View Full Version : 20" scale length guitar/guitallele in cherry and western red cedar

12-09-2014, 04:58 AM
My last build was a 22" scale length 6 string instrument for my brother in law. I couldn't resist making something similar for myself. This time a 20" scale length that better suits my soundbox mould. I'm also trying to overcome my impatience/casual attitude to building and move closer to pro standards of workmanship. Spec. as follows:

Soundbox in cherry (3.75" deep) with WR cedar top (no bridge patch and 5 fans).
Neck, 3 laminations in cherry with scarf jointed slotted head (used a router) and hand cut tapered dovetail to box.
Fretboard 12" radius (my first ever) with 8 mm string spacing at ebony nut (1.875"), slots cut with handsaw.
Bridge is cut down Chinese classical guitar bridge, rosette is commercial item. Machine heads are inexpensive Chinese made.
Binding in walnut, home made purfling to front with green centre, figured Eucalyptus decoration to headstock and bridge. End graft in oak/homemade strip.

I finished this in nitro cellulose (another first for me).

I think the cherry has made an attractive looking instrument. I also found it easy to bend (by hand). Whilst not perfect, this instrument is probably the best I've built to date (attention to detail). So whilst I'm progressing, I still have a little way to go.

I tried normal guitar string and A-A and G-G tuning but settled on E-E tuning using D'Addario EJ27N 1/2 size strings (intended for 22" scale). It simplifies life not having to transpose chords when moving from a normal sized guitar. The strings are a little thick and the tension a little less than on a normal guitar but not twangy and easy on the finger tips.

Soundwise, it has good volume, tone and sustain. Those who have played it think it sounds great. Note separation is not as clear as on the 22" sapele/mahogany instrument I made. Opinions differ on tonal comparison between the two instruments. I'm not very musical and have limited ability on guitar/uke but I've quickly taken to playing it. I used a radiused fretboard as I'd heard it helps with barred chords: I can't say that I've noticed any immediate improvement in my playing!


12-09-2014, 05:09 AM
Looks good thanks for sharing:)

Michael N.
12-09-2014, 05:28 AM
Nice. I've made a number of these bambino Guitars but slightly less on the string length at 19 inch. I also tried the E tuning, although mine tend to suit G or A better.

12-09-2014, 11:03 AM
Cherry is such a great wood.