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Thread: New Tenor in the making.

  1. #1
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default New Tenor in the making.

    I am making another guitar based around a fiberglass body.
    I have successfully made several six string versions from a bigger mold but I just made up a smaller mold and cast this first one.
    I am following a theory based on a rigid body & back but with a unusual sound board bracing that doesn't quite reach the edges!
    I have also managed to make the soundboard from one piece of Monterey Cypress, I have been using this wood for the six string soundboards and it works extremely well.
    I want every component apart from the top to be very rigid so I am using a carbon rod with a through bolt to keep the neck in place & the body non flexible.
    The neck its self will have a 7mm steel rod... heavy but non flexing.
    I will epoxy the inside of the back to stop any flex.


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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    What's the idea behind this -more volume, different tone, something else?
    - Jeremy

    Wot no catchphrase?

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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    More sustain and more bass, not my idea exactly although the fiberglasss body is mine.
    I took me around 40 hours to build the four part mold .
    I can put up a link later but I can show you a six string in action...


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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    There seem to be a few luthiers following this root but this guys describes the Speaker Box theory quite well....
    http://www.danielbrauchli.com/Acoustic_Concepts.htm

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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    I've wondered why more instruments don't have through rods running from neck to heel, like my vintage banjo. The virtues seem obvious. What's the drawback?
    And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

    C.S. Lewis

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    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    Thanks for the link. Quite an interesting article.
    Bill
    IM(NS)HO

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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    Quote Originally Posted by s1m0n View Post
    I've wondered why more instruments don't have through rods running from neck to heel, like my vintage banjo. The virtues seem obvious. What's the drawback?
    I am sure there are plenty of reasons but maybe because it is simply not a standard fitting and folk don't like change!
    99.9% of guitars are made to a certain design and that seems to work very well so why change?
    As I only build for fun, I don't really see the point in building something that I can just go and buy in a shop, not when I can make something unusual.
    I have put my six string versions right up against expensive Taylors and they compete very well.
    Maybe not as bright but they offer a lovely mellow tone, very similar volume and perhaps even more sustain!
    The cypress is quite heavy, I suspect a nice spruce top would perform even better but again, I can buy a spruce top guitar any time.
    I made a cedar top tenor with an extended neck (one long piece of wood) a few years ago & I liked the idea ;0 however in this case I am attempting to eradicate any body vibration .... like a speaker box.


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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    Well I have epoxied the inside and glued on the top bracing.
    I made the centre completely ridged & added plenty of structure to the front of the soundboard.... all guess work, no real idea if it will work


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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    Looking forward to hearing how it works out and well done for taking an alternative approach. Like you, I don't see any point in making instruments that can be bought off the shelf or made by others to a higher standard. Looks like lots of fun.

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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    I have fitted the sound board, the fretboard & the bridge but... I have a problem with the bridge pins location holes!
    I am pretty sure the outside holes are going to be right alongside the bracing - if not actually touching them
    I think this means I will have to narrow down the neck & the string spacing to get more room at the bridge end.... and make a new bridge.


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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    I have her strung up & sounding fantastic!
    However I still need to sand the whole thing down & put some type of finish on it but even without proper set up & fine tuning she is louder than my Blueridge.




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  19. #12
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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    I cant get enough of this guitar! I hope to make a vid soon but, it really does sound good!
    I know I cant really show off the sound with a basic recording but I plan to put it alongside my BR40 to demonstrate the volume & sustain.
    My own BR40 has reduced bracing, is well set up & had around 5 years use, the new guitar has a 1.5" less string length & a heavy soundboard but even as a brand new unit, it is both louder & has much longer sustain.
    I find it quite weird to play as my favourite tunes sound really different.

  20. #13

    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    Looks great, and I am looking forward to hearing your sound clip. I had a friend who had a 1960s era Fender acoustic flat-top guitar that had a tube running through it in similar fashion. Can't remember the model name or number though. Could even have been a 12 string.

    Scott

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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    Really a nice looking Instrument! Looking forward to hearing it.
    It ain't gotta be perfect, as long as it's perfect enough!

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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    It's a very attractive instrument - certainly from the front, and the back is really interesting. What other woods have you used for it? I was wondering what it's like to play - does it sit on the knee without slipping off? What properties do you think the fibreglass sides give to it? I'm no builder, but I find it interesting, and I think that it helps when instruments look beautiful as well as sounding beautiful. :-) Are you playing CGDA?
    "What's that funny guitar thing..?"

