Archive for January, 2008

Component Selection Day

The first day is a lot of fun as I begin to visualize the guitar I’m going to build.  Since the guitar is going to a raffle winner rather than a client involved since the beginning I get to pick out all the components as I would with a spec guitar, which I enjoy.  This guitar will be auctioned in the second week of Kaufman Kamp during the flatpicking session so we decided that it should be a dreadnought.

Back Back Back Sides

 I have some very old Brazilian rosewood that I imported last year which I think is perfect for this guitar.  Like most of the Brazilian on the market these days it is either flawed in some way or extremely expensive.  A mint quartersawn back and sides set can run in excess of $2,500.  Much of the wood available now comes from other sources, either stumpwood which is being harvested, logs which might have been submerged for years or wood salvaged from other projects like furniture or building materials. 

This rosewood looks like it may have come from a stump; some of it is quartersawn and some flatsawn so the grain is changing direction within the piece.  It also has a couple of small cracks, several knots and wormholes which you can see in the photos. 

Despite this it’s still Brazilian, is old, dry and stable with a very “glassine” taptone and should make a gorgeous guitar.  This stuff will be fun to work with and fun to fix the flaws.

Top Sides close up

The top is from LMI and their grade is AA.  It has a couple of slight discolorations in the top and the grain varies in width from one side to the next.  As I’ve said elsewhere, the more it looks like Formica the more expensive it is.  This stuff looks like wood.  The top is nice and stiff, the “imperfections” small with no impact on acoustics. 

These are the components that were used by Martin during the “Golden Era” of dreadnoughts, those made before the second world war.  While a new guitar has fewer overtones and presence than a 60 year old guitar does, at least this one is on its way.

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