American Lutherie #96 cover shows the hands of Manuel Velazquez
American Lutherie #96
Winter 2008

This issue's front cover shows
Manuel Velazquez at work on a new instrument.
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Manuel Velazquez A Life in Lutherie: A Discussion with Manuel Velazquez and His Son Alfredo with Jeffrey Elliott and Robert Ruck
Manuel Velazquez was an accomplished luthier in America before the Beatles were born. And he had already been building guitars in his native Puerto Rico for over ten years. He is still an active builder, now well into his nineties. Bob Ruck and Jeff Elliott, each a mature master builder in his own right, collaborated with Manuel's son Alfredo to celebrate Manuel's career at our 2006 Convention.

Kathy Wingert Meet the Maker: Kathy Wingert by Cyndy Burton
Although Kathy Wingert was a guitarist, she didn't approach guitar making until her kids were grown. Her systematic and committed approach has spelled artistic and business success.

Jimmi Wingert inlay work The Jimmi Inlay Experience Cyndy Burton interviews Jimmi Wingert
Jimmi Wingert's inlay work graces the instruments of several builders, including her mom Kathy Wingert.

Curtate cycloid arching as it's related to instrument body outlines and contours Curtate Cycloid Arching by Dave Cohen
Ever think it might be a good idea to design the arching of a violin with a Spirograph? Mathematicians think Golden Era Cremonese luthiers might have done something like that by drawing curtate cycloid curves. This article goes deep to give you the geometric lowdown.

Perendenue perform at the 2008 GAL Convention The Colombian Andean Bandola
by Luis Alberto Paredes Rodriguez and Manuel Bernal Martinez
The bandola is a 6-course, short-scale traditional instrument of the Andes. Sr. Paredes has accelerated its evolution by giving it a structural harp a la Smallman and developing alto and bass versions to form a family of bandola instruments. Co-Author Bernal plays the bandola bajo in the quartet Perendengue, which was a big hit at the recent GAL Convention. This is a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #59.

Ted Davis in his shop Meet the Maker: Ted Davis by James Condino
Ted was an early contributor to GAL publications, instrument plans, and conventions, and even served on the Guild's Board of Directors in the 1980s. In this interview we discover that his real interest is not lutherie, but vintage car restoration. Who knew? Just before this issue went to press, we learned that Ted had passed away. Look for more about him in future issues.

The "Supermag" toy set contains an ideal inner magnet for a magnetic thickness gauge A Homemade Magnetic Thickness Gauge by Alain Bieber
Here's a fun project: make an accurate thickness gauge out of a couple magnets, some scrap plywood, and an elastic thread.

Knobs press down on the bridge wings Uke Making for Guitar Makers by Bob Gleason
Bob Gleason started out as a guitar maker, but has been just making ukes for years. He gives a few pointers for making the “fleas” with respect and authenticity.

Corks are used to plug various soundport positions in a blind listening test Blind Listening Evaluation of Classical Guitar Soundports
by R.M. Mottola

Imagine you are playing a classic guitar, blindfolded. It has a soundport. Do you think you could tell the difference between having the soundport open or closed? Do you think you could even tell that there was a difference? Reliable methods of collecting such data are well developed. The results of one recent trial may surprise you.

Adjusting a peg shaper. Peg Shapers That You Can Adjust by David Golber
Typical peg shapers go out of adjustment when you cinch them down. Oh, I hate when it does that! Here's one that doesn't.

Router jig used to inlay splices Inlaid Splices by John Thayer
Here's a cool way of inlaying a splice of cross-grain wood to reinforce a soundboard crack, which does not add mass and does not provide a starting place for a new crack. Darn clever, these luthiers.

Google calculator Google Calculator and the Guitar's Magic Number
by William Leirer
Google is taking over the world. Now you can throw out your $5 calculator and use the Google command line. A few simple equations reveal all kinds of useful relationships relating to pitch, fret placement, and intonation. This should make it worthwhile to get one of those fancy new phones with the internet on them.

John Monteleone made a casting, left, of a D'Aquisto plane, center. Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
What other woods are good for fingerboards? Who made the planes used by D'Angelico and D'Aquisto? How do you fit and extended 7th string to a classical guitar?

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