Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Final de año

That means year's ending, or something like that, dear readers.

Are you still alive? I was, all this time, but busy and bored, too involved in life to write about stuff.

The title comes from a Borges' poem, and ends saying that something in us endures, something that didn't find what it was looking for.

It's always fitting, at least to me, not only when the year is leaving.

I spent plenty of days thinking how to come back here, after such a long silence. I never found the answer. So I just started writing, as well I could start now.

To make a long story short, I broke up with Julia, met Natalia (in that order) and my life was reorganized as it correspond to a proper love according to badiou, something about capsizing isn't it?

I moved out, creates a workshop in house full of musicians and dancers, a french luthier arrived one day, and we finally started to make guitars a few months ago. I left mine last week looking something like this:

Yeah I know, that a solid workbench Roubo style. Working with the guitars on the ground is not as good when you walk over them.

You see that? a workbench, a toolwall, joints and order. What else can you ask of life. The wine glasses are at the right of the guitar whereas the wine is at the left, all properly out of the frame.

It's four of us. We use kanna everyday, and stanley block planes. Naniwa stones and an american made bandsaw. German plans and chilean woods. We work by hand and drink and play music in the workshop. The spirit of Valparaiso has taken over: a drunk globalisation, with it's own beauty and humbleness, taking whatever it wants from wherever is found. At the end of the world a unique way of living, grounded, related to the hills and the sea, local.

There is a poem by Höldering I found not long ago. It goes like this:

Wenn aber ist entzündet
Der geschäfftige Tag
Und an der Kette, die
Den Bliz ableitet
Von der Stunde des Aufgangs
Himmlischer Thau glänzt,
Muß unter Sterblichen auch
Das Hohe sich fühlen.
Drum bauen sie Häußer
Und die Werkstatt gehet
Und über Strömen das Schiff.
Und es bieten tauschend die Menschen
Die Händ’ einander, sinnig ist es
Auf Erden und es sind nicht umsonst
Die Augen an den Boden geheftet.

A horrible translation goes like this:
That's why they build houses
And the workshop is so busy
And ships sail against the currents
And men exchange greetings
Holding out their hands; it's sensible
On earth, and not for nothing
Do we fix our eyes on the ground.

The poem has the same melodic metaphysics as Ister, you remember, the stone needs engravings, and furrows the earth...

That's it. Nothing makes any sense yet, something that didn't find what it was looking for. I leave you with some pictures of our workshop, wish you a happy new year, and close this blog for ever: next time I write it will be a book.

Thursday, February 9, 2017


This is the third day since we started working with keiran in the etaux, and we put some oli on it already:

We started from some 2" lenga that needed a glue up for the jaws, since they are 2 1/2"

This was pretty much what we did the first evening.

Following day was mostly cut dovetails and the moulding on the resting plate.

Today we made the brass braces. First saw them, then drill holes, bolt them together and file them to shape.

 This afternoon it was glue up and oil time.

And a test ride with my little helper Toto.

I got a book about guitarmaking, and all the spanish and french makers that appear on the pictures have one of this on their workshop. So I thought I could use one too. Later on the week we will start with the solera for the acustic guitar.

There is still some work to be done on the inside but will wait for my friend to bring the router. The braces need a runner on the botto but I got tired of sawing today so it will have to wait a bit.

All this because summer school was cancelled due to third parties reasons. A shame, but you need to woodwork anyway in your vacations, isn't it?

Saturday, January 28, 2017

New shield

One of the few things I missed when moved to my new workshop was the little shield for saw sharpening. It just disappeared between the planes and the shavings. 

So today I made a new one and I like it even more than the previous one. 

It's made out of a piece of hacksaw blade grinded to a thin edge and polished in a diamond stone. 

A shot for a size idea

And the taper and central nick the shield has

This is how you hold it:

My small fingers are touching the back of the saw, it's a very gentle grip, I reckon you can see that from the pictures.

And that's a madonoko that finally is getting ready. Since I gave mine to Jason haven't had time to play with one. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Summer school 2017

Well well, I know is a bit of a short notice but I have consider this instance more of a holiday than a project, but maybe some of you are traveling down south and want to drop by and help a bit.

Image totally not related.

We are heading south to Puerto Varas from 5th of february or so to finish the roof of this baby, you may remember it from last year:

 We need to finish the hip roof this time

At the moment we are 3 confirmed plus a dog. We are staying there for 3 weeks to have plenty of time to cut joints, travel around, make bbqs and visit the hotsprings.

If you would like to visit the place and see people building a timber frame by hand with japanese tools and methods, just drop me a line and I'll give you the address. If you want to be part of this you are welcome to join but you need to arrange your own accommodation. There will be space to camp but no electricity or running water (there is a spring 30m from the gazebo though, so there will be a lot of chop wood carry water). A good time to arrive would be from the 14th of february onwards so we have time to set up shop. If you want to work you need to bring your own saw and your own chisels, and you will be only allowed to work if you have previous experience. We may run a short introductory course but is not my aim for this year, I'm more interested on finishing the roof and traveling around and forming an even tighter group of friends working together.

So yeah, summer school 2017 is happening again.