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 Post subject: Blackshear Restoration
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:00 pm 
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Hey all,

A while back, fantastic luthier and forum member, Mike Collins, announced that he had an early Tom Blackshear flamenco-style guitar that was in pretty desperate shape, and was willing to give it to either a repair person, builder, or teacher willing to document and share the restoration process. Well, I guess since I do a little of each of those, I was deemed the lucky winner. I spent most of last year developing the repair end of my business, which has kept me pretty busy, so I wasn't able to delve into the project until just recently. I'm happy to say, I've taken the first steps of dismantling the guitar, starting by removing the fretboard, then tackling removing the top. Here are some shots:

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The top has been sanded within an inch of its life, down to paper-thin in some areas.
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And here are a few interior shots:
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I used a flexible heat blanket to make quick work of the fretboard:
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When the fingerboard came loose, I was excited to see that the original rosette was totally different from the one visible outside the footprint of the fretboard extension. Instead of the dull, cool colors of the visible rosette, the hidden rosette fragments are vibrant and more detailed than the coarse, pixelated replacement.
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Once that was done, I turned my focus to removing the bindings from the top and sides. I tried salvaging the bindings, but I quickly realized that was futile, as they were tenaciously glued in. So turning to plan B, I grabbed my trusty laminate trimmer and binding channel routing fixture, and proceeded to rout the Brazilian Rosewood bindings away:
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Then it was just a matter of unzipping the top from the linings with a palette knife. The last place to come loose was where the top was glued to the Spanish heel/neck block:
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:01 pm 
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Location: Durango CO
First name: Dave
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" Never heard of this Blackshear guy. I'll just chuck me up some 36 grit on the old orbital and fix this thing right up"


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:38 am 
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So what the heck happened to that poor rosette? Did they sand through it and then decide to replace it with a paper model from the copy machine?

Wow!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:54 am 
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truckjohn wrote:
So what the heck happened to that poor rosette? Did they sand through it and then decide to replace it with a paper model from the copy machine?

Wow!


Best I can tell, it was replaced at some point before the top was sanded down, or in the process of sanding the top they went through the rosette, replaced it with the blue one, then tried to sand it down to the thinned top by hand -- the old rosette is raised but rounded over into the top.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:57 am 
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My next step is to transcribe the bracing pattern and dimensions to paper. Then the real fun begins...Image


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:08 pm 
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Tom has posted some pretty interesting commentary on voicing flamencos...

Is there any evidence of this sort of post construction voicing?

Are you planning to try to replicate his voicing technique or just copy the bracing more or less as-is?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:12 pm 
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That's a great question, and one I'm working through as I go. But my current plan is to follow his bracing pattern but use lighter, more triangular bracing for the main intersecting braces. The fan braces I'll probably duplicate.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:21 pm 
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I didn't see any evidence of post-construction voicing either, other than the popsicle stick cleats to hold the paper-thin top together. Image


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:14 am
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First name: Jan-Alexis
Last Name: Tremblay
City: Montreal
Country: Canada
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I'll be following along!


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