Friday, November 13, 2009

A number of things going on!

El Corazon is currently being French polished or rather the body and head is; the neck is going to have an oil finish.

Those who have followed my blog for awhile, will have noticed that the subject of finishing comes up quite a bit. I decided, when I moved to the new workshop, that I would no longer spray lacquer due to a whole host of health and safety issues. So, French polish or an oil-based finish are now the only types of finish that I offer. They may not be as robust as thicker synthetic lacquers, but I figure if someone is going to go the trouble of having a hand made guitar, they are also going to look after it! Also, I do believe that they superior both aesthetically and acoustically. I’ve been keeping a check on things and I think that I use 75% less material when French polishing compared to using lacquer. It’s got to sound better!

Whilst the polishing is going on there are a number of other projects also on the go. You may remember Andy’s carved top that I started a long time ago? Well for various reasons that has been on the back burner but now work has resumed. One of the last tasks that I did to it was to drill loads of holes in the soundboard!

These holes all stop 8mm from the outer surface and give a rough guide for carving the inner surface. I say carving, but the vast majority of waste has been removed with special curved sole planes.

This Canadian made plane from Axminster was great for roughing out most of the waste: well worth having in your armoury!

Most of the waste has now been removed and I’m now down to some finer work with scrapers and abrasives.

I’ve also started another twin-point mandolin this one is for Richard and will have beautiful English walnut back and sides. Here are a few photos of the work done so far.

Early next year I’ll be making a baritone ukulele for Martin and I’ve been doing some preparation. This is the head overlay: it’s book-matched Thuya Burl which is from the root of tree which grows in Morocco. Pretty eh?

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