Thinking of doing a reso conversion on an acoustic guitar seen as I have a reso plate and a few old acoustics knocking about. Unfortunately all the guitars I have are originally nylon strung. Seems a little pointless having a nylon strung reso? Question is would putting even real light gauge steel strings on an old nylon acoustic be too much for the neck. I've seen a few of these done so just wandering what peoples experiences are?
Converting an acoustic guitar into a resonator is a serious proposition, but perfectly manageable. The only problems with an old nylon strung guitar are that the width of the neck might not suit you as they are generally so much wider than a steel strung guitar, and the neck might not be up to taking the higher tension steel strings. I've seen it done before with an old classical guitar, so it is a practical proposition. The string tension is taken on a trapeze-type tailpiece, so as long as the body is sound and robust, it should be OK. I've made several acoustic to reso conversions (a spider bridge, a few biscuit bridges and a 12 string spider bridge), and always re-top the guitar in 6mm birch ply. I also form a soundwell and install a neck-stick in a similar manner to how a National is constructed. Here's the last one I made.