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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:47 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:14 am
Posts: 526
Location: Shefford, Québec
First name: Tim
Last Name: Mullin
City: Shefford
State: QC
Zip/Postal Code: J2M 1R5
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
It was time for something different, this time inspired by a piece of wood given to me by a forestry colleague in southern Sweden. Curly birch (Betula pendula var. carelica) is a cultivar of silver birch found in western Europe. My friend has this species growing on his property and uses it for the pens that he turns on his small lathe. The wood has lots of bark inclusions that give it a spectacular figure. I decided it would be the centre of attention on a contemporary themed classical guitar. I dubbed the instrument "Curly Birch".
Attachment:
IMG_0027 small.jpg

What do I mean by "contemporary"? This guitar has a number of non-traditional design updates: headstock shape (reflecting my usual motif), rosette pattern, bridge design, a slightly slimmer neck with a radius on the fingerboard and inlaid side makers. While I made changes in all these areas, the all-important "box" and bracing are fashioned closely after the well-known guitar made by José Ramirez in 1966.

The spectacular figure of the curly birch wood was featured in the rosette and on the "tie block". The top and bracing of the guitar are Sitka spruce. The back, sides, bridge, binding and headplate are Indian rosewood. The neck is mahogany and the bound fingerboard is ebony. While there is extensive purfling, it consists of a single line of maple against the darker woods. Shell inlay is MOP, used on the headstock and for the fingerboard side makers. The finish is Mirotone 3220 lacquer.

I finished the guitar in late 2014, while we were still in Nairobi. The sale hit a snag with the customer's cash flow, so the guitar was transported to Canada in the shipping container with the rest of our personal effects. A couple of months ago I sent the guitar to Toronto for evaluation by some professional players. I was delighted, not only to get some great feedback, but also to see the guitar recorded. I took one of the tracks and used it as background to a slideshow-style video that illustrates some of the processes I used in building the instrument. Andy McKee gave us permission to use his piece "Dream Catcher" and Jeff Biggar performed it on "Curly Birch". My nephew Andrew Mullin produced the audio track. Many thanks to Andy, Jeff and Andrew.

Enjoy!



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 8:35 pm
Posts: 2301
Location: Austin, Texas
First name: Dan
Last Name: Smith
City: Round Rock
State: TX
Zip/Postal Code: 78681
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thanks Tim!
Wonderful video, beautiful instrument and music.
The Birch is fantastic!
Thanks very much for sharing.
Dan

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:20 am 
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Koa
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:56 am
Posts: 848
Location: United States
Beautiful guitar, Tim.

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Brighton, Michigan


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:02 pm
Posts: 283
First name: Michael
Last Name: Giltzow
City: Boise
State: Idaho
Zip/Postal Code: 83709
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Very nice job Tim. The video is very nice as well. - Mike G

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:36 am
Posts: 5151
Location: Southeast US
City: Lenoir City
State: TN
Zip/Postal Code: 37772
Country: US
Focus: Repair
Beautiful guitar! Never seen curly birch before - excellent accent wood, I hope I come across some one of these days. Sounds great and a very nice job on the video!

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"Music is what feelings sound like"


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:55 am 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:50 pm
Posts: 266
First name: Jeff
Last Name: Dillard
State: California
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Wow


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