Now I also make jewelry

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Revisiting an old friend

With new projects continually in the works, "older" instruments I built two years ago sit unattended. While looking at them reminds me of trials and errors, mistakes I should not repeat, they have their own virtues as well.
Here is one with a body shape I really like. The neck is beech, which was surprisingly easy to work with, and the sides solid walnut. But for once, I used plywood for both the back and the soundboard, a very thin (1/16" inch) high quality Finnish plywood, very strong and light as a feather. While I love
working with solid wood, such good quality plywood has a number of advantages and it is not "cheap", neither in appearance nor cost. As for the sound: well, there's enough raging controversy out there, I'll stay clear of the subject.
I used tigerwood (goncalo alves) for the fretboard, cocobolo for the bridge, padouk for the peghead sides and veneer.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Cordelia's baritone

This one was completed a couple of months back -- my last instrument for this season. It was intended as a surprise birthday present for my daughter and thus had to wait until now before I could put up pics on this blog. My best work so far, and the sound is really good.
The back is a single piece of maple. The soundboard, a single piece of yellow cypress, or Alaskan cedar, extends all the way up the neck, made of cherry. Bloodwood for the fretboard and for the headstock veneer, with bird's eye maple. Ebony bridge, saddle and nut. Figured makore for the banding, cherry and walnut dots for the soundhole decorations, tulipwood for the bottom joint between sides.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Another one

I like to build them in pairs.
This one has the same silhouette but narrower sides. The soundboard is a single piece of yellow cedar. I've used some of that chakte kok for the neck and hid the joint line on the headstock with lacewood veneer which I also used to surround the soundhole.
The back is made up of two bookmatched plates of figured maple.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Another baritone in the rough

Body and neck assembled (the soul will have to wait). Back and top trimmed. That's it for now.

This is a new silhouette; also a new mode of construction for me: the piece of wood (two bookmatched pieces in this instance) making up the soundboard extends all the way up the neck; so it is glued onto the sides and the neck as well, ensuring perfect horizontal flatness. The fretboard, made of hardwood, will come later.

The soundboard is made of Western red cedar: I just chanced upon a board with an unusually yellow tinge and a diversity of hues, full of character.