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buliding a flamenco guitar- where to start?!?!   You are logged in as Guest
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Haithamflamenco

Posts: 927
Joined: Mar. 6 2007
From: Bahrain

buliding a flamenco guitar- where to... 

hi amigos,

after getting killed by the flamenco guitar pricess,

i decided to build a flamenco guitar,

i am in far place form spain or any place that i can find a guitar maker around,

so any clue, how can i start and understandt he theory then the technichal things?!?!?!

need your help here amigos,

oleee

_____________________________

Bahrain is my country and Andalucia is my dream
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 20 2007 9:15:50
 
r0bbie

 

Posts: 160
Joined: Feb. 11 2007
From: Holland

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to Haithamflamenco

Hi Haithamflamenco,

This is a difficult question because do you want a GOOD flamenco or just a guitar that maybe looks like one and perheaps has the sound of a flamenco?

It takes a master to build a realy good flamenco and usualy there best guitar is not the first they build. It might take ten guitars to even grasp the basics.

Then the tools, I think you need at least some chissels 1 plane and some clamps. and even if you go for the cheapest tools you might end up spending 500 euro's for the tools alone.

Then the wood, if you would produce a perfect guitar on the first try (against all odds) then it is wise to use the better wood and that will cost you say 300 euro.

Then the books, I have two books, one from William Cumpiano and the other from Roy Courtnall and both are fine to start with but there is verry litlle about building a flamenco (If I had to advice I would say, go for Courtnall). They just lack the exact differences between a classical and a flamenco.

In short, you spend about 1000 euro and you still have nothing, except for some tools and a pile of wood. Building a flamenco that does justice to your playing when you dont have experience is like buying a lottery ticket and hope you win.

If you dont expect to build a perfect guitar at the first try then it is a lot of fun to start building. Then, on the second guitar you build you know where you screwed up on the first and it will be better, and still, there are new screw-ups. Each guitar will be better till you make a perfect one and I think that will take a long time. Its just the question if you would go this far to get a good flamenco guitar.

Just my 2 cents :-)

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 20 2007 17:02:46
 
Haithamflamenco

Posts: 927
Joined: Mar. 6 2007
From: Bahrain

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to Haithamflamenco

roobie, thanks man,

i just want to play for fun at first, just o learn,

then maybe to build for perfectiona,

so those are the important books i need to have , what about the plans,

antonio toress plan, is it for flamenc or only classica, and is the the full size guitar?!?!

and do u know where i can get flamenco plans?!!?

_____________________________

Bahrain is my country and Andalucia is my dream
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 20 2007 21:39:38
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to r0bbie

quote:

It takes a master to build a realy good flamenco and usualy there best guitar is not the first they build. It might take ten guitars to even grasp the basics.



Then the wood, if you would produce a perfect guitar on the first try (against all odds) then it is wise to use the better wood and that will cost you say 300 euro.



Ten guitars is a good start on becoming a novice builder. Our quality is still improving after almost 40 years and hundreds of guitars. In the last couple of years I feel like we're beginning to understand how to build a really good one consistently.

Re: wood
Remember that you'll have to wait for the wood to cure. Plan on at least a couple of years before the wood is ready. Here's an axiom we've learned to live by: "Never trust a wood vendor, all wood must be considered to be unseasoned unless you've aged it yourself".

_____________________________

John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 20 2007 21:51:42
 
Armando

Posts: 302
Joined: May 27 2005
From: Zürich, Switzerland

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to Haithamflamenco

Hi Haithamflamenco

You may start with a Torres blueprint. The Torres bracing is well suited for flamenco guitars. Most flamenco bracings are derrived from the Torres pattern and futhermore, the influence of the bracing on the tone is anyway not that big as most novice builders think.
The thing with the tonewood is really an important issue to care about. Green tonewood built in a dry area such as Bahrain, can destroy your work in a short period of time. I've been in Spain in Sigüenza to take a master guitarmaking class with José Romanillos and there was a student who purchased his tonewood on the trip to Sigüneza. Of course the wood was not seasoned. When he started to work with it, it warped and it started to produce cracks as the air humidity in Sigüneza is rather dry.

If you want to learn about the humidity issue, i recommend the book from Jeronimo Peña Fernandez.

For general technical guitarmaking knowledge i recommend the book "making master guitars" by Roy Courtnall.

I hope this helps a bit.

Salam

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 20 2007 22:17:34
 
Haithamflamenco

Posts: 927
Joined: Mar. 6 2007
From: Bahrain

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to Haithamflamenco

hi armando,

thanks for your advices,

here in bahrain is hot and humid,

and its never less than in summer and never less than 70% humidity,

so what the solution will be??

and where i can get the antonio de toress bluprint plane??

