American Lutherie #86 cover shows a guitar by Mike Doolin featuring his removable and adjustable neck joint
American Lutherie #86
Summer 2006

T
his issue's cover shows a beautiful lacewood guitar by Mike Doolin. It features his removable and adjustable neck joint. Notice that the cover is printed in glorious color. This is our second issue since we went to commercial printing. You will find the photos to be far sharper than those in our previous 33 years of publication.
Select Price:

Paul Butler finds one of the earliest depictions of a bowed instrument Letter to the editor
It turns out that the earliest known depiction of a fiddle shows a player sawing away on an instrument that bears an uncanny resemblance to the simple bass that R.M. Mottola drew up as GAL Instrument Plan #50. It's probably some kind of conspiracy involving time travel and space aliens.

Chris Burt fits a violin bass bar Arched Plate Carving, Part Two: Barring the Top and Graduating the Back by Chris Burt
Chris Burt's series on carving arched plates concludes in this issue. Here he is fitting a bass bar into a violin. He also discusses the graduation of the plates.

Bernard Millant Meet the Maker: Bernard Millant by Jonathon Peterson
With a smile like that, Bernard Millant could be dancing with Aubrey Hepburn in 1950s MGM musicals. In fact, he is a world-class bow maker, dealer, expert, and author. Read the interesting story of his life growing up in one of the established violin making families of Paris.

The neck side of a adjustable neck joint Modern Approaches to Adjustable Neck Joints
by Mike Doolin and Harry Fleishman

Mike Doolin and Harry Fleishman give us the rundown on their two different solutions to the problem of making a removable and adjustable neck joint for an acoustic steel string guitar. In typical GAL style, the ingenious workings are laid out in step-by-step detail.

Carleen Hutchins Meet the Maker: Carleen Hutchins by Alan Carruth
Carleen Hutchins is a real pioneer of American lutherie. She started to develop the New Violin Family fifty years ago. You can come to the 2006 GAL Convention and hear the eight-member family performing in concert. She founded the Catgut Acoustical Society in 1963 and produced over a hundred articles of violin research for its Journal. Read about her fascinating life in this issue.

Images are drawn using a computer software and printed on a CD label Alternative Headstock Decoration and Truss Rod Adjustment Access
by R.M. Mottola

Here's a few unusual ideas for peghead decoration and trussrod covers. In the photo, a CD label maker is being used to make a sort of decal. Cool!

Michael Sanden stands next to a log that has been cut into two foot sections Seeking the Top by Michael Sanden
He came all the way from Sweden to find logs. Big logs. Well, he found them at Pacific Rim Tonewoods. Michael Sanden offers some thoughts about whether it makes sense to saw your own soundboards or leave it to the experts.

The old lining of a mandolin is being reattached A Flattop Mandolin Resurrection by John Calkin
John Calkin resurrects an old mandolin by rebracing it. This is very direct lutherie. John jumps right in with both feet. He's like Powdermilk Biscuits. He gives shy people the courage the do the job that needs to be done.

Jose Rivera plays a combination tiple-cuatro built by Jose Reyes Fourth International Puerto Rican Tiple Conference by Fred Casey
Fred Casey had the good fortune to attend and speak to a convention of tiple fanciers in Puerto Rico. Read about his adventure, and find out what's up with this double-neck cuatro/tiple.

Diagram shows how troublesome dust particles can be to your health A Review of Indoor Air Quality Health Issues by Robert A. Edelstein
GAL member Robert Edelstein is a medical doctor as well as a luthier. He offers an overview of the health risks posed by dust in the home workshop, and some thoughts on minimizing those risks. The diagram shows how tiny those troublesome dust particles can be.

James Condino reviews Saw-Stop Product Reviews by James Condino
Why does it take two guys to play this one harp guitar? Look closely. It is because they each have just one hand. they lost their hands in woodworking accidents. This article is a review of the Saw-Stop, a new table saw that stops instantly if the blade touches flesh. Could be the best money you ever spent.

A template is used to cut peghead profiles It Worked for Me by George A. Smith and Michael Turko
George Smith of Portland, Oregon shows us the jig he uses for cutting peghead profiles. Why do I mention that Mr. Smith is from Portland, Oregon? Because the GAL has several members named George Smith.

Web Extras
Top of Page