Archive for the 'Guitar 1201 – Myrtle Parlor' Category

Happy New Year to All

December 30, 2012

This will be my last post of 2012.  Some things were accomplished in 2012, but all in all, the pace of this year’s building has ebbed in relation to previous years.  I could chalk that up to a new career teaching mathematics, but really it’s a case of shifting priorities.  I have endured a few crisis moments all around finishing with spray lacquer.  As reluctant as I was to put down the spray gun, it is for the better.  I cannot continue to subject my families health and my health to the lacquer fumes inherent with nitrocellulose lacquer application.  My options are twofold:  send guitars out for spray services ($500) or procure hard to find water based lacquer and spray with this less toxic alternative.  I’m still on the hunt for water based with mixed results.

I have been working diligently on my uke, Rachel’s parlor and Susan’s OM.  What follows is an except from recent work.

Rachel’s parlor has taken a step forward with neck shaping and fret dot design.

121230back

The fretboards for Rachel’s parlor and Susan’s OM are seen below the beautiful Myrtle back.

121230necks

The parlor neck is on top with the Cocobollo headplate.  The OM neck is shown with the rosewood headplate.

I’ve managed to shape bracing and install the back to the sides as well as lay down the top bracing for the OM.

121230beforetrim

121230aftertrim

The second picture shows the back after the scarf has been trimmed.

121230topbracing

Update: Uke Parlor Hybrid

August 26, 2012

Yeah, Guitar Camp was awesome, and now I’m home counting the days before I start back teaching.  I took a uke and an OM to camp, and as usual garnered a lot of interest from fellow campers who claim they “must have one”.  On the last day of camp advice is given to those of us returning to the non-camp world.  One bit of proper advice was, “Wait three weeks before accepting a proposal of marriage from a fellow camper.”  Same goes for committing to a new uke or guitar.

I’ve resumed where I left off before camp.  The Hybrid for Jim has a first coat of pore filler (an epoxy resin) and is lined up for the spray booth.

120826sidefinishing

I’ve installed all binding on the Myrtle Parlor.

120826topbinding

I then did what all good builders should do, I burnished my cabinet scraper.  Ah, what a difference!  Several smooth strokes across the top, and the binding is trimmed flush with the top.

120826bindingscraped

I’m so in love with my first uke.  I played it at camp and caught the bug.  The uke I’m working on now is really for me (so I’m differently motivated).  The top is braced, the tonebars are installed and the neck and top have been joined.

120826neckstabilizer

The neck has been stabilized with a graphite rod which lives under the mahogany strip in the center of the neck.

120826topbracing

First the bracing and bridge plate were installed.

120826tonebars

Then the tone bars.

120826necktotopjoin

Finally, the neck and top can be joined.

Guitar 1201 – Box Constructed

July 31, 2012

Back and top braced, sanded and installed.  Between back and top install, added butt graft in cocobollo, which is also the binding wood.

120731buttgraft

The pattern on the Myrtle is stunning, and came together nicely after the back install.

120731insidethebox

120731backandsides

While the top gluing cured, purfling was added to the binding then bent in the “machine”.  Later this afternoon I should be able to install the binding.

120731topattached

July 2012: A Summer Plan

July 2, 2012

Welcome to summer.  I am making plans for making progress.  This summer, I have few commitments and grand plans.  I spent several hours cleaning and organizing in preparation for dedicated building time.  Over the past months, I have allowed my workshop to gather clutter and for the garage to collect dust and debris.  The shop has been decluttered and I have located and made an inventory of all things which are required for the 5 guitars and 1 uke which are under construction.  I gutted the garage, loaded the truck for a dump run, swept and vacuumed and repositioned all the power equipment.

120702garagewas

Rob Girdis Parlor – The snakewood bridge has been rough shaped and awaits finishing.  The tuners have arrived and all additional components for completion have been procured.  Once Guitar 1002 is ready for the spray booth, this guitar will be sealed, filled, then lacquered.

120520gotohebony

120520snakewoodbridge

Guitar 1002 – Frets are installed and finish sanding has begun.  Every day I do a bit more, until I can’t stand it any longer.  It’s oh so close to being ready for the spray booth.  I’m at that stage where I think I’ve got it fair and square, but there’s always more sanding to be done.  I must resist the urge to finish it as is, yet dogged by future regret.

120702fairandsquare

Guitar 1201 – Necks for 1201 and 1202 have been chanelled for truss rods and graphite stabilizers have been epoxied in.  The top has been braced, and braces (mahogany) for the back have been preshaped for installation.

120702topbracing

120702carbonneckinserts

Guitar 1202 – Top joined after planing down to .110″.  Next step install rosette and cut soundhole.  Then bracing then box construction.

