Resizing pattern/templates.

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gene downs
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:58 pm

Resizing pattern/templates.

Post by gene downs »

I never make the same thing twice (or even once, lately). The way I make bodies is to draw a design on poster board, cut it out with scissors, trace it on to a slab of wood and then go at it with bandsaw and lots of sanding.

From time to time my drawings will come out too big or small. I will sometimes be able to resize it by cutting the poster board in half, either vertically or horizontally or both, and then move the sections closer together or farther apart. This doesn't always work though.

I have always loved the look of the Hagstrom Swede and would like to build something similar. But I would prefer a 25" or 25.5" scale length and the body already seems a little small to me. So I would like to upsize it. (I have a tracing I took from a Swede.)

I have in the past tried to upsize patterns and not had much success. The outer sections are easy enough: just trace around 1/8" (or whatever) bigger. But the inside sections (waist, cutaways) are a problem. I can never get them to work out right.

My only solution in the past, and it's not a very good one, is to use a picture from a magazine enlarged on an overhead projector like they used to use in schools. Do any of you have any suggestions on how I might tackle this problem?

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Resizing pattern/templates.

Post by Peter Wilcox »

You could photograph it and take it to a print shop and they could print an enlargement to your specs, though that would cost a little money.
You could use the grid method, though that is a PITA. http://woodcarvingillustrated.com/blog/ ... e-pattern/
Or you could freehand it until it looks right, which would be my choice.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

gene downs
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Re: Resizing pattern/templates.

Post by gene downs »

Well, you learn something new everyday! Thanks. I hadn't thought of the grid thing. That might just work.

I did experiment with printing ... what, 25-30 years ago (!)? I don't remember much about the experience except that they (Kinkos) didn't have printers big enough to make copies of my pattern ... something like that. I did get some enlargements somehow though but couldn't get fine enough control of how much bigger the copies turned out in the end. That situation may have improved by now.

Chris Richards
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Re: Resizing pattern/templates.

Post by Chris Richards »

Actually Microsoft word is VERY good for this sort of thing, if you crop an image with a box and adjust the size to touch the edge of an image then if you use the picture tools you can actually type in the exact dimension that you want it to be (percentages are always a bit hit and miss so you can select millimetres). I was thinking that if you scanned in the guitar body shape on to four A4 sheets then resize it to what you want, print it out and tape them together. Also if I remember correctly a PDF will allow you to print it out as a mosaic and you can select the size of the borders (or no border) which makes it easy to tape the individual sheets together.

Marty McClary
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Re: Resizing pattern/templates.

Post by Marty McClary »

I make a lot of weird guitars that don't even have line drawings out there on the net to use. This means I need to use available photos and a drawing software called Rhino3d. I place a jpeg of the guitar I'm interested in building in the background of the drawing. Next I add some dots ( points) to the outer edges and connect them with lines. This gives me a line drawing of the Jpeg guitar. Since my drawing computer isn't hooked up to a printer, I save the drawing as a PDF, and move that to the computer/printer where it'll open up and print it out. On something large, I divide the guitar up into 4 quarters or more and reassemble the printouts with tape. You need some registration lines to check for scale on all of them. Obviously this won't work if you don't want to learn how to use contemporary software, but there are even free software solutions out there if you are willing to learn how to use them. Inkscape is free and does pretty much what Illustrator does.

Brian Evans
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Re: Resizing pattern/templates.

Post by Brian Evans »

Hagstrom Swede is a lovely guitar, iconic photographs of Larry Coryell playing one. Interesting that the originals were mostly mahogany bodies while the new ones are "resonite", which I think is a fancy name for particle board. Anyway, I would leave the body exactly as is and simply attach a longer scale neck just slightly farther away from the stock bridge location. Maybe have one fewer fret, and leave the bridge, pickups in the same position as stock. If you do upsize, try this: leave the upper bout virtually unchanged, retain the shape and size of the cutaway and the upper shoulder, start to increase very slightly as you come to the waist (maybe 1/8" wider per side), and gradually increase so the lower bout is 1/4" larger in radius and retain the roundness of the lower bout. You'll then have to move the bridge/tailpiece down a bit to retain the visual balance of being centered - you'll notice that the tail piece on the Swede is quite centered in the lower bout, and that is an important visual cue.

gene downs
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Re: Resizing pattern/templates.

Post by gene downs »

Thanks, guys. I'll cogitate on all this and see where I can take it.

Yeah, I'm a big fan of the original Swedes. I love that mahogany top look. If I'm making something based on an existing guitar, as opposed to doing something original, I never do an exact copy. There's always something I want to change. The guy who taught me to build way back in 1976 had a mandolin that he'd made. It was all walnut but with a carved mahogany top. Absolutely gorgeous. So since I have those materials already on hand, that's probably how I'll go. I'll do a little weight relief routing on the walnut.

I think the body might look good a little bit wider than stock, so I'm thinking maybe 3/8-1/2" wider and 1/4-3/8" longer. I might be okay just cutting my pattern into four quadrants and stretching it out my usual way. I have a 25" scale ebony board that I could use. So just a little bit bigger would probably do the trick.

David King
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Re: Resizing pattern/templates.

Post by David King »

Most Kinkos will have a large format blueprint printer still but if they don't someone will because the world still gets built with blueprints. I agree that free-handing it will be a good opportunity to make it even better than the original and help you get more familiar with the form..

Mark Wybierala
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Re: Resizing pattern/templates.

Post by Mark Wybierala »

Its finicky and has very limited function but you can open up a jpg file using the accessory Paint application that comes with every windows pc and there is a resize function adjustable by percentage. You end up with a number of sheets that need to be taped together but its good enough.

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