Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Christmas to you all!!

As you probably saw, the last post was my 200th. When I started this blog, I had no idea whether or not anyone would be interested in my ramblings, but this week we are hitting over 100,000 pages views and there are now 67 followers! It’s a similar thing with my YouTube channel; this last week I had my 200th subscriber (204 now) and almost 90,000 views! So I guess I would like to say a great big “Thank You” to all of you who have found my work of interest and also Amanda and I would like take this opportunity of wishing everyone who knows us a very Happy Christmas and a healthy 2013.
So what’s on the bench?
I’ve been French polishing John’s twin-point and below is a picture of the three piece cocobolo back; it’s really starting to look quite spectacular!

In between polishing sessions, I had a Guild Madeira guitar to work on; the action needed to be lowered. You can see that it had an adjustable bridge, but it was set at its lowest point- so low that the strings did not break properly over the saddle. As the neck was sound, the top of the bridge had to planned lower- (and what a surprise maple!). The saddle slot was made narrower and I then cut ramps to improve the break angle and fitted a wide bone saddle in order to improve the intonation.  I was really pleased with the result; a guitar that can now be played and enjoyed.

Also I’ve been working on the next “Standard” mandolin; number IV. This one has been pre-ordered by Tristan and you can see that the maple/spruce body is now together and the rosewood bindings are just going on. As you know, my aim with the Standard is to make an affordable instrument and I’ve noticed that one short-cut which some makers/manufacturers use to achieve this is to leave the instrument unbound. Now you can leave out the purfling (on a fretted instrument) as it really is just decorative but the binding does have a very real function; to protect the corners and hence the top and back joints from damage and these shouldn’t be left out for the sake of economy.

And I’ve been working on the next Standard Plus; this one pre-ordered by Tony. You can see that I’ve been gluing on the double thickness, solid linings that I use on all of my instruments. And here is the rather splendid English Walnut back- can’t wait to get some polish on it!

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Saturday, December 08, 2012

My 200th post!

This week, amongst other things, I made the tailpiece for John’s mandolin. Now, when I say my instruments are handmade I mean it!
You can see from the few photos below exactly what I mean!

It’s quite a long process making one of my tailpieces, but I’m pleased with the way that they are turning out and preforming. I honestly can’t say that there are any commercial products out there that I’d rather be using.
The bridge has also been made.

And the mandolin has now been set-up, “in-the-white” so next week, it’ll get stripped back down and the finishing process will commence.

John supplied me with some Siminoff tuners with solid abalone buttons, which he imported from the USA. The abalone buttons look really good with tree inlay.

Something a bit different
If you haven’t already seen it, have a look at this inspirational video “Landfill Harmonic”

Monday, December 03, 2012

Guess where?

We’ve just got back from a little break and you as can see in the photo above the sun shone for us. Where is this wonderful sun kissed beach? Goa? Seychelles? Nah! This is Skegness, Lincolnshire; and we’ve just got back from the Great British Folk Festival! We were really privileged to hear some great music, so many great musicians in one place; no wonder the sun shone! Our highlights would have to be Show of Hands, can’t praise these guys highly enough. And also Gordon Giltrap, what a guitar player he is- you must go to see him- he kept 100s of us mesmerised with his virtuoso performance and amused with good humoured banter.
Happy Birthday Brendan!
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you will no doubt be aware of the twin-point mandolin that I made earlier on in the year for Brendan. Well, Brendan has just had his 60th birthday and he sent me this photo of the wonderful cake that his daughter Christine made for him. Isn’t it brilliant!