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New Member Itroduction
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Author:  SteveFromMaine [ Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:18 am ]
Post subject:  New Member Itroduction

I can't find a "New Member Introductions" topic; if there is one, please point me to it and I'll move this there.

I started building instruments around February of 2014. I met Carter Ruff of Subterranean Music Works in Bath, Maine. I'd wanted to build a guitar for years, but the project always seemed too overwhelming. Carter agreed to show me how to build a guitar, so I started taking "lessons" once a week. At Carter's suggestion, I started off with something a bit easier than a guitar: a mountain dulcimer. It came out well enough to be encouraging.

Then I started on a guitar. The idea of local woods appealed to me, so I used red spruce from Maine for the top and black walnut from New Hampshire for the back and sides. The fingerboard, bridge, and headstock and heel caps are dogwood, which is not local but I wanted to try it. After about 10 months and plenty of dumb mistakes it came out better than I ever imagined it could. The finish (shellac) gave me no end of trouble and it still has some flaws. There are other flaws as well, of course, but the sound is AMAZING, which more than makes up for the cosmetic defects.
The abalone purfling is ZipFlex.

I'm currently building a second guitar, a more-or-less copy of an old Bruno guitar about the size of a Martin 0 model. I'm building that one with cherry back and sides.

Author:  Dan K [ Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Member Itroduction

Welcome Steve,
Those builds look great! I'm surprised that the "easier" build was the mountain dulcimer but I'm sure it was helpful to hone your skills on something less intimidating. I've been working on my first build for quite some time so I'm "new" to the hobby as well. I'm hoping I can say the same thing about my first one once it's finished. Keep on building and make sure to post your progress on #2.


Author:  Haans [ Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Member Itroduction

Love the Stella type bridge!
Nice work...

Author:  Lonnie J Barber [ Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Member Itroduction

Welcome Steve are we having fun yet?:0)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Author:  SteveFromMaine [ Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Member Itroduction

Well, on the guitar I'm building now, I managed to put the tone bar on the top such that it goes under the end block, which does not seem desirable. I am sure to have fun fixing that.

Author:  Matt Bouchie [ Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Member Itroduction

Nice looking instruments! I met Carter at the 2013 Peter Mulvey-New England Luthiers concert at Passim's in Cambridge, MA. I sat at the same table at dinner pre-show and at the club during the show and chatted with him quite a bit. He seems like a really nice guy and quite knowledgeable. If he hasn't already suggested it, I suggest joining the NEL. Meetings aren't as regular as they used to be and lately they all seem to be in the Boston area, but it's well worth the trip to meet up with other guitar builders. Not always the most structured meetings but lots of knowledge there! Also, the annual show at Passim's where Peter Mulvey and David Goodrich play our guitars is a lot of fun. This year the theme is that it has to have been strung up in 2015. I'm working on a tenor guitar that I should get done just under the wire.


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