#1
So I own several production line mid/high end acoustics, and I always find I cannot get exactly what I want without losing a limb. So I decided I could make one cheaper. I will use this thread through the whole process. I do not know much about luthier work, so anything you can offer as far as what tools I'd need, etc. I'd appreciate, because I am going to wing this mostly. I do know exactly what I want though. I am in belief that all it will take is precision and time, or which I have a lot of time, and the patience to make something perfect.


Back and sides: Hawaiian KOA
Wedge: Curly Maple
Top Tone wood: Red Spruce/Adirondack
Neck: Ohio Walnut (Pre-made)
truss cover: Brazilian Rosewood
head plate: Curly maple
Fretboard: Snakewood
Frets: Nickel
Gloss top, sides, back, neck and headstock
Purfling: Celluloid Tortiseshell
Binding: Celluloid Ivoroid
Rosette: Inlaid Abalone (considering 5mm wide)
pickguard: undecided
Neck binding: Celluloid Ivoroid Gibson Style
Fretboard inlays: Mop dots @ 3,5,7,12
Bridge: Brazilian Rosewood
Bridge pins: Slotted Bone with no dots
Saddle: Unbleached Bone
Nut: Unbleached bone
Braces: Ironwood (I am 100% unsure about this, I have to research more, but I have a decent amount of Ironwood available to me)
Kerfing: w/e I can find, haven't looked into this.
Glue: Not sure if I will go traditional wood glue, or old school Hide glue.
Headstock inlay: Abalone
Tuners: Waverly open back silver tuning machines with bone buttons (If I can't find bone, I will make them from deer antlers)

Neck and tail blocks: I dont know, would the ironwood work??

I think that covers the entire guitar. The flash it does have will be minimal, I like the flashy-ness to come from the natural wood grain. Like I said above, I have never done this before, however I have been looking into it for some time. This guitar will cost me a.... we'll say a pretty penny and a decent amount of time and hard work. In the end I think it will be great, but I won't know until it is done. Please post up any advice, thoughts, or tips. I will keep this post updated as the project moves along. It will not be finished before the next year, so if you keep posted from start to finish, you should give starting opinions, and final ones at the end. Thanks all!!
Last edited by pks330 at Jun 30, 2015,
#2
Ethan Brosh who is this guitar shredder who opened for Yngwie Malmsteen on the spellbound tour said it best in an interview, The just of it is he's done finding the perfect guitar as our thoughts and opinions change constantly, like our cravings for food or what bands we want to hear. Think I've bought and sold around 100 guitars and I'll agree with his statement. Some days I would hate this washburn or that ESP , other days I'd love them.

but this is a fun and rewarding project to actually make a guitar , tools and all two sites I'll recommend are
LMII.com
stewmac.com
wood? lumber sites
abalone and anything you can't find there is always ebay
fretting and painting guitars are usually the most difficult , maybe gluing the fretboard or neck joint on but failure is only accepting defeat.

Wes Borland (Limp Bizket guitarist with the scelara contacts) said in this my guitar interview though and a lot will agree with me that the more involved we are in a project the more we appreciate the final product. I actually took a few humbuckers apart making them like gibson dirty fingers in a sense (12 adjustable poles) and put them into this schecter I did a custom re-wiring back to passive, one volume and a 3 way toggle for the pickups , a mini toggle to make the bridge get 3 sounds instead f 1 , after all was said and done I had a new found respect in it as Schecter makes great guitars in Korea.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jun 30, 2015,
#3
i build acoustic guitars and i can help. but let me ask first do you have any wood working experience at all? you will need a lot of pricey stuff and your guitar won't be "cheaper" but it will be fun to do if you commit.

off the top of my head:

-don't use iron wood for your braces. use sitka or red spruce. iron wood weights a ton and the grain structure and lay isn't what is needed for bracing. i know a lot of builders and nobody uses iron wood for anything other then ornamentation if even at all. if you use ironwood for braces your guitar will suck and likely come apart. there is a reason that spruce is used for aircraft and acoustic guitars. it's the strongest, lightest wood with required strength in the longitudinal grain there is. period. you will be splitting your bracewood from the billet with a froe and deflection testing your top braces. grain straightness and direction is critical. no more the 3 degs off quarter if even. in fact, i won't use brace wood that is off quarter at all. i often go through three billets to get bracing i want just for one guitar.

