Tuesday, 8 November 2011
In the workshop-Adams guitar
I have been meaning to post these pictures for some time now, but working out how to use the new camera and keeping up with tasks in the workshop has prevented me from doing so. These pictures are of Adam's guitar, which has a Western red cedar soundboard and Indian rosewood back and ribs. These pictures were taken some time ago; the guitar will be ready for polishing by the end of this week. The rosette is a simple but elegant one. It harks back to Torres, but its strong simplicity has a very contemporary feel to it. I make my rosettes in a jig and then inlay them whole into the soundboard. The cut you can see in the rosette allows for easier fitting and is completely hidden under the fingerboard once the instrument is complete.
Here is a picture of the finished soundboard and the back behind it. I still use a fairly traditional strutting pattern and many familiar elements can be seen in my strutting. One of my main interests at the moment is adjusting the positioning of the 3 lower bout cross bars in relation to the soundboard qualities. The positioning of the bar directly beneath the bridge is particularly crucial. I am conducting experiments on my test bed guitar to nail this down more precisely. I have been using this pattern for about 5 years and it gives me the beauty of sound that I love, with a power and dynamic range which many contemporary players require.
Here is a rare action shot! I do not use a full form to build the guitar, which I find cumbersome to use. I have a base board with a small number of locating dowels that hold the ribs in place whilst the end blocks are glued in. In this picture I am cutting the notches in the linings into which the back bars will fit. Those of you who know me well will gasp the at appearance of glasses. Years of close work have caught up with me so I now have this new bit of crucial workshop equipment.
This picture shows the linings and end block. It also shows the laminated rib construction that I use on most of my guitars. The end block is given a few coats of shellac for no other reason than I like the look of it through the soundhole. With the notches cut I am now ready to finally fit and glue the back, before moving on to the top linings and soundboard fitting.