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Monday, August 20, 2018

Miniguitar done, Argapa 110

Back home after the vacation Johan and I put a gear in and cracked on with his guitar. In the first pic you can see the back being glued on. This also sets the neck angle by using a shim under the neck as the back locks the geometry in shape. 



Johan shaped the bridge with my Veritas apron plane. We cut the slanted saddle groove first and shaped the bridge around that. 



After making the fretboard and glueing it on, we put the bridge in place. 



And then finishing. The first coat makes a lot of difference, but the twentieth makes the instrument shine. 



Applying shellac also reveals flaws and glue spots that cannot be seen easily before, so we went back and forth with scrapers and steel wool between coats. And took our time. Johan was a natural at French polishing.  



And here we are. We are trying string sets out, and tunings. Or pitch really. Will it be E - e (not very likely), A - a, or B - b? Johan designed the fret position markers from a deck of cards. 



The first Argapa with a pin bridge! Nerve wracking but ultimately successful. 



And the headstock shape that’ll force the stamped marking down to the side of the headstock. 




Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Piccolo done, Argapa 109

Last we saw of the piccolo was it hanging to dry in a run down cottage during a heat wave. But it got finished, I just forgot to post about it. 



From the kitchen this morning, it has Worth brown strings and it was a good choice. It sings, it barks, it goes plinkety plunk depending on how you play it. Just as it should. 



The neck is the subtle v-shape I prefer, in the pic exaggerated by the sunlight. 



The one piece, compensated bridge. 



And the headstock with its taper in thickness. I am very pleased. And I get to hang on to it for a couple of weeks, my buyer is coming to Stockholm at the end of the month. 




Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Argapa 100 under the knife

I’m a bit behind in posting, but will catch up. These pics are from last week. 

My eight string soprano was made from mahogany, all of it. A great wood for most parts, but the bridge was a wee bit too soft for the string pull. They ate their way into the wood and it was time to deal with it. 



I rigged a cardboard protective layer. I was still at the cottage, hiding from the scorching sun. 



With my Japanese model making saw I carefully cut two slots just beside the holes. 



With a thin chisel of the mortise chisel kind I cleared the wood out between the saw slots. My plan was to laminate a few black maple purfling strips together with ca glue and fit that into the slot. 



And here it is in place. I planed it down together with the surfaces of the bridge. It was a bit high and will be better now. 



Cool innit. Looks like it was meant to be this way. 



I strung it up with a set of Aquilas and a set of Worth browns, so the strings wouldn’t sound the same. A bonus was the ebony/ivory thing going on at the bridge was carried over to the rest of the uke.