Build Complete, Bluegrass, and SNOW.

ivoroid cut by hand

ivoroid cut by hand

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P1090275So, after 7 weeks of building, the dreadnought is together, fretted, inlayed, carved, and jsut about ready to be sprayed with lacquer. Unfortunately, we must first complete a finishing class before we will all cut loose in the spray booth. That means 7 weeks of practice sanding, color-matching, sunbursting, grain-filling, spraying, more sanding, etc. We’ll also have a Repairs Class, where we practice routing for pickups and necks in electric guitar bodies, make oodles of guitar nuts, and squeeze in some self-directed repair work. This will all of course be scrutinized by our stringent taskmaster, so I will be sanding my fingers to the bone! I’m pumped!

This past weekend the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association had it’s winter wingding at a big hotel just west of Minneapolis. A bunch of us old time musicians made our way out there, danced our hineys off, and played tunes to boot. I had a great time, hung out and played tunes with some great folks like Chirps Smith, Bill Peterson, and Clancy from Port Wing Donut Fame, not to mention the awesome Twin Cities crowd. I even got in some bluegrass and honky tonk while I was at it!

Next week is SPRING BREAK, and I’ll be living it up Midwest Style, going to a square dancing festival, skiing, hot tubbing, visiting luthiers (and saunas) from Northwest Minnesota clear down to Madison Wisconsin. Whee!

MSCSA Conference and Bridge Copies

pyramid bridge about halfway finished

In the Belly of The Beast

Last weekend, I attended a student leadership conference and general assembly of the Minnesota State College Student Association legislative body.  As a member of the MN SE Technical Student Senate, I was able to represent my school and help make platform decisions, along with attending some great professional development workshops.  I also visited the Mall of America.  Wow.  It WAS just like in the movie The Mighty Ducks.

There were 300 student in attendance, representing the incredible diversity of the Minnesota State College system.  I was impressed with the stories of my fellow students, who as a rule are full time students while often working one or more jobs, sometimes also as parents.  These folks still managed to carve four (!) days out of their  schedule to come together and work towards improving our representation of students and improving lives for students across Minnesota.  An inspirational group, to say the least.

The general assembly, numbering 300.

In Class, we have moved pass nuts and saddles, and are finishing up Acoustic Setup class with bridge copies and bridge re-glues.

The final assignment in the class is to make a traditional pyramid bridge from blueprint.  Using a piece of flatsawn rosewood we must attempt to make an accurate, elegant bridge based on a drawing.  It is very pleasant work, as the rosewood lives up to it’s name, with a lovely scent and excellent workability.  Unlike previous assignments, where we were given an example of how to complete the assignment, this time we are on our own.

I always love a challenge!

completed bridge copies, in maple