Allan Richardson
lyricist vocalist humorist guitarist
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Making a guitar   >>

My Instruments



On this page you will find pictures of guitars and other instruments I have made over the years.
The second page takes you step by step through the building of the most recent one,
a small guitar made during the summer of 2013.

(Click on a thumbnail for a larger image)
 
Picture 1:
The giant plywood 12 string that started it all off in 1963. It still works and has a big jangly sound. The sound knobs are dummies added later for a magic trick which I did with the guitar.
  The giant plywood 12 string that started it all off in 1963
 
Picture 2:
The second guitar, from 1964, as later fitted with a spruce top. A rather square version of the "dreadnought" shape. Bright sound but a bit quiet because the body was quite stiff.
  Second guitar, from 1964
 
Picture 3:
I made this more curvy acoustic guitar in 1988 at Tonbridge, at an instrument making course run by Ken Baddeley.
  A more curvy acoustic guitar from 1988
 
Picture 4 and 5:
A harp made in 1990 when I was still going to the Tonbridge workshop. It sounds sweet - I only wish I could play it properly.
  A harp made in 1990      A harp made in 1990
 
Picture 6 and 7:
My first solid electric, made in 1992 using the mahogany from a discarded secondary window frame. With car spray paints and really cheap pickups it has a gutsy sound. Much used by my son Sam as a teenager.
  My first solid electric, made in 1992      My first solid electric, made in 1992
 
Picture 8:
Guitars became almost an annual thing for a few years. This 12-string semi acoustic was from 1993. It has quite a sumptuous sound.
  A 12-string semi acoustic was from 1993
 
Picture 9:
In 1994 it was a bass guitar, made entirely of mahogany and rosewood, even down to the rosewood pickup surrounds and strap knobs. I attribute its warm sound to the wood.
  A bass guitar made in 1994
 
Picture 10:
The 1995 guitar was a semi-acoustic with an offset shape. I played around with a variety of sounds with two Schaller twin coil pickups and coil taps.
  In 1995 guitar was a semi-acoustic with an offset shape
 
Pictures 11 and 12:
A telecaster in 1996, with Seymour-Duncan pickups and some "improvements" over the original Fender design, including a raked back headstock avoiding the use of a string tree to hold down the treble strings. Sam still gigs with this instrument in his band Jakamo in Coventry.
  A telecaster in 1996      A telecaster in 1996
 
Pictures 13, 14 and 15:
Two mandolins made in 1997, one with f-holes and the other an elliptical soundhole, but otherwise identical. Steve Shorey has one of these. It has a large flat body and a ringing tone.
  Two mandolins made in 1997    Two mandolins made in 1997    Two mandolins made in 1997
 
Picture 16:
The guitar I use most is this mahogany and spruce bodied acoustic made in 2001. I made Sam a smilar one in rosewood. With it is a baglama - a very small Greek-style bouzouki made to use up offcuts of various woods in 2005.
  Mahogany and spruce bodied acoustic made in 2001
 
Picture 17:
The back of the baglama is made from strips of mahogany with thin maple fillets between them. It is surprisingly loud for a little thing.
  The back of the baglama is made from strips of mahogany
 
Picture 18:
The 2001 acoustic again, with the partly completed acoustic bass guitar, showing the difference in size.
  In 2001 an acoustic again
 
Picture 19:
The bass guitar soundboard is fairly thin but stoutly braced.
  Bass guitar
 
Picture 20:
Completed early in 2013, a truly acoustic bass guitar. Thanks to the large hollow body it can hold its own with other acoustic instruments without needing to be plugged in. It has a bridge transducer if wanted, like a motor on a sailing dinghy.
  An acoustic bass guitar completed in 2013
 
Making a guitar   >>
 
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