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Looking at these guitar plans

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Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Eric Knapp » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:03 pm

Hello,

I stumbled across these free full-sized plans and I'm wondering what people might think about them.

http://www.grellier.fr/en/telechargements

I don't know enough to assess them. Are these well known among builders? I am looking at the OM plans as a possible first acoustic build.

Thanks,

-Eric
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Barry Daniels » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:48 pm

I am not familiar with the author but the OM plan doesn't look too bad. Just keep in mind that you don't lay out the frets with plans like these, and you may want to tailer the top bracing to a different concept. My last point is that many folks have gotten away from scalloped bracing and gone with a more tapered profile.
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Beate Ritzert » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:54 pm

In the German community where i am really active the Grellier plans appear to be used quite frequently, especially in 1st time builds, but also as starting point for modifications. Apparently with success.
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Eric Knapp » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:59 pm

Beate Ritzert wrote:In the German community where i am really active the Grellier plans appear to be used quite frequently, especially in 1st time builds, but also as starting point for modifications. Apparently with success.

Thanks, Beate. This might be my first build, too. The OM is not what I really want to build for myself, but it seems like it might be easier and less complicated. It's the not cutaway multi-scale jumbo of my dreams, but it would be fun.

-Eric
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Eric Knapp » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:03 pm

Barry Daniels wrote:I am not familiar with the author but the OM plan doesn't look too bad. Just keep in mind that you don't lay out the frets with plans like these, and you may want to tailer the top bracing to a different concept. My last point is that many folks have gotten away from scalloped bracing and gone with a more tapered profile.

Thanks, Barry. That's good advice about the frets and braces. I'll look for what tapered braces look like. I think I've seen then in my reading and video watching. I'm hoping to resaw, join, glue, and thickness a practice top this weekend so I'm making a little progress.

-Eric
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Bryan Bear » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:54 pm

I have printed copies of the OM, the OO and the L-00, but have only built from one of them. My first guitar was from the L-00 plan and a pretty close copy of the top thickness and bracing but I added a cutaway. It turned out just fine. If I were to do it again I would go a bit lighter. For a first guitar, it got me where I needed to be. As a side note, I really like the shape with the cutaway, even better than my own designs.

You can see the cutaway drawn in here. There is just something I love about the proportions of that small upperbout compared to the lower.
3ED69BB1-8C23-4C78-BC95-3B0D3D3F5495.JPG
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Eric Knapp » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:43 pm

Bryan Bear wrote:I have printed copies of the OM, the OO and the L-00, but have only built from one of them. My first guitar was from the L-00 plan and a pretty close copy of the top thickness and bracing but I added a cutaway. It turned out just fine. If I were to do it again I would go a bit lighter. For a first guitar, it got me where I needed to be. As a side note, I really like the shape with the cutaway, even better than my own designs.

You can see the cutaway drawn in here. There is just something I love about the proportions of that small upperbout compared to the lower.

Very cool! Now I have to find some place to print the plans for me. I think I'll print all except the ukulele, unless it's expensive. Thanks for the confirmation that this is a reasonable set of plans. They looked pretty good to me and are Creative Commons licensed.

-Eric
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Jim McConkey » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:27 am

Fedex/Kinkos and similar places can print out large sized prints.
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Beate Ritzert » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:02 am

Eric, if You dream is a multiscale jumbo, why do You not just do it?

My first full build was an archtop, and i had to do it with a very minimum of literature. It required some more learning and preparation in advance, but it came as good as a first time build can be.
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Eric Knapp » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:20 am

Beate Ritzert wrote:Eric, if You dream is a multiscale jumbo, why do You not just do it?

My first full build was an archtop, and i had to do it with a very minimum of literature. It required some more learning and preparation in advance, but it came as good as a first time build can be.

That's good advice and food for thought. I'm not sure I have the right materials for that jumbo yet. I know I don't have the skills. I was thinking of making an OM as a starter with wood I have on hand. I wouldn't have to worry about doing it wrong as I would not have a lot of time and money invested in it. The guitar I want to make would be a 7-string, multi-scale cutaway based on something close to a J-200. I would have to figure out a lot of things on my own as there aren't any plans for that. Making an OM from plans seems more doable to me at this point but I will think about this more.

