Monday, July 30, 2012

Laura's Log

I had previously provided Laura with the history and specifications of her '51 Marcelo Barbero flamenco guitar.  From the posts below, I'll try to create a scenario of the progression from start to finish.  Not sure how to do this, but here goes:

Not sitting on my thumbs (ouch!)

OK, to start with, do any of you blogging folks out there know how to arrange pictures in a blog post so they don't take up so much space and they stay where you put them?  I make them small and add a caption, and mark them left, right, or center.  But I can't make them stay where I put them.  Any help would be appreciated.

Ideas for earth inlays

A bit o' finish on side plate

Now concentrating on C's guitar:  The neck and fretboard are finished to the rough stage that will be finished upon assembly,  I'm testing tops that I already have joined, but do not want to join any more until the humidity drops some.  Joining or assembly in high humidity is risky business and since I don't have A/C or humidity control in my shop  (that I can afford to run, anyway), I'm at the mercy of the global warming elements.  I came up with an idea for the fretboard, but after completing a mock-up, I'm not sure it's the way to go.  If you look at the photo on the left, the lower piece is a spare fretboard I inlaid with what I'm calling an "earthrise" motif.  Starting with a sliver and progressing up to a "full earth" at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th frets.  On the upper image, the earths are just stuck on with 2 sided tape, and here, I show another possibility and that is full earths on each of the positions.  I'm almost thinking that the whole idea is just too much.

In the center of the left photo is a bridge with the earth dots inlaid.  This I like and will probably do.

In the right hand photo is a side plate, which I'm thinning in prep for bending.  To show how the wood will look under finish, I french polished a bit of the end.  I doesn't show up too well in the photo, but it's gonna look wonderful.  I'll continue to do everything except assembly until I get a break in the weather or some other alternative for climate control.

Next trick: to assemble a chronicle of building Laura's guitar.  Not sure how this will work, but stay tuned.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

I delivered Laura's guitar to her on the weekend and she was very happy with it.  See the attached photos.  Next step will be to extract the whole story of it's making from previous posts on this blog.

C's guitar:  continued the production of bridges, the best of which will be used.  Began the process of thinning the side plates in preparation for bending them.  Even using the Grizzly sander, it's a slow process because each pass only removes a few 1/1000 ths of an inch of wood...very expensive sanding dust I might add.  The parts are adding up.  See  photos below.  Don't worry that the pics are a bit scattered.  I haven't figured out how to arrange them in neat sequence.  They seem to interfere with each other.

Laura receives her guitar

Laura playing her guitar..happy camper

Bridge under construction

Parts beginning to look like..
A Guitar!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hot, Hot, Hot, Humid Too

L's Guitar:  Kevin Kinder, owner of IndyCraft, completed the finish on L's guitar and it looks terrific!  Some pics below.  I also completed the fretwork, leveling and polishing the frets, installed the tuning pegs and strung it up.  I cannot tell you how it sounds, because some allergy problems have my hearing so bollixed up that I can't even tell if it is in tune, let alone hear it's sound properties.  I'm trying to get an acquaintance from the Classical Guitar group to play so I can record the sound for future listening.

 I'll extract the biography of this guitar and put it into an album along with the background recording.  This will complete the process, which if I'm not too far off, started when we lived in Arnold.  That's when I bent the sides and I'll figure out what year that was.  I know it was several years and three moves ago.  I'll post a timeline when I figure it out.

C's guitar:  I'm continuing to make parts like the fretboard, neck, bridge and other parts not requiring glue-up.  Joining wood at these temperatures and humidity levels can be fatal to a guitar if it is then moved to a dryer climate.  I'm waiting out the weather for a while.  I'm able to store the wood at a humidity level near the ideal, but my workshop does not have climate control (at least that I can afford to operate).  Clyde, (Intuitive Iron), who occupies the rear part of the space my shop is in, tells me that it could cost $200 or more a month to run the AC.  So we'll be safe and wait for a bit cooler, dryer weather.  All of this has to be done anyway, so I'll just pick the best weather windows for each operation.

Almost done

Kevin Kinder, IndyCraft, at work on L's guitar

Bz Rosewood bridge in progress. 
Accent strip matches the purfling on the
earth rosette.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Parts is Parts

Several accomplishments in the last few days.  One top inlaid with the earth rosette, fretboard thinned to final thickness, fret slots cut and bindings glued on; two Brz Rosewood bridges started.  So parts are accumulating for C's guitar.  Tje back is joined and the sides are cut to dimension and need to be thinned to .080" approximately along with the back.  Another top will be joined in the next few days.

Why, you might ask, bind the fretboard?  First, I like the clean look of the neck without the ends of the fretwires showing and it is much easier to dress the fret ends with the bindings.  The fret tangs are clipped back about the width of the binding and when they are tapped into place the ends of the frets are rounded and smoothed much easier than frets on a board with no binding.  I like the look and feel.

L's guitar is in the final stages of being finished (again) after the flaws that occurred with the first finish were corrected.  I saw the back, sides and neck, but couldn't see the top yet.  The fret work has to be finished after the re-fret and the action will be a lot lower and more buzzes, ihopeihopeihope.  Here are some photos of the parts I've made in the last few days.


A closer look at the fretboard.

A look at the peghead design.  This is a template.
Maybe you can see the binding on the fretboard, but it's
supposed to be almost invisible.