Building my first guitar for my daughter.

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
User avatar
geoff-bristol
Amateur luthier
Posts: 382
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:31 pm
Location: Bristol - UK

Re: Building my first guitar for my daughter.

Post by geoff-bristol » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:41 pm

I like the way you are working - its easy to do with simple well sharpened hand tools - a solid bench and a simple aproach to jointing etc.
Circle cutters are easy to a make - but need quite a strong blade. Better to make the blade. Any flex and they can 'wander' - (spruce grain at an angle is a challenge to any tool)
You are well used to hand tools - brave to judge vertical by hand with a drill. It can be done - I do it quite a lot, but ending up making a jig for tuners holes.
The hole and rosette is a bit traumatic on your first guitars - that top seems so delicate !

How are you planning on bending the sides - I'm sure you will find an elegant solution !

Anthony DeMers
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:51 pm

Re: Building my first guitar for my daughter.

Post by Anthony DeMers » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:58 pm

geoff-bristol wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:41 pm
I like the way you are working - its easy to do with simple well sharpened hand tools - a solid bench and a simple aproach to jointing etc.
It’s what the Cumpiano book details for the most part. The video shows off my most successful moments. In realty I spent days trying to figure out how to build the shooting board to get the back to pass the candle test. I bought a #5 plane on e - b a y and that almost immediately made the difference.
geoff-bristol wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:41 pm
Circle cutters are easy to a make - but need quite a strong blade. Better to make the blade. Any flex and they can 'wander' - (spruce grain at an angle is a challenge to any tool)
I’m going to check that out. What would I make the blade out of?
geoff-bristol wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:41 pm
You are well used to hand tools - brave to judge vertical by hand with a drill. It can be done - I do it quite a lot, but ending up making a jig for tuners holes.
I did use a jig I borrowed from a friend. The problem was that my first drill bit was too small 7/16th inch and the next one didn’t fit in the jig 13/32. I realize now that I probably need a 10mm bit. So I used the small bit to drill the holes and then the larger to go back through again.
geoff-bristol wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:41 pm
The hole and rosette is a bit traumatic on your first guitars - that top seems so delicate !
It was scary!
geoff-bristol wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:41 pm
How are you planning on bending the sides - I'm sure you will find an elegant solution !
I really don’t know yet. I have an electric iron a friend loaned me. Tonight I’m going to do the final scraping of the sides and then read the entire chapter in side bending.

User avatar
geoff-bristol
Amateur luthier
Posts: 382
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:31 pm
Location: Bristol - UK

Re: Building my first guitar for my daughter.

Post by geoff-bristol » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:03 am

A proper bending iron is worth borrowing if you can. One of the first real tools I ever bought - way back in the 80's on violins. Somethings are hard to do without ! They are expensive for what they are - and not easy to make up.

I make blades from old plane blades usually. Actually, circle cutters are quite cheap tool to buy - so its hardly worth it.

I still have to scratch my head as to the depth of the rosette. I get paranoid of planing through it.

Just take it easy bending guitar sides - its no big deal on a proper iron. Just let the wood get hot and don't force it. The middle bout curve is not that tight - mark its position and do it first ( make sure you have the face side right ! ) The rest is very gentle - but of course in reverse to the inner curve ( the inner bout is concave - the uppers and lowers convex, to outside face ) Its very easy to bend the inner bout the wrong way !

Anthony DeMers
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:51 pm

Re: Building my first guitar for my daughter.

Post by Anthony DeMers » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:09 pm

Here is a 5 minute time-laps of the bracing of the soundboard.

[media]https://youtu.be/BMtgE3aDVzM[/media]

I’m now trying to finish thicknessing the sides before bending. It was recommended in the Cumpiano book to scrape the last .75 mm to avoided chip out with the plane. I’m still working on getting a sharp scraper but I’m getting better.
Last edited by Anthony DeMers on Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anthony DeMers
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:51 pm

Re: Building my first guitar for my daughter.

Post by Anthony DeMers » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:11 am

Okay, so scraping the sides is turning out to be a bigger chore than I anticipated. I'm finally close to 2mm but there is a range between 1.9 and 2.4mm that I assume I should try and even out. How uniform should I try to get for my rosewood sides?

Jeff Whitney
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:35 pm
Location: Shiloh, IL

Re: Building my first guitar for my daughter.

Post by Jeff Whitney » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:03 am

Anthony,

I have a 5 year old grandson and I've been toying with the idea of doing exactly as you have! Thanks for the inspiration.
Before I begin, would you do anything different as you look back on it? I like the plans for the small Torres that are available from your source, as well as the book. What else?

Thanks
Jeff
Jeff Whitney
Prudencio Saez Mod. 8
Takamine C132S

Anthony DeMers
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:51 pm

Re: Building my first guitar for my daughter.

Post by Anthony DeMers » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:10 am

Jeff,
I really can’t say that I would have done anything differently, but then again I’m not even close to being finished. This is my first attemt,so I don’t really know any better. The Compiano book is a little tricky to navigate. The book has instructions for a classical guitar as well as a steel string acoustic so you have to pay attention to the differences between them. The small Torres plans are similar but not the same as the guitar in the book. I appreciate how much I have to study all of the small differences. Just about every measurement needs to be checked against the plans and converted to mm.

All that being said, I’m having so much fun. This has really deepened my understanding of the guitar and made me appreciate the quality of the guitar I’ve been playing for the last 16 years. You should jump in.

vesa
Posts: 648
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:52 pm
Location: Sulva, Finland

Re: Building my first guitar for my daughter.

Post by vesa » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:17 am

Anthony DeMers wrote:
How uniform should I try to get for my rosewood sides?
As close to the target as possible.
I accept 1.95 - 2.05 if my target is 2.0 mm.
Vesa Kuokkanen

Antonio Marin nr. 813 1995 (Bouchet)
Vesa Kuokkanen 2016

Anthony DeMers
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:51 pm

Re: Building my first guitar for my daughter.

Post by Anthony DeMers » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:15 pm

vesa wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:17 am
Anthony DeMers wrote:
How uniform should I try to get for my rosewood sides?
As close to the target as possible.
I accept 1.95 - 2.05 if my target is 2.0 mm.
Thank you very much. I’m getting there.

User avatar
Randy Johnson
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:45 am
Location: USA

Re: Building my first guitar for my daughter.

Post by Randy Johnson » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:41 pm

Very nice. Wish I had the time to do something like this. maybe one of these days.

User avatar
Doug Ingram
Amateur luthier
Posts: 1594
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:11 pm
Location: Lorette, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Building my first guitar for my daughter.

Post by Doug Ingram » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:08 pm

vesa wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:17 am
Anthony DeMers wrote:
How uniform should I try to get for my rosewood sides?
As close to the target as possible.
I accept 1.95 - 2.05 if my target is 2.0 mm.
Exactly.

.5 mm is about 20% variation of thickness. Get that 2.4 down or you will have challenges getting a smooth bend. The thin section will bend easier and faster than the thick.

Anthony DeMers
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:51 pm

Re: Building my first guitar for my daughter.

Post by Anthony DeMers » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:30 pm

Doug Ingram wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:08 pm
vesa wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:17 am
Anthony DeMers wrote:
How uniform should I try to get for my rosewood sides?
As close to the target as possible.
I accept 1.95 - 2.05 if my target is 2.0 mm.
Exactly.

.5 mm is about 20% variation of thickness. Get that 2.4 down or you will have challenges getting a smooth bend. The thin section will bend easier and faster than the thick.
I’m much closer now to exactly 2mm just about everywhere. The 1.9mm section is a dime size spot on one end edge. Now that I’m close, should I consider going thinner?
How much easier is it to bend 1.9 vs 2.0?

User avatar
geoff-bristol
Amateur luthier
Posts: 382
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:31 pm
Location: Bristol - UK

Re: Building my first guitar for my daughter.

Post by geoff-bristol » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:55 pm

Sides are one thing I would be picky about thickness - especially 'side to side' - some variation end to end matters less.
Also - I don't like rough edges when bending. Personally I feel the finished sides want to be about 1.7 ish - but the thickness you bend them at depends on how much you intend scraping and levelling after its closed up?

Anthony DeMers
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:51 pm

Re: Building my first guitar for my daughter.

Post by Anthony DeMers » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:56 am

geoff-bristol wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:55 pm
Sides are one thing I would be picky about thickness - especially 'side to side' - some variation end to end matters less.
Also - I don't like rough edges when bending. Personally I feel the finished sides want to be about 1.7 ish - but the thickness you bend them at depends on how much you intend scraping and levelling after its closed up?
Good to know. I have one side that is really clean and smooth and then the inside where I’ve done all my scraping and planing. The sides were 3mm when I started. I would like to believe that once its closed up I will need minimal scraping and leveling, but I really have no idea. I’m going to go for 1.9mm or so and see what happens. Thanks every one for the bits of help. I feel like I’m flying just a little less blind now that I have this forum to reference.

brian
Posts: 856
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:18 pm
Location: right here

Re: Building my first guitar for my daughter.

Post by brian » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:19 am

very cool Anthony!!!
i'm always amazed by the talent
on this forum.
if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
then quit.
there's no use being a damn fool about it.
-w.c. fields

Return to “Luthiers”