New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

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Zandit75
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New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Zandit75 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:47 am

Good morning all! Glad to be here finally after being a stalker for some time.
I'm primarily a performer, but also seriously distracted by beautiful guitars, and how they are built!
Just over two years ago, I finally wetted my appetite by building an acoustic guitar with Aaron Fenech in Miami, Gold Coast.
I was expecting to build something I could proudly say "I built that", but it would only come out occasionally for practice and special occasions, what I wasn't ready for, was a guitar that I couldn't put down, or prevent myself from using it as my only gigging guitar!!
So, onto the specs!
Body Size - OM
Cutaway - Florentine
Top - Silver Quandong
Back & Sides - Victorian Blackwood
Binding - East Indian Rosewood
Bridge - Brigalow
Fretboard - Brigalow
Neck - Queensland Maple
Truss Rod Cover - East Indian Rosewood
Rosette - Victorian Blackwood
Tuning Machines - Gotoh 510's, Cosmic Black
Pickup - Fishman Matrix Infinity Mic Blend

Now some pics!
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This build took two years of planning, and once at the Aaron's workshop, only two weeks to complete!!
For a full rundown of the build, feel free to check out this link - https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/for ... t=zandit75
Things don't take off until the 6th page, but I laid out all of my plans in the earlier pages, so you can see my thought process, and how it changed over that time.

For an idea of how this has settled over the last couple of years, please feel free to view this video!

youtu.be/GSagIXKjZ9M

So, apart from gratuitously wanting to show off my first creation, why am I here?
Well, I have the itch again for an other build. Unfortunately Aaron's own range of Fenech guitars have taken off so much that he can no longer hold regular classes.
I'm starting my 2nd build journey by looking for another building course that I can sink my teeth into.
I see that Steve Toscano is a regular here, and I have been looking closely at his course.
Having said that, what other options are there that I may be overlooking? Hopefully I'm not stepping on anyone's toes in regards to sponsorship etc.
I'm not looking at becoming a part/full time builder myself, at least not in this point in my life, just happy to be able to work with a dedicated and talented builder to create something that I can call my own.

Thanks for reading!!

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by kiwigeo » Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:56 am

Nice work mate. Whats the finish? Proof that the best instruments have a lot of planning behind them.
Martin

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Zandit75
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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Zandit75 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 11:08 am

kiwigeo wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:56 am
Nice work mate. Whats the finish? Proof that the best instruments have a lot of planning behind them.
I knew I would have missed some detail!
It a nitro-cellulose finish, just from a rattle can.

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by simso » Sun Dec 27, 2020 11:44 am

That s a nicely executed cutaway

Steve
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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Zandit75 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:02 pm

simso wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 11:44 am
That s a nicely executed cutaway

Steve
Thank you very much Steve!
It added a day to the overall build. The other guys in my class finished the day before me.
I had dreams of mitering every corner, but that would have added so much extra time to the build!
It was an unusual class for Aaron Fenech, as it was the first time all students were building the same sized guitar, same combination of woods, yet one was without any cutaway, and the other had a standard venetian cutaway, but was shorter in the body depth.
All three guitars came out as absolute cannons, and there didn't seem to be any differences tone, or sound quality, even though there were slight differences in the shaping of the internal braces.

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Dave M » Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:49 am

That is an extremely neat build for a first go.

Interesting that few people stop at one!

If you are not aware of Trevor Gore and are interested in a more analytical take on guitar design and build you should take a look.

Cheers Dave
------------------
Dave

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Zandit75 » Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:22 am

Dave M wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:49 am
That is an extremely neat build for a first go.

Interesting that few people stop at one!

If you are not aware of Trevor Gore and are interested in a more analytical take on guitar design and build you should take a look.

Cheers Dave
Thank you Dave! I was quite proud of my cleanliness throughout the build, and know I could have done a lot better in some areas given more time, but there is only so much you can squeeze in two weeks!
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I am aware of Trevor Gore, and have looked very closely at his bracing techniques, but the technicality of it all is a little above my pay grade. That was one of the things I loved about Aaron's course, he fed you as much info as you wanted. One of the guys in my class was interested in building more guitars himself, and graduating from ukes etc, and so he absorbed as much info as he could, taking notes, measurements etc. At that time, I was just happy to get my hands dirty, and play with as much shop equipment as I could! Sure, there were a couple of times I asked Aaron to step in because it was something really technical and I didn't feel comfortable with some tool or technique, and I'm sure most of what he said will come back to me once I'm back in someone's workshop.

