Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Designing/Building a New Signature Model #2

I wrote the first installment of this blog while I was working on my newer model of Signature guitar. At the time I was also preparing for the NAMM show, and managed to get the guitar assembled just before the show, and with the help of my wonderful staff the guitar was French polished while I was gone. The timing was good for the guitar. Then when I got back from the show we had this ridiculous guitar theft by fraud, which had the understandable effect of breaking my stride on this little blog series, but I am happy to get back to it now. The ramifications of the theft are still with us, but "what-ever", I'm much more interested in getting back to the real work of guitar.

Larry has shot a lot of working pictures and we've culled out just a few. This is by no means the complete process, since a lot of the work was done early or late in the day, when there was no camera around. Overall this process is going to take a few guitars to work out, so perhaps with more pictures over time we'll get a more complete sequence.

For guitar makers this will be mostly old hat, and for non-guitars makers it might be undecipherable or boring, but for me it's fun to think about. As I've said, I have to work in the breaks between other responsibilities, but that's the way it goes. I'm at home with this rhythm and I'm grateful for the opportunities.Kenny Hill Lattice Classical Guitar

What I'm trying to reflect here is more about the development process, both the thought processes and the blind alleys. I'm not much of a planner, but rather I let the material and the results pull me forward. Then, afterward, I try to come up with an explanation. I don't know if this is right or wrong, but It's beginning to look like it's not going to change any time soon.

The lattice braced double top soundboard was already made before we started shooting pictures, so I'll have to show that process some other time. I'm still thinking about how to make the lattice work better, make a more complete and delicious sound. I have some ideas, but it's going to take a few attempts to work it out.

to see this article compiled with photos click here or to download a 10mb pdf file Building.pdf


Anonymous said...


Great set of photos. Doing experimental work and sharing your process with anyone who might be interested is a wonderful thing.

I play steel string and electric and I'm afraid I don't have the musical training, nor the ear for classical guitar to really appreciate all the nuances of that instrument. I do however fully appreciate the impulse toward innovation.

I look forward to following your building experiments in the future. I read you blog and have learned much about classical guitar from the experience.


Anonymous said...

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