Monday, 4 June 2012

Roudhloff restoration (Part 2)

The restoration of the Roudhloff guitar has been continuing well, in spite of being out of the workshop for a couple of weeks. I was called up for jury service, a civic duty that is both interesting (when one is actually on a trial) and deadly dull (when hanging around in the jury room waiting for a case to begin).

It is certainly good to be back at my workbench and to be working on guitars new and old. The fine ebony pegs (above) are for the Roudhloff, and are appropriate reproductions for this guitar. These were made for me by skilled luthier, Bruce Brook. Now they have arrived I will be able to fit these to the peghead in readiness for stringing.

Having revealed the original flush fingerboard, it was decided to install bone frets. Remnants of the original  frets were found in the slots, so we knew that this was how the guitar was originally fretted. The original frets appeared to be of ivory, but bone is a much more acceptable alternative these days. All the new frets had to be cut by hand; the picture above shows them just about to be cut to length, and then fitted individually into the fingerboard.

I have also been making a new ebony bridge for the Roudhloff. The guitar, at some point, had a modern classical guitar bridge fitted, but I have now made an appropriate pin bridge, based on an original that came from another restoration commission. The picture above shows the new bridge in its rough cut state, and the original that was used as a pattern.

Here is the finished headstock, just about to be given its first coat of black French polish. I love this polish although I have very little use for it on my own guitars. It has a lovely inky, black quality to it and it is fun, but tricky, to use. Many 19th century guitars had necks finished using this ebonizing process. Here, I have masked the neck and am just about to brush on the first coat.