120702topjoin

Guitar 1203 – Top join is next.  Awaiting ordered graphite bars for the neck.  Once the Myrtle (1201) comes out of the mold, I’ll be able to thickness the sides and bend.  This will be a double cutaway, and my thinking is I’ll build inserts for the mold.

Uke 1201 – Only the neck has been tackled.  I’ll look for idle gaps between steps of above guitars to thickness/join the back and top followed by thickness/bend the sides.

There’s no end to what I can work on additionally.  I have a dovetail repair, some ziricote screaming to be a guitar, some master grade walnut, some bubinga for a uke, and some ovangkol.  And….there’s several exploratory repairs that I owe to friends.  All this to do before Guitar Camp Week 3, August 11th.


Guitar 1201, 1202 and 1203 – Necks, Tops, Sides

June 9, 2012

Miscellaneous work today on three guitars.  Located Engleman Spruce top for the Rosewood OM.

120609engleman

Finished blocking in two necks; final step stacked heels.

120609stackedheel

After clamping and drying, the neck heel curve was cut using the bandsaw, then rounded with the spindle sander.

120609neckblanks

The double cutaway parlor for Em has walnut back and sides.  The sides are prepped for thickness sanding.

120609walnutmayan

Guitar 1201 and 1202 Kerfing

June 8, 2012

Madly trimming/planing box sides down to 30′ and 15′ radius (top and back respectively) then adding kerf.

120608kerftop

120608kerfdetail

120608kerfedbody

120608kerfdetail

Guitars 1201 1202 1203

June 1, 2012

I’m madly working on 5 guitars at a time right now.  As I attend to finishing Guitar 1102 and the Girdis Parlor, I’m building necks and boxes for Guitar 1201 (Rachel’s Myrtle Parlor), Guitar 1202 (Susan’s Rosewood OM), and Guitar 1203 (Em’s Walnut Double Cutaway Parlor).  This appeals to my desire to make recognizable progress.  The sanding and prepping of an almost finished guitar is slow going and the progress seems snail-like.

The myrtle parlor wood is spectacular.  It’s in the mold, with butt block and neck block attached.

120601backandsides

The rosewood OM too is a fine hunk of wood, very red/purple, with excellent grain lines.

120601backandsides

The walnut double cutaway parlor is understated.  The sides will be thicknessed and bent once the myrtle comes out of the mold.

120601backjoined

Assembly Line Mode

May 28, 2012

Today and yesterday have been consumed with the assembly line.  I made necks for Guitar 1201, 1202 and 1203, and Uke 1201 and a uke to be numbered later.  I also thicknessed backs and sides for Guitar 1201 and 1202, and joined the back for Guitar 1203.  In between neck builds, gluing and clamping, I scraped away at Guitar 1002.

Here’s Rachel’s Myrtle back after thickness sanding.

120528thicknessedback

Oooh that’s nice.  I also thicknessed and joined the Peruvian Walnut back for Em’s guitar.

120528joinbackplate

I’m ready to bend sides for Susan’s and Rachel’s guitars which means they can be forthwith set into the molds.

Stunning Myrtle and Koa Uke Nears Finish

November 19, 2011

After joining the myrtle back for Rachel’s parlor:

111119back

Yum.

Four more days before we load the dog in the car and trek to SLC for family Thanksgiving.  I’ve finished applying the lacquer and have started knockdown.

111119knockdown

The lacquer is still a wee rubbery, but hell, I can’t let that stop me.  440, then 800 grit on a sanding block, and I have the top and the headstock knocked down.  I finished with 1200 grit wet sanding, then buffed (top only) in preparation to mount the bridge.  I figure I can mount the bridge, and while it is clamped up, I can proceed to knockdown the rest, clean up the fretboard, and start to shape the nut and saddle.

111119bridge

I’m absolutely sure this will be a playable uke by Tuesday, and it will ride with us to SLC.

Uke Lacquer – Uke Cure – Myrtle Join

November 6, 2011

Devin dropped by today and we polished up his frets, nut, saddle, and installed a pickguard.  Looks like it’s really done.

I’ve been applying lacquer to the Bubinga Uke and the Koa Uke.  The Bubinga is fully lacquered and is sitting in cure mode for a couple of more weeks.

111106curing

The Koa uke has 16 coats, and I think 24 will be the cat’s pajamas.  I should be able to get the 24 applied by Tuesday evening.

111106coat16

Between lacquer applications (wait one hour please) I’ve been bracing the Myrtle Parlor (for Rachel) and I joined the back plates.

111106myrtlejoin

111106myrtlejoint

I’m liking this myrtle, and it seems like it will be nice to work on.  It planed easily while preparing the plate joint.

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