A "Mae West" style Lacote Guitar, The Beginning

The beginnings of the guitar, like the beginnings of man himself, are buried deep within the pages of history books yet unwritten.
Christopher Parkening, The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method, Vol.1, 1972

I spent part of a Saturday afternoon thickness-ing the sides of the Legnani model with the help of a card scraper. In an effort to keep the dust down in the shop so I don't have to wear a dust mask, I am trying to stay away from the use of sandpaper. It is amazing how smooth of a surface a card scraper can make, if it is really sharp, the surface appears almost as if it was burnished.

The sound hole has been cut into the top and this afternoon I thicknessed the back with a scraper, both the top and back weigh 7 ounces. I just read an interview with John Gilbert, a wonderful American luthier, who said that he and his son, Bill, tried to keep the top and back the same weight so that both would be the same pitch. It makes since, so now I will try and weigh all the parts.

A simple rosette of BWBWB veneer.


  1. A lovely, "hippy" shape--in the sense of rubensesque hips, that is! It makes me think of that big Gibson--Dove? Hummingbird?) that has a narrower-than-modern-usual waist. Problem is that I've never cared for their sound--or, given what they cost, maybe this is not a problem!

    You'll have to "go some," though, to equal the balanced tone of the Martinez. I'm thinking of ordering some of the synthetic "gut" strings, just for a tryout. Any experience with these?


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