Hawaiian Steel Guitar is ready to make music

comments (2) September 11th, 2012 in blogs

jtetreault John Tetreault, Deputy Art Director
thumbs up 14 users recommend

Heres the finished guitar ready to play!
Heres my high-tech spraying set-up. Garden twine, a pine tree branch, a respirator and spray finish. Heres the recipe:
(After sanding a dark pore filler smooth with 320 grit paper)
1. Two coats sanding sealer, sand with 320
2. About 10 light coats of nitrocellulous laquer, sand with 320
3. About 10 more light coats of the laquer, final sanding with 400
4. Four light final coats
I worked on the bridge while waiting for the various layers of finish to dry. A nice piece of curly hard maple.
When the finish was dry, I clamped the bridge in place, scribed around the border, and scraped the finish away. This allows for a strong wood-to-wood glue joint. The small brass screw acts as a locater to keep the bridge from slipping around as its clamped in its final position.
A deep reach C-clamp and two cam clamps lock the bridge to the top. A caul inside the guitar helps to spread the pressure evenly.
A front view of the set-up guitar.
Back view
Headstock detail
Check out the new-old-stock tuners from the 1920s!
Bridge detail
Ivoroid end-pin detail
Soundhole detail
Heres the finished guitar ready to play! - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Here's the finished guitar ready to play!

Photo: John Tetreault

This was an extremely fun project. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. It's satisfying to make something out of wood that makes music when it's done. Actually, it's more like noise than music at this point, as I'm learning how to play slide! I do think it has a great sound though, and all that figure in the Mango wood sure is nice to look at!

posted in: blogs, Guitar, mango, Weissenborn, hawaiian

Comments (2)

MikeSweet MikeSweet writes: Mango wood! Sweet. I would love to make this project. I used to play a 12-string until an accident severed some fingers (not a woodworking accident!). Fingers were re-attached but one is permanently bent at a 90. Have thought of using my 12-string as a steel but hate to harm it. This one is beautiful. Nice job!
Posted: 12:56 pm on September 12th

BetsyE BetsyE writes: Very nice!
Posted: 3:38 pm on September 11th

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