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Guitar Makers

A place where luthiers can 'talk among themselves'.

Members: 144
Latest Activity: 19 hours ago

Discussion Forum

What's inside a Portuguese guitar? 1 Reply

Started by Luis Motta da Silva. Last reply by Kevin McCornack aka Dr. Moreau 19 hours ago.

Inlays. How to? 10 Replies

Started by Luis Motta da Silva. Last reply by Luis Motta da Silva Jan 4.

Headstock replacement 7 Replies

Started by Luis Motta da Silva. Last reply by Luis Motta da Silva Oct 17, 2013.

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Comment by Charles F Morrison on January 18, 2014 at 10:37am

Jim, In my opinion, the clipper ship represents the highest form of wind powered sailing ship. They were built for speed and preceded windjammers, which were built for tonnage. Clippers were primarily wooden ships, while windjammers had steel hulls. I feel they are analogous to the best performing acoustic guitars, thus the label.

The painting I based the label on was done in 1885 by James Gayle Tyler. He did several identical paintings with only color variations depicting different times of day. It was a popular subject for artists back then. 

The split ends not the easiest to do, but are fun and effective. Acoustic guitar builders need to get out of this 80 year old rut they've been in. :-)

Comment by Jim Swalley on January 18, 2014 at 9:43am

Charles - Interesting bracing with the split ends.  And I love the clipper ship (windjammer?) through the sound hole.  I have a windjammer painting that looks similar, painted by my great-grandfather who saw them as a young man.

Comment by Charles F Morrison on January 18, 2014 at 8:45am

I've built about 10 guitars with this bracing design, with and without the brace laminated flaring. They have all been consistently loud and tonally rich. The back bracing drops the main resonance frequency of the back considerably compared to traditional transverse braces. Assuming you want that of course.

Comment by Luis Motta da Silva on January 18, 2014 at 8:37am

Very, very interesting! I'm amazed at that top bracing!

Comment by Charles F Morrison on January 18, 2014 at 8:33am

Just to be a bit more complete, here's the back bracing.

Comment by Charles F Morrison on January 18, 2014 at 8:29am

Luis, Here is an inside view of the top wherein all secrets are revealed. Well, not all. The main braces are laminated of 3 pieces and the ends flared to avoid too much top deformation at the ends. When the soundhole moves out of the main vibrating area it opens up what you can do with bracing.

Comment by Luis Motta da Silva on January 18, 2014 at 8:16am

Charles,

Very beautiful instrument! I wonder how it is braced...

Congratulations!

Comment by Charles F Morrison on January 18, 2014 at 8:13am

It's nice to see some activity in this group again. The photo below is my most recent design and build. In keeping with the current topic, it has a clear pickguard applied in the traditional location. It is just barely visible in the photo.

Comment by Luis Motta da Silva on January 18, 2014 at 7:56am

Aha!

Greg, you explained it much better than I did! All the details are there (you know, sometimes I have trouble finding the right English words... believe it or not, the Portuguese word for "acetate" is "acetato"; despite the similarity, I didn't know the English word, that's why I just called it "plastic"...). Thanks for your help, I hope Alan will solve his problem!

Comment by Greg Brandt / Maker of Guitars on January 17, 2014 at 9:20pm

Alan,

The clear plastic that Luis talks about is acetate w/ a clear adhesive on one side. It comes w/ a paper backing so you can cut to to size w/ a scissors and / or razor blade. Make it the shape you want and clean the top so there's no dust or dirt on it (for a nitro finish...I love Turtle Wax!). Tape a corner of the pickguard where you want it (if there's a reasonably flat spot on the shape use that spot) and lift it up and carefully peel off the paper backing. Try not to touch the sticky side as it will leave a mark in the adhesive that will stay. The tape will act as a hinge and help the piece fall into place. Using a soft rag, try starting at one end and burnish it on. This will prevent bubbles. They go on pretty easily. It won't harm nitro finish. I buy my material at a local art supply shop in 2' x 2' sheets but you can also get it in smaller sizes at luthier supply shops (Stew-Mac, LMI etc). It's not expensive. It's .005" thick usually and good enough for casual finger scratches and light pick protection. If you're really going to strum and hit the top.....go w/ a more typical thickness of about .012" thick. Usually these will be black or faux tortoise shell and won't have any adhesive on it so you'll need to get a piece of 3M double stick (all available at the luthier shops mentioned). They also sometimes have thicker clear material. The thicker material is harder to cut. Naptha (Ronsons lighter fluid) will soften the glue if you ever want / need to take it off.

Best,

Greg

P.S. Ed.....really nice looking bass! Congratulations of some very fine work!! 

 

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