#1
I'm wanting to make a classical guitar everyone. So, anyone with experience in acoustic building please speak up.

The guitar I want to make will have a cedar soundboard, Brazilian Rose wood back and sides. I have also been thinking about using carbon fiber as a bracing material to minimize the amount of material I have to put inside.

I have 1 question, how can I bend the sides? I know that I need to soak them in water, then use a heat source and a jig, but I was hoping to get more information. What should I use for a heat source? Also, how hot will it need to get? I need to know how to handle the hot wood.

THanks everyone! This build will kick into action after my university lets out May 9th! (I'm building this for my classical guitar ensemble class)
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#2
You need an army of tools to do this properly. The sides are bent using steam and a special machine that actually does the bending. I have no specific knowledge of how exactly you make one, but it is not a do it yourself at home project unless you're willing to invest a ton of money in tools.
#3
well you have to think, what about before they had machines, there must have been a way. my guess would be steaming then using some sort of vice to bend them to the actual shape of the guitar. that or be all modern and buy a machine hahaha
#4
Well, I have all the tools to build an electric guitar. I also know that luthiers from way back when didn't have any specialized machines. I have plenty of time to invest in this though.
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#5
One viable option is this http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Special_tools_for:_Bending_sides/Bending_Iron.html

They have machine/jigs that do everything for you but eff'em... bend it yourself and save loads of money. You'll have to decide on an exact body shape and make a jig for clamping the bent wood into form.

www.stewmac.com has loads of tools, tutorials and information on their site give'em a look =]
#6
Yeah I use stewmac frequently, but this escaped me. I'll give it a look. I just want a typical dreadnought no cutaway body.
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#7
Yup, you can make your own bending iron with a metal pipe and blow torch to be as cheap as possible but it's way easier and convenient (and safer) to just buy that bender IMO
#8
I have a question, how do you know how much bend to put into the wood? I was gonna use a jig to make is precise, but with that bending iron that doesn't look possible.

I saw a picture (and I can't remember where) of a person setting the soaked wood on the jig, set an aluminum sheet over it, then heated the aluminum with a clothes iron. The wood was clamped into the jig as it cooled.

This question just occured to me, what is the standard length of the wood sides? It seems like it would be hard to measure because of the curves.

I'm gonna buy the $30 Classical guitar book from Stewmac, but until then this forum is the best I have.
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#9
Don't use Brazilian rosewood on your first build, or if you do use alot of practice sides!

Check out Guitarmaking:tradition and technology and the bogdanovich book.

Join the mimf (free) and check out there library for heap of info on sidebending.
The standard lenght for sides to come in is roughly 36"
#10
thanks. I was planning on getting quite a few prctice pieces from stew mac.
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#11
Quote by jackson001
thanks. I was planning on getting quite a few prctice pieces from stew mac.

I'd honestly avoid doing this on your first try. Build a prototype to learn the basics before you go ruining a piece of rosewood. Have you heard a maple backed classical? It has a very beautiful clarity to it.
Sincerely, Chad.
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#12
You can bend without fancy tools. Cover the wood in soaked bath towels and use a clothes iron, or you can make a simple bending iron using a steel rod and a blow torch.
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there is something wrong with you that has nothing to do with that instrument you want to build.
#13
Chad, the practice pieces I am talking about are an inexpensive wood.
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