"Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made Thee glad." Psalm 45: 8

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Working on the, um, necessities

December 21st: I thought we were about ready for a slab. But the Critical Path dictates everything in its essential order. So, before we could set forms for the slab, there remained a bit more digging and pipe work. Let those who read this be assured that we will have all necessary facilities in this new shop. Enter the fine crew of Socia Septic who helped make this a reality:

I am sad that I didn't catch the name of this man running the back hoe. Not only was he an expert at the task at hand, but he was a real prince to a little helper at the end of the day. (More on that in a minute.)  So what's going in this hole? These:

And after a bit, we were at this point:

And after some plumbing work, it was back to the trenches, digging a trough for the 8" gravel-less pipe. I was happy that these folks took care between our trees, and were concerned about our property.

And then, when the job was winding down, we had the great fortune to be visited by my favorite little construction worker, Ransom Wilson:

Ransom is intrigued by machinery, and the bigger the better. What was his delight, when asked by the back hoe opperator if he would like to help drive the tractor up to its trailer? You betcha, buddy!

And at the end of the day, not only were the Mayans proved wrong--the world did not end--but Keith Socia was proved right: they could do all this in a day. Thanks, Keith--great job.

As you can see, all that remains is a little mound of excess dirt. We'll find a use for that...or perhaps Ransom can?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Site Prep

With the trees down, what remains to be done is leveling the site for a slab.
Of course, that meant dirt...7 loads in all:

Then, it got spread out with this old Massey Ferguson:

Johnny was a real artist with this beat up tractor. Before long we were shooting grade and making only the slightest of changes:

Then, after the toe slopes were dressed a bit, the shop site looked like this:

Hopefully before long, there will be some form work for the future slab.
Thanks again Johnny for a job well done!

Pine Loss Blues

As we worked on our shop site, we kept looking back at this tall pine right at the corner of the garage. If left standing, it would also be quite close to the corner of the new shop. Reluctantly, we decided to take it down since this is the easiest time to do so.

Still, it was fairly exciting cutting this big guy down. One broken rope and it could fall backward into the garage. Fortunately, the tree cooperated. What Johnny is doing on his tractor is tugging a rope that runs through a pulley system which is applying force in the direction away from our house.

And it all worked beautifully. It's a bit painful to look at the stump and remember that fine old tree, but we still have a few more! And perhaps the maples can start filling in now. Here's the view with that pine tree down:

Dirt work can now commence!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

New Shop!

At long last we have started breaking ground on a new shop. The studio shop served well for a number of years, but it is actually better suited to a one-man opperation. With Ryan on board, the need for added space became apparent fairly soon. We have been dreaming of this new facility for some time and are pleased to finally be moving forward. Here is the lot where it will sit, just to the south and east of our garage:

You can just make out the stakes that indicate the lay of the building. It will be 32' x 40', more than doubling our current space. Perhaps you can see that some tree removal will be necessary. Some big pines stand right on the line of the rear of the new shop, and there are a few dead trees as well that need removal.

That is friend Johnny Christian digging around the roots of the biggest tree so that he could push the tree down. It's not enough to fell the tree, the stump also has to come out. It really took some effort to get this 26" + diameter tree down:
And the reslutant stump was a "handfull" for sure!

Johnny loaded these trees up and took them home where he will saw them up for his own personal use. I'm glad that these beauties will not just rot on the forest floor, but be put to good use! And who knows?  Perhaps he'll save us a bit to make a Southern Yellow Pine guitar?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bob's OM on the Road!

Just back from "guitar camp", where Bob took delivery of his new walnut OM, and we both tried to learn how better to play the guitar. The seminar was hosted by Mark Hanson, and also featured Doug Smith and Pat Donohue as fellow teachers. Simply fantastic guitar playing all week.
It was fun to get Bob's guitar into the hands of these fine professionals, and get positive feedback.
Here's a pic of Mark putting the OM through some amazing paces:

It would be fun to say here's photographic proof that Mark Hanson plays Kinnaird guitars, but then we just might hear from his legal department. Let's say that Mark enjoyed playing Bob's guitar, and in his hands it sounded wonderful. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bob's OM... Under Finish!

So here is the guitar all shined up and ready for its new owner.
The walnut Bob chose is just spectacular, and that curly maple doesn't look too shabby either.
The guitar has had strings for just a day, and already its voice is impressive.
So here's a couple of views:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bob Tucker Walnut OM

It's always fun when a customer finds a set of back/sides that speaks to him (or her), and then sends it to us! Bob found this lovely set of Claro walnut and fell in love with it. Next he knew, he was sending it our way, dreaming of the future guitar. On top of that, he fell in love with this highly figured piece of bearclaw Sitka spruce. Well, it seemed appropriate to turn this lovely stash into a deep-body OM, complete with a cutaway.

In these shots, the neck and bridge are pinned on, in preparation for sending to the finisher. The body is in real need of finish sanding, so don't judge the walnut too harshly...it really is beautiful wood. Won't be too long now, Bob!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Electric Guitar

To keep things interesting, from time to time we build something different.Here is a guitar requested by our dealer Danny Brevard at Acoustic Pro Musician.
Though not an acoustic, we feel this is  "Pro" grade instrument!
It follows the lines of a Fender Telecaster pretty closely, a shape we love for its simplicity/honesty.
This guitar has a body of Honduran mahogany, with a top piece of quilted maple in a rather rare stair-step pattern.
Neck is curly maple, and the fretboard is bird's-eye maple.
Oh yes, Lollar pickups round out the sound with a coil-splitting 5 way switch.

Monday, April 23, 2012

New Fan-Fret Baritone

Here is a new model from our shop. It uses an interesting concept, that of a multiple scale format. The nut is slanted upward, and the bridge is slanted downward. This in effect creates six different scale lengths, one for each string. The point is to optimize each string's mass in relation to its length: bass strings sound better if longer...treble strings sound better if shorter. And as you can see, fret placement becomes something of a challenge!

This guitar was built using Claro walnut back and sides, and a nicely figured bearclaw Sitka spruce top. Rosette and bindings are quilted Sapele, a mahogany-like wood from Africa.

This guitar sounds incredible--deep and thunderous. There is a richness and complexity to the sound we haven't heard from other guitars. It is tuned from B to B, a full 5 semitones lower than standard.
So, is the fan-fret arrangement hard to play? You might think so just looking at it. But it falls under the fingers nicely and feels just fine. If anything seems different it's the larger strings: .070" in the bass to .015" for the top string.
This instrument is currently at our dealer, Acoustic Pro Musician: www.acousticpromusician.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Cases

Here's the new case we offer as an option. It is made by Ameritage cases, and really is quite nice.
As a plus, they embroider our logo on the lid (2 color) so there is immediate name recognition.

On top of that, these cases come in several different colors, as well as interior fabric choices.
A nice compliment to your fine hand-built instrument.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Another Instrument at "Your Perfect Guitar"

And here is the second guitar we sent Bob Singer. It is a deep body OM, built of Honduran rosewood and Adirondack (Red) spruce. Check out this short video clip:

Video clip of FS guitar at "Your Perfect Guitar"

Here's a video clip of our Blackheart Sassafras FS guitar at Bob Singer's shop,  "Your Perfect Guitar".
It is played by Aaron Stang, who does a fine job. Give a listen: