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estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to Njål Bendixen

This is Torres' SE 99 I picked it at random fro Romanillos' book.

I gave it the same analysis at I gave the 27 Santos, the width of top side to side at saddle, ect. and laid plantillas over it from half patterns I have from actual guitars, with the exception of Hauser. I took the Hauser from the Brune' 1937 drawing.

Heres what happens, they all hit the points of three soundhole widths upper bout width at center of sound hole. They all hit the waist at the same precise point and they all are exactly 14" wide at the latitude of the saddle. Dead on.

The makers are Hauser 1937 Barbero Mid 50's, Santos 1920 and 1927 - all line up with Torres SE 99 which is a typical mature guitar.

Freiderich hits the mark at the saddle latitude at 14" dead on, but he goes wide in the upper bout, but still keeps the narrow point of the waist at the line under the soundhole. They all do as that is where that lower lateral brace is placed.

1986 Barba, misses. He is following late post 60's Ramirez. He only hits the narrow part of the waist at the lower edge of soundhole. But as I said they all pretty much hit that as the braces goes there and makers want that span to be the narrow point.
But here's the thing, Barba back length is 1/2" longer than SE 99 so its stacked square rectangle is larger than SE 99 and the upper bouts fit more into that larger width square.

So he misses the actual key points of SE 99 and Santos et al, but he is in keeping with his own proportion, more or less. Longer back, longer wider rectangle equals wider waist. But since sound hole radius is not a thing to mess with he stays with the conservative 3-3/8" ish standard sound hole. This means his upper bout width at mid soundhole is wide. It's frankly not attractive as the Santos', Barbero and Hauser plantillas that hit that dead on.

Some more numbers-

Santos 1927 - Upper bout 10 -1/8th or very close
Waist 9- 3/8 ths
Lower bout 14 at saddle and slightly wider at wide point 14-3/8 ths

Which means Santos fairs out with a modern English inch into normal fractions, not crunchy weird metric random numbers. He laid it out with a ruler and rounded widths to nice fractions. I've seen the same in Ramirez III work laid out to the 16 th of an inch spot on. The reason he did I wager is so all the workmen in the shop will be on the same page.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2017 14:14:28
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to RobJe

quote:

So how did we get to the linear dimensions and the ratios between these today?

(1) Grew out feedback from players regarding sound, comfort and playability?
(2) Based on simple multiples of the standard measures of the time?
(3) Driven by aesthetics to give a pleasing shape?
(4) A combination of all three?


The answer is that Barbero was the last of the direct Torres lineage. After that, most makers veered from the Torres concept. Basically. And the metric system clouds the underpinnigs of old carpenters logic and people today don't understand layout as the old boys conceived of it. Luckily I had a few old time carpenters teach me carpentry and Gene Clark and Brune' to show me how it could fit the guitar. There is visual logic behind these patterns and it's important, whether you use it or not. But I know if you use those proportions you really can't draw an ugly guitar. It took me years to figure out why Santos guitars have so much inherent beauty, I don't even know why share this stuff, I have taken a lot of crap for figuring this out. There lot's more to see if you superimpose the inside over the outside and study it, do that if you will.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2017 14:36:50
 
estebanana

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Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to estebanana

One last unit division from Santos-

Take the vertical line of the narrow point of the waist- between the line and the 14" wide point where the saddle latitude crosses the face there is a three unit division. Take one of those units and it equals amount the plantilla extends past the waist the upper bout.

Take the same unit and it equals the normal width of a rosette 3/4 "

Santos was either very lucky, or very specific. The work divides into halves, 3's and 4's.

That little bit of plantilla that hangs over the 14' mark, that is a half unit of the one 3 units next to it.

I think these guys used proportional units to build ratios and determine dimensions. Santos seems particularly nutty about it.





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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2017 16:03:20
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1488
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Santos was either very lucky, or very specific....


Santos began his career working for Manuel Ramirez. Wouldn't you suppose that he used a plantilla developed by M. Ramirez at that time and then later took it with him when he set out on his own?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2017 16:22:40
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
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RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to estebanana

Santos worked with more than one plantilla. And I suspect he may have himself drafted some of the MR shop plantillas.

If you want a copy of the 1927 I have I will send you a tracing.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2017 16:38:21
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1488
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to estebanana

Yeah, thanks. It's the tracing of a 1933 by Roy Courtnall, offered by LMII, which I find unappealing. Besides the fact that the lines are so thick that you can't tell what it means.

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www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2017 16:44:18
 
estebanana

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RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to estebanana

I think I still have your address, I'll pop it into an envelope.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2017 16:59:08
 
Njål Bendixen

 

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RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to estebanana

Stephen

Wow, this is fantastic. You should write a book about it! I will analyse your finding when I get a moment.




Should anyone be interested, there is a book about the geometry of violins.

http://www.traitedelutherie.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2017 18:16:44
 
Njål Bendixen

 

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Joined: Aug. 25 2016
 

RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to Njål Bendixen

Rob


quote:

When I pick up any flamenco guitar I feel at home with its shape and linear dimensions in spite of minor variations – they all please me. In terms of the total mass and its distribution I get more pleasure out of handling a lightweight (say 1.2 – 1.25 kg) traditional peghead. I have to admit that the best guitars to play are a little heavier.


