I just made a twelve string guitar

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
11 years ago
1,041 posts
All-around wonderful, Dick.For sure, I'll never attempt to build a 12-string guitar! Seems a 6-string would be half as much trouble. :)


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Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Foggers
Foggers
@foggers
11 years ago
64 posts
Dick - what a super instrument, and just in time for his 40th! I know I treasure the dulcimers made for me by my partner Richard and I am sure your son will feel that way too. There is nothing to match the knowledge that someone has cared enough to spend so many hours (of trouble!) to create a unique and priceless gift.
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
11 years ago
1,744 posts
Oh Dick what a marvelous story, and such great photos!It made my evening to read it. :)


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razyn
@razyn
11 years ago
40 posts

That trick worked like a charm -- when Matt stepped into the restaurant, he said to his wife and son, "That guy looks a lot like Pappy." (It's true, I do.) I'll post a couple more shots -- the first, taken by Matt's wife Nancy, showing the happy camper after he got it home:

That's to show off the kid (Kathy and I made him, too); and the quilt on the wall behind the kid (Kathy also made that, about 15 years ago). Here's one closeup of the axe:

That inlay is my "Kolibri" maker's mark, since 1992. This guitar is only Kolibri #4; I spend much larger amounts of my life not out in the wood shop. Kolibri is "hummingbird," in Russian (and many other languages). There are, technically, no hummingbirds native to Russia; but the first two Kolibri instruments were balalaikas (a sekunda for Kathy, and a kontrabass for me). Those larger sizes are hard to find for sale, so I just made them. Kolibri #3 is a regular (six string) dreadnought guitar, and is featured on some tracks of the CDs recorded by our other son, Ben: http://www.myspace.com/benhulanmusic That 6-string was the first guitar I made, but Matt was the first kid we made. And all of the above -- wife, kids, various instruments and whatnot -- even 12-string guitars -- have given me a lot of joy, over a lot of years. Here, for example, is one from the summer of 1965:

I rest my case.Dick

Bill Lewis
Bill Lewis
@bill-lewis
11 years ago
49 posts
WOW, that is cool Dick. That's on my to do list also, for my brother that plays guitar. Thanks for showing.Bill
razyn
@razyn
11 years ago
40 posts
Well actually I started it in 2002, but got distracted... these things are a lot of trouble to make, and after I got the basic box made I put it away for a looong time. It was supposed to be a Christmas present for my elder son, then 33. This summer I decided it was time to get off the dime and finish it; so for over a month, unbeknownst to him, I've been doing stuff like drilling the holes for the tuners (trouble), cutting out the pearl and inlaying my hummingbird maker's mark (trouble), sanding out all the little scorch marks left by the hot bearing on the router that cut the channels for the binding (trouble), putting on three coats of sealer and six coats of varnish (lotta trouble -- and I couldn't do it in the air conditioned house, because my wife gets migraines from the fumes), gluing on the bridge (scary trouble), fitting the 12 little boxwood bridge pins (easy, but tedious), fitting the saddle and nut, and filing 12 notches in the nut (trouble), setting and gluing in the neck (more scary trouble), and stringing it up. You never really know if the action and intonation are OK until you do this -- and it's the last step. I strung it late Saturday night. Then I had to file and recrown two frets (they were done in 2002) -- but other than that, it was fine.Today we are going to Roanoke to give it to him on his 40th birthday. He totally doesn't know it -- we cooked it up with his wife. She's taking him to a restaurant out of town, and (surprise) we'll be sitting in the restaurant. And sometime during dinner I'll remember that I had this out in the car. Basically, it's a Martin D-12-28 (it began with wood from their shop), only a lot more handmade.

Dick
updated by @razyn: 06/11/15 07:21:53AM