Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

rob bowen
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by rob bowen »

Hi Peter ... the soundboard and back are now glued to the 2 blocks. So, the mahogany will be glued around the outside of the guitar.

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by Peter Wilcox »

I suppose that will work if those posts are pretty close together, and if there is one glued to each side of the heel block that you can glue the mahogany ends to. Are you going to pre-bend the mahogany, or make it thin enough that you can bend it as you glue it?
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rob bowen
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by rob bowen »

I have my method, or methods in the final stages of development in my head .... I watch tv, draw in my sketchbook, I think about many of these difficult little problems I need to overcome. My tools are extremely limited. I have some mahogany plywood that I will heat bend for the sides. I'm not going to get into too much talking about the process before I actually do it. Time will tell. :D

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by Peter Wilcox »

That's fine - it will be a learning experience, and hopefully will work out well.
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rob bowen
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by rob bowen »

Thanks very much Peter ... yes, learning tons everyday here. I can't remember the last time I had so much fun.

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Bryan Bear
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by Bryan Bear »

Rob, thanks for the kind compliment earlier. There are many here who are worthy of such comments but I do not count myself among them. . .

I am enjoying following your build. It is really taking me back to when I was getting into this and not knowing I would become completely hooked <G>. I do have to say that I have concerns about the structure of your box once string tension is applied. The worst that can happen is that you learn something though. And, it is evident that you are enjoying yourself, which is the biggest part.

The forces acting on the box are greater than one might imagine at first. IIRC this will be nylon strung so you may be okay. Just remember to keep an eye on it over time. If it doesn't fold up when you first string it there is still a chance that it will slowly distort over time. My first had the opposite problem. It was way over built. I think I could use it in a bar fight and it would still be in tune; the downside being the uninspiring tone of an over built instrument.

When you make the next one. Believe me, there will be a next one. I recommended reading Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology Cumpiano and Natelson. It is not too expensive and could probably be borrowed from inter-library loan. There is a ton of information in there that will get you pointed in the right direction as far as structure, wood choice, construction technique/operations and all kinds of great info you wouldn't even think to ask about. It is written to allow people to get started with minimal specialized tools and techniques. Once I got it, it (and these fora) really got me pointed in the right direction. I do a lot of things differently now than the book recommends but I wouldn't still be doing this had my wife not bought me a copy years ago. I would venture a guess that the overwhelming majority of people on this forum had this book as one of their first investments in the craft.
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rob bowen
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by rob bowen »

Hi Bryan, thanks so much, I really enjoy your input. I do have that book ... in fact, I have 2 copies, a hardcover bought many years ago for over $100, and a softcover bought recently for $20. It is an amazing book. I have maybe another half dozen books ... electric and acoustic building books. The guitar will be strung with nylon classical strings ... I decided to go this route as my first guitar as classicals typically don't require truss rods. I am more concerned ultimately with the steadfastness of the tuning pegs than the strength of the body, but I bow to your knowledge here .. I am a newbie afterall. I come from a scratch modelbuilding background balsa flying aircraft .... building light and strong. I am drawing on that experience, plus whatever I learned in woodshop in high school. There will most certainly be more instruments .... and not necessarily guitars. Yesterday I discovered there is a guitar sales/repair shop not far from where I live that sells fret wire, bone, etc, and I am looking forward to taking my unfinished instrument there to get outfitted with some materials.

