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Baritone guitar 28" Spruce / Cocobolo
Author
Post
Herman

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 482
After the electric adventures I decided to make something different and it is dedicated to my late father.

A 28" acoustic baritone with
-German spruce top
-Cocobolo back/sides
-Curly maple bindings
-Madagascar rosewood fingerboard/bridge/headplate
-Abalone/cocobolo rosette










As expected there were several flaws, but in the end it turns out very nice.
The intonation we discussed befrore is almost right. A few cents on the sharp side when fretted. May I'll change that in the future. But for now it's ok.
The cocobolo was hard to bend but probably I left it a little too thick.

For strings I used a d'addario exp23 baritone set. 16-70. They are quite stiff to play compared to a normal guitarset.

Yes and you probably want to know how it sounds. Well: Very warm and very deep. The lows are beautiful. The high could be more ringy but that is probably due to the very thick strings. What cables they really are! Have to experiment with some other strings.

It is strung up for two days now. I'll play it for some time. When it is settled, Í'll post a soundsample.

Herman




Sep 15, 09 | 12:04 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Herman, that is a beautiful tribute to your father. If there are flaws, I can't see them. But, is anything perfect? Should we expect anything to be perfect?

That's just a very beautiful creation you've made real with your hands. Congratulations!

Bill

Sep 15, 09 | 1:16 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Stunning! You'll have to post a recording, I would love to hear it!

Sep 15, 09 | 1:45 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Herman, Man! That is awesome! I have a set of Coco waiting for my next build with sapwood down the center like that, it sure loogs great. Very nice finish job too. Your rosette is similar to what I've been considering for the Coco dred I'm making next. I'm planning on Koa bindings with the purflings like you've done.
What is different about a Baritone??

Kevin

Sep 15, 09 | 7:07 pm
FredB

Total Topics: 11
Total Posts: 94
This is a beautiful guitar, Herman. The simplicity of the purfling and the maple binding sets up a wonderful contrast to the cocobolo. Well done, and I echo Bill's remarks about a great tribute to your father.

Fred B

Sep 15, 09 | 7:29 pm
Herman

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
Heey guys, Thank you for your repies. This is one of the reasons I visit this forum. Because of you friendly people. Thanks agian.

The difference about a baritone is
-There are few guidelines, because there is no (industerial) standard.
-There are no plans you can buy. You have to make your own drawing. But is fun to do.
-The scale is longer, so the placement of the bridge is different. Therefore the bracing is different.
-The stringtension in higher. My exp23 set pulls 230 lbs!!! But no one can tell you how stiff you have to make the top and braces.
- The compensation on the saddle is different. No one can or wants to tell you what it should be. Even dÁddario said to me they have no clue??!!.(hu, cause they do)
- The neck is wider because of the thick strings.
- IMO the body should be big. It must produce low notes. In my case I use a B-B tuning. Mine has a Jumbo body. (Thanks to John Hall who sent me the profiles almost for free)
-The bridgeplate was made quite large. In fact I was a bit frightened about all the tension it has to guide. Actually it turned out real good. Before the bridge all is flat and it has a little bulging behind the bridge, that I consider as a good thing. (not overbuilt).

If anyone considers to build a baritone. Please send me a mail, and you can all have the specs of my guitar. Sharing is a good thing.

Herman

Sep 16, 09 | 8:27 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Herman, thats a really beauty!
Did you find binding the neck to be very difficult? It looks great!

Sep 16, 09 | 12:55 pm
Herman

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
Thank you Tony,

No, binding a fretboard is not that difficult.

1 You have to measure twice, because when you glue the binding to the board, you cannot take of much material anymore from the sides. So when glued down, the width of the fingerboard should be spot on.

2 You need to level the board again. So if you have a fingerboard in your kit that is about the final thickness you should proceed slow and precise.

3 As discussed before, maple is very hard to keep clean. Ebony is much more foregiving. But the looks of curly maple under a glossy finish is a joy forever.


Sep 17, 09 | 9:34 am
Andy

Total Topics: 57
Total Posts: 350
Herman, that's a very classy looking guitar. What sort of music are you playing on it ?

Sep 18, 09 | 6:05 pm
Herman

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
Fingerpicking most of the time, that is the style I know best. In a strumming style it is my loudest guitar so far. But it is strung up for a week now, so I'll wait some time to see what it suits well.

Because of the deep and dark soundcolor I think it will work best as a single/solo instrument. I guess in a band setting it will drown in the low spectrum of bass and drums.

Sep 20, 09 | 6:14 am
cwood8656

Total Topics: 12
Total Posts: 53
Herman,

Just beautiful, and a wonderful tribute. Nice work, you should be very proud.

Chris.

Sep 20, 09 | 12:13 pm
Terry

Total Topics: 41
Total Posts: 220
Herman...

What a magnificent success, and tribute to your Dad! I too have some Cocobolo waitng to become an instument. I have heard from some sources that because of the high oil content of Cocobolo, gluing can be a problem. Did you notice anything of that sort? The notion of a Baritone Guitar intrigues me very much! I think I would like to try one.

Terry

Sep 24, 09 | 11:11 am
John B

Total Topics: 15
Total Posts: 76
Beautiful! Very nice work!
John

Sep 25, 09 | 6:19 pm
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Herman, thanks for the tips!

