Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Hi. I've got a bunch of pictures for you this week. Changes are afoot here in Red Wing and we are without a doubt on the downhill portion of this ride. So take one last look, for now, at this ravishing beauty and prepare yourself for a whole new idea of guitar building.


Simply gorgeous. My Tele will be getting tarted up with a fancy paint job sometime in May. For now, all the pieces built in our class will live in the nude, perhaps languishing in a cold closet, out of sight. See if you can spot the guitars built by my mates Chad and Derek.

chad tele Derek vioguit

Derek's guitolin is probably the edgiest, most unusual axe that was built during our class. He has years of instrument building under his belt and definitely brings an informed voice to our discussions. Great job dudes!

From here on out, it's all about box guitars. They will take us four times as long to build as the electrics did. In fact, for the next seven weeks, I have only one class, the acoustic guitar building lab. It lasts all day, dawn 'til dusk more or less. It pays off though. I mean, dig the quality! These pieces were built by cats from the other group of students.


Yes, they are still naked, and bridge-less. All that will change during the last three weeks of school.

We build from scratch, starting with "boards". Here is my stash. Honduran Rosewood back and sides, Adirondack Spruce top and a super light piece of Honduran Mahogany for the neck. This one is going to be a heartbreaker folks. Play her at the risk of losing yourself to the muse.


Today I got as far as jointing the top. Joinery is the process of preparing two pieces of wood for permanent (we hope) and sturdy connection. It's not unlike two people in the process of becoming ready to fit the other. It can be complicated and take longer than you think it should. If you are patient and keep working, it still might not happen. Most of the time, it is not a beautiful accident but the result of hard work and forethought. In luthiery, we use a big old jointing plane that is clamped square to a shooting board. It looks like this.


The blade is danged sharp and the tool can be set up to remove slices of wood that are translucent, thinner than paper. My top did not give me too much trouble. Now I have two edges that are absolutely compatible and ready to be glued together. That will happen early tomorrow morning and we will steadily continue to transform the simple, earthy ingredients into a gumbo to savor for a lifetime.

Ya'll come.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely delish. I'm...proud of you, man. I really am.