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What People Are Saying About My Guitars

I've played many other "high end" guitars, such as ones by Randy Reynolds, Larry Breslin, John Price, John/Bill Gilbert and even a few Ramirez guitars and I still like yours far better than any of them. The tone and playability are unmatched. I really love your guitar.

Kyle T., Westminster, Colorado


His guitars are simply outstanding. I can't believe how rich the tone and the amount of volume that I get out of the one that he made me. Love it!

Julia Brochey, North Pines Music, Castle Rock, Colorado


Wow! This is the guitar that I wish I had had when I first started really playing the classical guitar. I think you have found your calling, Wilson!

Warren Haskell, guitar educator/performer and former head of the guitar program at California State University, Chico, California


There is nothing wrong with this guitar! It is loud with great clarity and note separation - and it has a bite to its voice!

Alex Komodore, Director of Guitar Studies, Metropolitan State University, Denver, Colorado


Very nice, very nice indeed!
Jose Manuel Tudela, acclaimed Flamenco guitarist, Sevilla, Spain, after playing a seven string flamenco that I constructed for Julia Brochey.

As I have played my Martinez style guitar, I've come to really appreciate the neck width and fingerboard width, both of which suit my increasingly stiff hands. Its voice is surprisingly loud, given the size of the body, and if it has a dead spot in its range I have not found it yet.

HD Ware, guitarist, Little Rock, Arkansas

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How to Make a Traditional Froe Mallet

What holds the Holy of the Holies, what did Brahma become? Wood. Why will aspen always tremble? For the nails driven into the cross. What makes the color of wood? The soil it tastes. Cradle, fiddle, coffin, bed: wood is a column of earth made ambitious by light, and made of beauty by the rain.

Kim R. Stafford, Having Everything Right, 1986.

Rive, verb, to split
Shake, noun, a split in a piece wood. (Heart shake, ring shake)
Shake, verb, (Middle English), to split.

I know I should have been in the studio working on my back log of guitars, but the day was so nice and warm with a tall blue canopy, I couldn't stay inside. I decided that I needed to make a proper froe mallet. This style of mallet is traditional to northeastern California, primarily Tehama (where I'm from), Butte, Shasta and Plumas counties where making shingles by hand from sugar pines was an industry. I don't know if it was used in any other region along the Pacific Rim, other parts of the United States or even o…

The Guitar's Scale Length, Your Hand Size and a Chart

I will cite the case of a marvelous concert player, a Japanese lady who is barely 5 ft. tall and with hands that are real miniatures. She plays a 664 mm 10 string guitar and demanded that I build this guitar with an action 1 mm higher than normal, which she handles with incredible ease. This is serious study!


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
Thumb tip to pinky tip span of 210 to 230 650mm scale length
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.




Today my reach from little finger to thumb is 240mm. I should more or less be playing a…

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.

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The Woodwright's Companion
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