Saturday, February 27, 2010

Neck Construction

I've just put the next instalment of the parlour guitar videos on YouTube. This one talks you through the preparation of the neck blank. To be honest, I get a bit fed up with certain guitar magazines- you read reviews of instruments and they criticise necks that haven’t been constructed from a single piece of wood. Quite frankly this displays the lack of guitar construction knowledge of the reviewer!

I buy my neck blanks cut to approximately 1000 x 80 x 25mm; use a stacked heel and a spliced head and in my opinion this is the most sensible and superior way. Why?

Firstly, you get much better quality wood if you buy smaller selected pieces; my supplier knows me and gives me perfectly quartered, straight grain blanks.

Secondly, it’s far less wasteful and with good quality wood becoming harder to get we must use it thoughtfully.

Thirdly, it gives me the option of inserting extra laminations in the neck itself which enhances the neck both structurally and aesthetically.

And last, and certainly not least, you have a spliced head/neck joint, which is far superior as you do not end up with short grain across the angle of the head. I’ve touched on these topics before on the blog, if you’re interested;

Head stock repair


Head Joint

Anyway here’s the video with me explaining my thoughts on neck design.......

Jacques Stotzem and Phil Hare

On Friday, we saw two excellent guitar players at a gig in March town hall; Phil Hare and Jacques Stotzem. Jacques plays heavy rock songs on an acoustic guitar- quite something!! Here are links to them on YouTube. If ever they are playing near you, make the effort to see them!


Whilst on the subject of the town of March- there’s a wonderful church there- St.Wendreda. The church has the most spectacular carved wooden roof made in the 1520’s with 120 wooden angels and 2,700 fleur-de-lis. So if, like me, you wonder how medieval craftsmen achieved what they did, this is a place to see. You have to get the key, to get into the church, from the local pub- and of course, it would be rude not have a swift pint at the same time! Cheers!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Parlour, guitar, baritone uke and a mandolin!

Parlour guitar videos

I’ve just put the next instalment of the parlour guitar videos on YouTube. This one talks you through making the rosette-

I’m very happy with the finished result- particularly the ebony edge to sound hole.

Martin’s uke

As you can see Martin’s uke is coming along; the purfling and bindings are now on. I’ve used a limited number of woods and visually they all work well together.

I had been waiting ages for some uke tuners, which has delayed work on the neck, they’ve finally turned up and are a real disappointment! I can’t use them so I’ve decided to use Gotoh mini guitar tuners instead- far better quality!

Richard’s mandolin

Richard’s mandolin is still being polished and there is quite a few more sessions needed on it. But it gets shinier by the day!

I just bought one of these “carpenter’s screw” clamps, they caught my eye in the Axminster catalogue. As you can see they work well for clamping non-parallel surfaces- recommended!

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