Sunday, October 19, 2008

Parlour Guitar

I’ve just bought myself a guitar!

This is a 19th century parlour guitar that is in need of some work. It hasn’t got a maker’s name inside but it has a French look to it. You can see the head has a V joint and the tuners are recessed into the head which is a nice touch.

Hopefully I’ll get it playing again, but I’m also interested in using its design as the basis of small string guitar that I intend making. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before that I have a Cuban mahogany lid off of a 19th century grand piano- I’m going to try to re-saw it and use it for the back and sides. There’s something nice about the idea of making a 19th century inspired guitar from a 19th century piano!

However, this wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve done something like this below is a parlour guitar based on a 1902 Ditson Martin. I made it in 1977 from a Cuban mahogany wardrobe door that my Dad found in a skip!

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Cittern Completed

I mentioned awhile ago that I’m often asked, “how long does it take to make a guitar?” All of my recent instruments have been custom built and all have had unique specifications. So, for me there is no typical build.
I have tried to answer the question by logging how much time I spent building this cittern. The last time a mentioned the cittern I was up to 75 hours and ready to start spraying.

Shaping the underside of the bridge to fit the soundboard’s arch.

Lacquer removed to allow gluing.
Since then, the cittern has been sprayed and polished, the bridge made and glued on (always a nerve wracking procedure!) and set-up. So now, I think that I can call the cittern complete.

“How long does it take to make a guitar?”
“This one, 125 hours!”
Take a look on YouTube.

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