Friday, October 9, 2015

Workshop Dreaming

I guess "rustic" wasn't in the forefront of my mind when I envisaged my dream workshop, although I've always considered that its setting should ideally bring me close to nature. The primitive outbuilding at the rear of our temporary home will function as my workshop - hopefully in the short term - and actually allows nature into the workshop! Needless to say, I'm prepared for my resolve and my adaptability to be tested in the months ahead.

Our cottage is simple but comfortable, but to state that the structure at the rear of the property that will function as my workshop is basic is to take the concept of understatement to new levels. I can deal with the uneven dirt floor, but it's the "air-conditioning" that is likely to provide the main challenge. I've taken the precaution of attaching a hygrometer to the wall behind the workbench; my guitars and I can seek refuge in the cottage whenever the relative humidity creeps outside of what I consider to be safe limits. In a controlled environment, I try to maintain a relative humidity of 45%, so alarm bells go off in my head when I see the gauge drop much below 40%, or begin to rise above 60%.

To take a pragmatic approach, I'm confident that if I pay close attention to the ambient temperature and relative humidity, the standard of my workmanship won't suffer, although my personal comfort may be less than optimal at times. Having said that, when I eventually have that dream workshop, you can bet I'll appreciate it!


Monday, October 5, 2015

Reality Check

The anticipation of moving east to the little village of Stanley in south-eastern Australia was difficult to deal with at times; for too long I've looked forward to devoting the majority of my working days to building guitars!

Reality has bitten though, and the prospect of building - or having built - a purpose-built workshop seems a little further away since the verdict of our appointed building inspector was delivered on the house Sandi and I inspected during our scouting trip a few months ago. The building inspector's findings were off-putting to say the least, but not entirely unexpected given that we're downsizing in a serious way, and looking at properties whose age and condition is reflected in their low price tag!

The little rental property we've selected as a temporary home is cosy enough, and is at least located in the village we've committed to settling into. However, storage and working space is in short supply and the prospect of commencing any new guitars seems like a distant dream. There is hope, however, when I reflect on the fact that the woodworking aspect of the guitars I have under construction is complete, and the process of applying finish to them is at least within my grasp - weather permitting. It's unseasonably warm and dry at present and with the relative humidity outside plummeting to the low twenties through the day, I'm wary of submitting guitar bodies to such conditions for any length of time. Hopefully, this spell of warm weather won't last and I can prepare to spray some finish top-coats soon.

Short-beaked echidna - a recent visitor to our garden.