First Build Log - OM 6-String

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Eric Knapp
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First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Eric Knapp »

OK!!! I'm doing it. Here's the beginning of my first full build. I've decided to make an OM with 6 strings with a standard, not multi-scale, neck. The main reason is I want to get some feedback from musician friends. I want to build a "normal' acoustic guitar that is playable by guitar players. I have some friends who are wonderful players who will tell me what they really think. This is good.

It will mostly be based on this plan:

http://www.grellier.fr/static/data/plan ... _00_en.pdf

I have no idea how often I'll add to this build log but, as many of you have said, I have to just start building. Come the end of May and I'll have a bit of a summer break. There are a few perks to being a teacher, eh?

Wish me luck.

-Eric

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Eric Knapp
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Eric Knapp »

Here's the top from the old piece of cedar siding.
Cedar Siding Top
Cedar Siding Top
I cut two pieces off the 13' board that are 24" long. This is not a book match, one is folded back. I think they look pretty good. I flattened these sides with my big ECE jointer in the pic. It's a beast, it's 23.5" long with a normal 2 3/8" iron. I sharpened it tonight and flattened and waxed the sole. It glided through this softwood with almost no effort.

The next step is to resaw them to a good starting thickness. One side is already pretty smooth but I want the final thickness to be about 3.1mm. My bandsaw has a new blade on it and is running really true. I'm hoping the next entry will show a successful resaw effort.

-Eric

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Bryan Bear
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Bryan Bear »

I'm glad to see you jumping in! That will be a nice looking top! I don't know what you are using for back and sides but that would look great with walnut.

I'm sure you just copied the wrong link but just in case, that link is for the OO not the OM. I only mention it in case you also downloaded the file to take to the printer.

Can't wait to see this unfold.
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Eric Knapp
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Eric Knapp »

CORRECTION: This is the link to the plans I'm starting with:

http://www.grellier.fr/static/data/plan ... tar_en.pdf

I will be making some changes most likely but I don't know what yet.

-Eric

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Eric Knapp
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Eric Knapp »

Bryan Bear wrote:I'm glad to see you jumping in! That will be a nice looking top! I don't know what you are using for back and sides but that would look great with walnut.
Thanks, I have not decided on back and side wood yet. I have a big walnut board that I recently realized was quarter-sawn and I need to drag it off the wall and see if it would work. Assessing what wood I already have that is instrument quality is something I need to do soon.
Bryan Bear wrote:I'm sure you just copied the wrong link but just in case, that link is for the OO not the OM. I only mention it in case you also downloaded the file to take to the printer.
D'OH! I posted the right link in another post. I was going too fast, as usual. I am going to print out all those plans for reference, but I want to make an OM. I've never been thrilled with the Dreadnaught shape and the OM seems nice.
Bryan Bear wrote:Can't wait to see this unfold.
Thank you, I am happy I'm finally to a point where this is possible. I started working on the shop last May so it's been almost a year. I've learned a ton and I'm ready to start making rookie mistakes. That's the only way to learn, eh?

-Eric

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Beate Ritzert
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Beate Ritzert »

Bryan Bear wrote:... but that would look great with walnut. ...
Indeed. Or with something lighter.

A really cool top!

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Eric Knapp
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Eric Knapp »

Beate Ritzert wrote:
Bryan Bear wrote:... but that would look great with walnut. ...
Indeed. Or with something lighter.

A really cool top!
Thanks! It looks even better than the pic. I have a few choices. I have lots of maple that would work. I might have some cherry and I have a big hunk of mahogany somewhere. I would like to see if my quarter-sawn walnut is good enough quality for a basic guitar. I'll take pics and ask for input once I have those boards free from their cluttered prison.

