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Making a Copy of a Miguel Rodriguez Guitar - Closing Up The Box

Every maker has his own little secret twist, only truly appreciated by the public and the aficionados.

Miguel Rodriguez, Jr. (1921-1998), master luthier, Cordoba, Spain




Ten years ago, an older friend found out that I was making classical guitars.

He invited me over to his little handmade house of reclaimed wood, it sat beneath gigantic sugar pines and incense cedars, and Lassen Volcanic National Park was only 50 feet from his back door. He said he had some wood I might be interested in, an invitation I couldn't turn down.

Beneath those sugar pines and cedars were about 100 bundles of hand split western red cedar shingles, all leftover from when he roofed his house fifteen years earlier.

He said, "Go wild and pick out what you want".

I did and now when I look back at that day, I wish I had taken more.

We all know what wishing gets us.

The guitar in the above photo is the first guitar that I have made from a pair of those cedar shakes.





The three piece back is some "wild grown" Indian rosewood with a sapele insert.

The braces are Spanish cedar, so are the back joint reinforcement strips.





I use Lee Valley Fish Glue to glue on the back and as you can see I rope the back onto the sides with a two inch wide strip cut from a tire inner tube.





The guitar is ready for the bindings, which will be sapele to match the back insert.

The rosette is very similar to the rosettes created by Francisco Simplicio and Ignacio Fleta.





I will work on this guitar as I can over the summer and fall, there are three other guitars for me to finish this summer.

If anyone would like color photos of this guitar, please contact me and I will send them to you!


Here's a YouTube of Raphaella Smits playing one of my favorite J.S. Bach pieces!

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Kim R. Stafford, Having Everything Right, 1986.

Rive, verb, to split
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Jose Ramirez III, Things About the Guitar, 1990




Here is the hand size and scale length that I found on the forum at delcamp.com.

Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 250+ 664mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 230 to 250 656mm scale length
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Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 190 to 210 640mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 170 to 190 630mm scale length
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of below 170 615mm scale length



Here is my flexible imperial/metric ruler.




Here is my hand properly placed on the flexible imperial/metric ruler.




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Ours is really a simple craft.

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