An average Joe builds a guitar from scratch.


Here we are, entering the home stretch!  Today is our last day!

Yesterday we installed the frets, which is a big freakin’ deal.  Frets and the way they lay on the neck are probably the most important part of the guitar for the player.  If the frets are good, the guitar will play well.

My frets look beautiful.  But I’m not so sure I did a good job on them.  Our teacher, Charles, reassures me it’ll be fine, and I’m sure it will.  But I think I sanded them a little low.  C’est la vie.

Otherwise I did some damage to the bottom of the back of my neck, making more work for Charles.  We’re going glue a block of mahogany back on to the bottom of the neck, and I’m going to have to reshape the damn thing.  Damn.

Other than a progress report on the guitar, I thought it worth while to talk about the physical aspect of this whole experience, because there’s some interesting stuff there.

First, there’s this:


Those are some luthier’s hands!  And that was after washing them.  It’s ebony and rosewood dust mostly.  And yeah, I feel kind of bad ass about it.  I have soft, desk job hands.  Those are a man’s hands!

As you might expect, this saw dust gets everywhere, including up my nose.  So that’s another little bonus.  Rosewood boogars!  I don’t have a picture of those.

Otherwise, I’m not sleeping much, but I don’t think that has much to do with guitar making.

And finally, in the spirit of doing all this in Portland, I decided to let my beard go and see what kind of ironic facial hair I could get.  I may not be smiling, but my mustache is!


7 months ago