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My First Acoustic Guitar

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Project by SirSeth posted 02-08-2013 01:57 AM 1308 views 3 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Since I’m new to LumberJocks I thought I’d post some old projects. This is my first acoustic that has been my “stay home” guitar for the past 8 years. I’ve just recently established a shop and hope to get back to instrument building. Currently, I’m working on a band saw though.

This guitar is a modified Kasha braced small jumbo with a short neck and big sound. The top is ancient redwood old growth timber that was reclaimed from the large beams of a saw mill in Oregon. The rings as as close as 40 lines per inch on some parts of the top—almost too close to count without a magnifying glass. The back and sides are East Indian Rosewood. The binding is curly maple. I have many more ideas to try and now that I’m spending more time in the workshop I hope to finish a couple of instruments over the next year or so (But you know life).

I’ve played many very expensive guitars and this one sounds better than 99% of them. Only one guitar I have owned was sounded better to me and that was a 1994 Lowden O25c (for those of you who know guitars). That was my inspiration for this guitar.

-- What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?





15 comments so far

View cbehnke's profile

cbehnke

85 posts in 1364 days


#1 posted 02-08-2013 02:17 AM

wow….stunning. it’s far more than an instrument….it’s art that just happens to make music.

I really want to do an acoustic and electric build in the future. about 2 years ago I sold off my collection of Fender strats and I miss noodling around once in a while. I’d like to build my own.

Thanks for posting it.

View deltawing's profile

deltawing

68 posts in 778 days


#2 posted 02-08-2013 03:40 AM

what a challenge to take on an acoustic guitar build – great job, i hope it plays and sounds like it looks

-- > It takes a long time to become a child - Picasso <

View mbs's profile

mbs

1496 posts in 1688 days


#3 posted 02-08-2013 03:55 AM

Welcome to LJ’s

Very nice guitar!

My Son-in Law is a guitar player. It’s on my bucket list to make him a guitar. When you look at the price of a guitar they seem inexpensive when you consider the time it take to make one.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112883 posts in 2325 days


#4 posted 02-08-2013 06:10 AM

Amazing design great job

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

15452 posts in 1086 days


#5 posted 02-08-2013 07:32 AM

Very cool, wish I could try it

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View SirSeth's profile

SirSeth

66 posts in 973 days


#6 posted 02-08-2013 11:48 AM

Thanks all. Luckily the pictures are not details enough to see all the finishing mistakes. That’s one area that I must improve and that I find quite confounding. Even cheap guitars can have a nice finish, so the proof is in the playing.

cbehnke and mbs, if you want to build a guitar, an electric is easier, but if you build an acoustic try a non-cutaway first. It would have simplified life quite a bit. Oh, and bending sides is easier than you might think. Anyhow, check out mimf.com. Great forum for builders.

Cheers, Seth

-- What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4145 posts in 1699 days


#7 posted 02-08-2013 02:03 PM

Very nice! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you put the hole in the wrong place. It’s supposed to be centered under the strings. (Kidding.)

Truly great work. It’s on my list of things I’d like to build someday. Thanks for posting.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3361 posts in 921 days


#8 posted 02-08-2013 08:09 PM

Thanks for sharing your impressive work! You have a nice touch.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View SirSeth's profile

SirSeth

66 posts in 973 days


#9 posted 02-08-2013 09:00 PM

Brandon, I got into guitar building because I was on an 8 hour bus ride seated next to a pretty young lutherie student. She ended up becoming a good friend of mine, but as I recall, when it came to explaining the sound hole I wasn’t completely satisfied with the reasons she gave and I felt like experimenting. Come to find out, lots of people have experimented quite successfully. Acoustic guitarists older than 20 tend to be very traditional though, so the center sound hole is still ubiquitous. I admit there is nothing wrong with it, but in the same breath, there’s nothing really right with it either.

Best,
Seth

-- What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?

View rejo55's profile

rejo55

175 posts in 990 days


#10 posted 02-09-2013 01:51 AM

With that huge lower bout I bet that thing does sing. Super good looking guitar. IMHO there’s nothing wrong at all with thinking outside the traditional box.
Like my buddy told my wife when we were building our landscape timber house. She asked him if we could enlarge the kitchen by two feet. He said, “It’s your house, Sugar, you can build it any way you want to.”

Thanks for the post. Sure would like to hear it.

Have a good’un

Joe

-- rejo55, East Texas

View SirSeth's profile

SirSeth

66 posts in 973 days


#11 posted 02-09-2013 02:06 AM

What box? There’s a box? Where?

Yeah, if I can’t experiment, it’s no fun for me; especially since I have reasons for the madness that is an alternate sound hole location. The short neck that brings the bridge to the middle of the larger lower bout plus the internal volume makes this guitar louder than most, and yet redwood is mellow to listen too. That I didn’t cut a hole out of the middle of my sound producing plate or have to brace against sound hole buckle helps the punch too I’m sure. Overall, I look forward to more experimentation, but I’ve not found anything else to tempt me in the last 8 years, so this guitar is doing the distance.

-- What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?

View SirSeth's profile

SirSeth

66 posts in 973 days


#12 posted 02-09-2013 03:27 AM

Several of you wanted to hear my guitar. Here’s a recording I made via a Youtube slide show. I played guitar, djembe drum, and sang vocals. The intro solo is my original work and the song Lullaby was written by my friend Jeff. The slides are pictures I have taken over the past few years. I hope you like it. {For those who prefer secular content—this song talks about God’s care, but the solo gives you a pretty clear listen to the instrument} Enjoy.

YouTube Link: “Lullaby”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gqw_XAtNzHs

-- What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

3923 posts in 1615 days


#13 posted 02-09-2013 06:18 PM

Unique design,realy something different.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View bubbs's profile

bubbs

74 posts in 825 days


#14 posted 02-09-2013 11:00 PM

As a player, I’m interested in the sound hole on the top of the side. Does it help you to hear as a player? Very interesting design.

-- Cats, beer and wood...perfect.

View SirSeth's profile

SirSeth

66 posts in 973 days


#15 posted 02-10-2013 03:38 AM

Hey bubbs, you can picture sound moving in circular columns away from the soundboard in both directions, so you can hear the inside of the instrument better with a port and I do prefer that when playing for myself. Beyond that though, there is a relationship between total area of the openings in an acoustic body and resonance. Dialing that in is a tricky business with lots of opinions about what is best, however, I do believe that my total area of the two holes is larger than you would want a center sound hole to be on it’s own, and to my ears and way of thinking, a little more area is better due to the overall volume of the jumbo sized body. I did have an adjustable port door that I removed because I found that permanently open was best on this instrument. I’m not traditional in my designs for reasons that make sense to me and not just to be different. If you tap on a guitar near the sound hole, it resonates well and that means the sound hole area is sound producing wood. The upper bout is almost dead if you tap near that, so no harm done if I put it there. I also like the aesthetic. I’d probably move the side port closer to the upper bout in future guitars, but I also like the access for stringing the instrument through the bridge. Finally, moving the center sound hole means I have sudden freedom to brace the top in many ways rather than being forced to compensate for a hole right where the guitar most wants to buckle. Cheers, Seth

-- What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?

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