-koa. ok koa is expensive and tricky to bend. it only comes from a few small farms in the Hawaiian islands and comes and goes on the market quickly. it wants to crack if the temperature and moisture content are not just right when you are bending. sonically good koa b/s sets can be had for around the $200 to $300 usd range (depending upon the size of the guitar -you didn't specify) problem is most people want koa for the looks which is why most sets you'll find are in the $500 buck range and up. pieces that tap good but are a little plain looking are often chopped up for ukes, while the more attractive pieces are sold for guitars.

-snake wood. also expensive and the grain structure is squirley. it's mostly an ornamental wood used in bindings and not the best material for a fretboard imo. i don't know of any apex builders using snakewood for fretboards and i doubt it will hold frets well either unless you glue them in.

-bridge pins. go for unslotted and slot the bridge instead. btw brz rswd is getting hard to find. most of the smaller pieces are crotch wood crap. you really need a stable and straight grained bridge or it will warp/crack. consider eir instead. gain direction and stability is critical here- the bridge is one of the more important pieces on the guitar.

-kerfing. i like reverse kerf mahogany for the back and spruce or spanish cedar for the top. i also like mahogany for the back braces as well. cedar for side strip re-enforcment.

-the neck. why walnut? it's heavy and you guitar will neck dive. since you're going to build from scratch just make a neck from hog or cedro. it's also a fairly dampening wood as well.

-neck and tail blocks. there's more then meets the eye with these especially the neck block. lot of builders, mcknight, klepper, etc,, use laminated birch here for the rupture strength. on the neck block it really depends upon the joint you're going to use. bolt on m/t or traditional dovetail or other. on your first guitar don't try to re-invent the wheel go with simple. and forget the ironwood.

-glue. imo go with titebond og. and check the mfg code on the bottle. if it's over 6 months old then don't buy it. i toss out tb every 3 months used or not myself. hide glue is a pita. you and your house will smell like a rotting animal and you must use it warm and quickly because it jells fast. not a choice for a beginner. despite the internet hoodoo i doubt your ears will hear the "tonal impact". martin and gibson use tb in huge barrels for their production instruments. indulge if you must, but there is a learning curve. back in the day martin used to have a "hot room" where assemblies were glued up with hhg. workers would only last about 2 hours in the 120 deg heat of the room before being rotated out to rest. some passed out too. it was a job for only the younger workers.

then there is the humidity issue. most of us build an acoustic guitar with wood seasoned at least 5 years in a 40% to 45% rh environment. Why? because people serious about acoustics try like hell to keep their guitar in this environment worldwide. it's about the best balance of moisture to dryness that is comfortable to people and wood. now, since you are building your guitar your way and it will not be going anywhere, you can build to match the rh in your house or wherever your are going to keep the guitar. if you build your guitar with each piece normalized to a different rh, you guitar will come apart first time the weather changes. humidity is extremely important in building. pick an rh and keep it there. allow your wood to acclimate at least a month at your chosen level. more on this later.

you really need a crash course in lutherie. i highly suggest this book:

http://www.amazon.com/GUITARMAKING-Guitar-Reference-Jonathan-Natelson/dp/0811806405

if you do nothing else buy that book! it will answer a lot of questions for you. why that book? because it's geared towards people with not a lot of tools and little woodworking experience. it shows you step by step and even lists what tools you will need. it'a a little bit old and you'll want to forget the "cumpiano neck joint" altogether, just buy a double action truss rod instead of making a single action one, and they way they dish the rim is ancient (we use radius dishes these days) but still it will get you started.

keep in mind that you first guitar will not be a somogyi masterpiece worth $35,000 but if you do your research, and have excellent eye-hand co-ordination you can make something that you will be happy with.
Last edited by ad_works at Jun 30, 2015,
#4
tyvm, I will take all of that into consideration. I will buy the book too, I have decided I will change everything almost lololol.

