Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A week in the workshop (Tuesday)

Shaping these fan struts was one of today's enjoyable tasks. Working on the soundboard gives me great pleasure, and I would say it is the part of guitar construction that I enjoy most. Although one should view the instrument as a whole, with all the components contributing something to the character of the guitar, the soundboard really is the heart of it all. When I first became interested in guitar making I would spent hours looking at wonderfully figured pieces of rosewood, mesmerized by the patterns and colours. Now I am inspired by spruce and can spend hours picking my way through my stock of tops. The subtle variations in weight, stiffness and resonance enthral me; a good piece of spruce can seem alive in your hands.

For some reason I enjoy shaping the strut ends with a large paring chisel (that's it in the picture). I think I enjoy the weight of the tool, and the steel on this particular chisel holds a fine edge.

Tuesday afternoon saw my new student, James, spending a couple of hours in the workshop. He made good progress; a top jointed, a set of struts split, planed and cut carefully to length, and a neck brought down to thickness. After James had left, David kept me in the workshop until nearly 10 o'clock as we finished off some restoration work and discussed the guitar world in general. A long day, but a productive one.

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