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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Resawing mesquite

Some of you know me well enough to know of my friend Brian Newman. Some of you knew him too, and loved him as I did. I built two ukes for Brian* and taught him to drink proper whisky (Ardbeg, of cöurse) and he showered me with gifts. The Dobro tenor guitar from 1935, the Kumalae ukulele, the very loud cowboy shirt and other stuff. He also sent me a rather large lump of mesquite wood from a tree he took down in the garden in Arizona. I have had it for a few years by now but never gotten around to resawing it, and I hadn't decided exactly what to use it for. 

But today a couple of things happened at the same time. I fixed my damn band saw with a new belt, and I got the urge for some fretboard blanks. And the mesquite was caught in the middle. 

The blade guide to the right of the blade is shot, the metal was crap and cracked. I made a rough fix for it and it held up, but I'll need to think of something more permanent. I did the sawing freehand with no guides, stopping every two or three cuts to plane the surfaces flat. The mesquite planes very nicely and I look forward to using it. 

At least 10 or 11 fretboards, and plenty of leftovers for matching bridges. The lighter sapwood seems as hard as the heartwood, so I can use the ones with shifting colour. 

* And there is Argapa 100, the soprano scale taropatch. It was Brian's idea but he never saw it realized. I think of Brian every time I play it. 
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