_____________________________

Bahrain is my country and Andalucia is my dream
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 20 2007 22:33:58
 
r0bbie

 

Posts: 160
Joined: Feb. 11 2007
From: Holland

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to Haithamflamenco

Haitham,

A plan is not enough, you need a book or a class, period.

If you can, go to a library and see if you can find the book from Courtnall and read it. This will give you an idea about building guitars. A plan just tells you some measurements and how the bracing is laid out but not how to make the actual neck and head for instance. Maybe you can buy it secondhand (or new +/- 100 euro) It has plans from 8 great guitar builders, 2 plans from Torres and I believe 10 plans in total.

But I am not an expert at all! and Per Hallgren (one of the luthers on this forum) told me that Courtnall is not accurate on some plans so you might want to wait for the luthers to give you some advice on a good book. Dont know what jshelton thinks about Courtnall tho... :-)

But remember, Courtnall is about classical guitars and little (important) is said about flamenco guitars. And if you start searching the differences between flamenco and classical on the internet you will find contradicting information.

I would like to tell you something about my questions when I started building a flamenco. I did some googling and found this forum, then I asked how I should build a flamenco and all I got was that it is difficult to explain.... But... there are some luthers that will give you the informatione you need if you search this forum. Anders has written some exact dimensions for the bridge hight and angles of the neck( and more) and Per Hallgren wrote some really strong texts and I believe jshelton when he tells it might take you 40 years to know exactly what you are doing. So its just who you believe.... Anders will tell you that you CAN build a great flamenco guitar with the sides being 10 cm while others tell you they need to be 8.5 cm... still, the ones that own a Anders guitar think they are great....

I hope you get my point. I think that if you give a master a plan and good wood to work with he makes a great guitar, so its not the plan thats makes a great guitar but the master and what he does with the wood.....

pfffffffffffffffff
Rob.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 21 2007 0:16:21
 
Haithamflamenco

Posts: 927
Joined: Mar. 6 2007
From: Bahrain

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to Haithamflamenco

thanks robbie,

i just have one qustion more,

after finishing the construction of the guitar,

what is the steps to start painting it,

for the blancas,

yellow, orange or red??

will i have a white maple guitar, very thin lequre, matt,

problem of this finish is it make sounds when it contact with the clouths, so its a problem when u recorder with it when u play in studios,

so how can i painted ?!?!

what is the procedure to do that??

_____________________________

Bahrain is my country and Andalucia is my dream
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 21 2007 5:46:31
 
Jan Willem

 

Posts: 274
Joined: Feb. 21 2007
From: Belgium Halle

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to Haithamflamenco

Sure that's a good idea Haitam? I face the same problem as you. Being a student my whole "capital" is about 120€, and I do have a social life that costs money. I just know if I ever want to have a good guitar I'll have to wait a couple of years. My advice to you is; take the bitter pill and wait.

I understand you've graduated? With a rather "high" degree. When soon you'll get a job, wont there be money coming in??

I just think that building your guitar without experience and propper surroundings isn't the best idea.(if it is your goal to actually play it). And do you really understand where you are getting yourself into?


Just my opinion off course , best of luck with it
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 21 2007 10:27:45

stephen hill

 

Posts: 300
Joined: Feb. 16 2004
From: La Herradura, Granada, Spain

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to Haithamflamenco

Hola, if you really want to build a good flamenco, come on my course in spain. This may be difficult so then get the book from roy courtnell and try to work the santos hernandez. This is a good place to start from. The humidity in bahrain may be a problem though. If you build in 70% then go to a dry climate then the wood can easily crack. The guild of american lutherie also sell plans of Reyes and Barbero. Wood can be got from Madinter in madrid as a flamenco kit.
There are so many details to consider, the mold, the tools... the finishing. You could end up spending a lot! But of course it is a great challenge!
Good luck.

_____________________________

stephen hill - granada spain
http://www.spanishguitars.co.uk
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 21 2007 13:52:31
 
prd1

 

Posts: 206
Joined: Jul. 11 2007
 

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to stephen hill

Hello Gents,

I started to build a guitar based upon the Santos Hernandez plans from the Courtnall book. I think that many of the guys on this site would recommend this book as one of the best references.

Half way through the process (I had just cut the binding chanels) I had the opportunity to take some time out of work and take a course with Stephen Hill in Granada.

I realised within the first hour that the skills that I required were not the basic woodworking skills that I had - I was absolutely shocked at the tolerances that we were working to. I was also rather perplexed that my new €70 block plane needed so much work to get it into a usable state.

One month later I left the course with a fantastic looking and sounding guitar but more importantly, I developed the skills and the feeling for the tools and the wood that you cannot learn from a book. I'm sure that I'll have to build many guitars to get my work up to this standard on a consistant basis but the basics are there for development.

