I've begun work on a simultaneous pair of guitars. They will be similar to #1 in body shape and size, but will have some significant differences.
The tuners will be Gotoh "Vintage style" individual tuners from Luthier's Mercantile. I really like the look. I'll get a photo up a little later. Consequently, the headstock will be set up old-fashioned style with slots like a classical. Um, like this picture to the left! These are not finished; the string "ramps" need to be cut, providing clearance from the lowest posts up to the nut, but that is a later step.
I made Guitar #1 with a 24.9" scale, but I'm a little unhappy with the way it plays. The feel is just a little sloppy at standard pitch. I might be fooling myself, searching for a combination that I can actually play, but I'm going to go with the 1.75" nut width and a 25.5" scale. I'm also not much of an up-the-neck player, and I've heard so much about the "sweet spot" bridge location on a 12-fret model, so, that's where I'm gonna go this time.
I have some Sitka tops that I got on sale from LMI. I'm getting the necks out of the leftovers on the neck material from the first guitar. I have other mahogany scraps around for whatever headblock/tailblock requirements I can't get out of the old neck material.
I'm planning on very simple purfling and rosettes. The big difference between these two guitars is that one will have an Indian Rosewood body and one will have Honduras Mahogany. I'll be interested to see the difference in sound...but! my tops are pretty different in weight (density) and flexibility. So I don't think my results will say much about mahogany and rosewood.
As for documentation, I'm not going to stop and photograph every step, but I'll take pictures of things I do differently, and note progress here from time to time. I don't intend this to get more than one long page in length.
Here's the first thing I did differently. I had the leftover mahogany from the neck blank on guitar #1, and I wanted to pull maybe two more necks out of it. Instead of stacking four four-inch pieces to make the heelblock, and then cutting most of it away, I saved a little wood by doing only the first layer (first underneath the neck) at four inches and making the others smaller. Because I'm using threaded inserts instead of the barrel bolts recommended by Cumpiano, I decided the tenon didn't need to be nearly an inch long; I'm using 3/8".
Note: I first started out making a detailed time log of each step, based on the breakdowns in Cumpiano and Natelson. I've decided to simply enjoy the process and not worry about it this time. Likewise, I'll take pictures and post progress whenever I feel like it.
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Copyright © 2002 Stephen Miklos