Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Making an Antonio Torres Style Guitar: Binding Ledges and Maple Binding

Few realize the influence of the luthier on the life and career of an artist. Without the existence of an adequate instrument, the fantasy, the emotional richness, the technical precision and the essence of musical interpretation--all would remain latent.

Andres Segovia, 1954


Work on this guitar has consumed so much of my time these past two weeks I haven't been able to blog about the work, much to the chagrin of the young man who ordered this guitar.



The back is on, no hitches or other problems with that task, it rings like a bell when I tap it.




Out came the router, respirator, ear plugs, plus several prayers to Saint Joseph the Worker, for a series of test cuts and then the actual routing of the binding ledges. This step is not for the faint of heart, so many things can go wrong! I still recall when the router bit sent a big sliver of wood flying from the top of a guitar, fortunately I found the sliver and glued it back in place.

Even cutting these binding ledges by hand has its risks...





The back bindings glued in place. I use a stretchy binding tape, available from Lee Valley, to hold the bindings in place. As George Ellis wrote in his book, Modern Practical Joinery, when glueing make haste slowly!





A close up of the end graft and the bindings. Again, I'd like to point out that all the joinery in a classic guitar consists of butt joints, unless you use the famous "V" joint the attach the peg head to the neck...





Tomorrow, I tackle the bindings that go on the top!


2 comments:

  1. Wilson (maybe I've asked this before), how do you humidify your shop and at what level are you able to maintain it?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I use a room humidifier and if I need more moisture, I add a hot pot to the mix. I try to keep the humidity between 37-40%, 45% would be better.

    ReplyDelete

Today’s Work

  A new East Indian rosewood bridge for a “Brahms” eight string classical guitar and some of the tools needed to create it.