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My clasical guitar

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Project by Planeman40 posted 04-12-2019 11:11 PM 589 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
My clasical guitar
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In the mid 1970’s I decided I wanted to try building a guitar as I already played a banjo. There was no kit available and no Internet to learn from. The only option was to buy a book and build from it. So that was it, no plans, just some brief drawings and a lot of words. I was fortunate to have a small music store specializing in expensive big name classical guitars allow me to look inside some of these guitars using a small mirror on a stick. I think they were curious if I could really do it. I was able to see what the book was talking about and how it was done. I don’t think I could have accomplished building the guitar without being able to do this. The front is spruce and the sides and back are Honduras Rosewood, and the neck is Mahogany. I made all of the purfuling, the rosette, and inlays also. The bridge is Rosewood with Ebony inlay and a bone nut (from a large pet store dog bone). Bending the sides was a challenge and the hardest part to do. I was fortunately to get this done without breaking or cracking. The only thing I wish I had done better is the finishing of the spruce top. I should have given it an initial coat of thinned shellac to seal it before applying the stain. without the shellac sealer, the staining is somewhat uneven. I sprayed it with lacquer. A side note: now that I have learned the wonderful properties of shellac and all it can do, I use it constantly as a finish and a sealer underneath other finishes.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!





12 comments so far

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

1990 posts in 2121 days


#1 posted 04-13-2019 12:46 AM

That is a real beauty! Very nicely done.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View tyvekboy's profile

tyvekboy

1910 posts in 3431 days


#2 posted 04-13-2019 01:27 AM

That looks like an ambitious project. Turned out really nice.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

6050 posts in 2684 days


#3 posted 04-13-2019 01:42 AM

Very well done on a difficult project.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Peteybadboy's profile

Peteybadboy

795 posts in 2367 days


#4 posted 04-13-2019 11:23 AM

Amazing you did that old schoold and with out plans. You should be proud.

-- Petey

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1420 posts in 3179 days


#5 posted 04-13-2019 12:56 PM

Thanks guys!

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Mrowell's profile

Mrowell

275 posts in 1557 days


#6 posted 04-13-2019 01:42 PM

Beautiful project… it’s crossed my mind a time or two that this would be a fun challenge to make for my sister and brother in law who are music enthusiast.. but I have yet to work up the gumption to even think about actually starting it. Great job

-- Matt R

View OG51's profile

OG51

153 posts in 529 days


#7 posted 04-13-2019 02:18 PM

Really beautiful. It is really cool you made it just by looking at other examples and a book. How does it sound?

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1420 posts in 3179 days


#8 posted 04-13-2019 02:26 PM

It sounds great to me! Probably not to Andre Segovia! ;-)

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View harum's profile

harum

364 posts in 2061 days


#9 posted 04-13-2019 03:54 PM

Great job! Thank you for the story. My neighbor told me that at that time, though no Internet or YouTube, there used to be a lot of woodworking-related shops around; and all kinds of wood were abundant. He once took his tabletop glueup to a cabinet shop for planing and sanding. Are woodworking power tools more affordable these days, in part due to their overseas manufacturing?

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1420 posts in 3179 days


#10 posted 04-13-2019 05:12 PM

“Are woodworking power tools more affordable these days, in part due to their overseas manufacturing?”

Having started my shop in my teens (1950’s), my observation is the woodworking machines available to the experienced amateur woodworker up until the 1980’s were all light industrial machines. Anything cheaper was barely usable and pretty much poorly made. Remember, everything was manufactured by one man operating one machine. No computers then except for the rare ones under experimentation in the military and laboratories, and these were feeble compared to what we have today. The idea of “computer numerical control” (CNC) was only a dream. So it took a lot of man-hours to make a woodworking machine which meant they were much more expensive to an individual than today. Also, after World War 2, the entire world was devastated except for Central and South America, Central and Southern Africa, and Australia, and what wasn’t devastated wasn’t much of a manufacturing area. This meant (1) the USA had no real manufacturing competition until around the 1980’s, and (2) most of the world had to rebuild their countries using USA manufactured products. It was a wonderful time for American manufacturers as they were the only suppliers and had little or no competition! They made good profits and didn’t need to discount. What I am leading up to is good woodworking and metal working machines were costly compared to today. Today, CNC machining and cheap imports make for very affordable and very good machines and tools for today’s hobbyists. You are living in great times costwize!

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

4291 posts in 2185 days


#11 posted 04-13-2019 05:21 PM

Beautiful.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View harum's profile

harum

364 posts in 2061 days


#12 posted 04-13-2019 06:56 PM



...Today, CNC machining and cheap imports make for very affordable and very good machines and tools for today s hobbyists. You are living in great times costwize!

- Planeman40

Thanks Planeman! Interestingly, many local cabinet shops I’ve contacted a few years ago were nothing more than just an office with a show room; manufacturing is done somewhere else.

I guess the demand for smaller affordable woodworking machines started because the solid wood furniture was really expensive back in the day. Until that “ready-to-assemble”, mdf stuff arrived. A woodworking gallery owner (now closed for two years) once mentioned that he had had a hard time selling his furniture because people expected the I**A’s prices.

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

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