Stay in Tune vol # 89
By Luthier Patrick Podpadec
Things are looking up. A lot of new repairs have been coming and going and I have got a couple of cool new tools in the shop. I've been going through all of my wood trying to assign certain woods to certain projects. Some times the combinations change when I realize that I need a particular grain pattern or a specific size that I may not have to fit the design that I may be looking for. I have a lot of good wood that will fit for smaller instruments such as mandolins and ukulele's. I have found out ( the hard way, of course ) that selecting and measuring woods for a certain piece can be a bit challenging sometimes. Especially when you have a limited supply of a certain wood species. Last week I had selected a certain piece of Black walnut that I wanted to use for a neck on the guitar that I am building for the Riverside Music Festival. After planing it down and checking for the proper grain orientation I cut the pieces to accommodate making one guitar neck and one Ukulele neck out of the same blank. I always laminate my necks, so the middle lamination I chose was a nice piece of cherry to go along with my “domestic wood” theme. After I glued up the blank I laid out the guitar neck and the ukulele neck on the wood. I cut the roughed out shape on the bandsaw and thought I was already to go. As it turns out I made the common “1” mistake. I measured from the wrong mark that I made and then was not able to use the guitar neck for the scale length that I wanted . The uke neck was fine,but I really wanted to work on the guitar neck. So as it turns out, I will use the neck for a different scale length that I will build in the future. It forced me to scramble around and find some other woods that I had laying around. I ended up making a even nicer neck with a 5pc. lamination of mahogany/walnut/maple/walnut/ mahogany. It really came out nice. The thing is I don't always want to make mistakes to be able to come out smelling like a rose. I want to smell like a rose the first time through. It has taught me a valuable lesson to always make some templates out of cardboard or plastic or something so that you don't make the mistake of bad measurements on your expensive (and sometimes irreplaceable) woods.
Another wood species that I have chosen for the fingerboard and bridge is called “Morado”. It is also known as “Bolivian Rosewood” , not to be confused with Brazilian Rosewood. I bought a few boards about ten years ago before I had even heard of it being used for a guitar tonewood. In the past few years there has been a few notable companies Martin, Taylor,and others who have started using it with great results. I used it to make a fingerboard for a bass that I built in 2004 and it was great to work with . It has a reddish/ brown color with some beautiful striping patterns. So far the instrument is taking shape quite nicely. I always seem to be in a rush near the end of my projects , but in a way I seem to do better with them in certain respects. It makes me focus 150%. I have no time to “dilly dally” all of the design questions just seem to fall into place. There is no time for this thing or that . Just make it happen! I finish one part of the project and jump right into the next. I do take the time to do the procedures correctly though. I'm not one for having to go back and fix or re-sand something the I didn't do right the first time. This week will be all fitting all of the pieces together and next week will be all the finishing details. So I plan very soon to put out a strong presence of the guitar on Face book and through a newsletter that I will send out to all of my faithful followers that have signed up for my newsletter on my website www.liamguitars.com (you could be one too!)
I am planning to sell 50 “presale” tickets for a chance to win this beautiful handmade guitar for only $10.00 American dollars! You have to remember that this is a very high quality solid woods (Sitka spruce top with Mahogany back & sides)This is a guitar that can easily outlast your life time . And speaking of that it also comes with a “limited lifetime warranty”, My life. So the workmanship is totally guaranteed and it also comes with a hard foam lightweight case. The instrument is valued at $1595.00. For a chance to have a professional handmade “LIAM” guitar that will certainly be enjoyed by you and all who gets the opportunity to hear it and it will be a family heirloom for years to come for only Ten dollars does not come up very often.
I am giving all of the faithful “Readers of Voice” magazine this one time opportunity to get on board and purchase one (or more) of these “special offer” presale tickets. Please remember that there will only be 50 presale tickets that will be available from me. At this time the only way that I have set up to buy tickets is by personally calling me on the phone ( how Barbaric?) at 440- 474-2141 and reserving a ticket. They are currently being printed up as we speak. I personally guarantee that this phone call will ensure your place for a ticket. You can also wait and purchase tickets at the Festival itself which is being held on April19-21 at the Riverside Inn www.theriversideinn.com in Cambridge Springs P.A. The drawing for the guitar will be held Sat night April 20th .(you do not have to be present to win)
This is an event that if you have the ability to go , you should! There will be over 40 bands on three stages and if the weather is nice there is countless musicians performing all over the outside porch and in different areas of the hotel. The hotel itself is like walking back into time with every room being decorated with antiques from an era gone by. It is a guaranteed good time and best of all it is Free!
So Please give me a call to reserve your ticket for a wonderful guitar and make plans to go to some great music festival and by all means Please “Stay in Tune” while your doing it
Patrick from Liam Guitars / Wood-n-Strings