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My first steps in building an acoustic guitar

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Koendb
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A couple of days ago, I started to bend one of the sides, which was still a bit too thick. ( 2.4 ~ 2.5 mm )

It took me quite a while, especially from the waist into the upper bout.

Since it took so long, I decided to leave it for a couple of days and tackle this bit by bit. So tonight I tried getting the upperbout sorted out.
it is still fighting me a bit, but I am definitely getting closer.
The lower bout was really easy to get into shape, one bend in one place, and it locked in around the template almost perfectly.

For now, I clamped it around the template, just to help it keep its shape a little bit. Perhaps I need another round tomorrow.

I am absolutely going to sand the other side a lot further before I start that one. 2.4 is still way too thick I think.

IMG 20220121 234609411

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Rocknroller912
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@koendb

Side bending is best done in one go. The longer you leave it the more the wood will dry and become brittle.

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


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Koendb
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Posted by: @rocknroller912

Side bending is best done in one go. The longer you leave it the more the wood will dry and become brittle.

@rocknroller912 Ah I did not know that. Luckily for me, it seems to have worked out fine, It keeps its form pretty good now.

I will sand down the other side a lot more before I start on it 🙂

Thx for that warning!


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Rocknroller912
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@koendb

Which side will be thicker, the treble or bass

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Koendb
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Posted by: @rocknroller912

Which side will be thicker, the treble or bass

@rocknroller912

The bass side is thicker.
Just finished sanding the other one to 2.15~2.25mm


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Rocknroller912
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@koendb

I wonder if the bass side will have a muted response due to it being thicker. Difficult to sand it once the body shape is made but not impossible. Are you building on a flat board or using a mold.

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Koendb
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Posted by: @rocknroller912

Are you building on a flat board or using a mold.

@Rocknroller912 I am using a flat board just like Mark does in the course.

Posted by: @rocknroller912

I wonder if the bass side will have a muted response due to it being thicker.

I wonder that myself, but I do expect and accept the fact that it won't be the best sounding guitar it can be. I am here to learn.

I just finished bending the other side. It took a lot less time then the first one 🙂
After a good 20 minutes, I realized I was using WAY too much water and it is the heat that actually made things bend properly, once I had that locked in my mind and fingers, it went really easy and a lot faster.

So far the 3 biggest lessons:

1. leave enough extra material on the soundboard, I cut it out way too close to the line. I am just going to make it in some spots.

2. sides should be thin enough 🙂

3. Listen carefully when someone explains you how to bend sides 🙂


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Rocknroller912
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@koendb

Its a hard learning curve by yourself. I went through it many years ago and have never actually done a guitar making course, only violins. You can show us on the video call next Tuesday if you like.

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


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Bpower
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@rocknroller912 I kinda wonder if it would be the other way around. I've been doing a lot of reading and watching others making their laminated sides and I've seen a few that, when they are done laminating 2 pieces that are 2-2.5mm thick, they have a side that is about 4.5mm and is very stiff. They say that, since they are thicker, there is less energy lost and the guitar should vibrate more. I've kinda assumed that we thickness our sides down so that we can bend them without breaking them. I am only going on hearsay about what I've been reading, and someone like @darrenking may be able to correct me, but I am very intrigued about it. 


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Koendb
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Side bending job done, now the pics:

IMG 20220122 225153919
IMG 20220122 225431530
Posted by: @rocknroller912

You can show us on the video call next Tuesday if you like.

@rocknroller912: Yes ! If I can make it, I 'll definitely show what I have


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darrenking
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Posted by: @bpower

someone like @darrenking may be able to correct me

I am really not in a position to ‘correct’ anyone and I think we’ll all find that the longer we stick around, the fewer examples of right or wrong answers we’ll find exist. With regard to the thickness of sides, heat bent sides will always need to be fairly thin in order for them to be bent successfully on a bending iron. If you are laminating sides then this isn’t a limitation and I have supplied vacuum presses and materials to luthiers who are laminated sides up to around 5mm thick. This is primarily a development in the classical guitar sector, possibly because they don’t have a heavy guitar hanging around their neck when they play!) and the thinking is to reduce the resonance of the sides thereby increasing the concentration of the vibration in the soundboard and the back thus increasing volume. Once you start mixing this up with compound and composite soundboards you may understand why there are so many schools of thought and avenues of experimentation open to us. None of us will live long enough to see ‘the final answer’ but it’s a lot of fun doing our bit and contributing to the accumulated knowledge that will be available to the next generation of guitar makers though this forum.


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Rocknroller912
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@bpower 

My understanding is that thicker wood dampens sound vibrations, however I’m not sure how this affects the sides. I think that you are correct in saying the thickness is for bending. I’m leaning towards laminates sides and solid front/back as the sides need to be a solid part for the front and back to vibrate. A loudspeaker is a solid metal cone with soft paper so hmmmm.
University research project maybe.

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Rocknroller912
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@koendb

No worries you have a very smooth looking set of sides and I think it’s going to be a great guitar. I might not make the video on Tuesday as I’m being pressed to do a booking for Burns Night ahhhh I hate Burns. There’s not enough money in the world but the offer is free beer !

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


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Rocknroller912
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@darrenking 

Degree subject for sure

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Robin
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They say that, since they are thicker, there is less energy lost and the guitar should vibrate more.

As an engineer I'm inclined to agree with this. I see the sides as a structure to support the soundboard, so I think stiffer sides are a good thing. Having said that, the the thin sides in the traditional curved shape gives the required stiffness.  I've spent my working life designing structures not to vibrate, I'm in a different world now.


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Boo
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Although I can’t add anything, I’m loving this conversation, very interesting stuff. I’m so happy with the thought that people put into these forums, always thinking of others and how things will contribute to future guitar/instrument builders. Wonderful input. @darrenking @rocknroller912 @robin @koendb @bpower 

Ps. I’ve got my haggis and whisky ready for Burns night. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🥃 (there is no haggis emoji) 

Make guitars, not war 🌍✌️🎸


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Russ
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Posted by: @boo

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🥃 (there is no haggis emoji) 

They're very elusive creatures @boo. The best way to catch them is to lay at trap with sea salt on the night of a Full Moon. 🤔🪤 

🙏🎸🎶🙂

🗝️ "Life's what you make it"🗝️


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Boo
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Posted by: @russ

They're very elusive creatures @boo. The best way to catch them is to lay at trap with sea salt on the night of a Full Moon. 🤔🪤 

@russ Thanks Russ, I’ll bear that in mind. 🤣🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿👍

Make guitars, not war 🌍✌️🎸


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Powerful
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@koendb They look fantastic. Well done


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Koendb
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Well, today, I did some final touch ups on the curves of the sides and they now remained within a few mm from where they should be sitting.
Then sanded the sides with 80, 120 and 240.

Next: Kerfed Lining. This went really smooth and easy.

IMG 20220123 175952418
IMG 20220123 213023828

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