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Guitar #2 - Spruce / Maple

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Project by joseff posted 762 days ago 1268 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally had the chance to post my second guitar. This one is made with a spruce top, and maple back/sides. I’ve always been amazed by maple, because when I was a kid I only knew narra, mahogany, and philippine ebony. I first encountered a maple guitar when a friend brought one his dad bought in Italy. It had a nice flame figure on the back and it didn’t have much decoration, so all the attention was on the maple. When I started to get into the classical guitar, I noticed that all the guitarists around me either preferred indian rosewood or some other dark exotic wood for their guitar’s back and sides.

So whenever I encountered maple, on the countertops, dance floors, furniture, and on other stuff, I was down there examining the piece with its nice figured maple.

So now, this guitar. This was another learning experience for me as a woodworker. I kept notes on the things to watch out next time, as quilted maple is a bit of a challenge, in planing and bending. I am glad I finally finished this one.





15 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15669 posts in 2822 days


#1 posted 762 days ago

What a beauty! I’d love to build a guitar one day. My everyday guitar is a steel string, which I play mostly finger-pick or flat pick style. I’ve always wanted to delve into classical, so you’ve got me thinking maybe I should take the plunge and build it myself.

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

View Alexandre's profile

Alexandre

1417 posts in 794 days


#2 posted 762 days ago

Wow! Do you have any plans?
I wouldn’t mind building this for my friend.

-- My terrible signature...

View Dustmite97's profile

Dustmite97

430 posts in 1824 days


#3 posted 762 days ago

Very nice! I have always wanted to build a guitar.

View Retsof's profile

Retsof

134 posts in 839 days


#4 posted 762 days ago

Very nice! I like to play a bit myself. I’m sure I’ll attempt one of these eventually. In addition to the maple back, I really like the inlay around the sound hole.

-- "There seems to be a black hole in my garage that swallows up pencils and tape measures as soon as I put them down."

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14830 posts in 1792 days


#5 posted 762 days ago

A work of art!!!!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View FretFool's profile

FretFool

3 posts in 985 days


#6 posted 762 days ago

Love the rosette! I’m a big fan of maple, as well. Good work.

-- It's not the wood;it's in your fingers and heart

View Millo's profile

Millo

543 posts in 1653 days


#7 posted 762 days ago

Gorgeous stuff. Love it!

As a guitarist, I need to add, though: The reason for the popularity of the use of rosewood for building a guitar’s soundbox is not the looks, but the sound. It pains me whenever I see a piece of furniture made out of solid rosewood—seems like a waste for a very unique wood with very unique acoustical properties. Tap on a plank of maple, then tap on a plank of rosewood and you’ll immediately get it. Imagine a marimba with maple keys. It would be gorgeous, but would sound duller and softer… it might sound sweeter, don’t know, but it will definitely sound like someone put a blanket on it when compared to a rosewood one.

Up to the Late Romantic period, I believe guitars were made primarily with maple backs and sides, not to mention smaller. I you ever visit one of the music museums in Europe you’ll see this. I have heard some copies and original examples of classical-period guitars played right in front of me and I’d say they do sound very sweet, and soft, although that also owes to the smaller scale of the instrument, lack of fingernails on some of the players, age of some of the instruments, etc. In fact, the increased sweetness and the late response of their sound is precisely their appeal, so you’re in for a treat when playing pieces by Sor, Giuliani, etc. (although yours is a more modern-scaled instrument).

Your guitar is beautiful, and I can imagine it’ll only improve with time! I’d love to try it.

Congrats!

View Rickterscale's profile

Rickterscale

144 posts in 964 days


#8 posted 762 days ago

Very nice work.

View sixstring's profile

sixstring

296 posts in 846 days


#9 posted 761 days ago

Sweet axe!!! So do you build the neck too or is that manufactured? There’s a school in Oakland that has a mandolin and uke building class that I’ve been considering. Your classical guitar may have just inspired me to take the class sooner than later.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2094 posts in 792 days


#10 posted 761 days ago

Beautiful work !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View joseff's profile

joseff

44 posts in 1377 days


#11 posted 761 days ago

Thanks for all your commments!! Very much appreciated.

Alexandre – I got the plans from a book, Making Master Guitars by Roy Courtnall. There are plans you could buy from Luthier Mercantile. There is one plan I got for free from a website,
http://mysite.verizon.net/nostberg/plans/index.htm. Check it out. I got it a year ago from there.

Millo – Thanks for the info. That’s the same thing I’ve been hearing from other players, that it is sweeter, but I’ve never really heard a classical guitar with maple being played in front of me. I have one now, but a master luthier I am not. Although I have compared it to another guitar with indian rosewood and there is a difference in sound projection. It may be due to the density of the wood, no?
Anyway, it was funny when you said how it “pains” you when you see furniture made of solid rosewood, because I remember a time when me and a friend were thinking of taking apart a nice coffee table from Africa and bringing it to a local luthier. I was not sure if it was rosewood, but it sure was dense and it had a nice tap tone.

sixstring – Thank you!! I carved the neck with chisels and a spokeshave. I am glad my guitar inspired you. I also have an uke I’ve been planning on finishing for more than a year now.

View Schwieb's profile

Schwieb

1482 posts in 2065 days


#12 posted 759 days ago

Beautiful guitar. This is on the agenda for the next year or so. I have to build at least 4 for musical family members. I’m inspired.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3788 posts in 983 days


#13 posted 758 days ago

Gorgeous classical guitar, the rosette is spectacular. I wouldn’t worry much about the wood choice, Martin built one from oak pallets that reportedly sounds great. Benedetto built one with some uncommon choices and maintains that traditional woods are highly overrated.

FYI, the link you posted is dead for me.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View joseff's profile

joseff

44 posts in 1377 days


#14 posted 744 days ago

Wormil – thanks for your response. I am not that worried about the wood species. I believe that there is a different guitar for every type of music.
If you are looking for a classical guitar plan, let me know. Here’s another link that might help, https://sites.google.com/site/classicalguitardesign/home

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3788 posts in 983 days


#15 posted 743 days ago

Excellent link. I’m working up to more complex instruments. Luthiery requires a bit more concentration and attention to detail than the simple furniture I’ve made in the past.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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