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Thread: Guitar Design(s) (in progress)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Beverly, Massachusetts
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    16

    Guitar Design(s) (in progress)

    Hey everyone!

    Just got a very warm welcome in the "new guy" thread and decided that I don't need to be shy about sharing designs here.

    While I'm tooling up for my first build, I am busy designing different body shapes/sizes of acoustic guitars, and also using 2D CAD software to help work out some geometry. My first actual build(s) will be proven designs built from prints in order for me to gain some skills and allow me to refine some of my own designs. I've attached a PDF of a small body design I am working on and here are some specs for those who are interested:
    • Body Length: 19"
    • Scale Length: 24.9"
    • Nut Width: 1 23/32"
    • Spacing @ Bridge: 2 3/16
    • Body/Neck Joint: 14th Fret
    • Upper Bout Width: 10.5"
    • Waist Width: 8.25"
    • Lower Bout Width: 14"
    • Body Depth @ Tail Block: 4 7/8"
    • Body Depth @ Heel Block: 3 7/8"
    • Cutaway: Florentine

    A few things to note...

    I am building with flat tops as opposed to the typical slight dome found in most modern guitars; I just like how a "true" flat top sounds. The sound hole is enlarged (4.250" diameter") to allow a bit quicker attack. The body is quite a bit deeper than a typical small body (0, 00, L-00, etc.), and even deeper than an OM/000.

    The peg head design is pretty generic and based off of countless others' designs. The bridge design belongs to Kevin Ryan. Kevin said it was okay to use his design, which I prefer over the typical Martin design. However, if I ever build a dreadnaught I'll use the Martin belly bridge and square-shouldered peg head - some things are better left the way they are.

    Feel free to comment/critique or ask any questions. I'll be adding new designs as I have time.

    Thanks for looking!

    Josh
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
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    1,898
    Hey Josh
    we've had several solid body electrics built here, but no one has built an acoustic! Looking forward to watching this!
    Jesus was a Woodworker

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
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    13,360
    Sounds like you've put a LOT of thought into the design!

    I like the shape and the cutaway.

    Here's my modest little travel classical. I wanted something that had the same 'fit' as a normal classical, i.e. the width of the guitar is the same as the lower bout on my classical. IT also needed to be able to be tucked away into a relatively small cabinet in our camper...

    Cedar soundboards front and back, mahogany neck, ebony finger board and bridge. All made from scratch. It actually plays pretty well. I'd like to make another acoustic one of these days...

    Due to the size and design constraints, it doesn't have quite the volume or tone of a full size, but it works fine in a camper

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails acoustic.jpg  

  4. #4
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    Jun 2010
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    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
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    I can't wait to learn about this....
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Beverly, Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Mooney View Post
    Hey Josh
    we've had several solid body electrics built here, but no one has built an acoustic! Looking forward to watching this!
    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    Sounds like you've put a LOT of thought into the design!

    I like the shape and the cutaway.

    Here's my modest little travel classical. I wanted something that had the same 'fit' as a normal classical, i.e. the width of the guitar is the same as the lower bout on my classical. IT also needed to be able to be tucked away into a relatively small cabinet in our camper...

    Cedar soundboards front and back, mahogany neck, ebony finger board and bridge. All made from scratch. It actually plays pretty well. I'd like to make another acoustic one of these days...

    Due to the size and design constraints, it doesn't have quite the volume or tone of a full size, but it works fine in a camper
    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia White View Post


    I can't wait to learn about this....
    Dan and Cynthia, I hope to start an actual build soon - possibly after we get our taxes back. In the meantime, I am making some jigs and fixtures specifically for guitar building and may start a build thread that kicks off with those first...

    Brent, That's a sweet little traveler! Cedar is one of my favorite top woods for sound and stability, which makes it great for a guitar that lives on the road like yours. I may try an all cedar steel string someday if I'm brave. Maybe we can start a trend here....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    I really like the design, Josh. I've got an Ibanez Ragtime with a similar cutaway body shape, and I really like having easy access to the high notes.

    Looking forward to watching the build. And here...I brought enough for everyone...

    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
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    4,552
    Cant wait to see this thread get going.

    And thanks for the popcorn Vaughn
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars


    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Zushi, Japan
    Posts
    739
    Hey Josh, I am currently about one month into building a steel string acoustic. I have the top plate about 90% complete (just need to do some final shaping on the X braces.) I am building using few different books as reference but the design is from Build Your Own Acoustic Guitar, by Johnathan Kinkead. His design is based on an early Martin though he doesn't say which model. It looks like an OM model though I think Martin only produced one OM model in the early days and it had a short production life.

    Anyway I am using Indian rosewood back and side, Sitka spruce top, ebony bridge/fingerboard and single piece Honduras mahogany neck. I will be using a 25.5 inch scale with a 1 3/4 inch nut.

    I am taking my time on it but would be happy to post an acoustic guitar build thread. Vaughn will need twice the amount of popcorn.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Beverly, Massachusetts
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    16
    Al,

    That sounds like it will be a pretty sweet guitar when you're done! I think my first will be an OM/000 body, although I may dive in and go with my own design right off the bat. I'm working on different jigs, fixtures, etc. right now as I wait for my tax return. I think I may start a guitar building jigs thread, so if you have anything you use and would like to post, there'll be a spot for it.

    Maybe if we get enough build threads going they can get their own section.

    Thanks for posting and take care!

    Josh

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bellingham
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    2,449
    Hi Josh,

    I visit several times a day the blog aggregator UnpluggedShop.com A blog aggregator is a Web site that aggregates posts from multiple blogs into one central location. They generally aggregate blogs that have a specific interest, in this case, woodworking with hand tools. There are at least two blogs that involve instrument making. I pulled the link from one of them:

    http://finelystrung.com/

    I could not find the other one, because the list of posts aggregated is self renewing and older posts drop off the list (after a few days or so, depending on the number of new blogs). If you check it occasionally, it should show up.

    Blogs are great resources far ahead of magazines, books, etc. in terms of timing. They also present a more thought out and organized response than what you will get from forums.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

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