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Travel with Bennett-Watt and learn about Wayne Henderson, guitar maker and musician, whose guitar workshop is located in ...
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Wayne Henderson's Guitar Workshop in Rugby Virginia Wayne Henderson My dad was an all time musician. He liked to play the fiddle and I guess most of my grandparents were old time musicians who played banjos and this has always been interesting then. It’s also a sort of way of laughter around this area too. Almost stay like it is. It’s not too wily. It is a place and the cheapest and the best form of entertainment was to get together and play music. That sounds so nice and that still goes on.
Then I think it will definitely work. It takes me probably I guess a couple of weeks or something to make my luck in. Maybe shorter about concentrated on one instrument and just kept busy at one thing and at work you know, pretty long days of work later than that and during the day time I have used a lot of kind of pent house and company getting most of the work done at the night time.
I have to start out with a board like this one right here, like this mahogany board, it’s so thick. I’ll take this one big outside and we got jack all over but I cleaned it out before I’m going to use it. This really saw it and the pieces somewhat this thick and the thickness of this right here which is about 3 or 30 seconds, something like it then I take it over on other side of the shop and sand it, run it through the sander.
Then when I first started making guitars, back in the 60s, I used to take a piece of glass and get it down in the floor and scrape it out. I would spend the days to get a piece of wood downtown but I’m not to do that now. I’ve got a nice sander. I can write it through in a few minutes.
Then I fit it in this pot of water here. It says it still got some water and it would have been in scent in the other day. And you just turn the hot, lie down, you could keep like you used to picking yourself or you know laying through sand and keep it for about 15 minutes and then that piece of wood is still scrape but it’s wet and hot and soak through. And you just fit in this homemade contraption. This is real and I used to be under this over a piece of hot pot and you know a little torch running and something real hot. But some fellow out in California like invented this thing and it is really a neat trick. You can put different shapes and guitar. You can see that shape like this guitar I just build it there.
When you get this done, you take it and fit it in another one. I’ll show you can, you can walk right over here. I've put it in this old form I've had for years and this might add a piece of sheet board or plywood and then you clump the sides in here with the spreader and clip the ends of the model. Then when you spread this thing it forces it out against this form and that gets it to right shape.
Next thing you do is start making a top and back. Like here’s a top and a back, I have ready to go along this guitar right here and put the braces on. The back of the guitar has to have an arch build in it especially the back because to deal humidity changes of wood. Over the years I’ve learned the step. Most, I’ll have it the hard way because you know what and I thought back of the guitar was flat and then make it winner time and it starts sinking in and humidity lives in the wood, it shrinks. And then the next thing you know you got a crack or it pulls the joint apart.
This is bad stuff that happen and that’s the a little bit of arch built in and that gives a little bit of leeway to shrink so much and that kind of stuff was always the hardest to learn and you have to do it by some of your guitars blowing it and cracking or getting cracks and you have to fix them and then you discover what powers it then you can build in things to prevent it. And then if you look at the old ones, they already knew that 100 years ago and figure that kind of stuff out.
It’s just a box I’m doing repair work on it. This was made I think in 1968. It had been through an awful lot of abuse. You know, it has been played out. Somebody glued some kind of a big square bridge, ripped it of and brought pop and all. Now I think somebody left handed has played it and for years without a pick guard because you got the wire over here and off it sagged where it would normally but then have made left handed had a pick guard over.
With all these inlays or head and with the power and that kind of thing and all the channels where you run around it or rather this is all within the pocket knife. Always inlays around here and this I made out of the best piece of rosewood and had it blowing. I don’t know how it got there with this but thanks to some pretty wreath table had this guitar on time. So that’s your main channels that live over the other side of the gala somewhere and I don’t know what was in some kind of—I hope nobody was playing it when it got shot what they are made of. It make somebody said, they are mad to say that that kind of it could shoot with it somehow it wouldn’t hurt. The thing didn’t know any better.
Here is the one that I made I think when I was 10 years old something like that. I think I had to put a new box on it until the thinking day on those boxes, 59 looks like maybe. You got to its length that sort of thing but I used to play a thing on it a little bit. I mean use that thing. But anyway, here’s that first one and like this little piece around here. I wouldn’t allow each one of those individually with the pocketknife. I wouldn’t have any idea how long it took me everyday.
There we have the guitar of everybody, this had the neck. This instrument steps my therapy when I’m dancing and everything. I can totally relax to sit down and by the time I get a guitar and that one make carve there. It has my favorite thing to do. People are always asking me. You know how do you make these guitars and I used to tell them the same thing. You get some mass mahogany like this and screws and ebony and the thing about bridges and that kind of thing and good sharp wood in that and get up everything, it does not look like a guitar.
So now, you can look around the flow here and see all things that don’t look like guitar, isn’t it?
Male: Wayne Henderson has to put to mind is the heart, intelligence, wisdom soul and spirit of the mountain people in Virginia. He’s the famous talented artist. He has 6 CD recordings released, a National Heritage award winner who has played in more countries representing the United States than we can count on. A well traveled, brilliantly talented, humble man who loves his art, life and those who surround him which really adds up to his music.