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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:21 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:01 pm
Posts: 5
First name: Jacob
Last Name: Berger
City: Norfolk
State: VA
Zip/Postal Code: 23508
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Well, this guitar I know isn't the greatest in the world but it has alot of meaning to me. It was my first guitar that sadly, got stepped on. I want to just replace the sound board and keep the same bridge if that possible. The only thing is, I don't know where to get the wood, or what kind to use. And I was also thinking about scalping the lower frets too. Any advice on this? I'll add pictures in here.

-Jake

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:48 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:40 pm
Posts: 758
Location: United States
Jake -

First of all welcome. You'll find a lot of helpful people around here.

You might get better advice if you give us some background about what type of tools you have access to and how handy you are.

First of all, It's possible to do, but will take work and patience to get it right, as well as maybe costing more than you have in mind. Assuming you stick with it, there's a pretty good chance you'd end up with a better instrument than you started with.

As for ordering parts, many of the sponsors at the top of this page would be happy to sell you a top and some wood for bracing. To do it right, you'd want to pull off the fretboard too (but would reuse it), and spend some time getting the neck angle right. It looks like you'll also need some kerfed lining. Once you've got the top on, I assume you'd need to rebind it.

Sounds like fun. Good luck.

Mike

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:32 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:01 pm
Posts: 5
First name: Jacob
Last Name: Berger
City: Norfolk
State: VA
Zip/Postal Code: 23508
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Firstly, thanks for welcoming me.
I don't have many tools; any actually, but Im very hand and I got the patience.
I just needed to know, the measurements and the different bracing styles and which would work best. Ive seen my dad build guitars before, but I don't remember everything. Also, which type of wood should I use?

-Jake


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:05 am
Posts: 9139
Location: United States
First name: Waddy
Last Name: Thomson
City: Charlotte
State: NC
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
That top is Spruce, most likely Sitka, but you could get a AA Lutz top for not too much. Sitka is usually available in lower grades for pretty cheap too. Shane, High Mountain Tonewoods, a sponsor here, has Lutz and brace wood at very reasonable prices. Get a book and read up on guitar repair. Most will have a chapter on replacing a top.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:57 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:01 pm
Posts: 5
First name: Jacob
Last Name: Berger
City: Norfolk
State: VA
Zip/Postal Code: 23508
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Do any of you guys know a good bracing style for deep bass because I want to use light light gauge strings, like 8's because my fingers die whenever I use 10's+.

-Jake


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:24 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:01 pm
Posts: 5
First name: Jacob
Last Name: Berger
City: Norfolk
State: VA
Zip/Postal Code: 23508
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
And also, when I get the top, will I have to sand it down thinner or should I just put it in the thickness that it comes in?

-Jake


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:30 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:40 pm
Posts: 758
Location: United States
With no tools, this just got either harder or much more expensive. Read about the process start to finish. You are essentially building a guitar from scratch. You're just skipping the side bending and the bit about the necks.

The questions you are asking don't really have an answer except, "it depends," or "the way I do it..." Now you're getting into the voodoo of building.

Keep in mind here, that I have built some guitars, but I am not an expert.

As for a bracing pattern, you should get some books and read up. Search google for plans. Then you've got two choices. Either use plans that pretty much match the guitar you've got, or make up your own. If you want to go that way, start by figuring out where the bridge goes (don't forget to include compensation). That, combined with the soundhole will locate your x-brace with a little wiggle room.

Good luck trying to get specific instructions on a plan for more bass. There are too many variables. The shape and size of the guitar already control to some extent how it will turn out. Some people will lighten up the braces, some will thin the top around the edges to loosen the top. The size of the soundhole has an effect. I would guess most people here make a different guitar every time, based on the wood they have in hand and how it flexes, feels, sounds, weighs, rings, etc... Trying to explain their decisions is difficult, and trying to quantify it in a generalized theory is impossible.

And your top thickness. If you dig through the archives, you will find a range of top thicknesses people use, again based on the overall systemic way they build, the sound they want, and particulars of each piece of wood. A number that often pops up seems to be 0.110"-0.125". Every top I've ordered was WAY too thick to use as is. Some of the sponsors above will thickness the wood for you before they ship it. I think some will install the rosette for you too.

Your best bet to do this yourself is still to read some books and check out some of the luthiery youtubes.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:02 pm
Posts: 798
Location: United States
First name: Gene
Last Name: Zierdt
City: Sebastopol
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 95472
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
At least one of our suppliers, LMI, will sell you a "serviced" soundboard. Thickness sanded and rosette inlaid.
But it's not cheap. You might do better to look for one of the OLF members near where you live, and see if
they would be willing to help you replace the top in their shop. That way all the correct tools are available, which
makes the job much simpler.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:19 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:01 pm
Posts: 5
First name: Jacob
Last Name: Berger
City: Norfolk
State: VA
Zip/Postal Code: 23508
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Alright, I appreciate everything both of you guys posted.
Gene, do you know how I would get in contact with an OLF member in my area?
Is there a place on this site for that or..?

-Jake


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:52 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:23 am
Posts: 1355
First name: Corky
Last Name: Long
City: Mount Kisco
State: NY
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Get a copy of Jonathan Kincead's book, which can give you a sense of the process, as well as the tools that you'll need.


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 11:29 am 
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 605
First name: Aaron
Last Name: Craig
City: Kansas City
State: Missouri
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Jake,

I'm a realist (generally, an optimistic realist ), and I think you might need some advice from that prospective. It appears you can buy a new replacement Mitchell guitar for about $300. By the time you buy a decent top, brace wood, bridge plate, linings, new bindings, purflings, rosette, glue, sandpaper, finish, minimal essential tooling (not cheap), a book or two to help guide you, pay to have those things shipped to you, etc., you probably could have bought a two or three new replacements, or one higher quality solid wood topped guitar. This doesn't even account for the value of the time you will spend learning, repairing, and re-repairing your repair. For instance, assume it will take you 50 hours to complete the repair, which is probably realistic for a person starting with no experience. Assume you could earn just $10 per hour doing some other task, such as mowing neighbors' lawns, painting a house, etc., you could earn $500 in the same 50 hours (not that any of those things would be more fun than fixing a guitar, but still a point to be considered).

If you have ambition to continue building or repairing guitars, you could make a bit stronger argument for trying to repair this guitar and gaining experience in the process. However, from your posts it doesn't seem like this is the case. Rather, it appears you just wish to fix this one guitar because it holds sentimental value. If that is the case, I would highly suggest you let go. You can always keep the guitar in its present condition to remand you of whatever it is/was about it that makes it special to you. But, as has been mentioned, what you essentially are wanting to do requires a great deal of learning on your part, time, patience, and IMO much more capital expense and potential for disaster than can be logically justified. Know that this advice comes from a good place and from the mouth (well fingers really) of a man that has, many times over and more so in youth, bitten off more than he can successfully chew.

Good luck no matter your decision.

Aaron

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Last edited by jac68984 on Thu May 12, 2011 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 11:54 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:04 am
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First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
City: Wichita
State: Kansas
Country: Good old US of A
Quote:
Do any of you guys know a good bracing style for deep bass because I want to use light light gauge strings, like 8's because my fingers die whenever I use 10's+.


Jake, on a flattop guitar 12's are light. 10's don't have enough mass to drive the top. You gotta be kidding on the 8's.... They'll sound thin no matter what kind of bracing you have.

And if 10's hurt your fingers... practice more and build up those calluses. Seriously.
Ever heard "no pain, no gain"? They were talking about guitarists.

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