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Author Topic: Ladder to X bracing  (Read 15102 times)
Danny
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« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2015, 01:01:40 AM »

That's cool Danny. I would like to experiment with building, just some ideas of my own. Like another small X brace under the big one. Amongst other things.  +1
My old Gibson J-40 has double X bracing. If things go well this guitar is the beginning of about five more that I want to rebuild, refinish, reset etc. this fall and winter.
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Danny
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« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2015, 01:42:04 AM »

Worked all day on the 000, glued a corner down on the bridge,  worked on the bracing, top and back before spending the rest of the day fitting and gluing the back on. That is very tedious and a test to your patience and ability to make it work by hook or crook.







      The top shape is better with the X bracing and it is very solid. Tomorrow the binding goes on then a finish touch up, string up and play awhile.
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« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2015, 05:11:56 AM »

Wood shavings and clamps everywhere.  I like the pictures.  I'm betting it will turn out great.
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Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
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Danny
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« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2015, 08:03:30 PM »



     Decided to reset the neck. I'm going to replace the bridge, nut and saddle as well. Probably make a new headstock plate. I'll put more pics in this post.

      Dovetail joint steamer and my neck removal jig.
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Danny
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« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2015, 04:01:39 AM »

The neck is reset and glued up. (I need at least one really good chisel) tomorrow I'll string it up and see how well the neck angle turned out.
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« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2015, 07:01:31 AM »

So did you use some kind of calculation to determine the neck angle, or just use the straightedge test or?  Also, did you have to remove material or add material (shim) to the neck pocket on the guitar body and/or the neck block to get the right angle?
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"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
Still shooting for stardom after all this time.
If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
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« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2015, 01:34:41 PM »

That is great progress!  Thank you for all of the photos.  It is enjoyable and educational to watch.
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Danny
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« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2015, 02:14:47 PM »

So did you use some kind of calculation to determine the neck angle, or just use the straightedge test or?  Also, did you have to remove material or add material (shim) to the neck pocket on the guitar body and/or the neck block to get the right angle?
I went with straight edge and shims in the neck block. The X= difference × B ÷ A made my brain hurt. You can see a straight edge above before the reset.
              I will list all of my mistakes (caused by impatience) eventually.  

         But as my wife has been telling me "you are getting a free education"
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« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2015, 02:51:18 PM »

Thanks for the tutorial Danny. How wet does the wood get by steaming the glue joint? How long does it take to free it? Does the moisture cause any problems?
I think I would let the glue cure a couple days before stringing it up, but what do I know, I've done all of 0 resets.  blush
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Danny
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« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2015, 03:09:11 PM »

Thanks for the tutorial Danny. How wet does the wood get by steaming the glue joint? How long does it take to free it? Does the moisture cause any problems?
I think I would let the glue cure a couple days before stringing it up, but what do I know, I've done all of 0 resets.  blush

The steam can cause issues. There is a way to trap the "wet"  and just have dry steam, but I don't use it. Finish problems do come up, but I'm not worried about it on this guitar. Hide glue loosens fairly quick. Other glues can be a big problem.
    I'll post more later about problems and mistakes.
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« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2015, 04:01:40 AM »

     The neck angle is just right after the reset. Made bone nut and saddles, intonation was awful. Filled in the large saddle slot and made compensated bridge slot and saddle. Now the intonation is spot on. Leveled some frets, flattened the relief with the truss rod and it plays easy.
      Sounds like a X braced Martin and really resonates. I'm very happy. Still need to put binding on and do some finish work.

     Hot hide glue and a Rosewood insert with rosewood dust, some sanding.
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« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2015, 05:49:06 AM »

Great job on the rosewood fill on the bridge and relocated saddle slot.  Glad to hear your new bracing gave a major tone improvement.

I'm very tempted to try something like that on my old Lyon and Healy parlor.  I have already reset the neck on it and repaired some cracks and converted the bridge from a metal tailpiece/floating bridge to a fixed rosewood bridge/floating bridge hybrid setup of my own invention.  I have an article in a 2011 issue of "Guitarmaker" magazine where a Lyon Healy guitar almost identical to mine was converted from ladder to X bracing using the bracing pattern from an old Martin Parlor.  The resulting tone improvement was apparently quite spectacular according to the article.  Your project and photos is inspiring me to give it a try this winter.

My dilema is that it already sounds pretty good as it is, and I don't know if I want to change the tone it was originally intended to have, simply for the sake of keeping it authentic.  On the other hand, I have already modified it, so why not go all the way and make it sound as good as possible?  I'm going to have to mull it over some more, but I'm tending more and more towards doing the conversion.

Don't mean to hijack your thread with my pics, Dan.  Just putting them in here because, I think there is a direct comparison to your project if I go ahead with it.
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"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
Still shooting for stardom after all this time.
If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
Danny
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« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2015, 12:56:54 PM »

           My thoughts on changing guitars from original design are, is this guitar for me or to resell and is it a brand that has a significant value loss by changing it. In my case the value could only increase, but not by a great amount,  plus this guitar is for my  use.
            So whatever is done to it is up to me. If you are keeping the old parlor,  I'd say go for it, I'll list my mistakes so that you and anyone else may be able to avoid them. Still this is not an easy undertaking, but it is easy to damage the guitar during the process.
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« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2015, 07:46:52 PM »


      Refinishing today, this is a one piece back and the top is one piece as well. It's the only guitar I've had like this.
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« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2015, 11:38:45 PM »

Needed some cotton, so I got a T with holes in it. Two coats of shellac, so far.

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« Reply #35 on: October 24, 2015, 05:03:50 PM »

And does the grain on the inside match - so that you can confirm they're solid mahogany?

You're doing a great job with that - I admire your skill and patience!
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Danny
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« Reply #36 on: October 24, 2015, 05:07:43 PM »

And does the grain on the inside match - so that you can confirm they're solid mahogany?

You're doing a great job with that - I admire your skill and patience!
It matches perfectly, top and bottom. Patience is not really in my tool kit. I make lots of mistakes and just keep redoing things, until they are good enough.
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« Reply #37 on: October 25, 2015, 10:27:37 PM »

You are far too modest Danny, you are very good at this stuff (way better than most of us).  I think you just Love them back to Life!  I believe you may just have another GOTM in the making after you finish this rare Kay guitar upgrade and restoration...
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George
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« Reply #38 on: October 25, 2015, 10:36:54 PM »

      Well having never been an apprentice, I learn things by experience.
      Books and online tips only take you to the door of the shop, spending lots of time in the shop helps me.
      But it would be nice to spend time with JCL, JOHN or MATTHEW.

      ONLY Larrivees can be GOTM on the Larrivee forum.
I'll try and put up a few pics later on. I've been working on the O Project and this 000. 
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« Reply #39 on: October 26, 2015, 12:04:27 AM »


       Finished with the back, (btw it had many small cracks around the edges, all are fixed and invisible) The neck was some kinda white wood, so after sanding it I stained it using alcohol stains, some home made. Next shellac will go on the neck and bring an Amber hue as well.

      I have many .05 oz. bottles of alcohol inks. But needing other colors I made my own using sharpies and furniture touch up felt makers with denatured alcohol. I made about eight bottles with several color tints. These cost about $5 a half once, so my savings were about $35. You just pull out the tip, cut it up, put them in a bottle and add alcohol. Change the colors by adding different marker tips to the same bottle. If some felt remains in a marker put a little alcohol in the marker and cap it up over nite. Then pour it into a bottle.
       These inks work great with shellac and other non poly finishes. Better than what I've found at Woodcraft, and the ones at Stewmac are way too pricey.

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