Making my own (mock) instrument taught me so much more than I expected about the design and function of guitar, and instruments in general.
It was really interesting thinking about:
- The force of the strings on the tuning pegs and headstock
- The force acting on the joint between the neck and body
- The force pulling on the bridge and soundboard
- The flexibility of the soundboard
- And designing the fingerboard and action
I was most surprised to learn how big of a role friction plays in the function of many types of tuning pegs (and now I want to try some planetary tuning pegs)
Using cardboard made it so much easier as well – a very flexible material so I could design as I went (and it made the body-sides easier to craft), and it’s basically free so there was no fear about wasting stock if I made a mistake.
I would definitely recommend trying this out, on any scale (even just using paper) to gain a new appreciation for how well designed your instrument is.
My next experiment will be in plywood/timbre, though I might leave frets off again to keep it simple and try them next time – watch this space.