I started building in the mid '80's, using the fan braced, Spanish heel form of construction. This is a great way to build, but as the years went by and my building changed to include the raised fingerboard, I found I needed to move to a detachable neck which changes the whole construction process. I use Tasmanian oak for the necks due to it's light weight, stiffness and most importantly, it's stability. The necks are also reinforced with a carbon bar.

The heart and soul of the guitar, the top, is built using the lattice type of construction. It's a wonderful but difficult system to build with, which allows far greater adjustment possibilities, including a rich palette of tone colours, more volume and greater projection. In building this way, the volume is a by product of the pursuit for a richer, wider, fuller sound, a great by product, but still a by product.
Volume and projection aren't necessarily the same thing, but when you have both, it's a bonus,

The body itself is built using laminated backs and sides. This really suits my sound, as well as making the body more impact resistant. I include a built in arm rest, which not only protects the top from wear, but it also allows the top to vibrate more freely by keeping the guitarists arm off the vibrating area. The difference is discernible. Another recent addition is the use of portholes which open up the sound, allowing more of the musical message to reach both the player and the audience, and is certainly another musically discernible addition. One of life's unexpected rare, win/win situations.

I use a thin coat of regular solvent lacquer on the face and a safe but tough waterborne on the rest of the guitar. This waterborne, which comes up to a full gloss, is free of the milky cloudiness that used to be an ongoing problem with these types of lacquers. Also, I just love the water wash up after you have finished spraying.

I am currently experimenting with a non carbon lattice, hoping to get the same sound. It's about half finished, so will post an update as soon as it is strung up in the rough.

Having had numerous years to iron out the bugs in the all wood lattice, I can now safely say it is performing above what I expected. This is actually no criticism of carbon, since I do expect that if I built a carbon braced guitar now, it would sound quite similar, if not exactly the same.

© 2012 Paul Sheridan Contact Me