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009. Billy builds an 1869 Francisco Gonzalez classical at Hart’s Guitars. Pt. 1

Billy is my new student, “taking a break from the corporate world” where he has excelled at varying positions with Georgia Pacific and Amazon, among others. He found my website online and is coming to build his own guitar during this downtime, a reward to himself for hard work. I have a set of plans from the Guild of American Luthiers and for the first time, I’m building a classical guitar to spec. It’s been really fun to see the excitement on his face during the first few days of class. He has an online guitar business selling collector-quality instruments.

The artist, engineer, and luthier Francisco Gonzalez was a guitar builder in Madrid in the mid 1800s. In 1867, at the Universal Exposition in Paris, he was awarded a bronze metal for his guitars.

The layout of the bracing differs from the “fan bracing” revolution of Antonio Torres which was taking hold of the lutherie world right about the time this 1869 guitar was made.

Over the course of the first week, Billy and I accomplished a TON of items on the list to make his guitar. Then, I had to go home to Greenville, SC to take my mom to the doctor and spend a couple od days up there. When I returned, I fell ill for several days (not with Covid-19) and only days before the Coronavirus became an inevitability. After some delay, we were able to get back to work. Seeing the near future clearly in front of us and the disruption to modern life that was shaping up, we decided to just be casual with our approach, in no hurry. I advertise my guitar building intensive as a 7-day course. That flew out the window and we added to our projects the process of French-polishing our instruments. So, this also added a but more time to the process.

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