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The Building Process

Guitars are more than the sum of their parts, certainly they are wood, hide glue, shell, metal, wires and other components.┬áBut when each of these is in balance, the guitar takes on a life of it’s own, a tree that’s fallen, now sings of life.

I learned early on in the building process to not question the wisdom of builders that have come before me, the early builders used a technique called candling when joining tops, they would plane the edges straight, and then hold the two pieces in front of a candle looking for a good fit. I do the same thing, except the candle is now a work light, but I still join my tops with a shooting board, and a long plane, I also use hide glue just as the early builders did. If a guitar using these processes can last for years and still sound wonderful, why change a good thing?

On the other hand, technology allows us advantages that those builders never had, I have no problem using a thickness sander to size my tops to my specifications, or a cnc create jig that assures accuracy. I don’t use technology in all my building, I enjoy creating by hand, but there are some areas where it can make the difference and in those cases I’ll use it.

My current project is a koa guitar, which has tropical flowers in the headstock and fingerboard and off into the rosette and saddle, it’s another complete one off, and as I begin to build it, I’ll post pictures here and show you the process from start to finish.

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