Saturday, 26 November 2011

Adam's guitar-headstock

I am posting a number of pictures of this guitar, as Adam is unable to visit the workshop and see progress for himself.

I very much enjoy making necks. When all is said and done, a guitar neck is a fairly straightforward bit of carpentry so I can relax and just enjoy working the timber and using the tools. The headstock design is not my own. I first saw it on a guitar by the late Martin Fleeson, and the most famous exponent of the design is the great French maker Daniel Friederich. Last year I was chatting with the German guitar maker Andreas Kirschner and we noted that we both used this design. 'Why not?' laughed Andreas, 'it's the best there is!'
The head facing is some bookmatched cocobolo that I cut recently from some off cuts of large boards that I acquired, many years ago, from Bob Smith at Timberline in Kent. I have about 15 sets of back and ribs of this stuff and all of it is quarter sawn like this head facing. This picture also shows the cedar neck; the black strip in the centre is a carbon fibre rod that I use to add a little extra strength to the neck. The wood for the neck itself is stunning, perfect in fact. The flecks that you can see running across the neck are medullary ray figure and show just how well quartered this neck is.

Here are the string ramps being carved. I love the simple sculptural process of making these ramps. Although they are essentially practical (to provide clearance for the strings as they run down from the nut to the machine heads) they provide an elegance and grace to the finished head. I always enjoy carving through the head facing and revelling the lamination of veneers.

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