2022 Guild School

June 11-18, 2022 - Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, Maine

48 Hour Classes

Ursula Dyrbye-Skovsted - Early Classical Guitar
Bill Robertson - Chippendale Garden Bench & Planters

INSTRUCTOR: Ursula Dyrbye-Skovsted, Artisan
COURSE: Woodworking
PROJECT: Early Classical Guitar

What is more intriguing than having built your own guitar of the finest materials in 1/12th scale…and who knows, you might create a new tune? Be a real luthier and build your own guitar!

The instrument, a round body with a long neck and fretted board, is known all the way back to Mesopotamia 4,500 years ago. It is also known later on in various periods and cultures. In the 12th century the guitar came to Spain where it soon became a favorite of many musicians through the centuries. Among them are Paganini and Schubert who both composed for the guitar in the early 19th century. The form and sound has changed a lot since the beginning and is still changing. Today there is a huge variety of shapes and forms for different styles of music and from different periods and with different names. The guitar we know as the “Spanish Guitar” got its current form around the 1850’s by Antonio Torres and is still a popular instrument worldwide.

Students will build a classical guitar from start to finish using multiple techniques like mirror veneering, steam bending, inlay, carving and joint making; and using several materials like hardwoods, veneers, bone and wire. The guitar will be built as close to a full-size one as possible, with a steam bent hardwood body, veneered sides and sound board, framed sound box, simulated purfling (edge) and rosette, a hand-carved bridge and head, and the supported neck made with ebony fretboard and bone inlay. Traditional instrument joinery will be taught. Strings will be attached with pre-turned pegs.

Jigs will be provided by the instructor. Some minor parts may be pre-made due to class time. The techniques used in class can be transferred to future miniature work. This is a demanding class with a lot of fun work and soft guitar music in the background! But no musical skills will be taught in this class!

TIME: 48 hours. Completion is likely. However, students may need to work overtime.

POWER TOOLS: table saw, flex shaft, milling machine, router, moto tool, drill press

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate and advanced. This is an aggressive class with a lot of techniques. Good eyehand coordination is crucial for finishing the project. Some skill in working with small-size wood and some experience with power tools is recommended.

MATERIALS FEE: $115 to be collected at school

INSTRUCTOR: Bill Robertson, Artisan
COURSE: Furniture Construction
PROJECT: Chippendale Garden Bench & Planters

Sir Edwin Lutyens has been called Britain's greatest architect. He designed many buildings throughout the world and was a major force in the creation of Queen Mary's Doll House now on display at Windsor Castle. But one of his most timeless designs was a Chippendale-style garden bench he created for his dear friend Gertrude Jekyll, the famous garden designer. These benches are still sold today and can found in both formal and country style gardens everywhere.

This is a fairly aggressive project for a class due to the number of pieces and the different methods taught. In many ways it is two classes in one because the construction methods are quite different for the bench and the planters. Most of the joints in the bench will be “fit in place” while the parts in the planters will be “machined” to the same sizes, much of it on the Taig lathe. Special techniques will be taught on how to assemble furniture so it sits straight and square.

Using templates and a jeweler’s saw the bench’s curved front legs and back crest rail will be cut out and pinned together. The templates will also have the holes located to line up the six pieces in each arm. Using a Proxxon mill and/or drill press, the slots for the horizontal back slats will be cut parallel to each other. These slats will have hand cut cross lap joints cut in them. When the back is assembled it will be pinned and glued to the seat and stretchers with alignment fixtures. The last step, which can be a little time consuming is to cut and fit each arm piece to the exact length and pin it into the drilled holes.

There will be options for the feet and the panels on the planters, some simpler than others. The panels can have either a “X” or a Chinese Chippendale design. To make the eight panels identical, each student will machine their own fixture from either aluminum or plastic on a milling machine. This will allow them to make perfectly matching panels and this type of jig can be made in any size for future projects. The frame will be constructed using round mortise and tenon joints to insure perfect alignment. The ball finials will be turned on a Taig lathe using a radius attachment and detailing with hand held gravers.

The bench will be made of wood specially milled to thickness for this project. It can be left natural or painted at home.

TIME: 48 hours. Completion is likely, but some homework may be needed depending on skill level and working speed.

POWER TOOLS: lathe, drill press

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate and advanced. This class is a mix of machine and hand woodworking with skills that transfer to all types of furniture building. The advanced students can choose the most complex options to challenge them.

MATERIALS FEE: $95 to be collected at school