I am going to go with the following:

Mahogany neck w/ dovetail joint
Cocobolo body with Curly quilt maple wedge
cocobolo sides
Red spruce adirondack top
Ebony bridge and fretboard
Waverly snakewood tuners
Snakewood perfling, with curly maple binding on front edge, back edge, and just the binding on the neck no purfling (I think it might make the fretboard too thin with both)
Cattle bone nut, saddle, and non slotted cattle bone pins
Curly maple headstock overlay
Abalone rosette and headstock inlay
Snakewood waverly tuning machines
Snakewood pickguard with clear protective overlay
Medium fret wire
abalone dot inlay up fretboard
Some kind of super high gloss lacquer
Random brace kit, I believe is mahogany but idk, w/e stewmac sells

I think that covers most of the changes. It makes it slightly easier this way. As I can get most of it from Stewmac, and the rest from a few other retailers.

The more I plan this, and prepare for stuff to arrive the more excited I get.

I think I will first purchase all of the hardware (Bridge, nut,saddle,pins, tuning machines, binding, purfling, kerfing, braces, ) Then go to the actual woods, because I am doing this bit by bit, I cannot afford it all at once.

One small ?, When finishing the guitar in a gloss, should I have the neck already attached, or should I finish them separate and attach after, and re gloss the finished product?
#5
Quote by pks330
tyvm, I will take all of that into consideration. I will buy the book too, I have decided I will change everything almost lololol.

I am going to go with the following:

Mahogany neck w/ dovetail joint
Cocobolo body with Curly quilt maple wedge
cocobolo sides
Red spruce adirondack top
Ebony bridge and fretboard
Waverly snakewood tuners
Snakewood perfling, with curly maple binding on front edge, back edge, and just the binding on the neck no purfling (I think it might make the fretboard too thin with both)
Cattle bone nut, saddle, and non slotted cattle bone pins
Curly maple headstock overlay
Abalone rosette and headstock inlay
Snakewood waverly tuning machines
Snakewood pickguard with clear protective overlay
Medium fret wire
abalone dot inlay up fretboard
Some kind of super high gloss lacquer
Random brace kit, I believe is mahogany but idk, w/e stewmac sells

I think that covers most of the changes. It makes it slightly easier this way. As I can get most of it from Stewmac, and the rest from a few other retailers.

The more I plan this, and prepare for stuff to arrive the more excited I get.

I think I will first purchase all of the hardware (Bridge, nut,saddle,pins, tuning machines, binding, purfling, kerfing, braces, ) Then go to the actual woods, because I am doing this bit by bit, I cannot afford it all at once.

One small ?, When finishing the guitar in a gloss, should I have the neck already attached, or should I finish them separate and attach after, and re gloss the finished product?



what size guitar are you going to build? 0, 00, 000, OM, parlor, Dred? it's kinda important..

-cocobolo. good tap tone, expensive, can be difficult to bend unless you are getting your sides pre-bent? gluing can be problematic because it's so darn oily. and numerous builders are using smith's all wood epoxy for that reason. some people are seriously allergic to it's dust like, in go-to-the-ER allergic. you might want to get a small piece of it, sand it etc... to see if you are ok with it before committing.

-braces. stew mac's kits are sitka spruce. top braces are radiused to 28 ft and the back pieces are radiused to 20 ft. you'll need to dish the kerfing and rim to those radii for the assembly to go together. i also use a convex dish for the underside of the bridge. it's radius has to match the top's radius exactly. attaching the braces to the top and the back can be done w/o a set of dishes, but since it's really the best way to deal with the rim efficiently, you might as well expect to buy them and use them for both operations. also, unless you are going to fork out for a go-bar deck you'll need clamps and lots of them. parallel clamps and bessy clamps with pads. in acoustic guitar building especially, you need a lot of clamps of all types. good dishes will run you about $160 or so mdf cheapies about half that. psa for the dishes is about $20 a piece or score psa sheets from home depot in the tool rental dept where the floor sanders are for about half that price. hit up john at http://www.bluescreekguitars.com/

-cattle bone. pretty porous stuff. can be hit or miss depending upon it's density. i would suggest fossilized walrus ivory instead. it's basically the tusks of walrus (walruii?) that have broken off when they fight each other or die. it's old and picked up off the ground and not taken from living animals. hit up bob at http://www.guitarsaddles.com/ the king of anything bone. he actually hand picks the pieces for the best density. you can get bleached or un-bleached. imo, stay away from ebay on this one if you want quality or are concerned about "truth in sourcing". nut and saddle are important -as they directly transmit string energy.

