Guitar 1202 – Butt Graft

January 4, 2013

Love to say “butt graft”.  Attached the top, cut off the scarf and installed the butt graft.  Next, binding!

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Guitar 1202 – Box On Garth

January 3, 2013

Good news from LMI:  KTM9 water based lacquer has shipped from the manufacturer.  Availability to me starts January 9th.

Did some packing of the uke after fully prepping it for lacquer finish.  I’ve sent it off to Athens, GA for finishing.

The box for the OM aka “Bob” is closed in.  I did neglect to install the electronics, but justified my mistake by saying that I need practice installing these after the fact anyway, so we all say.

First, completed sanding and prepping the back and sides to accept the top.

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In the past I have wreaked havoc on spruce tops while bracing.  I learned since to mask the top while I’m bracing to avoid dings and dimples.

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Hey, it was from a calendar my WIFE gave me.  The top is all braced and trimmed back ready for installation.

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A couple of hours to dry, then I can cut off the scarf and start thinking about the binding and purfling.

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.

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

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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.

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

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Guitar 903 – Out the door!

September 4, 2011

Devin and I finished his guitar yesterday.  Finished enough to where I could send it home with him.  Boy howdy, does that guitar sound good.  Strong balanced tone and damn if I didn’t get the fret leveling done right the first time.  Maybe all that practice has proven useful.

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Devin will need to bring it back to apply finishing cosmetic touches.  Polish the nut and saddle, dress and polish the frets, blacken the fretboard, install a strap peg and the pick guard.

Guitar 1202 – New Rosewood OM

September 4, 2011

I received a deposit to get this guitar started.  This will be an Indian Rosewood OM with fancy shellwork.  The fretboard will be inlaid with a thorn and vine MOP and paua.

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Guitar 903 and 1001 Lacquered

April 10, 2011

Guitar 903, the Walnut OM, and Guitar 1001, the Koa Dreadnought, have received their fair share of lacquer coats (12 to 20) and are resting for two weeks to cure.

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The lacquer needs at least two weeks to develop a hardness which is appropriate for the final knockdown and buffing.  Neck install, bridge install and setup will finalize.

Guitar 903 – Art Institute Design Fair

February 24, 2011

Devin is a student at the Seattle Art Institute studying Industrial Design.  His apprenticeship with me is a graduation requirement.  He and I have brought his guitar nearly to completion.  It’s finished enough to take on the road and display at his department’s grand opening party.  Students in the Industrial Design program will be displaying work from their portfolio, Devin’s being this guitar.

We just completed doing the pore fill step which precedes the final lacquer application.  We used Zpoxy as the pore filler, and it is just now dry enough to allow the guitar out of the shop and to go on display.

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Devin was scheduled to come by last night and prep the guitar to bring to the design fair, yet we were hit by a snowstorm which slowed things down and actually closed my school today.  I prepped the guitar this morning and will take it down to the fair for display.

I removed all the masking (which will have to be replaced before lacquer spraying), installed the tuners and bolted on the neck, and taped on the bridge temporarily.  I slapped an sMg sticker on the case (for marketing purposes), and stuffed a polish rag and some scotchbrite into the case compartment to give Devin an opportunity to demonstrate his buffing skills during the fair.

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Devin has accumulated enough hours to fulfill his apprenticeship, and we’ll work out remaining shop sessions to finish guitar 903, which coincidentally, has been transferred to Devin for his own.

Guitar 903 – Binding complete

January 23, 2011

Devin and I have completed the binding of the body and the fretboard.

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The body was bound with ebony and BWB purfling.  Additionally a brown/white/black rope purfling was used for the top.

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The back is shown with naptha towelled on, which cleans, brings out the color, and indicates where excess glue needs to be sanded off.

The fretboard has been bound with ivroid.

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