Friday, June 15, 2007

Guitar. Shaping the sides

Last night was business as usual at my guitar making class. Luckily the workshop had no ongoing damage from the weekends storms. It was a freezing cold night and the workshop has gaps in between the window frames and the walls that are wide enough to slide a paperback book into. Warm clothes are essential as is the pot of tea that we make halfway through the evening!

The class runs from 6-10pm but having been for a few weeks now I have realized that time bears very little meaning. Everyone gets there when they get there, usually straight from work. No-one seems to notice when 10pm ticks along and I don't think I have got home much before 11pm any night. Byron has given up waiting up for me!

Last night being a particularly cold night I was really lucky to reach the stage of bending the sides of my guitar. Bending the sides involves wetting the wood frequently and then rubbing it back and forth across a metal pipe that is red hot from a butane torch that is lit inside in it. It is a bit precarious and the aim, apart from successfully bending the wood, is not to set yourself on fire!

The best part about reaching this stage was the fact that it was wonderfully warm working with a blow torch for three hours and I was cozy as toast while the others turned various shades of blue. By the end of the evening I had successfully bent one side and secured it in a "jig" This holds the wood while it dries and sets into its new shape.

The other side was more tricky because I am making a "cutaway" shaped guitar which has a different shape to a normal one. The jig in the workshop is not the right shape for a cutaway so we improvised with some clamps.

I really am starting to enjoy this class. At the begining I felt really self concious being the only female in the group. I was awkward handling the tools and felt very self concious practising in front of an audience of men. By now everyone has reached different stages as everyones guitar is completely different. This means that we are all engrossed in our own guitar at our own work bench and I feel a lot more relaxed. As the weeks go by we are all getting to know each other a bit more and this makes for more easy chat and laughs.

Here's a short clip of the blow torch in action!

1 comments - click here to leave your comment:

  1. Nice action Gina.
    Hope you are all well and safe after your shower.
    Love Stef