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Classical Guitars, Sustainability of Tonewoods

The industry has done too good of a job convincing the vast majority of guitar players that high end acoustic guitars must be made from rosewood, mahogany, ebony and spruce. And yeah, they work-but other woods work also. Chris Martin IV, Martin Guitars The traditional wood choices for classical guitar making were largely dictated by what was available in 19th century Spain, which is not a particularly useful criteria for choosing wood in 21st century England. Martin Woodhouse, luthier Sustainability of tone woods is topic that no classical guitarist wants to talk to me about, they change the subject or simply walk away. Many woodworkers I have met tell me that subject is taboo. No one wants to admit that there will be a day when all the wonderful old growth lumber that we have come to love will no longer be available.  I grew up with the lumber industry, it put me through college and employed many members of my extended family, but I watched feller-butchers and loggers clear the 50,000

Making Spokeshaves

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There are times when I wonder if making my own hand tools is worth the time and effort, making a tool means time away from guitar making, but if the tool can increase my efficiency in building a guitar, then that time is not wasted. That is a very unromantic view towards making my own hand tools, it is very rewarding when the tool I made works right when I finish. I admit that over the last thirty years I have made several hand tools that didn’t work, those got tossed into the wood stove, a factory made tool was bought so I could get back to the work at hand. I decided to make a pair of very small spokeshaves using blades purchased from Hock Tools, the bottom shave has a California laurel body, the middle shave is cherry and I used East Indian rosewood for the wear plates. The big shave is one I made about twenty years ago using Eastern dogwood and a Lee Valley blade. After making these little shaves I am tempted to make a pair from rosewood for more heft and mass. The two little shave

Own A Piece of Guitar History!

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Here is your chance to own a piece of classical guitar history! I currently have in my shop a “Hernandis 1A” classical guitar that is in near mint condition! Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, James Sherry, of Sherry-Breyer Company, Chicago was an importer of classical and flamenco guitars made by Jose Ramirez III. It was well known in classical guitar circles that he sold Ramirez guitars to AndrĂ©s Segovia, Christopher Parkening, Julian Bream and other top notch guitarists of the day. Sherry created some controversy by labeling one model line of Ramirez guitars as the “Segovia Model”, this act infuriated Ramirez who stopped selling guitars to Sherry.  James Sherry also imported classical and flamenco guitars made by T. Kurosawa & Co., LTD, Tokyo, Japan. Mr. Kurosawa had studied guitar making with several well known makers in Spain and in turn taught the people of his guitar factory how to make excellent copies of Spanish guitars. Mr. Sherry offered several grades of these guitars under

Classical Guitar Festival Experiences, Part 4

“So, Wilson, what got you into guitar making?”  “I grew up with the guitar. A guitar was always around or someone who could play it. How about you?” “I love trees. Every guitar I make is an homage to trees!” “Wow! If you love trees so much then you must really love a forest!” “The forest?! What the hell does a forest have to do with trees?!”

Something to Think About

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  “Forests are of great value from their effect upon the climate, making it more equable. They tend to cause abundant and needed rainfall and to preserve the moisture when fallen, releasing it to the rivers gradually, and thus preventing abnormal freshets and extreme droughts. By absorbing and parting with heat slowly they cause the changes of temperature to be less sudden than in the open country. They temper the heat, and they serve as a protection, or "wind-break," to adjacent land. Trees, with other vegetation, are essential to the purification of the air. All this is in addition to the obvious uses of supplying fuel and wood for an almost endless variety of purposes, not to speak of the value of trees for shade and as features of the landscape. The reckless rate at which the forests of the United States are being destroyed is becoming a serious matter, not merely because of depriving wood-workers of the materials with which to work, but because of the influence of the fo

Redwood/California Laurel Classical Guitar, Part 2

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I put strings on the redwood/laurel classic guitar yesterday afternoon and was very happy to hear that is has a gorgeous voice. Today, it’s voice had much more depth and it is LOUD! I will start French polishing it early August. It would be wonderful if a talented guitarist would stop by my studio to record a sound byte of this guitar, I haven’t practiced playing the guitar in almost four months. 

Double Top Classical Guitar for Sale

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Double top guitars are awesome! Overheard at a classical guitar competition, 2019 The Engelmann spruce top has an inlay of honeycomb Nomex withSitka spruce veneer, the back and sides are curly maple with an Indian rosewood fillet in the back. Please email me for more information.. Engelmann spruce top Curly maple back and sides with rosewood fillet in back  650mm string length 52mm wide fretboard at nut 62mm at 12th fret 59mm string spacing at bridge 482mm body length 278mm upper bout  237mm waist 372mm lower bout Ebony fretboard East Indian rosewood bridge Gilbert tuning machines Crossrock fiberglass case $7500