Hauser Falcate Braced Classical Guitar:
Aug 25, 2016
I have made a few flacate braced contemporary classical guitars. While they fall in the classical range for size, nut width, scale length and string spacing, they are contemporary looking with a cutaway and a slightly radiused fret board. In general the guitars have been well received, in fact my instructor commissioned me to build one and he switched from his mid 70 Kohno 30 guitar. There are some that can not get over the contemporary features. So I am making what will look like a Hauser knock-off but with the falcate bracing pattern.
The guitar will be Lutz spruce and Brazilian rosewood. I will use ebony bindings with a maple purfling. Also I will come up with some purfling patern for the top. I will take a bit of a short cut and use a LMI classical neck and a classical rosette that I have.
I spent the day getting the project up and going. First off I did the tap test to determine the target using one of the Gore\Gilet methods. The Lutz fell into a normal range, a little more cross stiffness than other tops.
I joined both of the plates. I am a bit embarrassed, maybe being on the wrong side of 60, but when I went to my plane drawer to get a plane with a sharp blade I found a new looking Lie Nelson #62 low angle jack plane that I have no idea that I had or when I might of bought it.
I loosely profiled the top, back and sides, thicknessed the back and sides and glued on the back reinforcement strip. Ready to start bending and putting things together.
Aug 27, 2016
I spent the last couple of days getting ready and starting on the rims and top. As this is a traditional design I am going to build on a modified soleara that I made for my very first guitar. The modification is one that I got from the Bogdanovich book. I liked the idea of having a removable outside mold on the solera. So I combined my solera with a outside mold I got from Kenneth Michael Guitars.
I also have a closed outside mold that I use for my contemporary Classical guitar with a bolt on bolt off neck. It comes in handy when trimming the sides and gluing on the tail block. I also use the mold to sand the tail block to match the rim. I had no issues bending the sides and my bindings with my fox style side bender.
I go a little ahead of myself. I normally would wait until I had both sides cut to fit in the mold. That way I would have the sides cut right on the center line at the heel end. But I went ahead and glued on the tail block. No real issue but I had to do all of the measurements and cuts to fit the sides to the neck with a floppy glued assembly.
I did remember to take a couple of mm off the top side of the heel block so the top can sit flush to the neck. I used my Bishhop Cockran router base to route off the heel block. I extended the guide bar a bit so that I could balance the router on the plane of the neck.
With the sides fit I used 15 foot radius sanding bar to trace out a close cut for the heel slipper for the back of the guitar. I used a band saw to cut close to the line. Then assembled it all in to my solera. I am going to wait to actually glue in the sides until the neck is close to the final profile. It is a lot easier to deal with a neck than to deal with a neck with a guitar stuck to the end.
I also propped up the rims the thickness of my top. The solera has a sloped ramp for the neck to ultimately give me 1.5 - 2 mm (measure at the nut to the plane of the top) of forward angle to the neck. Assembled as below I can use a radius board to profile the rims and the neck heel slipper.
My profile was much closer in depth at the neck end than the tail end. When the neck side was close I used some stick-um sand paper to prevent over sanding.
I also was able to install the rosette. I used a router to cut the channel but decided to cut the outline with a knife circle cutter and then route out the waste to the knife cut. I think I got the tool from LMI. It is nice in that it has the same size hole as my router base.
I got my cleanest channel ever with a perfect fit. I used titebond hide glue to glue it in. The dark lines around it are a combination of pencil lines and shellac from my initial preparation.
I jointed some of the waste from profiling the top for a couple sound hole doublers and thickness sanded it and the top to close to my final thickness.
While waiting for that glue up I profiled the head stock. I am glad I did not glue the sides to the rims. It was a lot easier cutting the profile on a band saw without the rims flopping around.
Aug 30, 2016
Making a bit more progress mostly working on the rims. It has been a while since I made a Spanish style neck joint.
I used the LMI circle cutter to mostly cut out the sound hole. With the sound hole doubler patch I need to cut about 4 mm deep. A bit much for one pass. One bad feature of the tool is that I need to back out the radius to get the hex wrench on the set screw for the blade. Screw that! after I made the initial cut I pulled out the router and left just enough wood to keep my pilot hole center. I did have a nice clean knife cut on the top.
I marked and beveled the sound hole patch to make it look good from the front.
I also trimmed the neck side of the top real close to the final profile to fit on the neck heel.
I grabbed a sycamore side from my stash of orphaned sides I have bought over the years bent it and ripped it to make solid linings for the top. I also had a pre-bent EIR side hanging around for a few years, so I also popped it back into the bender and riped it to make fancy laminated linings.
I just used my mold with another bend side to laminate the stack. I just used LMI yellow glue. Never enough clamps though. I needed to do one lining at a time.
By hook or by crook I got the solid linings in the top and reverse kerfed linings for the back.
During the binding glue ups I made the fret board and worked on cleaning up the headstock
I glued a 1mm thick strip on the base side of the fret board and then thickness sanded it. Now the base is 1 mm thinner than the treble.
I re-radiuded the back of the rims, also along the way I profiled the fretboard.
I have yet to glue the sides to the neck so I removed the sides and will be ready to profile the neck tomorrow. Hopefully I will also finish the rims with a mass support block and some of the side reinforcement strips.
Sep 11, 2016
I added the upper transverse brace to the top. This is a bit of a pain as I inlet all of the braces that cross its path. As shown in the pictures I clamp the brace down, carefully mark the brace crossing with a scalpel and then use a razor saw and chisel to make the cut out. I set the brace right to the cutline in the vice and use the vice as a stop. I finally learned after many guitars how to keep the saw straight up and down.
Then I just clamped it down. As I did not use any CF for this brace, I could have used yellow glue, but to stay consistent I epoxied it down as well.
Next up final prep for the wings.