-Eric

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Eric Knapp
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Eric Knapp »

I got the plan for this OM printed and I'm ready to work on the top.
Plans and a Top
Plans and a Top
I have a new blade on my bandsaw and a jig I've used for making sawn veneer many times. I'm still nervous when I do this. Here's goes resawing my first top.
Resawing
Resawing
I made a video of the sawing, too.

https://youtu.be/xN0m92kDJbg

The resawing went well and the top pieces are a very uniform thickness. My final thickness target is 0.125" and I hope this is thick enough to start.
It worked
It worked
This siding is not thick enough for a book match and I'm glad the grain is so straight and even.
Nice Grain
Nice Grain
The next entry will be on jointing the new top.

-Eric

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Eric Knapp
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Eric Knapp »

Shooting The Top Joint

I worked hard on making the plane and shooting board for this. It's feels good to actually use them to joint a top.
Plane and Shooting Board
Plane and Shooting Board
Here's a video of me shooting the joint.

https://youtu.be/ze3M0CZny14

I think it turned out very tight.
Prett Good
Prett Good
I surfaced one side before resawing. This is a hint of what it might look like in guitar form.
Surfaced Side
Surfaced Side
I like this taping method for clamping once the joint is really good. I hope there aren't any issues with it you all have encountered.
Tape?
Tape?
The glued joint with the tape is very stable. Even with the tape on it the top rings with a very pleasant and musical tone. I have no idea if it's the right tone for a guitar but at least it has a ring and not a thud.
Almost a Top
Almost a Top
That's the progress so far.

-Eric

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Randolph Rhett
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Randolph Rhett »

Congrats on jumping in. You won't regret starting with a traditional build. You have to learn the language before you write poetry. And you will probably build yourself one darn nice guitar.

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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Brian Evans »

In terms of tone, any kind of bell or drum like tone is what I listen for. If I hear a real dead, thuddy tone I feel that means there are internal flaws that haven't come out yet. Now, I work with 1" thick raw stock, not 200 thou thick. If it is ringing for you, I would say it is good to go. It's nice wood.

Back and side wood does not have to be quarter sawn. In fact, a lot of highly figured maple is flatsawn to bring out the curl or quilt. Personally, if I had some nice mahogany with some life to it, that's what I would use for a first instrument. It is so easy to work with and bends quite easily, at least for me. Your cedar is going to darken a lot when you put finish on it, so a darkish mahogany would compliment it nicely. Here is the guitar I made of deck board cedar and a billet of mahogany that I hollowed out.
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Eric Knapp
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Eric Knapp »

Randolph Rhett wrote:Congrats on jumping in. You won't regret starting with a traditional build. You have to learn the language before you write poetry. And you will probably build yourself one darn nice guitar.
That's a good ananogy. I'm acquiring vocabulary quickly from the folks here. Thanks for the encouragement, I hope this first one just holds together and is playable. Anything beyond that will be a bonus.

-Eric

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Eric Knapp
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Eric Knapp »

Brian Evans wrote:In terms of tone, any kind of bell or drum like tone is what I listen for. If I hear a real dead, thuddy tone I feel that means there are internal flaws that haven't come out yet. Now, I work with 1" thick raw stock, not 200 thou thick. If it is ringing for you, I would say it is good to go. It's nice wood.
It's good to know this has a chance of being nice.
Brian Evans wrote:Back and side wood does not have to be quarter sawn. In fact, a lot of highly figured maple is flatsawn to bring out the curl or quilt. Personally, if I had some nice mahogany with some life to it, that's what I would use for a first instrument. It is so easy to work with and bends quite easily, at least for me. Your cedar is going to darken a lot when you put finish on it, so a darkish mahogany would compliment it nicely. Here is the guitar I made of deck board cedar and a billet of mahogany that I hollowed out.
I do have a hunk of mahogany out there somewhere. I'm going to drag out some candidate slabs for some photos and get opinions. I have a ton (literally) of flatsawn wood that has been aging for over 30 years. If I can use some of that for guitars it would be great. I agree that a dark wood would be better with this top. I also need to try some finishes on a scrap. I want to try Royal-Lac first. I'm never going to have a spraying setup and need to find a non-toxic finish.

