American Lutherie #85 cover shows a electric bass in progress by David King
American Lutherie #85
Spring 2006

That pretty picture shows
an electric bass by David King in progress. David does the routing on a milling machine. He also makes all the tuner/bridges for these headless instruments.
Select Price:

The wood is soaked in water and placed in a plastic woven bag and placed in the oven The Irish Bouzouki: A Mandolin on Steroids by Graham McDonald
Graham McDonald makes Irish bouzoukis of several types: 4-course, 5-course, flattop, and archtop. In this issue he runs down the history of the Irish bouzouki and shows us how he builds them. Interestingly, he makes the archtops out of flat pieces of wood. How does he do it? Plastic woven bags.

David King Meet the Maker: David King by Jonathon Peterson
Meet David King in this issue. Somehow, he got from being a kid in a strictly classical music family to making and playing electric basses, by way of a “folkschool” in Denmark. You just never know.

Chris Burt tap testing a mandolin back Arched Plate Carving, Part Two: Graduating the Top Plate and Cutting the f-Holes by Chris Burt
Is Chris Burt eating a molasses cookie while he listens to the roar of the surf in a large shell? Nope, he's finding the tap tone of a mandolin back. This is Part Two of his series on carving arched plates.

Rodney Stedall calculates the neck set angle before back is glued on Controlling Classical Guitar Neck Angle by Rodney Stedall
Rodney Stedall shows us how to calculate the neck set angle we want in a classical guitar, and then lock that in while the back is glued.

Gregory Byers Meet the Maker: Gregory Byers by Woodley White
Attending a seminar with Jose Romanillos at the Toronto classic guitar festival in 1981 set Gregory Byers on a path of excellence and innovation. Meet him in this issue.

Oliver Rodgers tests a fiddle by Marty Kasprzyk Octet 2005: First Convention of the New Violin Family Association
by Alan Carruth
The New Violin Family, also known as the Violin Octet, has been under development for fifty years. Recently, the first-ever New Violin Family convention was held in Ithaca, New York. Our man Al Carruth attended and gives us the rundown. The photo shows physicist Oliver Rodgers.

The resurrected Le Domino Big Boy Resurrecting the Family Guitar by John Calkin
It's a Le Domino Big Boy, a cheap old tenor guitar with way-cool decals. It had done a lot of falling apart since the '30s, so John Calkin did a quick-and-dirty resurrection, in line with its lack of monetary value.

A barber chair workbench The Never-Ending Barber Chair Workbench by Michael Sanden
What kind of lutherie workbench has a stick shift? One that is made out of a barber chair! Swedish luthier Michael Sanden was a barber in a former life, and first reported this interesting idea in 1987. He recently overhauled it to meet his current needs.

The Metaphysics of the Guitar by Ervin Somogyi
If a simple formulation of wooden parts was all it took to make a guitar there would be no small shops and no handbuilders. The factories would get it right and their efficiency would rule out the little guys. But the factories don’t, and the little guys haven’t been. Somogyi takes a shot at explaining why this is so.

Figuring out which scale length your Gibson guitar is Gibson Used Three Different 24 3/4" Scale Lengths by Dan Erlewine and Don MacRostie with Tim Shaw
See how those little tick marks don't line up with the frets? That's because Gibson has used three different 24.75" scales over the last several decades. It can be a problem. Dan Erlewine and Don MacRostie researched the matter in detail.

Dan Erlewing checks out a new, improved Stewart MacDonald Fret Scale Rule Product Review by Harry Fleishman
Like I was saying, those mismatching Gibson scales can be a problem, especially when you go to manufacture fret rules. Harry Fleishman reviews the new, improved fret rules from Stewart-MacDonald. That's Dan Erlewine in the photo.

John Hagen's jig for fitting braces to arched plates It Worked for Me by John Hagen
Here's a jig by John Hagen for fitting braces to arched plates. It holds the brace in position while you pull a strip of cloth abrasive through.

Web Extras

Top of Page