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RE: How to loosen a top?   You are logged in as Guest
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estebanana

 

Posts: 7545
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to JasonM

Jason? Just buy Trevor Gore’s book. It’s about $150.00 and it gets delivered in a week. I’ve always suspected that the trial and error shave or sand braces was at best a crap shoot and at worst a strange mythology perpetuated by quacks. Finally there’s actually a text that outlines a realistic theory about how tops work.

I recommend it, you don’t have to use it verbatim, but it gives a theoretical ground that’s scientific. I don’t work that way strictly, but it will answer the questions you’re asking in a comprehensive and profound way. Why keep guessing? Or did you already read it ?

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https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 2 2019 8:43:46
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2000
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to estebanana

quote:

I’ve always suspected that the trial and error shave or sand braces was at best a crap shoot and at worst a strange mythology perpetuated by quacks.


Steve, if I had not tried this system out for myself, I might have the same opinion. But studying and using these techniques has given me certain insight into understanding that there are ways in which to alter the articulation and tone of the top by tweaking the fan brace shapes and sizes.

This is nothing more than using slight alteration of any building technique. I'm sure you have incorporated this into many of your builds, perhaps without thinking about it.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 2 2019 13:09:49
 
Filip

 

Posts: 200
Joined: Apr. 23 2006
From: Madrid

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to JasonM

quote:

Well, I’m no expert obviously But there is a formula regarding stiffness. Called Young’s Modulous? Which states there is a 1:3 ratio between thickness and stiffness. Basically this means that on a thin guitar top and braces, It doesn’t take very much material removal to alter the stiffness. you can cross a threshold really fast and go too far if your not careful . Difference between 2.0mm and 2.1 mm might be significant. And Spruce and cedar are really soft woods that sand fast. Also the tops of the braces are shaped like a pyramid usually so its less of a surface to sand. Some people use a small finger plane which would be faster.

Thanks a lot for your thoughts Jason. Young's Modulous is interesting, I haven't heard about it before. I guess then that making the top more thin you reduce the stiffness, so what happens if you go too far and sand too much, will it reverse and be more stiff or you still get less stiff top but the quality of sound goes down?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 2 2019 13:55:06
 
JasonM

Posts: 1075
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to estebanana

Thanks Andy! Looking forward to hearing what your maple/spruce sounds like. This guitar definitely has that a bit of that cold, dry, dark maple sound in the bass strings.

Stephen, Yeah Trever Gores book is on my list. I couldn’t handle anymore data and info Until I got some basic construction concepts down with this first build. I saw that Robbie O’Brien now has a video course with Gore too.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 2 2019 13:56:54
 
RobF

Posts: 360
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Hi Tom, I posted my caution because I had mentioned how removing some wood from the bridge of a guitar I made may have contributed to an improvement in its sound. I don’t want people to assume that doing something like that is always going to lead to a positive result.

I think everyone will agree that altering the dimensions of any element of the soundbox, such as the braces, can have an impact on the tone. I was just cautioning that this should not be done blindly, and I would argue that anyone but the original maker is operating with a handicap.

To my mind, there is a distinction to be made between a necessary repair, on the one hand, and an alteration made at the owner’s request in hopes of “improving” the tone or playability of a healthy instrument, on the other. Even repairs like eliminating wolf notes should be approached with caution if the owner and repair person are not aware of how long the condition has existed. And even then, I feel it’s best to try to elicit the change through material addition, if possible, as the alteration can be removed at a future date if need be.

Of course, the owner can do what they desire with their property but, to me, altering another maker’s work solely with an eye to improvement is lacking in respect for their art, if not an act of outright vandalism. And I feel this to be the case even if the changes result in what the owner and repair-person consider to be an improvement.

But, this thread had turned towards celebrating Jason’s achievement, and you should be concentrating on recovering your health. All is in peace, and we can always pick this discussion up later when you’re feeling better.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 2 2019 16:10:36
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2000
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to RobF

quote:


But, this thread had turned towards celebrating Jason’s achievement,


I humbly agree.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 2 2019 17:13:21
 
Echi

 

Posts: 671
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to estebanana

The congrats to Jason are absolutely due. Very nice guitar.

I don’t fully agree with Rob in this circumstance - even though he makes good points - as the line is very subtle here and the ethics of guitar repair is plenty of exceptions.
In this case, it’s the maker altering his work and it’s obviously ok but at the end of the day the problem arises for any altered guitar and it may be a good/necessary work or just not.

Again, I’d be extremely doubtful to buy any guitar to which someone did an undocumented process of “voicing” or repair and yet at the end I would judge the guitar itself. Just my 2 cents.

Edit:
It just came to my mind of when Bream asked Romanillos to replace the central struts of his ‘73 Hauser copy with beefier ones or when he asked Hauser III to replace the back of his Romanillos. Again Bream asked Rubio to alter the ‘bar d’aime’ his Bouchet etc.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 3 2019 10:48:19
 
JasonM

Posts: 1075
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to Echi

Aww thanks again guys. Hope I can finish this axe up soon and get a ‘officially done’ video posted. In the meantime talk away on the disfigurement of other peoples soundboards lol.

I agree with Rob, except what if the Luthier rushed the guitar out the door? Not saying you guys would compromise your name like this but there are certain makers who cut corners I’m shure
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 3 2019 16:32:21
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11365
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to JasonM

quote:

ORIGINAL: JasonM

Ricardo playing the guitar at the bar


pics from the dungeon







After what seems like years of Jason talking about building this thing, and all his questions, I admit I was shocked at how good this guitar turned out... neck angle right on, great mid range and percussive response. Wow! It must be a fluke. Build ten more just like it I dare you!

Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 8 2019 5:43:58
 
JasonM

Posts: 1075
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Wow! It must be a fluke


What you mean a fluke!

