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Showing posts from June, 2015

Antonio Torres FE 19 Style Guitar: Bearclaw Sitka Spruce/Granadillo

...Antonio Torres created his uniquely designed instrument in the modest provincial town of Almeria, which is about as far away as you can get from the musically sophisticated capitals of Europe.

Julian Bream, from Antonio Torres, Guitar Maker, by Jose Romanillos, 1987




I spent part of the morning fine tuning the top bracing on this guitar.

That means dividing the strings, putting my hand through the sound hole with a piece of 220 grit garnet paper taped to the end of my index finger.

The idea is to take just a few swipes on the top of the treble side braces to make the treble strings a little louder and more bell-like. They do sound louder with more separation from the bass strings.

I also sanded the top just behind the bridge to "hot rod" the top, as luthier Tom Blackshear once about that technique.

The guitar is brand new and sounds new. I can't wait to hear it in six months!



I purchased the granadillo back and sides from Hibdon Hardwood.

Jerry Hibdon asked me if he …

New Tool: A Stanley No.36 1/2 Ruler, Warrented Boxwood English

While "measure twice and cut once" is always pithy advice, it is more important to measure accurately and to know that you have.

Aldren A. Watson, Hand Tools, 1982


I bought this ruler off of eBay a couple of weeks ago.

I needed a folding ruler to carry in my coat pocket so I can measure the hands of potential clients, to see what scale length will suit them best for playing a classical guitar.



I had originally wanted to by a one foot four fold Stanley ruler, but the ones that were being auctioned at the time were out of my price range.

I won this one, received it in the mail and then found several affordable one foot four fold rulers on eBay.

Funny how it always happens that way.

Off the Bench: Antonio Torres Style Classical Guitar, or Another Reason Why I Make Classical Guitars

A musical instrument is, without doubt, one of the most ingenious inventions of man.

Manuel Rodriguez, The Art and Craft of Making Classical Guitars, 2003



One reason why I build classical guitars are young musicians.

They need quality affordable instruments, proper tools that allow them to grow.

Those young people make me push myself as a woodworker, I want to make better and better guitars. Each guitar I make is a "concert" guitar, only the best, something with a beautifully loud voice that touches the hearts of those who listen.



This morning, Kyle, drove up from Denver to be present when I put the strings on his Torres/Santos guitar for the first time.

He almost cried when he took his new guitar out of its case and saw how beautiful it is.

He hadn't even heard it.

I installed the strings, showed him how the 12 hole bridge works and tuned it to concert pitch.

My, it is a wonderful sounding guitar.

I ran a few scales on it, played part of a piece by Manuel Ponce then han…

Why I Make Classical Guitars and Why You Should Buy One of My Guitars

The finest guitars are made by individual craftsmen, not by factories.

Christopher Parkening, The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method, Vol.1, 1972



Wilson, I love the guitar.

The craftsmanship is truly evident in the depth and character of tone, I am more aware of my tone property.

It makes me want to play even more than usual, because it sounds so good.

The last time a guitar made me feel like that was when I was playing Alex Kommodore's $10,000 John Gilbert guitar.

Thanks.


James L., Littleton, Colorado



Thank you, James, for those kind words!

I hope your new guitar will help you with your musical career.

This is the guitar that James purchased from me, it has a Sitka spruce top...

If you want to see a video of Stephen Valeriano playing this guitar, go to the right hand side of this blog, scroll down to the second photo of a guitar and click on the photo.



...with eastern Black Walnut back and sides

My goal as a guitar maker is simple - to make the most responsive, beautifully voiced …

Pore Filling with Egg White, Pumice and Alcohol

If the finest pumice powder is added to the whiting grain filler it will assist in producing a good surface.

Bernard E. Jones, The Complete Woodworker, 190?



I've never been very happy with most pore filling techniques that are shown in several nice DVDs on French Polishing.

One technique uses an epoxy, which I find too toxic, another calls for a water based pore filler that requires, I think, too much sanding to remove from the wood.

In the finest tradition of French polishing, one is suppose to apply a spit coat of 1 pound cut shellac and after that dries the polisher is to use alcohol and pumice on the pad to fill the pores.

The pumice raises up wood dust, the alcohol dissolves the shellac to take the pumice and wood dust and then the shellac is suppose to make all of that stick to the pores.

It works, but one problem is that shellac will dry and shrink, leaving little tiny craters every where in the finish. The other problem is it takes a lot of elbow grease to fill the pores.