6 April 2014

This Week at Scott Guitars

Been working away on the current batch of two guitars that will be accompanying me to the GFA in L.A. this June. The heels and head stocks are carved, and the necks are ready for assembly. The fingerboards are slotted, one set of sides has been lined, the backs are braced, and the soundboard bracing is mostly complete.

A few mornings ago I also made this new finger plane for shaping fan braces. Until now I've always used a larger, less specialized plane, and a 1/2" chisel to profile soundboard braces. The chisel is a little customized and will still be useful for shaping braces. It has a bevel on one side like a normal chisel, but instead of being flat on the bottom, I gave it a rounded bevel to act like a fulcrum so the depth of cut can be controlled by tweaking the angle between the chisel and brace. Make sense? Maybe not without a picture, I suppose.... Anyways, with this new plane it's impossible for the cut to get out of hand, so I don't need to strain my eyes or my nerves keeping the cut uniform and under control. Also, the edges where the sides meet the sole are heavily rounded so the plane is able to safely shave the entire side of a brace right down to the soundboard. I learned how to make brass planes like this at a workshop taught by Ken Altman at the 2004 Guild of American Luthiers convention. If you're interested, the process is also explained in the Guild's journal, AL#89 p.22. It takes some effort, but can be done completely with woodworking tools.