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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by rob bowen »

It's starting to look like a guitar ... but I know there is a LONG, LONG way to go. Today I am creating trapezoid posts for the inside outer edge, particularly for the lower cutaway points ... as it appears they could snap on the grain at any time :o I will be cleaning up the sounboard and back of the guitar where they meet the neck block with a chisel .. any excuse to use my chisels ... I love them :D I am very pleased with how the neck slips snugly into the neck block, without hanging up on the soundboard and back edges. I could not be happier with the project at this time. :D
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rob bowen
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by rob bowen »

more pics.
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Bryan Bear
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by Bryan Bear »

Is your fingerboard going to end at the neck, or is it going to be notched out at the end to go over the soundboard?
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by rob bowen »

I am envisioning the fingerboard extending out over the soundboard like a diving board over a pool ... but not parallel to the soundboard ... kinda on the same angle as the strings from the nut to the floating bridge. By the way Bryan, when I spoke to this fellow at the guitar shop yesterday, he suggested tying on cat gut frets ...he says lute makers still make them that way. I asked him if the individual knots get in the way or impede comfort ... he said "no". Hmmmmm.

rob bowen
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by rob bowen »

Having braced the inside of the lower cutaway, this morning I wanted to see how the guitar would sit on my lap, and how it would feel overall ... I like it so far.
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rob bowen
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by rob bowen »

This afternoon I made a trip to my neighbourhood guitar shop .... first visit as I just moved here recently. I chatted to the repair / builder fellow who was very amicable and extremely helpful. I purchased 2 pieces of bone .... one for the nut, one for the bridge. This evening, I have made cardboard templates for the trapezoid supports for the perimeter of the body. Starting at the neck block, by the time I had fashioned them as far as the endblock, I considered checking their fit for the opposite side of the soundboard. Drawing a pencil line across the soundboard at 90 degrees to the center line, I positioned the first several and discovered a near perfect fit. I was quite surprised, as I did not expect the soundboard to possess the same curve on both sides. :o
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Barry Daniels
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by Barry Daniels »

With those big tie-blocks and the thick hardwood top, you may not be getting much acoustic response from that guitar. Planning on having a soundhole?
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rob bowen
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by rob bowen »

Thanks Barry... :) I'm not sure what "big tie blocks" are. I am planning on sanding down the soundboard and back as much as I feel I can safely. I will probably also install a pickup.

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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by rob bowen »

So, I decided I the guitar didn't need "posts". I opted for making small triangular wedges along the inside outer edges of soundboard and back. Kinda resembles a venus flytrap. I did add a few posts though. I set myself the task of figuring out how to extend my spindle sander. Decided upon using a 12" length of ABS 1.5 " plastic pipe .... coincincidentally fitting the rubber sleeve of the spindle sander .... hooray. :D This afternoon I made a cradle for the underside of the guitar to rest upon while being sanded ... keeping the outer 2 edges at in liner vertically ... still with me? Blah, blah, blah ... it lined up once I began sanding the edges ...I checked it with a set square ( see pic ), I'm pretty pleased so far. :D
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rob bowen
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by rob bowen »

more pics.
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rob bowen
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by rob bowen »

I completed the sanding on the outside edge of the body last night. Well, as much as I can do with the spindle sander. I will be dressing it a bit by hand before the sides glue on. Next is the thickness sanding of the soundboard and back. I need to make some thickness calipers.
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Bryan Bear
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by Bryan Bear »

Some of those glue blocks look to be oriented to crate endgrain glue joints. In the cutaway area it looks like a me you have endgrain glued to the heel block and where the side wood will attach. I'm afraid that as the string tension try's to rotate the heel block forward some of these weaker (endgrain glueups are not a strong) joints may come undone. Especially the side wood to glue lock endgrain, I immagine Thea will be difficult to clamp tightly the begin with.

P.S. I really like the point at the tail end.
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rob bowen
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Re: Removable neck acoustic instrument ?

Post by rob bowen »

Hi Bryan, You are most probably correct. However, I am plodding forward. I would like to mention though, that it will be strung with nylon classical strings, which I understand exert less pressure..... hence the lack of a truss rod also. Thanks for the compliment on th etail end, I like that detail also. I took my object ( not a valid instrument yet ) to my local guitar shop and the owner informed me of several reasons why this will never work ...and I'm ok with that. Incidentally, I bought fret wire from him, but I am still looking at alternatives.

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