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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:13 pm 
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Walnut
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First name: John
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Hello.

Started my first acoustic build. I;ve built several electrics but acoustics are a whole other animal.

Let me know what you think.

Joining the back with the tape method:

Image


Uuuuuuh....whoops. Side waist not aligned. learned that one the hard way.

Image


Eh...I'll make it work.

Image

Preview pic.

Image


I'm planning on a 20ft back radius and 40ft top radius. Here's a shot of making the 20ft radius dish.

Image


I think that's enough for now.

Let me know what you think.


Last edited by Digipenguin on Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:15 pm 
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Walnut
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So this is how I fixed the short side. The tail end of the side was about 3/4 of an inch short. I made a graft for the tailblock that extends it out about an inch. Is that going to kill my top resonance?

Image

Here's a shot of the neck and heel blocks attached. I also routed the neck slot before attaching the block. Looking at it now I think that may have been a mistake. It is going to make lining up the neck a bit harder. I,ve been paying extra attention to the centerline and construction symmetry but it still makes me nervous.

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Here's the center graft being glued up. I didn't have a go-bar deck so I used my radius dish and some heavy stuff.

Image


Back kerfing going on. I used a reverse kerfing because I like the look better. Looks cleaner and more solid to me. It may be more difficult to work with but since I have not used nomal kerfing I won't ever notice. :D

Image

Gott go. I'll get caught up with pics soon.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:05 pm 
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Walnut
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Back radius. I had initially planned to put the back on first but after some more research decided I'd rather leave the option to voice the top after installing it. So the top will go on first.

Image


I built a go bar deck because it looked like the easiest way to go. I like the idea of vacuum clamping but it is cost prohibitive right now. The gobar deck only cost about 60 bucks to make.

Image


Made up a radiused sanding block out some offal for the 20ft braces.

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Then started on the braces. 4 braces. closely resembling the 4 Martin sized back braces. I radiused them on the sanding block then used the router table to round over the tops.

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That's pretty much where I am now. I made a failed attempt at a rosette so I'll be making another run at that. Then I'll attach it to the top and start bracing.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:08 pm 
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Walnut
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Oh. and here's a pic of the heel block after radiusing. I still need to clean that glue up. The pencil line is the actual centerline. You can see how much it was extended off to the side.

Image


Last edited by Digipenguin on Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.


These users thanked the author Digipenguin for the post: Haans (Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:15 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:10 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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OK, I'll bite...why would you want to use Primavera instead of spruce?
You might consider re-doing that end block. What kind of glue did you use?
Also might consider tapering the top and bottom of the end block to the kerfing width...otherwise you may end up with a large area where the end block telegraphed through the top.

Image

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:44 pm 
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Koa
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I’m excited to see a first build! I’m very new also, and have SSOOOOO many non-perfections that I’m working through. It is simply part of the process. Building Guitars isn’t like anything else. A fantastic carpenter will have a bit of a leg up, but just because he can make a chair doesn’t mean he can make a great guitar. All I’m saying it is a very specific skill set that takes time to hone. And, you have to start with number 1.

Finding folks who are great at building is a must, and this forum is a good place to start. There is a lot of experience here between the luthiers.

So congrats on number 1! Finish it, tweak, make notes as you go and make the next one even better.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:53 pm 
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Koa
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By the way I think this is what Haans was talking about. My block isn’t as crisp and clean as anything in his build pictures, but this is a closer look.
Image


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These users thanked the author SnowManSnow for the post: Haans (Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:08 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:24 pm 
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Walnut
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Haans wrote:
..why Primavera instead of spruce?
You might consider re-doing that end block. What kind of glue did you use?
Also might consider tapering the top and bottom of the end block to the kerfing width...otherwise you may end up with a large area where the end block telegraphed through the top.



The Primavera was cheap and I do like the look. Is it not good for a guitar top?

I'm on the fence about the end block. Right now I'm just curious how it turns out. I used Titebond II to glue it up. Even if I made a new one it would still need to be longer on the one side because the side doesn't wrap all the way to the centerline.

