The African Blackwood sides on this Douglas fir topped New World guitar were a little too short.
So I fitted a panel (also of African Blackwood) at the tail, edged with maple and black/red/black purfling to match the rest of the trim.
Here you see the distinctive sweep of the sides into the heel. This was a technique I developed when first building Appalachian dulcimers in the early 1970s and carried over into my cittern designs. This system has undergone three major revisions, the last in 2004.
After so long concentrating on flat-top guitars, I’ve returned to arch-top instruments with renewed enthusiasm.
My 14 fret Dreadnought is now lacquered and strung. I’ll leave it a few days to settle before fitting its Highlander pickup and setting the action.
It is a little wider than the standard Dreadnought, and has the same body length as my 12 fret model. Most 14 fret Dreadnoughts bodies are a little shorter than 12 fret bodies.
Alongside is a Martin Simpson model body with side re-inforcement strips glued and clamped in place.
Acoustic Music Company in Brighton
Last week I travelled round my wood suppliers in the south of England and also visited the Acoustic Music Company in Brighton. Run by Trevor Moyle, along with with shop manager and outstanding guitarist Michael Watts, they import and stock the best of American luthier built mandolins and guitars. Musicians (and makers like me) are able to see, play and hear guitars we’ve previously only heard of.
Trevor and Michael are welcoming and patient. I spent half a day looking at guitars and listening to Michael demonstrate them. I took with me my latest Douglas Fir and African Blackwood New World model; it was fascinating to hear Michael playing it alongside other guitars.