worry, before you know it you’ll have yours done and be playing wonderful music with it. It is a very exciting experience to create something that, after it has been made, produces sound and under the hands of a player makes music (again, I hope I make sense). I’ll be watching out for your guitar! :)

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2838 days

#14 posted 09-04-2011 09:48 AM

000 info:

Originally from Martin (and still to this day), but copied by others (of course).

000-1: Slightly smaller in all dimensions than a dreadnought guitar (the “standard” acoustic guitar), solid Sitka spruce top, solid mahogany back, laminated mahogany sides, tortoiseshell binding, rosewood fingerboard.
000-15: Base model of the upper end Martin Guitar line. All mahogany or sapele construction. ‘A Frame’ “X” top bracing, 14 frets clear, Optional model 000-15S 12 frets clear.
000-28EC8 and 000-28ECB: Two of the five “Eric Clapton” models. Same size as the 000-15, constructed with higher-quality woods (especially the more expensive 000-28ECB constructed from the extremely rare Brazilian species of rosewood, hence the “B”), a different shape to the neck, and more ornamentation around the edge of the body.
000-18: Mahogany body guitar similar to the 000-28, but with more warmth, brought by the lower frequencies available to mahogany.
The 000-28EC is one of Martin’s most popular guitars; unlike the bigger dreadnoughts, the 000-28EC is nearer to the size of a Spanish guitar, with a slimmer body and wider fretboard.

Hey, Joseff I know you are just getting started, but it will help you immensely to know the history of the Gibson and Martin acoustic guitars lines.

Also, you mentioned brightness and louder, etc. Knowing the woods and construction methods and the sounds that they produce will also be a learning experience. Let me tell you that without a doubt, the brightest ringing and fullest tone and crazy loud projection I have ever heard / played was in the link that follows. I know… don’t buy one, but try to play /hear one someday and look at the construction and woods. They are all like that. I was in Montana and heard several against a pre-WWI Martin and, a pre-WWII Gibson and many others head to head. Absolutely amazing what they have learned to do. Bluegrass guys love them because they are so loud yet great tone without amplification. They look good and play like butter, too.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View joseff's profile


44 posts in 2972 days

#15 posted 09-05-2011 08:02 PM

David – Thank you for the info. Although I only play classical guitar now, it was with a dreadnought guitar and a friend’s steel string guitar (not sure about the shape) that I learned my first chords. I’ve read a bit of the history of acoustic guitar construction and I am with you on learning about the different woods.

I tried playing some Martin and Gibson guitars at a local guitar center and they really are amazing instruments. Thanks for the link you attached, the sound clips are wonderful. I’ve seen Collings guitars in magazines and websites, but have not played one yet. Based on the images of their guitars, the craftsmanship is very inspiring and admirable.

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