-finishing. 90% of acoustics are finished separated except offshore cheapies and vintage guilds. separate is the best way ime. if you ever have to reset the neck or do some repair work, it will save you the spot refinishing work needed when you chop through the finish buildup at the neck heel and fretboard extension.

-bridge plate. not on your list. maple or rswd are the current choices. can be bought nearly finished. this is what is under the bridge and between the lower cross of the x brace and serves as an anchor for the ball end of the strings. it also transmits string energy to the top. another important part. needs to fit tight and clean ( i use a radius dish for this as well -i'm picky) and the grain should be on quarter but placed at an angle (5~15 deg) on the part. reason is is that you don't want any single grain lines intersecting all six string holes or you risk cracking the plate. i generally use eir but have been considering maple. it's a bit brighter and offers more transient attack then rsw.

-pickguard. you never see a wooden pickguard on a high end guitar of quality. reason is that they deaden the top where they are attached -sort of like making the top over twice as thick in that one area. hard to glue down when using any waterbased adhesive because of the thinness vs. surface area -they can warp and lift really bad. if you find veneer you will have to bond it really well. and then there's the cracking caused buy the top and pickguard shrinking and expanding at different rates and directions when the weather and temp change. a lot of greens think "i'll use real wood -it's awesome!" but in reality it's a pain in the butt. imo i would suggest a clear, thin guard if you must. short of not using one at all it will be the most sonically transparent.

btw do you finger pick or flat pick?

some handy links:

http://www.alliedlutherie.com/

www.rctonewoods.com

http://www.lmii.com/

http://www.kennethmichaelguitars.com/

https://www.martinguitar.com/guitar-maker-s-connection/luthier-tools.html

http://www.philadelphialuthiertools.com/acoustic-parts/

have a browse over to lmi's kit wizard:
http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-wood/instrument-kits/lmi-kit-wizard

you might be able to save some time and money here. also on some of the stuff lmi sells, they will sell it "serviced" which means for example, if you buy a fret board they can sell it to you raw, or slotted and radiused. back and side sets they will sell raw or thickness sanded to a dimension and rough profiled. they will also bend your sides for you. they will have a small $15~$25 upcharge of course depending.
Last edited by ad_works at Jul 1, 2015,
#6
The more I check here the more I understand. Tyvm for help.

I've purchased some quarter sawn cocobolo set, now the question I have is, this wedge. The fancy wedge. Do I need to route a dovetail on the edges and slide it into place, or, should I use purfling to attach the 3 pieces together, or, standard glue flat surface to flat surface, and or lastly, what about planing the edges on all 3 pieces to have it drop in flush? I suppose one way will be stronger, and accurate, but they all seem viable to me, I just see lots of people line the edges with purf. So I wasnt sure if that was structural, or just deco to cover the seams.

Also can you tell me what a radius dish is, link perhaps ty.

As well, quilt maple center wedge is out so, were onto flame maple.

Pictures soon when stuff starts arriving
#7
what size guitar are you going to build???

-radius dish link here:

http://www.bluescreekguitars.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=53&products_id=202

doesn't really look like much but they are super useful.

