Friday, 12 December 2014

One way to mend a broken neck on a guitar.

This Takamine guitar has not only suffered a broken neck, this is the second time it has suffered this fate. The attached photos show the stages of repair to get the guitar back in full playing condition and hopefully never to  suffer from this fate again.

The surfaces of where the neck was broken have been cleaned, but not sanded or altered in any way. Aliphatic glue was applied to both surfaces and the head put back to as close to the original position as possible and the whole assembly was cramped with cauls to keep the head in position as the glue dried. 

Unfortunately it was not possible to align the head to the neck as it was when first made as the first repair was slightly off center. The original repair was not the problem. The grain of the neck wood was not parallel to the neck 
making that area susceptible to future breaking. As can be see from the photos, the head veneer was badly damaged by the two breaks and the misalignment of the original repair is shown by a light line on the side of the neck.

This photo shows the damage done to the side of the head when the neck broke. A suitable piece of mahogany will be inserted after the damaged edges have been cleaned.

The head veneer has been cut back below the break and a new, matched (as far as possible) section of rosewood veneer will be put in place to cover over the break. Before the new veneer is attached  two small stainless steel pins, 2 mm in diameter will be inserted from the tuner holes up through the re-glued break in the neck.

By inserting the pins through from the tuner holes their presence will be invisible after the repair is complete.

 Photo on the left shows the new veneer butted up against the remaining veneer. It was done this way to preserve the original head logo which was a transfer sitting on the surface. Photo on the right shows the new veneer trimmed to shape and darkened with stain to match the original colour. Note the tuner holes have also been opened up.

Before the new veneer could be lacquered, the grain on the new veneer had to be filled. Next, the lacquer on the new veneer was built up over several days, care had to be taken when sanding so as not to rub through onto the 
Takamine logo.  
At the same time the repaired area on the back of the neck was faired and sanded smooth. A rubdown with rosewood stain returned the original patina of the aged mahogany. After a 
suitable number of coats of lacquer on the back and after the lacquer had set, the lacquer was gently rubbed with steel wool to match the mat finish of the rest of the neck.

The front of the head was then given a couple of coats and left to dry. Bottom photo shows the completed repair, not an invisible one, but as good as could be done under the circumstances. The guitar is now ready to rock n roll.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Thanksgiving UK 2015

Lets have November 26th 2015, the first official Thanksgiving UK day.

Photo courtesy of internet search.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Penitent Heart, now published.

What excitement this last four months have been. My books, are all now available to order from all bookshops world wide and you can ask your library for a copy. They are now being published by Mount Pleasant Publishing.

I am selling signed copies of my book for £10.50 plus P&P or £10.50 if you want to pick one up in person, please contact me through my website.

This is the new cover for The Penitent Heart, now available as an epub, paper back and hardback.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Never bite the hand that feeds you.

Below is a quote from the Bookseller email newsletter received this morning.

"Influential Krugman says Amazon 'hurts America'
Prominent New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has criticized Amazon for using its power in ways that “hurt America”.
The Nobel Prize-winning economist, who has been described as The Times’ “most heralded” columnist, used a piece in the newspaper yesterday (19th October) to argue that Amazon has too much power and is “abusing” that power by using it to push prices down."

Why should we, the members of the creative writing fraternity be so antagonistic towards Amazon, remember the story of the Pied Piper and what happened when he didn't get paid?

Publisher have abdicated their responsibility to the author, by delegating their search for new authors to Literary agencies, and the publishing, printing, and distributing responsibilities to Amazon, and their ilk.

In these modern days with the advent of the internet, websites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, et al, and POD for single or multiple book printing, why can't publishers re-claim their heritage and distribute their product directly to the reader? Especially since there is a growing use of on-site POD machines in major bookshops using the Xerox Espresso Book Machine. Have a look at them in use on YouTube.

These machines allow the author complete control over the creation of their work, though distribution and marketing is now the author's responsibility.

This is where Amazon and their Createspace system shines the brightest for the budding author. It not only provides for the creation of the authors work in print and digital format, it also aids in the setting out of the work and very importantly distributes the work globally. As a cherry on the top of the cake, the author decides, after Amazon has recovered their cost, what price the work sells for, and subsequently how much the author gets paid.

In spite of all that is said about self-publishing, for a manuscript to turn into a best seller, it still needs to be edited, and not necessarily by the author.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Penitent Heart, is now available to pre-order.

Wow, I'm amazed. My book, The Penitent Heart, one man's journey from despair to hope, is number 29,205 in the Paid in Kindle Store ranking.

Release day for my book is 31st October, so there is still plenty of time to get your order in to be included in the first day release celebration.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Just spent an enlightening couple of hours this morning with the author of this book. He is as interesting and informative to listen to as reading his book. Below is the review I wrote for the book and posted on the Amazon site.

The Innocence of Evil is, to my mind, a guilty pleasure. It is excellently written, plot and character driven and keeps you turning the pages right up to the last page. It is a unique story where you can find characters to love, to hate and wish would just get squished under the tires of Phoebe’s Thunderbird. 

I did blush quietly when reading some off the, tastefully described, colorful passages describing how the older, much experienced, Phoebe educated the young Robert in the art of lovemaking. I chuckled out loud reading about how Robert was going to get even with the evil Mr Flick for stealing Robert’s dinghy. I sweated with apprehension when Phoebe set out to show the Gompert boys what a determined, calculating, woman could do with a car when being tailgated at excessive speed. But in the end, all that guilty pleasure has to be paid for, and it is, with blood.

The Innocence of Evil is one of these books that will grow in stature with time and reading, and is destined to be a classic. I dare you to pick it up and not put it down till you wipe the last spatter of blood from the last page.

Below is the link to the Amazon page.

Friday, 5 September 2014

The Penitent Heart, is one man’s journey from despair to hope. It is the story of Bill, a househusband, who after causing a road traffic accident while being under the influence of alcohol, and where the other driver dies, Bill subsequently suffers an emotional breakdown. He abandons Ruth, his wife of five years, and her three young daughters by her first marriage, to become a cook on a charter yacht bound for the Amazon River.
Bill finds himself sucked into a tale of intrigue. Why has Captain Larsen accepted this unusual charter instead of the regular cruising waters of the Caribbean? And Dr Kaufmann and his team of anthropologists; are they really investigating the effects of low rainfall on the indigenous people of the Amazon River?

The Penitent Heart, is a modern, action packed, sea-faring adventure story about those who Bill meets on his unexpected journey - characters to love and hate, those that live, those that die and those that Bill left behind. And high on the character-list is the mighty Leviathan, 105 feet of rail down, spray tossing, storm defying sail boat.

Bill has run away from home only to find that he can run away from life and his responsibilities but not from himself.

The will soon be on sale from all Amazon channels, and will be available to order through all good bookshops, Just order by title and/or ISBN 978-1501076497.

Pricing and availability will be announced shortly. Look out for the special introductory offers which will include signed printed copies and I will be releasing limited quantities of hardback copies, hand bound by the author, me.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Guitar for sale

This guitar is one of two that I am selling. the body back and ribs, is made from Brazilian Rosewood cut from tree stumps and has a very pronounced figure. The neck is Brazilian Mahogany. Head veneer, fret board and bridge are African Ebony. Soundboard is AAA European Spruce. Bindings are Ebony. Sound-hole inlay is Walnut burr. Purfling is Maple and died veneers. The fret-board and head are bound in ebony and died veneers. Top nut and saddle is cut and polished bone. Tuners are Gotoh. 14 fret neck.

The guitar is fitted with a Headway Snake II under saddle pickup.

Guitar is supplied in a Hiscox hard shell case

Price  £2,500.00 ONO.

Payment by Paypal or Cash

Scale length
635 mm
Width at top nut
 45 mm
Width at 14th fret
 55 mm
Body length from 14th fret
490 mm
Body width at upper bout
290 mm
Body width at waist
235 mm 
Body width at lower bout
385 mm
Body depth at 14th fret
100 mm
Body depth at end of body
105 mm

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