Showing posts from 2019

Cutting a Sound Port on a Guitar

In a previous post I mentioned that I was going to cut a sound port in the upper bout of the cedar/wenge guitar. Drilling/cutting sound ports in guitars has been popular for about the last fifteen years, it was original done with the claim that it made the guitar louder, but research has shown that it really doesn't make the guitar louder. It does give more immediate feed back of the guitar's sound to the player. I found oval templates after a search on the Internet and settled on this size. A little spray adhesive helped attach the template to the guitar's upper bout... I bravely went at the wood with a drill bit in my cordless drill... and there is the roughed-in oval. Some exterior tear/blow out had to be dealt with. After filing and sanding away the excess that didn't look like an oval, an oval appear. This hole immediately raised the tap tone of the top by one whole tone, from about F sharp-G to A flat-A, and it also reduced the side's stiffness, I

What's On My Workbench: Cedar/Wenge Classical Guitar

I decided to experiment with a top bracing that is in the manner of Hermann Hauser and Daniel Friedrich. Hermann Hauser was a luthier from Germany, who made a guitar that the great Andres Segovia performed and recorded on for many years; Daniel Friedrich, a luthier in Paris, now retired, is well known for his innovative bracing derived from the work of luthier, Robert Bouchet. The main reason why I am trying this experiment is that really loud  classical guitars are in great demand these days by guitarists who compete in guitar competitions and young guitarists studying at music conservatories. I find it very interesting that most of these guitarists and professional performing guitarists mic and amplify their instruments in every concert setting. Why does one need a loud guitar if you are going to plug in? Why not have a beautiful sounding guitar that will touch the hearts of listeners?  Now, to the guitar. I used western red cedar from British Columbia for the top and we

My Guitars Currently Available at Savage Classical Guitar

Savage Classical Guitar  is my representative on the East Coast. The gallery is owned and operated by Rich Sayage, who is a wonderful man and great to work with.  There are currently two of my guitars at his gallery: -a  Redwood/East Indian Rosewood guitar ,  -a  Port Orford Cedar/ East Indian Rosewood guitar . Below are links to sound clips of Mr. Sayage playing my guitars with commentary on how they sound and play. Here is a  sound clip  of the Redwood guitar. Here is a  sound clip  of the Port Orford Cedar guitar. Specifications of the guitars are listed on the Savage Classical Guitar website. Check them out! Listen to the sound clips of Rich playing the guitars and you will have a smile on your face all day! Here are some photos from Savage Classical Guitar of the Redwood/EIRW guitar... Here are some photos from Savage Classical Guitar of the Port Orford Cedar/EIRW guitar...

Varnish, Shellac, Glaire

Although varnish has been used for centuries, the present-day guitars are either french-polished or spray finished with lacquer. Jose Romanillos, The Classical Guitar , from Making Musical Instruments , edited by Charles Ford, 1979 I am always looking for ways to improve the finish on the classical guitars I make and I spend a good bit of time on the Internet looking for articles on French polish and violin varnish. Recently, I decided to revisit the use of egg white to seal the soundboard of a guitar that I am currently working on. I have blogged about using egg white with pumice as a pore filler elsewhere in this blog, I found out that egg white and pumice isn't the best pore filler, egg white is not water proof, contrary to some statements found on other websites. Making an egg white wash is easy to do, you separate the white from the yolk and then whip the egg white until it forms soft to medium peaks. If you have done any baking, you will know what I am talking about.

Redwood/East Indian Rosewood Classical Guitar

The workshop should be a comfortable and convenient place in which to work-the one place you'd rather spend time in than anywhere else. Aldren A. Watson, Hand Tools, Their Ways and Workings , 1982 We have lived in this wonderful house for two months now, the neighborhood is quiet and I can't get used to the fact that everything we need-groceries, restaurants, museums, etc.- are only minutes away by car or light rail. I appreciate the fact that many of my clients live within a short drive of the house and that I do have studio space. Having a space means that I need to work and I am busy working on a new guitar that has a reclaimed redwood top with East Indian rosewood back and sides. I got the guitar assembled by the end of last Friday, this week I have been doing some light sanding on the the guitar prepping for when I glue the bridge on and I made the bridge. Today was spent sanding and raising the grain on the bridge so I can start pore filling and French polishing i

New Shop, New Workbench

At its simplest, a shop doesn't take much to be successful:  a  bit of roof, a bench, and a corner where a tool chest can be stored. Scott Gibson, The Workshop , 2003 We are still settling into the house that we rented in a quiet little suburb of Denver, there are opened and unpacked moving boxes in the house and in the garage. I was able to set up studio space in the spare bedroom, I cached the extra guitars in the closet and purchased a set of metal mesh shelving for the tone wood, it's a wonderful room, the only problem with it is there is no air conditioning in the house. There is an attic/house fan that sucks air in from the outside, it makes it hard to control "the climate" in this room. I bought a room dehumidifier to keep the guitars and wood at 45%RH, the machine puts out some heat, the room can get a little warm. I am looking forward to the fall when outside temperatures are a little cooler. For the last several years, I have wante