Norman Wood guitar

I've always had a soft spot for quirky guitar makers. A favorite is Joseph Bohmann who, according to himself, was "The World's Greatest Musical Instrument Maker".

I brought in a very odd thing for repair done by Norman Wood in 1977, an English eccentric builder. He also had a sign on the side of the road to his premises that said "One of the best Guitars in the World are made here" or something similar. I'll try to find out more about him when I start working on the guitar. He was special and a bit of a crazy inventor with a long nylon coat and 2-3 pairs of glasses on top of each other. A signature is his stepped pyramid-like bottom, in addition, the frets are made of round bars of silver steel and not ordinary T-frets! No braces at the bottom are needed, the top has a bracing pattern similar to a nylon string fan bracing. The guitar was designed for thin 0.10 strings and is light, if slightly angular. The guitar is not lacquered, but has a coating of beeswax. The bindings were made from strips of maple veneer glued on top of each other, even the kerfing was thin strips glued in layers. May sound good, remains to be heard!

I spent some time after work to take the bottom apart. The bottom binding, which was made of two layers of maple veneer, was milled away to access the joint between the bottom and kerfing. It seems to be glued with Titebond or maybe ordinary carpenter's glue, a bit difficult but not impossible as the glue gives way to heat and water. I got the bottom apart well for being mahogany, it's a loose wood with a texture similar to crispbread that tends to be very hard to get off if the glue isn't hide glue. The fact that there were no bottom braces made it easier. I had to glue on a couple of loose pieces at the two blocks where the joint did not release the glue.

The entire guitar is mahogany, including the braces. This one has been repaired before, and a pickup had been fitted. The neck is a regular dove tail and I can probably loosen it later. I will work a little on the side with this one just because I am interested in it :-)

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