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electricstringtheory
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So I am part way through my first build. I have completed the neck and designed and rough shaped the body, but having put the two together for the first time, I have realised the body shape is now out of proportion and essentially the lower bouts are too small for the rest of the body and neck. 
my main concern is that it ends up as a playable and decent sounding instrument, but I feel I will be slightly disappointed every time I look at it if I continue as is.

Does anyone have any ideas to improve this short of scrapping the body and starting again?

I thought of possibly steam bending a length of wood around then glue and blend in to the rest of the body but have no experience bending wood and I estimate would need to be in the region of 2cm thick to balance the look. Will this thickness bend? And if I have enough off it’s from the main body material (black limba/korina) is this a suitable technique? Bear in mind I have a figured top on this too and planning on an natural finish so no hiding it under paint unless things get really desperate.

 

thanks in advance!


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mark bailey
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Ouch. 😮 Ideas anyone?

I suspect this probably goes in the 'you can take it off but you can't put it back on again' category...

This is why I always highly recommend following along with the course for your first build - I really think it is the best way to avoid this kind of thing.

It would be a shame to waste your lovely wood...

If you upload a pic - it might help us help you.

Maybe you can reshape the rest of the body to match? If not then my advice is to finish the guitar as it is. As long as you do a good job someone will love it whatever shape it is...you can sell it and make another! or if that doesn't do it for you... put down to experience and start again... 

 

Measure twice, cut once...


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electricstringtheory
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Thanks for the reply Mark, and the link to the course - will def check that out, as I still have a lot left to do. 

Unfortunately I think you are right on the ‘can’t put it back on again’ category - I made a template first but didn’t check with the neck before I cut. A mistake I won’t be making again in a hurry!

anyway, here is a pic in its current state for context. As you can see it just looks a little off…

ACFB5C3C 36BC 4B04 97EE F0B5BC54C887

 


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Robin
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@electricstringtheorygmail.com

First of all welcome the group. I think you've had the best advice from Mark already if you want to keep a natural finish, I wouldn't want to hide that beautiful wood either. Trying to add wood on just wouldn't look right. Maybe reshape just a little to make it look more balanced.


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Russ
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It doesn't look that bad @electricstringtheorygmail-com. Keep going. 

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Boo
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Does anyone have any ideas to improve this short of scrapping the body and starting again?

@electricstringtheorygmail-com Welcome to you and don’t sweat it, keep calm. 

You could try reshaping it a little or go wild and create something radical. A lot of people are obsessed with balance and symmetry (I think humans are programmed to want it that way, in everything). I like it too but not all the time, I love asymmetrical patterns, structures, systems, there is real beauty in that too. Don’t always try and make a perfect guitar, just make a guitar and see where it leads you. Sometimes a project will show you what it wants to be and you just follow it to produce something unique. 
If this was a project for someone else, a customer, then it may be a different story, you would probably have to start again or talk to the customer about other options. This is for you (I presume), you may have a plan but you can stray from it, if you see an opportunity. I think you are at that stage now. 
There are some crazy, unique designs all over the internet, have a look on Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration. 
Take a breath, sit back, do some research before making any more cuts. Slow down and think.
There are a million and one ways to make mistakes but they all provide you with opportunities to fix them or alter your plans. We all make them so don’t let it knock your confidence too much, let it bounce off you and come back stronger. Calm, cool and collected.
To help, we always need pictures so we have a good frame of reference. When I first read your initial textual explanation, I didn't know whether you were building an acoustic or electric guitar. Pictures are a massive help, especially for people like me who are dyslexic. I like to help people as much as I like to build guitars but plenty of pictures help more than anything. 

It would be great to see/hear your thoughts and plans for your chosen solution, we could help. 

Keep going. 👍 

Boo

Make guitars, not war 🌍✌️🎸


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Koendb
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@electricstringtheorygmail-com Welcome to the community! I would agree with @russ.. It does look ok to me too. I actually like it.


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Rocknroller912
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@electricstringtheorygmail-com

Welcome to the forum. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a small body and a standard neck but I would agree that the proportions are not exact. Perhaps you could rasp the top bouts a bit as follows. Rough drawing with an Apple Pencil.

 

EB6B5D38 9FFD 432F 8FF3 15DDC48950D1

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electricstringtheory
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Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and support. 

it is intended for me to keep, so I do have the freedom to veer off piste a little. I will try to come up with some options and post the progress on here, complete with pics!

Rocknroller I actually quite like your suggested shape, especially the stubby horn. It has made me realise that part of what I don’t like about my original shape is that it looks sort of squashed and that helps to soften the angles a little. 

I don’t have much time to devote to  this so progress is slow (about 9 months in so far) but will try not to keep you hanging too long!


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Rocknroller912
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@electricstringtheorygmail-com

Thanks for the positive response. I would suggest measuring the distance of the top, middle and bottom bouts from the centre line, so that although it’s not a symmetrical shape the balance of the horns might be something you are happier with.

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


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electricstringtheory
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I had a little play with the asymmetric idea - this is my first attempt but actually much prefer it. Would be good to hear everyone’s thoughts on whether it actually is an improvement though! Wary of taking too much off!

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Russ
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Still looks okay to me @electricstringtheorygmail-com.

 

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Boo
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Would be good to hear everyone’s thoughts on whether it actually is an improvement though!

@electricstringtheorygmail-com Yeah, I think that looks great, go with that. There comes a point where you can mess around with a design too much, don’t over think it, go with that now, it looks superb. There are plenty more guitars to design and build, you will be an addict soon, like the rest of us. 🤣 

Happy building. 🤘😁🤘🎸

Make guitars, not war 🌍✌️🎸


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Rocknroller912
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@electricstringtheorygmail-com

I think it looks good as a complete picture taking in the headstock. It leans forward which is making a statement.

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


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electricstringtheory
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Thanks guys, looks like that’s the one! Think I am already addicted, just need to get the mrs on board and maybe find somewhere better than the kitchen in which to work!


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mark bailey
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I agree - Looks 100% better if you ask me.....great! Good advice folks - thanks all!

Measure twice, cut once...


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mattbeels
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Welcome to the forum @electricstringtheorygmail-com. Whew, that’s a big name! 

I like the look of the guitar, it reminds me of a Blueshawk but I definitely like the second one better, great job!

 

Practice on scrap...


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electricstringtheory
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Just a little follow up for those who helped me along the way, and anyone else who may be interested. 

Although this has taken me about 9 months from starting the research, I have had 3 weeks of evenings to myself for a final push to get this finished. Although there are a few mistakes, I am super happy with how this turned out for my first build. Can’t wait to make the next one!

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5F6FE721 9F93 487B B383 E87E237822CA
BE418EFD 8B55 411B ADA3 D702B6F0D8C6
2547660E 6469 422F BDAC A5809AD40DC5
E98A9ABC 5B6E 48F0 8C76 3066207AFF24
F4DA25CA 5BEA 4E4B A6DA 02538CAFFD7E
D0F74FDE 872F 483F 89F1 BFE828814F62
FD00DEDB 28BA 4E04 BD59 5545C861FB48
C63B6038 FAB6 4D0E 8979 7A5571BB6F03

 


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Boo
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That looks really good man, I bet you are happy with it. Well done sir! 

On to the next one. 👍

Make guitars, not war 🌍✌️🎸


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Robin
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Well done,  I'd be happy with that. I'm sure it'll be the first of many.


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