(For newer projects --- beginning in July 2007 --- go to my "More Projects" page.)
I've always liked the size and proportions of the Taylor Grand Concert (12 series) guitar, so I decided to try my hand at building one this summer.
A little project that took a couple of weekends to build, a week to finish, and a day to set up! Fun (and it sounds good, too)!!!!
I enjoyed making Tracy's uke so much, and I loved how it came out, that I just HAD to build one for myself. I love the tenor size ukulele! It's just such a portable, cute, mellow instrument....
Last summer I built a guitar for a teacher colleague's college graduate son. Well, this spring/summer, I built a tenor all-koa ukulele as a retirement gift for his mom! I had enjoyed making the concert ukulele two summers ago, so I thought I'd try a tenor size in all koa wood this time.
My major project this summer will be a dreadnought guitar for a teacher friend's son. It will have East Indian rosewood sides and back, a mahogany neck, ebony binding, fingerboard, and bridge, green abalone purfling along the top edges and soundhole ring, and a malamute peghead inlay (the malamute is the client's dream dog). It should be fun to build for a couple of reasons --- it's for a friend, and I haven't built a dreadnought since 1998!
I'm building a ukulele this summer. (I also have plans to finish/continue some unfinished items that have been sitting in my workroom for a while now, such as my barely-begun second violin, a Size 5 guitar which just needs the finishing done, and perhaps a new neck for my second Strat.)
I'll be working on this ukulele in between working on the new shed I'm having built in the back yard.
I know...I know....You've been wondering where my project was this summer, right??????
Well, I kind of got a late start this summer. The first day of vacation, I sat down and made a "to do" list of house and yard tasks ---- and proceeded to spend the first month or so of the summer on those. Thus, I didn't get around to doing any lutherie until just a few weeks ago. Originally, my plan had been to work on a second violin I had begun back in December 2001. But, as often happens with me, a new idea popped into my brain (I don't quite know why) and I decided to try making an electric guitar!!! It definitely was the strangest idea, because I'd never even played an electric and knew absolutely ZERO about them! But I guess I just felt the itch to try something totally new again. So, I got a Stew-Mac video on making a Strat and ordered all the materials, knowing that if I ordered the stuff, I'd have to build it! I just went by the list of parts on the blueprint that came with the video, not even knowing what it was I was ordering....
I've been learning as I've gone along in this. EVERYTHING (except, perhaps, making the neck) was totally new to me --- routing pickup and control cavities, doing the soldering and wiring, shielding, etc. I've been scouring the web for info, too, on all of these new procedures. It's been quite an adventure!
Well, my experience in carving (for the first time) the mandolin top and back last summer gave me the needed confidence to tackle a violin, so that's what I did! I used Bruce Ossman's book, Violin Making: A Guide for the Amateur, as my source.
I felt like trying something really different this summer, so I decided to try my hand at making a mandolin. I got a copy of Roger Siminoff's book, Constructing a Bluegrass Mandolin, and went to work!!!
Last summer, I decided to build a steel-string similar to a Martin Grand Concert (00) style. I spent the first week of vacation making a couple of workbenches for the guitar room. Then it was on to the building of the 00 guitar!!!! It was fun, and I think it came out pretty nicely. I tried out a new method of making a mold and bending the sides, which made the process a lot easier (and the results a lot better).
In 1998, I built two guitars. On my "Guitars of Summer 1998" pages, I posted pictures of the guitars as I built them. One was a dreadnought for a teacher-friend customer, and the other was what I call my "weird classical." I'd never built a classical before and wanted to try out a few weird ideas I had with that guitar, just for fun.
In 1997, I built a dreadnought guitar for a local customer. This was my very first attempt at chronicling my guitar building project on my website, so it is a very, very basic account.
Feel free to email me (Kathy Matsushita) if you have any questions or comments:
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