I have been asked to build a 12 fret L-1 size guitar. The only plans I have found for this size are 14 fret. Can I merely move the sound hole, bracing, and bridge plate? I have always built dreadnoughts.
Hi Paul-- Im sure that purests will tell you that Im all wet but I've done and will do again exactly what you want to accomplish.
All I did was moved the things that you stated,,,, OR,,,, maby you could cut short the fret board the amount of the two frets.... (just a sugestion)
The only rule when building costom is "THEIR AINT NO RULES"
I aint got no witness and I cant prove it, but thats my story and Im stickin to it-----------
Thanks. I haven't received the plans yet, but you confirmed what I thought. The discussions on 12 vs 14 fret guitars are interesting, and while I usually build dreadnoughts, I flat pick and the customer finger picks Blues. I will have to build a new side bender and form, but that will keep me busy this winter and give me something to think about at work.
What scale have you been asked to use. The earliest L-1's were somewhere in the neighborhood of 24.125 or 24.25 inches with 12 frets while the later ones were used one of the longer scales common to Gibson. If you have a plan with a large scale, try shrinking it down. If you keep the bridge in the same place, I bet you that you'll get a 12 fret instrument.
I don't have my Gibson book with me, but I think that when the L-1 became a 14 fret instrument, it was 24.9" which kept the bridge just about exactly where it was in the 12 fret model. You can just move the bridge down body, but it will change the tone as it moves more towards the "sweet spot" on the body.
Looking in my copy of "Gibson's fabulous flat-top guitars" by Whitford, Vinopal and Erlewine, it says on page 29 "In 1932 the neck was changed to a 14-frets-to-the-body design. The soundhold, bridge, and bracing were also moved upward in compensation." hope that helps