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My top is too small!!!
Author
Post
mishmannah

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 68
Not a huge problem, but I had a feeling that my Stewmac sides were slightly unbent...although I managed to glue the sides up with neckblocks and kerfing, I sanded down the top and for a quick fit, placed the spruce top over it to see how it fits...


At the top there is a 5/32 gap

and the bottom it's more like 3/32...

I am hoping that the binding and purfling will cover up this problem, it's not a Stewmac fault, because the blueprint fits the top perfectly.

I am guessing I need to be creative with the routing process once I get to it.

Any suggestions would be most welcome.

Jun 14, 06 | 8:33 am
leftykitman

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 137
Mishmannah,
I'd bet that the top isn't to small but that the body is actually too big.What I mean by that is that the body is probably bigger than the stewmac print dimentions.On my stewmac kit the top is cut close-as the back is to the finish dimentions but you have to make sure that you lay out the body shape according to the stewmac dimentions.Make sure that when the body length is right that also the width dimentions of the lower bout and upper bout and waist are to the right size also.I bet that you didn't trim the ends of the sides properly and consequently something is too big.A easy fix if that is the case is to unglue the ends(Tail and headblock) and then trim up the sides and reglue once you get all the dimentions properly measured.I think stewmac gives you a tracing template? if so lay it down on a board and trace it out and does you body fall within these dimentions?? If not you'll have to retrim the sides to make it fit the template.How I know this is I did the same thing.
paul

Jun 14, 06 | 9:22 am
mishmannah

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 67
The top is not glued on to the sides yet...

I was wondering if I could get away with the binding and purfling to cover the gaps...

Jun 14, 06 | 9:36 am
leftykitman

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 137
I don't believe that will work. You might be able to fudge the fit and 3/32 gap at the lower bout is pretty big.If it's true that you body size is actually the culprit I'd say that you need to resize the body.Don't be too freeked about doing this it's not that hard to melt the endblock(or headblock)glue by using your Iron to melt the glue.Just heat up the wood right over the joint and use a flat spatula to GENTLY open the glue joint.Go slow and let the glue release don't force it or you might crack the wood You do know that there WILL be mistakes made but most of the time it's nothing that you can't fix-remember you are going to have to look and play this guitar for maybe the rest of your life.You owe it to yourself to do it right and you'll be much happier in the long run.Maybe someone else has a idea but to me I'd fix it right.
Paul

Jun 14, 06 | 11:01 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
It seems to me that the side bends has relaxed a little bit. You are talking about 1/4" overall Right? I tried this before I started ungluing. Place the top face down, lay the rim on it. Clamp the tail block in place --- gently push the neck block toward the tail block. There should be plenty of flex in the waist to allow you to move the neck block 1/4" without bowing the sides beyond the guitar outline. If this works all you need to do is capture the tail and neck blocks in this new position while gluing the top to the rim.
Ken KMG

Jun 14, 06 | 12:34 pm
mishmannah

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 67
I appreciate your fast replies, thank you all!!

Okay, I removed the waist brace and found, with a little manipulation of pushing the sides, I could push them in to fit the top nicely...

The top and bottom is waay stiffer due to the fact I have kerfing glued on plus a cardboard inside mold...tricky to push 'em to be a little shorter

My concern is, I'll find it difficult to mark the places in the kerfing once I am ready to fit the top...obviously it is going to be difficult to keep that shape...

Jun 14, 06 | 12:53 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
You need to make a simple out side mold -- Get a piece of ply, 1/2" will do. While you hold the rim in the proper shape have someone trace the out line. Then all you have to do is screw some small blocks (one each end 10 on each side) along the the line that was traced. If you have installed the side reinforcements the sides will stay perpendiular.

Ken KMG

Jun 14, 06 | 1:07 pm
mishmannah

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 67
apologies for seeming a little thick...but I have another question..

Would I have to shorten the cardboard mold within the guitar body? That would make the top and tail ends of the guitar slightly more flexible.

It is literally a case of shaping the body...

Jun 14, 06 | 1:52 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Hi again, That would have zero effect on the instrument. A tiny change in profile is a normal occurance. I have plotted several Martin's of the same style in our shop and they even vary--- Your suggestion about changing the the the cardboard form slightly is exaclty what I would do. I do not think you would be stressing the rim too much.

Ken KMG

Jun 14, 06 | 2:28 pm
Estevao

Total Topics: 6
Total Posts: 27
Well ,
The problem i have with my stewmac dread top , and i not sure is a problem yet , it seems that is smaller than the blueprint (the one that we use for to trace the braces - connecting the dots ) . I call stewmac and they say its normal and the things just will go right .
Estevao .

Jun 14, 06 | 3:24 pm
mishmannah

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 67
My dread top is too small for the blueprint too...

However, I think I have solved the problem with regards to the top fitting problem....

I took out the wooden splints that keep the neck and tailblocks square, and pushed either end of the guitar...

There is a slight amount of give, enough for the top to fit on comfortable with little overhang. (I re-squared the neck and tail until top fitting.)

Now I have two possibilities..

1) I either put in the body shaping blocks that Ken Cierp recommended, I already created one at the neck end from a square block of wood and a wide caul to push the sides to square...I would need to create one at the tail, and some at the sides...

Tha means I will have to use compression spring cam clamps to glue the top on...I have made some out of 12 and 18mm dowel and they give good pressure...



2) Or I just wait until the glue up, and force the body into the top, spool clamp it quickly into place (which works, I tried it last night) ..

The only problem with this is that I will most likely get innaccurate measurements when I chisel out the kerfing to accomodate the bracing.



Which one should I do? I need advice, for I am about to make another dozen spool clamps!!!!!

Jun 16, 06 | 3:56 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Trying to work quickly while doing anything will lead to problems especially if you are unfamiliar with the procedure -- “haste makes waist”. Working with spool clamps is not a picnic. The rim must be stabilized and your top brace notch measurements and placements must be accurate. Actually the notches will tend to lock things in place.

Ken KMG

Jun 16, 06 | 4:11 am
leftykitman

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 137
Mishmannah,
Not to dissuade you but are you planning to keep the guitar in a case?? just a thought that if you stray from the "Normal" dred dimentions too much you might have some problems getting the guitar to fit in a case.
Peace,
Paul

Jun 16, 06 | 7:27 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Leftykitman brings up a point that should be explored --- The D shape is pretty generic now. Take a look at Alvarez Yari, Ovation, etc. and most of the custom builders and you will notice a bit of variation at the waist, upper and lower bouts. “Artistic license” I would encourage this! Cumpiano’s book has a nice section on design and the dimensional envelope. Most of the generic cases will accommodate a much larger instrument, the one’s I sell do. To the point – when all is said and done “musically speaking” the only real critical element is the relationship of the fret board and the saddle --- proper intonation. Everything else is to enhance playability, appearance or durability. No need for heart burn if your project does not match your drawings exactly.

Ken KMG

Jun 16, 06 | 8:00 am
ejko

Total Topics: 25
Total Posts: 113
Building on Ken's thought, I intentionally built my OM a bit smaller at the lower bout. For me, it makes for more comfortable playing.


ejko

Jun 16, 06 | 1:45 pm



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