Burmese Rosewood

Burmese Rosewood

I really enjoyed working with this Burmese rosewood and pairing it with a really bright and clean looking spruce top from British Columbia.   It is constructed in the same fashion as a previous Romanillos inspired guitar but with my standard headstock shape instead of the Hauser.  I used east indian rosewood bindings and purflings made with a bright western maple.  650mm scale and all french polished.   I made this one to bring to the Guitar Foundation of America Convention where it found a good home.  

D-18 Style

D-18 Style

Here is my second steel string of the year.  I completed it about a week ago before heading off to the Guitar foundation of America convention.    Making the pickguard material is a fun project and I was trying to match the faux tortoise buttons on the Waverly machines. The picture is of my second attempt which was pretty close.   The first pickguard I made turned out way too dark.    The flamed mahogany is really amazing and I was really happy with how it turned out as I'm really getting the hang of the switch from nitrocellulose lacquer to a water based finish for some of my instruments.

Bare Essential Guitar

Bare Essential Guitar

A guitar boiled down to its essential elements is not a bad thing.   I enjoy making something that is going to sound and play like a finely crafted concert quality instrument minus most of the extraneous decoration.   The builds go a bit faster and the simple aesthetic is refreshing.   This customer picked out a colorado spruce top and some spalted western maple as the splash of decoration.  Honduran rosewood binding and head cap were added along with Gilbert tuning machines to complete the look.  

Just for fun

It's a good thing to indulge in a little bit of fun.   I finally finished up this "Shipworm Uke" that I had started a while back and was working on just for fun between my other builds.  I'm going to be bringing it to the Northwest Handmade instrument exhibit this weekend.   It's definitely a one of a kind piece (unless you have trained shipworms to place on your sunken timber at your disposal).    I'll have this piece at the show.   Click the link to get more info.

 http://www.nwmusicalinstrumentshow.org/

Also included are some pictures of the last guitar completed which is a Western Red Cedar and Myrtlewood combination.  I decided to use some Gilbert tuning machines with ebony dots and buttons to go along with all the ebony bindings.  French polished.  

Guitars for Steves

Guitars for Steves

I just finished guitars for two customers both named Steve.  One actually went by Steven which helped me keep from getting their orders confused at the start.   Their guitar builds went in different directions which avoided any further confusion.   One is an Italian spruce and African blackwood guitar and the other is a cedar and east Indian rosewood guitar.  One customer opted to upgrade his tuning machines to a beautiful Rodgers set with black mother of pearl buttons.  I also put a black MOP dot and tie block on the blackwood guitar to tie it all together.  The other Gotoh set has plastic buttons that look like marble that I had ordered from Japan just because I think they look interesting.    The cedar guitar has some beautiful brazilian rosewood for the headplate and bridge.  

First Steel String of the Year

This is my first steel string guitar in a while.  I have been averaging about one a year.   This one is a fairly traditional "D-28" style guitar.  I'm usually building classical guitars so this was a change of pace.   While building, I almost cut the neck to fit the body at the 12th fret instead of the 14th!  I also forget what a pain it is to do fretboard inlays.   I remember why I jobbed out the last big inlay project to a CNC operator.   I went for all hide glue for the bracing.  Making the pickguard was a fun project.  It's adorned with amber buffalo horn bridge and tail pins. The evo gold frets are matched with gold hardware and gold mother of pearl inlays.  

Also, I have had good results with the waterbased lacquer I've switched to.  I don't think the clarity is quite as good as the nitrocellulose but the adhesion, durability and ability to breath the air in the shop while shooting make the switch to waterbased an easy choice.  Even though I like to french polish things it just doesn't take the abuse.

 This one is heading up to live in Seattle.  I have a "D-18" style guitar to get started on after a couple more classicals get built so this looks like it's a going to be a banner year for steel string production (said sarcastically- meaning I make 2 instead of 1).

For Ryan Walsh

It was nice to build a guitar for a fine local musician.  We sat down and both agreed about how much we love the recordings and musicianship of Julian Bream so it was a natural choice to build him a guitar based on a Jose Luis Romanillos; one of the guitars that Julian played in some of his favorite recordings.   

It is a good fit for me as I build a guitar very much in that style.  I usually do a bracing that is a take on the work of Jeffrey Elliot and Elliott's bracing is his take on the bracing of Romanillos.   For this guitar I took a step back in the progression and went back to a plan of a 1973 Romanillos guitar and much more closely copied the bracing dimensions and angles.   The resulting instrument was extremely balanced and lyrical.

Most importantly,  the player is enamoured and inspired by the instrument.  Ryan, is a great local musician and he also opted for a K&K Sound combination pickup system to suite his amplification needs.  You can learn more about him and his work at www.ryanwalshguitar.com