Scott's Guitar Blog: March 29, 2006

Bending Sides with Mark Yodice

Hi folks, The last couple days have been fun here…I’ve been making guitars! I started three new acoustic projects; one for myself, and my clients Mark Yodice and Gerry McKeveny. This article deals with the bending process on Mark’s OM sized 9-string acoustic guitar…Yes, that’s NINE strings, all single spaced (no doubles). It will make for a wide fingerboard, but Mark is going to take this to new tonal frontiers…I can’t wait to hear what he does with it!

We did this today, starting with trimming the walnut sides to shape, wetting them, then putting them into the side-bending machine pictured in the photo. Once heated until dry and cooled, they pop right out, ready to go into the mold, which you can see behind the bending-machine.
For those of you with Super-vision, the humidity meter on the post behind Mark is at 45%
relative humdity….perfect for guitarmaking, and expensive to maintain…I get love letters from the power company with all the heavy motors and climate gear in the shop!

Mark was blown away seeing a 90/1000″ thin piece of hard, brittle wood transform into a series of gentle curves without breaking. I have to admit, I still enjoy the alchemy of it myself, as well as the hot, wet wood aroma that fills the shop during the process. Yum, walnut tea! Mark is seen in the other photo smiling with what will one day be the lower side of his guitar, propped on his leg as he discovers new tone-zones on those 9 strings. I was glad he lives locally and could share the moment with me and the wood that will be making his music! Please visit my site to see about custom built guitars! http://www.customguitars.com

All the best, Scott