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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:48 am 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
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Location: Chestertown Maryland
When I do my own, I approach it a little more simply. I mark 1/8" down from the top on the side at the neck block. Then with a longish hand plane (#5 or so) I plane around the sides toward the waist to taper, then with a flat sanding batten (a flat dish might do, but I don't use them) to even it up. You now have a flat upper bout. I always use a flat UTBrace. The picture below shows what you are after. You can do 1/2 of this and use a straight edge laid on the now-flat bout with the top temporarily clamped on pointing towards the bridge to verify you are on the right path, then take off the top and do the other 1/2 or whatever you need.

You could do the whole thing with a sanding batten it you were patient, but if you are confident in your planing skills, it just takes a minute to lower it by planing. This has worked fine for me in 3 different sizes - Gibson L-1 with 12-3/4 lower bout, Gibson J-185 with 16" LB, and a small body short scale that I made up with 12-1/2" LB which I used 3/32" instead of 1/8"

Here are pictures of doing it to the little guitar:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ruby1638/12882767414/in/album-72157641029319394/

Good luck

Ed


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:55 pm
Posts: 456
Location: Pittsburgh PA suburbs
That does seem a lot easier to wrap my head around, Ruby. That technique is along the lines of what I was going to do. I’d already done something similar when I radiused the top as well - mostly because using a little block plane is quicker and less messy too. I wasn’t sure how far to measure down but I figure that 1/8” is about how far down the sides are at the apex of the upper bout anyway. The objective is to have a flat surface for the UTB to lay across but I’m shooting for 1.5 degree angle on that neck block tongue too. The way I figure it I’ll start there with the block plane to get that angle set and then focus on the rims from the waist on down.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:28 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:55 pm
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Location: Pittsburgh PA suburbs
OK, I have to admit that I couldn't quite wrap my head around how much to plane so I spent several hours sanding before I decided that my back had had enough. I'm otherwise a patient person - though really I think the term "procrastinator" is more apt to my personality!

FWIW I'm much closer to being where the profile needs to be. The holdup now is the A-Frame that locks into the neck block extension. I need to adjust the depth of the mortises in the neck block extension. Once that's done I'm going to do a light test and see if there's any leaks. That will tell me if it's ready for gluing.

Image

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:55 pm
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Location: Pittsburgh PA suburbs
I have to admit that I was having trouble understanding why the tail block was the fixed point in this operation until things started to go south. I was worried that I had sanded too much on one side but the waist is still high enough where I see that there’s still a bit of material to come off there. I’d forgotten the point was to establish a flat plat to the bridge, not just to the upper transverse brace.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:55 pm
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Location: Pittsburgh PA suburbs
After two days of sanding, then measuring, then sanding some more - mixed in with routing for bracing every so often I'm getting closer. I was worried that the guitar would not fit in a case meant for a Gibson J-200 (the body on this is deeper) but as I have sanded off 1/8" from the top of the rims I'm not so worried anymore! I was also worried that the mortise for the neck was off because I hadn't accounted for the thickness of the top, but I think that's also being taken care of.

Famous last words, as I like to say though; something is bound to jump up and bite me.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:54 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:55 pm
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Location: Pittsburgh PA suburbs
I had to redo some kerfed lining between the waist and the outlets for the X brace at the upper bout. No big deal. The sides will be routed away there for the binding. My concern is to get that area level and ramped for the fretboard extension.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:49 pm
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I'm sure these comments are out of sequence to be of much benefit to OP, but there's two ways I know of to use to lay out the side profiles. First is to use the profiles in the StewMac Herringbone guitar plan. I've used them and they worked out just fine. Second is to trace the side of a dreadnought OP likes the shape of.

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peter havriluk


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:30 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:55 pm
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Location: Pittsburgh PA suburbs
Thx, but I'm already invested in this course of action and am just about ready to close the box. It was important for me to understand the geometry with a 3D picture in my head. Templates only get me so far.

FWIW, I had some replacement kerfed lining to do over a couple of spots that got planed down too low. There will be a gap between the plates and the sides but that will be moot once I rout for the binding.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:37 am 
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Location: Pittsburgh PA suburbs
My elbow is healing but it hurts to use it for long periods and I've been focusing on doing work to improve my house's "curb appeal." At my wife's behest I've been painting shutters and addressing some rotted box pillars and rusted iron railings. Along the way I've put on several coats of semi gloss ultra bright white on the front door and everything that was dingy or chipping.

That being said, I've been using the 1/8" shim method to address flattening the upper bout for the fretboard extension. It's coming along quite well, but the A frame seems to be the last hurdle. I just need to chisel out the grooves in the neck extension so that the braces sit far enough down that the top of the extension comes in contact with the underside of the soundboard.

Everything else is ready to go to close the box - FINALLY.

After that: binding. I'm leaning toward just using a gramil and a chisel. I also have a makeshift bending pipe and a torch on hand for the actual bending part. What can I say? I find using hand tools to be more therapeutic. I'm not cut out for power tools; as with playing I go by "feel" over following anything written down.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
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Sounds like everything is coming along. After surgery on both hands, I found that using old fashioned hand tools aided my healing quite a bit. Although I've finally invested in all of the specialized tools, jigs, and equipment, I still love grabbing the chisel or plane and working the wood.


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