Stay in Tune vol# 90
By Luthier Patrick Podpadec
Wow ! The weather is finally starting to feel like spring and I'm really getting excited about all of the upcoming events that will be happening soon. As you all know , ( and if you didn't ) I am building a beautiful guitar that will be raffled off on Sat April 20th . I know that by the time you read this it may even be too late but if you do I have tickets available by phone 440 474-2141 and they are ten dollars a piece. This is a tremendous value considering that the guitar is valued at $1,600.00 .
It's very exciting to know that people have a chance at playing my guitars. I have always wanted to build guitars but sometimes it is hard to get your name out to the public so they have the opportunity to play your instruments. By having a guitar being raffled off to the public it gives me a chance to get some instruments out there.
The guitar that is being raffled off will be for the Riverside Inn Music Festival held in Cambridge Springs P.A. Right outside of Edinburough PA . A nice article and schedule of music attendees is listed in the Voice so be sure to attend if you have the chance. Another good Festival that is coming up in the near future on May 4th is the “Blue Sky Folk Festival” www.blueskyfolkfest.com held at the East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Kirtland Ohio . This folk festival is very “Kid Friendly”. And “Dance Friendly” too!. There is a very professional sound system run by one of the areas best sound engineer Mr. Will Craig . There are very cool craft vendors along with various food vendors. I hear rumor that there will even be a vendor that has “naughty” food. I can't wait to see that. There are tents set up in different locations for people to “jam” The cost of admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and kids free. The festival encourages musicians to come by giving them a $5 discount if they bring an instrument to play. I sure hope to see all of you folks at at least one of these festivals.
The last week has been a wirlwind in the shop. The sawdust has really been flying. I have been putting all of the final touches on the “Liam” guitar getting it ready for the raffle. I love the part when it gets close to finishing because a lot of little design things happen at the last minute to set the instrument off from just your average model. All of my instruments have had some sort of “oval style” sound hole . This year of course I added a little something to the design that hopefully will be well received. This year I have decided to use a more eco friendly finish . I have come across a very nice waterborne finish that is easy on my lungs and easy on the environment also. It produces an incredible high gloss finish that is very comparable to many of the lacquers that I have used in the past. I have had good success with it when I used it for a ukulele that I built earlier this year.
There are so many new projects that I am gearing up to accomplish in the next coming months. I have been putting off the harp guitar project temporarily to focus on finishing the raffle guitar ,but starting next week it will be full on for that. I'm very excited . There are a few ney things that I will be doing that I have not yet put on any instruments before. The bass section on the harp guitar will have six mini sharping levers ( the same that are used on large harps) mounted on the headstock area to provide the player with a larger array of notes to choose from. These “sharping levers” allows the performer the ability to change the note a ½ step sharper to give the tunings more capabilities. On the treble section of the harp guitar I will provide small “fine tuners” , the kind that are normally found on violin tailpieces. This gives the player more control of the tunings of the shorter treble strings. This is a big plus to be able to dial in the perfect notes when playing this section of the harp. The design and shape of this harp guitar is going to be a little out of my “comfort zone”. There will be some design features that will be unique to this instrument and only this instrument. I guess that is why the call it “custom” built. Another very cool feature that I intend to incorporate is an access panel down in the bottom lower bout section . This will give access to all of the electronics that will be installed. The electronics on this instrument will be an engineering feat in itself. I will be involving the expertise of my good friend Mr. Chris Dehaas. to help design a pickup configuration that will be effective in being able to amplify the the three distinctively different tonal sections of the harp guitar without sounding muddy or having so many overtones that it sounds terrible. If there is anyone out there that can makes this happen it will be Chris. He had helped me a few years ago with designing a system that was installed in the “Dreamcaster” that I had built for Brian Henke
Well it's time to go sand something so till next time please “Stay in tune”
Patrick from Liam Guitars/ Wood-n-Strings