Sunday, March 25, 2012

Christopher Parkening Master Class, August 1980, Part 3

There are days I'd rather be flyfishing.

Christopher Parkening, Bozeman, Montana, 1980


While looking for something else, I found this program from August 1980.



There were many talented people in that master class, I still feel fortunate that Parkening and the other class members chose me to be in the final recital with the others.

Below are some close ups of the program.




I don't remember Ed Weir or Michael Brenton, but I remember Klaus, Jeff and Leslie quite clearly, they were wonderful players and great people. Chris Parkening loved how Klaus (who was from Germany) would pronounce "Bach", he would imitate Klaus by saying "Baah-aachh" in a very aspirated German way. Jeff was 35 at the time and when he found out that I was only 17 years old then he said, "Well, I'd better hurry up, I have a long ways to go to catch up to you and I don't have much time." Leslie was a very good player, very full of himself and did I say he was a good player? The best one at that master class. Paul Wilson of Ye Old Guitar Shoppe located in Des Moines, Iowa, was an observer at that class and from him I got my first lesson in what to look for in a "real" classical guitar. He is a wonderful guy.

I remember Kamala Seipp; a girl from Kalispell, Montana, whose name I forget; Stan Snider from Worland, Wyoming and George Youcis from Pennsylvania. George got so lonesome for his wife that he left Bozeman after being there for only 2 days.

Oh, so long ago.


YouTube for the week!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cloth for French Polishing

I have advised all makers of my guitars to construct the fingerboard a little wider than usual because this allows the fingers to stretch and they articulate better. This facilitates the clarity of phrases, the entire technique.

Andres Segovia, 1977



You are looking at $45 worth of fabric. The fabric to the left is Irish handkerchief linen, the material on the right is Nelona Swedish cotton made from 100 percent Pima cotton. I purchased this from Elfriede's Fine Fabrics in Boulder, Colorado, I couldn't find any decent linen or cotton at super fabric stores, my wife told me the best place to go was to Elfriede's, and of course she was right.

I'm starting to run a little short on T-shirt material which is what I've been using to apply shellac with. It works but it tends to leave swirl marks, I haven't decided if that is from using a 2 pound cut of shellac or if it is the material. I decided I need to try other fabric to french polish with and I can't see the point in being cheap about the materials that I use. I have a four day weekend next week, there are plenty of guitars here in the upstairs of our house for me to try out this new material on.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Historic Window Restoration and Salamanders at Harney/Lastoka Barn

...other materials to supersede the old ones were now arriving from multitudinous wage earners in touch with no neighbourhood at all, but in the pay of capitalists. Seen in detail the changes seemed so trumpery and, in most cases, such real improvements. That they were upsetting old forms of skill-producing a population of wages-slaves in place of a nation of self-supporting workmen-occured to nobody.


George Sturt, The Wheelwright's Shop, 1923


Harney/Lastoka Mule Barn, Louisville, Colorado

Week 3 of working for Boulder County Parks and Open Space, I'm helping out with the stabilization of this barn and milk shed.


The milking shed which attaches to the barn has 10 windows and seven sashes which originally were salvaged from some house in Louisville, they are all double hung sashes with an upper and lower sash. I had to make 3 new windows and do restoration work on the others, adding dutchmen as needed-replacing broken tenons, rebuilding some glazing rabbets and added cheeks to mortises. The upper rail on the window against the cabinet is still quite sound despite the charring, I will use an epoxy wood hardener to stabilize the charred wood.


At Yosemite NP I had access to a shaper with the right window profile router bit and a tenon and cope cutter, but at the Boulder shop, I used a standard router for the rails, stiles and muntins as needed and I cut the copes by hand with a coping saw, chisels and a gouge. It's fun and it all pays the same.



I found a tiger salamander in one of the post holes, he apparently dug out from underneath the old concrete floor, fell into the hole and was digging a new tunnel near the top of the post hole when I found him. That discovery was a great way to end the day.

The obsession with the 10 string classical guitar continues, I glued up a Sitka spruce top for it on Saturday after falling several trees on our property, the work never ends.


YouTube of the week: You never know what you will see on the subway. Thanks to John Dimick for posting this on his blog http://www.guitarist.com/blog/

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Lutherie Vacation is Over, Back to Work

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

Issac Asimov, Newsweek, January 1980



With 2 mortgages I need to go back to work. I took a seasonal job doing historic preservation work with Boulder County.


Tabor House, Leadville, Colorado

I started this week with Boulder County working on restoring a mule barn that was turned into a milk shed just north of Louisville. Right now, I have 7 windows to restore and I built 3 brand new windows that are copies of originals. Several windows are single light and the others are 2 to 4 light. Since there isn't a shaper with a window sash router bit set in the carpenter shop, I've been cutting the tenons and copes by hand. I impressed the hell out of one of the carpenters when I told him I cut the tenons by hand, he couldn't believe it and thought I had use a table saw to do the work.

Tabor House, Leadville, Colorado

The roof on the barn had collapsed, we are rebuilding pretty much the whole thing by rebuilding the walls and installing new trusses. What remains is being stabilized. I'll try to post some photos of the work we do on the barn if I remember to bring my camera to work.


I will post my lutherie work as I make time on the weekends, most of it will be french polishing the back log of guitars that I have. I plan on making a copy of Torres FE 19 guitar and Ramirez's 10 string guitar.


YouTube of the Week:

Marek Pasieczny: Little Sonata. I will say it over and over again, there are so many wonderful young guitarists in the world today, I can only imagine that this is what the music scene was like in Europe during the Romantic Era. Enjoy!

Ebony Classical Guitar Bindings

Happiness is making (and scraping) your own guitar bindings! Earlier this week, I ripped some Macassar ebony down to 15 strips 1/8” thick, a...