Monday, September 3, 2007

Lutherie




What an intense morning! In the shop by 8am to carve out back bar pockets in the linings for the maple classical guitar and I had the back glued on by 11 am. It was intense because I felt the need to hurry, to get things done before the humidity in the shop dropped too low and not to make any mistakes. I started carving out the pockets with a 1/4 inch wide chisel, something I always do, but I end up putting away the chisels and getting my little a sloyd knife made by Frost. It's a Swedish style knife, sloyd, if I remember right, means "handmade" or "handwork" in Swedish, I use it for everything, to carve the guitar's heel, carve spoons, even remove splinters from my hands. It is a pity that most woodworkers ignore these knives because they think that they are crude tools for crude work, mostly it's an excuse woodworkers use to cover up their lack the experience with them.

Anyway, as you an see, the guitar's back has some gorgeous pillowing and in the other photo the back is being glued on and clamped with spool clamps. Thanks must go out to David Schramm, a wonderful luthier in Fresno, California, who has a great website that includes an online guitarmaking tutorial, because I borrowed this glue up technique from him. This method allows a luthier to adjust the angle of the guitar's neck before gluing on the back. All fine classical guitars have a forward pitch to the neck, this makes the guitar easier to play and reduces the stress put on the box, increasing the guitar's longevity. I want the finished string height on this guitar to be about 11mm off the soundboard and I was able to adjust the neck accordingly. The clamps will come off tomorrow afternoon and then I start to think about applying the bindings and purflings. This probably will be the last guitar that I can make this year, in 2 weeks I hope to start building a new shop, 12'x20', a shop that is insulated with lots of windows. I still need to finish applying the finish to 3 other guitars.

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