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Works in progress.

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:41 pm
by mooshalah
Here is a grab-bag of stuff that I've been making, on and off, for more than a year, and I think it's time I motivated myself to finish them!
Works in progress.jpg
Works in progress
Flamenco guitars.

The two flamenco guitars have been constructed using a solera (work board) that holds the neck at the correct angle to the body, and I've used the traditional "Spanish heel" method, which is why the bodies are already connected to the neck, without having first been bound. The plan is to have the string height at 7 - 8 mm above the soundboard, immediately in front of the bridge.
Cypress Flamenco - front.jpg
Cypress Flamenco - front
Cypress Flamenco - back.jpg
Cypress Flamenco - back
One of them has been made using Satin Box from the Otways, for no reason other than that it is a pale colour, and hence will be a "blanca" flamenco guitar! The other is from Cypress cut from trees surrounding the Emerald footy oval, which were felled during a renovation around 10 years ago.
Satin Box Flamenco - front.jpg
Satin Box Flamenco - front
Satin Box Flamenco - back.jpg
Satin Box Flamenco - back
I've also experimented with coloured rings of veneer, in making the rosette. The purfling will thus also be coloured (red, yellow and black).
Satin Box Flamenco rosette.jpg
Satin Box Flamenco rosette
1920 Martin Ditson parlour guitar.

The parlour guitar body is made from 40,000 year old Ancient Kauri dug up from a bog in New Zealand. I found a board of it in a mill on the outskirts of Melbourne. I've used it on other instruments, and it works well as back and sides.
Ditson Parlour - back.jpg
Ditson Parlour - back
The shape is that from a mould lent to me by Jack Spira who, I'm reliably told, used it to make a guitar for the performer Sting.
Ditson Parlour - front.jpg
Ditson Parlour - front
I decided that I was going to use a lot of mother-of-pearl, and started designing and making bits of marquetry inlay work for the fingerboard, before I ran out of puff!
Inlay ideas for Ditson Parlour fingerboard.jpg
Inlay ideas for Ditson Parlour fingerboard
The bridge, neck and fingerboard are not yet attached to the body; I've placed them loosely together, for the photograph.


Re: Works in progress.

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:07 pm
by Mark McLean
Wow - what a collection of works in progress. Very impressive - especially the inlay/marquetry work. Your photography is also excellent, can you tell us some time how you frame and shoot the pictures?

Re: Works in progress.

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:11 pm
by kevjed
As soon as I saw your little Diston with the dragon fly I thought of Jack. He has made some amazing guitars and his inlay work is right up there. I love his dragon flys and birds in particular. I spend a few years going to his work shop a few evening per weeks many years ago and he had a couple of these Diston parlor guitars on the go at that time. He was right in the middle of the phase of building almost exclusively for the Japanese market at the time.

Re: Works in progress.

Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:26 am
by mooshalah
Hi Mark and kevjed.

Yes, Jack uses the dragonfly a lot. Perhaps we've met. I live in Emerald, (as did Jack - although I'm sure you'll know that he last year moved to Boolarra, in Gippsland), and visited his workshop frequently.

With regard to photography, I've been an amateur photographer since I was a kid, so have collected many photographic bits and pieces over the years.
Taking photographs.jpg
Basically, I hang the instrument by a thin, black, strong thread (sometimes two sets of thread, if I want to hang the instrument at an angle other than vertical) from an overhead cross-bar, against a black background draped in front of a wall. I then light it using two (or more) flood-lamps (or whatever lights are available), and holding a camera steady on a tripod, I take pictures from a variety of heights, directions and angles.

Because the instrument and the many legs of tripods holding the lights cast annoying shadows onto the black background, I select the photograph I want, import it into some photo manipulating software (I use the very old Paintshop Pro), and smear and smudge out the various shadows, and evidence of the black thread used to hang the instrument. I then shrink the image to an appropriate size, and save the photograph in its new, doctored form. Doesn't take long.

That's basically it!


Re: Works in progress.

Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:36 am
by Mark McLean
Thanks for the quick photography tutorial Frank. That is really useful. You might see me copying it in future. I will also need to work on how to “smudge out” the defects in my instruments as well as artefacts from the photography.

Re: Works in progress.

Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:46 pm
by lamanoditrento
Nice work Frank. The rosettes and inlay work look great