Time for my quarterly update! badum-psh, zing.
Aw, but seriously, y'all, I really don't update much.
So this term was certainly full of homework, ensemble rehearsals, concerts, running a music festival, and doing more homework... I'm not sure I've ever experienced such a boring, academic 3.5 months in all my years of schooling. It was certainly nothing to write home about... thus why I didn't bother to post in my LJ very much at all. (Also, I don't feel like bitching about my problems because I know that in the grand scheme of things they are rather minor, and it does not help solve them or make You guys feel any better.) But I figure I should update now that I finally have my last exam out of the way.
Um, school continues. I took Spanish this term - that was pretty neat. I didn't get a good mark, but I liked it, and I'm taking more of it.
I didn't play enough guitar. Siiigh.
Things are good with Meaghan.
I played clarinet in the Wind Orchestra once again! It was pretty fun most of the time, although some of the rehearsals Were retardedly inefficient and an absolute waste of time. I'm not doing it next term because it would be too time consuming... i.e., so much so that I would have to drop classes so I could afford school because that's how many work shifts it would cut into.
My room is ALMOST CLEAN. It's so exciting. All that's left to do is get rid of some old clothes, go through a lot of old school notes and texts to sort out the useful from the useless (and thus clear up some shelf space), get these gifts for other people out of my room, and put some instrument supplies into the resulting empty spaces. AND THEN MY ROOM WILL ONCE AGAIN BE SPACIOUS ENOUGH TO SAFELY PRACTICE KUNG FU IN. It's so gorgeous when it's not cluttered with clothes and books and papers and boxes of guitar parts and pieces of roughly sawn lumber and tools and half-built amplifiers littering the floor...
So obviously I'm still building things. Right now, I have the following projects on my list:
- A long low shallow cabinet (planning stages) to store art portfolios and books in, with a flip-out table that I can use for drawing and working on stuff (because I have no empty work surfaces in my room right now and am running out of shelf space for books and things)
- An electric guitar, in the construction stage; one of the ones I built over the summer turned out poorly due to a few serious mistakes I made with a router and a chisel, and also the bridge is just a piece of crap. I mean, sure, it's a real Wilkinson tremolo with graphite saddles and everything optimized for it, but hello! It doesn't sound as good as a fixed bridge would, and it doesn't stay in tune as well as a Floyd Rose tremolo. Thus, it fails tonally And tuning-ly. SO. I'm harvesting that guitar for parts to build a new one, this time with a deep-set neck tenon (which is so deep the bridge actually goes through it), a walnut top, a 5-piece maple/walnut neck, a solid Wilkinson/Gotoh PRS-style wraparound bridge with adjustable intonation, and more solid tuners. It's in the early stages of construction still - i.e., I'm still gluing the neck laminates together and piecing together the body. But it's off to a good start.
- "Irish/Celtic/Wooden/Keyless/19th Century" flutes, in the prototyping/tool-building stage. I had to make some custom bore reamers to taper the inside of them, which was exciting because I haven't done much metalworking before. Slowly but surely they are coming along. Eventually they will most likely be made from Bocote, because I bought a buttload of the stuff specifically for this purpose.
- A violin, in the research/design/gathering materials stage. I've got all the materials for the body, neck, fingerboard, bridge, and possibly tailpiece (depending on whether I make my own or just go with a premade one)... all that remains to obtain are the fittings like pegs, chin rest, purfling, etc. Oh yeah, I also need to make some tools. Right now I'm doing a lot of reading about construction techniques, modern design, Stradivari's instruments, finishing/varnishing, etc. and trying to decide exactly what I'm going to do. My goal isn't to build a masterpiece (especially since I don't even know what such a violin would be like) but rather to build something functional that sounds better than a cheap production-line PoS instrument. The other goal is to have a bitchin' looking violin: rather than the usual stained maple/European spruce/ebony color scheme I'm going with a natural-colored walnut/Sitka spruce/bocote/East Indian rosewood color scheme. It'll stand out whether or not it sounds good.
- A classical guitar, in the research/design/wishing I had money phase. I've mostly decided on materials and general design features, and now I just have to find some way to acquire the necessary materials. (I'm thinkin'... make dad buy them for me, since he owes me.) It's based on a José Romanillos design with Palo Escrito/Sitka Spruce lined back/sides, Engelmann Spruce top, East Indian rosewood fingerboard & bridge, and Sapele neck. I chose Sapele because it's muuuuuuuch stronger than the "classier" neck woods like Spanish Cedar and genuine Mahogany, which are definitely lighter but much weaker. In fact, when you look at the weight to strength ratio, Sapele is about twice as efficient. Even when braced by ebony or rosewood reinforcements, a cedar/mahogany neck won't come close to being as strong as a Sapele neck - even a thinner Sapele neck. Also, I'm going to bind it with the excess Palo Escrito cutoffs from the sides and back, so the binding will match the body... which is kind of cool and classy, but it won't stand out much, so I'm going to have curly maple purfling to help it show up. I figure: the palo escrito is a wild-enough looking wood that it doesn't need some sort of insane contrasting binding, so the best way to go is self-binding.
Anyway, I realize that most of you didn't read past the first sentence of each of those project descriptions so I'm going to stop typing and go to bed now. Night!