Sunday, March 02, 2008

Interesting Commissions

Things have been quite busy lately so I haven’t had many opportunities to update the blog.
The twin point mandolin has now been sold and has found a home in the Western Isles.
It’s always a worry sending an instrument so I built a crate for this one and I was glad to hear of its safe arrival.
Its new owner Ruaridh seems to be very pleased with it and has said some nice things. I guess he must like it, as we are currently discussing me making him a cittern!
All my recent commissions seem to be for less ordinary instruments: a baritone, a hybrid archtop, a mandocello, left-handed cutaway steel-string and a possible cittern!
It’s always exciting getting a commission and going through the design process with a new client. These less usual instruments give you a great opportunity to develop your knowledge as a luthier.

The photo below shows the baritone in the middle of being fretted, the neck has now been shaped and it just needs a major clean-up before spraying.

Making an Archtop guitar (my way!) Part 2

I’ve reshaped the profile of the archtop. I used a Wagner Safe-T-Planer to create a consistent 6mm rebate around the edge and reshaped the profile to blend it in. You can see below the Planer look quite vicious.

It’s set 6mm above the bed of the pillar drill and piece of 6mm plywood is clamped in place to act as a guide. You then feed the top into the spinning cutter, although it’s a bit nerve wracking at first it does work remarkably well.

You can see the finished rebate below.

Walnut for Mandolins

As the mandolin was going out, I got this batch of walnut for mandolins; 3 sets of English and 2 of Claro. It’s beautiful stuff and will make some stunning instruments. But not yet! It will spend the next year at least in storage and then a few months in the workshop before I start work on it. You have to make sure that your wood is dry and stable before making with it.


Blogger Koen said...

Wow, what a beautiful and informative blog! I feel a certain warmth, looking at my screen... I myself am a student of lutherie in Belgium ( )
One comment: on seeing the baritone guitar being fretted, it looked like you were doing every single fret, from the nut down, each time the next fret; I tend to skip a few each time: 1st fret, the 4th, then 7, then 2, 5, 3... to ensure the ebony fretboard wood does not warp or buckles op while fretting. Just a tip from my teacher.
Kind ragards,
Koen Cassiers from Belgium

10:52 am  

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