Wednesday 27 August 2014

Reinvented lap steel

This is a lap steel idea I've been working on for awhile. It was black and finished with oil. I sanded back and stained again with mahogany red. The plexi fingerboard is one idea black Corian is another. Purple heart treated with vinegar and steel wool to go black with contrasting fret inlays. I'm still thinking about it.

Monday 25 August 2014

Charango top repair

The Charango had an accident. The top was so badly damaged it could not be repaired. I started by removing what was left of the top. I knew I couldn't use the original as a pattern but I wanted it intact enough to match the original bracing. I found a similar piece of spruce among some off cuts. After thicknessing it I traced the body outline on the spruce and cut it close to shape except for the shoulder joint.

I used a compass to trace that shape onto the new piece, it was close and after some fine tuning it fit nicely. I had to come up with a different system for gluing the top on, spool clamps weren't going to work. After a bit of research I found a technique for gluing on lute tops. It worked well and there just some refinishing to do. I decided French polishing was the best choice and I'm happy with how it turned out.

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Martin 000 my pickguard is shrinking

Shrunken pick guard syndrome, several manufacturers glued pickguards directly onto the wood. The pickguard would shrink and crack the top. Here's one being repaired. The guard has been removed and the cracks are being glued up supported on the bottom with small spruce cleats. I like to make mine round, it allows me to use a plug cutter and then I can thin them down to whatever thickness I want. In this case I shaped them to fit around the braces.