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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:05 pm 
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Koa
Koa

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Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
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Hey guys,

I am kicking off the challenge build for this year....
Gonna build a Ditson GC - Otherwise known as a Ditson 11.
It's an old Martin pattern from the 20's - 13" wide at the lower bout, 19" long body, 12 frets to the body, and a 24.9" scale length.

Wood is going to be:
QS Australian pine back and sides (River oak is the closest resemblance for actual Aussies - Casuariana hybrid of some sort or another with Red Heartwood that grows down in Florida)... I know it's not a pine... That's what we call it, though...

"Leopard Claw" Bearclaw Lutz top from Mario DaCosta

Neck and headblock are American Cherry.

I will post some pix of the wood...


Last edited by truckjohn on Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:16 pm 
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I am sure it will be an excellent effort , look forward to it ! [:Y:]

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The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
The truth will set you free , But FIRST, it will probably Piss you Off !
Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:36 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
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First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
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As promised - here are some pix of the wood....
Here's 4 pieces of the back jointed... Notice all the worm/bug holes....
Attachment:
Aus Pine 1.JPG


Here it is - adding 2 more wings for a 6-piece back on a 13" wide instrument!
Attachment:
Aus Pine 3.JPG


Here's the top... A Merry Christmas it was after a visit from Mario Claus and his big, brown sleigh.....
Attachment:
Aus Pine 4.JPG


Here's the top being jointed - all the saw marks are gone and the glue is drying...
Attachment:
Aus Pine 7.JPG


This is a fun build so far!

Thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:48 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Dude, that is the sweetest looking back I've seen yet. I don't care how many worm holes are in it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:30 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
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Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
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The "Aussie pine" grows like a weed all over Florida, Texas, and much of the Gulf coast.... It's regarded as trash wood down there.... If someone is feeling particularly conservation oriented - they use it for mulch or firewood.... Generally, they just push them into the ocean or let it rot.... I grew up climbing and making forts in these trees, as well as enjoying the shade they provide....

This 1 board came from a fellow in South Florida - he milled a whole bunch of it and used some for furniture - but couldn't find anyone to buy it... I got it for $2.00/bd-ft.... It was 1x4x 4' long - or about 1.3 bd-ft rough sawn... Last time I checked back with him - he got a "Day job" at the power plant and had quit milling - and sold his mill, and had burned most of the rotten/buggy wood piles...

I am actually working on trying to find a miller down in South Florida who will carefully quartersaw a log for me.... It's not real easy because I'm not living down there any more....

It is actually not a pine - it's a hardwood tree with "Needles" and "Cones" (Properly, it's a Casuarina or Allocasuarina hybrid of some sort or another.) It's non-porous, bends easily, density is about in line with hard maple, but it has strong crossgrain rays like Oak.... The Allocasuarinas (Sheoak for Aussies) typically have blond/tan sap and heartwood.... The Casuarinas (River oak, etc for Aussies) have Red/Brown heartwood...

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:51 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
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Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Here's some more progress... Got the back, sides, and top jointed up and sanded down - here they are...
Attachment:
Aus Pine 11.jpg

Attachment:
Aus Pine 9.jpg


And I started bending the sides...
Attachment:
Aus Pine 10.JPG


I gotta say - bending was very easy with this stuff.... Not sure why you guys down in South Florida, and the ones living Down Under don't use it!

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:53 pm 
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I like that Bender John , Clean and simple ! [:Y:]

_________________
The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
The truth will set you free , But FIRST, it will probably Piss you Off !
Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
http://wiksnwudwerks.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/GatewayA ... rAssembly/


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:17 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
Posts: 1927
Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Here's some more pix...
Here's a pic of the stock for the neck block, and the neck and miscellaneous bits and pieces.... I only used 4" or so of that board

Attachment:
Aus Pine 14.JPG

Attachment:
Aus Pine 13.JPG


Here you can see the bent sides - gluing in the head block. (Camera was dead - so I didn't get pix of building the head block.... but I built it all with hand tools....)
Attachment:
Aus Pine 12.JPG


Here you can see the rims with head and tail blocks....
Attachment:
Aus Pine 15.JPG


And here's a pic of some of the additional worm holes I am going to have to deal with.... MMMMM Holey wood!
Attachment:
Aus Pine 16.JPG


Last - here's a pic of putting in linings on one side, and some veneer on the other side to make up for a side that was a bit on the thin side up at one end (It was the last slice off the board.... I manually planed off the saw marks and weathered outside in those thin spots rather than thinning that single side plate crazy thin....)
Attachment:
Aus Pine 17.JPG


I can't wait to get all these little bits and pieces finished up so I can get to the top....