Trevor doesn't do classes like this though, does he?
Any other suggestions?

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Fisherman » Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:31 pm

Wow, that's a fantastic looking instrument! Great job on the build.

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Mark McLean » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:56 pm

I agree that you produced a really fine looking and sounding guitar - an outstanding outcome for a first try. All of that planning paid off. You say that you want to make another - and that is no surprise. You are looking for another course to do. Is that because you feel you still need supervision and tuition? After making that OM I am sure that you have the chops to make one by yourself if you wanted to. On the other hand I can see the advantage of going to someone else's workshop which is all set up. Do you have any tools or space to work in at home in Tassie?

Regarding lutherie schools - I live in Sydney near to Steve Toscano's workshop and school. I haven't actually done a course with him but I have dropped in on Steve a few times and can attest that he is a lovely bloke, and really knows his stuff. His workshop looks great and his students produce fine stuff - so it is a good option if you are looking for that kind of a building experience.

In the end you will become a victim of this addictive hobby. You may as well give in now and start buying some wood and tools. Resistance is futile. And you won't struggle alone as you will get lots of help here and elsewhere on the internet. We all struggle together.
Mark

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Zandit75 » Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:59 am

Fisherman wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:31 pm
Wow, that's a fantastic looking instrument! Great job on the build.
Thank you very much Fisherman!
Mark McLean wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:56 pm
I agree that you produced a really fine looking and sounding guitar - an outstanding outcome for a first try. All of that planning paid off. You say that you want to make another - and that is no surprise. You are looking for another course to do. Is that because you feel you still need supervision and tuition? After making that OM I am sure that you have the chops to make one by yourself if you wanted to. On the other hand I can see the advantage of going to someone else's workshop which is all set up. Do you have any tools or space to work in at home in Tassie?

Regarding lutherie schools - I live in Sydney near to Steve Toscano's workshop and school. I haven't actually done a course with him but I have dropped in on Steve a few times and can attest that he is a lovely bloke, and really knows his stuff. His workshop looks great and his students produce fine stuff - so it is a good option if you are looking for that kind of a building experience.

In the end you will become a victim of this addictive hobby. You may as well give in now and start buying some wood and tools. Resistance is futile. And you won't struggle alone as you will get lots of help here and elsewhere on the internet. We all struggle together.
Mark
Thank you for the comments Mark!
Yes, more supervision and guidance is part of the reason, also not really having the space, or extra cash hanging around in order to purchase equipment, forms, machinery etc.
I'm hoping to find a course with the same attitude as Aaron's where nothing was a hassle, everything was fixable, and nothing was completely out of the question. Having said that, an arm bevel was ruled out due to time constraints!
Yes, I am a victim, and I already know there is no cure. Do you guys have regular meetings??!! :D

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Pat.Hawkins » Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:34 pm

Well, that turned out rather nicely.
I think I'll do just one more........................... :P

Beautiful job Daniel

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by kiwigeo » Tue Dec 29, 2020 6:34 pm

If you get to know most of the builders in here I don't think you'll find anyone who's done their first build on a building course and then gone on to do their second build with another teacher. Once you've done that first build and the desire to build a another one is there...I think most of us let loose from the apron strings and go it solo. You won't be alone while youre doing your first solo build....that's one of the main reasons this forum is here. if you have questions or you get stuck.....stick up a post and there's a 99.9% probability someone will stump up to answer your questions or give you some guidance.
Zandit75 wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:47 am

So, apart from gratuitously wanting to show off my first creation, why am I here?
Well, I have the itch again for an other build. Unfortunately Aaron's own range of Fenech guitars have taken off so much that he can no longer hold regular classes.
I'm starting my 2nd build journey by looking for another building course that I can sink my teeth into.
I see that Steve Toscano is a regular here, and I have been looking closely at his course.
Having said that, what other options are there that I may be overlooking? Hopefully I'm not stepping on anyone's toes in regards to sponsorship etc.
I'm not looking at becoming a part/full time builder myself, at least not in this point in my life, just happy to be able to work with a dedicated and talented builder to create something that I can call my own.

