Sunday, June 28, 2009

An imagined problem

I recently bought Guitarmaking Tradition and Technology, as I will be building my first classical guitar once I've tooled up for the job. The book is it to bits! Thank you so much. :~)

Perhaps you would clarify something to do with the build process that is nagging at me a bit? It is to do with joining the back and top to the sides. In your book you show the sides/lining being sanded with a large flat board, giving a flat surface. Yet the top and back are radiused, meaning they will contact the sides at an angle. The thing that is nagging at me is that this would give a rather small joining surface between the sides and the back/top. Perhaps the effect of the radius over the distance of the side thickness and lining that serves as the gluing surface is so small that it doesn't matter? Am I on the right track?

I hope you will indulge an old fool with his silly questions.

Smart people are the ones that ask the questions. Silly old fools think they know it all already.

I understand why you find a problem that ought to exist, in your mind's eye. But in practical real-world terms, it simply does not exist as a problem. Guitars have been made for eons without the elaborate CAD/CAM domed sanding shells that the suppliers would just love to sell you to satisfy those imagined "common sense" problems. If every thing on the guitar was rigid as glass there might be a problem. But wood is elastic and the offset from flat of a 1/4-inch segment of a 15 or 16-inch chord of a very, very large circle is next to negligible and what there is flexes under pressure to come together and adhere permanently. So my advice is to worry about other things, and put that to rest.