-fancy wedge. technically it's called an endgraft. i use straight ones myself but many people go with tapered. no big deal. you don't need to dovetail the sides. the process is done with the rim assembled, kerfed, and with the blocks attached. if you are going to use purfling then you should cut the binding ledges first because after the graft is installed, cutting the binding ledge is more difficult. also when you use purfling on the binding and the wedge, you'll have to make mitre cuts on all of the mating ends depending upon your binding/purfling scheme. binding/purfling/rosette design and execution -is a bit of work and can often consume 50% of the build time depending upon how decorative you get.

one makes a template or clamps down some guide rails aligned with a protractor and uses a laminate trimmer to make the cuts. you can use a router with a guide bearing or a dremel as well, but i like the laminate trimmer. more power and better bearings then a dremel, but not as torquey and heavy as a 2.5 hp router. if you are good with a chisel then you can rock that as well. imo, a laminate trimmer is much faster. sometimes on very "fibery" woods it is a good idea to scribe the cut out first with a scalpel to part the grain first so that when you come in after with cutting tools you won't rip grain fibers out. shellac applied to the area of the cut before scribing is double insurance and not a bad idea.

depth wise i make my sides about .090/.093 thick and cut into that about halfway to seat the endgraft. imo i don't think it's a good idea to cut through the rim and into the end block but some builders do and that's ok too. purfling, you can attach to the wedge after it is cut, or to the rim after it is cut but ime it's better to put in onto the rim first because if you have to make small sanding adjustments for a tight fit, you won't be sanding on the purfling and reducing it's decorative lamination giving it a lumpy look. make sure you leave some material sticking out on both the top and bottom ends of the wedge so you can trim later. when installed the surface of brought down flush to the rim of the guitar.

i also highly suggest that you either buy or make a body/assembly mold. here's what they look like:

http://www.lmii.com/products/tools-services/specialty-tools/guitar-molds

you can certainly go free hand with this but it's kinda hard maintaining body symmetry that way.
Last edited by ad_works at Jul 2, 2015,
#8
Ty, im going spt3 dreadnought. Ive got an acrylic template and mold on the way from lmii.

A lot of that is foreign to me, but it gives me direction to learn. Tyvm,


I just looked into end graft, thats not what I mean sorry. I am not knowledgeable about terms, I want to put a triangle of different wood into the back. Not the tail, just the back. Similar to the martin cocobolo wedge.
https://www.google.com/search?q=martin+cocobolo+wedge&client=ms-android-hms-tmobile-us&hl=en-US&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=z7KVVf_JN8vd-QGV6YCQCg&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAg&biw=360&bih=528
Last edited by pks330 at Jul 2, 2015,
#9
it's a very ambitious project, much more than I would tackle as a beginner, but I hope it works out for you.

Just a thought. With all those different timbers, it might end up looking like a dog's breakfast, so I would be thinking about how to harmonize the look.
Last edited by Tony Done at Jul 2, 2015,
#10
oh... you want a D35 style 3 piece back. ok. can't say i've done one of those before -not really my thing. you are going to join 3 pieces of wood together to form up the back of the guitar. purf is inlaid into small shallow channels where the wedge meets each wing. the purf must be inlaid because it's really a bad idea to have a butt joint solely depending upon purfling for bond strength. on the inside of the guitar you'll need 2 re-enforcing strips, one for each seam. your jointing board will get a little fancy as your pieces will no longer be parallel but angular so as you clamp up, the wedge will want to slip out to one side. you'll need to pin or clamp stuff down to keep it from moving.

i also suggest leaving "tabs" on your wedge. place one tab at the tail and one tab at the neck block. modern factory guitars will use the waist area for this for fixturing purposes on completed backs. traditional classical builders often drive a small brad on center into the back itself at each end. we moderns use tabs and a small hole -1/8" is a good choice. using pins, dowels, or small brads you can use these locators to align the back plate to the rim (and blocks) and maintain symmetry during the build. since your back is now going to be fairly ornate, any drift in alignment after assembly will be totally noticeable. i use two small holes drilled at each end into the joint for this purpose. the tabs will be removed after the back is glued to the rim.

you'll need a shooting board and a fairly long finishing plane. the plane you can make or buy, and you can either make a dedicated shooting board or fixture it up on the fly using a nice and flat work surface. actually you really need to deal with both because you also have to plane the seam of the top as well. there is quite a bit of tooling up involved with acoustic guitars and a fair amount of fixtures to be made.

