Sunday, March 25, 2007

Cedar Classical

The cedar classical is completed
The cedar classical is completed and I am very pleased with it. As you can see from the photos, it’s a beautiful instrument and once played in, it will give someone much enjoyment.
As an experiment, it will be offered for sale via my website. I get lots of hits on my “for sale” page, but as yet I haven’t had anything to sell! Ideally I want to sell it to someone who is willing to come and try it out first: I want all of my customers to be 100% satisfied with their new guitars.
Each guitar varies a little from its predecessor; the new feature on this one is the double drilled bridge. This method has turned out to be a real success; it allows the strings’ break angle over the saddle, to be controlled by the luthier rather than be at the mercy of whoever ties the strings. This is something that I will adopt for all of my future classicals. In the photos below, I have tried to compare the two methods for you.

Fame at last?
This weekend I was interviewed by Classical Guitar magazine for one of their “Luthier Profiles.” A nice guy, Oliver McGhie, did the interview and it will be interesting to see what he makes of my ramblings! It will also be interesting to see if this kind of publicity has any bearing on my order book??

New shape mandolin
Whilst the finishing the classical, I’ve been doing some work on the mandolin and you can see that most of the preparation is done.

I strongly believe that in order to be a good luthier (I hate the pretentious title of “Master Luthier” that some makers bestow upon themselves!), you have to constantly evaluate your work and seek ways to improve. Already, with this mandolin I’m thinking of the construction of the next one. It occurs to me that with the extra reinforcement blocks at the points and the way that the sides blend into the neck block, I would be better off using an internal mould for the construction of the sides, in a similar way to method that violin makers use. That said this is still going to be a beauty!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Beginning and Ending part 2

Whilst the varnish on the Cedar classical is fully drying, I’ve been making its bridge. I’ve decided to double drill this one. That means there are two sets of holes per string.

This is meant to make tying the string easier and more importantly allows a better break angle as the knot isn’t pulling the string up. It seems a good idea and many luthiers are now using this method, I don’t know who did it first. You can see in one of the photos below how the bridge in carefully fitted to soundboard, a bit tricky as my soundboards are built with a slight arch.

I’ve bent the sides of the new shape mandolin, this quilted “big leaf” maple bends really easy, which is fortunate as the curves around the point are quite tight! In order to protect the points from accidental damage, I’ve tipped them in ebony. I plan on binding the whole body in ebony too.

Back to the workshop………………..