Sunday, November 13, 2011

i'm beginning to fret...

There is an airbrush under my bench, and a spray gun at my other workshop, but it seems more appropriate for this instrument to brush the finish, filling the pores the slow way, with varnish- cutting it back after each coat or so.

It might look flashy in these pics, but the finish is way off an acceptable standard when seen in the flesh. It will always look a bit hand done, but I'm happy for that to be what I'm about. I'm used to living with my own inadequacies, and it isn't necessary for me anymore to strive to work like a machine, or to produce a finish that attempts to look like machine work. (handy, really, because a $50 guitar has a flawless spray varnish and one could become depressed at the thought)

So, the varnish is going on in layers, but I've also fretted the fingerboard today, and it didn't seem like a very photogenic process, so there are no details here apart from the first five frets on the pic above left.

There is a lot of specialist and trade-secret-sort of knowledge about fretting. It does seem odd to have anything on a fingerboard after my last few decades of naked ebony curving in all directions with scarcely a straight line to bless itself with. Setting the heights and shapes of the frets will take more work than banging them in did, but I'll enjoy all that because it is in these details that I'll create the sort of action that will suit.


  1. In my next life, I'm sure I'll be luthier or something about music and wood. I have to say that this guitar, thanks to that amazing piece of wood and your masterwork of course, will be one of the most incredible instruments I'll never seen. Are you gonna put a clip of the sound here?.

  2. Thank you - I value your opinion, but please bear in mind that in the flesh, it is still only a guitar, and certainly not masterful. My pics do make it seem larger than life.
    I do hope that it sounds good enough to do some sort of demo clip...we'll see. Thanks again for the positive feed-back, it is very encouraging.

  3. that's just distortion in the pic, I think....I've kept pretty much to industry standard, about 45.5 wide at the nut from memory, 21 -23 thick (deep) between fret 3 and 9 (again, from memory). Actually I squirmed a bit about this. I have long fingers but they are thick and workmanlike, so a wide neck would be good in some ways, to fit fingers between strings, but that would then require more athleticism to stretch the width, so I chickened out and played by the rules.
    Can't wait to hear you play it!