Stringing up and starting the finish

We've come to the most exciting moment, when all of the wood-working is done we get to hear a rough idea of what this guitar's voice is going to sound like.  I always string my guitars up prior to finish, in case I need to do any additional thinning on the soundboard or back to tune in the sound I'm going for.  In the past, this practice was more valuable as there would often be adjustments I had to make to fine-tune the instrument, but in the last couple of years it's pretty rare that I modify anything.  My sense-memory has strengthened to the point that I know when the right soundboard and back thickness has been achieved simply by flexing with my thumbs and tapping the instrument.  But I think I will always continue to string up each guitar before finishing, just to make sure I prevent any "duds" and keep my guitars very consistent.

I decided not to make a video until a few sessions of shellac were done, so that the sound would be closer to what it will be on the finished product.

Perfection is both subjective and impossible to qualify, but sound-wise I've pretty much accomplished what I set out to do with the flamenco guitar, and can now do it quite consistently.  This particular instrument is, in my opinion, "above the curve", but the curve has been getting higher and deviations from it much smaller. 

What I set out to do, which is very well exemplified by this instrument, is to make a flamenco guitar that can "do it all".  It needs growl and percussiveness when pushed hard, as well as a sweet, melodic voice when played softly.  It needs to be extremely responsive and dynamic.

A thousand blog posts will never say as much as a single note, so here is the video.  Please excuse my sloppy playing!

Here are a few photos of the guitar, with the first coats of shellac applied.  It will be finished by the end of the month!