Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Jack Spira Ditson Style Guitar Build Diary  (Read 366 times)
pakhan
Senior Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 255




Ignore
« on: May 10, 2009, 01:33:33 PM »

Hi Folks

Jack Spira is a really talented Australian based luthier who trained at the London Collage of Furniture. He established Spira guitars in 1991 and I have known with Jack for over 5 years.

I have been enthralled by Jack’s Ditson style guitars as the originals had a certain old world charm and in the latter years sounded rather good, especially with silk and steels. Their smaller size mean they could be played very comfortably with a quick response and an intimate tone. We agreed on a set of specs which came very close to the originals with some modern amenites. They would have adjustable truss rods and also be X braced for light guage steel strings.

Jack has very kindly agreed to document the build process of a pair of Ditson style 1-45s: one in Brazilian rosewood and another in Acacia for us!


As always, improvements, corrections and additional information/ your own experiences are much appreciated- I'll update the profile citing you and linking back to you! This is by no means complete a profile, so feel free to add to what I already have.

I can't link pics directly to here so do pop by to:
http://guitarbench.com/index.php/2009/05/10/jack-spira-ditson-style-guitar-build-diary/
for the full audio/Visual presentation. As always, I present the text portion of the profile for your consideration- although I do highly recommend popping by to see the videos and pics!


Warmest regards,
Terence
www.guitarbench.com

So without further ado, here starts the build diary:

Build Diary| Jack Spira | Ditson Style

Jack Spira
Please Click on the pics for fullsized view!

Jack Spira is a really talented Australian based luthier who trained at the London Collage of Furniture. He established Spira guitars in 1991 and I have known with Jack for over 5 years. In this time, he was made some fantastic guitars and his knowledge of Native Australian woods has invaluable in our quest for alternative tonewoods. (see his article on Australian Tonewoods here.).

Jack Spira Ditson style guitars

I have been enthralled by Jack’s Ditson style guitars as the originals had a certain old world charm and in the latter years sounded rather good, especially with silk and steels. Their smaller size mean they could be played very comfortably with a quick response and an intimate tone.

My fate was sealed when I saw the 45 style replica pictured above. The little jewel of a guitar bewitched my eyes and senses and I began to plot a order from Jack! We agreed on a set of specs which came very close to the originals with some modern amenites. They would have adjustable truss rods and also be X braced for light guage steel strings.

Jack has very kindly agreed to document the build process of a pair of Ditson style 1-45s: one in Brazilian rosewood and another in Acacia for us! So without further ado, here starts the build diary:

Red Spruce tops

The red spruce tops as they came from Old Standard wood. They gave me some very good grade Adirondack. I think because of the small size i was able to get some good tops.

I join them with the No 7 jointer plane on a shooting boards, then glue them with the old spanish method of rope and wedges. I’ve tried a few different joining methods and cant beat this one for speed and accuracy. Then the tops are rough thicknessed down to 3mm thick. This is not the finished thickness, but is a bit over. I put the rosettes in and then I can run them through the thicknesser again to clean up the rosettes and finish the thicknessing by hand.


The three ring rosette I put in with the Greven rosette jig. I hardly ever use this tool as most of my rosettes are the wide classical type, and of differing thicknesses, and some are oval, so need to be cut by hand. This tool is ideal for the three ring rosette though and does a beautifull clean cut with the thin slots.

The rosette itself is moslty made up of 0.3mm poplar veneer. The black veneer is also poplar, dyed black. I cut the sheets into strips with a scalpel blade. A strip of teflon is used in the centre section where the shell will go, and the wider white lines around the shell border, which were probably originally ivory, are white plastic I got from Martin guitar, the same stuff they use on the contemporary rosettes.  Its a fiddly job getting it all in.

The two outer rings don’t have to join up at the top end as they are cut away later, but the inner ring has to join neatly at the top.  The next job is to pull out the teflon strip which will leave a slot exacly 1.6mm wide ready for the abalone strips.


Links:
Jack Spira http://www.jackspiraguitars.com/
Pictures & portions of text courtesy of Jack Spira ©2009

Errors are unintentional although we try very hard not to make them- corrections or feedback are always welcome! Guitars are property of individual owners.
Any infringement of copyright is entirely unintentional. Any copyright issues should be address to: writers@guitarbench.com. We will attempt to resolve these issues quickly. Guitars remain property of respective owners.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to: