Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Visit with "Richard the first"

After a nice weekend...well, actually Sunday, Monday and returning Tuesday...I was back in the shop today.  But first, While in Elkhart/South Bend, we visited friend Anne and Friend Steve at the Victorian Pantry.  Most importantly, for me anyway, was a nice long visit with my first guitar teacher, Dick Wisner "Richad the first".*  I'm proud to announce that I got my start with the classical guitar in his little shop in South Bend and bought my first nice guitar, an Alvarez Yairi classical.  I bought this in 1972 and still have it and play it.  Not as much as I used to because I have two guitars that I made, #1 and #5, which I like to play better.  Dick and I played my guitar and several of his...he has, as he puts it, an accumulation, not a collection...of guitars.  Some really nice ones including a Ramirez, and six or eight more rather notable guitars.  I really enjoyed the visit and promised him that I will come to visit each time I complete a guitar, so that he can be among the first to play it and judge it.  *I say Richard the first, because all of my guitar teaches have been Richards, including Richard Patterson, who runs the Omni Foundation and sponsors the "Dynamite Guitar" concert series in San Francisco; Richard "Rick" Heizman, with whom I studied at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto.  See to learn more about Gryphon and Frank Ford, one of, if not THE best guitar repair person in the country.

A new addition to my "waiting room".  A corner hutch.
Checking the neck,/fretboard and top for proper spacing.

Hand Planing the back braces.

Fitting back braces and center reinforcement strip.
OK, shop stuff.  I'm posting some pics of what I did today.  This work is on L's guitar, which is the Barbero flamenco.  I think I have some clues how to use the Visual Analysis program to test the top for this and C's guitar, work upon which will follow shortly.  I hand-planed braces which were split, not sawn, from a piece of fir I got at Northwest Lumber.  I think these will not only look good, but will have superior acoustic properties,  They are very well quarter sawn, have nice, tight grain and stiffness and should  promote a nice sound quality to the degree that the back contributes to that.  I glued two transverse top braces on the top for this guitar on Saturday.  These were already made and are spruce.  The top has a nice tap tone, judged at this point, to be about an "E",  This will change as I test and tweak it.  On Brune's drawing of the Barbero, he states that the completed guitar has a strong "G" resonance.  We'll see where this comes out in the audio testing.  Re: hand sure is nice to use sharp tools.  I had tuned up the plane I was using on my Burns sharpening system, which, if you're interested is at under "double bevel sharpening,"  He also has a section in his website on testing top wood and tops.  Maybe I'll add a links section to this sometime.

I delivered Sam's lute today, with the new Corian nut that I made for it.  Both Sam and I felt that the instrument had a brighter sound than with the ebony nut.  I traded the work on this for lessons from Sam, who is completing his PhD at Ball State under Paul Reilly. 

So, enough for tonight.  I plan on making significant progress on several fronts this week.  L's guitar, work on the selection of top wood and materials for C's guitar.  Beginning to prepare the rosewood for thinning (or thicknessing, as it is called).  I can't wait to begin to work with this wood.  Perhaps a setback on the rosettes...seems Dmitry's father is quite ill and requires considerable care and attention.  may affect the delivery date of the rosettes, but we should still be OK with the delivery of the guitar....I hope, I hope.

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