From my personal experience I would recommend that you have someone to guide you through the process and check your work. Stephen Hill was an excellent instructor and very nice guy - if you do get a chance to go to Spain and take his course you will not be disappointed.

As for the Santos Hernandez...I think I'll start again

Cheers

Peter
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 23 2007 12:45:03
 
Haithamflamenco

Posts: 927
Joined: Mar. 6 2007
From: Bahrain

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to Haithamflamenco

thanks guys for your advices,

i am looking forward to join stephen hill course one time,

what is is concern me is the humidaty in my country, fro 70% up too 200% !!!!

very humid place,

and as i understand theat this weather is very bad for building guitars,

so, i dont know what is the solutions

_____________________________

Bahrain is my country and Andalucia is my dream
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 23 2007 12:59:13
 
Escribano

Posts: 6305
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to prd1

quote:

I had the opportunity to take some time out of work and take a course with Stephen Hill in Granada.


Yeah, that's where I would start if I was to try again

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Foro Flamenco founder and Admin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 23 2007 13:27:37
Guest

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to Haithamflamenco

Haitham

Nowadays humity is not a problem: you can buy cheap dehumidifiers which will maintain a workshop at any point you choose. We have exactly the same problem in Cadiz.

Remember that wood needs time to aclimatise: leave it for a year in the correct humidity before working it.

Mi compañero Rafael Lopez (he learned with José Romanillos) offers a course in Cadiz in August.

Suerte

Sean
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 23 2007 14:31:43
 
r0bbie

 

Posts: 160
Joined: Feb. 11 2007
From: Holland

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to Haithamflamenco

Haitham,

Where did you get the guitars you own now and where were they build?
If they can survive the humidity, there must be someone that knows how to build a guitar for a high humidity. But I have learned from books and the internet that a guitar is safer in a high humidity then in a dry one.
quote:

you can buy cheap dehumidifiers which will maintain a workshop at any point you choose.


Well, I did search for a cheap dehumidifier and I had to pay 199 euro for a small dehumidifier. It can handle a small room but as you can see, with all the tools, wood, malls and a dehumidifier things tend to add up.

I know that it is best to go to a masterclass (I am thinking of doing so) but if you add things up, flight, your stay there, the masterclass itself I think you need at least 4000 euro. I would take a shortcut and buy a great guitar from a great builder for that money if I was only intrested in a good guitar.

Rob.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 24 2007 0:00:00
 
Haithamflamenco

Posts: 927
Joined: Mar. 6 2007
From: Bahrain

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to Haithamflamenco

quote:

but if you add things up, flight, your stay there, the masterclass itself I think you need at least 4000 euro. I would take a shortcut and buy a great guitar from a great builder for that money if I was only intrested in a good guitar.


hi robbie,

i dont know why i refused to pay 4000 euros for a guitar but i am will to spend it on learning how to build it,

its the joy of building the guitar, its the moment when u tie up the strings and u cant wait untill u hear the sound,

its exatly when u drag racing, which i is used to, u can buy ready drag race car and race with it and u may win, but its much joy when u build the car and u modified it build the engine,build the tube chassis etccc...

its like setting a project then a plan to build then the result,

its like invention and discovery,

i just love those feelings,

oleeeee

_____________________________

Bahrain is my country and Andalucia is my dream
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 24 2007 13:18:09
 
r0bbie

 

Posts: 160
Joined: Feb. 11 2007
From: Holland

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to Haithamflamenco

Haitham,

Reading your last post I'd say, go for it. It is fun building a guitar but once you finished it and show it to other people its even more rewarding. I am still proud of the guitar I have build even though its a ugly thing :-)

See if you can get the book from Courtnall and read it, read everything you can concerning guitarbuilding so you can decide which methodes you like best.

Cheers!
Rob.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 25 2007 16:15:08
 
Haithamflamenco

Posts: 927
Joined: Mar. 6 2007
From: Bahrain

RE: buliding a flamenco guitar- wher... (in reply to Haithamflamenco

hi roddies,

thanks , i am going to do that,

yesterday i went to " oud" luthier in my town "isa town",

he make hande made "oud",

i asked him alot of qustion about woods, finishing,binding etcc.

he shows me alot of wood typw he have like, oak, walnut, indian rose wood,spruce,ceder, ebony and alot of african wood that he dont no there name in english,

he show me a very strange african wood " red color,

so most easist woor for me to get is the indian rose wood, cause we have plenty here in bahrain , they use it to build old tradtional furniture,

and also indian is not to far from bahrain " 2 hours by plane",

then the rest of wood can be found from egypet,

so now i know where i can get the wood from,

now i only need the skill which is the most important thing,

by the way, one year ago i built a cajon,

and its so perfect,

i will post a subject about it,

haitham

_____________________________

Bahrain is my country and Andalucia is my dream
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 28 2007 6:40:41
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