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Advice about top and back radius.
Author
Post
alanuk68

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 3
Hi all,
This is my first post here and i was wondering if anyone could give me some advice.
I've been thinking about building a guitar for a few months now and I think I've just about made up my mind regarding what to build and which supplier to use.
There is however one thing that I can't quite nail down:-
I want to build a 000 guitar but I'm unsure which of the pre shaped contour disc's to use. There seem to be a lot of them out there 15' radius, 25' radius 30' radius.
They are not what I'd call cheep either, but having said that I can see that they are a good tool.

So questions :-
For a Martin style 000 what is the preferred radius for the back ?
And of course what is the radius for the top ?

That is assuming the top is radius ed. Or is that why we call them flat top's

Please Help.

Apr 05, 10 | 12:38 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
We sell them (very accurate reasonably priced dishes) but don't use them in our shop. There are many ways to build guitars I think if you spend some time at our website

http://www.kennethmichaelguitars.com/

You will get a feel for some real good options -- take a look at the "Success Kit" instruction manual.

Welcome aboard!

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Apr 05, 10 | 1:05 pm
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
Agree with Ken - I have built five without using a radius dish (his card trick works really well for a go bar deck and I made several radiused sanding/clamping cauls). However I just bought a 15 footer for my current build and let me tell you how nice that is for making a back fit the sides. Backs are not only domed, the sides taper from tail block to neck - sanding that has always been tricky. If you only have one dish, get it for your back. Since the top rim is not tapered you can use the card trick when gluing your braces on.

Top radius is usually somewhere around 25 foot, back 15 or so. The "standard" Martin radii was recently discussed in another thread - but those number have been working just fine for me. A flat top is not flat on top.

If you decide to not use a dish, consider making a couple of long sanding sticks with your chosen radii - make them long enough to go across the body at any position. You can use them as clamping cauls for your braces, then later put some sandpaper on with double stick tap and angle the rim.

And if you get the urge your can make a sled for your router and make your own dishes


(my first was an 000 from Steve Kovacik - after four years it is still my go to guitar - in fact I played it last night. I own two nice Martin dreads but I'd rather play this little one)

http://www.kitguitarsforum.com/forum/threads.php?id=125_0_6_0_C

Apr 05, 10 | 2:05 pm
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
As a teacher and builder I use them as does CF Martin. The back is a 15 foot radius the top needs a 1 1/2 degree angle to match the neck angle. This link will take you to a video that can explain how they are used
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYHPCeVRUA4
hope this info helps
John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc.
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
Member of the Board of Directors ASIA

Apr 05, 10 | 4:29 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
So there you have it -- one professional works without radius dishes and builds Martin style guitars and another uses them. Point is you can build a nice guitar either way -- most Stew Mac builders many on this forum, follow the SM instructuions which do not incorporate dishes in the process, KMG instructions do not mention dishes and Bill Cory's Martin Style consturction manual has a nice method that also does not use any dishes. The fixturized power "flat" and concave dishes found in many factories are a far cry from a hand held dish and it is truly a stretch to draw a valid comparison. Again my response if the question is "does one need to spend money on dishes to get started in this hobby" and my answer, even though we sell excellent dishes, is no.

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Apr 05, 10 | 5:48 pm
alanuk68

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 3
Well thanks for the input guys , its always good to here different points of view explained so well.

I think I will try some kind of radius disc at some point but its probably slipped a few places down my must have tools and fixtures list.

On that note I recently watched a you tube video of Wayne Henderson where he says his most useful tool is a trusty old pocket knife!!!!!
Do any of you subscribe to that school of thinking ?

Apr 06, 10 | 12:42 pm
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
My two trustiest tools are an old but very sharp chisel that my dad gave me and my laminate trimmer. I could probably get by without the trimmer, but the chisel is always close at hand.

Apr 07, 10 | 5:36 am



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