Cool. I will definitely chamfer that tail block. That never occurred to me. I cut the block from the Stewmac Martin plan but I'm not much for following the rules. lol.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:09 pm 
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Walnut
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SnowManSnow wrote:
By the way I think this is what Haans was talking about. My block isn’t as crisp and clean as anything in his build pictures, but this is a closer look.



Yeah. I agree that's a good idea.

And I think your work looks fine.



These users thanked the author Digipenguin for the post: Haans (Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:19 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:06 am 
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Congratulations on starting to build your first acoustic guitar. Watch out, you may just get hooked on it.

A couple comments about your tail block. Being wider than usual is no problem. On my first guitar, I managed to cut both the sides about an inch and a half short at the tail ends. That left a gap about the same width as the tail block. So I made a new tail block about 5 inches wide to give at least one inch of gluing surface for the end of each side. I filled in the gap with bookmatched offcuts from the back plates and made it a feature. It worked out just fine.

Attachment:
Double-wide end graft.jpg



I notice that the grain in your tail block is vertical. It's more common to orient the grain of the tail block parallel to the grain in the sides to give expansion and contraction more similar to that of the sides and so as to not be gluing the top and back to end grain of the block.

I'm looking forward to see more progress on your build.


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These users thanked the author J De Rocher for the post: Bryan Bear (Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:48 am)
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:33 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Never heard of it being used for a top. Didn't you get it with sides?
I definitely believe in "out of the box" thinking, but that is a stretch for me...
Good luck.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:27 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

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First name: John
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J De Rocher wrote:
...about your tail block. Being wider is no problem. On my first guitar....I made a new tail block about 5 inches wide...


That makes me feel better. How long ago was your first guitar built? How is the end holding up?


J De Rocher wrote:
...the grain in your tail block is vertical......orient the grain of the tail block parallel...to give expansion and contraction more similar to that of the sides and so as to not be gluing the top and back to end grain of the block.


Well, crud. I can seal the end grain before glue=up. I'm not real concerned about that but the expansion thing now bugs me.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:46 am 
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Walnut
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Haans wrote:
Never heard of it being used for a top. Didn't you get it with sides?
I definitely believe in "out of the box" thinking, but that is a stretch for me...
Good luck.


I bought the top separate from the back/side set but it was advertised as an acoustic top. I did not question it as I was going for cheap. As I look around now I cannot find anyone who sells or uses Primavera for a top except the retaler who sold me this one.

This first guitar is mostly an experiment to work out my processes. I'm not aiming for perfect. Playable will do. It's all new right now. When I was picking materials I was focused on price since I fully expected to destroy something along the way. I'm surprised I have made it this far without having to start over.

I can say that it does ring when I tap it. It rings for a second and a half. The ring falls off abruptly though. I'm not sure if that is normal but I wouldn't think so. I would think the desirable condition would be a long ring with an even gradual falloff.

I definitely hear two distinct tones that are stronger. My goal is to try to voice the top once it is attached to the rims. I have it thicknessed to .100 currently so I have some wiggle room.

....all this being said, I really have no idea what I'm doing but I'm having fun doing it!

Thanks for the input and well wishes.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:04 pm 
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Walnut
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I made a little more progress last night.

Top kerfing going on:

Image

...and glued up:

Image


...and radiused:

Image


I also cleaned up that tailblock until I figure out what to do with it:

Image


I'm hoping to start on the rosette tonight.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:42 pm 
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Digipenguin wrote:
J De Rocher wrote:
...about your tail block. Being wider is no problem. On my first guitar....I made a new tail block about 5 inches wide...


That makes me feel better. How long ago was your first guitar built? How is the end holding up?


J De Rocher wrote:
...the grain in your tail block is vertical......orient the grain of the tail block parallel...to give expansion and contraction more similar to that of the sides and so as to not be gluing the top and back to end grain of the block.


Well, crud. I can seal the end grain before glue=up. I'm not real concerned about that but the expansion thing now bugs me.


I built that guitar 17 years ago. The photo above was taken a year ago. The only indication of the wide tail block is the presence of the wide "end graft" and only another luthier would even think about what kind of tail block would be needed to support that end graft.

