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On the Bench - Redwood/Black Walnut Classical Guitar

Redwood forests were California's second Mother Lode, and like Sierra Nevada gold they are inextricably linked to the state's history.

John Evarts, et al, Coast Redwood, A Natural History, 2011

Today, I glued the back onto a redwood/black walnut classical guitar that I named Luisa, after the flamenco bailaora, Luisa Maravilla.

The top is redwood that I purchased from Paul Carroll at Redwood Bears and Burls in Gasquet, California.

The back and sides I re-sawed, by hand with a Disston D-8 rip saw, from a board of black walnut that I purchased at a flea market in Longmont, Colorado.

The neck is Port Orford cedar, the top braces are from a 50+ year old white fir 2x4, the back fillet is sycamore, the back braces are black cherry. All of these species grow in Tehama County, California, which is where I am from, either as naturals or exotics.

It is a "green" guitar, meaning that all the wood comes from sustainable sources.

Here are some photos of building this guitar.


Joining the top pieces.



Preparing to rout out the channel for the rosette.



Laying out the top bracing. This is similar to the bracing pattern used by the great guitarrero, Feliz Manzanero.



Glueing on the transverse braces.



The sides are next...



and the top blocks are glued in one at a time.



The sides are attached to the top and the neck.



Back linings attached along with all of the pillarettes to support the back braces.



The back is ready, with my label, to be glued on.



The Cumpiano/Natelson method for clamping the back onto a guitar, a cut up inner tube.

It was a lot of fun work to reach this point!

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