I built my first (and only) classical guitar during my senior year in college. I’ve been feeling the itch to tackle a major project lately, and playing some high end guitars at local shops inspired me to take a second crack at it (having presumably learned something since my last attempt).
Since my last build, the Internet happened. Now I have access to several luthier forums where amateur builders can trade tips and tricks. Several amateurs have started their own web sites where they meticulously document their project (I don’t plan on being one of them, though – the market is saturated with those photo essays, and I’m more interested in documenting the inner journey). One professional luthier – J. S. Bogdanovich – has published a book, DVD series, and most importantly, full size blueprints of his design (my annotation of his top appears above).
So I’ve pushed the button – my wood is acclimating to the local climate, and I’ve purchased some of the specialized tools needed (e.g., an electric bending iron). Most of the work will take place at The Sawdust Shop, although some of the detailed hand work could just as easily be done on my dining table.
I’m hopeful that this will also kick start another round of blogging. A recent Facebook post by an old college friend mentioned a mid-life career crisis, and I was shocked at how many of our mutual friends chimed in “me too.” There is something about approaching 50 that makes one (or at least, me) take stock of what I want the next few decades to look like. Working with my hands brings me to a state of flow that I find hard to achieve otherwise; we’ll see whether any useful insights come from this next project.