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Discuss the rules here *price limit updated*
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Author:  Bryan Bear [ Thu May 19, 2016 3:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Discuss the rules here *price limit updated*

We probably want to iron out some of the rules further. Specifically but not limited to the spending limit. There also may be questions. This is a good place to discuss them. I have pasted what I put up in the other thread here so we can all easily find the rules as they stand right now:

We are going to go with The Something Old, Something New, Something Local and You Pick Two Challenge. See the description below (pretty much what I posted earlier):

Something old - Some part (could be a small part or more if you like the challenge) of the instrument must be made from scrap or scrounged material. This could be anything from getting the bridge plate out of the firewood pile to discovering a back and side set buried in an old palate. It does not have to be a large portion of the instrument (even just a tiny bit of the inlay material would qualify) but feel free to go nuts if that is what you are into.

Something new - You must include something you have never tried before. This could be using hide glue for the first time, making a new shape or bracing pattern, new construction technique, new finishing product. . . the idea is to get you to try something you have been meaning to add to your repertoire. I recognize that many of you are well farther advanced than I and finding something new might be more challenging but there has to be something. . .

Something local - You have to include some material that is sourced locally. Timber that is indigenous to your area is an obvious choice but you are encouraged to have fun with it. Let's see what people come up with.

You pick two - Since Parlor was the favorite idea but not everybody's bag, we have a way out. There are 3 elements and you have to pick at least 2 of them for your project 1) parlor/terz/travel size, 2) work under a price cap and/or 3) finished instrument is donated to the cause of your choosing.

You could make a parlor and keep it all to yourself as long as you stay under the spending limit.
You could build whatever you want as long as you stay under the limit and donate the instrument
You could make the world's first $1.5 million travel guitar but you have to donate it. You get the idea. . .

Other “Rules”:

TimeLine – This should be fun not stressful. I like and have adopted Dennis’ idea of starting now and letting it go until next spring some time. More accurately, we will finish at midnight CST on Memorial Day (May 29) 2017. I chose Memorial Day and CST so it would be easy for me to remember, I’m selfish like that . I think this is the best way to get a lot of people involved. You can start at any time during the year but you have to finish by the deadline. I recognize that this may make following the threads less fun because it will drag out. That brings me to the next “Rule.”

Check-ins – Once you throw your hat in the ring, people will be eagerly awaiting your progress. We don’t want traffic in the challenge section to stall out midyear. After you start your thread, you should post, at least bi-weekly even if just to say you have made no progress. Obviously more posts are better with lots of pictures but if you project is on the back burner just let us know you haven’t forgotten about it. Keep in mind these rules are not really strictly enforced (or enforced at all).

Price cap – I must admit, I’m at a bit of a loss here. I’m going to throw out $150 as the cap mostly because I thing that is what we used once before. I’m open to amending this number. I think the only things that we should assign cost to are parts and building materials. Finish, glue, sandpaper and even strings would be excluded from your total costs. We are not sending a team of accountants out to audit your books just give reasonable estimates. If you use something you got for free you don’t necessarily have to count anything against your total, but if your friend gave you a BRW back and side set last year you should probably not call that $0. Edit: After discussion here the price limit has been set at $225 and the rule clarified to not include tuning machines and fret wire and such.

Making the deadline - Basically post a video of the instrument being played by the deadline.

Prizes – Dennis has offered to make a set of hardwood tuner buttons as a prize (thanks!) over the course of the challenge anyone who wants to offer up a prize should do so. As the deadline approaches, we will discuss voting and prize allocations.

– Like all the other rules remember this is for fun and use your own judgment. If you choose the donate route, no one is going to call the legitimacy your chosen charity into question. Try to avoid making an awesome guitar and claiming your wife really needs a small guitar for your living room. Please do however, post as much detail as you can about where the instrument is going. We all love to get warm fuzzies!

Author:  truckjohn [ Fri May 20, 2016 9:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

So... I am in either way....

While I like building cheap stuff for the fun... I would vote for a little higher price limit as I think it may get more participation. I am thinking of the expense of tuners that are halfway decent... They have gone up in cost - and you are going to drop almost $100 on a decent set. Maybe bump it up to $250...

Or... Perhaps leave the $150 price limit for the wood, and allow the hardware separate - so truss rod, tuners, fretwire aren't counted.


Author:  Bryan Bear [ Sat May 21, 2016 12:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

Reasonable suggestions, thanks! I'm going to stay out of the price limit talk for a while to see what comes of the discussion. I feel like I have forced a lot of things on this lately and don't want to put people off. I can't wait to hear from more people on the rules, but even more, I can't wait to see more threads posted in this section!

