Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

Well, El Corazon is now completed and hopefully I’ll be delivering it, in person, to Chris after Christmas, weather permitting!

I’ve been very pleased by the way the guitar sounds already. Spruce tops can take months to play in, but this is sounding very sweet already. Each instrument made is a development of the previous; little tweaks and modifications are always made and on recent instruments (whether a classical guitar or mandolin) I’ve become more and more interested in the bridge’s design, the break angle over the saddle and the height of strings above the soundboard. The bridge is the interface between the strings and soundboard and its efficiency in transmitting energy is paramount. More on that later!
Anyway here is El Corazon for your enjoyment.....

Merry Christmas!

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Arch-top braces

You saw in the last post how I did the rosette for Andy’s archtop: the next stage is to fit the bracing. I decided to use X bracing, as I like the idea of the bridge’s feet sitting directly above the braces; this is for two reasons. The first is structural, to spread the load over a larger area, and secondly, I think that the X brace helps to transmit the vibrations from the bridge across the width of the soundboard.
The fitting of the braces on an arch-top is really tricky, as the surface of the brace which is glued to the soundboard, has to twist and turn to follow the contour of the ‘board. A neat little trick is to use a washer (see below). The outside of the washer follows the contour and by resting a pencil on the inside, you can mark a line parallel to the surface. I also used a feeler gauge to test for any gaps.

Once you’ve got the two braces fitting the soundboard’s surface, whole problem is compounded by joining them together to make the X.

Richard’s mandolin
You can also see that Richard’s mandolin is coming along nicely; the English walnut back looks great and once polished it will be a stunner.

Ergonomic guitar II
You may remember my exuberance over how well the 7 string ergonomic guitar worked? Well, I said that I’d make a 6 string version and here is the start........ I’ve laminated maple, mahogany and some veneers to make up the straight thru neck blank and I’ve got some cracking spalted maple that I plan to use on the body. Stefano wanted his guitar to be quite understated in its design: this one is going to be a wee bit fancier! I hope to get this one built early next year and will be offering it up for sale on my website.

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