American Lutherie #110 cover showing Graham McDonald applying a checkered edge to a Hardanger style fiddle
American Lutherie #110
Summer 2012

This issue’s cover shows the checkered edge being applied to a Hardanger-style fiddle by Graham McDonald. The back cover shows a stack of steel-string guitar bodies made of local Malaysian wood by Jeffrey Yong.
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Charles Fox talks about efficient production techniques at the 2011 GAL Convention Production Techniques for the Custom Luthier by Charles Fox from his 2011 GAL Convention workshop
Production Techniques for the Custom Luthier by Charles Fox from his 2011 GAL Convention workshop Charles Fox packed the hall at our 2011 Convention for his talk on bringing efficient building techniques to the one-luthier shop. He’s been teaching lutherie since the 1970s and he knows a few tricks for using accurate and easy jigs in very small shop spaces.

The inside of a guitar on the workbench of Andrea Tacchi Meet the Maker: Andrea Tacchi by Woodley White
Long-time GAL member Andrea Tacchi lives and works in his home town of Florence, Italy. He talks about growing up in a community of crafters, meeting the master luthiers who influenced him, his wood-harvesting adventures, and his innovative use of traditional techniques and materials.

Erick Coleman and Evan Gluck at the 2011 GAL Convention showing how to refine factory setups on electric guitars Refining Factory Setups on Electric Guitars: Going the Extra Mile by Erick Coleman and Evan Gluck from their 2011 GAL Convention workshop
Erick and Evan are highly respected and experienced repairmen. For this workshop, they each open the box of a brand-new electric guitar and give it the deluxe setup treatment including work on the frets, nut, truss rod, and bridge. Their running commentary is informative and entertaining, and the audience jumps in with good questions and suggestions.

Checkered edging on Hardanger style fiddles by Graham McDonald A Different Approach to Fiddle Soundholes by Graham McDonald
Hardanger fiddles are like regular violins, except for having a bunch of extra sympathetic strings. And some really wild decoration. And, oh yeah, those crazy f-holes that look like somebody peeled them open and then pulled the corners back in. McDonald steps us through his process of cutting those sideways holes in a fiddle top of Australian King William pine.

Jeffrey Yong standing in front of a enormous monkey tree stump Let's Catch Up with Jeffrey Yong by Brian Yarosh
Jeffrey Yong has traveled from the other side of the globe to attend the last seven GAL Conventions. Here we learn about his high-school band “Calculus” as well as his early career as a guitarist in Malaysia. He now devotes his full time to making guitars and teaching lutherie.

the armrest bevel on a acoustic guitar by Jeffrey Yong Making a Scoop Cutaway and Armrest Bevel by Jeffrey Yong
Here’s a step-by-step photo essay of making the cutaway and armrest by using angled interior blocks and then cutting into them after the instrument is assembled.

James Condino applies needlepoint backing fabric for added strength during a upright bass restoration Plywood Bass Restoration, Part Two by James Condino from his 2011 GAL Convention workshop
The conclusion of a lavishly illustrated two-part series of rough-and-ready tips and techniques. These “doghouses” get used hard, and they may ride to the gig strapped to the top of the car with bungees. Condino approaches them with real respect and affection.

material was machined away to show the neck dovetail The Gibson Monster by John Calkin
A neck reset goes horribly wrong due to an unusual and unexpected construction feature. Share Calkin’s pain as he explains the problem and what he did about it.

The Happy Luthier by Don P. Boivin
Here’s a cheerful little essay about how lucky we are to be making instruments. Every now and then you’ve gotta stop and smell the rosewood.

Dave Raley builds a Stewart-MacDonald fiddle kit Beginner vs. the Fiddle Kit by Dave Raley
The author has a lot of experience at a lot of things, but fiddle making is not one of them. So he gets a Stew-Mac kit and assembles it in a rather ad hoc fashion. When he runs into problems, he is quick to take the blame and explain the situation in hopes that others may learn from it.

Reviews by Federico Sheppard, and Monica Esparza
Two classical guitar makers take a look at a new DVD on vihuela building by Jose Romanillos.

Mike Doolin reviews the Mag-ic Probe Product Reviews by Mike Doolin
Remember that cool magnetic thickness gauge that Mike Doolin wrote about in American Lutherie #109? Well, forget it! Doolin has discovered the MAG-ic Probe, a new electronic continuously-reading magnetic thickness gauge. It’s expensive and gizmo-licious.

Greg Nelson builds a pantograph for inlay work It Worked for Me by Greg Nelson, and Todd Brotherton
Greg made a large pantograph to cut inlays and their recesses from larger patterns. Todd made a cradle to hold a power plane face-up to serve as a small, inexpensive, and portable planer

Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
Information about gut string tension; gluing brass; regluing bridges; and phenolic fingerboards.

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