Saturday, May 21, 2022

The joys of working with wood!

Saturday, May 07, 2022

New Standard: in the white.

Now with a bit more Macassar! Not only looking smart, but sounding good too! I'll leave the mandolin to settle for a while, strip it down and start the finishing process.


Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Back to the day job!

Just finished shaping the neck of the next Standard mandolin and I think it’s looking pretty smart.

Adirondack (red) spruce top, figured maple back and sides, sapele neck and everything else you can see is Macassar ebony. 


Monday, May 02, 2022

Guyatone LG50 update

The Guyatone project is progressing well. In the latest video, you can see how the carbon-fibre reinforcement strips were fitted in to the neck.

I have been searching t’interweb for information and various parts. I found this photo of an old Bell Musical Instrument Shop catalogue from the 60’s. 

Bell were a music shop based in Surbiton, just south of London; I can remember having one of their catalogues when I was a lad and drooling over WEM amplifiers and Watkins guitars. The LG50 in this one, must be later than mine as the pick guard is larger (and would have covered the holes I mentioned in the first video?) and is made from pearloid. Interestingly the price is £25, around £800 to 900 today.

Unfortunately, the original tuners aren’t usable but I managed to source some very suitable replacements from Project Guitar Parts; coincidently these are sold as replacements for Watkins guitars.

I also found these period correct knobs:  one thing that I really like is that they’re off-white so match the pick-guard. So many repro parts are cream in colour and that would be too dark for this guitar.
Although I’m not a great fan off relic or distressed components, I decided that the strap button that I wanted to use was just too shiny to blend in with the tailpiece and had to have a bit of work done to it!
So far, so good!

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Monday, April 18, 2022

Can of worms?

So, work on the Guyatone’s restoration begins in earnest, and I think that I’ve opened a can of worms!


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Guyatone LG50 Project


For quite a while I’ve fancied doing a restoration project and kept looking on eBay for something suitable. Well, the other week I saw, bid and won this Guyatone LG50 guitar. To save me repeating what’s written elsewhere, here’s a link to some information about the Guyatone company.
So, as far as I can tell this wonderful old guitar was made in Japan around about the late 1950s-early 60s and here’s a video to introduce the project.

The brass badge on the tailpiece sold it to me! 


Friday, April 01, 2022

Next One

As the last Standard mandolin was so well received, I thought that I’d follow it up with another one! Here’s the progress so far……

The neck blank has been made. Here’s a photo of the head with a lovely Macassar ebony head overlay and the same black, Gotoh mini tuners which I thought were a great success. There will be some more Macassar introduced later! Also, the neck itself is made from sapele.

For the back and sides, I’m using some beautiful figured maple.
The rim is complete.
Here’s a close up of the solid linings. I glue two layers of 2.5mm maple to the sides to form the linings and this make the side super rigid.
The soundboard is again Adirondack (red) spruce and you can see the bound sound hole below.
Adirondack isn’t the prettiest of tonewoods; often wide grain with streaks of colour. My theory is that’s why so many early American instruments had sunbursts or dark stained tops. However, it’s so stiff, has a wonderful tap tone and does produce a very fine sounding instrument. Personally, I like the character that the visual “imperfections” give; very much in keeping with my shibui aesthetic.
So, it’s no surprise that I’ve just imported 10 sets of “master grade” Adirondack tops from USA!