For the past few weeks myself and the old man have have been down in Dorset on a Luthier course at Crimson Guitars. What an eye opening experience! After over twenty years of playing guitar, I didn’t realise how much I could learn in a week about the the instrument. We specifically wanted to do this course to learn more about how guitars are crafted and put together. Also to expand our knowledge on fretting and repairs. It’s overwhelming how much work goes into a handcrafted guitar and didn’t expect how much we would learn in just a week.
Before arriving at Crimson we had it in our minds that we might be using more production based machines and CNC technology. Crimson teach you a more traditional method: carving out the neck with a Japanese Shinto saw rasp, carving and routing the body yourself before you get stuck into lots and lots of sanding! We weren’t the most prepared students by any means, but we had a basic idea of what we wanted to do. In fact both of our builds were pretty spontaneous, to point where we didn’t really choose the timber until the first day there. The old man went for a Rickenbacker 4003 style bass build, with a korina body, mahogany neck and ebony fretboard, and I went for Telecaster style, ash body, maple neck and ebony fretboard with a fixed bridge, humbucker & p90 pickup configuration.
We just about got most of the wood crafting, fretting and assembly done within the five day course time frame, and then went back a few weeks later to do a two day repair course, where we essentially finished off assembling, applying finish, making and fitting the nut, electronics, setup and a few other bits. We had a fantastic time building these guitars and thank the tutors at Crimson for their guidance and patience. Obviously we made plenty of mistakes along the way, but that’s what it’s all about. I can’t wait to start another one and keep the projects rolling forward! To anyone interested in woodwork, guitars, making things…we highly recommend it.