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Building a Cannon
http://www.luthiersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10101&t=52341
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Author:  SnowManSnow [ Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a Cannon

Always great to see someone else get involved. It’s a fantastic hobby for many of us. I’m on....14 kinda lost count... I’m just barely getting to the point that I’m proud of my builds ha. The mistakes I make are getting so that the mistakes are better than my first effort on the early ones... TONS of places to improve... just enjoying the process!!!

Have fun. Don’t get stressed about stuff and finish what you start.

You’ve got this!


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Author:  rlrhett [ Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a Cannon

I’ve built for eighteen years and helped teach a class for four. I always tell the students that:

1) the worse sounding guitar is the one in a box in pieces in your garage that you didn’t finish.

2) That first guitar will probably play and sound better than that $1,200 Martin or Gibson you currently think is the ne plus ultra. You are going to spend 100+ hours on it. They can’t spend more than 25. The time and care WILL pay off.

3) it will be full of cosmetic mistakes that will only bother you. You will likely NEED to build a second just because you KNOW the next one will be flawless.

4) Leave the mass spectrometer, electron scanning microscope and 1200 year old spruce at home. The Internet is full discussions from top luthiers who have built hundreds of guitars (and people pretending to be) chasing minute refinements. Reading about how modern jazz masters use upper extension triads to best reharmonize a progression won’t help you if you’ve never played a single note on a guitar. Likewise for building a guitar. Just build a tried and true design. That’s what Martin does, and people seem pretty pleased with them.

5) It is NOT a cheap way of getting your dream guitar. If you love it you will build dozens more and have to explain to your wife why you NEED a $300 binding jig. If you don’t, you won’t finish the first.





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Author:  Clay S. [ Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a Cannon

But you really don't need a $300 binding jig. The beauty of the Compiano book is he shows inexpensive methods to do many of the things factories turn into million dollar processes.
Many of the tools that are nice to have you can live without. My wife saw me "testing out" a couple of small brass violin maker's planes I bought off eBay and asked if I was "playing" or actually doing something constructive with them (I was playing). At the prices they usually retail for I felt it wasn't worth the use I would get from them. For the past 40 years I got by without them. These Chinese planes are quite a bit cheaper but appear nicely made and work fairly well (I haven't sharpened them yet but they plane spruce easily).
Also materials need not be expensive. Many fine instruments have been built with run of the mill materials, when careful selection of those materials is done by a knowledgeable person. The most important part of the guitar (soundboard) can be purchased inexpensively if a few cosmetic flaws are tolerated.
But most of us (myself included) are addicted and overspend on tools and materials.

Author:  Tai Fu [ Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a Cannon

meddlingfool wrote:
Honest advice? Prepare yourself for disappointment. The likelihood of building your ultimate guitar first time out is pretty slim. Building good guitars is a process of accumulated experience, being able to tailor the sound especially so.

That being said, don’t be discouraged. If you’re already a good woodworker you’re miles ahead of the game. But you’ll need to build a few to have a baseline to adjust from.

I would suggest ditching the J-200 style for a standard dread. It’s really easy to make a jumbo sound woolly. And since you have two dreads already, you’ll have something in hand to make realistic comparisons to...


In my experience of building jumbos, it's probably better to leave the top and brace on the thick side. That way you retain the highs. A jumbo is so big that there's ample room for the top to move as the string vibrates, so no need to make it light and thin.

Just by using a standard Martin style bridge improves the sound quite a bit, that J200 bridge is very heavy.

Also, epoxy fill covers a multitude of binding gaps, cosmetic blemishes, and whatnot. Highly recommended!

Speaking of electron scanning microscope... here's the one I used to use at the university...

Image

Author:  banjopicks [ Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a Cannon

He he, we have them where I work as well.

Author:  SnowManSnow [ Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a Cannon

I notice from the topic of the thread you’re after a particular “type of sound”. Imo just get it built and TAKE NOTES. Note the thicknesses, brace heights/ widths ... all of it.
If you’re patient and willing to stay in the learning curve you’ll love building guitarS


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Author:  TerrenceMitchell [ Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a Cannon

Well, it took 10 weeks of calendar time to get it built, but it's done and was used this weekend for the first time in a live setting. Interestingly, of the ~150 hours I spent on it I would bet 100 of those were making templtes, jigs and molds.