-Eric
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Bryan Bear » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:39 am

There is nothing wrong with making your first be your dream guitar if that is the way you want to go. Just know that your first will probably turnout fine but will not be as perfect as you want your dream guitar to be. Your plan to get your feet wet with a more standard plan and wood that is available already is a good way to go too. No mater how nice your first turns out, your second (or third, or fifth. . .) will probably be nicer. Also, if you are like me, your idea of what you really want will change over time.

This is advice that you didn't ask for but I'll offer it anyway. You have been asking a lot of great questions here lately and collecting info about what you have and will need to make guitars. I think you are ready to take the next step. You have a good base for how to proceed; a good way to find out what else you need to know is to start making a guitar and see it through to the end. It doesn't have to be fancy (but it can be), but once you hear it making music you will love it.

You will make mistakes, you will learn from them, you will have success. You can spend all the time you want writing code for a program trying to get it all ready but at some point you have to go live so you can really de-bug it. I am confident you can have success. We're all here for questions along the way too. . .
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Beate Ritzert » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:30 pm

Eric Knapp wrote: I'm not sure I have the right materials for that jumbo yet.


Honestly ... i did my Archtop on a kitchen table with mostly inappropriate or improvised tools ... have You ever bent ribs on an iron for smoothing cloths, i.e. heating from the "wrong" side? And that with flamed maple, actually a bit too thick because thinning with the orbital sander i had borrowed was a nightmare? I bet, You do own a lot more...

I know I don't have the skills.


Skills develop from doing and making mistakes.

The main difference between the OM and a jumbo is that the parts are somewhat larger. So it would take a bit longer to work on them. A cutaway is just a bit more of bending - for the beginning i would chose a cutaway shape where the radii are as large as possible. And wood which is easier to work on (which more or less excludes heavily flamed maple for the No 1).
Something that is easy to work on, especially with hand tools, and easy to bend.
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Barry Daniels » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:55 pm

Personally, I think the idea of holding off for a couple of instruments to make a more complicated project is a wise idea. Your second or third guitars will be a lot better than the first.
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:51 pm

" I wouldn't have to worry about doing it wrong as I would not have a lot of time and money invested in it."

That is not a bad way to go on the first. Things often don't go as smoothly as planned and being O.K. with less than perfect results goes a long way to getting the first one done. It not being the "dream guitar" will help you overlook the small mistakes along the way.
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Eric Knapp » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:50 pm

Thanks, Clay. That's good advice and this is what I'm doing.

I've started a build log on this. Here I go.

-Eric
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Todd Stock » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:55 am

There's a lot of stuff that you cannot figure out without building, so you might consider trying to get a couple mid-sized instruments under your belt before worrying too much about selecting the perfect combination of bracing, woods, etc. One the process is ironed out and you understand the order of build, it gets easier to evaluate where tone is going with changes to bracing, etc. In other words, get some guitars under your belt, and the understanding of what works and what does not will come.

For a classic OM, the Grellier plans are not bad, but you might see if John Arnold has a tracing with numbers in his archives...from what I've seen, John has pretty good documentation on prewar dreads, but not sure what he has on the OM. Another good source for info is UMGF, where a search on 'John Arnold specification' or similar should bring up some good info. Finally, John Hall at Blues Creek has some decent tracings available for body shape, and with reasonable specs from UMGF (there are several discussions I've seen with good shots of and numbers on scalloped/tapered bracing), there's enough tp build from without going to a plan. FWIW, the Antes stuff is notoriously over-braced and is at best an interpretation of the target instrument - avoid if you have other resources. In summary, there may be decent plans out there that may produce a decent guitar, but there are no really accurate ones I know of for an OM or 14 fret 000.

