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Matt's 2016 Build
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Author:  Matt Bouchie [ Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:29 am ]
Post subject:  Matt's 2016 Build

I've been thinking about what I want to do for this challenge for several weeks and I'm still not 100% sure. I'd like to do something different (which fits with one of the requirements) in building a size 5 but I'm not sure I'll have the time to make molds or bending forms for my side bender. I've also got to finish a Dread for the NEL group build by the end of October, so that's gonna eat up my time. So, I can either buy them from Bluescreek or change to an 0 since I already have the mold and bending form. I've got some molds and bending forms from Bluescreek and they are excellent, so I'm leaning towards ordering them and building the size 5. I reserve the right to change my mind, though. So, here's what I'm thinking for this build.

Something old: Last Thanksgiving, I went to my aunt's house for dinner over in southwestern NH. One of my other aunts, who was there as well, had been trying to get me to look at some wood in her barn that my late uncle had gotten from a bow maker he knew many, many years ago. She wanted to know if any of it was something I could use in building guitars. So, my cousin took me over and showed me where it all is. Most of it was flat sawn oak and I took several boards thinking I could use them for something. I did get a nice maple board that I can get a whole lot of ukulele fingerboards from, but they wouldn't be wide enough for a guitar, so that one is out. I'm thinking I can use some of the oak for bindings. I can cut it so that there is a quartered surface and it will have some of that cool figure you get in quartered oak. So, the old stuff will be oak bindings.

Something new: I've never made a Size 5 before, so that could be the new thing. If I end up going with an 0, I've never made a 6-string 0, only a tenor that I built last year. Not sure I'd consider that a new pattern, though, so that's out. If I end up going with an 0, I'll do some type of finish I haven't used before. Maybe I'll learn how to French polish. Or maybe I'll do something listed below as the new thing.

Something local: A few years ago, I picked up some nicely quartered figured cherry boards from the shorts rack at Highland Hardwoods over in Brentwood, NH. They sell shorts for 25% off the regular price. Every so often, they have a half-off shorts sale. I bought these three cherry boards for no more than $25. They aren't even close to wide enough for a 2 piece back and, even on the size 5, I'll probably have to do a 4 piece back. So there's some more new things for me. I've never done more than a 2 piece back. I'll need to resaw the boards to get back and sides from them, so that'll be something new since I've never done any resawing. My 10" band saw is big enough to resaw them but I'm nervous about doing so since I've never done it before. I might find someone to help me out around here. I'll most likely get the neck out of one of the boards, as well. I'm not sure what I'll do for the top yet but I've toyed with the idea of an all cherry guitar but it would have to be a 4 piece top, too. That would be something new for me, as well, since I've never done a hardwood top before. So much still to think about. Anyway, I'll probably get a hophornbeam fingerboard from Tom Thiel since I really liked using it for the last build and he usually has them available. I'll stain it with some walnut hull tea that Alan Carruth taught me how to make. The stuff works great.

Pick 2:
Parlor - It'll be either a size 5 or an 0.

Price cap - I'm sure I can keep under the price cap if tuning machines and fret wire aren't included.

Donate instrument - I plan on donating the finished instrument to my employer for a silent auction we do every year as a fund raiser. I work for a community mental health center, which is a non-profit, and have been thinking about donating an instrument for this for a few years now but haven't gotten anything done for it. The auction is around Ground Hog Day, so will be either in late January or early February, which means I probably won't get it donated until the following year, 2018. It will probably be a raffle item, not auctioned off. An auction might be depressing if it only ends up going for $5 or something!

So there you have it. A semblance of a plan but it is shaping up in my head. I'm sure the first thing I'll be doing will be to get the cherry boards resawn over the summer. Anyway, sorry to ramble on so much. It's a rather boring night at my second job and doing an overnight shift every other week makes one a bit unfocused at 4:00 am.


Author:  Bryan Bear [ Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Matt's 2016 Build

Welcome Matt. I think you have the right plan to raffle it off. Auctions can be tough for handmade instruments unless you happen to have a crowd that "gets it." With a raffle, lots of people will invest a small amount of money because of the novelty of it. Someone will end up with something much better than they realized!

Author:  Rodger Knox [ Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Matt's 2016 Build

Welcome! On the other hand, it is for a charity where sometimes the bids have no relationship to the value of the item. It's a contribution, the item is a bonus. Good luck!

Author:  Matt Bouchie [ Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Matt's 2016 Build

I haven't started on this project yet and probably won't for another month or so. I'll be moving my shop to the small basement room that is attached to my apartment. I've had my shop in the bedroom and the living room set up as a bedroom for several years now and I'm kind of tired of the setup. The room in the basement has been my living room of sorts but it's not very comfortable for that use and it's really dusty. I'm a record collector and having my turntable set up down there leads to dusty records while I'm playing them. Not optimal for high quality sound. I originally had my shop down there but moved upstairs to better control the humidity. However, I've acquired a large dehumidifier which kept my entire apartment at 45% RH without much effort all summer. I'm thinking it'll handle the entire basement without a lot more effort and I'll be able to use the drainage hose attachment instead of having to empty the bucket so often. So, after this overtime shift tonight, I'm on vacation for a week and will be working on moving my apartment around. It'll involve moving everything that's now down there upstairs (lots of books and CDs - the records are upstairs so I won't have to go upstairs to get then next selection anymore), moving the entire shop downstairs, then moving my bedroom back into the bedroom and finally setting up the living room again. I've planned out the layout of the shop and, even though it's a smaller room, I think everything will fit quite well and it'll be a better setup than what I have now. Once it's done, I'm going to finish a uke for my niece and a dread for my brother, both of which I've been working on for quite a long time. Then it'll be on to this build, which I'm very excited about.


Author:  SteveSmith [ Sun Sep 18, 2016 6:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Matt's 2016 Build

I hate the delays when I stop work in the shop to move everything around but I'm always glad I did it in the end. Fortunately we have a very generous time limit.

Author:  Matt Bouchie [ Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Matt's 2016 Build

Well, I think it's pretty safe to say I will not be making the deadline for this project. I'm still going to build the guitar for this year's New England Luthiers build for Peter Mulvey's Lamplighters show at Club Passim in Cambridge, MA, this fall. It'll be a size 0 now, not a size 5. I will most likely still end up donating it to my employer, too. I wish I could have gotten this done by the deadline but life just got in the way.


Author:  SteveSmith [ Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Matt's 2016 Build

I know how that goes, when you do get back to building, post some photos so we can check it out. I'm pushing the time limit myself.

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