1st acoustic guitar build - Router Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Default 1st acoustic guitar build

Ok, I've mentioned this many times over the last couple of years and it's finally to a point where I can post photos. Over the last 30 years or so I have replaced tops, backs, done fret jobs, inlay, glued braces and lining, refinished, made bridges, saddles, and nuts, replaced tuners, and all kinds of repairs, etc. but this is the first guitar I've built from scratch.

I cut all the wood for this including resawing the back/sides/top, cutting the binding and bracing from lumber or billets, etc. Along the way I've designed and built my own modular cantilever side bending fixture that will accommodate sizes from Jumbo down to 0, possibly smaller like a Ukulele. I'll post photos of the side bending fixture later and also built all the forms, fixtures, templates, and jigs for the build. I started the build a couple of years ago just working an hour in the evening, sometimes two, and some on weekends, but I put it aside and didn't touch it for about 8 months.

I'll tell you ahead of time that it sounds good, is bright, has great sustain, and plays very easily with good action. But it may be a while before I make a video of it being played.

Back and sides - Honduras Mahogany
Top and bracing - Sitka Spruce
Neck - African Mahogany with Maple and Honduras Mahogany center pieces
Headstock, rosette, arm bevel, heel cap, and tail wedge - Walnut burl
Headstock inlay - Zebrawood
Fingerboard, bridge - East Indian Rosewood
Binding, purfling - Zebrawood and Maple
Sound port lining - Macassar Ebony
Solid lining - Honduras Mahogany
Side braces - Honduras Mahogany
Finish - Shellac (French polish), measured just over 1 mil at the bridge

The neck is bolted on and I devised a way for it to be completely removable. It can go from tuned to pitch to neck off in about 5 minutes. In the week that the guitar has been tuned to pitch it is holding its tuning as good as my other guitars. The intonation still needs some minor tweaking but I'll play it a while before working on it again.

Assuming I like it enough to play in church I'll install a K&K Pure Mini pickup. If I decide to just play it at home and with friends I'll save the pickup for a future guitar.

In the meantime, here are a few photos of the build and some of the finished guitar.
Back bracing with Padauk glue strip -
1st acoustic guitar build-022-back-bracing-padauk-strip.jpg

Top bracing -
1st acoustic guitar build-023-top-bracing.jpg

Gluing the back in place -
1st acoustic guitar build-024-gluing-back-.jpg

Finished guitar. I didn't want a super high gloss finish but rather decided to do an old world vintage patina. Nothing against the super high gloss finishes but I have 5 guitars with high gloss finish and wanted this one to be different. Now that I've done it this way I like it even better than I thought I would.
1st acoustic guitar build-025-build-1-front.jpg

1st acoustic guitar build-026-build-1-back.jpg

1st acoustic guitar build-027-build-1-rosette.jpg

1st acoustic guitar build-029-build-1-sound-port-cutaway.jpg

1st acoustic guitar build-030-build-1-headstock.jpg

1st acoustic guitar build-032-arm-bevel-zebrawood-junction-detail.jpg

So feel free to comment, ask questions, critique. I have about 1,500 photos of the build and good documentation but these few photos tell the story just fine, I think, so I'll spare you the copious extras.

Enjoy!
David

David

Curly Wood Shop on Etsy
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 09:30 PM
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I see you posted it here also and you should. I was just thinking about all the woodworking knowledge and time it took you to build this. In my opinion it's a master piece.

Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

Measure once cut twice and it's still to short.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 10:36 PM
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Fantastic job David . Looks like a pretty intense and meticulous job to create a masterpiece like this

I don’t always insulate , but when I do .
Ok ,I never insulate
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 11:23 PM
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Wow!! Nothing else to say it better, except double wow maybe.

You sure got more patience than I got........ ability too.

HJ

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I took the tests and retirement is the best job I'm suited for.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 01:25 AM
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Holy Hanna; Incredible job, David! What a beauty.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 02:45 AM
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And I bet it has a wonderful tone too. It's a beauty alright
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You can't drive a bridge spike with a tack hammer(so I'm told)
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 06:31 AM
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Other than having 2 extra strings, it looks perfect! Great choice of a verse on the headstock.

I think too glossy of a finish detracts from the color and pattern of the wood, especially in photos. Your finish lets the wood speak for itself, and looks awesome. The color on the sides, and the figure on the walnut headstock are beautiful. You can definitely see more than a few hours of love went into it!

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 06:41 AM
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Wow David that is quite a build. You have a lot of talent to get it all to come together. People just don’t know
all that’s involved in something like this.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 06:43 AM
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wow looks great. love the colors
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kp91 View Post
Other than having 2 extra strings, it looks perfect! Great choice of a verse on the headstock.

I think too glossy of a finish detracts from the color and pattern of the wood, especially in photos. Your finish lets the wood speak for itself, and looks awesome. The color on the sides, and the figure on the walnut headstock are beautiful. You can definitely see more than a few hours of love went into it!
My son wants a bass so maybe one day, Doug. The label inside speaks to the verse, as well.

And many thanks to everyone else - I appreciate the kind words!

I took the guitar to church last Wednesday evening for Praise Band practice and our Pastor played it for a while. He "is impressed", he said, and I told him not to be 'cause I was trying to build a rocking chair and this is how it came out...

David
kp91, DaninVan, MEBCWD and 3 others like this.

David

Curly Wood Shop on Etsy
David Falkner - Woodworking YouTube channel
Our music at church - current videos Airline Baptist BC Facebook Live
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