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My First Acoustic Building Project


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  • 2 weeks later...

Ed,

Having begun my lutherie addiction with an acoustic kit from Stew-Mac, I would suggest that you download the free instructions from them to give you a few tips and possibly save you some time and prevent anymore mishaps.

One thing that is really helpful is the instructions on making your own spool clamps

I have built several acoustics using those instructions and they are pretty thorough.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Very cool Ed! I'll keep an eye on this one. I was looking at my Tacoma Thunderchief on Sunday and deciding if I should attempt a body re-build and reuse the neck or toss it. Since it's a bolt on I am leaning toward the rebuild using the existing body as a mold. The top and back are busted (thanks to UPS) and I hate to toss it. I think I could reuse the sides if I am careful enough in removing the top and back. Any suggestions on this from anyone?

I just checked new Tacoma (Fender) T-Chief prices and they are about $1000 street price...... :D Maybe buying a solid rosewood back and spruce top will cost me that much anyway. This is a BIG bass!!

Keep at this one.....I'm looking forward to it!

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Hi Guys,

Thanks for the words.

I don't want to sound overly optimistic, but so far this is not a very difficult project. It requires patience and some tools and some creativity. But not too difficult. I think that by the time this is over I will have to eat my words, but that is OK with me.

Guitar Ed

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I don't want to sound overly optimistic, but so far this is not a very difficult project. It requires patience and some tools and some creativity. But not too difficult.

I talked to a local guy that had made several acoustics and he said the same thing......I'm still apprehensive. Since I posted I ripped apart the T-Chief (mine is a C20 which is no longer made) and searched eBay for some top wood. I may just do it!!

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Very cool Ed! I'll keep an eye on this one. I was looking at my Tacoma Thunderchief on Sunday and deciding if I should attempt a body re-build and reuse the neck or toss it. Since it's a bolt on I am leaning toward the rebuild using the existing body as a mold. The top and back are busted (thanks to UPS) and I hate to toss it. I think I could reuse the sides if I am careful enough in removing the top and back. Any suggestions on this from anyone?

I just checked new Tacoma (Fender) T-Chief prices and they are about $1000 street price...... :D  Maybe buying a solid rosewood back and spruce top will cost me that much anyway. This is a BIG bass!!

Keep at this one.....I'm looking forward to it!

If you can't repair at least the back (how bad's the cracking?), you should be able to get an EIR back set and material for a top for under 100 bucks, total. Ed Dicks at Acousticwoods.ca is one place to look, and Bob Cefalu at www.rctonewoods.com is a great guy to deal with, and has a ton of great acoustic woods (and some electric stuff, too).

To remove top and back, a blunt, but thin pallet knife, a clothes iron, and some patience should get you where you want to be. You might want to head over to the MIMF, register, and read their expansive section on repairs/acoustic construction.

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Welcome mattia and thanks for the input. I have researched it on the web and over at MIMF. I haven't been there in a while and maybe now is a good time to pop in and research some more. I didn't realize a top would be so inexpensive (see my Carpathain Spruce thread) so now it has to be a go!!

PS: Your user name is freakin' me out - bad! eddiefletcher's bro was a member here and died 2 years ago....his user name was matia. When I first saw your name my heart stopped for a few seconds :D

Back on topic....sorry ed!

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Welcome mattia and thanks for the input. I have researched it on the web and over at MIMF. I haven't been there in a while and maybe now is a good time to pop in and research some more. I didn't realize a top would be so inexpensive (see my Carpathain Spruce thread) so now it has to be a go!!

PS: Your user name is freakin' me out - bad! eddiefletcher's bro was a member here and died 2 years ago....his user name was matia. When I first saw your name my heart stopped for a few seconds  :D

Back on topic....sorry ed!

Woods don't gotta be super-pricey, y'know ;-)

Ah. Was warned of that, actually, but I can't figure out if I can change my name without re-registering. Mattia is my actual given name, and I use it on all the forums I haven't bothered using my full name one. Easier to remember that way.

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I recently acquired a great book about building acoustics. It's called guitarmaking, tradition and technology By William R. Cumpiano and Jonathan D. Natelson (ISBN 0-8118-0640-5).

It's a great step by step pictures included guide to building steel strings and classical guitars. I highly recomend this book to anyone who wants to start building acoustics.

In light of this book I will be attempting to build an acousitc right after I finish these two wenge guitars. I have one done but I still have to finish the other one.

I will buy the back and sides from stewmac so I cna get the bent sides and thicknessed back. Everything else I'm going to make from scratch, no kits here!

The books about 370 pages long and is very informative. It tells you how to make all the time saving jigs. It also walks you through making the guitar using only hand tools.

Edited by Godin SD
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  • 2 months later...
Godin, I'll suggest you read up a lot at the MIMF. There are several things in the Cumpiano book that sound easy written, but once you try them they aren't so easy. He doesn't explain the arching very well, and his method for getting the arch has WAY too much room for error.

I have to agree, I've almost finished a guitar using the Cumpiano book, many of the things have been outdated since the book was published in 1980's, a good way to get tips is through this site and chatting to people in the know.

Also if you have time spend lots of it experimenting and making moulds and templates, this will make things more accurate later on and it will be much easier if you making more than one guitar at a time.

I definitely had issues with the arching, it doesnt explain it well at all, however everyone will think they have the best way of doing it so take your time and you'll find what works for you.

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