After a week of my ‘day job,’ getting back to the shop was such a joy. Sure the work is tiring and takes focus, but so far, this build has been incredibly rewarding.
Right away, I was eager to see what my rosette would look like, so I went right to the thickness sander to take down the excess material on the top. A bit of the symmetry got lost, but it still turned out looking very cool.
That is, it looks great there. On closer inspection…
The imperfections in my cut are pretty noticeable at this point, but later on, I’m told they’ll be basically invisible. Being told that was pretty relieving. I’m expecting one or two ugly bits on my first build, but I’d like as few as possible.
Another development took place – the arrival of my back and sides! I’m not sure if I mentioned it last time, but I selected walnut as it is a tonal midpoint between mahogany and rosewood. I have actually never played walnut back and sides before, but if you know me, you know I like to be unique and try things I’ve never tried.
There are weird stress marks in the sapwood, and I wonder if there was a band around the tree that caused them. If anybody knows more about them, feel free to enlighten me. I glued the back pieces together, using the same labour-intensive jointing method as I did on the top. As I sanded the back to thickness, it became stranger and stranger, and the dark stuff got more spread out, but I ended up liking the back side better (the grain didn’t align perfectly anyway). Here it is glued, sanded, and roughcut:
This is when I started to cut the bracing. Making my first two braces was a slow and difficult process. With each one I made after that, though, it became easier and easier. The last couple took me no time at all! I was happy with that progress. There aren’t many skills one can manifest so quickly as that – woodworking is so gratifying in that sense, and I’m eager to continue growing as a craftsperson. And that brings us to…
This Week’s Epiphany:
(I don’t actually know if I’ll do one of these as a regular feature, but if I continue to learn things like this as I go, I’ll continue to note them)
It’s easy to get frustrated about a lot of the work that goes into a guitar. Why? Because so much of your time is spent on things you’ll never see – but the thing is, you spend that time and energy to make sure you don’t see them. It’d be easy to make a guitar that had glue leaking out of every joint and furry wood that isn’t sanded, etc. Form and function have to be equal in this kind of work. I’m hoping I can walk that tightrope right to the other side!
Until next week, and Chapter Three.