Mike Ritchie’s new workshop

Mike made both my acoustic guitars, and I consider him to be the best guitar maker ever; if you could hear my guitars you would understand that this is no exaggeration. This is Mike in his newly constructed workshop.

Check this magnificent new entrance, Mike in the background playing my guitar.

And a closer picture after stepping through the door.

Good to see the maker looking satisfied with his craftsmanship; it was a pleasure hearing him playing it.

Anyway, I took some shots of work in progress for Mike, this is a pair of necks for classical instruments in early gluing.

Mike preparing his plane blade for book-matching and gluing some tables. This was the process that Mike thought would interest me, done in the traditional way.

Mike takes blade sharpness really seriously.

Mike beginning to prepare the edges for sticking together.

And here Mike is checking that the two edges meet perfectly and mate properly along the whole length.

This bit is so interesting, Mike uses traditional animal glue, which needs to be warmed briefly to ensure good penetration. After using traditional string and wedges to bring the two faces together, Mike plays a torch over the joint to help the glue to do it’s job.

Mike was keen for me to photograph the process, but I wanted to photograph Mike; I love this close-up of Mike while he focuses on the new joint. I have said this in previous posts, but what a striking man Mike is.

I couldn’t resist these sound-hole inlays, all handmade by Mike; I love these and wish I could have a guitar to go with each of these!

Finally, a workshop detail for fun.

This set of pictures was all taken with my Canon 5dMk2 and my Sigma 24-70 f2.8. Mike was working really quickly and so I wanted to frame him working while staying safely out of his way. I bought this lens for my recent wedding shoot and have been really happy with it. It takes great portraits and delivers that look of gorgeous bokeh that I am addicted to. I hadn’t expected to like it this much, being a prime lens addict, but it is really special and will be heavily used in wedding shoots.


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