To create the Authentic Series, we have painstakingly researched and copied, to the finest detail, every aspect of the original Weissenborns and the way in which they were built. This has taken us a number of years to perfect and has involved looking in detail at a high number of original Weissenborns, from the 1920’s era as well as the later 1930’s models. Unravelling the history of these instruments has been a real passion and we have built many prototypes along our journey before being confident we had every detail correct and historically accurate.
Below is a quick look into some of the details of the building process. This is exactly how the original Weissenborns would have been built.
The Selected Koa is cut in to sets from the billet and book-matched. The top and back are then planed by hand to get a seamless joint and then joined using hide glue. We use hide glue exclusively throughout the whole build process as is the case for all of the guitars built in the Anderwood Custom Shop. At this stage the tops, backs and sides are cut to shape.
The tops are then thicknessed to approximately 1/8 inch. This is not the finished thickness, but allows the rosettes (whether it the 3 Holly rings of the style 1 or the Holly and Rosewood marqueterie with Holly perflin and Holly ring of the Styles 2-4) to be cut and inlayed, and the sound holes cut. You’ll find that on original instruments of this era the rosette lines up to the last fret markers along the board.
All the components of our Authentic Series are cut and shaped from timber in our custom shop. The only part of the guitar outsourced is the hardware, being the replica Waveley machine heads, (Henkes & Blazer “Germany”) bushings, rolled aluminium saddle (Tony Francis Instruments “New Zealand”) and hand-turned Ivoriod bridge and end pins (Henkes & Blazer “Germany”). All the specifications for these parts have been taken from original Instruments and copied exactly.
The next stage is to cut the bracings, end block and linings. For these Red Spruce is used. This is a critical part of getting the guitars perfect in both look and feel to an original, but also in creating that beautiful Weissenborn tone and sustain. By cutting the bracings to the exact same size as Weissenborn, and even going into the details of the gap between each kerf cut, its depth and angle, and concentrating on the smallest of details, we can capture the magic of the originals.
As with the originals, Rock Maple is used for the bridge plate, then cut to size and shaped using a template taken from a circa 1927 instrument. This iconic design termed ‘Christmas Tree’ by Tom Noe was the mainstay for all instruments built during and after 1927.
Once the sides have been thicknessed to the correct size, bent to shape and left in the mould to settle, they can then be joined to the end block and the Koa inlay is cut in to the base. On the Style 1 this was just a plain piece of Koa, whereas on the Styles 2-4 this Koa is edged by Maple and Rosewood perflin. Cutting the inlay into the block slightly helps to avoid any future problems and strengthens the instrument. This is where the Ivoriod end pin will end up.
The hand cut linings are then glued on to the sides ready for the top to go on next.
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