Thanks


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Last edited by truckjohn on Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:31 pm 
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Cocobolo
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First name: Florentin
Last Name: Tise
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Country: USA
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Hi John,

Great looking at your photos!

How do you add heat to your side bender?
Can you tell me a little bit about your side bender?

I am building my own bender now, and I want to keep it as simple as possible.

Thanks.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:41 am 
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Koa
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Location: Bothell, WA USA
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Last Name: Hansen
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The orange bit you see sticking out the end of the bender is a silicone heating blanket. It gets sandwiched between the wood and the bending slats.

Most of the Luthier Supply places sell them. If you look through the tutorial section here you should be able to find a video posted by Todd Stock showing how he bends with them.

Here is his channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/MDLuthier/videos

Some good info to be had here.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:47 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
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Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
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Yep - I use a heating blanket... Got it from John Hall at Blues Creek. I am sure you could use light bulbs or something else... I have good luck with the heating blanket.

I tried out the expensive spring steel and stainless steel slats... They worked OK, but are pretty stiff.... I ended up using aluminum roofing flashing from the hardware store... If I was bending some really cranky wood - I might dig back out my steel slats... but for everything else - I just use the roofing flashing.

I can probably take some pix to show how it's put together... It's really quick and crude, though... I think if I had the money - I might eventually go with a proper bender with the big screw for the waist and cutaway... for now, I just don't have the money...

Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:34 am 
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Thank you both for the explanation.

I am also overwhelmed with so many expenses, and so excited to learn this new skill.
I made some plans to build my own bender, since I am not confident enough to bend on a pipe.

I was looking in the Sloane book, but he uses a basin to boil his sides :shock:
I don't think anybody in here does that...

Cumpiano does it by hand and so does Bogdanovich.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:22 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
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First name: John
Last Name: Cox
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As with every other technique - you will find that luthiers do all sorts of things... I was looking at a blog of a pro-luthier... and there were his sides sitting in his bathtub.... Also saw them boiling sides in one of the Youtube videos of one of the asian factories....

I think if you are trying to initially minimize cost - go with the pipe... A piece of chrome muffler pipe extension and a propane torch works. Total investment $40.00..... Lots of people have been using them for a real long time....

The corrolary to this is to pick easy to bend wood for your first build... Straight grain, quartersawn, unfigured Maple, Oak, Cherry, Ash, Hickory, and Indian rosewood are all good candidates.... and make sure you get them thin enough... People typically use anywhere between 0.080 and 0.090" thick.. It's not uncommon for people to go way thinner on cranky wood... I had a set of Sapele sides that wouldn't bend till I took them down to 0.065" thick.... Err on the side of a bit thinner rather than a bit thicker when talking about bending....

Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:18 am 
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Koa
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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:41 pm
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Location: Bothell, WA USA
First name: Jim
Last Name: Hansen
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I think if you are looking to optimize expenditures, I would suggest going with a bending iron and a slat over a bending form, and then choose easy to bend woods for your first guitar.

The advantage of bending over an iron is you are holding the wood in your hand and can feel it start to bend (or crack). This tactile experience will help you understand whats happening. The challenge with the bending form is that you can't feel whats happening to the wood and have to trust the process you are using. With the iron you can go as fast or slow as you want, and just keep working the wood until your wood matches your plan/form.

I believe LMI sells electric bending irons and slats. You can go really cheap and build a pipe bending and use a torch or bbq element to heat it, but it's much more difficult to control the heat. The electric iron is aluminum and won't stain your wood, and has a rheostat to control the heat. I believe it also has an auto-shutoff (or you can use an appliance timer).

A lot of folks who use a bending form will pre-bend the sharper curves (waist, cutout, etc..) over a bending iron anyway, and just use the form for the bigger curves to get the final shape (to save time).

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:29 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
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Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Some more progress....

Got the rest of the back lining in....
Attachment:
Aus Pine 20.JPG


Started on the top lining - I am doing a solid lining... QS Red Oak strips. It will be 3 ply deep when I am done...
Attachment:
Aus Pine 24.JPG


I also sanded off the top and back to 220 grit and threw on a spit coat of varnish to protect from dings.... I am particularly bad about dinging up tops and backs - and a little finish really helps this....

On this top - I was really hoping that the bearclaw would be more prominent.. There's a lot of figure, but it ended up being more subtle than I though it would...
Attachment:
Aus Pine 39.JPG


And the back
Attachment:
Aus Pine 38.JPG


Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:12 am 
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Cocobolo
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Last Name: Tise
City: Chicago
Country: USA
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I absolutely LOVE looking at these photos.
Thanks for sharing!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:19 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
Posts: 1927
Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
It is fun to see all the progress pix.... although it's kinda a pain to take them...

