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Some Questions
Author
Post
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 452
Hi everybody. I have two building questions for you all that I hope can be answered. Actually, I am sure you all can help. Who am I kidding, thats why I am here!
Anyway, here we go:

1) What type of paper and glue do you all use for your labels inside the guitar? They all look so professional it seems they were printed by someone.

2) If they were just made on your home computer, did you use a heavy stock paper, or just regular printer paper?
I am really jumping the gun here since I didn't even order my kit. I am doing that today with KMG, but I am curious.

3) I have seen some people have put a piece of cloth over the X-brace intersection joint. My Tak has it too and it looks like cheese cloth or linen. Whats the deal with that cloth? Is it needed? Does it help/hurt/have no effect on sound? I am guessing its a structural thing but as I am no engineer (I sometimes pretend I am an engineer with my son when we play with his toy trains, but thats a different type of engineer and it totally doesn't count anyway)
Thanks in advance for your help.

Aug 19, 09 | 4:44 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
You can get the nicer paper at most craft stores.

The cloth is a reinforcement for the joint. It is the best method out there for this. I have never had to repair a cloth covered joint. I have had to repair too many wood ones.

Aug 19, 09 | 11:47 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Gracias.
So as I suspected, its a reinforcement.
As for the labels, I swear the ones I have seen in the pictures look damn good and professional. So congrats to everyone who printed them.

Aug 19, 09 | 12:55 pm
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Oh...what type of cloth is good? Cotton? I saw one guy used his Led Zep shirt.
Would using a Martin Guitars shirt give it better tone?
Seriously, though, is cotton fine, or do I need linen?

Aug 19, 09 | 12:57 pm
Dave_E

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 13
Hi Tony,

Yes I make my labels out of nice looking regular to thin paper on a color laser printer, use school stick glue and call it good.

I don't use cloth over my X joint, reenfored with med CA... NEVER coming apart.

Dave


Aug 19, 09 | 6:04 pm
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
So using a cut up Martin or Taylor t-shirt does not help the tone? Damn...I just ordered one!!
Thanks for the info Dave. I appreciate all of the help I have gotten already. Build is scheduled to start in Mid to late Sept. if all goes according to plan. And we know what happens to the best laid plans of mice and men, dont we?

Aug 19, 09 | 7:17 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Hey Tony!

I have used gun cleaning patches in the past, and this time used a wooden disc to reinforce the center joint....either work well.



I have always used thin wooden braces on the sides, rather than cloth. I would just make a mess with cloth.



For the label, I use a high quality rag-type resume paper....had a little more of the antique paper look that I liked. I used my regular printer set to high quality, but I also sprayed both sides of the paper with clear acrylic before gluing it down. This kept any water from the glue from causing the ink to bleed, and helps keep the paper cleaner later.

Aug 19, 09 | 9:49 pm
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Thanks Ken. I appreciate the help. I am building this guitar for my son. He is only two, but I intend to pass it along to him when he is old enough to play and should he want it. Maybe I will use one of his old shirts or some piece of clothing for the x-brace reinforcement.
Some people use cloth for the side braces? I have to see that.
By the way, the inside of your guitar looks very nice. Is this guitar finished? If so, I was wondering how the laminate braces worked out.

Aug 20, 09 | 5:16 pm
llajoy

Total Topics: 6
Total Posts: 295
Tony,
I used cut outs from old tee shirts on my first few patches and then starting using gun cleaning patches that I purchased from Dick's. No notable difference in sound or tone.
As for my labels, I purchased sheets of business card printing stock from Stapels. I then print on my printer. I used wood glue on a few and on the last couple I have used transfer tape. I also use transfer tape to attach pickguards.

Lance.

Aug 21, 09 | 4:41 pm
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Lance,
Thanks for humoring my ridiculous notion that a martin shirt would improve tone!
And thanks fopr the tip on the labels.

Aug 21, 09 | 4:52 pm
Laurent

Total Topics: 9
Total Posts: 109
I used some fancy heavy paper, and printed it on an inkjet printer with settings to highest quality:



That X-brace reinforcement: it's not mentioned anywhere in the StewMac kit manual, I noticed.

Is that vital?

Aug 21, 09 | 11:30 pm
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
I dont remember seeing it mentioned anywhere. I just happened to look into my guitar and saw it. At first I thought it was a cobweb or dust.
I have to add two things to my "To Do" list for the guitar:
Design a label
X-brace reinforcement material.

The list keeps growing.

Aug 22, 09 | 7:50 am
Running Dog

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 103
Capping the lap joint increases its strength to almost the same as solid wood. Not capping it leaves it VERY vulnerable to damage from impact, which will basically mean removing and rebracing the top. It also makes it more likely that the top will sink between bridge and soundhole. Remember that internally the joint is end grain and that's not good.

I use a short piece of spruce (approx. 1" X 1/8") to bridge the joint. Cloth is probably about as good; I just don't like the looks of it. Covering the solid side of the joint (by using a cross-shaped piece or disk) is redundant, unnecessary, and silly but if you want to, what the heck.

Same for the crack stoppers along the sides -- cloth, as used by Martin, does a fine job. Since I just don't like it, I use small sticks of left over back and side material. It's only a couple of minutes to rip and bevel them. It takes longer to fit them -- use a caliper to find the distance from lining to lining, transfer to the stick and cut. Fit them snugly between the linings since a side crack next to the lining is really hard to repair!

