Wednesday 14th May ’08
The week begins with some lacquering.. this is obviously best done prior to getting covered in dust in the day to day life of luthiery..
..saying that the second job of the day is to strip the workshop down and give it a good clean.. working from home means that often the weekend is spent stealing tools to do household jobs.. it tends to leave things in a right state!!
after one coat of sealer the stain that ended up on the binding is scraped away
and more sealer is applied.. much much more..
on to the left hander for Jonathan B.. the sealer coat that you see here is stripped back.. leaving just the pores filled
I mix several stains, tring to match the colour of a vintage tobacco ‘burst..
and here she is stained..
and lacquered.. that makes two left-handed PRS type guitars on the go right now..
here’s one of the first ever Slimline models..
she is labouriously stripped back.. mechanically.. I find that using varnish strippers etc just takes too long and gives you a headache.. I would like to experiment with grit blasting at some point though.. should give some interesting effects
.. now.. my naughtiness… Tania and I have always wanted Westies.. and this lovely 3 year old stud dog needed a new home.. so I obliged.. (picking your wife up from work with a new dog in the car that she had no idea was ariving is a very good way to earn Brownie points!!)
as well as the dog I met a lovely Hammered Dulcimer.. I will be making a few of these over the coming months.. it’s got to be done!
Spring is here!.. lovely!
On to Tim’s Slimline, the sealer coats are carefully cut back with fine wet and dry papers.. prior to more finish being applied
and here you see Giles settling in quite happily to his new home..
the stripped slimline is ready for staining etc.. first off the custom abalone inlay is masked off
and here she is.. the black stain is applied and then the sunburst is sprayed on.. this is the only time I ever spray paint, applying a sunburst by hand is just too unpredictable.. however by applying the lacquer by hand I stop a phenominal amount of harmful emenations getting into the atmosphere!!
..’nyway she’s looking good..
..as is Giles.. the only problem here is an excess of testosterone.. all three of these boys are still entire.. though not for long unfortunately
on to this Soft-top model bound, ultimately, for the America’s.. the three moon symbol of Womanhood (all good guitars are female!!) is cut and tidied up
then the back of the design is sealed with, eventually, several layers of fine cloth. The weave is solidified with the glue and will add a vast amount of extra strength and stability to this rather fragile soundhole… this is a similar technique to that used on Baroque guitars and lutes!
she is finally cleaned out and shape with a set of needle files
.. we eat our first few strawberries today.. and also harvest a massive couliflower for dinner!! ..
and here’s my new toy.. a Russian Balalaika made in 1899 and bought at auction, 20 odd years ago, for a quid or two.. she needs a lot of attention..
but will be very very pretty when done..
..I bought the boys some bones.. and Jasper became a bit possesive,.. front and back, if someone tries to steal one he’ll wake up and nab it back..
custom guitar design is one of my job descriptions.. but every now and then a customer comes up with something without my input that could be very fun to build.. I think it helps that their point of view doesn’t take into consideration the time and difficulty to the luthier
.. this lovely chunk of timber used to be a coffee table.. it will soon be a part of Fred’s Robert Fripp model..
the templates are cut to size on the bandsaw
as is the new top.. it’s a begining.. but you’ll be seeing her come together over the next few weeks..
Tim’s slimline is nearly ready.. the final cutting back..
and sanding of the rest of the beast..
followed by very carefully scraping the edges of all the binding on the guitar..
and finally the natural wax finish is applied.. bringing life to the myriad of timbers and creating what I’ve been waiting to see since her conception!
And here she is.. another week of polishing and she’ll be ready to come together!!
All my best, Ben
Crimson Custom Guitars UK