The Building Process
Guitars are more than the sum of their parts, certainly they are wood, hide glue, shell, metal, wires and other components. But 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.