The Wood Shop

I am excited to make a new, long overdue, post here on my site! I have been a busy luthier and musician so I’ll fill you in on what’s new at Guitarley’s!

Let’s start with the wood shop. For the past two and half years I’ve been acquiring tools and lumber to build guitars, patiently might I add. I recently made some further purchases and got the tools I need to finally get started with the next step in my career as a luthier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luthier)! It feels great to have a functioning studio to make things. I now have the freedom and opportunity to obsess! I have started to learn the tools and dial them in for my purposes. I have also started to size and dimension my collection of lumber and organize stock!

Ash and Walnut Curly maple neck blanks Curly birdseye maple neck blanks 75 year old Mahogany 90 year old "golden" mahogany 90 year old "golden" mahogany

I spent yesterday afternoon running my tools, revealing the hidden beauty of some very special lumber that I purchased two years ago. I got the wood from the estate of famous American wood worker and artist, Wharton Esherick (http://www.whartonesherickmuseum.org/studio.html). This was a special chance opportunity to select some of the finest of lumber, especially at this early stage in my career. I was in the right place at the right time.

The density, color and other characteristics of these boards have a different feel than other quality woods available today. It’s hard to describe, but if you held each board you would feel the difference from others. There’s something spiritual about these boards as compared to others. Perhaps I’m feeling, in hindsight, the foresight of Esherick’s sense of quality in lumber. After all, he picked this wood out for his own personal endeavors as a wood worker, but passed before he could get to it. Does that mean he just had a lot of wood, or was he saving some of these boards because they were so special? I’ll never know, but it’s amazing to consider the story and spirit of these boards that are in my wood shop! I picked the cream of the crop, from a master craftsman’s cream of the crop!

I really look forward to the projects and creations to come and hope you will follow my adventures. I promise to keep it interesting! I’ll be posting pictures as usual to my social media accounts so get ready to follow, share and like some content! Follow me on Instagram (http://instagram.com/guitarleys), Twitter (https://twitter.com/guitarleys) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/guitarleys). Thanks supporting me as I chase my dreams as a craftsman, artist and musician.

The next BIG step…

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Over the past several weeks I have been preparing for a big opportunity in my career as a luthier and business owner. In a previous blog you’ll see that I had my first CNC experience as a woodworker. With the help of my good friend at Hermance Machine Company (www.hermance.com) I participated in a CNC demo with C.R. Onsrud (www.cronsrud.com) making a few of my resonator guitar bodies. The demo was well received enough that the company is taking me to Las Vegas with them for the 2013 Association of Woodworking and Furnishing Suppliers Fair (http://awfsfair.org)! There will be hundreds of thousands of people in attendance, lots of contacts, exposure, and opportunity. It’s kind of a big deal.

In preparation I purchased a variety of aged tone woods from Lewis Lumber Products (www.lewislp.com) and other various providers in my area. There will be 24 blanks consisting of curly maple, ash, alder, African and Honduran Mahogany, black walnut, and padauk. I have done a fully detailed CAD drawing of my guitar that will instruct the CNC routing machine on what to cut, and it will do it efficiently and accurately!

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While the machine demonstrates its cutting abilities, making a large batch of guitar bodies for me, I’ll be there to answer questions and demonstrate the lutherie process. I will also have one of my completed resonator guitars on display for me to play and for others to test drive. I’ll have various hard ware pieces as well as my new line of custom winds form Porter Pickups (www.porterpickups.com). With these pieces I’ll be able to do a “dry-fit” assembly and preview the further building process.

In the mean time I’ll be planning display materials, printing handouts about my business and music, and working away in the shop for the upcoming week. Then its time to fly to the deserts of the southwest. 

Is there anything that you fellow bloggers would like to see at a demo like this? I’m open for suggestions and experiences. Thanks for your support and I can’t wait to show you the guitars as they progress!

Don’t forget to follow my progress on Twitter and Instagram (@Guitarleys) and visit my http://www.facebook.com/guitarleys page and support me with a ‘like’ and a share!