Author:  DennisK [ Sat May 21, 2016 1:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

Yeah, the tuners are the single biggest expense on mine, and I'm using a relatively cheap $42 set. I wouldn't be opposed to upping the limit. How about $222 as a play on words with "you pick two"?

But of course, it's only a limit, and you can spend less if you want. I'm actually half way tempted to try and squeeze under $100 just because I've never done it before :) I like the idea of building truly inexpensive guitars, and the $15 StewMac economy open gear tuners are actually quite good. They're just delicate, so you have to be careful not to bang them into things or yank them at a bad angle with a string winder.

Compression truss rods are another way to save some cash, which I'm already using. Makes the headstock more delicate due to the cavity for the adjustment nut, but otherwise they work just fine in most cases. And with a backstrap, or scarf joint and some kind of handstop/volute to boost the strength, it's still plenty durable.

Bridge pins can be had for $5 from LMI. Their FW74 fretwire is only $5.20 for a single guitar's worth, and cheaper in bulk. Nuts and saddles can be made from ebony or African blackwood fingerboard scraps... so that's about $30 for all the hardware. My current wood budget is $75, but I could claim $70 since I actually only ordered a persimmon fingerboard and back/side set from RC Tonewoods a couple years ago, and Bob threw in the bridge for free :) I gave it a $5 value since that's about what it would have cost if I'd ordered it intentionally.

Author:  printer2 [ Sat May 21, 2016 7:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

It would be easy for me to make a cheap guitar, basically all what I have been doing so far. Would be something new if I built out of better wood. :)

But I thought of a project for this challenge. Not sure if it can be done but will give it a try. Won't win any tuner buttons though. Just curious how it will turn out and need a push in the right direction to try it. This challenge is enough to do it, I'm in.

Author:  gregorio [ Sat May 21, 2016 10:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

I'm not sure why a cap (money) needs to be in place at all.
The theme of the challenge seems to be "Guitar on the Cheap". Judging based on this criteria would not favour a guitar built another way.
Establish the requirements, who the judges will be, and build away!
Hoping to man up and put my name in.

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Tue May 24, 2016 1:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

Shameless bump.

Author:  J De Rocher [ Tue May 24, 2016 11:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

Bryan suggested over on the other thread that I make my case regarding the cost cap condition on the challenge, so here goes.

I don't know why there necessarily needs to be a price cap. I don't imagine someone here is going to try to steal all the fame and glory that would come from victory in the challenge by building a parlor guitar with a mahogany back and sides set from The Tree, or a 3000 year old spruce top, or some such exorbitantly pricey thing, to try to gain an unfair advantage. The argument can be made that a price cap, especially if it's low, actually gives an unfair advantage to those who might have a great relationship with a local lumber dealer or access to usable salvage wood. In my case, I don't have either of those.

Another consideration for me is that, while I get the challenge of trying to build a good guitar for minimal cost, it's just not motivating to me to have a cost ceiling be the primary factor driving choices in design and materials for a guitar given the amount of time and effort that goes into building one. I prefer to build a guitar that I'm happy with for reasons other than having been able to build it for a low cost. Using the curly claro walnut back and sides set I have, for example, would make me happy.

If the challenge runs until next spring, maybe I'll stumble across some salvage or free wood that would be cool enough to motivate me to use it for its own sake and then I could jump in later after I finish the one I'm starting now.

Author:  truckjohn [ Wed May 25, 2016 8:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

I think that is a perfect opportunity to run another challenge.
It may be a good way to spice things up a bit - it seems like there are a lot of folks reading but no one posting right now.

I think from the comments here - you would get good support for fun build with no budget (or maybe a fairly high budget like $500-$800) sort of challenge.

Author:  PeterF [ Wed May 25, 2016 11:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

The past few challenges have had very few finishers and I think having 2 challenges together would mean even less people in each group. Why not just do away with the price cap? I don't think people should judge blinginess anyway.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk

Author:  Don Williams [ Wed May 25, 2016 12:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

It's always the price cap that turns me off from these things. I prefer to use Waverly tuners on my guitars, and not really interested in using cheaper ones, or having to modify the instrument afterward to make the changeover. Just get rid of the money cap and let people go wild...

Just my $0.02...

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Wed May 25, 2016 12:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

Thank you all for the feed back, it is much appreciated. Sounds like there is a pattern forming. I'm not opposed to cutting the cap. I enjoy seeing what people can do with creative materials sourcing, but I enjoy robust participation more. After all, without a cap, people can still get creative if they so choose. Let's see what others have to say.

Author:  DennisK [ Wed May 25, 2016 1:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

The only thing I don't like about removing the price cap is that it also removes the encouragement to donate. But at the same time, many of us who are into instrument building are more in need of donations ourselves... so I don't think we're necessarily being stingy heartless people by wanting to keep or sell our creations.

