Three For The Road
Finally getting back to my site after a very busy fall! I've been working on three new guitars and have started an additional three, but will be taking a break to attend the Wintersongs songwriting camp in Cambria, California. It is related to the Summersongs camp that takes place in August in upstate New York, which I also attended.
I'm building a variety of guitars including the aforementioned 2 OM's and an A Style, as well as a Tsalam (aka Carribean Walnut) Jumbo, an African Mahogany 12 fret Triple 0 and an Indian Rosewood OM. Hopefully something for anyone who might be interested to get a feel for what I build. In trying to keep my costs down, I streamline the building process as much as possible, still never using a CNC or automated equipment.
To protect the end grain of the top and back, a good quality guitar has a binding applied to the edges. To attach this, you must cut or rout a ledge to fit the binding. Sometimes, it is decorated with a thin slice of purfling. Below is the ledge on the A Style.
The binding, in this case Padauk, is pre-bent to fit the body shape and glued and taped in place. This is pretty hard on your hands because the binding has to be tight with no gaps between it and the body.
When the binding is completely taped and glue cleaned up, it has to be left for several hours to dry, after which, it is scraped and sanded.
Finished Padauk binding with Pau Ferro end wedge, cleaned up.
There is no purfling on this OM to keep the style clean and the cost down, making a hand made guitar more affordable for the average player and not just the collector. It's always a little difficult to hold myself back and build in a more simplified style, but then, it's hard for me to do almost anything in a simplified way! I do like the classic look and the lack of clutter that over decorating and detailing can lead to, however. As you can see, there is a lot of work in every detail of the guitar that has to be executed accurately and cleanly to end up with a good result, both esthetically and sonically. As much attention goes into the inside of the guitar as the outside.