what Tony says is true though -it's a super ambitious first time project and there is also truth to "aesthetic cohesion". master class guitars have no design elements that are out of place. every component looks like it has no other place to be but where it is, and each feature exists in harmony with everything else.

master luthier charles hoffman shows us how it's done step by step:

http://www.hoffmanguitars.com/building_a_guitar.htm

i've learned more from his website then all of the guild of american luthierie's redbooks put together. please check it out.
Last edited by ad_works at Jul 3, 2015,
#11
Ty,

So as I am buying parts and pieces, I have nearly all things I need, minus tools. Can you guys suggest what tools I may need. And their purpose. I have clamps, chisels, and a dremel ( I think with stewmacs jig I can use a dremel to route out ledges for binding and purfling?), but the rest I am slightly oblivious to. Like I know I probably need a planer or jointer, or both? But what size, etc. I found a local 15" planer for $600.00 is that even a good deal?

Ty,

And in aspect of what I want to do, for a first timer, I have no doubt I will mess up, but when I do, I am prepared to fix it, even if I waste my $ on my first try, odds are Ill learn and have fun, I always go big or not at all on everything!! High goals keep me motivated

Here is a list of things I can buy locally, would I need all of this, or just some, and are they fair prices?
Sorry about all the ?'s,
1.Sears Craftsman Planer-Jointer $200.00
2 Power-ma tic shaper 220/110 volt $390.00 sold
3 Delta Milwaukee contractor table saw $250.00
4.Sears 10" Radial arm saw $190.00
5.Sears 2 HP 12 Gal Air compressor
6 Sears Craftsman Router and stand $75.00
Last edited by pks330 at Jul 3, 2015,
#12
have you had a chance to get a hold of that book yet? you may be jumping the gun a little bit here. the cumpiano and nattleson book is pretty specific on what to get.

are you planning on just making one guitar ever or making more?
#13
Quote by ad_works
have you had a chance to get a hold of that book yet? you may be jumping the gun a little bit here. the cumpiano and nattleson book is pretty specific on what to get.

are you planning on just making one guitar ever or making more?



Book is on the way, not here yet. But if it goes decently well, I'd consider making more.
#14
good choice. if you want to dream a little higher, you might consider the somogyi books
http://www.esomogyi.com/books.html
there are sample chapters, as well as chapter lists.

as well as making world class guitars, mr somogyi does classes and workshops for experienced luthiers, several of whom have reported being very impressed.

and another vote for checking out charlie hoffman's site - clear, concise, and he's a very experienced and respected builder.
http://www.hoffmanguitars.com/building_a_guitar.htm
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Last edited by patticake at Jul 4, 2015,
#16
Okay, small update.

Got some local american luthiers to make me a neck,

Back will be cocobolo age grain with curly maple back wedge and end wedge, cocobolo and maple 3 piece neck, ebony fretboard and bridge as well american made, mahogany kerfing, again locally made, bone nut and saddle that I will make myself, waverly tuning machines with some kind of buttons not sure yet. Bone end pin, bone bridge pins, headstock truss adjustment, abalone rosette, abalone purfling, maple binding, adirondack top.

Trying as hard as I can to go all usa components, I am at about 1/2 the original cost, with nearly all USA made stuff. Pics of stuff soon.
#17
So as promised here are some pictures. This is the back and side set. I am puting a Curly maple back and end wedge into this, The width at the heel will match the size of the heel facing out that will be the portion of the neck that will be maple. The outer sides will be cocobolo, that way it looks like the wedge continues up the neck to the headstock. Which do you think should be the outside back, and outside sides, Personally I kind of like picture 2 for the back, and picture 3 for the sides, but not 100% on that.

picture 1:


Picture 2:


Picture 3:


Picture 4:
#18
Here are the tops, and the tuners, I have Cocobolo buttons on the way from Lmii. These are 510's 21:1 ratio. The top is Adirondack red spruce.

With my guitar the neck and headstock will look very similar to the one I have photo'd just different woods, should I use a headplate veneer? If so, what does anyone think about Bocote, if I was to use it, I might go Bocote headplate, fretboard, and bridge. Just a thought.

