Stay in Tune vol#40
By Luthier Patrick Podpadec
Well here we are in a brand new year! Let me start off by congratulating everyone for making it through 2010. I’m not sure how it was for everyone else, but it was pretty tough for me. I have worked the construction business for over 30 years and it was one of the hardest hit industries last year. I’m very fortunate to have other skills, such as lutherie and repair. Along with my lovely spouse having a steady job and the good fortune to find some work and m guitar repair business, we were able to make it through the year, but so much for the past and on to the future! I predict that this year will bring vast amounts of opportunity to all that will have it. I have many new goals and with the economy on the rise everything is looking up. I’ve never been the type to make New Year resolutions, but I do believe deeply in well thought out goals. Some say there isn’t a difference, but I believe there is. Goals a generally planned better with a time frame attached Most of the time I try to add in a “plan B” to my goals so that I don’t feel like I have failed in case the plan is not completely accomplished. At the end of my time frame of the goal at hand I evaluate my success of the said goal and make adjustments to the things that went wrong and try it again. That way you never lose. You always are accomplishing something. This gives you confidence to move on to bigger and better things. This my story and I’m sticking to it! I hope that your goals are reached in this year’s endeavors and prosperity to all.
It’s been a few weeks that we have had a break from the articles and I have been able to make some headway with some repairs that have been in my shop far too long. I was able to clean and organize a few things in my shop and also even get some “house duties” done over the holidays (you know, the painting this room and that room and the fixing the leaky faucet and the blah, blah, blah). Speaking of cleaning my shop, I ran across 3 extra gift certificates that I had printed out for the Christmas specials and have decided to extend their expiration dates till Jan 31st. These are $50.00 gift certificates on sale for $35.00. When they are gone that will be it till next year, If you are reading this and have forgotten someone on your Christmas list or just want to take advantage of this deal for yourself ,please call me at 440 474 2141.
A couple of issues back (I’m not sure which one) but I was talking about neck breaks and having to put in “cleats or peg inserts in the area of the crack to reinforce the neck so that it would not break in the same area again. In the past , I had always routed out the pill shaped cavity with a ¼” or 3/16th” flat bottom router bit and just hand fitted the peg or cleat to fit it properly. This worked well but was time consuming and tricky in the fact that it was easy to sand down the peg too much and then it would leave a loose fit or gap which is not desirable for strength. I finally have changed my method by using some guide bushings in my router plate which gives you the ability to make perfectly fitted inlays. It required me to make a new template, but now I can position the template anywhere on the neck and consistently produce a perfect inlay using only one template. It works like a charm. There are guide bushings that you can purchase from woodworking outlet stores that do the same thing but I found the information on how to do it through my local Madison Library. Many things through the past 15 yrs I have found out through our library or the internet. Other great sources of information that I have acquired have come from the trade magazines that are produced from the organizations that I am a member of. These include organizations such as Guild of American Lutherie (G.A.L. highly recommended. They put out a detailed magazine every quarter on all kinds of instrument related articles sent in by the many fine members) Another organization is Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (A.S.I.A. similar to G.A.L., but just as good ) Both of these organizations are well informed sources that encourage their members to network by submitting articles of their own experiences. If anyone is interested in learning more about the art of lutherie these two places are a great start.
As we turn the corner and head into the new year I look forward to submitting to the “Voice" and it’s loyal readers a full host of new and interesting articles from inside my shop where every day is a new day and my repair projects becomes your new learning experience. So have fun and please “Stay in Tune”!
Patrick from Wood-n-Strings