Skip to main content

Snow and Guitars

2 weeks ago we got a series of nice storms here in Northern California, by the time the sun came out we had gotten a total of 3 feet of snow. It wasn't the best weather to keep the shop warm.

I have been working on a copy of a Lacote guitar. The top is old growth redwood reclaimed from a redwood water tank that once stood on our property. My grandfather bought the tank back around 1942 from an olive ranch down in Corning, he bought 3 tanks and sold 2 to pay for his expenses. I dismantled the tank in 1984, most of the wood was so rotten (yes, redwood does "rot" it gets really soft and won't hold any kind of fastener) I got very little usable wood. I have several pieces that I will use for future guitars, the tops will be four piece.
The neck will be dovetailed into the body. The peghead is guitar shaped and I am going to use Grover Champion friction banjo tuners instead of tuning pegs. Why? You have to be fairly strong to turn the pegs to tune the instrument and friction pegs are easier to turn and to install. I also found a photo of a Lacote guitar that had tuning pegs that were very similar to the Grovers and I am not building an exact copy, but something that is in the spirit of Lacote.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Off the Bench and For Sale: Miguel Rodriguez Style Guitar

This guitar has a Western Red Cedar top, Claro walnut back and sides, Royal ebony fretboard, Indian rosewood bridge and a 650mm string length.

This guitar has a beautiful voice and is loud! I was amazed at how loud it is as soon as I got the strings on and tuned to concert pitch. It is easy to play and I am blown away by the musical nuances that can be created with this guitar.

Please click on Guitars Currently Available or Studio Model to read more about this wonderful guitar!



1961 Hernandez y Aguado Style Classical Guitar, Redwood/Indian Rosewood, For Sale

The partnership of Manuel Hernandez and Victoriano Aguado was one of the most successful in guitar making history.

Roy Courtnall, Making Master Guitars, 1993

Please note that this guitar is currently for sale at Savage Classical Guitar. Please click here to see this guitar!

I made this guitar several years ago, but because of custom orders, I had to set it aside. I put strings on it two weeks ago and it is a most magnificent sounding guitar! It has good, clear separation string to string, wonderful sustain with evenness and balance throughout with a very lyrical voice. I originally made this guitar for myself, but someone with a good strong technique and a good understanding of musical interpretation should own this guitar and play it on a regular basis.



This guitar is a fairly close copy of a guitar made by Hernandez y Aguado in 1961. The body length is 480mm, most of the HyA guitars had a body length of 490mm; string length is 650mm, many were 655mm and longer; other than that I trie…

How to Make a Traditional Froe Mallet

What holds the Holy of the Holies, what did Brahma become? Wood. Why will aspen always tremble? For the nails driven into the cross. What makes the color of wood? The soil it tastes. Cradle, fiddle, coffin, bed: wood is a column of earth made ambitious by light, and made of beauty by the rain.

Kim R. Stafford, Having Everything Right, 1986.

Rive, verb, to split
Shake, noun, a split in a piece wood. (Heart shake, ring shake)
Shake, verb, (Middle English), to split.

I know I should have been in the studio working on my back log of guitars, but the day was so nice and warm with a tall blue canopy, I couldn't stay inside. I decided that I needed to make a proper froe mallet. This style of mallet is traditional to northeastern California, primarily Tehama (where I'm from), Butte, Shasta and Plumas counties where making shingles by hand from sugar pines was an industry. I don't know if it was used in any other region along the Pacific Rim, other parts of the United States or even o…