That's a really nice guitar! I love the color and design. One goal of mine is to make archtops but I want to make some flat tops first.

-Eric

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Barry Daniels
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Barry Daniels »

Did you candle the top joint before you glued it up?
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Eric Knapp
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Eric Knapp »

Barry Daniels wrote:Did you candle the top joint before you glued it up?
Learning as I go, what does it mean to candle the top joint? I held it up to a bright light and didn't see any light coming through. Is that what you mean?

Thanks,

-Eric

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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Eric Knapp »

I'm getting an education through failure here! Overnight one side of the top developed a crack. I'm gluing it together but I'm thinking I should maybe cut and resaw the next piece on the board and redo. What is the collective wisdom on this? Never start with a top piece with a crack? Is that asking for trouble down the road? The piece that cracked was the one closer to the end of the board. The next piece shows no sign of a crack and neither does the next one in line. That seems safer to my rookie instincts.

Thanks,

-Eric

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Barry Daniels
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Barry Daniels »

Yes, candling is holding the joint up to a bright light. I usually go outside and use the sun. Any slivers of light indicate a slight gap and the joint should be planed again.

Regarding the cracked side, it can certainly be reglued and it may never cause a problem down the road. However, if you have more of the original board left over I would remove the bad part and redo it. My concern is the crack was probably always there since it was the end of the board. So there is a weak point there. Also, dirt and oxidation may have been present in the original crack which will minimize the strength of any glue you use to repair the crack.
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Bryan Bear
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Bryan Bear »

Royal-lac isn't non toxic per se. It is mixed with denatured alcohol so there's that. If you are not spraying you should be fine with just wearing gloves (if French polishing) and having adequate ventilation. Not really a big deal but with a mention.

Did the crack in the top happen all on its own or did it get bent or bumped? Cedar can be splitty, if it happened from a mild trauma, I'd call snider gluing it and moving on. Racing and flying to the rim will give it more support. If it just happened sitting on the bench, I'd be more concerned.
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Eric Knapp
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Eric Knapp »

Barry Daniels wrote:Yes, candling is holding the joint up to a bright light. I usually go outside and use the sun. Any slivers of light indicate a slight gap and the joint should be planed again.
Good to hear I might have done it right. I've done a lot of sawn veneer and used that technique to join it. The veneer was 1/16" thick. I got pretty good at it but it's been a while.
Barry Daniels wrote:Regarding the cracked side, it can certainly be reglued and it may never cause a problem down the road. However, if you have more of the original board left over I would remove the bad part and redo it. My concern is the crack was probably always there since it was the end of the board. So there is a weak point there. Also, dirt and oxidation may have been present in the original crack which will minimize the strength of any glue you use to repair the crack.
I think the crack was there. I am going to use the next section of the board instead. If more cracks develop I think I'll abandon this board.

Thanks,

-Eric

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Eric Knapp
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Re: First Build Log - OM 6-String

Post by Eric Knapp »

Bryan Bear wrote:Royal-lac isn't non toxic per se. It is mixed with denatured alcohol so there's that. If you are not spraying you should be fine with just wearing gloves (if French polishing) and having adequate ventilation. Not really a big deal but with a mention.
Royal-Lac and shellac in general are close to fully non-toxic, especially compared to things like lacquer. Wearing gloves with a little ventilation is what I'll do. The alcohol is denatured but is not poisonous. Many use Everclear as the solvent which is just booze, eh?
Bryan Bear wrote:Did the crack in the top happen all on its own or did it get bent or bumped? Cedar can be splitty, if it happened from a mild trauma, I'd call snider gluing it and moving on. Racing and flying to the rim will give it more support. If it just happened sitting on the bench, I'd be more concerned.
I think it was there and I'm going to use the next section of the board. There wasn't any trauma and since I have the board I'm going to use it.

Thanks,

-Eric

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