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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    Hi Tim, I guess looks are a personal thing & to be honest I don't expect many people to like the look of a guitar without a round sound hole! I wanted to use as much as the soundboard as possible in an attempt to get more volume.
    I use the same wood for the neck and back as I did for the soundboard 'Monterey Cypress' the back has a mahogany strip & the headstock is a little bit of diseased Cherry (honey fungus).
    As I play mainly sitting down I made it to sit comfortably on my left knee, I prefer this position on short scale instruments.
    I cut out loads of MDF templates to get a nice comfortable shape, it will sit in position and hardly move so very little left hand grip is required. The guitar is quite heavy (relatively speaking) I would guess a pound or so more than a Blueridge.
    The fiberglass sides are very dense, I used a multi part mold that clamps together and produces a smooth inside and outside.
    I am new to guitar building so I don't really understand how these things work but, I read about 'Speaker box design' and wondered if fiberglass sides would work.
    All I can say is this guitar, although it has substantial soundboard bracing, is loud & clear with a lot of sustain.
    I hear a lot of folk taking about how the body woods effect the tone & how it is possible to tell one wood from another, so perhaps this guitar would not please any traditionalist but I love it
    Maybe I should also point out that I have a very small wooden shed in my garden, I have a chopsaw & a bench sander but virtually everything is done with hand tools or small handheld power tools.
    A few years ago I was given some chunks of quarter sawn Cypress, up until then I had never built a guitar but the wood just seemed to be perfect.
    I joined a few guitar building forums and was told numerous times that the wood would be great for backs and necks but not for soundboard material.
    There are still many folk who have criticised my attempts & especially the use of the wood for soundboards......

  26. #17
    Registered User Tim N's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    All power to your elbow,then, despite the critics! As I love the look and feel of natural wood, as well as the knowledge that it's something organic, I'd probably turn a blind eye to the sides - but it evidently works acoustically. I love the headstock! As a gardener, the mention of honey fungus makes me feel a bit queasy - I didn't realise there could be a silver lining.
    BTW, I know you've said elsewhere that you like the sound of the Osark tenor. I've been spending the last few months quietly improving my(fairly limited) fingerpicking on mine, and have come to really love the instrument now - which took a bit of time, but the sound really is clear and sweet (CGDA) and I was surprised how good it sounded as a song accompaniment when I recorded it.
    Enjoy your new creation!
    "What's that funny guitar thing..?"

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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    Thanks Tim, yes the Ozark is a nice little short scale instrument, I used exactly the same fret spacing on this guitar.
    Funny enough I have been given a bady damaged Ozark, it has been trodden on and is basically squished but, I am going to have a go at fixing it ...
    Honey fungus has destroyed my own garden trees, over the last ten years I have lost six mature trees, all I have left are three apple trees and one sycamore.
    The 140 year old hornbeam was heartbreaking to see being cut down, my fig was the last to go and the apples are now in the line of fire!
    I have saved much of the wood for varoiuse projects but I have already used many of the branches for didgeridoos.
    Hornbeam is so hard it is ridiculous!

  29. #19
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    I added a bit of colour .....



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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    I think it improves the front and sides -but I really liked the old back. Is it still sounding great -and where's that video you promised
    - Jeremy

    Wot no catchphrase?

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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    I have just come back from a long holiday in New Zealand, before I went away I leant out most of my tenors so I have to start claiming them back!
    I painted this one before I went away, I am going to polish it up to see if it comes good, but it is the only tenor I have in the house at the moment!!
    I have cast another fiberglass body that has been in the mould for around three months, that one will built in a very similar way to this one as yes it still plays extremely well although I have been messing around with six strings while on holiday & I must say I miss that full sound....

  32. #22
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Tenor in the making.

    I spent several hours trying to get the intonation as good as I could, I find this can be very frustrating as I often go too low with the saddle and get a buzzing string and this was exactly what happened!
    However I then discovered a really interesting thing!
    I discovered that by tightening the nut at the rear of the guitar that threads onto the steel bar that in turn threads through the carbon tube & holds the neck in place, I could in effect elevate the bridge!!
    This really surprised me!
    The carbon rod is acting a bit like a truss rod, I can see a slight bow in the rod if I wind down the nut really tight.
    This must somehow be distorting the body a forcing up the soundboard up in the middle .... Great... I think?

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