Weissenborn Lap Slide

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Dave White
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Post by Dave White » Mon May 05, 2008 9:12 pm

Alan,

Nice work - onwards and upwards !! I know you are following the mimf plans but the top and back bracing looks mighty fearsome - I don't think this instrument is in danger of imploding. It will be interesting to see the top and back when you have carved the braces. Do you know what the top and back bracing weighed in their un-carved shape?

I'm really looking forward to the soundlips of this one.
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Bob Connor
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Post by Bob Connor » Mon May 05, 2008 10:39 pm

Looking good Alan but I'm in agreement with Dave. It looks like it's fairly hefty.

By the way I got my DVD burner going so I'm doing your DVD's as I write.

Bob

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Post by ozziebluesman » Mon May 05, 2008 11:09 pm

Thanks Dave and Bob for you comments.

I do have a weissenborn copy that was made for me two years ago from the MIMF plan and it is made to the plan. It sounds good. So i have the advantage of knowing the plan will make a good sounding instrument. Here is a pic of her top bracing.

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Here she is all finished. Annie is her name. Cedar top, narra back and sides and jarrah fretboard and bridge.

Image

I can organise a sound clip of Annie for you Dave anytime.

Cheers

Alan

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Post by ozziebluesman » Mon May 05, 2008 11:20 pm

I forgot to mention that i decided to go with two finger braces each side. Annie has three which is an option on the plan. All style one instruments from the 1920s had two finger braces each side and the style two's had three. I must admit it looks very heavily braced but seems to work.

Well, won't be long and we will hear if she has a good voice or not. The tap tone of the top sounds lively but i don't know what to listen for either.

The whole project has been a great learning experience so as long as it hold together i will be happy. If it sound good then that will be a bonus.

Cheers

Alan

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Dave White
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Post by Dave White » Mon May 05, 2008 11:24 pm

Alan,

Yes please!! I'd love to hear Annie sing.

How many more Weisses have you got in you? I'm sure Aniie is great but I think if you treat the lower bout bracing like a guitar you could really lighten it up and the sound would be more complex. Scale length is ony 25" or less and in Open D and G and the string tension is not that different from an ordinary guitar. Maybe this wouldn't be the traditional sound of a Weiss though. This is what I did on my first - the braces were 6mm wide and around 12-14mm high, tapered and carved to a triangular cross section:

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Post by ozziebluesman » Mon May 05, 2008 11:46 pm

Yes I have spent plenty of time at your web site looking and learning. At this stage Dave, I will just finish this weiss and see what happens. I have another weissenborn copy on the go made from blackwood that i intend to brace differently. It is 10mm deeper too!!!

I love the sound of these instruments. They are so haunting.

If you go to www.myspace.com/ozziebluesman you will hear Annie and Alan sing a little too. Annie has a k&k mini western pickup fitted so the recording chain is condensor mic to record Annie acousticaly in one channel of the recorder, direct in from the k&k to another channel and vocals on another track. I use the Zoom MRS4 which is a great little recorder.

Cheers

Alan

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Post by Dennis Leahy » Wed May 07, 2008 7:59 am

Alan,

That's awesome!

Where in the hell did you get the soul of the blues of the Deep South of the USA? Did you pick cotton in a former incarnation?

Absolutely great!

Dennis
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Post by Tom Morici » Wed May 07, 2008 6:14 pm

Alan,

I am enjoying seeing the progress of your build, looks good!

And as a fan of the blues, your playing and singing rocks!

Great stuff!

Tom

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Dave White
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Post by Dave White » Wed May 07, 2008 9:17 pm

Alan,

Thanks - I really enjoyed those sound clips. Awesome playing and singing. It's a shame you won't be here in the UK in September as I need someone to demo my lap-slides at the Cheltenham Acoustic Guitar Show. I love the K&K minis and am going to fit them to my Red-Kite and Matha's double neck.

I promise not to mention the bracing thing again. :D
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Post by ozziebluesman » Wed May 07, 2008 10:20 pm

Glad you like my music Dennis. Many thanks. I often think i would like a bit deeper voice with some growl to it. But i haven't so you do the best with what you've got. I have been playing guitar and singingfor a long time but i can tell you i sure had some trouble learning to sing and play a lap slide. It is still an ongoing learning curve.

Thank you Tom and Richard also for your kind words.

G'day Dave. Thank you also for your support and interest. The weissenborn is certainly a very different design to an acoustic guitar.

Cheers everyone and thanks for looking

Alan

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Dave White
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Post by Dave White » Wed May 07, 2008 10:27 pm

ozziebluesman wrote:I often think i would like a bit deeper voice with some growl to it. But i haven't so you do the best with what you've got.
Alan,

I think you have to smoke 20-50 a day for thirty years or so for that effect. What you have works great.
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Post by ozziebluesman » Thu May 15, 2008 12:46 pm

Dave, the sassafrass top braced but not carved come in at 409 gram. its 2.5 mm thick back and top. The back is 417 gram also not carved. All braces are 10mm x 10mm except the big mother infront of the soundhole which is 13mm x 15mm.

I have a blackwood weiss at about the same stage and the back is 442 gram and all braces are 9 mm x 9mm. The back is 2.5 mm thick. I'm half way through bracing the top and will report in the final weight of it before carving. I'm going with 9mm x 9mm on all the bracing on this top and front transverse brace a little smaller.

I would be interested in your opinion.

Cheers

Alan

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Dave White
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Post by Dave White » Thu May 15, 2008 11:44 pm

Hi Alan,

Interesting. In a thread sometime back on the OLF some builders were sharing data on braced top weights minus the bridge, and this came out at about 200-250g. Your tops are at double the range of this (albeit with the braces not yet carved) and a Weiss top isn't double the size. It just seems like a lot of wood to me and having the braces wider is not the most efficient way to add stuffness for minimum weight - as I say I use 5-6mm wide braces.