So how did we get to the linear dimensions and the ratios between these today?

(1) Grew out feedback from players regarding sound, comfort and playability?
(2) Based on simple multiples of the standard measures of the time?
(3) Driven by aesthetics to give a pleasing shape?
(4) A combination of all three?

In the past I have assumed the first of these. Now I am intrigued by other possible answers.

And how did we get to the mass and the distribution of this?


It is a combination of the 3, but there is one more criteria: It has to be quick to make and easily repeatable.

The traditional designs for musical instruments are all easy to make with hand tools. Nowadays what sometimes happens is that a modern maker do not have the skill to do something by hand. Then they use machines to do the job, and then they alter the design to make the instrument easy to make with machines.

Njål
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2017 22:02:14
 
Andy Culpepper

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Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to estebanana

Super interesting stuff Stephen, I think you sold me. There was an enormous amount of genius in how Torres essentially innovated the modern classical guitar in both tone and aesthetics.
It's cool to think about how the ratios that make up our musical scales like 1:1, 2:1, 3:2, 4:3 etc. can be used to enhance the beauty of the instruments we play them on.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 7 2017 0:30:14
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to estebanana

This is the 1927 Santos with some backward engineered compass work.

After a frame work of functional geometry and instrument utility is placed on paper the outline plantilla can be drawn. Probably most makers used a compass to generate some radii and perhaps even used mathematically constructed circles and ellipses. But most would have either a real compass or a flat stick with nail stuck through one side and a lead on the other. Anything to draw a circle.

Plantillas are not purely made of circles, but they are often segments of circles over lapped incrementally and connected by freehand lines or lines drawn around ellipse templates. And probably the handed down plantilla from teacher to student is used or a maker examining and tracing the outline of a guitar they admire by another maker. And all that is great, but underlying all that is a conceptual frame that I think is important to search for. The foremost framework is that guitars are designed around the string action and the structural needs, but after that these interesting idea show up like the fact that the bridge is 7 inches wide and seated at a latitude on the face of the guitar that is 14 inches across at the saddle. Whether that has a sonic function or is a beautiful design convention is up for grabs, but it is not an accident. Torres was looking at this stuff very carefully.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 7 2017 5:12:09
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 727
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Plantillas are not purely made of circles, but they are often segments of circles over lapped incrementally and connected by freehand lines


Your drawings are beautiful in themselves.

I came across this little bit of geometry.

www.savartjournal.org/index.php/sj/article/download/20/pdf_1

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 7 2017 11:56:17
 
estebanana

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RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to estebanana

Thank you. I glance at the Savart Journal every few years, it's like the Jungians journal of guitar making, esoteric and dream based.

There were already plantillas very close to what Torres and the few other makers who scaled up the guitar were making. I think they just traced around existing guitars and gradually or incrementally scaled them up. The compass work is intuitive and used as a way of 'fairing out' radii which are created by eye.

A lot of the methods proposed for complex formulas to create an instrument shape are bogus; although these formulas interesting as abstract problems, the old makers did not work that way. The instruments, violins included, were made by establishing a stable structure that was designed from the string to bridge to top geometry, and the outlines were in part drawn out of mechanical need to serve the design from the string and then finished by eye and smoothed out with a compass and other curved templates.

This information is one of the things that was learned by studying the Cremonese oncia and studying the drafting tools from Stradivari's collection and other period makers tools and few notes. The notion that there were mysterious secrets and complex formulas for creating instruments is not viable. It was drafting with common sense and paying attention to some basic proportional ideas in the service of designing around the string. Then as string technology changed and strings get better, that in turn drove advances in instrument making. The string factor in combination with builders vision, Torres et al , and player feedback.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 8 2017 0:58:44
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 727
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to estebanana

quote:

the old makers did not work that way


I am sure you are right. This is of course "post truth" geometry!

Apart from a few major excursions such as the famous Gerundino experiment, which he claimed was based on a woman's body (a kind of lonely luthier fantasy?), the shape of a classical or flamenco guitar is easily recognisable. There are some notable minor variations that hit me immediately such as the bulbous shape of Fleta and Manuel Bellido, and of course there is the occasional flat bottom!

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 8 2017 10:12:57
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to estebanana

I'm thinking I'm done with flamenco / classical experiments forever, it's fun, but high stakes if you like things very few others appreciate. But if I do ever go on that adventure I'll make a Jabba the Hutt model with black carbonite and a naked princess headstock.

The drawings will be all the rage and for sale as plans.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 8 2017 14:50:55
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3245
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to estebanana

quote:

a naked princess headstock.


Like a figurehead on the prow of an old sailing ship.

Bill

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Who tried to hustle the East."

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 8 2017 15:52:54
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1488
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Old standards of measurements (in reply to estebanana

quote:

This is the 1927 Santos with some backward engineered compass work.


I think your post #6701 is starting to look like a Picasso nude woman.

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Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2017 1:39:31
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