1st Build, Acoustic

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by difalkner, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. difalkner

    difalkner Member

    Nov 10, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Bossier City, LA
    I realize most of Luthier Talk is about electric but since I just completed my first build I thought I'd post some details and photos, even though it is acoustic.

    Over the last 30 years or so I have replaced tops, backs, done fret jobs, inlay, glued braces and lining, refinished, made bridges, saddles, and nuts, replaced tuners, and all kinds of repairs, etc. but this is the first guitar I've built from scratch.

    I cut all the wood for this including resawing the back/sides/top, cutting the binding and bracing from lumber or billets, etc. Along the way I've designed and built my own modular cantilever side bending fixture that will accommodate sizes from Jumbo down to 0, possibly smaller like a Ukulele. I'll post photos of the side bending fixture later and also built all the forms, fixtures, templates, and jigs for the build. I started the build a couple of years ago just working an hour in the evening, sometimes two, and some on weekends, but I put it aside and didn't touch it for about 8 months.

    I'll tell you ahead of time that it sounds good, is bright, has great sustain, and plays very easily with good action. But it may be a while before I make a video of it being played.

    Back and sides - Honduras Mahogany
    Top and bracing - Sitka Spruce
    Neck - African Mahogany with Maple and Honduras Mahogany center pieces
    Headstock, rosette, arm bevel, heel cap, and tail wedge - Walnut burl
    Headstock inlay - Zebrawood
    Fingerboard, bridge - East Indian Rosewood
    Binding, purfling - Zebrawood and Maple
    Sound port lining - Macassar Ebony
    Solid lining - Honduras Mahogany
    Side braces - Honduras Mahogany
    Finish - Shellac (French polish), measured just over 1 mil at the bridge

    The neck is bolted on and I devised a way for it to be completely removable. It can go from tuned to pitch to neck off in about 5 minutes. In the week that the guitar has been tuned to pitch it is holding its tuning as good as my other guitars. The intonation still needs some minor tweaking but I'll play it a while before working on it again.

    Assuming I like it enough to play in church I'll install a K&K Pure Mini pickup. If I decide to just play it at home and with friends I'll save the pickup for a future guitar.

    In the meantime, here are a few photos of the build and some of the finished guitar.
    Back bracing with Padauk glue strip -

    Top bracing -

    Gluing the back in place -

    Finished guitar. I didn't want a super high gloss finish but rather decided to do an old world vintage patina. Nothing against the super high gloss finishes but I have 5 guitars with high gloss finish and wanted this one to be different. Now that I've done it this way I like it even better than I thought I would.




    So feel free to comment, ask questions, critique. Fwiw, I have several guys wanting me to build electrics and a couple wanting bass guitars. If and when I get to those I'll post them here, as well.

  2. GuitarBuilder

    GuitarBuilder Member

    May 16, 2013
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    Nice work!

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