Ta..DAAA!, its finished. Well, apart from the intonation adjustments and refinements to the set up, but it plays fine, sounds….er, not bad. I will post a video on you tube maybe in the next week or so, of me playing the thing, once its has settled into tension a bit more.
The tail piece held me up at the end. I have a beach wood with padauk inlay on the guitar now. I originally made an ebony tail piece that was smaller than the second one. That was my mistake, I didn’t realise that however perfect and tight the joint you make in two pieced of wood, they won’t hold together if they are too small for the tension placed on them. On first stringing up, I pulled the guitar up to full tension and the original tailpiece just blew apart. Hence the new one. I wanted some way to tie the beach wood of the new tail piece in with the rest of the guitars aesthetic, so I went with the padauk inlay, to match the sides. I had run out of ebony because I also designed a new bridge. The first one I made worked fine, I was just worried it wasn’t wide enough to distribute the string load well. Steel strung guitars have over 100ibs of tension on them and a floating bridge that is too narrow is at risk of just puncturing the sound board.
The sound board seems robust but has sagged about two millimeters. The guitar sound is fine and there are no signs of cracks or over tension in the top, so I think my bracing was adequate..if a little unconventional for an arch top. I had half expected a significant sag and built that into the design of the bridge. The action on initial set up is at 3.5mm at the 12th fret, pretty good for an acoustic. No fret buzz anywhere which astounded me…must be getting better at fretting. Now it’s time to move on to the next project….after a bit of a break for other music performance activities.
Below is a little pictorial journey through the build…