I also like that the price cap encourages people to seek out connections with local wood sources and salvage opportunities. But on the other hand, building instruments takes so much more time than it does wood, conservation isn't really much of an issue for us compared to furniture makers and carpenters, or high production guitar factories.

But then should we make it parlors only, or anything goes as long as you use something old, new and local? I think everyone so far is building parlors anyway, but if anyone is thinking of entering and wants to build something else, then speak up :)

And regardless of rule removal, we can still do individual restrictions just for fun. I'll be keeping to either $100 or $150 price limit, and donating 10-20% of the proceeds from selling it.

Author:  SteveSmith [ Wed May 25, 2016 2:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

I'm just not into using my limited time to build guitars with a such a limited budget although I did that in the last challenge. I prefer to use relatively nice tuners and then pick the wood that moves me from my stash. Not crazy expensive but rarely less than $250. As far as donating guitars - I'm all for it but I've got plans for this parlor. I have a dred I need to repair that will get donated soon. Otherwise - parlor with something old, new and local, I can do that.

Up to you guys - I'm good either way.

Author:  Matt Bouchie [ Sun May 29, 2016 2:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

I think all the rules for this sound great. As the winner of the 2014 local woods build, I appreciate Bryan starting up a challenge. I know the past few builds were run by the previous winner, but last year was full of now controlled health issues for me and I didn't do a lot of building. I was able to get a tenor guitar done for the annual NEL build project but didn't finish anything else in 2015. I've only recently gotten back to building and am working on a couple of ukes for my nieces and a dread for my brother, which will also be used for this year's NEL build.

I would like to join this build. Did we decide what a parlor guitar entails? Does an 0 count? If not, I'll have to make a mold and bending form for a size 1. I'm planning on donating the guitar when done. I'll try to stay as close to the $150 limit (or whatever is decided upon), as well, although I won't sweat it if I go over a bit since I'll meet the other two requirements. I'll start a thread for my build and fill in the details there. It's nice to have a couple of things that will get me back in the shop more often.


Author:  J De Rocher [ Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

Matt Bouchie wrote:
Did we decide what a parlor guitar entails? Does an 0 count? If not, I'll have to make a mold and bending form for a size 1.Matt

For what it's worth, I did a web survey a couple weeks ago for dimensions of parlor guitars and found a fairly wide range in all the main dimensions from several builders. All these numbers are for guitars that the builders identify as parlor guitars.

Parlor Guitar Dimensions Table.jpg

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

I don't think anyone is going to raise a stink and say that one of our guitars doesn't qualify as a parlor. That list illustrates how arbitrary the term really is. At first, seeing the 14 surprised me but then I remembered that some consider OM (or anything that is not a dread) a parlor. This list also demonstrates why I have been so frustrated when trying to shop for parlor cases online.

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

Sounds like we have a few ways to go if we want to get more people involved.

-- Raise and alter the price limit.
We could bring the dollar total up and/or remove things like tuning machines, truss rods, frets. . . from the final accounting. All of our instruments will require these things and no one is going to gain or lose favor in any voting because the tuning machines are nicer than someone else's. So the limit would be raised to whatever we agree on and basically only count towards timber.

-- Eliminate the price limit all together.
Not much to say about this one.

-- Make it a you pick one
Pretty self explanatory.

-- get rid of the you pick criteria all together.
Make whatever you want, spend whatever you want and do whatever you want with it when you're done but do the something old, something new, something local.

At the end of the day, this is about fun, building camaraderie and seeing some cool instruments come together. So I don't really care what we do. I'd hate to leave someone out over "rules" that are really arbitrary.

Author:  J De Rocher [ Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

I like the idea of excluding components from the accounting that everyone has to use and don't typically vary a lot in cost, and focusing on the timber parts that can have a wide range in cost such as the wood for the top, back and sides, neck, and maybe the fretboard and binding. For the guitar I'm starting on now, the total for those items come to a hair over $200.

Author:  SteveSmith [ Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

If we exclude the components as J has said I could come in for around $200 as well.

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

So let's say $225 and not count tuners, finish and stuff like that. Everyone okay with that? Speak up!

Author:  J De Rocher [ Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

ya sure ya betcha!

Author:  SteveSmith [ Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here

I'm in fer sure!

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here *price limit updated*

I edited the OP to make it all official and junk. . .

Author:  chucksurette [ Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Discuss the rules here *price limit updated*

Hi, Is it too late to get into the challenge?

I was ordering up some neck jig plans the other day and noticed your challenge is just like my latest reclaimed wormy chestnut build.

If I'm too late, that's fine.

Chuck Surette

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