Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Claro Walnut/Sitka Spruce 000 - Free to Good Home!

I've made great advances with the last two guitars I've completed in terms of build quality and tone and I'm afraid I'm a little lacking in motivation when it comes to completing this one. I guess that's a little strange given my usual passion for guitar building, but considering that I began its construction quite some time ago and would much rather be working on my new instruments, putting into practice important lessons recently learned, I'm inclined to forgive myself for this half-hearted attitude.

The photograph above doesn't do the claro walnut back and sides justice; in its present raw state, the wood looks pretty uninspiring. Under finish, however, its stunning figure will be fully revealed and will be the icing on what I hope will be a very successful cake!

Tapping on this unusually marked Sitka spruce soundboard in its unfinished state gives me reason to be confident. The body is very resonant, the standard of workmanship is acceptable and construction is far enough advanced that I'm sure I can muster the enthusiasm to finish it. This guitar's state of completion will fall into line with my two latest instruments when they are ready to receive bindings. From that point on I'll attempt to complete the remaining steps on all three guitars concurrently.

Click for a closer look.

For what will hopefully be the last time, I plan on finding an appreciative recipient and making a gift of one of my instruments. It's certainly been very satisfying to have delivered my last two guitars to keen players free of charge, but once this guitar finds a new home, foregoing that pleasure and at last deriving some meagre income from my hobby is a prospect that's becoming increasingly attractive.  Semi-retirement (and a new band-saw) beckons!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Fingerstyle Guitar - Head Block, Tail Block and Linings

Having braced the top, it's time to temporarily suspend my excitement and spend some time on the rims. For me, this is perhaps the least inspiring stage of construction and the reason I find it preferable to have a ready-made stock of head blocks, tail blocks and kerfed lining strips which I've prepared in batches over the preceding months.  With a supply of blocks and linings on hand, I can make short work of fitting them to the guitar's sides and move on quickly to more interesting tasks.

I laminate my tail blocks using three layers of wood, the middle layer of which has its grain oriented at right angles to the two outer layers, parallel with the grain of the sides. For the little additional effort involved, I can feel confident that the block will remain intact and a side crack will be avoided should the guitar ever be dropped on its end pin.

In the belief that setting modest targets fuels motivation and sustains momentum, I'm setting myself the goal of attaching the head and tail blocks and installing the kerfed linings in the week ahead.