#22 construction – 1937 Hauser

This is something I wanted to try for a long time, a build inspired by the famous 1937 Hauser used by Segovia. Having an unusually thick top, this design needs some very special spruce to work well. The top is Austrian spruce, quartersawn Madagascar rosewood body (the most resonant rosewood set i used so far), mahogany neck with ebony reinforcement and binding will be Brazilian boxwood.

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#21 has strings

This is my #21, 632mm short scale, Bouchet bracing, Swiss spruce, Madagascar rosewood body and fingerboard, bois de rose bridge, African Blackwood headplate, maple binding and secondary headstock plate.

#20 construction – Cedar and Macassar ebony Latticecon

Some good progress made here. I hope to finish binding soon and hear it in a week or so.

The 100 years old cello fingerboard cut

The 100 years old cello fingerboard cut

jointing the pieces to form the headplate

jointing the pieces to form the headplate

headplate glued

headplate glued

mahogany heel and side slots

mahogany heel and side slots

first rosette ring

first rosette ring

routing the first channel

routing the first channel

first channel glued

first channel glued

scribing the channel

scribing the channel

routing the final channel

routing the final channel

smoothing and thinning the soundboard

smoothing and thinning the soundboard

smoothing and thinning the soundboard

smoothing and thinning the soundboard

smoothing and thinning the soundboard

smoothing and thinning the soundboard

planing the side

planing the side

scraping the side

scraping the side

bent,  a bit of shellac to reveal final color

bent, a bit of shellac to reveal final color

front

front

the back, wet with shellac

the back, wet with shellac

Building #19

This is a sister of #18. Same tree soundboard, only very minor voicing modifications, but with a body of rare “red” Indian rosewood. Indian rosewood usually comes in the classic brown tones, while fewer sets are purplish. This one is very intensely purplish and under finish looks quite beautiful, as I have seen on a previous build. I remember reading this might be a subspecies and growing in northern India. The Chinese had a similar wood “Suan Zhi redwood” which has has been a staple of their luxury furniture. Some research has showed a lead towards dalbergia cochinensis rather than dalbergia latifolia but I’m not certain. In any case my Chinese wooden planes are made from exactly this sort of rosewood and they are labeled suan zhi but I don’t know where the wood is logged and if it’s simply the red variety of latifolia relabeled because of the classical (for them) color. Yes I am as confused as you are now.

#18 started, my first flamenco

While French-polishing #17, I’ve been working on numbers 18-20. I made the most progress on 18: a fine, high-silk German spruce and cypress flamenco which I hope to string up before the end of August. I am quite excited about this, being fascinated with flamenco music ever since I discovered the Spanish guitar in my teens.

This bracing scheme is called “Barbero bracing” after the famous guitar built by Marcelo Barbero in 1951 on which Sabicas recorded his Flamenco Puro album. However I have seen A Santos Hernandez (probably 1930’s) using this scheme and it is likely that Barbero borrowed it after being hired by Santos’ widow to complete his unfinished work after the master died in 1943.

Started #17

I started working on #17 (16 is a parallel project tackled in lunch breaks). Bouchet bracing, fine WRC top (my first cedar guitar), Indian rosewood back, sides, headplate and bridge, cedrella neck, ebony fingerboard. I am also switching to a slightly enlarged plantilla so I am very curious about the end result.

The wood for #20

These are the pieces for my #20, which is scheduled to be built autumn 2012. The top is finest grade (and taptone) red cedar. This cedar is cut from reclaimed logs, old dead trees off the forest floor north of Vancouver. The back and sides are Macassar ebony (from Sulawesi island, Indonesia). The recipient is crazy about collecting instruments. He has an old cello, about 100 years old, so much played that the fingerboard was all worn out and needed replacement. The luthier gave it back to the owner who in turn gave it me, “maybe I could use it for something”. Instantly I thought it would do great for a 3-piece headplate on his commission. The wood is quite striped, perhaps it is even Asian rather than African ebony so it will match the back perfectly. Just to keep with the ancient theme, I might use some of my 100y old Jamaican mahogany for the neck!