Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Shop talk

Another productive day. I'm ahead of schedule, in large part to one of the instructors (Arlen) who seems to have taken me under his wing. Though, he's the kind of guy who will give anyone attention if they make the effort. He took the one year Luthiers course 3 years ago and now he builds and teaches full time. For those of you who know Arlen from the Drum, picture his exact opposite and that's this guy. Small. Soft spoken. Well informed....just kidding. Both are rad dudes.

Apperently some of you are interested in the technical stuff I'm learning, so I'll do my best to document the process.

I started the day by gluing and tension clamping the back braces to a radius plate. A guitar has a slight bulge to it when you look at it from the side. The braces have to create this curve and in order for them to do their thing, the back of the guitar needs to be forced into shape. That's what this contraption does....

Picture the guitar being pushed into the bottom of a giant sphere with a radius of 20 feet. The wood that the white sticks are holding the back to is curved to simulate this. Once the sticks are removed the back will retain the curve.

Then, while that was drying, I started on the rosette. The decorative rings that surround the sound hole. I went for a simple and clean design. 3 ply ebony/alder/ebony.

First route the rosette cavity.

Then bend the slivers of wood stalk on the bending iron. Heat.

Finally, force all three layers into the cavity. Super Glue.

It will look even once it's sanded.

Tomorrow, I keep fighting the good fight.

The sun is going down. You know where to find me.

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