Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cedar Classical update and New Mandolin shape

Cedar Classical Update 3

I’ve not had many chances to update the blog recently, so the Cedar Classical has leapt forward considerably. The body is completed and the purflings and bindings in place; I’m really happy with the way the green lines work. You can see the sequence of work in the photos.

With body completed, the dovetail is cut and the neck fitted. I’ve already mentioned why I use a dovetail, so I won’t go into that again.

With the neck in place, the fingerboard is glued on. You might notice that the neck is still square. I leaved the neck unshaped until the guitar is fretted. This helps with gluing the fingerboard on, as the clamps can be tightened against two flat surfaces. Also it’s easy to support the neck whilst the guitar is fretted.

You might wonder what’s happened to Andy’s archtop. The spruce top has arrived from a specialist dealer in Colorado and although it is seasoned, it will spend a few months sitting near my de-humidifier before work starts. Also Andy and I are still trying to decide on purflings: I like to have the guitar’s design worked out before any wood is touched.

I’m also building a new mandolin, its rosette is below; green again!

And the back and sides will be made from some lovely quilted Maple.

I want to change the shape of my mandolin, so I’m building this one before I get another commission. When I’m in the workshop, I listen to music that fits in with what I’m making. When I was making the last mandolin I listened a lot to “Tone Poems” by Dave Grisman and Tony Rice. The CD has a booklet inside with details of the vintage instruments used and I was quite taken by a 1925 Lyon & Healy, like the one below.

So I’m going to change the upper bout of mine to have points like this one. Also I think that I can get a smoother transition from body to neck with this shape, allowing the player better access to the higher frets.