It took me over three years to make my first guitar, which I finished in the spring of 2012 under the guidance of Lies Muller at her workshop. Lies is not only an expert on all things with a string, but is also an excellent teacher. In those three years Lies taught me a lot more than ‘simply’ how to build a guitar. I also learned a wide variety woodworking techniques using mainly hand tools.
Now I’m working on my second guitar: a Spanish classical guitar for my dad. Lies is also guiding me through this one, although I’m building much of it at home. This blog documents my progress and the tips and tricks I’ve been picking up along the way.
I don’t include much in the way of measurements and exact ‘how to’ information. For that kind of information I highly recommend the book Guitarmaking: tradition and technology by William R. Cumpiano and Jonathan D. Natelson.
Most of what I write about concerns woodworking using hand tools. Why hand tools? For one, I enjoy the connection with the wood and the process of transformation using hand tools. Since I am not mass producing, there’s a lot I can do with a hand tool that is quicker or just as quick as with a machine. I also have some practical considerations: since I work at home, inside my apartment, I don’t have the space for machines and the accompanying noise and dust. I’ve acquired a lot of my tools second hand, which is often much cheaper than buying (good tools) new. So I hope I can demonstrate that you don’t need a lot of space and a large investment to start working with wood.
I’m also working on other projects at the moment. In April 2013 I took Paul Sellers‘ nine day foundation course in Wales, which has inspired me to build anything requiring some kind of joinery. I’ll be posting about some of that work as well.
I also continue to learn much about wood, woodworking (specifically: wood carving) from Joost Kramer, here in Utrecht.