Sunday, September 10, 2017

Oak Parlor Guitar (IW#92)



Good friends of mine have a little early 20th century parlor guitar made out of oak.  It's a nice little number, and has that very deep "V" shaped neck you see on older instruments sometimes.  I had not seen a guitar made out of oak before, and I was intrigued.  Turns out is was a pretty common guitar tone wood for some time, I can only surmise that is because oak bends so easily, but also makes a nice strong neck.

The 1900 Shaw piano I took apart and wrote about here had some oak parts, so when a good friend asked if I would make him a little guitar that would be a good camping and traveling guitar, this seemed like the right fit.

The back and sides are American red oak, the top is Sitka spruce, from the same ship's mast that the tops of these are from.  The finger board is from a dogwood tree that was felled on the land that I grew up on, because dogwood is super hard and because my friend is from Virginia, which (like North Carolina) has dogwood as the state tree.

It is really throaty sounding, notwithstanding the small body, and is really easy to play.  One of the things I learned on this one is that I am NOT a good finisher, so I have a lot to learn in that department, but this is a really fun guitar that sounds better than any I have made so far.

Here is what it sounds like: