Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 10

Left: Student Leonard Stanley of Washington gently flexes the top for
his classical guitar to ensure it will move when played. He will spend
many hours shaving wood from the braces to get it just right. Bottom
left: Paul checks the fit on Mark's guitar before letting the student
move on to the next step. He promises every student will leave with a
playable instrument thanks to careful attention to the details.

Bourbon

of two who are building acoustic guitars. " I still do repairs
and I still build my own stuff, but I think really the direction I want to go is to turn it into something where I am
having three or four sessions a year where we are building
something, " he says. " I don't want to be like those old timers who kept their trade secrets. "
Buying the old bank, which is served by Crawford Electric Cooperative, was a dream come true for Paul, who
has been building and repairing instruments part time for
most of his 64 years. It marked the first time he was able
to get all of his tools under one roof.
" I always had a basement shop or the kitchen table, " he
admits. " I worked in chicken coops with no electricity. I've
built in all kinds of places but this is the nicest, and I want
to share it. "
Besides giving him room to work and teach others, the
building has an addition that Paul turned into a music
theater. That part of the business shut down due to
COVID-19 concerns. But Paul hopes to reopen it when the
pandemic ends.
Meanwhile the sound of sharp tools slicing through
wood replaces the melodies silenced by the virus. Whether
it's one of his own or a student's project, the work starts
on a bandsaw with a 1-inch-thick blade used to resaw
lumber into thin pieces. From there the wood goes to a
homemade thickness sander where the sawmarks are
sanded off.
The builder has to radius the top, add braces, then
chisel and sand the braces until the top is flexible enough
to produce the desired sound. It takes hours of trial and
error to get it just right.
The sides are heated and bent into a frame, then set
aside to dry. There's a neck to shape, a fretboard to be
sanded and frets installed in hand-cut kerfs. If the builder
wants something fancy, grooves are routed into the top for
inlay.
There are hundreds of steps before the finish is applied,
with each one closely monitored by Paul. " I walk them

10

RURAL MISSOURI | DECEMBER 2020



Rural Missouri - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - December 2020

Contents
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - Contents
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 4
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 5
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 6
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 7
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 8
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 9
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 10
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 11
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 12
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 13
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 14
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 15
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 16
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 17
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 18
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 19
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 20
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 21
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 22
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 23
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 24
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 25
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 26
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 27
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 28
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 29
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 30
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 31
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 32
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 33
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 34
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 35
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 36
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 37
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 38
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 39
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 40
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 41
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 42
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 43
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 44
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 45
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 46
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 47
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 48
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 49
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 50
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - Cover4
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