Homemade National

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Homemade National

Postby gobi » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:39 pm

Hello, I'm Gobi from Berlin, Germany - so first I have to apologize for my bad english.
I startet to build a resonator guitar 11 years ago. In this times, without internet, it was hard to get informations, so at least I only had a book about Nationals and a resonator in the beginning...
What could I say, I became a father, build up a motorbike and a car, the guitar was a little bit forgoten....
These days I started again - and can show this so far:
Image

It's still not finished, but playable.
The sound is ok, but not really good. Especial when I play harder, the resonator rattles a bit. If I give more pressure to the strings behind the bridge, the sound is much better.
So what did I wrong?

Image
The neck is completely flat to the corpus - maybe thats the point?
Are the resonators glued or otherwhise fixed to the body?
Need some advice..... :?
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Re: Homemade National

Postby allanlummox » Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:00 pm

Cool instrument.
It looks like the action may be too low - raising the bridge and changing neck angle might help with rattling.

The resonator cone is not generally fixed to the body, it should just sit in place, held by the pressure from the strings.
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Re: Homemade National

Postby ricochet » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:18 pm

That's a cool project!

It's rattling because the strings' "break angle" across the bridge is too low. If it had a little more neck angle at the heel and a taller bridge, the strings would bend more sharply down toward the tailpiece, and they would apply more pressure to the bridge and cone.
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Re: Homemade National

Postby gobi » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:30 pm

:cry: Dammed, I was really avraid to hear this ... :wha:
I was constructing the guitar by trying to understand old patend drawings, not shure if I did'nt understand them right, or an neck angle was'nt shown.
But thanx a lot for the information - now I have to think about changing the neck angle, witch is'nt easy to do, because of the inner wooden rod (in the body)
I'll keep you updated!
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Re: Homemade National

Postby birddog » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:35 pm

If I not mistaken isn't the cover over the cone domed or raised in the center.
Most reso's are aren't they ?
Obviously looks like you heated yours, maybe you could take it off, fire up the tourch and push it up, take it off the guitar first though.

Wally
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Re: Homemade National

Postby NEONMOONY » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:42 pm

NICE!
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Re: Homemade National

Postby ricochet » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:42 am

I'd first try simply making a taller saddle and playing with a higher action, and using heavier strings if possible.
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Re: Homemade National

Postby Rick-e » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:14 pm

Gobi
That is a beautiful instrument. I agree with Rico. Make a taller nut and saddle in order to raise the action. Let us know how that works.
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Re: Homemade National

Postby ricochet » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:04 pm

Not a taller nut, unless you want to play lap style. Just a taller saddle. Raise the nut twice as much as you want the string height to come up at the 12th fret. IMO up to 3/16" at the 12th fret works well for fretting & bottleneck sliding. (I usually keep mine around 1/8".)
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Re: Homemade National

Postby Rick-e » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:21 pm

Good point Rico!
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Re: Homemade National

Postby zhyla » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:20 am

I would say you need to tilt the neck back a little and raise the saddle.

I am *very* impressed, I looked into it briefly and building resos is no easy task.
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Re: Homemade National

Postby slideshowbob2 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:48 pm

very cool This might help http://www.liutaiomottola.com/formulae/Reset.htm good luck
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Re: Homemade National

Postby farmaz » Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:45 pm

how much has it cost you so far?......

if you do it in german currancy i will convert it & find out the cost in £'s
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Re: Homemade National

Postby gobi » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:11 pm

Thanx al lot guys, it was the angele of the neck!
I simply checked it out by rising the hight of the bridge, till the rattle stops - this shows a change of the neck angle to 89° (!) This was'nt hard to do, just a little sanding.....
So I build the missing parts and rised the cover. And here it is, sound is great!
Image

@farmaz: Could'nt remember how much the resonator was, meanwhile it's about 80$. The neck is made by a guitar maker, it costs me 200€, the rest is just work, work, a lot of work.... :roll: (I own a metal shop)
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Re: Homemade National

Postby abhinav » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:17 pm

Looks stunning! Can you play something on it and embed?
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