Stay in Tune vol#21
By Luthier Patrick Podpadec
It's hard to believe that so many crazy things can happen in just a short couple of weeks. I feel like I've been on a roller coaster ride . One day I get on facebook, the next few days later my computer crashes. I can't get my email. I can't get on line to order parts for my guitar . Aahhgg! What the ?<#%&$%$ is going on? I don't remember things being this difficult when all we had was a telephone and sears catalog. Dont get me wrong, I think technology is a great thing, but it's only good when it's working.
So any way, I got my computer fixed and now I can get back to some sort of normalcy ( is that a word?) Not that the computer feels the least bit normal to me , but I feel I'm becoming a bit depended on it on occasion. Since I have been building this guitar lately, I've found that I have been in contact with quite a few people (via email) about this thing or that and have got a custom to the idea of sharing the info I have and also receiving the invaluable information from all of the people I've been in contact with. I've had the good fortune to have found someone that is kind enough to help me with my “paper work” The kind of stuff that has to be done but I never have the time to do it. (or the desire) It has taken a heavy load from my shoulders. It gives me the time to focus on more important things like finishing this guitar that is going to Florida with me in about 6 wks.
Last week I talked about “How long does it take to build a guitar?” Well, I'm really sure I don't know now! I just hope it doesn't take longer than 6 wks. Really it has been a very exciting adventure . As each procedure of the building process gets accomplished the more exciting it becomes. I just finished completing putting the “sound box” together and am going head strong on building the neck now. I decided that I would laminate the neck by using a combination of woods. It's a 5 pc. Lam with pc of 3/4” mahogony , a 3/32cd strip of rosewood, then a 3/4” pc of birdseye maple , another 3/32cd strip of rosewood and then another 3/4'pc of mahogany. I have to say that it is very appealing.!
I have routed out the center to receive the two way adjustable truss rod and will be laying out the ebony fingerboard for the 25.625” scale length. This is just a tad bit longer than most acoustic guitar scale lengths ,but It gives the fingerstyle guitarist the extra “bottom end” when they experiment with some of the alternative tunings that are out there. It especially sounds good in dropped D tuning.
I was always a firm believer in that when you attempt to build a guitar or anything for that matter, that it it very important to have layed out a specific plan to your project so that there is no surprises half way into it. For some reason I forgot to do that this time. I'm just running down the road holding the seat of my pants on this one. So far I've been lucky ( knock on computer keys ). I have not run into any major snags I'm still trying to figure out what type of inlays I will do or what the bridge will look like or if I'm going to have pickguard or just a plain ,clear piece of mylar or something to protect the top. I have settled on a oval sound hole. ( just cause I dig em!) And will outline it with a thin band of ebony . I did this yrs ago on an octave mandolin I built and I thought it looked great. The headstock will bear the name of “Liam” which is my son's name and the name of my new line of guitars. This will be the second guitar that has that name on it but it will be the 9th instrument I've built. My goal is to build at least 4 more this yr along with all of my daily repairs .
Speaking of repairs, I have been doing quite a few refrets on instruments lately and for all that I've done , I'm surprisingly not sick of them yet. Other than all of the prep work that is involved it is actually (to me) quite satisfying. And also to the customer too! It seems there is a never ending supply of repairable instruments out there and I encourage anyone out there that has one, regardless of the shape, to please contact me @ 474-2141. No repair is too small or too large. Things have been steadily picking up in the shop and again I want to thank all of the Voice readers for there continuing support and for those of you who have spread the kind words of my repairs. I've been lucky to have started this new endeavor into the repair business and hope that I can serve my customers with the utmost satisfaction and professionalism. I really like the building of instruments ,but I can't help but feeling that by me repairing many new and widely different problems that I am learning more and better ways to build and or what not to build.It's kind of exciting for me to take on repairs that no one else will try, or to go the extra mile to fix something that would otherwise be tossed in the trash..What I don't gain in finances I gain in knowledge. It's a win, win for me . So, a good friend of mine use to say, “Keep Smiling” and we'll see you on the “flip” side .
Patrick from Wood-n-Strings