Introduction and progress my first build.

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Robert Russell
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:00 pm
Location: Grandville Michigan
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Introduction and progress my first build.

Post by Robert Russell »

Hi All,

My name is Bob Russell and I joined this forum a little while ago but have not really posted anything.
I have been repairing guitars for 20+ years but just started building. I decided to start with an LMI Parlor Kit and had some of it serviced such as having the sides bent and the fretboard slotted. I ordered it with East Indian Rosewood sides and back, Sitka Spruce top and Ebony fretboard and bridge.

As usual I can't do anything "out of the box" so I started looking around at some late 1800's parlors and found this very cool little German Parlor that I fell in love with. I decided to reproduce the looks of it. I found a really nice back and side set for my next build of some unmarked Rosewood which was much darker than the EIR sides and back of this parlor so I cut the bindings from the side set and hand bent them over a hot pipe. The perfling is made up of Maple and Peruvian Walnut which I cut and thicknessed myself.

I am in the process of French Polishing it (real French Polishing not brushing on Shellac) and this is the results after about 5 applications. I learned French Polishing many years ago but just recently picked it back up again and this is my first attempt in well over 30 years.

Some of you may have seen this over at OLF but I thought I would post it over here as well.

I have been lurking around this forum for a while now and thought I would introduce myself and my work.

Thanks for looking.

Cheers,
Bob
Attachments
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DSC_0044.JPG
sDSC_0051.jpg
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sDSC_0035.jpg

Robert Russell
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:00 pm
Location: Grandville Michigan
Contact:

Re: Introduction and progress my first build.

Post by Robert Russell »

I hit my limit on pictures in one post so here are some shots of the guitar I am styling my parlor after.

It is a Late 1800's German made parlor classical. I am doing a steel string version of it.


Bob
Attachments
German Parlor_Full.jpg
German Parlor_Top_bridge.jpg
German Parlor_Front_002.jpg

Nate Scott
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:25 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Introduction and progress my first build.

Post by Nate Scott »

Welcome, Bob. Cool looking guitars, both yours and the old one. I love wide purflings on small guitars - gives it a kind of baroque look. I'm curious if you built up the rosette and purfling on a form or on the body?

Robert Russell
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:00 pm
Location: Grandville Michigan
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Re: Introduction and progress my first build.

Post by Robert Russell »

Hi Nate,
I have become a real fan of the Romantic Era Parlor guitars. I was planning on doing a version of the Gibson CF-100 for my next build but I think I am going to do another vintage reproduction.

The perfling was done on the guitar. I considered making molds for it but after talking to a few guys that know what they are doing I decided to do them as a "one-off". If I was going to reproduce this same guitar again I probably would have opted to make a mold so I could reproduce it exactly the same.

The one thing I wish I had done is paid more attention to where the perfling meets at the bottom. I was a bit sloppy and didn't get them to meet up correctly and also cut the line a bit uneven so I am working on an ebony inlay to put in there to cover that up.

A few other small mistakes but Hey... this is my first one so I expected a few of them. So far I have had less than I thought I would so that is a good thing.

Cheers,
Bob

Steve Senseney
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:45 pm

Re: Introduction and progress my first build.

Post by Steve Senseney »

It does look nice.

I hope the transition to steel strings works well.

mark forsell
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:42 am

Re: Introduction and progress my first build.

Post by mark forsell »

Gotta say, that's a nice looking guitar. Don't go nuts with complicated engineering with the top bracing, as everyone here is telling you, go as light as you can or the sound suffers. They're right! I over did the bracing on my first sound board replacement and it's OK, but I think it lacks in the low end.

Patrick Hanna
Posts: 199
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:49 am

Re: Introduction and progress my first build.

Post by Patrick Hanna »

Bob, it looks great to me, and a very good stylistic impression of the original instrument, too. Nice!

Patrick

Robert Russell
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:00 pm
Location: Grandville Michigan
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Re: Introduction and progress my first build.

Post by Robert Russell »

mark forsell wrote:Gotta say, that's a nice looking guitar. Don't go nuts with complicated engineering with the top bracing, as everyone here is telling you, go as light as you can or the sound suffers. They're right! I over did the bracing on my first sound board replacement and it's OK, but I think it lacks in the low end.
Thanks Mark, Maybe you are mistaking this with another thread, no one said anything about the bracing. But for what it is worth I started out with the S. Antes plans and used the X bracing pattern but I did thin them down from the plans and scalloped them as well. On the back I did the same by making them thinner and put a slight scallop in the center of the braces. It seems to have a pretty good tap tone to it and some good sustain. I am not sold on the idea of tap tuning but am not an opponent either. I have not built enough yet to know.


@ Patrick Hanna, Thanks, That is exactly what I am trying to do, not make a copy of it but just represent the spirit of the original. Obviously I am not copying it since this is going to be a steel string but I hope when it is done it will sound good and play well (it is my first after all).

I just put the final application of French Polishing on it and I am pretty happy with it. I just finished doing the slotted headstock and am ready to put the fretboard on so it is getting pretty exciting knowing it is getting close to being finished.

Thanks for the interest guys,

Cheers,
Bob

Doug Shaker
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:21 pm
Location: Palo Alto, California

Re: Introduction and progress my first build.

Post by Doug Shaker »

Since you have such wide purfling, I am wondering if you did anything special with the kerfing underneath it. That is, is the kerfing wide enough to extend all the way to the edge of the purfling. Or is the purfling set only into the soundboard on its inner edge?
-Doug Shaker

Gilbert Fredrickson
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:07 pm

Re: Introduction and progress my first build.

Post by Gilbert Fredrickson »

That is a very pretty guitar. Crane Guitar has plans for guitars similar to the Greman parlor guitar you have posted.

Robert Russell
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:00 pm
Location: Grandville Michigan
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Re: Introduction and progress my first build.

Post by Robert Russell »

Doug,
No it has the standard size linings but the perfling is only .048" and I left the very edge of the top a bit thicker at the edges. So I am pretty sure there is enough top to keep things stable. I also think that because the perfling is laminated (so to speak) it should make the edge stiffer. Only time will tell but I feel confident it isn't going to be a problem. I am not a fan of using CA glue but after I glued them in I also applied CA to the whole strip to bind everything together. I can tell you that I just finished doing a small ebony inlay at the seam where the perfling meets and it was pretty tough routing it out and it didn't show any signs of flexing.

@Gilbert,

Thanks, And thanks for the info on the Crane plans. I did just recently find site and downloaded the plans. Yes the one guitar does look similar in a lot of ways.

Cheers,
Bob

Jordan Fox
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Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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Re: Introduction and progress my first build.

Post by Jordan Fox »

I love it! I am a huge fan of parlors and small body guitars. Your design is very unique and fetching. Was it difficult to set the wide purlfling and rosette that you have?

Robert Russell
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:00 pm
Location: Grandville Michigan
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Re: Introduction and progress my first build.

Post by Robert Russell »

Jordan, Thanks for the compliment. I finished this guitar in May and have been enjoying it since it has been complete. I am working on plans for my #2 which will be another 1800's inspired design.

As for setting the multi strip perfling, it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I didn't put them all in at one time but instead laid them in 4 strips at a time. I used CA glue to hold them in place an when they were all in I flooded them with CA. It has been almost a year now and there is no sign of any problems with the wide perflings.

It has been a while since I have been over here at MIMF and forgot that I didn't post pictures of the finished guitar so here are some shots of it.

Details:
Top - Sitka Spruce
Sides, Back and Headstock Overlay - East Indian Rosewood
Neck - Mahogany -
Fretboard - Ebony/Ebony Binding with semi-hemispherical fret ends
Binding - Rosewood
Perfling - Maple/Peruvian Walnut
Headstock Backstrap - Peruvian Walnut

Finish - French Polished Body and Headstock - Oiled Neck


Cheers,
Bob
Attachments
Parlor Finish Detail Top.jpg
Parlor Bridge Detail.JPG
Parlor Neck Detail.JPG
Parlor Front Outdoors_sm.jpg
Parlor 3_4.JPG
Last edited by Robert Russell on Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Robert Russell
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:00 pm
Location: Grandville Michigan
Contact:

Re: Introduction and progress my first build.

Post by Robert Russell »

Here are a couple more:

Bob
Attachments
Parlor Headstock Detail.JPG
Parlor Headstock Back.JPG
Parlor On Deck.JPG
Parlor Front.JPG
Neck Detail.jpg

Patrick Hanna
Posts: 199
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:49 am

Re: Introduction and progress my first build.

Post by Patrick Hanna »

In every detail that I can see, I think it's outstanding! I like your position dots--offset to the player side of the fingerboard. I think the french polish is superb. What's not to like?! Well done!

Jordan Fox
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:13 pm
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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Re: Introduction and progress my first build.

Post by Jordan Fox »

That is my new dream guitar! I am saving up to start my first acoustic build, right now I'm building up my tools and finishing a work space that I can control the humidity in. I'm hoping to get started in a month or two. I've built a cigar box guitar and an electric but I'm nervous and excited to start an acoustic. I know it's going to be a huge undertaking! Do you think I should start with a larger bodied guitar as my first build? I imagine parlors might be difficult as a first build with the small body having to hold a lot of string tension. Anyhow, you've done amazing job on this guitar, I look forward to seeing your next build!

Jordan

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