Re: tapered bracing, it's a revelation to poke around a 1945 000 or dread and realize that they look essentially identical to the 'parabolic' braced instruments often seen from small shop custom builders these days...tapered bracing generally produces a more focused instrument that skews towards the tone that many modern builders seek. The early tapered braced Martin dreads are my favs in terms of vintage Martin flattops, but I find them less remarkable than the scalloped and tapered OM's and 000's dating from before WWII. Also worth getting into repair work (preferably after spending enough time on repairing your own mistakes or after working with a skilled repair person) where nice examples come through the door unbidden...it's interesting to compare the varying successful solutions from Somoygi, Traugott, Flammang, and vintage Martin and Gibson examples side-by-side (that list was just the last week or so here)...lots of ways to build successful instruments, as well as lots and lots of less successful instruments and repair work.
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Mark McLean » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:40 pm

I built a OM for my first build (I am now up to number 6). The Grellier plans are fairly good as a general guide, although they are certainly not an "authentic" Martin style OM (different headstock shape, bridge). I used the book by Jonathan Kinkead in building the OM and it was very useful. It contains a full size plan for a OM style guitar - but more importantly for a novice it has a very clearly illustrated step-by-step guide to the building process. The book is very reasonably priced and can be bought from many outlets, or from the author's website http://www.kinkadeguitars.co.uk/the-book.

For your dream jumbo cutaway you might want to consider the SJ plans available from the GAL http://www.luth.org/plans/instrument_plans.html. Many people have successfully used this plan, and I built one of these as my number 3. I was not really much harder than the OM - the cutaway being the only slightly more difficult aspect (and it is not so much the bending but the alignment at the neck block which is the challenge with a cutaway).

The MIMF has lots of other plans available here http://www.mimf.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1465

The ANZLF has compiled a list of sources of free plans, including all of the above, and more. http://www.anzlf.com/viewforum.php?f=32
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Eric Knapp » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:54 pm

Mark McLean wrote:I built a OM for my first build (I am now up to number 6). The Grellier plans are fairly good as a general guide, although they are certainly not an "authentic" Martin style OM (different headstock shape, bridge). I used the book by Jonathan Kinkead in building the OM and it was very useful. It contains a full size plan for a OM style guitar - but more importantly for a novice it has a very clearly illustrated step-by-step guide to the building process. The book is very reasonably priced and can be bought from many outlets, or from the author's website http://www.kinkadeguitars.co.uk/the-book.

Thanks for this reference. I don't remember seeing this one. That does look good and is worth a buy.

Mark McLean wrote:For your dream jumbo cutaway you might want to consider the SJ plans available from the GAL http://www.luth.org/plans/instrument_plans.html. Many people have successfully used this plan, and I built one of these as my number 3. I was not really much harder than the OM - the cutaway being the only slightly more difficult aspect (and it is not so much the bending but the alignment at the neck block which is the challenge with a cutaway).

I am not finding plans for an SJ on the GAL site. What am I missing?


Mark McLean wrote:The MIMF has lots of other plans available here http://www.mimf.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1465

The ANZLF has compiled a list of sources of free plans, including all of the above, and more. http://www.anzlf.com/viewforum.php?f=32
Mark

These are all great resources, thank you for letting me know about this. I have encounter some of these but too long ago to have remembered. More thought!

-Eric
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Mark McLean » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:01 pm

I am not finding plans for an SJ on the GAL site. What am I missing?


Sorry Eric. Faulty memory. The SJ plans are for sale in the OLF marketplace

http://luthiersforum.com/forum/market/
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Re: Looking at these guitar plans

Postby Todd Stock » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:06 am

If you try the OLF SJ, just keep in mind that the guitar as drawn is heavily braced on the top...reduce the brace depth x width to closer to (in inches) .575 x .250 (X), .550 x .250 (TB), .313 x .250 (F), and .625 x .375(UTB) if going with scalloped/tapered. Top area on the SJ is just a few square inches more than an OM, do no need to go to the heavy scantlings shown on the plan if you want a responsive instrument. You might also consider tweaking the brace locations - we've done these in both 12 and 14 fret, and all have been quite successful, even with tweaks on the brace location to make them closer to the J-185 brace plan. For a 12 fret version, the usual practice of opening the X angle a bit and moving the sound hole down enough to fit 20 frets in on a 25.34" or 25.5" scale works just fine.
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