American Lutherie #120 Cover
American Lutherie #120
Winter 2014

On this issue’s cover shows the interior of Catalan luthier Josep Melo’s acoustic flattop guitar, made of lovely figured bird’s-eye maple. The body shape and the bracing reflect the influence of Steve Klein, his friend and one of the luthiers featured in Josep’s book, Following the Masters. Photo by Josep Melo. The back cover montage shows Josep’s new workshop. Josep designed and built his ideal workspace in keeping with principles of Catalan architecture, which always maximizes the use and effect of light. That’s Jeff Elliott in the back pouring over some of the most gorgeous wood he’s ever seen. Photo by Cyndy Burton.
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Josep Melo and Monica Esparza Meet the Maker: Josep Melo by Mónica Esparza
Melo has been making guitars since the '60s. In the '90s he began to seek out and collaborate with the makers whose work he found the most inspiring. He published a gorgeous coffee-table book about it called Following the Masters. His deepest collaboration has been with fellow Spaniard José Romanillos. Ironically, they met at the 1995 GAL Convention in Tacoma. So there's a life lesson for you, kids. You gotta attend the GAL Convention. Just sayin'.

Evan Gluck in his workshop The Business of Doing Business from his 2014 GAL Convention workshop by Evan Gluck
Evan Gluck is doing just great as a one-man guitar repair operation, working out of his apartment in New York City. He has some simple and effective ideas about promotion and customer relations that really hit the spot with his audience at the recent 2014 GAL Convention.

David Smith and Robbie O'Brien Eight Days to a Dream by David Smith
David Smith is a guitarist and lutenist who has wanted to make guitars and lutes for decades. But he was distracted by school, career, family, and stuff like that. His self-starting lutherie adventures never took off. Recently he signed up for an eight-day one-on-one session with lutherie teacher Robbie O'Brien, and finally got that guitar built.

Jayson Bowerman Meet the Maker: Jayson Bowerman by Tom Harper
Many of us in the Lutherie Boom generation started as pre-teen modelmakers or would-be wood crafters. Not Jayson Bowerman. He was studying manufacturing processes in college when he did his first woodworking in a shop class. Soon he was doing R&D at Breedlove.

Making Matched Templates Making Matching Templates by Jayson Bowerman
Bowerman steps us through the process of making an exactly-matching outside template from an existing inside template. The process is useful for making body molds and side-bending jigs from half-patterns.

GAL Instrument Plan #69 Tanbour by Nasser Shirazi Building the Tanbour by Nasser Shirazi
Mr. Shirazi has given us articles and plans about other instruments used in Persian classical music in the past. He adds to the collection with GAL Instrument Plan #69, the Tambour, a long-necked lute with three thin steel strings.

Ukulele Neck Pocket Joints Ukulele Neck Pocket Joints by Jerry Hoffman
Hoffman's ukes look like their necks have no heels. They do, he says, but the heels are just on the inside of the body. He gives us a detailed look at building two different styles.

Tenor Lap Steel Guitar The Birth of the Tenor Lap Steel by David Schneider
Keep it simple. Sketch an outline on a piece of butcher paper. Go down to the Home depot and get a few boards of that pink stuff that they call “mahogany.” Saw it up, bend it freehand, glue it onto blocks. Pretty soon you have a lap steel, no forms, jigs, or patterns needed.

Review of Cheap Borescope Product Reviews by Eron Harding
Techy gizmos soon go from being cutting-edge miracles to being commodified trinkets, and that can bring the price down like crazy. Harding ordered a cheap borescope from Amazon. The crazy thing doesn't even have a brand name on it. But the bang per buck is hard to beat.

Drill Press Sanding Drum It Worked for Me by Tom Harper, Jack E. Johnston, Greg Nelson, and
Len Laviolette

Harper makes a downdraft table for a drill press sanding drum. Johnston hangs a speaker from a suction cup, and makes a special clipboard for sandpaper. Nelson makes a handle for sanding the bottom of a guitar bridge. Laviolette makes classic guitar arm rests from scrap.

Cutting accurate slots for classic guitars Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
How do I get vinegar stains out of wood? Shall I use a plain string or a wound one? How do I keep French Polish from imprinting? Where is all the red spruce coming from? How do I cut accurate slots for classical guitar sides? Do the different top wood species really have their own sound?

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