Grand concert no 3 went to a very good home.
I’m delighted to say that grand concert no 3 has gone to wonderful home.
The very best thing about building guitars is making good guitar/player matches, and I think this player has found a lifelong friend in this guitar. He wrote me a few days after he picked up the guitar, asking, “What’s the opposite of buyer’s remorse?” The answer is the grin on this guitar builder’s face, of course!
While working on a repair a couple of weeks ago that required some hand planing, I realized that I couldn’t stand using my overlarge, rickety bench for another day. Maybe not even another hour. I’d been planning to replace my workbench with something better suited to how I work now, and the urge was suddenly implacable. So I tore it down and threw myself into finishing the new bench.
I tried to make most of the chance to re-imagine my workspace. A stout top and new storage topped the list.
It sounds strange to complain your bench is too large, but it dominated my small shop space, and it was large enough that there were areas I never worked on. Those areas accumulated a jumble of offcuts, often-used tools, and bending forms. And then, when I did need a guitar-sized space to work, there wasn’t one. Continue Reading →
I’m using a razor-sharp hand plane to thickness this Engelmann spruce top. Photo by Denny Brown/Robbie O’Brien.
Recently, I spent some time doing two of my favorite things: using a hand plane on a premium spruce soundboard (Engelmann this time, still from Old Standard Woods) and dreaming about the next guitar. Using a sharp plane on a perfectly quarter-sawn top with almost no runout has got to be one of those tasks that zen masters describe to their students. The wood tells you what it wants to do, and you learn a lot about the piece of wood you’ve selected for your top. Continue Reading →
The banjo pot is walnut with a rosewood tone ring.
Several years ago, Amber heard John Hartford playing a banjo that sounded as incredible as his playing. It was mellow without being tubby, and had tons of tone. She did some research and found that the banjo was a modern instrument that featured a wooden tone ring. Continue Reading →
Orchestra guitar no 14 adds a soundport in the side to give the player a rich, direct sound.
I put the finishing touches on two orchestra model guitars around the holidays, and they sounded great right away.
I tweaked a few details from the earlier versions, including making some minor changes to the bracing. About two years ago, I was talking to local violin maker Tom Verdot, who asked about trying some hybridization between the way classical guitar soundboards and steel string soundboards are braced. Continue Reading →