“Making A Guitar” on Amazon Prime

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There is a fantastic 60 minute movie on Amazon Prime that makes my attempts at making string instruments look very basic IMHO. 

Michael Greenfield is a musician turned luthier who began tuning, repairing, restoring and making guitars in the 1970s. He has since become a seasoned luthier and makes bespoke guitars. As Michael says a guitar still thinks that it is a tree until it receives its first set of strings at which point it becomes an instrument. The documentary shows how a string string guitar is made from start to finish.

I have watched this movie and it is fantastic. Michael shows the fixtures he uses to hold the parts of the guitar whilst working them. Much use of handtools, Lee Nielsen tools abound, along with Stanley planes, Porter Cable power tools, general woodworking power tools like jointers, table saws, StewMac specialist luthier tools and the all important drum sander.

He also describes the use of animal hot hide glues, some use of Aliphatic resins (Titebond) and the use of epoxy for critical parts like the neck that should not move due to the presence of water (water is found in hide and Titebond for instance). He has a lifetime supply of Honduran mahogany and when he shows the massive 10/4 boards he has left it made me severely jealous!

The video also shows the finishing process he employs but it was not clear whether he was using waterbourne, nitrocellulose lacquer based or oil bases finishes.

If you have Amazon Prime then search for “Making A Guitar” - it is in movies. I learnt a great deal from it and it has inspired me to improve my guitar making techniques.

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If it's the same one that's on YouTube it's a very good video.  I'll check it out on Prime 'cause it would be good to watch it again.


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