small-bodied Torres guitar plans

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small-bodied Torres guitar plans

Postby Adam S. Vernon » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:46 pm

Hi,

I was hoping someone could point me to some plans for a smaller-bodied Torres guitar plan. I'm aware of the Courtnall plan, but that's not exactly what I'm looking for (the scale is too short). I'm looking for something with a somewhat smaller (but not tiny) body, five fans w/ no closing bars, and a longer scale length. Does such a plan exist?

Thank you,
-Adam
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Re: small-bodied Torres guitar plans

Postby Alexandru Marian » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:04 pm

The only 5 brace Torres plan available is sold by the luthier who inspected FE 18, but that one is a tiny guitar. There is also info on a SE 5 fan in the Romanillos book. Torres usually used 7 braces for the longer scale guitars, although there might be a few late, mid size and longer scale cypress guitars out there (not sure, some scant info i think i recall from the catalog)

The thing is Torres didn't follow a plan or plans, but some principles. His guitars are quite varied but the first basic idea is to have a fan that covers the soundboard in a certain way. If you have the book by Romanillos you should be able to figure out how to lay the fan on any shape. Also once you establish the basic dimensions of the plantilla you can then come with the perfect curves by looking at basically any other size Torres.

Also, Torres always used closing bars (except that funny guitar with no fan braces at all)
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Re: small-bodied Torres guitar plans

Postby David LaPlante » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:16 pm

Adam,
I presume you are referring to the very small Torres (SE 117 owned by Jose Romanillos actually) plan in Courtnall with the 610 (or so) mm scale?
The G.A.L has an excellent plan of the SE 114 drawn by Geoff Elliott but it's a 650 scale with 7 fans and closing bars and nearly a modern sized body.
The closest thing to what you're looking for is the top plan of the FE 14 "Cardboard" guitar in the Grondana Waldner book but it's just a diagram rather than a "plan" though most any competant luthier could scale it up and build a guitar based on it.
Florian Vorreiter here on DelCamp also was offering some good info on FE 18 (a small guitar similar to the famous FE 17).
As far as I know those are the most widely available (i.e commercial) offerings.
Many of us have traded and collected data on these guitars and there may be more outlines and bracing patterns floating around for various of the other documented Torres guitars.
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Re: small-bodied Torres guitar plans

Postby Michael.N. » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:26 am

It's easy enough to draw one out yourself providing you have a few of the necessary measurements and a decent photo of the Guitar. It may not end up an exact copy of a Torres but you will find that any one Torres Guitar probably consists of 4 different 'plantillas' i.e. they aren't symmetrical. With a little practice you should be able to draw one up that is in the Torres style.
It's not a bad exercise in itself because it forces you to look at the types of curves, the relationship between the bouts and waist.
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Re: small-bodied Torres guitar plans

Postby Adam S. Vernon » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:27 am

Thanks for the replies.

Yes, I was referencing the 604mm plan in Courtnall. It has 5 fans and the closing bars, as Alex noted. I was kind of taking a stab in the dark that a guitar with that spec might exist.

At least one luthier is making a copy of SE 54, a smaller-bodied guitar with 645mm scale. I'd like to build something like that; I don't particularly care what bracing it has. I really just want a set of plans that is accurate for a known very good Torres guitar in this smaller (but not tiny) style.

I don't have the Romanillos book, but I will go ahead and order a copy. David, thanks for the tip on the Grondona book. I probably will not be able to resist buying that book as well. :mrgreen:

The Florian Vorreiter FE 18 plan looks like a winner. $120 seems like lot for a plan, but it's probably worth it.

Let me know if anyone has other ideas.
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Re: small-bodied Torres guitar plans

Postby Doug Ingram » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:54 am

Florian's plans are very detailed. Top notch. FE18 is basically the small body, much like the SE117, but with a longer scale and deeper body. The next size up would be the FE17 and equivalent, then FE19 and equivalent.

I've built to the SE117 plans and think that the FE18 version would be better.

