Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm still here...

Just in case you all thought I dropped off again, I haven't I realized that before I got too far into working on my guitar I need to get the humidity level in my shop back down to a decent level. I took out the dehumidifier a couple of years ago to use in another area so my shop has been sitting without any humidity control all that time. It dawned on me this weekend that before I glue the fingerboard to the neck that it would be wise for me to de-humidify the shop and then let the wood acclimate to the new low humidity level. So, I need to get a de-humidifier and start it running up there before I do anything else with the guitar. I learned my lesson the hard way about working on a guitar without humidity control during my second build. That guitar has serious problems now because of it. I am not going to make that mistake again!

So, I am still here and chomping at the bit to work on my guitar but I am holding off until it is wise for me do get back at it. I won't be doing any updating until I feel that it is safe to get back to work. That may be a couple of weeks but as I said, better safe than sorry!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Well I got some shop time today to get the inlay pocket cut out and the inlay glued in and epoxy filled. I have to say, my inlay routing skills are a bit rusty but I got it done. It isn't perfect but not too bad, only a little bit of over cut in a few spots that are filled with epoxy and Ziricote sanding dust. Here are a few pictures.

First I copied the inlay piece and taped that copy to the headplate the way I wanted it set.

Next I cut through the paper to give me an etched outline in the wood.

Here is the etched outline to help guide my routing.

Here is the routed pocket ready for the Abalone inlay to be glued in.

The inlay was tacked in place with medium CA glue and then the entire thing is covered with epoxy mixed with Ziracote dust. Once it cures I will sand it all flat. The inlay was set just a hair proud to allow for sanding flush.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Major changes in my life.......

Okay, I know that I have been terrible about keeping up with this blog since I got about half way through the parlor guitar. I also know that I have said that I am going to get back at it and then never did.

Well, there is a reason. No excuses but a reason.

Over the last couple of years I have been working very hard to create an online book business with the hopes that one day I would be able to shut down my contracting business and go full time into something that

A. I like doing


B. Is easier on my body.

Well, after a lot of hard work, a lot of long hours and a lot of preparation I am here to say that I am now a full time book dealer and am no longer dragging wires through hot attics and spider infested crawl spaces. 30 years of doing something that I didn't like just wasn't sitting well with me so something had to be done. I am happy with the change, and my body is happy with it as well! I shut down my contracting business on the last day of June and have finally gotten everything finalized, sold off, and all of my customers moved to a trusted contractor I know. The bad part of this major change was for the last 3 years I was trying to run a contracting business, get a book business off the ground, and build guitars. The contracting and books were like having two full time jobs and something had to take a back seat. That was the guitars.

From June until now I have been adjusting to my new working life. It is very different.... but in a good way. But I still hadn't done anything with my guitars. The first week of Sept. we took a trip back to Denver (where I am from) to visit. It had been 6 years since I was back there. We were visiting with an old friend of mine who I have known since high school, and is an Electrician also (as was he the best man in my wedding!) and we were reminiscing. We were catching up with what we were doing and I brought up the fact that I had been building guitars but hadn't done much for the last couple of years. I pulled up my blog to show him some pictures when the spark hit me. I was excited about it again. I almost couldn't wait to get home so I could get back in the shop. I realized that now I have one less full time job so I can get back to building guitars again.

When I got back, I went up to the shop and spent a day just cleaning things up. Lots of dust, spider webs and dead flies all needed to be cleaned up. I spent some time getting re-aquainted with the parlor guitar just so I knew where I left off and where I needed to pick up from again. I still need to go back and read some of my old posts because as funny as it sounds, I can't remember some of the specifics such as ..... don't laugh.... the scale length. I know I did a lot of flip-flopping around as to what I wanted to do but I just can't remember what I decided. Oh well, I suppose I will figure it out. So, I am trying to get the rust off of my brain, and re-learn some of the things I had learned just a few short years ago. I am sure it will be a lot easier but I am determined to get after it this time and start producing these instruments that I enjoy building so much.

So without further ado.....

Since my last entry with pictures I have done a few things. Some of them were done without pictures being taken so you will see a fairly big jump in progress. I have completed the binding on the body, have made the fingerboard including the mahogany edge bindings, and have gotten the neck down to just about the final shape. The slot head is also cleaned up a bit and is ready for the inlay cutting. The fingerboard has been fretted and the markers are installed. Today I cut out the deer head inlay for the peghead and I plan on routing out the recess for it this weekend. I took a few pictures tonight and expect to be better at updating in the future.

For those of you who have given up on me, please don't. For those who occasionally check in to see if I am still alive, thanks for hanging in there.

Here is the body complete with the binding installed and rough scraped.

The fingerboard sitting on the neck. I will glue it on once I get the inlay finished.

The inlay as it will be installed. I will rout it out this weekend it time allows.

I know, not many pictures but hey, I am just starting to get back up and running. Give me a break!