Can as well anyone tell me if there is a structural benefit to putting binding in between the back plates? Like when I put my wedge, should I also put binding between the edges? I have seen this done, but to me it looks purely aesthetic. TY




#19
Quote by pks330
So as promised here are some pictures. This is the back and side set. I am puting a Curly maple back and end wedge into this, The width at the heel will match the size of the heel facing out that will be the portion of the neck that will be maple. The outer sides will be cocobolo, that way it looks like the wedge continues up the neck to the headstock. Which do you think should be the outside back, and outside sides, Personally I kind of like picture 2 for the back, and picture 3 for the sides, but not 100% on that.

picture 1:


Picture 2:


Picture 3:


Picture 4:


imo kinda of a toss up. you have a lot of knotty areas on those back pieces and we don't know where your wedge will be placed or how big it will be. -you could chalk it onto the wood. regardless though, whatever you do try not to have too much of the joints intersecting curly/knotted areas as they aren't the best places for a glue joint.

regarding sides, either will work. i don't see a lot of difference between the two sets.
#20
Quote by pks330
Here are the tops, and the tuners, I have Cocobolo buttons on the way from Lmii. These are 510's 21:1 ratio. The top is Adirondack red spruce.

With my guitar the neck and headstock will look very similar to the one I have photo'd just different woods, should I use a headplate veneer? If so, what does anyone think about Bocote, if I was to use it, I might go Bocote headplate, fretboard, and bridge. Just a thought.

Can as well anyone tell me if there is a structural benefit to putting binding in between the back plates? Like when I put my wedge, should I also put binding between the edges? I have seen this done, but to me it looks purely aesthetic. TY






-bocote. since you seem to have nearly all of the known wood species involved in this guitar one more wouldn't matter i suppose your call on the head plate. many use one and you might want to cover up the neck laminations from the front side (i would on that neck). if you use one let your neck builder know now because headstocks need to be sized in thickness for the tuner shaft lengths. this is usually done at neck building time. you could discuss a back plate as well. btw that's an electric guitar neck in your photo.

as i posted earlier, do not put purfling directly between the joints. purfling is inlaid over the joint. yes it is decorative and structurally useless.

just curious, who are your local american luthiers? maybe i know them?.
Last edited by ad_works at Jul 10, 2015,
#21
John M. Local Epiphone repair guy
And guy named rick.

Its just a neck he had made b4, told him thats what I want.

But most guitars have several woods, more than I am using at least. Majority for me is cocobolo and maple. The wedge will be about 6" wide at bottom tapering up to however wide the maple is in the neck.


I have not fully decided on everything for the bocote yet, I am having an issue with radiusing it for the fretboard, and if I do bocote, EZ $200.00 added to my costs.
#22
Quote by pks330
So I own several production line mid/high end acoustics, and I always find I cannot get exactly what I want without losing a limb. So I decided I could make one cheaper. I will use this thread through the whole process. I do not know much about luthier work, so anything you can offer as far as what tools I'd need, etc. I'd appreciate, because I am going to wing this mostly. I do know exactly what I want though. I am in belief that all it will take is precision and time, or which I have a lot of time, and the patience to make something perfect.


Back and sides: Hawaiian KOA
Wedge: Curly Maple
Top Tone wood: Red Spruce/Adirondack
Neck: Ohio Walnut (Pre-made)
truss cover: Brazilian Rosewood
head plate: Curly maple
Fretboard: Snakewood
Frets: Nickel
Gloss top, sides, back, neck and headstock
Purfling: Celluloid Tortiseshell
Binding: Celluloid Ivoroid
Rosette: Inlaid Abalone (considering 5mm wide)
pickguard: undecided
Neck binding: Celluloid Ivoroid Gibson Style
Fretboard inlays: Mop dots @ 3,5,7,12
Bridge: Brazilian Rosewood
Bridge pins: Slotted Bone with no dots
Saddle: Unbleached Bone
Nut: Unbleached bone
Braces: Ironwood (I am 100% unsure about this, I have to research more, but I have a decent amount of Ironwood available to me)
Kerfing: w/e I can find, haven't looked into this.
Glue: Not sure if I will go traditional wood glue, or old school Hide glue.
Headstock inlay: Abalone
Tuners: Waverly open back silver tuning machines with bone buttons (If I can't find bone, I will make them from deer antlers)

Neck and tail blocks: I dont know, would the ironwood work??

