Thursday, January 28, 2010

Film: Chapter 1, Radius the Sides

Acoustic guitars tops and backs traditionally have a slight radius to them. To achieve this the sides must be sanded in the appropriate sanding dish. The sides of the guitar which will one day support the spruce top need a radius of 30 feet. This is done with the sides in the form (the bulky thing surrounding the sides). In this short film you can see this takes some patience and time. It took about 2 hours for me to finish just the one side of the guitar. The sides that will hold the back of the guitar will have a radius of 15 feet. This drove me crazy, just like this film will drive you crazy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Marshwood Acoustic, Chapter 1, The Sides

The sides are bent and the heel/neck blocks are in place. The blocks are mahogany and the sides are flame maple.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Rufus, Back to Work

This week I should be able to make some headway on The Rufus. I plan on finishing the neck shape, radius the fretboard and install the frets. I hope to do some final shaping and sanding to the body in preparation for gluing on the neck.

Marshwood Acoustic, Chapter 1, The Sides

This year I am taking a course at RRCC in acoustic steel string construction. Since this will be the first attempt I have scrounged for materials. I milled the maple sides and back out of wood left behind by students. This will be a Martin-ish OM model guitar. Sitka spruce will be the top, Honduran mahogany for the neck and rosewood for the fretboard. These series of pictures show the bending process for the sides. One way of bending these is on an iron, but I was able to use a bending jig. This gives a more consistent result. I soaked the maple sides for a couple minutes, then put them in the bending jig. This jig has a heat blanket which steams the wood into shape. Once finished out it goes into the guitar form. We'll see how all this goes.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Roy's Guitar, Slideshow

Click on the icon to the right under, Marshwood Guitars on Film

A recently completed slideshow of instrument for the guitarist Roy Ponce of the band, Brainchild. The guitar's recording on this short film are clean with a little reverb. Kept it simple so you can hear the guitar in the raw. Wear headphones if you have them.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Roy's Guitar, From Sketch to Reality

One year since Roy and I began to trade ideas, a sketch once on a page has turned into a Guitar. Slide show and recordings of this instrument to come.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Roy's Guitar, Intonation Nation

Intonation is the pitch accuracy of a musical instrument. Or in guitar terms, the open notes in the lower register are in tune with fretted notes in the upper positions.
The steps:
1. Strum the open E string.
2. Using a good tuner (picture) (I salvaged this one from an old school's music room that was being gutted when I was 16) tune the open E string.
3. Now, fret the string at the 12th fret, this is the "high E" (picture), the tuner is telling me the note is flat.
4. Adjust the bridge (picture) by moving the E-string saddle forward until the open E is in tune with the fretted E.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Roy's Guitar, Soldering

Guitar wiring can be difficult sometimes. The wiring diagrams found on the web are a big help. Using a soldering iron one makes the needed connecting the wires from the pickup to the three-way switch, to the volume control and out to the 1/4 inch jack. I looks like chaos in the control cavity but it works.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Roy's Guitars, Installing the Gibson Pickups

The pickup mounting rings (black plastic rectangles) have been sanded to the proper height (b/w picture). After this the pickups and rings were mounted to the guitar. A schematic of the wiring configuration for this instrument was printed off the web. Soldering will commence shortly. From the front it is starting to look like a guitar (color picture).

Monday, January 11, 2010

Roy's Guitar, Back to Work

Just got back from Virginia visiting friends and family. This week the opportunity has presented itself to give Roy's guitar some solid attention. The last finishing touches are very detailed oriented: The frets must be smoothed, the action set, pickups and other electric components wired/soldered and the cavity covers fitted. In this picture the nut is being shaped and filed. This is a important because if there are any sharp edges on the nut the player will feel them. I feel good about what will get done this week and will keep you posted.