Friday, June 22, 2007

Guitar V Anniversary, Was it worth it?

I really enjoyed last nights guitar class although I felt guilty leaving Mr B on our Anniversary.

I checked the sides of the guitar which have been in the jig all week. They had dried out well from the soaking that they had while they were being bent. They have now taken on their new shape permanently. There is an area of overlap where the left and right side meets at the bottom of the guitar. While the two pieces were still clamped in the jig I cut through them so that the join is in the correct position. It will still be a while before I am ready to actually join them up.

The next stage I got on with was creating the rosette. This is the circle around the sound hole that is on the front of the guitar. They are normally quite decorative and you can buy them pre-made and put them on your own guitar. An alternative is to make them yourself. It can take weeks to make an intricate one and is not something that is recommended on a first guitar. Instead of buying in a pre-made one Strato suggested using some Tasmanian Blackwood left over from the back of my guitar. I cut a simple circle out of the blackwood to sit into a recess in the pale soundboard. It was very slow work using a small chisel to cut a 1.5 mm recess into a piece of wood that is only 3 mm to begin with. The worst thing I could have done would have been to accidentally go through the full thickness of the soundboard. It was a lot of work for not much to show but not every night can be as exciting as the blow torch!

Because of our torrential downpours recently the humidity in the workshop is quite high, about 80% Doing any kind of gluing in high humidity is not a good idea because when the humidity drops and the wood eventually dries out the pieces come apart again. I will have to wait for the humidity to drop to about 50 before gluing the blackwood rosette into its recess.

The next job is to plan a shape for the head of the guitar where the tuning heads are fitted. The shape has no bearing on the sound of the guitar and is just a personal choice. It can be angular and simple or very curvy and decorative. I have to decide what I want and then draw it onto the mahogany neck and start to chisel it into shape. I decided to leave that to next week and headed home a little bit earlier than normal to Mr B

(....and to see if there were any M+Ms left!)

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