In your opening question you mention that you are looking for a smaller body but not tiny. Where is the divide for you?
My living room is littered with a dozen Ingram guitars.
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Re: small-bodied Torres guitar plans

Postby gjo » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:31 am

Last year I had an original 5-fan Torres from the second epoch in my workshop. The dimensions and materials were more or less identical to SE114. If you can construct a 5-fan layout for this larger size following the Torres book it can be a very interesting guitar.
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Re: small-bodied Torres guitar plans

Postby Michael.N. » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:51 am

Looking back through some old 'plans' that I have drawn up is one labelled FE 05. I will have to check with the Romanillos to see if the dimensions agree: Body length of 46.5 cm's and lower bout width of 16.5 cm's - compared to the usual full size plantilla of 48 & 17.5 cm's. It's smaller but not by a huge amount. Probably suitable for scale lengths of 630 through to 650 mm's.
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Re: small-bodied Torres guitar plans

Postby Adam S. Vernon » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:24 pm

Doug Ingram wrote:In your opening question you mention that you are looking for a smaller body but not tiny. Where is the divide for you?


That's a good question. I think the 604mm in Courtnall is too small. I don't want to build a full-size Torres because there are plenty of those around. I want to build something I can't readily buy in a retail store, but I also want it to be something I will want to play. The FE18 is an option, but it's probably even a little smaller than I would ideally want.

The FE17 is probably more the shape and size I am going for. I can't find much information on it, though. Doug, I know you have made a copy of it because I followed that thread. How did you make your plan? Did you use information from the Grondona book?

I'm sure I will understand all of this better when my books arrive.
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Re: small-bodied Torres guitar plans

Postby Adam S. Vernon » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:26 pm

Michael.N. wrote:Looking back through some old 'plans' that I have drawn up is one labelled FE 05. I will have to check with the Romanillos to see if the dimensions agree: Body length of 46.5 cm's and lower bout width of 16.5 cm's - compared to the usual full size plantilla of 48 & 17.5 cm's. It's smaller but not by a huge amount. Probably suitable for scale lengths of 630 through to 650 mm's.


I didn't think it was ok to change scale lengths for a particular body because it moves the bridge from the ideal position. Do you shorten or lengthen the upper bout when shifting the scale length 1 cm? I would rather start from a plan that is 640-ish and build to spec, but I'm open to other options.
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Re: small-bodied Torres guitar plans

Postby Michael.N. » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:15 pm

What exactly is the ideal position? How do you think Torres and the rest of them did it? Look at as many photo's of original Torres guitars and note the bridge placement in relationship to the widest point of the lower bout (probably the best reference point). It will almost certainly vary by at least 5 mm's and in some cases by a lot more. I'm fairly certain that the bridge of La Leona lies pretty low in the bout.
The only way to maintain the bridge in the exact same position (same plantilla, different scale) is to move the 12 fret/body joint relationship. That's perfectly acceptable as well, within reason.
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Re: small-bodied Torres guitar plans

Postby philpry » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:36 pm

There is plenty of information about FE17 and FE18 in Romanillos' book, and the catalogue in the book includes all the measurements for both guitars. There are many luthiers who have made guitars based on these two, and a search will find lots of photos and some more information. Some also give measurements on their websites.
For FE18 I know there is the Vorrieter plan available, but there is also a freely available detailed report about measuring and documenting the guitar. The plan itself seems fairly expensive, and presumably this reflects the work needed to research and prepare it which is fair enough, but by searching I've found another plan that seems to be a 'work in progress'. However with measurements and photos I don't think its too difficult to put together a plan, even as a novice myself.
Hope this helps. I think these are both fabulous looking guitars.

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Re: small-bodied Torres guitar plans

Postby Adam S. Vernon » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:58 am

Do you guys build a separate solera for smaller guitars like this?
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Re: small-bodied Torres guitar plans

Postby Brad Heinzen » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:12 am

I made a special solera for small-bodied guitars. I don't do that many different types of guitars, but I have a few different soleras that I use when the size or the geometry varys too much for them to be built on the same solera.
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Re: small-bodied Torres guitar plans

Postby Adam S. Vernon » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:22 pm

How much back dome would be appropriate for an FE17 type guitar? I need to finalize some aspects of my design and finish tooling up.
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