domingo, 30 de septiembre de 2012

Chiseling the edge of the violin back

Next step was to chisel the edge. 5mm thick, 10mm wide (7mm wide in the C)
Be carefull when chiseling curly maple. The grain is going everywhere. Be slow. 

viernes, 28 de septiembre de 2012

Starting the back of the violin

So, I´m working a bit on the violin again

The back is one piece higly figured european maple. I have read , so I know that when building my first violin, I shouldnt use wood like that. Its to complicated to work with. But since I´m kinda stupid, very ignorant and a complete sucker for one piece higly figured maple violin backs, well, I decided to use this piece.

First the chunk is sawn more or less in size and with the drum sander taken down to 16mm thickness.
Next the thing is sawn out with the band saw... 

Another thing is that i upload photos and comments on the building of guitar number 100 almost every day.

domingo, 9 de septiembre de 2012

What does a 2A guitar mean?

I´m often asked what a 2A guitar is and what the diference between a 2A and a 1A guitar is.

Literaly 2A means ´segunda´ or second as opposed to 1A which means primera or first/best.

In real life, 2A can mean a lot of things but it always means a cheaper guitar than a 1A guitar. It can be an apprentice guitar with the masters name on or it can be the master himself using some not so high grade wood he has lying around that he wouldnt use for his first grade model. It can be so many things that each case might be different, but in general, 2A guitars, we only make when we dont have enough clients for our top model guitars. Its a way of covering a cheaper market. Reaching clients that for different reasons dont want to pay what our top model costs.

In my own case, I dont buy wood for 2A guitars, but when I build one, I choose the wood that I find to be esthetically lower grade. A good example will be the 2A negra that I´m finishing now. The soundboard is german spruce, Very well quatersawn. Straight, tight grain and absolutely no runout. But it has some brown striping towards the edges. Top quality soundwise.
The back and sides are form different sources. The sides are left overs from 2 sets, where I´ve cracked the other part during bending. One of them I´ve had lying around for 6 – 7 years the other is recent. Lookwise they are almost identical, but they are from 2 different trees.
Besides that, 2A guitars from me have very simple ornamentation. A simple, but handmade rosette and less purfling on back and sides. Also, the French Polish is done a bit faster with less levelling between the layers.

Other times, my 2A guitars have been test guitars. I remember having made one which I finished with polyester lacquer on the back and sides and another, testing a bracing system

sábado, 8 de septiembre de 2012

New page on building guitar number 100

I´ve decided to make a new page with the entries of the building of my guitar number 100.

There´s a link on top of this page or you can click here:

Scroll down to see the latest entries.

miércoles, 5 de septiembre de 2012

Building guitar number 100

Its been a very special summer for me. The death of Sole, my lovely wife is all over the place. The last 2 month have been totally in the light and spirit of her last weeks, her death and what comes after. I´m not totally sure what comes out of this vacum, I feel that a new life is there around the next corner, but its difficult for me to see it or feel it. I know the answer is patience and that I have to take care of myself, which I do. Time will show what there will be.
BUT.... Things happened in the workshop during the last days of Sole´s life. I built my guitar number 100...... Just a number, I know, but a special one and because of the timing a very special one. It was built together with number 99, which can be seen on my blog. I was aware of the very difficult situation I was in, so I chosed to build both 99 and 100 as “free” guitars. They were not orders and when finished, they´ll be put up for sale.
I wasnt in the mood to write about number 100 back then. I didnt have the energy and I concentrated 100% in being with Sole and working when I had my hours off. The workshop was pure therapy and I know that it helped me through a very difficult period. I took a lot of photos of the process and I will SLOWLY post them and if I find the energy, write a bit about the proces. Its not going to be a “how to build a flamenco guitar” thread. I´m not that kind of person and I believe that we all have to find our own way.

So, I will start with a photo of where I am right now... Or more or less. This is the guitar in raw before French polishing. I´ve just started the FP. The guitar has been hanging in my workshop with controlled climate for 2 month and the wood has taken a little bit of color from the light. Thats very beautifull and will make the FP look deeper. Maybe I should do things like the old violinmakers did. Hang the instrument in the sun for some month, so that it takes its natural color before you start putting FP on it. It would look great with a couple of raw wood guitars hanging in my lemon tree.

Its a traditional Blanca with wooden pegs. (They can be changed to mechanical pegs) 650mm scale, 53mm nut, Its going to be natural color. There are a few minor extras in purfling, bridge and rosette. More about that later.
I chosed to build a Blanca with pegs for a couple of reasons: I like them. They are the “real” thing. Very vibrant and I cant imagine the history of flamenco without Blancas with pegs. Also, I´ve made a lot of them over the years. Maybe some 25% of my building has been pegheads. And finally, beauty... IMHO, its the most beautifull flamenco guitar.
Everything is standard. German spruce (master grade). Mediterranean Cypress back and sides, Honduran Cedar neck, Ebony fingerboard and a very pretty Caviuna headplate.

lunes, 3 de septiembre de 2012

Making the scroll and head of the violin

So here´s another one of those processes that was unsure about. It looks so difficult and it aint easy, but everything have their tricks and so does the scroll of a violin. Lots of small cuts, patience, very sharp gouges and some homemade scrapers.
This is the way it looks now. Its far from being finished, The pin in the scroll is not totally straight from all angles, but you have to look with a critical eye to see that.
I will leave it like it is for now and do the final shaping and finishing off when I´ve made the box of the violin.