Quite a few builders successfully use tail blocks made from plywood which I think has little or no expansion/contraction with changes in humidity. So your tail block orientation is likely to be fine under normal conditions. I would be more concerned about gluing to the end grain of the block. How would you seal the end grain for gluing?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:08 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Don't know why Hibdon advertised that Primavera as a top...probably a lone extra with no sides.
You could have gotten a nice red spruce top from Aaron Hix on this site for 20 bucks. You will probably end up with something like a mahogany top Martin tonewise with Primavera. This is a guess bassed on speculation, so discount heavily.
Looks like your first mistake was not marking where the waist went before bending. That is too bad and a hard lesson learned as that Chechen looks mighty nice.
FYI it is possible to re-bend ribs to correct this kind of mistake. All it takes around here is asking, and don't be shy. Remember, there are no dumb questions...we are all here to help.
My best advice I can give you at this time from what I see so far is nice job, but SLOW DOWN.

PS, I was one of those 7/16" baltic birch ply guys...works fine, is lightweight and strong.
PPS. length of ring does not grade the top. There all all kinds of interesting taps you can get out of a top and other things you do to "get in the ballpark". Final tapping is on a closed, bound box though, you have that part right. People do all sorts of things to try make their top and bracing work together from spreadsheets of top thickness/flexibility under a set of weights to sprinkling colored sprinkles/ confetti on their tops and vibrate them to see all the pretty patterns they make. Best way I know how to do this is just flat out experience.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:34 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

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First name: John
Last Name: Geisen
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J De Rocher wrote:
I built that guitar 17 years ago. The photo above was taken a year ago. The only indication of the wide tail block is the presence of the wide "end graft" and only another luthier would even think about what kind of tail block would be needed to support that end graft.


Cool. I will try to make sure I leave an inch of side glued up to the end block on either side.

J De Rocher wrote:
How would you seal the end grain for gluing?


Quick wipe off of thick CA, let it dry for a few minutes then light sand with coarse paper. Apply a thin coat of Titebond II (I just dampen it really) to the end grain about 5-10 mins before glue up. I have never tried it in an application like this but I do use this method in applications where there is more structural stress then a guitar top. I have not had success with that method in situations where there is any appreciable amount of torque or side loading put on the joint. I only use it when I want to keep a seam closed.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:05 pm 
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Walnut
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Haans wrote:
Don't know why Hibdon advertised that Primavera as a top...probably a lone extra with no sides.
You could have gotten a nice red spruce top from Aaron Hix on this site for 20 bucks. You will probably end up with something like a mahogany top Martin tonewise with Primavera. This is a guess bassed on speculation, so discount heavily.


Hmmm......I was hoping for more of a fingerstyle guitar. That's disconcerting. I'm rethinking the Primavera now.

A new top......so much work....no thickness sander....making another disposable planer jig....biting nails as it runs through the planer....ugh.


Haans wrote:
Looks like your first mistake was not marking where the waist went before bending.


Yeah, I realized it after it was clamped in the side bender and did a quick eyeball estimate to determine if it would reach the tail block. I was wrong.

The whole process of bending that first side was such a comedy of errors. I wish I had it on video. Thermocouples pulling loose, plugged in backwards when I switched them. The rollers came apart mid process and I dropped the pieces under the workbench. So I'm trying to keep track of the time to pop up from the floor like a groundhog to apply more pressure, then back under the bench, then popup to roll down the side a little, then find the parts and run over to the toolbox to find the right size socket, back to the bender, roll the sides a little, grabbed the wrong socket, back to the toolbox....etc, etc.

So funny in retrospect but I was sweating like a maniac at the time.

Buuut...apparently I learned what I needed to because bending the second side was seamless.

Haans wrote:
That is too bad and a hard lesson learned as that Chechen looks mighty nice.


I know, right? Why isn't it used more often in guitarmaking. It's a beautiful wood. It is LOADED with resin though. Holy cow.

Haans wrote:
My best advice I can give you at this time from what I see so far is nice job, but SLOW DOWN.


Thanks, and easier said then done. This is slow for me. I am actively trying to slow down and enjoy the process more. Getting older helps.