Thanks for reading!!
Martin

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Mark McLean » Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:51 pm

OK, you will work out your own way forward from here.
But it sounds like you want number two to have mitred purflings and an arm bevel - so the planning has already begun. Maybe a Tassie timbers theme (tiger myrtle and Huon pine). And since you already have a OM it will need to be a different design. Do you play classical? Falcate bracing could be nice. So many options.......

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Lillian » Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:01 am

You did a fantastic job, it sounds wonderful. And if I didn't know better I'd swear that the singer hailed from my neck of the woods.

I have to echo Martin and Mark. You really can do your second one by yourself. And if you really have been bitten, you'll be miserable until you start building. You don't need a lot of expensive tools to make a guitar. They just help to get it done faster. Don't you guys have community wood shops you can buy time at? If you don't have one locally, maybe find someone nearby that you can rent space at.

Power tools aren't absolutely necessary. Guitars and their ilk have been made with just hand tools for a very long time. A lot of the jigs and tools you can make yourself. And of course keep an eye out for second hand tools. You never know what you will find and where. We just move to a small village of less than 3000 people hours away from a metro area and I found an Adler 205-370 harness sewing machine. It's the one that all the others copied and they stopped making about 5 years ago. You never know what will turn up, especially when you need it.

You really don't need a lot of space either. I know a guy who built his first guitar on their kitchen table while his wife was pregnant just using hand tools.. He got it done before his daughter arrived. And like Martin said, you won't be alone. If you build yourself into a corner, the guys here can help you find away out of the corner.

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Zandit75 » Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:39 pm

Pat.Hawkins wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:34 pm
Well, that turned out rather nicely.
I think I'll do just one more........................... :P

Beautiful job Daniel
:D :D Haha, thank you very much!
kiwigeo wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 6:34 pm
If you get to know most of the builders in here I don't think you'll find anyone who's done their first build on a building course and then gone on to do their second build with another teacher. Once you've done that first build and the desire to build a another one is there...I think most of us let loose from the apron strings and go it solo. You won't be alone while youre doing your first solo build....that's one of the main reasons this forum is here. if you have questions or you get stuck.....stick up a post and there's a 99.9% probability someone will stump up to answer your questions or give you some guidance.
Thank you again Kiwigeo, I certainly understand, and appreciate where everyone is coming from, encouraging me to go after the dream myself.
My biggest stumbling block apart from those mentioned before is the risk of lack of motivation when doing something myself. I've completed a kit electric guitar, and also rebuilt a damaged super-strat with all new wiring and parts, but they took much longer than they should have done, and they only worked for a limited time. My first goes at soldering were not very successful! :?
Setting myself deadlines after all the planning worked really well throughout the course! Having Aaron there as my mentor was a godsend.
Lillian wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:01 am
You did a fantastic job, it sounds wonderful. And if I didn't know better I'd swear that the singer hailed from my neck of the woods.

I have to echo Martin and Mark. You really can do your second one by yourself. And if you really have been bitten, you'll be miserable until you start building. You don't need a lot of expensive tools to make a guitar. They just help to get it done faster. Don't you guys have community wood shops you can buy time at? If you don't have one locally, maybe find someone nearby that you can rent space at.

Power tools aren't absolutely necessary. Guitars and their ilk have been made with just hand tools for a very long time. A lot of the jigs and tools you can make yourself. And of course keep an eye out for second hand tools. You never know what you will find and where. We just move to a small village of less than 3000 people hours away from a metro area and I found an Adler 205-370 harness sewing machine. It's the one that all the others copied and they stopped making about 5 years ago. You never know what will turn up, especially when you need it.

