American Lutherie #90 cover shows a Kenny Hill Signature Model guitar.
American Lutherie #90
Summer 2007

This issue's cover shows a Kenny Hill Signature Model guitar. Note the sound port and raised fingerboard. Roll over the photo to see Kenny at the manual of the mighty Fritts organ in Lagerquist Hall. Read about that in this issue.
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John Sullivan memoriam In Memoriam: John Sullivan by Bruce Harvey
John Sullivan died recently after a too-short career as a maker of mandolins, guitars, harp guitars, and violins. Here's an affectionate goodbye from his friend Bruce Harvie. Read his memoriam.

David Hurd displays some simple jigs for measuring properties of instrument tops at the 2006 GAL Convention Mechanical Compliance for Soundboard Optimization by David Hurd
Guitar and ukulele maker David Hurd spoke at our 2006 GAL Convention about some simple devices he has made for measuring top compliance, with the aim of optimizing tone and structural integrity. Although David uses a lot of math to arrive at his conclusions, he has taken care to make his methods usable by those who may still be recovering from school-age math traumas.

Front and back views of completed B14 and foam mold for B15  in January 2007 Meet the Maker: Douglas Martin by Barbara Goldowsky
Doug Martin designs and builds sophisticated rowboats in his day job. But he has recently “made waves” in the violin world with his unusual balsa fiddles. Meet Doug in this issue. Click the photo for a close view.

Top and back blanks being cut out using computer controlled lasers Taylor Today by Mark French
Bob Taylor has a way of revolutionizing the guitar manufacturing business, and then be the first one to move another step beyond his own boundaries. We take a look at a few of his latest tricks. For instance, click the photo to see the machine that cuts out tops and backs with a laser.

A guitar top being tested by smacking it with a plastic tipped hammer and a the response being noted by a laser displacement sensor (Keyence LK-G82) Build Variation in a Group of Acoustic Guitars by Mark French and
Kendall Brubaker

It's “hammer time” at Taylor Guitars! Physicist Mark French takes his computerized setup to El Cajon to analyze the variation between guitars made of various woods. So they get it all mounted in the special way-scientific gizmo, and then... whack it with a hammer. No kidding.

Kenny and his son, Simon, build a prototype Reyes flamenco guitar in 2006 Meet the Maker: Kenny Hill by Cyndy Burton
Kenny Hill played the pipe organ in college. He didn't get interested in the guitar until after he was drafted in the Vietnam era. Then he went to prison. Not as an inmate, but as a guitar making instructor. He has run shops in the USA, Mexico, and China, and now his children have joined the business. Read about his interesting life in this issue. Click the photo to see Kenny with his son Simon.

Alberto Paredes Rodriguez displays a finished Colombian tiple Construction of the Colombian Tiple by Anamaria Paredes Garcia and R.M. Mottola
In American Lutherie #82 Luis Alberto Paredes Rodriguez presented a plan of the Colombian tiple, GAL Instrument Plan #59. In this issue watch him build a tiple in a set of step-by-step photos.

Mervyn Davis Meet the Maker: Mervyn Davis by Rodney Stedall
Without going into orbit, you can't get much farther from here than South Africa. Yet even there, you find self-taught luthiers doing excellent and boldly experimental work. I guess we must agree with the puppets at Disneyland: It's a small world after all. Rodney Stedall interviews Mervyn Davis, a luthier with over thirty years of experience. Click the photo to see one of Mervyn's Smoothtalker guitars.

Front and back view of a mandolin made with salvaged wood and materials. “Cricket”: A Reclaimed Salvage Recovery by James Condino
James Condino made a beautiful mandolin to display on Earth Day. It is all made of salvaged wood and materials. Click the photo to see front and back views.

The front desk at the Curly Redwood Lodge in Crescent City, California Woodchopper's Ball by Bruce Harvie
Bruce Harvie has been in the lutherie wood business for a long time. He's been there and back, and he's seen it all plus a bag of chips. Wood chips. He gave a slide show of his adventures at the 2004 GAL Convention. We present the short version in American Lutherie #90. GAL members can go to the “Extras” section of our website to get the longer version. So is that Bruce in the photo? Or is it Colonel Sanders? Actually it is the proprietor of a motel that is entirely trimmed out with the wood from one amazing figured redwood log.

A hex wrench is placed across two original frets and the fret height is measured with a feeler gauge Partial Refrets by John Calkin
John Calkin takes us through a partial refret job.

Harry Fleishman reviews the Schatten Pickup Winder Product Reviews: Schatten Pickup Winder by Harry Fleishman
Harry Fleishman reviews the Schatten Pickup Winder. He also tells stories of the bad old days when he walked ten miles to school through the snow, and it was uphill both ways. He likes the winder, and the coil-making supplies that are also available from Stew-Mac.

A 1856 Haynes guitar with the back off Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
Our readers have questions. And they also have answers. You can learn a lot in our “Questions” column. The photo shows an 1856 Haynes guitar.

The back view of a Danco Bend-O-Matic fret bender It Worked for Me by Dan Fobert and Robert Steinegger
Those fret-roller thingies are great for giving your fret wire just the right curve. But if you can't be bothered to turn the little crank for half a minute a couple times a month, this is just what you need: an automatic electric fret roller! Click to see the back side.

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