A ‘luthier’ is a maker of stringed instruments such as guitars, violins and, in earlier times, lutes.
Shed member Kevin (photo right) has made a number of guitars, ukuleles and other instruments and has just completed a classical acoustic guitar. Kevin’s guitar is made from western red cedar, Queensland maple, mahogany, native hardwood and has bunya pine stringing (the decorative inlayed edge). Some of the timbers are recycled, including the western red cedar used for the main body, which was sawn from old weatherboards.
Kevin has passed the instrument-making bug on to Joe who is currently working on three ukuleles (photo below). One is clearly not enough for Joe. The ukuleles are being made from oregon, silky oak and hardwood timbers. He has already completed two dulcimers (a stringed strumming instrument).
Instrument making is an exacting art, requiring very careful timber selection and accurate and delicate work A lot of the work is done with hand tools. It usually takes months to work through the whole process of building an instrument, but it is a very satisfying project to undertake.
If you would like to try your hand, have a talk to Kevin, who is usually at the Shed on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
This project featured in the December 2015 newsletter.