Monday, 7 March 2011

Ries (and Ries copy)

My copy of the Ries terz is coming on quite nicely. Making this guitar is an indulgence on my part and I only work on it late at night or when something in the workshop is gluing. I am enjoying doing something a little bit different; it makes you re-evaluate the main body of your work and you always learn something. The thing that has absorbed me so far with this guitar has been the considerable arching on the back. Even by 19th century standards this is quite considerable and makes fitting the back more problematic. The back on the original guitar is solid maple and not spruce veneered with a decorative timber, as was often the case. I need to push on with this as Jim is cracking on with the restoration of the original and it might not be in the workshop much longer. This picture really shows the difference in colour between the aged spruce and maple, and the new wood.
I have very much enjoyed doing the neck on this instrument. The figure of 8 peghead always pleases me and the v-join is always a challenge. The original neck is maple, but then ebonised with black French polish, which was used to mimic ebony veneer. In places the polish has worn through to a reveal a sumptuous golden maple underneath. I am itching to polish my reproduction neck black.
It's the weekend so I am out of the workshop. Disturbed and troubled by the scenes of devastation from Japan, I have gravitated towards a gentle and quite day with family; a 12 mile bike ride along the coast followed by cake baking with the children on my return. The spring-like weather is fabulous, but is not always conducive to getting things done in the workshop.

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