The Santos that never was.

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Ryeman
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Re: The Santos that never was.

Post by Ryeman » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:45 pm

Michael,what an interesting thread. I really like everything about the guitar. The fairly minimal decoration really appeals to me. I prepared some yew a while ago with the idea of using it for back sides and neck of a classical guitar, and seeing your guitar really spurs me on to use it.
Regarding your minimal finish on the front, you may be interested in a finish I used to use on my lute fronts. As you will know old lutes appear to have no finish at all on their fronts, though common sense says that they must have at least been sealed with something as a practical measure. Someone, not me, came up with a recipe from an old painting manual for a varnish that was applied to egg-tempera paintings.

Take an equal volume of
The yolk of an egg
Water
Linseed oil
and mix together. Oil and water don't normally mix, of course, but the egg yolk acts as an emulsifier.

That's it. I used to apply several coats, letting each one dry thoroughly before applying the next. It helps to keep the mixture in the fridge to stop it going off between coats.

Alan

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Michael.N.
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Re: The Santos that never was.

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:19 pm

This finish is a bit more protective than found on lutes, not a lot though. It results in a semi gloss rather than a matte finish. Just a few more coats of the tru oil and it's probable that you could get it to a near full gloss. Possible because of finishing the wood to a very high grit.
I've come across (and tried) a number of finishes that were applied to lutes. Wax,linseed, egg white and a common one these days is the Danish oil/Liberon oil. I used the Danish oil for a while (Van Edwards uses it) but I found the soundboards became a little too grubby after a couple of years of playing. Sealing the soundboard with shellac helped. I prefer the Tru oil to Danish or the Liberon though. The latter two have an awful lot of solvent to them.
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Doug Ingram
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Re: The Santos that never was.

Post by Doug Ingram » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:13 pm

I quite like this guitar and its approach. Too many times we get obsessive about too perfect.

For quick finishes, I really like a sealer coat of varnish, sanded with 220/400, then two coats of Tung oil applied on subsequent days. Second coat applied with 0000 steel wool. Both coats rubbed with cloth or paper towel after application in order to pick up any excess. The varnish seal coat keeps the wood looking clean.

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tom0311
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Re: The Santos that never was.

Post by tom0311 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:49 pm

Cor, that's a very attractive guitar Michael. I love the simplicity of the bindings/top/rosette contrast. Nice one.
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Dave M
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Re: The Santos that never was.

Post by Dave M » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:14 pm

Interesting project. Are you aware of any precedents for that mix of longitudinal and fan bracing?
Dave

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Michael.N.
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Re: The Santos that never was.

Post by Michael.N. » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:06 pm

I'm sure I've come across it at some point, over the years there have been so many different types of bracing that have been done. Not sure if there's one with precisely the same pattern or arrangement, that's somewhat more doubtful.
Picture of the simple rosette type that I'm fond of. Simple can sometimes be difficult to get right, unless you are copying a well proven design. They don't always work out as first envisioned, I have to scrap some. This one has a very pale green and a rather bronze coloured cedrela, which is why you get the black flecks merging with the black lines. They are just the pores of the cedrela. It is possible to fill these pores with a coloured wax but I didn't bother with this one. My adviser told me to leave it be.


Image
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tom0311
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Re: The Santos that never was.

Post by tom0311 » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:35 am

You're right, that top looks brilliant with the wide grain. Are the back braces cedrela?
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Michael.N.
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Re: The Santos that never was.

Post by Michael.N. » Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:55 am

I think they are cedrela. Probably from the edge of some necks that I bought which happened to be extra wide.
Of course with that top I've deliberately put the wide grain to the centre, partly because it gave less runout. I've been measuring the wood properties from the tight grain section of tops and the edge with wide grain. I'm struggling to measure differences. The only reason why you wouldn't use wide grain is visual. Which is somewhat odd because very tight grain just looks very homogenous from a distance of a yard. It may as well be plastic but we've been conditioned into thinking that tight grain is the ultimate, therefore wide grain looks odd. We also associate it with cheap. Some of it might be cheap (as in money) but if you understand real value then it should be judged on it's abilities for tone. Believe me, this guitar doesn't sound any less than others I've built with tops that are a few grades higher, either AAA or master grade. In fact it might be a touch more responsive but that could be down to many other factors, not necessarily the soundboard. 6 months ago there's no way that I would have used that top on a commercial instrument, now it's time for a rethink.
BTW. It's also a pretty light guitar, 1.1 Kg.
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tom0311
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Re: The Santos that never was.

Post by tom0311 » Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:46 pm

I think wide grain in the centre looks nicer than having it spread out on the edges of the guitar. Any chance of hearing this one Michael?
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Michael.N.
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Re: The Santos that never was.

Post by Michael.N. » Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:29 pm

Oh dear. Thought someone might ask that. I'm not very accomplished, I'm rusty and I've never got to the end of a piece, even those that last only one minute! That's despite playing for decades. It might be a few weeks. I'm game though, you can hardly berate a rank amateur for giving it a go.
It won't be with nails, my nail sound is terrible. No nails somewhat better.
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Adam
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Re: The Santos that never was.

Post by Adam » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:45 pm

Perhaps you could talk Rob into recording it for you. ;)

Would love to hear it.

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RobMacKillop
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Re: The Santos that never was.

Post by RobMacKillop » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:39 pm

Now, there's an idea! :-)

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Michael.N.
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Re: The Santos that never was.

Post by Michael.N. » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:15 pm

Thread is not making much sense since photobucket pulled the plug. Many a forum thread ruined by it.
So an update on a couple of things that I'm in the process of changing. First the bridge has been removed to be replaced by a pin bridge.

The Santos head shape has vanished completely. It really is a Santos that never was. The new head shape is my hommage to romantic guitars (when I find the missing Peghed!) - although this is in no shape or form a romantic guitar.
The 'engine' (bracing) has remained the same.
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RobMacKillop
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Re: The Santos that never was.

Post by RobMacKillop » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:09 pm

Okay. Just seen the barring. Will need to read the thread!!

simonm
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Re: The Santos that never was.

Post by simonm » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:13 pm

Michael.N. wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:15 pm


The Santos head shape has vanished completely. It really is a Santos that never was ….
It is beginning to get a story like the Segovia Ramirez from 1912 .. :-)

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