Live From the Pew is back and we are so excited, to revamp this series with a brand new standard of production quality brought to us by Chris Cullen and Kevin John. We hope to continue this series for a long time to come and want to feature the many local artists Kaslo is home to.
This Breedlove Twelve-string came in with the bridge blown off. It is signed on the inside by Larry Breedlove and Steve Henderson and the label shows it was made in Tumalo, OR in 1991, which means it was built before the Breedlove Company officially went in to production.
There is a “good-old-fashioned” glue-the-bridge-to-the-finish trick that almost all commercial builders use to make it look like they’ve done an immaculate job of removing finish from the area where the bridge will be glued to the top. Rather than removing all of the finish beneath the bridge they leave some behind. This means the bridge is resting up on that layer of finish and wood-to-wood contact of the joint is minimal. You’re sacrificing tone and sustain big time, as well as endangering the longevity of the joint… BUT it does look like you did a very neat job… and it’s way easier to do. I’m sure there is an equation that shows that the number of bridges that blow-out is out-weighed by the time saved on doing a proper job.
I traced the outside of the bridge with a knife and began removing finish to the line. Here is an in-progress picture; the top and right edges have had the finish removed to the score line. You can see how the line I traced along the bottom and left hand side still has plenty of finish inside it. The unique outline of this bridge made the process way longer than with your standard acoustic guitar bridge that you would find on most guitars.
This design of the bridge also contributed to the joint coming undone. It is made up of three different pieces of wood with some different grain directions. The lack of bridge pins changes the direction of force exerted on the bridge by the strings. Combine this with the odd shape and you have a piece of wood that is prone to warping and a joint that is prone to coming undone.
After removing finish to the score line we level the area of the top and set the bridge in place on the raw top wood to see where and how much it is warped. Time to start fitting the bridge to the top using a combination of removing wood and bending wood with heat and water. After a whole lot of patient and careful work we have arrived at a very nice joint and it is glued up with hot hide glue, the luthier’s favorite.
And the moment of truth… It’s holding under tension! As we’d expect with a solid wood-to-wood mate. This joint is much more sound than it ever has been, but it’s always a suspenseful moment when you put strings on a guitar for the first time after a major joint is re-glued.
The guitar sounds great! We’re are more than happy at being able to give this guitar back to its owner with many years of life in it, and sounding better than ever.
Cara Luft and JD Edwards have done it again. This a pair of truly brilliant storytellers. Critics have put them up there with Shovels & Rope, and Mandolin Orange as some of the most prestigious contemporary musicians of their genre.
It’s been said many times that a place will make such deep impressions on a person that it can not be helped but to influence their art, and I hear the Canadian landscape portrayed here in all it’s diverse beauty.
The album opens with a heartfelt love song to Alberta that makes even this mountain boy feel a yearning for the prairies. “Johnson Slide” tells the tragic story of the natural disaster that took the lives of a family very close to many of us in this community. In each case, every part in every song has been carefully tailored to best serve the story being told.
Every moment is ripe with emotion and story, in direct lineage from the likes of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. “(Seeger) was the king of uniting people through singing,” Luft says. “There’s so much animosity and divisiveness in our world these days… as artists, part of our job is to somehow create unity.”
Add this to the list of great albums of 2019!
We were pretty shocked when we unboxed this guitar to find that it had been badly damaged during shipping. It must have taken a very hard blow to the top. As you can see in the pictures we have a crack about 14″ long. There were a couple of other smaller cracks which will have to be dealt with as well, and the four braces that crossed the split had come detached from the top. We decided it would be a good opportunity for the apprentice to gain some experience on a big job.
We had some fun playing with light up in the heritage government building here in Kaslo, BC.
Bolt on neck construction, with a 24 5/8″ Scale length.
HNY to all and we’ll be back in the shop on Tuesday Jan 8th. Here’s a photo of the latest handbuilt endeavour by luthier Kevin John.
We sing the praise of French Polishing often in our little music shop. It makes touching up over almost any type of finish viable, efficient and safe. We also sing the praise of hide glue………….but that’s another post! What is French Polishing?
While on the one hand this is a matter of personal taste, on the other hand there are some very concrete reasons to change strings often.
This Gibson J-50 Deluxe was through the shop a few years ago for a major overhaul. A total of about $1200 of work went into it, including a new bridge, bone nut, bone saddle and a custom-fit set of bone bridge pins, New set of Kluson tuners, refinishing the top, a total refret and some fingerboard work, and splints and patches to fill some larger cracks. Oh yes, and this stylish