Thursday, 19 May 2011

The last week or so has been relativley light on repairs coming in so I've had a chance to catch up on some guitar building which has had to take a bit of a back seat recently. You can see the body ready to go and the neck being aligned before gluing on the fingerboard. Visible is the mortise and tenon I use to attach the neck. Not visible are the bolts that locate through the soundhole to secure the neck in place. Sometimes a neck will need a little adjustment left or right to ensure proper alignment, I do this by shaving slivers off the cheeks of the neck but this one was pretty good already. You can also see my new Gizmo for checking the alignment of the neck and body, it centers itself on the neck shaft and projects the centreline down onto the body. This isn't any more accurate than the method I previously used but it does save a lot of fiddling about with rulers and straight edges! I've been building this guitar alongside Richard, my 'student' who is learning to build his own guitar, his is getting very near to finishing so I'll post a couple of pics of his finished instrument when it's done, It's a figured Walnut and Euorpean spruce OM sized beaut!

This week I've had a workshop full of repairs in, finish repairs, bridge reglues, refrets setups so I'll be kept busy for the next week. Pics to follow.

Also I couldn't resist showing off a few pictures of my honeybees, the colony is very big and gathering lots of honey, I have 2 supers (boxes full of honey) on and touch wood will have a good crop of honey this year.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

New blog, new guitar

Hello, welcome to my new blog.

I thought I'd start off with a few pictures of my latest guitar, it's quite rare I get to build an archtop and this one is a little different from my usual Manorbiers. It is built using laminated woods rather than solid carved timbers. This makes building a little easier as I don't have to spend weeks carving the soundboard and back, although it is tricky and time consiming laying up all the laminates. The reasoning behind using laminates instead of solid woods is that solid soundboards and backs are prone to feedback on electric archtops at high volume.
No such problems so far, and it has been to a high volume, The woods used are laminated sitka spruce for the soundboard, maple/ poplar/maple laminates for the back and sides, mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard and bridge and mother of pearl inlays on the headstock and fingerboard, finish is Nitro cellulose.

The pickups were hound wound by David of heavy air pickups and sound great!
Many thanks to the Manorbiers' new owner Bob for the lovely photos.

I will have a new guitar available soon, the prototypes are finished and sound very promising, so watch this space!