Saturday, 27 June 2009

a patch of sunlight and maple shavings

Hello again, as the title suggests, I am sat in a patch of sunlight, amongst maple curls and splinters.

A new neck has begun. The other three aren't quite finished, but for the sake of their existence and my sanity, I'm leaving them stew for a month or so. The trio started off together, two guitars and one bass neck, the attatching bodies have been bumbled over, about 80% of the heart and soul of a guitar is in the neck and head, 9% in the bridge, and the remaining 11% is dished out accordingly.

This new neck, mostly carved now, is a continuation and departure.
Continuing with the theme and layout scheme, departing of the walnut burr, which I've used now on 3 leckies and 1 acoustic.

The burr of any wood; walnut, oak, maple, et al, comes from the tree's trunk.
How it is derived is a master stroke. Unlike other veneers, where the wood is sawn along the grain, the trunk is turned, and then layers are "peeled" off (with saws). A bit like a log rotisserie. The result is a warped, usually small leaf of veneer. With all the knots and swirls and eyes and faces. I will hopefully never calculate how long I spend simply looking at a peice of burr.

This new neck, flamey mapled and as feline as a cat called cathryn in a catsuit, will have oak burr on the fretboard and headstock, plus the usual trimmings (roughly 35 separate inlays, hardwood purfling) .

Sadly, this excites me more than my reserved character can convey. I had a choice between the oak or this very pretty quilted veneer(can't remember what wood). Earlier this week I felt like a walk. So I walked, 6 hrs and ten miles in a straight line north, through hedgerows, under fences, over railway lines, fell down a bank into brambles and nettles, got chased by cows, jumped over a fence into a stream, lost my bearings, carried on till my legs could carry me no more. Woke up in a nook in an oak tree.

Choice of veneer made, I took the train home. No choice there, my legs felt like they had hurt feelings. Tired, hungry, cold, me head felt like it had been nourished and swathed. The next jaunt takes me to who knows where.


  1. I do wish you'd shout about your blog rather more than you do! There are so few real artisans in the world that it seems a great pity you're not sharing what you do - along with the agonies and ecstasies of how you do it - with a far wider audience! xxx

  2. Wow, Paul, this is quite something else! LOVE IT, please write some more! (and tweet about it, we'll RT) xxx