|Preparing the frets|
Last night's class was a very productive one. The first big task was to level the fretboard and to clean up the binding that runs along its edge. It was mildly monotonous, but after six straight weeks of sanding it was a breeze. And the sanding requires a little special care, since the fretboard is radiused (meaning it has a slight arc from one side to the other rather than being flat). After finishing the sanding and cleaning out the fret slots, it was time to move on to the frets.
Fretting a guitar is an especially interesting process. Even after 40 years of playing the guitar, I really had no idea how a fret is attached or even what the whole thing looks like. It turns out it's a pretty complicated little piece of wire. It's basically a "t" shaped piece of wire with a rounded top. The rounded part is the part you see when you look at a guitar and the "t" is the part that is inserted into the slot on the fretboard. The "t" part has barbs running along its length so that it grabs the wood when it's hammered in.
|Magnified close up of a fret|
Then it's just a matter of attaching the tuners. The difficult part has already been done, which is preparing the holes in the head stock. Now that that job is behind us, it's simply a matter of fitting the tuner parts into the head stock.
|The Collings and the Harris getting acquainted|
So the word has been delivered from upon high: We WILL be stringing up guitars next week.
I brought my guitar home this week, not because I'm going to do any work on it here, but because I can. And I have it hanging up in my music room right next to my Collings and it looks like it belongs there. By the way, the color of my guitar is about the same as my Collings (on the left) was when I bought it ten years ago. The wood will darken gradually, although my new guitar has an Adirondack Spruce top as opposed to a Sitka Spruce top, so it will be a little redder in color when it ages.
So, to sum it all up: Wow.