At the Lie-Nielsen open house last weekend, luthier Patrick Sebrey, of Union, Maine, brought along a clever maple guitar stand on which he put the finishing touches during the two days of technique and tool demos.
At first glance, I thought the piece was a musical instrument — perhaps a variation on a harp — thanks to the tuning keys and strings. But Patrick told me it was a stand, then showed me how the thin, curved upright off which the guitar hangs is too thin to bear alone the weight of an instrument.
The guitar strings, which are captured through holes at the top of the piece, are actually guy wires — like those on a suspension bridge — to keep the flexible maple piece rigid. The tuning keys do tension the strings, but not enough to play them.
This was a prototype stand, though, and so many people tried to “play” it that Patrick said he was considering making them both functional and playable when he builds another.
But with the leather-lined support in place (day two), the stand functions exactly as envisioned, and looks great to boot.