Anyway - more progress... All the lining is in. Backing up the worm holes for filling with Epoxy... QS Red Oak linings are easy to bend in the bender!

Attachment:
Aus Pine 26.JPG


Attachment:
Aus Pine 27.JPG


Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:55 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
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First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
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Here I am gluing in the final braces on the finished Rim (for now.....)
Attachment:
Aus Pine 36.JPG


Next up - my old Nemesis... The Rosette!
This is one element I always get hung up on....
I have intentions of doing a cool looking segmented rosette.....

Unfortunately, you know all about the best of intentions.... If you see a simple line rosette appear - you will know that I couldn't get the segmented rosette to come out...

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:04 pm 
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Koa
Koa

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First name: John
Last Name: Cox
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Nope.. Still can't figure out how to get a line rosette to come out....

OK... well - had a setback.... Turns out that the "Good" epoxy soaks into wood like nobody's business... and I always used that old crummy home store stuff - and it didn't bleed black into anything....

Well... Looky here... I painted the rosette channel and the surrounding top pretty well with Shellac - and it still soaked ~1/2" into the grain! gaah gaah gaah gaah

Attachment:
Aus Pine 44.JPG


I tried to thin it out some - see if it was just on the surface... No dice - the pic here is *After* I took off ~0.025" of wood to see how far it went.... 0.070" thick in the upper bout is too thin for me - and I would have to inlay something around the rosette to get it sorted out....

On to plan B.... That was a nice Lutz top... I was really anguishing about how I could sort it back out... but in the end - I decided to scrap it. [xx(] [xx(]

Attachment:
Aus Pine 45.JPG


I had bought a pile of Sitka "Reject top billets" back in 2009 from a fellow who resaws tonewood (Though he doesn't cut trees).... These things cost ~4.00 each or so and most of them were useful for little splints, kindling, and such..... My plan was to use them for whatever... WEELLLLL One of them had pretty nice bearclaw - albeit it had some significant sap pockets (Which is why it was a Reject)...... So... I tried out the New Morse FB Carbide band from Jim and it did a honey of a job resawing that reject wood....

Here's a pic from tonight of me jointing it up....
Attachment:
Aus Pine 46.JPG


Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:15 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
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Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
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Well.... I got the old rosette out of that top and into the new top.... This time - there were no Bearclaw Tops harmed in the 2nd operation...

Here it is being glued into place
Attachment:
Aus Pine 48.JPG


And here it is after doing some cleanup...
Attachment:
Aus Pine 49.JPG


Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:10 pm 
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Koa
Koa

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Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
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Wow... Over 700 views and not even an "Hey man, that sucks!".... That was the 1st time I ever scrapped a top... so I am still pretty bummed...

So... Got the rosette back in the "New" top.... Turns out that when you glue in the rosette with Epoxy - everything that touches that epoxy gets glued to the rosette.... I almost had a 15-lb rosette there.... Luckily, Mr. Propane torch was nearby - and it's true that Epoxy does release clean with a little heat....

Here it is after getting everything scraped, sanded, and a spit coat of lacquer...
Attachment:
Aus Pine 56.JPG


Now, we proceed on to drawing out the bracing pattern and reinforcing the soundhole... That's an offcut from the old top - so it didn't totally die in vain...
Attachment:
Aus Pine 57.JPG


Then, tonight - I cut the soundhole....
Attachment:
Aus Pine 58.JPG


Now, it's fun time... Time to start Bracing it up!

Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:44 pm 
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Dang!
Nice rosette there TJ!
I would have just used the first try with the staining,
but, well, I'm kind of a hack.
Is that a tenor, or a 6 stringer?
Lookin' good whatever it is!
Guess I could google Ditson and find out.
A.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:54 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
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Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
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It's a 6-string. It's a small body, though - about 14" across the lower bout.

This is based off of an old Martin pattern... Martin made these for the Oliver Ditson Company to Ditson's drawings.. Martin wasn't the only one who made guitars for the Oliver Ditson Company - a whole slew of other guitar companies did as well.. so finding a "Ditson" isn't an assurance of a Martin...

Anyway, they had 3-sizes... This is the middle size one... except I pushed in the waist a hair more than usual..

The Dreadnought started life as the biggest size of Oliver Ditson Company guitars... and the other 2 were more or less forgotten...

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:56 pm 
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truckjohn wrote:
Wow... Over 700 views and not even an "Hey man, that sucks!"....


The only thing that sucks is that you had to do the top over.. The rosette turned out great, I would be proud to have that as my first segmented rosette.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:57 pm 
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It does suck that the epoxy ruined the top but you made a stellar come back. Well done.
Camping is a good way to put it. It's a beautiful rosette and the back is great too!

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