I've just started my 2nd and third guitar building and I was wondering if you know anyone that sells solera for a spanish heel dreadnought guitar. I hope you can point me in the right direction.
I doubt a Solera, or "workboard," is available for dreadnought size guitar. With today's clear communication and knowledge of the aging process of steel string guitars, it is understood that they will ALL require resetting of the neck eventually, so it is more than desirable that the neck be removable in some way.
It is generally agreed that the Spanish heel is not a good idea on steel string guitars. Many builders of classicals have abandoned it, too. RIght now, I'm doing surgery on a 20-year old Ramirez 1a that is in serious need of neck resetting to achieve decent action.
I've only ever built with a dish form, and with a dovetail joint, and chose to do so because of comments, thoughts, and considerations from the masters that have posted here. If you want the top shape of a Spanish guitar, with a more dished out lower, flatter top bout, etc., I cheat a bit. I glue in the bridge plate and neck transverse brace flat. I then radius the ones around the sound hole to a slightly flatter arch than the dish form, and make the x braces and tone bars all conform to the dish. When I glue up the top I have a more pronounced "dome" by the bridge, and almost none at the neck. Does anyone else do this?
Frank put it nicely. I was going to bluntly ask why you would want to do that.
I'm not a steel string builder but I have worked on a good number of 19th century Spanish style guitars (Panormo, Pages etc) that all needed neck resets. They spent most of their lives with gut strings on them, which are very low tension in comparison, so yea, I don't think I'd trust that kind of heel on a steel string either.
Unless you made the guitar like many of the old ones were, where the back was made relatively easy to pop off in anticipation of future repairs.
I think I've occassionally seen dreadnought soleras on the big auction site if you really don't want to make your own.