Now I also make jewelry

Monday, 22 February 2010

Starting work on fretboards

Not all fun and games, no siree! Quite laborious with hand tools.
Anyways, here is the first stage: measuring and marking. Actually, there are preliminary stages that came before: selecting and buying the wood, getting it re-sawn at the proper thickness -- not something I can do on my really basic bandsaw -- doing the initial sanding (more of that after the fret slots are cut), so there's been a previous journey to get to this "first" stage as there is in fact for every part of the instrument.
First, admire the wood: rosewood in this instance. Get a table of the fret positions for your chosen string length from an online calculator (millimeters work better than inches). Mark those positions in pencil: I've just acquired a "stop rule" to make this process a tad easier. Then, double-check the measurements. Mark in pencil the whole length of each fret across the fretboard, double-check again, and go over that with a marking knife or blade (another new acquisition: an engineer's square). The cut made by the marking knife makes it easier for the saw to grip the wood where you want it later on.
There may be easier, more efficient methods: all suggestions gratefully accepted.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Spectacular wood - Bocote

The strip on top is actually canary wood, with beautiful multicolored lines, but its two neighbors below steal the show. That's bocote, and isn't it magnificent?

Saturday, 20 February 2010

More wood - Bubinga

How far back in time can we go by counting the rings?

Friday, 19 February 2010

First, there is wood - Bird's eye maple

Just like a topographic map, isn'it? Enough to send the mind on a flight of fancy towards some terra incognita.
Working with wood, as with any natural material, awakens dormant poetic impulses. (I'm often reminded now of Gaston Bachelard's writings on that subject.)
There is also that peculiar joy, when chancing upon a piece of wood that seems to have been waiting just for you, that stems from a sense of revelation: a happenstance meeting between your own hitherto unconscious desire and its object suddenly revealed. Objective chance, as the surrealists called it: that moment of perfect coincidence between subjective and objective reality which defines the marvelous.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Last baritone (le Rouge et le Noir)

Last one... for this season at least: mostly black walnut with a very dark cedar soundboard, a bit of ebony and bloodwood (there will be more bloodwood, in keeping with the Drakul theme, for the fingerboard and banding).