The trebles have gotten a LOT brighter, more harmonics, more sustain. I was out of town for a while. when I came back, I said Whoa! This guitar has gone from a Jasonm 2F to a 1F. BUT, rasquados don’t sound quite as punchy to me as they did before I left. I don’t know. At any rate, this guitar is still changing, and I still need to finish it which might change things.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 11 2019 20:31:02
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2000
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to JasonM

Jason,

You might go ahead and finish the guitar and then if the treble is not flat or snappy enough for good rasgeado, you might relieve the 3rd brace a little more toward the sound hole, maybe a little on the second brace to level it in articulation with the 3rd brace. Poco a Poco.

It always a little risky but nothing is gained by doing nothing, if it's not right to begin with.

But of course it's always wise to know when to leave it alone.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 11 2019 22:21:24
 
Armando

Posts: 279
Joined: May 27 2005
From: Zürich, Switzerland

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to JasonM

If we are talking about the Manuely Reyes Model 2003 by Tom Blackshear then i can tell you that i had the same problem with one of two guitars that i have built after his plan.
Until today i've got no definite answer on what went wrong on the second one. It seems that i was just fortunate with my first guitar. The soundboard of that guitar was less rigid but that's all i can tell about their differencies. I find it extemely difficult to do any approprate adjustments at the aftermath that will actually improve the sound. Tom will most likely argue that he is doing that all the time but for most luthiers that are maybe not professional makers it would be a nightmare, except of course we have taken Tom's masterclass on guitar fine tuning;-)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2019 20:50:17
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2000
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to Armando

quote:

Tom will most likely argue that he is doing that all the time but for most luthiers that are maybe not professional makers it would be a nightmare, except of course we have taken Tom's masterclass on guitar fine tuning;-)


Armando, I have developed a technique to fine tune tonal properties in my guitars. It's not the only way.

The 2003 plan was drawn as close to the original as possible for the top bracing.

I have gotten both pro and con information about it but one thing I'll admit is that not all builders can make it work.

However, the builders that do, have nothing but good things to say about the plan.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2019 14:04:58
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2000
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to Armando

quote:

Until today I've got no definite answer on what went wrong on the second one.


Armando, similar to you, I had a problem with the Miguel Rodriguez style classical, until I settled down and kept building it until I got it right.

No plan is sufficient unto itself without certain adjustments that bring it to its peak efficiency. And it is the master builders knowledge that has an edge in this case.

As for me, I just kept building the Rodriguez style until it finally happened. And if you bother to read all my posts concerning the Reyes plan, I think you'll find enough information to make the 2003 Reyes style workable.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2019 14:41:01
 
Echi

 

Posts: 671
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to estebanana

Tom, you are a world wide known luthier, so there’s no doubt that for you it works.
Also a plan (no matter how good) it’s not enough to turn a bad luthier into a master or viceversa and the woods quality changes the game.
I don’t think fine tuning makes miracles, even when mastered.

Given that, the only way to loosen a top is to shave down something: bracing, bridge or top.
Highly unadvised if you don’t know exactly what you are doing and (to follow up Rob’s post) at times unethical.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2019 15:09:18
 
JasonM

Posts: 1075
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to Armando

Hey Aramando, thanks for sharing your experience. Personally I thought the guitar was a bit on the stiff side but Ricardo said it was fine for him. Probably something I could get used to as I really like the way it sounds. The RSC guitar I play regularly is not as stiff so maybe I’ve just taken that as the norm. I finally got around to gluing a thicker fretboard on and am just waiting for the moisture in the glue to dissipate before I plane it flat again.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2019 15:37:04
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2000
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to Echi

quote:

I don’t think fine tuning makes miracles, even when mastered.


It's not a 100% controllable ideal and this is what I'm trying to pass on to Jason. Nothing is totally controllable in this idiom.

But the ideal is to search until it just happens with a certain result. This is what some master builders try and accomplish through their fine tuning, of various building techniques.

If this idiom were gauged by doing everything the same way twice, then it would be more akin to science rather than art.

All these years of my tuning the voice has taught me where to go to not hurt the tone, rather than actually finding the voice. So the happening is more toward a miracle when the voice happens out of chaos.

I think this is what happened to this recent build when I lost what little control I had with the tuning.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2019 16:58:21
 
Armando

Posts: 279
Joined: May 27 2005
From: Zürich, Switzerland

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Tom you mentioned not to touch the middle struts but you also mentioned to trim brace nr. 3 towards the soundhole.
So is nr. 3 not a center brace?
For my understanding it is, only brace nr. 1 and 6 aren't.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 13 2019 19:38:36
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2000
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to Armando

Armando, the idea is to not touch the #1 brace, or the 4th or 5th brace in the center of the plan.

So we make sure that the first and 4th brace are correct to begin with.

By doing this we graduate the other braces into position with these two braces, if necessary.

Not all of this is easy to explain or understand. That's why I give fine tuning classes.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 13 2019 21:02:39
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2000
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to Armando

Here is a post that explains a little more about the brace work.

This is a Conde but using the same idea of brace strategy.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=tightropetb&p=Tom+Blackshear+guitars+you+tube#id=14&vid=7d81777b3c6cef50a5cda6f8f98a2161&action=view

some things have changed how I support the bridge gluing process but most of this is the same.

I might add that the guitar finished out well and has aged nicely. Carlos just took it to Israel for his trip, saying that this is one of his favorite guitars.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 14 2019 16:32:30
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2000
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: How to loosen a top? (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Just looked at this from Savage Guitars in New York, as a prototype of what the guitar could sound like from the 2003 plan:

https://www.savageclassical.com/product/tom-blackshear-classical-guitar-321-reyes-cedar-eirw/

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 14 2019 19:16:23
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