BUT - I know diddley squat about old Weisses - haven't seen or played any. I was intruiged by the sound I heard from players like Ben Harper and John Butler and came at it as an extension of how I build guitars. It could be that braces like yours make them sound like the old-timey ones and mine would sound crap to a traditionalist. Tony Francis would have a better insight given his experience with the "real things" and would be better to comment on your bracing.

I just weighed the first Lap-slide I made and it is a smidge under 4lb - so it could well be that yours will be the same or lighter.
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Post by ozziebluesman » Fri May 16, 2008 10:57 am

Thanks Dave for your reply.

Actually Tony has been my mentor since i started the build back in Oct last year. He has advised me all through the build. I have benn researching guitar building on the net for a few years now in a thirst to learn. At the end of the day when it comes to weissenborn instruments, he's the man and i respect and appreciate his advice.

Dave it really dosen't matter the end result as this is my first attempt so it may be a little ordinary sounding but i can improve on my next instrument with the experience i have gained thus far. The main thing is this guitar building is a very enjoyable hobby.

Cheers

Alan

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Richard
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Post by Richard » Fri May 16, 2008 3:28 pm

Out of interest I just weighed some of what I have in the workshop:

-two completed all-Blackwood Weiss models came in at 1.5kg / 3.3lbs each
-two all-Blackwood models without bridge/tuners/fretboard came in at 1.2kg / 2.64lbs (both finished)
-top + sides + headstock glued together all-Blackwood came in at 860g / 1.9lbs
-Bunya top + Blackwood sides + headstock came in at 780g / 1.7lbs

A few additional points:

-I aim for 2.4-2.5mm thick tops for blackwood.
-X-braces on Weissenborns are 5/16" wide and scalloped. Next few builds will be 1/4".
-I omit the upper finger brace and use a different shaped bridge plate.
-I use Macassar Ebony for bridge and fretboard. Fretboard is thicker than on originals.
-Headstocks are New Guinea Rosewood (aka Narra)

Strength/weight ratio with Blackwood is less than Spruce, hence you can expect a top to be somewhat heavier than Spruce. The 80g difference above between Blackwood and Bunya also goes along these lines.

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kiwigeo
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Post by kiwigeo » Fri May 16, 2008 3:57 pm

Okay stupid question time.

Do these Weissy thingos have a truss rod? I assume they do but i cant see any in the photos posted so far.

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kiwigeo
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Post by kiwigeo » Fri May 16, 2008 3:57 pm

Oh yeah..right....the neck and body are all on unit.

As you were.

:oops:

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Allen
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Post by Allen » Fri May 16, 2008 4:32 pm

Those weights you posted Richard are quite amazing when you compare them to lets say a 000. I think most builders would really struggle to get a steel string guitar down to just over 3 pounds and not loose sleep worrying that it would self destruct.

I've heard Alan's Weis in person and I was blown away by the volume and tone of his. Have you ever had a chance to compare your obviously lightly braced models to the style that Alan is building? I don't know much if anything about Weissenborn, but they really do have a certain appeal to them.
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Richard
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Post by Richard » Fri May 16, 2008 6:32 pm

Yeah, the lack of a solid neck and truss rod really brings these things down in weight.

I started off building to original specs and have gradually refined the bracing design. There's no question you can build a great sounding guitar with the original design but to me it was about improving the structural integrity of the box and then getting tone to where I want it to be with each successive build.

In a sense Weissenborns throw many of the pre-war Martin ideas out the window because here we have these guitars braced in a fashion that is somewhat rudimentary, yet they can deliver volume and balanced tone with the best of them.

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Post by ozziebluesman » Sun May 25, 2008 12:53 pm

Hi everyone,

A further progress update on the weissenborn copy.

Last weekend and this have been taken up finishing of scholloping, feathering and sanding the top and back braces, leveling and inleting the rim to accept the top and back. I had some fun and games wih the inleting of the braces. Anyway, it all fitted together and i'm happy with the final outcome. :D

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WEIGHT DETAILS

Finished Top (braces schollped and feathered) 355 gram
Back Finished (braces schollped and feathered) 365 gram
Rim 435 gram
Fretboard 95 gram
Bridge 30 gram
Total 1280 gram (without machine heads)

Thanks all for looking

Cheers

Alan

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Allen
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Post by Allen » Sun May 25, 2008 3:13 pm

You've got the box closed up. :cl

Looks good, and I can't wait to hear this one Alan. Did the top and back settle out once the humidity stabilized?
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ozziebluesman
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Post by ozziebluesman » Sun May 25, 2008 3:33 pm

Thanks Allen. Yes the top and back stabilised after a few days of higher humidity and they went back to flat. Pheww, i was a little worried and thought that i had done something horribly wrong! :D

Cheers

Alan

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Dave White
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Post by Dave White » Sun May 25, 2008 9:15 pm

Very nice Alan.
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Post by Lillian » Mon May 26, 2008 4:46 am

It looking really good there Alan. I'm really interested in hearing how it sounds. Weissenborns are a new experience for me.

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Post by ozziebluesman » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:04 am

Hi everyone,

Over the past few weeks the binding channel was cut using a Laminate Trimmer and over this long weekend, the Tasmanian Myrtle binding was bent and installed. The tops of the binding have been leveled and now for the sides. I used a sanding block for the tops and may make up some curved sanding blocks or try my hand at a scraper blade for the sides.

Here a a few pics. The binding really adds the finishing touch!

Image

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Thanks for looking

Cheers

Alan

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