Monday, 23 July 2012


I seem to have writen about older guitars for some time now, but in fact I am working hard on my own instruments as well. Building my own contemporary guitars provides a nice contrast to the careful restoration of historic instruments, and when my brain becomes too addled with one, I can seek solace in the other.

The past couple of weeks has also seen a couple of commissions being prepared for collection and delivery - it is strange to think they are now in far flung parts of the world.

I have been preparing necks and headstocks for future commissions- 6 in total. I have written before about preparing batches of parts and it is something I find very satisfying to do. Recently, a visitor to the workshop described this as 'mass production' but that is far from the case. I would be happy to prepare a few more necks, but it would hardly compete with the big guitar making factories, and certainly not those that are using CNC equipment to produce virtually finished items. For me, using the simple hand tools of the artisans workshop is an efficient and practical way to make a small batch, such as the necks in the pictures. The relevant tools and jigs are all to hand and the pillar drill (for drilling the machine head barrel holes) is set to correct drilling depths.

The picture below shows 4 of the necks just prior to drilling. Taken late in the evening at the end of the long hot day in the workshop, the colours really do not reflect the beauty of the woods used on the head facings.
From left to right; thuja burr, ziricote, prehistoric bog oak and African ebony. The 2 heads not in the picture are both African blackwood.