You really don't need a lot of space either. I know a guy who built his first guitar on their kitchen table while his wife was pregnant just using hand tools.. He got it done before his daughter arrived. And like Martin said, you won't be alone. If you build yourself into a corner, the guys here can help you find away out of the corner.
If I didn't make it clear enough, the singer is me! So thank you very much for the kind words!
I consider myself a singer before being a guitarist. Having said all that, I was a trombonist before picking up the guitar! I still play Bass trombone at my local brass band.

Your comment about utilising someone else's workshop does ring true, there are a couple of "Men's Shed's" nearby that may work, but I haven't looked into what they offer, as each one has different trades they tend to lean towards.
I've just found out there is a builder here in my own town, and they do offer classes, even casual ones where I can come and go(Set times of course!) but costs are up there. Might be worth my time getting in touch with them.

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Lillian » Fri Jan 01, 2021 5:38 am

Zandit, I grew up in the South (Virginia) and I would have sworn that you were from Tennessee or Kentucky. That was a great video. I loved the song. Thanks for sharing.

Good luck figuring out where you are going to build your next one. I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing your next creation.

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Mark McLean » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:44 pm

Lillian’s suggestion to look up a Men’s Shed is a good one (sorry Lillian - that is the name that they go by in Australia. They do not exclude women, but the name makes a very gendered assumption about who would want to use them). It could give you good access to bigger tools like a thickness sander, band saw, drill pres. Then you can do most of the work at home with hand tools.

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by ozziebluesman » Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:54 pm

Hi Daniel,
Great job for a first build. You should be proud of your accomplishment as it is not an easy task building a fine musical instrument.
My first two guitars are out in the the shed and not in good condition.
They where both learning curves especially about trying to build with timber not seasoned correctly and working in a non humidified environment living in the dry tropics. Beware, Townsville is not always Brownsville as it is nicknamed it can be very we in a short time frame.
The first builds gave me such a bag full of skills I didn't know I had. Almost all of the advice came form here.
Just recently I built my 20th acoustic guitar a classical and it is my best effort yet I reckon.
Just do it and have a thirst to learn and ask heaps of questions here especially as the builders who hang out here are first class in the world.
We also have respect for each others ideas and even if we disagree. At the end of the day sum up the information gathered and go for it.
I remember one of my builds and the neck just would not go right for me so I started again and gained so much pleasure in feeding the old neck through the bandsaw.
Thanks for posting the guitar demo and the voice is a killer.
Hope to see you around here often.
Cheers
Alan
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Alan Hamley

http://www.hamleyfineguitars.com/

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Zandit75
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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Zandit75 » Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:53 pm

Mark McLean wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:44 pm
Lillian’s suggestion to look up a Men’s Shed is a good one (sorry Lillian - that is the name that they go by in Australia. They do not exclude women, but the name makes a very gendered assumption about who would want to use them). It could give you good access to bigger tools like a thickness sander, band saw, drill pres. Then you can do most of the work at home with hand tools.
Thanks Mark, appreciate you spelling that out for Lillian, I didn't even think about that!
It's on the To Do list!
Lillian wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 5:38 am
Zandit, I grew up in the South (Virginia) and I would have sworn that you were from Tennessee or Kentucky. That was a great video. I loved the song. Thanks for sharing.

