American Lutherie #106 cover shows a guitar made by Federico Sheppard
American Lutherie #106
Summer 2011

This issue’s cover shows Federico Sheppard's copy of a guitar by Enrique Sanfeliu. The original instrument was owned and played by legendary Paraguayan guitarist Agustín Barrios.
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Federico Sheppard Meet the Maker: Federico Sheppard by Roger Alan Skipper
Federico Sheppard really gets around. Around the world on a bicycle, for instance. He's been a musician, a doctor, and a luthier. But not a circus performer. He came close to joining a Mexican circus in France, but it didn't work out. He has recently been fascinated by the career and instruments of legendary Paraguayan guitarist Agustín Barrios.

Geza Burghardt bending the C bout of a double bass Constructing a Double Bass: Inspired by a 1760 Giovanni Baptiste Gabrielli
by Géza Burghardt from his 2004 and 2006 GAL Convention workshops

Making a double bass the old-fashioned way is a big job. Canadian luthier Géza Burghardt described it at the 2004 GAL Convention and showed a bass in progress. By the time the 2006 Convention rolled around, the bass was done and he gave us the rest of the story. Part One of the article is in this issue, and Part Two is coming up soon. The back cover of this issue shows the pegbox being carved.

Monica Esparza Meet the Maker: Mónica Esparza by Kathy Wingert
Mónica Esparza came to lutherie later in life than some, but it is now her consuming passion. She fits it nicely with her “day job” as a very hands-on co-owner and operator of a soft-drink company specializing in flavors preferred by the Hispanic community. She travels a lot for her work, and she takes the opportunity to include adventures in her journeys, like being photographed with an enormous snake in Thailand.

Monica Esparza observes Jose Romanillos shaping a brace Summers in Sigüenza with José by Mónica Esparza
Mónica Esparza has attended two-week summer seminars in Spain with lutherie legend José Romanillos in four different years. She gives us a glimpse of the intense learning experience, including making an authentic vihuela using a form developed by instructor and researcher Jaume Bosser.

Lute neck and pegbox inlay patterns Lute Neck and Pegbox Inlay Patterns by Michael Yeats
These days, Michael Yeats is a bow maker. But thirty-some years ago he was an assistant in the shop of lute maker Bob Lundberg. One of his duties there was to develop intricate inlay patterns for veneered lute necks and peg boxes, and to saw out the marquetry to accomplish them. He talks about the process and presents three complete full-scale cutting patterns.

Body outline for a Gibson J-40 Dreadnought Guitar Outline Equation Using Arctangents by Mike Nealon
A string of numbers as long as your arm can be manipulated to generate a graph that is a precise outline of a particular guitar. It's just what the cyber-luthier ordered.

Tom Ribbecke using a jig to fit the X brace of a archtop guitar Evolution of an Archtop Brace Fitting Jig
by Tom Ribbecke from his 2008 GAL Convention workshop

Tom Ribbecke developed a relatively simple jig to make fitting a brace to an archtop guitar more precise and efficient. He then collaborated with coworkers at the Ribbecke Guitar Company to make a more elaborate gizmo that does the job even better. He shows both jigs in detail and describes the working process.

The binding frame in use. The Binding Frame by R.M. Mottola
There are many ways to clamp the binding of a guitar into its recess while the glue dries. Here's one we have not seen before, involving an MDF frame and some rubber wedges.

String and sensor aperature being illuminated An Optical Sensor for Detecting String Motion by Mark French
A couple of wooden blocks, a few inexpensive electronic components, and a cheap little flashlight. That's all you need to make a light pickup which will plug right into your computer's mike input. It's not for music. It's for studying string motion in the lab.

Fancy rosette by Roger Alan Skipper Quick and Dirty Fancy Rosette by Roger Alan Skipper
Put the bling on the ring, yo. Skipper makes a showy soundhole decoration for a guitar in record time with Abalam, ebony, and dyed veneer.

Mark Roberts uses a inexpensive tea pot used as a hot glue pot It Worked for Me by John Calkin, Mark Roberts, and Peter True
Binding and purfling tips. Quick and easy hide glue pot. Rubber-faced wedges for clamping scarf joints.

Removing the fretboard extension shows a dovetail joint on a Gibson Uke-2 Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
Information about mandolas and Irish bouzoukis, uke dovetails, HVLP spray guns, patents on guitar outline shapes, baritone guitars, uke fretwire, and 19th-century pin bridges.

Lutherie Curmudgeon by John Calkin
The curmudgeon says that, yes, you can make lutherie your “real life.” The curmudgeon does not say it will be easy. Pithy quote: “Society couldn't give a damn about your personal fulfillment.”

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