Hi, this story stems from one cigar box guitar four years ago, a bit long but I’ll post it anyway…
Well, this last one was the best Christmas that I can remember in many a year. We spent it with my son and his family, they live on the other side of Australia 2600km away, so visits are few and far between, and since the onset of Covid, it’s been over three years.
What made it a trip to remember was that within that time my son Warren had started building guitars and I had not yet seen, heard, or played one.
Of course, the topic of conversation was guitars, guitars, and sometimes more guitars, in-between doing stuff with the rest of the family, and researching guitar-building information.
First thing was to see and play his first guitar, a dreadnought-style acoustic. As Warren did not want to mess up good sets of tonewood on his first build, he built this first one out of regular plywood, top, back, and sides. The tone and volume really surprised me, and I found it hard to put it down. Could be a lesson in it’s not what you use, but the way that you use it, here.
Warren had already built this first guitar and was about to box up his second one [Mahogany and spruce this time] with very little guidance from me, other than sharing the books from my library that I started with, and a collection of photos that I had taken over the years of my journey into Lutherie. It was great to see his interpretations of the building process, and his different ideas for jig building and machinery modifications. It caused me to think about what I do and why I do it.
I could also see that the challenges and pitfalls he faced now were the same as the ones I faced fifty-odd years ago. I also noticed, like me, he puts a lot of thought into what he does before doing it and he keeps in mind that the parts of the build you can’t see have got to be as well executed and clean as the parts you can.
We spent time talking about an issue he had with his newly braced back. We decided that the removal and replacement of all four braces and the redesign of the replacement braces was the answer. That turned out to be a great instructional opportunity. I thought he does a good job for an auto mechanic.
All this stemmed from one basic CBG kit I sent him.
Now I’m wondering when I will be able to play this latest build. Hmmm.