Sunday, September 2, 2007

Maple Classical Guitar

Today, I had hoped to glue the back onto the maple classical guitar that I am making. The back and sides of this classical guitar are big leaf maple, hand sawn out of a board that a friend of mine gave me several years ago. This friend is a well established furniture maker in Estes Park, Colorado and he was wanting to clear out some of his wood inventory. The day I picked out the board he said, "Just make a wonderful classical guitar out of it, that is all the payment that I need." The maple is a little pinkish and displays some wonderful tiger stripping. I couldn't glue the back onto the guitar because I had not glued the rib-blocks onto the upper transverse bars. It's important to anchor these bars to the guitar sides, a classical guitar is very much like a drum, a luthier has to think of stretching a wood top across a rim, just like a drum maker (or a banjo maker) does when he puts on the rawhide skin. I glued on the kerfed linings for the back yesterday and this morning I sanded the linings to arch the back. Though the plantilla (shape of the body) is a direct copy of a guitar made by the great Spanish luthiers Hernandez y Aguado, I try to arch the back of my classical guitars just like the Hernandis guitar, a Sherry-Brener Ltd import, that I purchased in 1979 when I was seriously studying the classical guitar. The Hernandis is not an exceptional loud guitar and has an incredibly long string length of 665mm, but I learned to play it and I played it well, and now I realize it was well crafted. Tomorrow morning, I should be able to attach the back and I hope that the relative humidity is up around 40-50 percent. When I stopped working at 3:30pm it was 30 percent humidity in my shop.

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