Sunday, May 20, 2007

Guitar making class.

Sorry for the delay in blogging about my guitar making class.

I usually like photos to go along with a new story and finally remembered to bring along my camera last week.

Week one was a real eye-opener. I like learning new things and finding out how things work. As a good friend Monica said "It's good to do things outside of your comfort zone" Well on week one I found myself so far outside my comfort zone I seriously wondered if I was cutout for this course. I found myself in a chilly workshop down a dark side alley in Toronto in the company of Strato the teacher and 4 other men.

Here's an introduction to the four men I am on the course with....
Irish Paul looks like my Uncle Colm and plays a range of stringed instruments in an Irish band. Dale plays guitar regularly on stage and needs a guitar so specialised that he is on the course to customise his own unique model. He has been planning his design for 12 years and had even made a miniature example of what he is making...???!!! Graham is a professional boat builder who is well used to working with wood and tools. Another Paul, our friend who is doing our landscaping, is also a fantastic guitar player who has been playing for years and has experience working with wood. Byron and myself recently went to see Paul playing guitar in a local cafe and he is really good despite his attempts to be modest. Then there's me.... Can't play the guitar and never held a chisel or plane before in my life.....

The first thing we were shown was how to sharpen a chisel on an angle grinder. Sparks were flying and guess who was the first to be asked to come up and practise in front of the group? Me. Then came using a plane on a long piece of wood. The guys all had a lot more muscle than me and I felt like a wimp struggling to push the plane smoothly along. By the time I went home the only thing stopping me pulling out was the $450 dollars I had paid so far for the course and the $200 I had spent on my first piece of wood.

Week two was much better. Armed with mugs and teabags I made a round of tea half way through the evening. One thing I knew I was good at... I paid for my second piece of wood, a length of Honduran Mahogany for the neck. I managed to saw this and stick it at the required angle without too much trouble.

Week three and I got to grip with the plane and started the process of joining two thin pieces of Spruce together to become the soundboard (the top of the guitar) Before going home I glued the two pieces together and clamped them tight. I will be going back on Thursday to see if they successfully joined together....

Watch this space!

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