Aug 23, 09 | 5:31 pm
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
I read the KMG manual online and Ken puts the side reinforcements every 5 inches. His method of assembling the guitar seems to make more sense than a lot of the instructions in the Cumpiano book. Ken's directions are also much clearer. Cumpiano's writing style is very odd in places which makes following the directions a bit difficult. I am not building yet, so I am speculating on Cumpiano, but there are parts I had to read 3 or 4 times to get what he was telling you to do. And I am generally considered an intelligent person. Especially by dumb people. :o) But really, as far as the x-brace reinforcement, the first time I saw it was when I noticed in my guitar and last night when I got up to that part of Cumpiano's bok.

Aug 24, 09 | 5:23 am
Laurent

Total Topics: 9
Total Posts: 109
Aha, so those side reinforcements are meant to stop cracks in the side! They are made of wood als well in the StewMac kit.
I noticed the cloth X-brace reinforcement as well in guitars, I'm just surprised that they don't instruct you to make one in the manual of the kit.

Aug 24, 09 | 5:30 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Actually I place side reinforments at 3" I'll have to change that in the instruction manual, The kits use the left over side material as well.

I believe Cumpiano's book is indeed very complex and his methods leave much room for error, ---- not good. However, his explaination of the basic guitar design parameters is excellent.

The only place we use epoxy in our construction process is at the X brace intersetion. I go into detail in the instructions to make sure the builder ends up with a force/tight fitting joint. I have had many sets of Martin brace sets flow through the shop (to take off measurements etc.) All the X brace joints were very sloppy and for those, some sort of reinforcemnt would seem appropriate. I would agree with Rick (running dog) a wood cap might be a better choice - appearance for sure. I know the cloth patch has been used for years but in my minds eye it's akin to how can "bumble bees fly" because to me it does not make much structural sense --- but that's just me.

Ken

Aug 24, 09 | 6:26 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Ken, You have me laughing here. The "bumble bee's flying" comment was great. I didn't check your site before I wrote the 5" thing. I remember you used an index card to mark the spaces for the braces, and since you use 3x5 cards so often, I thought you used the long edge. No matter.
I sort of see how cloth soaked with glue would strengthen the joint, kind of like a fiberglass reinforcement, but its not fiberglass, its cotton, and thus I don't see it being that strong. I plan to use one, but for sentimental reasons.

As you know, I ordered your kit and fully plan to follow your instructions to the letter. I will use the epoxy, but I want to incorporate something of my son's into the guitar since it will eventually be his. I figured the x-brace reinforcement could be a piece of his blanket. I could keep it very small since it is sentimental, not structural and hopefully not weigh down my soundboard. Maybe I can cut a side brace out of his crib instead!! Its oak, so it should be strong!

As for Cumpiano, I think he takes it for granted in some places that he has built so many guitars that some of the procedures he uses are no easy feat for the novice. For example, gluing the top to the sides without a mold. He just uses the line on his paper template to make sure the side is correctly positioned and shaped when attaching it. There is no effing way I would get a symmetrical guitar using that method!!
It would look like some sort of Picasso guitar!

Aug 24, 09 | 7:09 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
But that is a marketable idea! (provided it plays.....lol)

Aug 24, 09 | 8:42 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169

Aug 24, 09 | 8:43 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
How did you get a picture of my first build?

Aug 24, 09 | 10:18 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
And before I even started it no less!

Aug 24, 09 | 10:33 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Don't you wish your first build was worth as much as that one!

Aug 24, 09 | 10:41 am
llajoy

Total Topics: 6
Total Posts: 295
Tony, not that I'm recommending gluing the top and back with the body outside the mold but, the sides once kerfed, reinforced and attached to the end and neck blocks are a lot less flexible than one would think. My first build the mold was too large in places that I needed to put clamps that I clamped the body outside the mold. By my second build I realized I could cut back the mold to a more workable dimension and weight. Not a lack of intelligence, just experience.

Lance.

Aug 24, 09 | 4:02 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Lance,
Believe me if you can take a look at the book, Cumpiano illustrates something far different than what seems you have invisioned regarding Tony's comment. Actually, I understand in an interview he was asked about some of his difficult methods and he stated the book was written twenty some years ago -- things have changed. Anyway having researched and tried the methods in almost all the available construction publications (yeah -- that takes thirty years) I'd say his are the most difficult to perform. $.02

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Aug 24, 09 | 4:36 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Regarding the comment made about using a disc to cover the joint....I had seen it done before and liked the look, certainly better than the dried booger look of the patch, which I have used twice before. I don't think it performs any better or worse than bridging the slotted brace, which I agree is a perfectly logical and sensible way to do it. I also don't think it is any more or less difficult to make or install. Chuck a hole saw into my drill press, pop out a piece of spruce, sand and glue. My braces are laminated, and the bridge would have looked just as silly as the disc. I like the disc better, which is why I chose it. My $ .02. or 3.

Aug 24, 09 | 10:23 pm
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Dried booger. Heh heh heh.
I saw somewhere that another piece of wood was glued on top of the top brace to bridge the joint and add strength to the wood weakened by the lap joint. Seems to me that getting the joint as tight as possible and covering the joined areas with glue sufficiently would be pretty damn string as is. There are many people who say a glue joint is stronger than the wood itself. My great grandfather used to build some of his own furniture from scrap wood(times were hard back in the 20's) using mortise and tenon construction and glue. His chairs were solid as a rock until they were deemed too ugly to fit with the more modern decor of the person's house where they ended up, and they were tossed. He didnt use any nails or screws. On the other hand, the chairs I purchased for a large chunk of change from a fancy store that had screws in them have all come loose at some point and had to be glued and rescrewed. None have budged since I glued them.

Aug 25, 09 | 4:34 am



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