It’s been a busy start to the year, and as with most luthiers, I have both repairs and new builds on the bench.
New Handmade Guitars
At the end of last year I had just finished the woodwork on a McClaren P-8 nylon crossover guitar, which is now at the finish stage. All thats left to do, is to glue the bridge, fretwork and fit the pickup into the guitar. The guitar will then be set up and the customer will come to pick up his new guitar.
Another guitar on the bench is the build of a McClaren P-16 steel string guitar, which is nearly halfway through the build. This guitar has an Italian Alpine Spruce top, with Indian Rosewood back and sides. The soundboard has been joined, rosette installed and the bracing has been glued. Work on the back has just started, and the headstock on the neck has been carved out. If you’re interested in purchasing this guitar, contact me here.
The McClaren P-16 guitars are great for the small gigs and larger tours as well as being enjoyed in the house. If you want to see these guitars in constant use, check out Katherine Priddy or Jamie Grey. They use their McClaren P-16 guitars, on the road and in the studio.
As well as a few set ups, I’ve had two large repairs in. One guitar had a lot of damage, which although looked difficult to repair, the break was quite clean which made it easier to get back into its original state. The hardest part of this repair was always going to be the finish on the guitar, as it was a very thick lacquer with an orange pigment. For the customer the most important part was to get the guitars playability back. Fortunately, the guitar is now playing great and the structure is back to its original strength. Below you can see the before and after pictures from the repair.
Another repair was a very old Spanish classical guitar, it had a spruce top with Brazilian Rosewood back and sides, and was in very good condition for its age. However, frets were severely worn which had been hampering its playability and sound. The tuners on the guitar were the original tuners, but a couple of gears had worn throughout the years. The options for fixing this would either be a new set of tuners or to replace the gears on the original tuners. Since the baseplate and knobs were in good condition we wanted to keep them and just replace the gears. After trying to find the right gears, we managed to repair them and get them working properly again.
One last job on the guitar was to give it a refinish. Because it had a french polish finish, it can easily be topped up, and over the years it had worn in some places and nail marks had damaged the finish on the soundboard. There were also a few deeper marks on the neck and some on the soundboard. The first job was to fill the deeper marks with a clear finish, which allowed me to sand back and start french polishing the guitar.
The process of french polishing can be a long one. but it’s well worth it in the end and it gives it the look of a new guitar again. The customer was very happy to have it back again, and playing well, Just in time for his guitar lesson that evening.