Anyhow, it looks great, feels and plays great and can handle the hardest playing i could dish out. The problem is that I need a lot more fullness and low end to get where I'm going.

The second one has the head neck and heel blocks glued in and top and bottom braced. Looking to close the box in the next few days.

If anyone has suggestions based on J-200 builds I'd be happy to hear. I did already get some good input on another thread, but wanted to close this one out with a picture.

As far as the materials and such, this is what I ended up going with:

- Adi Top ~.010
- IRW Back and sides ~.095
- Spruce bracing
- Mohogany Neck
- Cocobolo Bridge, fret board and headstock plate
- All wood rosette (various species)
- Gotoh 510
- Martin Retro .13's

Author:  TerrenceMitchell [ Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a Cannon

Finally figured out why the photo wouldn't post...

Author:  Ken Nagy [ Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a Cannon

Terry that's a humongous photo of a big accomplishment! It's a beauty. Now you are hooked. Nice job!

Ken

Author:  meddlingfool [ Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a Cannon

Well, that sure looks good, especially for a first build!

Did you get the Gore/Gilet books? They contain all the information you need to get the fullness you seek...

Author:  TerrenceMitchell [ Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a Cannon

I bought the somogyi books and read them a few times. Does the gore filet cover different theory?

Author:  meddlingfool [ Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a Cannon

The Somogyi books I found to be less helpful and short on actual data. The Gore/Gilet books are jam packed with facts and figures regarding the physics at play with acoustic guitars. In particular, the modal tuning was for me a game changer. So, with your guitar, and any guitar, whether you’re doing it consciously or not, the top, the back, and the air chamber have resonant frequencies. These frequencies can be measured, and intentionally changed resulting in dramatic shifts to the tone and responsiveness of your guitar.

The books contain suggestions for what those resonances should be for different sized instruments. Then you can play with these numbers to make your guitars do what you want them too...

The math and physics are horribly complex, but applying the knowledge is fairly straightforward...

Author:  Colin North [ Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a Cannon

meddlingfool wrote:
The Somogyi books I found to be less helpful and short on actual data. The Gore/Gilet books are jam packed with facts and figures regarding the physics at play with acoustic guitars. In particular, the modal tuning was for me a game changer. So, with your guitar, and any guitar, whether you’re doing it consciously or not, the top, the back, and the air chamber have resonant frequencies. These frequencies can be measured, and intentionally changed resulting in dramatic shifts to the tone and responsiveness of your guitar.

The books contain suggestions for what those resonances should be for different sized instruments. Then you can play with these numbers to make your guitars do what you want them too...

The math and physics are horribly complex, but applying the knowledge is fairly straightforward...

And they're half price from SM with SM membership.

Author:  bluescreek [ Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a Cannon

your guitar looks nice
now for some advice
The first one is seldom your best one. A few things that you need to work with are
A weight
knowing where to loose weight and not hurt structure
B Gluing
keeping the joint pristine helps with energy transfer
C understanding bracing
Braces influence the energy transfer in the top. So you got the first one done , don't make a lot of changes on the next one. You need to learn
and understand the bracing structure and what it can do. Learning to voice a top can take years.. It took me about 14 guitars to get it right.
D it can be done keep notes learn the cause and effect of what you do,

I have seen and heard great guitars that followed and broke the rules. So enjoy the journey. You will learn much more from a failure than success

Author:  TerrenceMitchell [ Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a Cannon

Gore/Gilet is one the way.

Author:  jfmckenna [ Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Building a Cannon

I've not read the Somogyi build book but I read his first one on the philosophy of building and found that it was a great book to read but didn't really give away too many secrets on building a guitar. But I think it's a great accompaniment to the G/G books of hard knocks science. Somogyi's book is sort of like alternative medicine while the G/G books are lab tested and rigorous. Each one compliments the other. It depends on whether you are an engineer or a poet. But in either case the engineer could use a bit of poetry in his build as could the poet use a bit of engineering. Even if you build according to the G/G books you are going to throw in a bit of your own into it and that's where the Somogyi philosophy comes in. G/G tells you what to do while Somogyi shows you what to do. That's my take on it anyway.

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