Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Just so visitors to this blog don't think that I've forgotten about guitars completely, I took a few photos earlier this week showing the state of play with the three guitars currently sitting in their cases under the bed. With little chance of progress until I've constructed a workshop, I tend to drag these guitars out into the light occasionally in an effort to maintain my motivation levels.

Finish was applied a few months ago, but without a work space, I'm unable to sand and buff them, attach bridges and install frets. The walnut/redwood guitar is an exception in some respects, and is tantalisingly close to completion; the neck on this guitar has an oil finish, so I was more easily able to install and dress the frets before I vacated my previous workshop here in town.

Construction of my workshop is a significant undertaking given that a shortage of funds necessitates that I complete as much of the work as I can myself. As a lifelong procrastinator, I need to constantly remind myself what a big part of my life this hobby/obsession has become and, therefore, just how important it is that I take concrete steps towards realising my dream of having a purpose-built workshop in which I can build guitars on a more-or-less full-time basis.

East Indian Rosewood/European Spruce Modified OM
Claro Walnut/Port Orford Cedar Modified OM
Claro Walnut/Redwood OM


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Workshop, a Workshop, My Kingdom for a Workshop!

With several guitars 90% completed, it's a little frustrating to once again find myself without a workshop, or even a makeshift workspace I can use temporarily.

In moving interstate into a much smaller and cheaper house in 2015, the ultimate vision was that my partner and I would be financially able to engage a builder to construct a purpose-built workshop in which I could fulfil my dream of building guitars on a more-or-less full-time basis. Reality has bitten hard, however, and the quoted price for such a building has been a little shocking, to say the least.

Plan B - the cheaper option - involves me learning a new set of skills in order to build a suitable workshop myself. My preferred building method will involve a post-and-beam framework, with straw bales used as infill between the timbers comprising the walls. The interior and exterior of the bales will be rendered so as to seal them against the elements and provide the necessary rigidity.

Proposed workshop site, with a view over an adjacent reserve.
Step 1, which I have almost achieved, involves settling on a rough design. The second, more challenging step, requires negotiation with the appropriate authorities to secure the necessary planning and building permits. I'm prepared for this to be a long, drawn-out process, complicated somewhat by the fact that our property sits in a zone susceptible to bushfires.

Needless to say, this is something of a departure from my usual instrument building adventures and is at odds with the nature of this blog, but I'll post progress reports and photographs here from time to time for anyone interested. Unfortunately, photos of guitars will have to wait a while!

As usual, please feel free to ask questions, or make comments.

Interesting links:
Why Build With Straw Bales?
Building a Home Using Straw Bale Construction