Voicing the Guitar

My wonderful Lie-Nielsen low-angle apron plane.  Not a required tool in the program, but such a help

My wonderful Lie-Nielsen low-angle apron plane. Not a required tool in the program, but such a help

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An exciting event has come and gone; I have voiced my first guitar top.  Following the concepts of Dana Bourgeois and the guidance of my instructor, I flexed and tapped the braced top, listening for tone, sound quality, and response.  Bits of spruce bracing were shaved off, the height of the finger braces were lowered.  I’m using an exceptionally stiff piece of Adirondack Spruce (Picea rubens), so I was able to elegantly taper my braces into smooth arcs.  When finished, I could tap the top nearly anywhere and be met with clear, musical tones.  It felt like tuning a marimba key, shaving away bit by bit, until it seemed as good as it could be.  This should make the guitar truly speak.Image

Next, I quickly braced the back, which is a lovely peice of Claro Walnut from Oregon.Image 

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So: the top and back are joined and braced, the rosette installed, the soundhole cut, the top and back are joined and braced; the sides are bent, blocks are glued in and shaped, half of the kerfing is glued, templates are made for neck and headstock shape. 

By the end of next week, I should likely have the box closed up, binding channel routed, fingerboard shaped and slotted, neck cut out and begun getting shaped, truss rod channel routed…

Meanwhile, back at home I’m graduating F5 mandolin plates, fabricating spool clamps, managed to get the 1-18 Martin copy (home build, starting last spring) going with the top and back joined, thicknessed and cut out.  I’m going full tilt, trying to stay productive and still get a nights sleep.  We had a great visit from a friend and prospective student from New Orleans; I’m sure he enjoyed our below-zero windchill (although it wasn’t too cold at 9 degrees F).  Till next time, friends.

 

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