Archive for September, 2009

Guitar 904 – Delivery: September 22nd

September 17, 2009

Beth, your guitar is ready.  Wait, don’t come by right away, I need to take it on the road and test it out.  I think everything is ready to go, but it could use a road trip to see how it holds up under travel.  I’m going to take it to Vancouver this weekend to make sure it knows how to cross into a foreign country.

It sure looks good, and sounds good too.  I think it’s all in the presentation.  So let me know when you want to stop by and pick it up.  This is what you’ll find when you get here.




Guitar 902 – Signed Sealed Delivered

September 17, 2009

Saturday is Carol’s birthday.  It was not my intention to finish her guitar for her birthday, but circumstances have allowed this to be coincidental.  So, happy birthday Carol, here’s your present.

I’m reluctant to say any guitar is finished.  There’s always more to be done, so I’ve decided I won’t declare completion, rather turnover.  I turn the guitar over to you Carol, and fortunately, I’m very near, and can do all those tweaks and changes that scream out to be made.  Like that little buzz on the 9th fret on the first string….if it doesn’t heal itself, I’ll work it out for you.

It’s now in your hands, and I hope you play it often.  It should be our family room guitar, always in the stand right next to the couch, so you can pick it up any time your laptop is rebooting, and play a little tune.


Guitar 904 – Strung and ready to go into setup

September 16, 2009

904 is ready to go through the final setup.  I put on the strings after notching the nut and prepping the bridge.  I don’t have the final saddle in place, but that’s part of the final setup tomorrow.


I’ve asked Beth about the pickguard options and whether she wants a strap peg.  Below are two possibilities for pickguards:  black or tortoise.



I also need to mention that this guitar is a zero fret guitar; which means that there is a fret at the zero position where normally the nut would reside.  This (according to lore) gives each string the same sound basis, whether it is open or fretted.  Take a close look at the first picture and you will see there is a fret very near the nut.  The strings come off the nut and lay on that zero fret.  Now I haven’t yet fine tuned the setup, and the saddle is still not rounded, so the sound is not finalized, but I can say it has a real nice bass end and a warm treble, which over time will be even more resonant.  I’ll let you know after the final setup how this comes out.

Mando Repair – Back attached

September 16, 2009

After removing the spool clamps, this little puppy is starting to look like a mandolin.  I have quite a bit of sanding and scraping to do before restoring the finish.  I may also install some back binding.


Mando Repair – Reinstalled back bracing attached back

September 16, 2009

The back on this mando came loose, so I removed it, removed the loose braces, then sanded, cleaned, and rejoined back with added back strip.  Made a jig for the back and reglued bracing.


First brace fit nicely, moved to second brace and added back strip reinforcement.


Stripped off lacquer on back, then installed onto sides with spool clamps.


Guitar 904 – Bridge on

September 15, 2009

Making progress with your guitar Beth.  The bridge is on, the nut is shaped, the fretboard is cleaned up, and next we move to the strings.  First step was to strip off the lacquer for gluing the bridge.  Many careful measurements for placement.


Then using the fancy little bridge clamp, glue it down.


After it cures, remove the clamp then drill out the pin holes and see what it looks like.


I installed the end pin and took some comparison shots between the OM and the parlor.




Note the fretboards look a little dull.  After I trim down the frets for the final setup, I’ll apply a little lemon oil and they’ll look glorious.

Ziricote – Oooh, so nice

September 15, 2009

Just another look at the ziricote.  It’s fine stuff.  I did a little planing of the sides to square up.  It’s a very dry flaky wood, not like anything I’ve worked with yet.


Guitar 904 – Buffed, neck attached

September 14, 2009

Sanded and buffed out the neck and body, then attached neck.


Tomorrow, glue on the bridge.


The buffing looks good, here are a few views.





Mando Repair – Fill cracks, join back, refret

September 13, 2009

Started repair of Romanian A Mandolin.  CA glued cracks in sides, and rejoined back with strip insert.


Installed new frets.


And…filled top crack.


I have reshaped the back braces, and after building a clamp jig will reglue, then glue the back on again.

Current Stock of Backs/Sides/Tops

September 11, 2009

Sister Susan contacted me to build a guitar for Emily.  I told her to visit the site to see what was possible.  It got me thinking about my “overstock” of materials which I already have which could be used for Emily’s new guitar.  I have sitka spruce tops, engleman spruce tops, rosewood backs/sides, ovankol backs/sides, peruvian walnut backs/sides, and ziricote backs/sides.  Below are some images of the wood in stock.  Of course, we can order anything that suits.

Engelman Top, profiled for parlor.


East Indian Rosewood.






And, Peruvian Walnut.


Next »