Greetings to the classical guitar builders -- I have a question that needs to be answered-
I just received a set of plans to build a Jose' Ramirez classical guitar and the top and back seem to be flat rather than having a radius to it. is this the way it is made?????????
I will be attempting this guitar as soon as I get done making a 12 string dred. that I am working on now.
any help would be appreciated-- and thank you in advance for any replies....

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Who prepared the plan, Don? Is it the Scott Antes plan? It's been a while seen I've held and played a Ramirez, but my recollection of the '60s Ramirez 1a's that I have looked at was that they were moderately arched over the back and a little less so on the top. I don't think that it's a detail that Ramirez would have ignored. Best bet is to go visit one at a shop and see for yourself. Lacking that, you could call around to a few high end shops and see if you can get your answer that way. Try Rosewood Guitar in Seattle at (206) 297-8788. I think they might have one. If you don't have any luck, I'll could swing by there weekend after next and take a look.

Hi Bob -- Thank you for the reply - the plans are by Scott Antes and I was looking at the plans and did notice a detail that depicted a "slight taper" to the to one end of the fan braces.
I will take a closer look at the plans before I get into this project because I want the thing to come out the best of the best if you can relate to what I'm saying--
Once again thank you for the reply----
I just received plans for a 1937 Hauser from LMI and remembered your post when I read a section in the booklet that mentioned the top of this guitar is flat. The bridge is made with a 1.5mm arch across it's width to accomodate any doming due to string tension. May not apply to your Ramirez at all but I thought you might feel better to know that some classicals of that era were made that way. The LMI plans seem to be very detailed and come with a nice booklet with color pictures of the instrument and a cd of Segovia's recordings made with the instrument.
Yeah, Cliff alot of the Hausers were done that way, along with just about every flamenco in that period, and probably later. An arch of 1.5mm over the length of the bridge is pretty large and it probably gets compressed at the front edge due to string tension. My GUESS is that by the early '60s it was the predominant practice that luthiers would press straight fan blanks onto the top held in a hollowed form or solera and the dome would be created in that fashion.

Hi Cliff- the plans that you received from LMI are a bit different from the Rameriz plans that I have.
According to the plans the top is for entional perposes is flat with the exception of a slight taper to the two cross braces and the angle brace which have a slight relief at the end of the left side as you look at the top head on.
the back is totally flat according to the plan.
My plans are drawn bu Scottt Antes and there is no other info than what is on the print.
Be well Cliff and please be safe and GL with your build :-)
I find it interesting that instruments are built with so many variations intended to reach a common goal. Which vintage Ramirez are your plans for? If I remember correctly there is a set for a 1912 and another for a 1942 instrument. It would sure be interesting to compare the changes to see what was considered am improvement. The booklet with my Hauser plans give some details of unrepaired damage between the fretboard and top which the author speculates could be why Segovia retired it with a "dead first string".
Do I understand that the braces are glued and clamped under tension to get the radius? What is the radius of the solera? It sure might be interesting to know just how much tension it would calculate out to.
Clamping flat fans down under tension is how almost every classical builder gets them glued down. For the average fan brace, it only take three of the yellow LMII gobars to get good contact. It's not alot of pressure. I typically use a 25' radius so that, after springback, I get 1.5-2mm arch across the lower bout before glueing on the bridge. The botom of the bridge is contoured to fit the actual arch of the top rather than to the 25' radius of the form.

Very interesting...geez I sound like Artie Johnson...I'm not familiar with LMI's go bars so I don't have a good concept of that amount of pressure. I got Jose Oribe's book "The Fine Guitar" and was impressed with the system he uses just because it seems to take up less room than most go-bar set ups I have seen in other books. His is somewhat shorter in height and his go-bar, if you can call them that, is a dowel rounded on one end with a hole to accept a spring and a plunger in the other end. Tension could be changed by swapping springs I would assume. Sorry to get so far from the original post but regarding the solera, is it radiused from side to side or actually domed like a bowl?
Hey Clif-- by all means keep the post going, after all construction is construction--
Then plans that I have I believe are from a 1966 Rameriz if that helps any..'
and Bob- the only thing for a go bar system is one that I made and the go bars are made fo some sort of composit materal , and they are wtihe with rubber bumpers on the end.
I also made up some go bars out of maple that I use for making dreds.
The bars are 3/4 inch wide and 1/8 inch thick by 24 inches long,
My tops to dreds are a 25ft rad in the top and 28ft on the bk. and I have forms to put the top and bk pieces in when I glue up braces.
be safe guys and have fun
First to Cliff, yes, the solera is shaped like a dish. Some people, like me only dish the lower bout and put just the gentlest of radii on the lower harmonic bar. The tube/plunger/spring arrrangement is really cool and probably a little easier to handle than the fiberglass or wooden wands.

Donald, I'm with you for keeping the post going. There's always another way to skin a cat.

Hey Bob ya mean I've been doing my dreds. wrong all along??
I made a jig that puts the 25-or28 foot radius on my braces..
I use the same radius for every brace that I make.. then attach them to the top or back
respectively ... another thing that I'm interested in finding out is -- what is the angle that is put on the neck heel before it is attached to the top-- no wait -- the neck has a
channel cut into it and the sides are put into it-- however -- what is the angle that the channel is cut??? the prints that I have don"t specify it..
No, you've been doing the dreds right. Everyone that I know finds some way to cut a radius on their top braces and back braces. On a classical, the fans are so wimpy that it works out to not radius them, but on a dred or other acoustric steel strings, the braces are alot heftier. Radiusing is the only practical way to go for them. I use a jig with a router to cut mine.

As for the neck angle, I think I discussed this on an earlier forum post. I'll try to find it and get back to you on this. There are a couple of ways to go at it.



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