Sep 28, 09 | 6:39 pm
Herman

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
Guys,

Here is the soundsample as promised. Again don't mention my playing. The recording went just through a dynamic mic right into the computer. No effects at all. So it is not very sophisticated and it contains some noise.

members.chello.nl/g.arendsen/bariton.mp3

I hope more of us post some samples now and then. It keeps visiting the forum extra fun. Guitars are made for producing sound and not only for nice pics. Agree? (Although the cocobolo under the finish is really a treat to me)

Oct 28, 09 | 4:33 am
Herman

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
Sorry Terry, your question was overlooked.

I used LMI epoxy for wood to do the cocobologluejoints. It glues without troubles. Only drawback is that the squeeze-out tends to smear. The cleanup on the last plate to the box is tricky. So it is more difficult to end up with completely clean joints.

Oct 28, 09 | 4:41 am
dviss

Total Topics: 18
Total Posts: 165
sounds as good as it looks!

Oct 29, 09 | 5:19 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Herman - that's one of the prettiest versions of Scarborough Fair I've ever heard. Good playing, and the guitar sounds fantastic!

Thanks for putting this up. I agree, more of us should put us sound files -- even those who are not professionals and are usually too modest!

Thanks -
Bill

Oct 29, 09 | 5:39 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Not professional, and too modest......that is me for sure, and for good reason!! I guess I could try and play a little bit of something into my computer mic, but I wouldn't expect it to sound very good.

Kevin

Oct 29, 09 | 7:33 am
Terry

Total Topics: 41
Total Posts: 220
Herman... I'm speechless...

Oct 29, 09 | 1:12 pm
dviss

Total Topics: 18
Total Posts: 165
Hermon,
thanks again for the specs. Did you make or order a longer truss rod, or just install a typical length truss rod further away from the nut?

Nov 07, 09 | 6:39 pm
Herman

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
The rod I used is 385 mm long. But a 410 one would have been better.
I left indeed the cannnel a bit shorter on the nut side. But it did not harm the neck yet.

Nov 08, 09 | 3:52 am
Charles Kuo

Total Topics: 43
Total Posts: 222
Hi Herman,
I just saw this - it is soooo beautiful. I love the look of cocobolo.

-Charles

Feb 18, 10 | 9:45 am
Herman

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
Thank you Charles and all others for your kind commends. In another tread the discoloration in time of the rosewood-purples is discussed. But the reds in this one hold up very nice since last year. If you have the bucks, you should try the coco!

Feb 20, 10 | 6:26 am
naccoachbob

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
Herman, I'll chime in also on the great work you did. The thing that impresses me most on a guitar is how someone uses woods for binding, purfling, headstock, and other trim to complement the back/sides and top. You hit it on the head with this.
Did you find cocobola "oily"? I thought I read somewhere about that. If so, any problems with gluing or anything else using it. I'm wanting to try that with my son's guitar about 2 builds from now.
Thanks, and again, wonderful instrument.
Bob

Feb 20, 10 | 7:48 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Bob,
Herman's guitar turned out awesome.
I am building a cocobolo dred right now, and am using LMI white glue. So far no issues gluing. The wood I have is not very oily, but for precautions, I have been wiping the gluing surfaces with Acetone before gluing.
If you use epoxy, that should not be necessary at all. I have used cocobolo for many years on knife handles, epoxied on and never had one fail.
It is a beautiful wood to work, if you choose to, you will love it. Has a wonderful smell too, however some have allergic reactions to the dust so use caution there.

Kevin

Feb 20, 10 | 8:16 am
naccoachbob

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
Thanks Kevin. I'm not a fan of using epoxy. Would prefer using just wood glue. Thanks for the Acetone tip. Sounds like a cure for me.
Man that's pretty wood.

Feb 20, 10 | 8:27 am
Herman

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
Bob, this cocobolo was oily, but only a bit more than the other rosewoods I used. Because of the warnings on the net I used the LMI epoxy, but my guess is that Kevins method of whiping with acetone (or naphta) would have done the trick too. And as Kevin I'm not a fan of epoxy due to the more difficult cleanup of the squeezeout. It sticks to everything, once on your fingers the whole area gets messy. But heey it's glue, isn't it?
BTW: LMI whiteglue is my #1.

Feb 20, 10 | 10:18 am
FelixMG

Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 1
Hi guys, i just registered for this discussion. Herman, that's a beautiful guitar you've made there. Congratulations!

I just had a few comments about cocobolo wood. First of all, in my opinion backs should always be jointed with epoxy, just to be safe. I am currently building a Romanillos style classical guitar with cocobolo back and sides, and the first time around i jointed my back with wood glue (having wiped with acetone first). The joint didn't hold. The technique used was the same i always use, so it might have something to do with the centerline of sapwood running down the joint. After rejointing with epoxy, the joint was strong and dependable.

However, i noticed that for coco-to-other-wood bonds, such as gluing kerfling to the back and sides, the wood glue was strong enough. These joints undergo much less pressure than the centerline (i think), but it was noticeable that the kerfling was glued on strong. So for coco to coco, epoxy is best, but coco to other woods, wood glue CAN be acceptable, depending on the wood. Sorry for the long message! Again great job Herman!

Apr 20, 10 | 10:09 am
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Herman, I had somehow missed this guitar. What a beauty! I'm glad the thread resurfaced so I could see it. The cocobolo is really striking, and I love the maple bindings on it. Great looking guitar!

Ken

Apr 20, 10 | 4:37 pm
Herman

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
Thank you guys

Apr 24, 10 | 7:10 am



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