American Lutherie #114 Cover shows Stephen Marchione shaving braces on a classical guitar
American Lutherie #114
Summer 2013

On this issue’s cover, Stephen Marchione shaves the braces of a classical guitar in his Texas shop. On the back cover, Stephen cuts a dovetail joint. Photos by Vincent Cléroux.
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Wooden tailpieces on a archtop guitar Letters from our readers
John Monteleone clarifies his comments in American Lutherie #113 about the earliest use of wooden tailpieces in archtop guitars.

John Greven discusses the factors that make a guitar sound good Hearing Voices: A Recipe for Voicing the Steel String Guitar from his 2011 GAL Convention workshop by John Greven
John Greven is one of the most experienced hand-builders of steel string guitars in the whole darn lutherie boom. In the last fifty years he has single-handedly built 2200 flattops. So when he talks about how to make them sound good, you want to listen. He discusses the many factors that make a difference.

View of the bracing pattern of a guitar by John Greven A Summary of John Greven’s Voicing Method by Mike Doolin
This concise article moves on from Greven's talk to focus on the role of top wood, bracing pattern, and brace material to tailor the sound you want. It's a simple, step-by-step process that involves no analysis gear other than fingers, ears, and memory.

Stephen Marchione polishig a guitar back Meet the Maker: Stephen Marchione by James Condino
As a child, Stephen Marchione moved with his family from Texas to Italy. He came back to Texas, focused on guitar playing, and moved to New York to be a jazz player. But he ended up as a luthier. Could be worse, right? Now he's back in Texas and at the top of his game, making fine archtops, solidbodies, and classicals.

Oval hole mandolin The Mandolin Family: Traditional and Contemporary Perspectives
from their 2011 GAL Convention panel discussion by David Cohen,
Don MacRostie, Lawrence Smart, and moderator Jeff Elliott

These three makers are all well established in the field, and they have different ways of approaching the questions of authenticity, acoustic analysis, and innovation. Makes for an interesting and informative discussion.

GAL Instrument Plan #67 Lawrence Smart mandolas A.L. Smart Mandolas: GAL Plan #67 by Lawrence Smart
Smart is well known for making mandolas and mandocellos as well as mandolins and 5-course mandolin/mandolas. Here he shares a drawing of his pattern for a mandola.

Fabio Ragghianti Let’s Catch Up with Fabio Ragghianti by Brian Yarosh
Italian guitar maker Fabio Ragghianti has attended GAL Conventions and taught at lutherie schools in America. But what has he been up to lately? Turns out he's a real globetrotter who has been working with Asian factories to produce innovative steel string guitar designs.

Alan Carruth discusses the elusive guitar wolf Hunting the Elusive Guitar Wolf from his 2011 GAL Convention workshop by Alan Carruth
Al Carruth is the Bill Nye of the lutherie world. Or maybe the Neil deGrasse Tyson. I mean to say that he brings science to the sometimes-reluctant masses. Here he explains the nature, causes, and cures of the wolf tone in guitars.

Tom Harper demonstrates how to bend and prefit binding and purfling Taming the Wild Wood Binding by Tom Harper
Preparation is everything. Tom Harper has learned the hard way what happens when you wrap a straight binding around the domed back edge of a classical guitar: it can pucker. Here he shows how to bend and prefit the binding and purfling to make it snuggle right in there.

Making a pyramid guitar bridge Simple Jigs for Making a Pyramid Bridge by John C. Bartlett
An old-fashioned pyramid bridge for a steel string guitar looks relatively simple, but you need to get all those angles just right or it will not add up. Bartlet uses a few plywood jigs to keep everything aligned.

John Jackson makes his first guitar Fido’s Ass, or Making a First Guitar by John Jackson
An experienced wordworker of a certian age tackles his first guitar, and finds it to be a challenging project. Challenging, and ultimatly rewarding.

Automated fret slotting machine An Automated Fret Slotting Machine by Jim Stratton and Mark French
How would you like to have a gizmo about the size of a small suitcase that would accurately and automatically slot any fretboard to any scale with the push of a few buttons? A fully functional prototype does exist.

Graph of upper-bout arching profiles Savart Journal: Recent Research by R.M. Mottola
RM Mottola works to build bridges between the dusty bustle of the lutherie shop and the bookish clutter of the egghead's cubicle. (If the word "math" does not evoke a shuddering fear based on high-school humiliation, check out the Savart Journal, an online research publication hosted by the GAL.) RM describes, in plain English, the contents of three new articles of original research.

Review of Kahler Tremolo bass bridge Product Reviews: Kahler 2415-CX Tremolo Bass Bridge by Eron Harding
Kahler now makes a tremolo bridge for just about any guitar you can dream up, including those with fanned frets. They also make an extensive line of bass trems. Guitar repair guy Eron Harding installs a cool 5-string model on a custom bass.

Reviews: The Caldwell Collection of Viols by Don Overstreet
Hey tech-friendlies. Here's our first-ever review of an e-book. Actually, the review covers both the print version and the iOS app version. It' s a lovely book with lots of sound recordings. The paper book comes with a CD. If that's too old-fashioned for you, get the app.

Jig that helps clean up fret overhangs It Worked for Me by Fred Casey and Greg Nelson
Fred casey shows how he rescued a fractured set of highly figured uke sides by laminating a layer of wood inside them. Greg Nelson shows a nice little jig to help you clean up fret overhangs.

Barcus-Berry guitar bridge Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
What kind of poplar wood did Strad use? What other strings work for an Ashbory bass? How do you control the humidity in a lutherie shop? Is it really possible to patent a hunk of lead?

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