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Monthly Archives: January 2008

My first instrument of 2008 is going to be a classical guitar. I jointed the back out of three pieces of nicely figured macassar ebony but already there’s a decision to be made. Macassar ebony rarely comes in pieces wide enough to make a back out of the usual 2 bookmatched pieces and this set was no exception. To achieve the necessary width across the lower bout, I put in an extra tapered piece in the centre. The result looks quite good, I think, but the question is whether the mismatch in figure at the joins is inconspicuous enough not to be a problem. Maybe it would be better to make a virtue of it by inlaying 2 backstripes? I’m going to put it aside while I decide. The pictures below give an idea. Any comments would be welcome.

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The picture above shows the back as it is at the moment.

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Here it is with two bands of light coloured wood placed on top to give an idea of what it would look like with inlay. Bear in mind that the bands would be narrower and that, on the finished instrument, they will link up with a similar coloured border – the purfling – around the edges.

Here are a few pictures taken in my workshop during the early stages of building the instrument.

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Preparing a board of cherry for the case.

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Case nearly complete with diagonal brace, hitchpin rail, balance rail and wrest plank fitted.

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Fitting the key levers.

I just managed to get this double-fretted clavichord finished by the end of 2007. The casework and stand are made in English cherry with an oiled finish. It has just over 4 octaves (from C to eā€ā€™) and is a copy of an instrument by an anonymous maker built around 1740 and preserved in the Gemeentemuseum in the Hague.

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Click on the thumbnails for more pictures.

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