Good luck figuring out where you are going to build your next one. I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing your next creation.
Thank you again Lillian!
Considering the song is from one of Australia's foremost country singers, I'm very glad you liked it. You should check out more of Troy Casser-Daley's music!
I wasn't going for an American sound, in fact I try to keep it pretty neutral by making sure I'm not trying to put an accent, or certain feel into a song. Many of the cover songs I play are ballads from many genre's, and while the bulk of it is country, I don't try to put a country feel to them. Playing too many country songs has already cost me future gigs at a local restaurant unfortunately. The owner supposedly hates country music.
There are more of my videos here if you like - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr_y9z ... shelf_id=1
ozziebluesman wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:54 pm
Hi Daniel,
Great job for a first build. You should be proud of your accomplishment as it is not an easy task building a fine musical instrument.
My first two guitars are out in the the shed and not in good condition.
They where both learning curves especially about trying to build with timber not seasoned correctly and working in a non humidified environment living in the dry tropics. Beware, Townsville is not always Brownsville as it is nicknamed it can be very we in a short time frame.
The first builds gave me such a bag full of skills I didn't know I had. Almost all of the advice came form here.
Just recently I built my 20th acoustic guitar a classical and it is my best effort yet I reckon.
Just do it and have a thirst to learn and ask heaps of questions here especially as the builders who hang out here are first class in the world.
We also have respect for each others ideas and even if we disagree. At the end of the day sum up the information gathered and go for it.
I remember one of my builds and the neck just would not go right for me so I started again and gained so much pleasure in feeding the old neck through the bandsaw.
Thanks for posting the guitar demo and the voice is a killer.
Hope to see you around here often.
Cheers
Alan
Thanks for chipping in Alan, most appreciated.
Yes, I was very lucky with this build, and I'm so happy that I had a teacher like Aaron leading me through this.
As mentioned earlier, my first two guitar projects were a kit guitar, followed by a Super Strat re-build that a friend found at a garage sale.
Here's some pics.
This is the kit, just an LP copy. Mahogany Body, Spalted/Flamed Maple veneer on top. Cheap Chinese electrics.
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Natural finish on the top, black stain for the back, sides and neck
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And the rebuild. Covered in stickers, dents, gouges, and cracks. Stripped it back, added new electrics and tuning machines. Nothing fancy, mostly second hand stuff.
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Ended up finishing it in a Granite style paint, a bit fragile, and chips easily at the edges unfortunately, but overall, something different
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They are both wall hangers now though. I'm not handy with the soldering iron!!! :D :D
Image

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Lillian » Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:14 am

Mark McLean wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:44 pm
Lillian’s suggestion to look up a Men’s Shed is a good one (sorry Lillian - that is the name that they go by in Australia. They do not exclude women, but the name makes a very gendered assumption about who would want to use them). It could give you good access to bigger tools like a thickness sander, band saw, drill pres. Then you can do most of the work at home with hand tools.
No worries Mark. Men's Sheds have been talked about on the forum quite a bit over the years. Just couldn't remember what they were called. I have to say that I've always been a bit jealous that we don't have anything like them here in the US. But the foundation was poured for the shop last week, so... I hope to be less jealous by March.

Zandit, you said you don't have much room at home. But if you do the big tool tasks at a Men's Shed, you can do the smaller tool tasks at home, where it should be easier to control humidity. To that end, I'm sure you know there is no such thing as too many clamps. My son was helping me pack up the shop and was surprised that I had several buckets full of spring clamps. I told him that every time I went into Harbor Freight or the hardware store I would grab one or two of them. It took time to gather my horde, but it didn't hurt the wallet like it would have if I bought them all in one or two goes.

I did check out Troy Casser-Daley's music on YouTube. I'm not a huge fan of Country music, but I really enjoyed it.

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Mark McLean » Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:09 am

Happy New Year Lillian, and it is great to think that your new workshop is going to be built soon. Can you show us some pictures as it goes up, or when it is done? I would love to see a “Lillian’s shed” thread on the forum.

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Lillian » Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:34 am

Mark McLean wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:09 am
Happy New Year Lillian, and it is great to think that your new workshop is going to be built soon. Can you show us some pictures as it goes up, or when it is done? I would love to see a “Lillian’s shed” thread on the forum.
Happy New Year Mark. Happy New Years to everyone.

I think I can make that happen. I'm hoping on it getting done this Spring, but if getting the foundation and access in is any indication on how this is going to go, I'll be lucky to get it done by next Fall. We'll have to see how it all shakes out.

2021 has got to be better than the absolute nasty roller coaster ride of 2020.

Sorry about the hijack Zandit.

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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by Zandit75 » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:17 am

Lillian wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:34 am
Sorry about the hijack Zandit.
Haha, don't worry about that!! If any of my threads don't take a hard left turn, I get disappointed!!
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Re: New Tassie member(Don't hold that against me!!)

Post by lamanoditrento » Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:58 am

Welcome to the forum Zandit75, nice first build!

I think Strato does an intensive course in Tassy once a year...
https://australianguitarmakingschool.com.au/hobart/
Trent

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