Registered: January 2008
Location: Athenry, Co Galway, Ireland
|Quote from Adrian Lucas, builder of the Rufus,
"Guitar no. 65 (Rufus)
I wanted to build a guitar using only local English-grown woods. The only part I was unsure I could do this with was the soundboard. I have several Douglas fir doors from my own and my neighbours’ houses and I’ve been using this wood for bracing in my guitars almost from the beginning. These houses were built in 1930 and the wood would have been cut maybe five years before this. It has a very fine grain and is pretty stiff. I reckoned this would probably make a pretty good soundboard and kind of fitted the eco bill, being reclaimed wood. It’s even possible it was grown in Britain. I sawed up one of the bottom rails into thin slices and glued two of these adjacent slices together as a bookmatched pair and planed them. The feel and stiffness were promising so I decided to go ahead.
For the back and sides I chose yew. I had wanted to use this wood for some years on account of its great beauty. Working with it I found it was very durable and springy. The neck came from a billet of English walnut, which is known to be a suitable wood for guitar necks. The fingerboard and head veneer are laburnum, a British garden tree, and I had had them in stock for fifteen years or so waiting for the right instrument. I pondered the bridge material for some time and made up roughs in several different woods. I settled on holly because it was very fine-grained and quite weighty; I also found the white colour striking against the darker soundboard. The woods in the rosette and purfling are sycamore veneers (the thin lines) and the diagonal strip in the purfling also includes cherry. The bindings are also cherry. The central feature in the rosette is end-grain oak and comes from a friend’s 1920s window sills. The bridge pins and end pin are box.
I was very pleased with the way this prototype English woods guitar came out and intend to continue to offer this theme in future guitars."