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

Guitar 1002 – Ready for final sanding

July 11, 2012

Both guitar 1002 and the Girdis completion project are ready for final sanding.  This will be a 220 grit finish of every surface in preparation for the sanding sealer, pore filling, lacquer spraying.

120711readyfor220

In other news, I have been working inlays for Guitar 1202’s headstock and Uke 1201’s fretboard.

120711headplatewithshell

I spent a lot of time trying to place the fretboard shell in a random pattern.

120711neckandfretboard

Guitar 1202 – Headstock Shell

July 8, 2012

After careful removal of headstock material, the shell was epoxied in place.

120708epoxyshell

Uke 1201 – Sides Bent, Top and Back Joined

July 5, 2012

The top and back have been joined, and the rosette installed.

120705topandback

120705rosette

Sides have been bent (yes, koa burns easily), and installed into the holder.

120705sidebend

120705sideholder

Today, I expect to receive more graphite rods which will be inserted into the neck.

I also tackled routing out the channel for the shell for the headstock for Guitar 1202.  The yellow tempera was painted on to show the scoring of the edge for an easy visual of how far to rout out.

120705shellchannel

Guitar 1202 and 1203 plus Uke 1201

July 3, 2012

Did a little neck work today on Uke 1201.  I used the table saw to cut the spanish heel slots and to nibble away at the heel profile.

120704nibbledneck

Also for both 1202 and 1203, I installed the rosettes.  The OM has a teflon strip which is removed before pressing in the abalam.  The parlor has a pre-manufactured herringbone.

120704rosettes

The abalam is pressed into the gap left by the teflon then flooded with CA glue.  The shell shown below will be added to the headstock to mirror what’s on the fretboard.

120703rosetteandheadinlay

Before routing out the channels for the headstock shell, the plate has been glued to the headstock.

120703headplate

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

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