I think that covers the entire guitar. The flash it does have will be minimal, I like the flashy-ness to come from the natural wood grain. Like I said above, I have never done this before, however I have been looking into it for some time. This guitar will cost me a.... we'll say a pretty penny and a decent amount of time and hard work. In the end I think it will be great, but I won't know until it is done. Please post up any advice, thoughts, or tips. I will keep this post updated as the project moves along. It will not be finished before the next year, so if you keep posted from start to finish, you should give starting opinions, and final ones at the end. Thanks all!!


I don't have any wisdom to share, but I envy you to be able to custom make a guitar like that. Interesting wood choices. I'm wondering what body shape you will make with it. I'd definitely like to hear what that would sound like. I think it could be pretty cool. I like the mellow cedar sound.
#23
Update, neck is being made right now, getting the same guy to do the fretboard and bridge, Just got all my tools, all the woods, only waiting for bridge brace, kerfing,binding, and truss rod. I am/was considering doing custom purfling and rosette work. I have a decently large collection of fossilized amber, but the hang up, is having to cut it specifically to fit, unlike as balone it is not forgiving on bending, and definitely breaks easily. So that may or may not happen. My headplate veneer, bridge, and fretboard are all 2 tone Amboyna Burl. This is because I like how the Amboyna compliments the maple and cocobolo. I paid a lot more for the Amboyna, as compared to bocote, but I think it will be worth it in the end. Stay tuned for more updates.

P.s. if you know of good glue to use, now would be the time to suggest it. Tyvm
Last edited by pks330 at Jul 16, 2015,
#24
Quote by pks330
Update, neck is being made right now, getting the same guy to do the fretboard and bridge, Just got all my tools, all the woods, only waiting for bridge brace, kerfing,binding, and truss rod. I am/was considering doing custom purfling and rosette work. I have a decently large collection of fossilized amber, but the hang up, is having to cut it specifically to fit, unlike as balone it is not forgiving on bending, and definitely breaks easily. So that may or may not happen. My headplate veneer, bridge, and fretboard are all 2 tone Amboyna Burl. This is because I like how the Amboyna compliments the maple and cocobolo. I paid a lot more for the Amboyna, as compared to bocote, but I think it will be worth it in the end. Stay tuned for more updates.

P.s. if you know of good glue to use, now would be the time to suggest it. Tyvm


-trussrod. your neck guy should be doing the truss rod slot, or are you not getting a complete neck?. are you getting just neck parts? i happen to like these truss rods: http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-not-wood/truss-rods/neck-parts/truss-rod-double-action-welded-nut you'll have to file off some weld from the sides. they are small enough rods that leave maximum wood in the neck. have you considered re-enforcing rods/bars as well? i like to have soundhole adjustment and will pick the longest rod i can use.

-abalone. it's natural shell and will not bend. it makes "controversial" dust when cut and requires special tools to form and shape it

-glue. as suggested earlier, titebond og or maybe the new "ultra" (haven't tried that stuff yet though) for braces, top, bridge, bridge plate, kerfing, and side strips. epoxy for the fretboard (i like Hysol E320, or EL30) and neck laminations. since you went with coco, i suggest epoxy for anything that you are gluing it to. ca or titebond for binding/purf/rosette work. some claim ugly green stains with certain spruces and ca but i haven't seen this yet.
#25
Neck will be 100% done, ill just need a rod.

Update, picking up last tools this week and next, then the project actually begins. Have everything I need minus neck and fretboard. Having same guy make both.

Keep posted, vids and pics soon
#26
good idea to have the neck guy make a complete neck. necks are something that rely on several components being made right and coming together at the same time. actually, making the box is faster then building the neck imo.