Tuning the guqin

I’m basically done!!!!! And the experiment with the compound radius worked out well. The main aim in making the new instruments was to try to eliminate string buzz, and indeed, it’s gone. Making the tuning cords required some trial and error. I bought tread, and for this luoxia guqin, I…

Inscribing the guqin

When I started this guqin project in February, I had no idea it would have taken this long. If I did, I most likely would have not embarked on it. For much of last week, I took a break from working on the instruments, since I was in San Diego…

Guqin naming

Progress in the guqin building project has been steady but slow. I had made and set the pearl inlay, and they all ended up looking very nice. Then, I applied many clear coats of finish. Also, I drilled holes for the tuning cords. This all took place last week. I…

South Fork Trail

Starting from the South Fork trailhead in the San Bernardino National Forest, a group of us hiked up passed the meadow and up to the avalanche area. After that, we turned around and headed back down the mountain.

School of Medicine Graduation

Commencement this year, like most years, took place on a sweltering spring morning. It was great to see the students graduate after having accomplished so much through school. Scott Nelson was the honored alumnus of the year, and Lenny Werner gave the commencement address.

Zhang and Zheng

Today, we had Dr. Zhang and Dr. Zheng over for dinner. They are both from the Number 2 Hospital of Tangshan, which is an orthopaedic referral center for that entire region.

Guqin pearl inlay

This past weekend, I worked on staining the second instrument. Because the shape of this second guqin is known as 落霞 (descending crimson clouds), I decided to color it brilliant red tossed in dark and stormy skies. Under the sunlight, some parts are like a rich burgundy. After getting the…

Safari with Joan

Months ago, Roger Hadley bought the Safari with Joan event at the Children’s Hospital Gala fundraising event. We all had a nice dinner at Joan Coggins’s home. Sean Bush was the guest speaker. The food was wonderful, and I also enjoyed seeing all the animal trophies from her past safari…

May Birthdays

For Andy’s and Aimee’s birthdays, we had several celebrations. First, it was at Cherry’s house. Then, we also had a surprise event at Delhi Palace.

Guqin sanding

I reached another major step in the guqin construction project this past Sunday. While both of the instruments have been put together, I decided to sand and finish one of them first—partly to experiment and make sure it turns out well. Applying color was tricky, because it was easy to…

Mothers’ Day Grill

There were all sorts of things from our garden that we put together for this grill event celebrating Mothers’ Day. The lettuce was fresh from the field, as was the rosemary for the potatoes.

Applying the guqin coating

I finally finished all the sawing, routing, planing, and chiseling for the guqin parts—except for the tuning pegs. It feels good to have reach this stage, as the next steps mainly involve assembling and finishing. Most luthiers adhere to the traditional technique of applying coats of lacquer from the varnish…

Black Canyon Kayaking

The past weekend was spent kayaking the Black Canyon just below Hoover Dam—the first day upstream for almost twelve miles and about four miles back to camp, and the second day all downstream pushed by a nice current and a tailwind.

Legislative Leadership Conference

A contingent of students and attendings went to Sacramento for the California Medical Association’s Legislative Leadership Conference. After a morning session of speakers, we spent the afternoon visiting with various members of the State Assembly. Photographs are courtesy of Linda Stratton.

Huntington Beach

We all had a great time just lounging around at the beach, enjoying the cool weather and the bright sunshine.

Buds and Blooms

So many plants are blooming or budding at this time. Our garden has come to life, after some dormancy during the winter months. Spring is in full swing now, and there is so much color all around.

Guqin assembly

Today was a major milestone in the guqin construction project. Between work and being away to the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons in Washington, DC, I hadn’t had much time to work on the pair of guqin. I spent much of this week catching up, and I got home…

Washington, DC

The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons met in Washington, DC. On this trip, I had the chance to visit Kandus and Brad Thorp and their office at the Hope Channel in the General Conference. It was very nice to visit. Another highlight was the chance to tour the monuments…

My Birthday

For my birthday, we made a simple meal of pizza topped with fresh and grilled vegetables. We also had grilled artichokes.

Guqin bottom panel

Guqin construction has been extremely slow. I carved out the peg pool last week. I also started cutting the holes for the feet. First, I drilled pilot holes. Then, I have to convert the round holes into square ones, which is why it’s taking so much longer. This afternoon, I…

Guqin peg pool

It’s been quite some time since I’ve worked on the instrument. Between going to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons convention in New Orleans the previous week and becoming sick two days after getting back in town, and having been on call for the past week, I didn’t get a…

Guqin panels

This evening, I reached another milestone in guqin-making. For the bottom panel, I had roughly cut out the outlines on a maple board with a jigsaw and finished the finer cuts with a router. Then, I finished carving out the inside. Now, the top and bottom pieces fit nicely together.…

Hollowing the guqin top

Today was a milestone in the guqin-making endeavor. After preliminarily hollowing out the inside of the top, I sanded the concavity. Then, I cut around the entire outline of one of the guqin and freed it from the original board. The next step is to plane and sand the convex…