Thursday, 18 November 2010

Guitar assembly

Here are are a few pictures of Johns guitar coming together. With all the parts completed, the transformation from kit to guitar is very rapid, but it is a process that takes the uttermost care. It is at this point that precise final fitting takes place, and checks are made to ensure that the geometry and tensioning is as required. This is my more traditional instrument and the strutted soundboard would be familiar to Torres and Hauser. Behind the ribs in this picture are the tentellones ( the small blocks that hold the ribs onto the soundboard), the endblock and the neck wedges. On this guitar all these internal details have been made from salvaged mahogany. Old Victorian drawer fronts have been the donor in this case; when I cut into them there was a wonderful and indescribable smell of dry, aged wood, quite unlike sawing fresh timber.
On this model of guitar I use the Spanish method of building, with the integral neck. The ribs are held into the neck by wooden wedges which, when correctly fitted, push the sides firmly against the heel. I polish the inside of the block, for no other reason that it looks fine and finished.
Finally, all the parts are assembled, the last job is to individually glue in the tentellones with hide glue. This is the the last opportunity to study the inside of the guitar as soon the back will be fitted and glued, and the instrument will be a step nearer completion. Many makers have lamented the fact that all this detailed and precise work is lost from view!

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