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15 Inches of Snow and Guitar Bridges

The smoothing planes require not only sharp edges, but also an understanding of the use of a backing iron. When doing the final planing, this iron should be as close as possible to the cutting edge of the blade.

Jose Romanillos, The Classical Guitar, 1979




We got a good snow fall over December 18th and 19th, I measured 15 inches in the meadow by 2pm yesterday and then temperature dropped down to 3 degrees Fahrenheit for a while last night. Even with this snow the ground is still so dry that when the snow shovel hits bare dirt it kicks up dust!






Got the strings and string action set on a guitar (western red cedar top and black walnut back and sides) yesterday, it's a nice sounding guitar, just some touch up with French polish and it will be ready for sale.

Today, as a reward to getting the aforementioned guitar ready, I started making bridges-one for a close copy of a Hernandez y Aguado guitar and the other for a copy of a Rene Lacote guitar, circa 1830. I am using padauk for both bridges, it is a light and strong wood, I weighed a padauk bridge blank against an ebony one, the padauk bridge is one ounce lighter in weight.

(Yes, I cheat when making bridges, I use a table saw to cut the slots! So much easier and precise then using a dovetail saw and a 3/32 inch wide chisel. Now, if only I had a Veritas Small Plow Plane I can only imagine the wonders I could accomplish with it!)

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Rive, verb, to split
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Ours is really a simple craft.

James Krenov, The Impractical Cabinetmaker, 1979


So, you want to build a guitar.

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Guitar Making: Tradition and Technology, by William Cumpiano and Jonathan Natelson
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I will cite the case of a marvelous concert player, a Japanese lady who is barely 5 ft. tall and with hands that are real miniatures. She plays a 664 mm 10 string guitar and demanded that I build this guitar with an action 1 mm higher than normal, which she handles with incredible ease. This is serious study!


Jose Ramirez III, Things About the Guitar, 1990




Here is the hand size and scale length that I found on the forum at delcamp.com.

Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 250+ 664mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 230 to 250 656mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 210 to 230 650mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 190 to 210 640mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 170 to 190 630mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of below 170 615mm scale length



Here is my flexible imperial/metric ruler.




Here is my hand properly placed on the flexible imperial/metric ruler.




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