The contents of this issue are in Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Seven
It is no longer available as a back issue
American Lutherie #81
Spring 2005

Steve Kauffman has stayed
pretty close to the cutting edge of lutherie ever since he hooked up with innovative steel-string designer Steve Klein at the 1979 GAL Convetnion in Boston. Here's a pretty picture of some of his recent work.

Letter to the Editor by Dave Raley
Dave Raley wrote in to show us his latest brainstorm, the bassackward bassouki. We publish quite a range of fascinating material in our “Letters to the Editor” column.

Structuring Acoustics with Carbon Fiber by Steve Kauffman
Like I was saying about Steve Kauffman, he keeps up with the latest in lutherie. He lectured at our recent National Convention about his use of carbon fiber composites in steel string guitar, and we bring you the highly informative transcript in this issue.

Guitar Swap! by John Calkin and Steve Kinnaird
Here's a cool idea. Make a guitar swap with your luthier buddy. You each make a fine handmade guitar, then just trade them straight across. It's even more fun when you make the trade at a crowded meeting of some of the nation's finest guitar makers. Steve Kinnaird and John Calkin have done it, and report a joyful success.

Meet the Maker: Kevin La Due by Cyndy Burton
Now here's day job that requires courage. Kevin La Due is a high school shop teacher who guides a class of fifteen budding luthiers through the construction of a steel string guitar (yes, each student makes a guitar) in one semester. How does he do it? Patience. Patience, and jigs.

Neck and Bridge Geometry for Domed Guitar Tops by Jon Sevy
Building a guitar's soundboard into a spherical dished workboard has become common in recent years. But if you really want to understand the fine points of how the radius of the top effects the height of the bridge, you'll need this definitive and all-encompassing mathmatical analysis by professor Jon Sevy.

Adirondack Spruce Groth Rates and Accessibility by Ralph S. Charles, III
Man! How come red spruce is so expensive? And how come we can’t find a red spruce top as pretty as a piece of Sitka? Friends, if you look at enough old guitars you’ll realize that Adirondack spruce tops were rarely tight-grained, perfectly straight, and perfectly quartered all at the same time. The big stands of Eastern spruce may have been harvested 60 years ago, but forester Charles is here to say that the trees never grew with luthiers in mind. Man has had a random hand in growing red spruces for generations, and so have beavers. Conditions in the woods can change rapidly. It’s wild out there! To amateur naturalists this is exciting stuff.

Meet the Maker: Bob Jones by Bruce Caler
Bob Jones is a fixture on the New York guitar repair scene. He worked at Matt Umanov's shop for years and now works out of his home. He discusses his musical adventures and his vintage instrument collection as well as his lutherie biz setup.

Building an Adjustable Bridge by Thomas C. DeVeau
Tom DeVeau guides us through the making of an adjustable bridge. Although he uses them on his flattop citterns, the pattern can easily be adapted to archtop guitars.

Product Review: Bridge Doctor by John Calkin
The Bridge Doctor. You know, that thing that you put inside a steel-string guitar to take the bulge out of the belly. Does that thing really work? John Calkin used it in a recent repair where it seemed to be the last resort. He gives it high marks.

Reviews
Feel like making a Puerto Rican tiple? Not a Martin tiple. No, not a Colombian tiple. A Puerto Rican tiple. If so, Fred Casey reviews the book for you. BTW, it's in Spanish.

It Worked for Me
In our “It Worked For Me” column, Keith Davis shows how to fit a bridge patch using magnets. Remember that old slogan from the Dick Tracy newspaper funnies? “The nation that controls magnetisms controls the world!”

Web Extras
Top of Page