BYO: (Build Your Own): If you are using Michael Collins' book Building a Selmer Maccaferri Guitar
, beware there is a significant error on Page 55 showing the dimensions of the tail block. The drawing shows the angles at the top and bottom of the block to be 90 degrees and the text makes no mention of the angles. 90 degrees will not properly accommodate the curved top and back. Correct me if I am wrong, but I learned this the hard way this weekend
If you are using Francois Charle's plans, these angle can be taken from the plans, I measure 3 degrees from square. If you are using Michaels plans, this will be a little less because he uses slightly less arch.
BTW, Michael has made a huge contribution by sharing his knowledge on Selmer construction. There is nothing else like it and as these kinds of books go, his is very complete and thoughtful. If you are listening, Thanks Michael.
I like Michael's method of shaping the top and bottom edges of the sides for the top and back with a sanding paddle and a prop to set the angles (pages 70-72). He gives empirical methods for getting the prop heights for neck block and tail block ends based on the already cut angles of the blocks, but in between he simply say use a piece of 1/2" wood as a prop. I carried this a bit further by using a pattern of the braces set temporarily in place on the sides to help set the height of the prop. I'm using more arch in my braces than Michael and I ended up using considerably more than 1/2". The point is each of these angles can be directly determined and applied using the sanding paddle and prop. Having previously used sanding dishes, I like this method because it offers considerably more flexibility.
Yeah, I agree regards to the sanding dishes. I made a couple and used them last time because I didn't have the Francois Charle plans or book at the time and I had read a Shelley Park article in Guitarmaker magazine on making a "Selmer" top and she used dishes. It came out kinda okay, but the high part of the dome is closer to the sound hole than at the bridge where it should be. Also, I used a 12' dome as per Shelley, but that is a fair bit short of the amount of curve shown in the FC plans and in Selmer pictures I have seen.
The side edges are straight. That's easy enough isn't it. Once I got my head wrapped around the misprint in Michael's book that started this thread, transferring the angles of the back and top was easy and quick (10 minutes). The top looks like it will be trickier than the back to fit, but still.......
So, I'm trying my first pliage soon. I kinda like the idea of bending the top halves over a hot pipe first, then joining the halves. I note Collin's prefers a bending box with a heat lamp, but if the hot pipe works, I would not mind skipping making the jig. What's been working for you?
pg 56 and 57 the side dimensions of the Charle plans are 4mm narrower at the lower bout...not drastic but hey.
pg 95 Wrong dimensions for the "donut" if using a 1/2 inch bit as described this gave me a big headache.
Micheal's book is full of great info and alot of corrections are taken care of in the dvd set.
do you guys use a planer? i'm about to build my first guitar. Collins uses a planer in his dvd pretty easilty but everyone is telling me that a planer will blow up spruce. what kind of drum sanders do you guys use?
I have a 16inch Jet Drum Sander (and a 12inch Grizzley Planer)
There is not enough building information to buy the book for that reason alone, but there is just so much information on the Selmer guitar, it is a must have kinda thing. There is a chapter on building from a historical perspective and before Collins' book came along, it was referred to frequently. There are picture of jigs and guitars under construction. There is discussion of materials and short sections on parts of the guitar and how they were made. Nothing very specific though, not a "how to" discussion.
I don't have a planer or a thickness sander. I use hand planes and scrapers and in the past, worked a top down by hand. On the guitar I am currently working on, I bought from Luthier's Mercantile (LMII.com) and had them thickness the pieces to my spec. They did a very nice job, very accurate. I think the charge was $10 which at my building speed will always be cheaper than buying a tool specifically for that job. Otherwise, I don't seem to need a dedicated thicknessing tool for my one guitar a year production rate. :oops:
BTW, the William Cumpiano book, Guitarmaking, has good instructions on how to thickness and dimension tops, backs, sides and other guitar parts with hand tools. Not Selmer style, but the ideas apply. Collins' book is fairly machine heavy which is okay, but it is very possible to make a guitar without machinery. I made my first guitar, a steel string flattop, with no power tools at all on the back porch of the house I was living in. I'm not willing to go back to that, but it can be done.
Craig: I posted some comments on pliage-making in the other thread you started on "top stress". Edit: I referred to the wrong thread--I mean the thread you started on the pliage.
Hi, I have the selmer plans open with 98,5 at lower bout and collins book open with 96,8 at the lower bout.
I purchased the collins book when it first came out and can't seem to see a 4mm difference here, I am basically writing on someone's behalf here really, however i have much interest in this myself.
My friend has built several of these guitars from Selmer plans and as discussed here before, they don't seem to provide enough neck angle, bridge height etc....from looking I would say the collins dimensions for the sides would provide more neck angle. Am i wrong?
Are these discrepancies clearly marked in the dvd's?
If so, what side dimensions does he state?
I was thinking of purchasing the DVD's for him but as they are expensive (and i feel the info in the book probably is enough) I was wondering if they are a significant expense?
I´ve been contemplating the "donut" issue the whole day, and it drove me mad
trying to understand how he claimed to use the same routerbit.
Unfortunately, I already built the temlpate, but I´ll sort it out.
So , thanks for pointing it out!
I make my templates by drawing them in a CAD or Graphics program like AutoCad or CorelDraw. Print them on paper, adhere the paper to plywood with spray adhesive and cut & sand to the line. I often put X and Y centerlines on the patterns by way of the computer so the templates have very accurate registration marks when done.
Accurate, simple and fast. At last count, I have six sound hole templates and six matching rosette templates, no end in sight.