Sunday, January 31, 2010


As I was working, I took a rest and reflected upon the comfort of working in my pajamas and wearing slippers. I decided:

"Slippers are the way of the future and a link to our ancient past"- me.

Solera construction 1

last night I began building the solera. I started with a sheet of fairly thick plywood, just over 3/4". I took a compass and traced around the outside of the guitar plan, about a 4 inch border. I gave about 1 inch to each side of the neck. Then I scribed a centerline after I taped the copy of the plan to the ply.



Then of course, I cut that shit out! or rather, my good friend did, I'm really not into power tools, and he really is. It's a logical arrangement: I do the measuring and the details, he gets to play with power tools!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Plans - redux

Alas, I am afraid perfection is beyond the achievable.

I had time to measure the plans...with an engineering ruler...and three other rulers...and a micrometer, digital of course. The vertical is DEAD ON BALLS ACCURATE!!! the horizontal is 1/32" off, or for you metricostamusses nearly .8 mil

= too tired to do this again. perhaps it will change with humidity.. and expand in only one direction...and the stars will align... and.... whatever.

At least I have plans that are closer to accurate than the prior ones!

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Plans

Today marked the grand re-arrival of the plans I ordered from the Guild of American Luthiers, henceforth the GAL. Plan # 42, '51 Barbero is the plan I am using, . Originally I had ordered these in late December, they came mid January(the 16th if anyone cares) and I was satisfied until I got out the ruler.

Turns out, the whole drawing was 1/8" too small in all directions. This is pretty much unacceptable in all senses. If I am to use it, then I have to remeasure all of the parts on the pages, re number them etc and chances are I'd have to proportionately scale down the height of the braces. Too much math!

So, I sent an email to the GAL boys. They expressed some concern and mild bewilderment. Tim was very cool about it though and sent me off a new set of plans right away. Today is, or rather yesterday because it is now tomorrow..., January 28, almost a month after I originally ordered the plans.

I was planning on using January to really get rolling on this guitar, but it looks as if that was a bit of a shuck around the old shaft!

Next up, the solera!!!

Here is a little caliper I made

I needed a thickness caliper to measure soundboards at various places. I obviously can't use a micrometer on a 14 inch wide piece of wood! I bought a digital gauge from for about $30 and mounted it on some plywood scrap I had laying around.

While not as robust as I would've liked, it serves its purpose moderately well for now. I will do some reinforcing and re-engineering to make it stiffer and more reliable!

Another look at the bench

1.5" thick birch butcherblock countertop from ikea for the top. the rest is 3/4" ply, 2x4's three pounds of screws and 2 6 foot steel rods 

The finished Bench

And the bench itself of course! nearly 400 pounds and made of a huge amount of wood. 

The workbench

I have begun construction on the "copy" of this most celebrated of instruments. In order to do that, I felt the need to build a gratuitously overbuilt bench! Here are some photos

the inside of the top before it was affixed