First Flamenco Guitar Blog:
June 20th 2019
I am nearly finished with my first flamenco guitar. The flamenco is a long time coming as this spanish cyprus set was my third guitar set I bought many years back. I have suspended most of my knowledge on how to build a guitar and have been following [url=https://obrienguitars.com/courses/flamenco]Paco Chorobo of Chorobo Guitars online class[/url]. The class does cost but it is 22 hours long and includes the plans for the guitar, solera and templates. The course is nicely detailed and while viewing, besides learning how to build this guitar I picked up some woodworking techniques I did not have. Sometimes watching how they're using tools is just as valuable as what is being taught in the section.
I have taken pictures of the build but I have been slow starting this blog. I will break it up into a few posts as there are a lot of pictures. I will mostly focus on new stuff and changes to my build style but I will include a bunch of pictures of all of the steps.
I had the plans printed out. Luckily it is close to exactly the same size as the LMI classical template I have and used to build my solera and bending molds and build molds. So lucky me I am a step ahead! I joined up a spruce top I had; in the flamenco tradition it is a cheap "flawed" spruce top. Acoustically it is very nice but I got it cheap.
I have a stash of Spanish cedar scarfed joined neck blanks I picked up so I joined one with a Spanish cedar block for the heal.
I used a plane to thickness the head stock from the face side, new for me I always thicknessed from the back. Once thicknessed I went back and thinned the fretboard face of the neck to move the nut location above the end of the scarf joint.
I also profiled the heel using a template from the plans, but I forgot to take pictures.
From the plans I cut out the headstock template, taped it to some plastic and made a permanent template. I taped the template to a bit of Brazilian Rosewood and cutout the head stock veneer.
I made a jig to cut slots in the neck heal. Pretty simple jig, I screwed a guide in a bit of 3/4" sign plywood cut to size on the table saw and then I installed a fence perpendicular to the cut to hold the neck. It is easy to use: Set the blade at 3° toward the nut, set the height, line up the slot cut line with the end of the jig, cut one side. Flip the neck to the other side of the fence and repeat leaving the blade angle and height.
I made my slots wide, I will use a wedge once I am ready to glue in the rims. I have cracked sides taking them in and out of the slots.
I finished roughing the neck by establishing the shape of the heel. I just used a chisel
June 25th 2019
I ended up following Paco's rosette design. It just happened that I had all of the parts including a big enough bit of zipflex. I just bunched a bunch of red and black purling lines together to form the rings. I used my bishop coheran plunge router base to cut the slots. I had the right size end mill for the zipflex, and my purfling pattern was also the same size as the zipflex.
I also joined the back with a rosewood strip
The plan had a side template for a .6 meter radius. I traced it on a piece of mylar to make a template.
I cleaned up one side for the top with a plane and used my template to mark the sides, I profiled them on the bandsaw, checked which way I wanted to bend and marked them for the top and waist. At this point I had my kit and was ready to build.
The next morning I bent the sides in my side bender.
While waiting for the second side to cool I made an end block including a preinstalled end graft. The preinstalled end graft is working out as it make it easy to glue on the sides square.
I mark the center line on each side, measured in half of the end graft width and cut to size; cleaning up on my belt sander.
With the end graft preinstalled the sides can be glued one at a time and still be centered a square.
In a like way I cut the neck side of the rims to fit.
The end of another day. I am starting to see a guitar in the parts.
July 3rd 2019
Before bracing the top, I needed to install a sound hole donut and finish off the sound hole. Using my router I cut a circle of WRC. In its crossgrain orientation I marked the location where the transverse braves cross the donut, marked and used a scalpel to cut to size.
I used a right triangle to orient the soon to be ring and glue it down
While that glue was drying I glued down the back's center strip.
I used my router to cut out the sound hole
Here is a tip on how to trim of the sound hole without need to cut it exact.
I first fit an extra wide fiber strip into the sound
Still holding it do size I pull it out and cut both strips at a diagonal
Now I have a strip scarfed on each side.
when installing the ring you can slide the scarfs against each other until the ring fits perfectly. As the ring is wider than necessary there is room for adjustment making the ring smaller or bigger to fit. Glue it on and trim with a scraper, chisel or plane.
On a flat board I glued on the transverse braces to the top and moved on to the back.
Using the template in the plans I made a .6 m radius bar and used it to radius and glue the back braces to the back. I only had one radius bar so I glued the braces on one at a time. Not shown is cutting out the slots in the center strip to fit the braces.
The fan braces are not radiused rather they are pressed in a dished solera. My solera has a 2 mm dish in the lower bout. This was for my tradition classical guitars, but is perfect for this guitar as well.
I braced the top in my gobar deck and profiled the braces on the back
With the rims in place in the solera, I marked the size of the top's transverse braces and trimmed them to size with a razor saw and a chisel.