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On the Workbench

This guitar is based on a guitar built by Manuel Hernandez and Victoriano Aguado in 1968. Guitarists who have played Hernandez y Aguado guitars include Regino Sainz de la Maza, John Williams, Julian Bream and Graham Anthony Devine.

Engelmann spruce top
Ziricote back and sides
Ebony bindings
Spanish cedar neck
Ebony fret board
650mm string length
Neck - 52mm wide at nut, 62mm wide at 12th fret
Neck - 21.5mm thick at 1st fret, 24mm thick at 9th fret

The soundboard bracing pattern is a close copy of the original, I thinned the Engelmann spruce top to be about 2.0mm in the center, decreasing to about 1.7mm on the edges.

The back and sides are ziricote, the back is braced with Spanish cedar.

I French polish all of my guitars with shellac. I believe this is the best finish for the guitar, it is also an environmentally friendly finish. I don't need to wear a respirator when I apply the finish, nor do I need to store the materials in a hazardous materials locker!

Ziricote is a visually stunning wood!


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This guitar has a beautiful voice and is loud! I was amazed at how loud it is as soon as I got the strings on and tuned to concert pitch. It is easy to play and I am blown away by the musical nuances that can be created with this guitar.

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1961 Hernandez y Aguado Style Classical Guitar, Redwood/Indian Rosewood, For Sale

The partnership of Manuel Hernandez and Victoriano Aguado was one of the most successful in guitar making history.

Roy Courtnall, Making Master Guitars, 1993

Please note that this guitar is currently for sale at Savage Classical Guitar. Please click here to see this guitar!

I made this guitar several years ago, but because of custom orders, I had to set it aside. I put strings on it two weeks ago and it is a most magnificent sounding guitar! It has good, clear separation string to string, wonderful sustain with evenness and balance throughout with a very lyrical voice. I originally made this guitar for myself, but someone with a good strong technique and a good understanding of musical interpretation should own this guitar and play it on a regular basis.

This guitar is a fairly close copy of a guitar made by Hernandez y Aguado in 1961. The body length is 480mm, most of the HyA guitars had a body length of 490mm; string length is 650mm, many were 655mm and longer; other than that I trie…

Basic Hand Tool Kit for Making a Classical Guitar, Revised

Ours is really a simple craft.

James Krenov, The Impractical Cabinetmaker, 1979

So, you want to build a guitar.

Since the original post, Basic Hand Tool Kit for Guitar Making, click here to see it, is the most popular post on this blog, I thought I would revisit it and adjust it to what I am using now to make a classical guitar.

The first thing I recommend doing is to buy or borrow copies of the following books:

Guitar Making: Tradition and Technology, by William Cumpiano and Jonathan Natelson
Making Master Guitars, by Roy Courtnall
The Guitar Maker's Workshop, by Rik Middleton

These are required reading before you begin making a guitar.

Also required reading are these books by Roy Underhill:

The Woodwright's Shop
The Woodwright's Companion
The Woodwright's Workbench
The Woodwright's Apprentice

Why these books by Mr. Underhill? You will learn valuable wood working techniques if you make any of his projects. The dovetail joints used to join a drawer together are far mor…