This is a Wood Whisperer first: a series featuring an aspiring luthier, Rick Urschel. Rick takes us through the process of building a classic guitar from a kit available at LMII.com. This is Rick’s first attempt at a guitar, and as such, I am not presenting this as a “how-to”. Instead, this is just one man’s experience as he works his butt off making a beautiful guitar for his wife. I think you are really going to enjoy it. A special thanks to Rick for allowing me to “Whisperize” his content!
I have not made an instrument for a while, and some would say I have not built one this time either… My son has done a video demontrating the tuning, setup and playing of a strumstick. Squaring up the strumstick blanks On another WW Forum a while ago there was a post about building a Dulcitar or sometimes called strumstick. I said it would be cool to make a few of these for some fun. Not too much work, but a chance to hone the luthier skills for a change. I read the plans ...
Download Low Res .mp4Download HD .mp4Download HD .wmv Rick continues on his journey into the world of guitar-building. He takes us through adding kerfing, inlaying the tail wedge, installation of the binding, and construction of the back, the soundboard, the fretboard, and the bridge. We’ll also see how Rick handles a few errors he made along the way. One error is so big, the fate of the entire project hangs in the balance! Music provided by MusicAlley.com: Jack Jezzro
When I last left you, we were right at the point of beginning construction on many of the jigs and forms that will make this endeavor much easier. Conveniently, the timing works very well since I’m still awaiting the opportunity to make it down to Austin to pick up that Performax 22/44 that I got off eBay (thanks to my cousin, Brady, for getting it for me). This, of course, will allow me to get all that beautiful wood down to thickness easily and more precisely. In the meantime, t...
My first hair gauge [link] wasn’t quite what I wanted it to be so I kept an upgrade in the back of my head. The other night I spotted this string gauge [Below] and it inspired me to make something extremely similar to measure bow hair. I made this new hair gauge using brass strip 1/2 inch wide and about 2 inches long. I used a wood coffee stirer to space them apart about 1/16 of an inch and soldered a brass cleat along one edge on both sides. Then I cleaned it up with my benc...
What’s a hair gauge you ask? When a luthier re-hairs a violin bow, or a bow of any of the other bowed instruments, they don’t just cram a bunch of horse hair into the little anchor holes. There is a certain yet indefinite amount of hair required for each type of bow. Greatly experienced professionals can pretty much gauge it by their hands, but some like to do it scientifically. Hair gauges are available for purchase and there are several types. There’s even...
A violin opening knife is a very thin, semi-flexible wide-bladed tool used to separate the parts of a violin. The glue used to hold such instruments together is brittle and will let go under stress. Apparently that is a feature, not a flaw. For mine, I was too cheap and impatient to find a thin cheese knife, so I took a dollar store spackle knife and after removing the blade from the plastic handle and trimming it down, I sandwiched it between two pieces of mahogany with epoxy. Whe...
Call this a pick or a bodkin. It is chiefly used to nudge out the maple ‘wedges’ that hold the horse hair in at either end of a bow. I made mine from half of one of those nut picks that come with nut cracker sets. After cutting the nut pick in two, I chucked it in my electric drill (corded) and sharpened it on my belt grinder till it gained a nice long point. Then I mounted it in a scrap piece of white oak with a copper ferrule. The handle was finished with boiled linseed oi...
This tool is made from the business end of one of those nut picks that come with nut cracking sets. In a video about bow re-hairing I saw the technician using a tool like this to push the abalone slide back over the hair on the frog end of the bow. I sad to myself ‘I can make one of those!’ After cutting the nut pick in two, I mounted it in a scrap piece of white oak and strengthened it witrh a ferrule. Even so, I learned that the hole you drill to accept the tool ne...
I had two chisels without handles. The flatter one is from of old. It was from my dad’s stuff. It’s purpose when I was growing up was to pry open the old ‘extra’ refrigerator we had in the basement. The handle of the fridge had broken somewhere in my pre-history. The handle on the chisel was clear yellow plastic. The plastic broke some years ago when I was using the chisel to do chisel stuff. Surprise! It lived for some time in one of my tool boxes, handleless...
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