Haans wrote:
PPS. length of ring does not grade the top. There all all kinds of interesting taps you can get out of a top and other things you do to "get in the ballpark". Final tapping is on a closed, bound box though, you have that part right. People do all sorts of things to try make their top and bracing work together from spreadsheets of top thickness/flexibility under a set of weights to sprinkling colored sprinkles/ confetti on their tops and vibrate them to see all the pretty patterns they make. Best way I know how to do this is just flat out experience.


That's my philosophy with most things anymore. I'm a true cynic. I'm just trying to pay as much attention and learn as much as I can. Because, as i said earlier, I really have no idea what the **** I'm doing. hahaha.

Thanks for all your replies.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:24 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Digipenguin wrote:
Hmmm......I was hoping for more of a fingerstyle guitar. That's disconcerting. I'm rethinking the Primavera now.

A new top......so much work....no thickness sander....making another disposable planer jig....biting nails as it runs through the planer....ugh


You might try contacting Aaron...for a few bucks he might thickness it for you...or let us know where you live. Someone would likely do it for you...

Thinking about it some more, I would not run spruce through a planer. If all else fails, get a sharp plane and plane it by hand. Ask and lots of folks will chime in about how easy it is to plane spruce by hand.
Red spruce is great for fingerpicking...

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:26 pm 
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Koa
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Haans wrote:
Digipenguin wrote:
Hmmm......I was hoping for more of a fingerstyle guitar. That's disconcerting. I'm rethinking the Primavera now.

A new top......so much work....no thickness sander....making another disposable planer jig....biting nails as it runs through the planer....ugh


You might try contacting Aaron...for a few bucks he might thickness it for you...or let us know where you live. Someone would likely do it for you...

Thinking about it some more, I would not run spruce through a planer. If all else fails, get a sharp plane and plane it by hand. Ask and lots of folks will chime in about how easy it is to plane spruce by hand.
Red spruce is great for fingerpicking...

Arron Hix will thickness for you. At least he offers this on his eBay sales


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:50 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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You had better see if he will glue the center seam before thicknessing...

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:45 am 
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Do you have a block plane and scraper? That's what I use for thicknessing. And if you have a spare blade for the plane, grind 4 notches into the edge with a dremel wheel to give it some teeth. Makes it less prone to biting and tearing the wood.

Spruce can be a bit stringy and prone to tearout, especially at the centerline where the runout reverses. Thickness from the back side so any minor divots left over aren't a problem.

Spruce also doesn't scrape very well. Expect to re-burnish the scraper frequently, and probably resharpen once or twice. But it's still faster than hand sanding, and leaves a nice corduroy texture, whereas sanding leaves icky washboard texture.

What usually works best for me is to point the plane straight across the grain, but move at a 45 degree angle.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:06 pm 
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Koa
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Haans wrote:
You had better see if he will glue the center seam before thicknessing...

Good point


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:39 am 
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"This first guitar is mostly an experiment to work out my processes. I'm not aiming for perfect. Playable will do"

I am on #8 and I think that this set of goals is just right. Repair any big mistakes but don't worry about the smaller ones - just get it done. Take a lot of pictures to remind yourself what you did. Keep this one simple in terms of decoration- no bound fretboard, simple dots on the fretboard, very little or no purfling, maybe no binding. Get it built and start on your second one right away. I bought a kit for my first one, and by #2 I was doing most steps and had added herringbone, fretboard inlays and bound fretboard, and by #4 all of the steps, including making necks. Now I am pretty confident in most aspects.

Keep calm and build on

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:04 pm 
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More progress.

Rough cut the braces. I'll finish them up when they are installed.

Image


I'd been putting off making the rosette as It seemed like a daunting task without a thickness sander but it turned out ok.

I didn't have a piece of chechen wide enough so I cut a couple pieces and matched the grain:

Image

Image

Routed:

Image

Glued up:

Image

After scraping and a thin layer of shellac:

Image

Image

I thought I was doing ok until I flipped it over. Looks like the top warped from the water in the glue. I also routed too deep for the outer purfling. Must have just been a thinner section. It's about 30 degrees around the sound hole but most of it is under the fingerboard.

Image


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