American Lutherie #124 Cover

American Lutherie #124
Winter 2015

On this issue’s cover we see a gorgeous baritone ukuklele in myrtle wood by Jay Lichty.
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ukulele top Ukulele Building: Tradition and Trends
from their 2014 GAL Convention panel discussion
by Michael DaSilva, Bob Gleason, Jay Lichty, and moderator Woodley White

Four prolific uke makers take us into their shops to talk about how and why they build.

Sergei de Jonge Meet the Maker: Sergei de Jonge by Steve Denvir
The story of Jean Larrivee’s original workshop in Toronto over forty years ago and the ragged young crew of would-be luthiers who gravitated there is one of the founding legends of the American Lutherie Boom. From that beginning, Sergei de Jonge went on to found a lutherie dynasty in the Canadian back country.

Blindfold sound test Tropical vs. Nontropical Woods for Classical Guitars
The Leonardo Guitar Research Project
by Brian Garston and Jacky Walraet
Everybody loves rosewood. Sounds great, looks great. In fact, it looks so great that we might be “hearing” its lovely, familiar deep color. Would non-tropical woods also make good-sounding guitars? And would they “sound” different if we took off the blindfold? To answer these questions, the Leonardo Guitar Research Project built a matched set of fifteen guitars and compared them under controlled conditions.

Old photo of Bryan Galloup in shop Meet the Maker: Bryan Galloup by Mark Swanson
Bryan Galloup was raised in a family of machinists, hot-rod makers, and self-sufficent can-do types. As a teenager he had the good fortune to be mentored by guitar repair guru Dan Erlewine, and he eventually took over Dan’s shop. Today Bryan builds and repairs guitars while also running an active lutherie school.

Bandola during construction The Bandola Llanera (and Its Cousins)
New World Descendents with Old World Roots
by Tomas Orellana
The bandola is many things to many people. Several traditional varients exist in northern South America. They share a deep, pear-shaped body, but the number and tuning of strings differ considerably. Author Orellana describes them, then focuses on one regional version.

GAL Instrument Plan #71: Bandola Llanera GAL Instrument Plan #72: Bandola Llanera by Tomas Orellana
Here’s a detailed plan of one kind of bandola.

Robbie O'Brien in Spain Viva el Flamenco! by Robbie O’Brien
Robbie O’Brien gets around. Among his many lutherie related projects, he recently went to Spain to film an instructional video on making a flamenco guitar. He met up with some great folks over there and brought home lots of great lutherie info. Warning: This article contains brief mentions of food, dance, song, architecture, passion, history, beauty, and cultural richness. There’s a big, wonderful world out there.

Making bridges by Brian Michael and Alex Glasser Making Bridges for Guitar Repair
from their 2014 GAL Convention workshop by Brian Michael and
Alex Glasser

Even when an off-the-shelf OEM bridge is available, it might not be the best choice for an older guitar. Brian shows us his method of making a matching Martin-style bridge from the broken original. Alex goes a step further and reproduces a failed bridge from a Gibson SJ-200, which is complicated by pearl inlay and cutout wings.

Todd Mylet's Quick Heel-crack Fix Quick Heel-Crack Fix by Todd Mylet
Pull a couple frets, chip out two hunks of the fretboard, sink a couple screws, and glue the chips back in. You might not want to do this on a fine vintage instrument, but not every guitar that comes through the door is a pre-war D-28. Am I right?

Remembering Victor Pfeil Remembering Victor Pfeil by Robert Miller
Victor Pfeil was an old-school violin maker in the 1920s when he invented and then patented an electric solid body violin using a coil pickup. It did not set the world on fire, and Victor continued to make and repair violins for a few more decades. Author Robert Miller was a young man who knew Pfiel at the end of his career.

Review of O'Brien's Online Mandolin Making Course Reviews: O’Brien Online Mandolin Making Course by John Calkin
Calkin finds more treasure in the rich mine of Robbie O’Brien’s online lutherie instruction. Instructor Geoff Burghardt covers the process in detail in the 13-hour course.

Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
Is hide glue OK in hot, humid climates? Can tung oil give a glossy finish? Is it possible to spray shellac? Can I make an instrument louder by adding unison strings?

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