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Shop-Made Bandsaw Dust Port

Shop-Made Bandsaw Dust Port

by John Calkin

Published online by Guild of American Luthiers, September 2021

 

My old bandsaw was made before dust ports were added to every power machine, so I made one out of wood. It's a close copy of the heavy-gauge steel cover for the lower wheel but made out of light plywood. The dust port itself was purchased and screwed to the cover. A mahogany interface to accept the 3" vacuum hose was made to fit the port. The sides of the cover were kerfed to permit easy bending to match the original metal cover. I think the rest of the construction is self-explanatory.

All photos by John Calkin
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Building the Tar

Building the Tar

by Nasser Shirazi

Originally published in American Lutherie #10, 1987 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2000



The Tar (meaning “string” or “chord” in Farsi) is a classical Iranian stringed instrument which has two body cavities and is played by plucking the strings. The two sound chambers are covered with two separate skin membranes. The instrument’s six strings are tuned in pairs and are played with a brass plectrum inserted in a lump of beeswax. The tar is an integral part of classical Iranian music ensembles, along with the kamanché, setar, ney, santour, tomback, and oud.

The soundbox is extensively made of mulberry wood, although other woods such as maple, walnut, and apricot have also been used. Use a well-seasoned wood with no knots, checks, or other wood defects known to luthiers.

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Wonders of the Lutherie World: The Great Oregon Prairie Fiddle

Wonders of the Lutherie World

The Great Oregon Prairie Fiddle

by Peggy Stuart

Originally published in American Lutherie #15, 1988



Long ago, when European settlers first began to hew out a rough existence in the wild Pacific Northwest, they found some really big trees growing there. Their response, prompted by the insistent urgings of western culture, was to make really big fiddles!

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The Paul Schuback Story

The Paul Schuback Story

from his 1986 GAL Convention lecture

Originally published in American Lutherie #9, 1987 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2000



Paul Schuback was born in Barbados in the West Indies in 1946 and moved to the United States at the age of nine months. Through his experiences and training, he lived in thirty-three different homes before the age of twenty.

His interest in musical instruments began when he was quite young, when he took up the violin at the age of seven. At the age of nine he began playing the cello, joining a youth symphony orchestra in Utah at the age of fifteen. Then, before graduating high school, he began his career as a luthier with a three-year apprenticeship to master Rene Morizot, in Mirecourt, France. Following this, he specialized in violin making in Mittenwald, Germany. He then became a graduate in bow making at the Morizot Freres again in Mirecourt, France. He continued his studies by researching historical instruments in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. From 1968 to 1971 he worked as journeyman in the Peter Paul Prier violin shop in Salt Lake City, Utah, before moving to Portland, Oregon, where he established his own workshop and where he resides today.

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Osage Orange: American Gold

Osage Orange: American Gold

by Ted Davis

Originally published in Guild of American Luthiers Quarterly, Volume 12 #4, 1984 and Lutherie Woods and Steel String Guitars, 1998



The greatest classical guitars are made from Brazilian rosewood and European spruce, true or false? I am sad to say, the usual answer is “true.” Did you ever wonder why? Does Brazilian rosewood possess some magic component which causes it to respond to musical excitation? Is the same true of European spruce? Or is it perhaps that circumstances during the 18th and 19th centuries caused the old masters to use wood that was available? If Torres had been an American, would the classical guitar have been developed using some American wood for back and sides? If the old masters had had access to some of the rosewoods that today’s luthier does, would we today still be led to feel that Brazilian rosewood possesses some mystic element? Would we still look down our noses at a classical guitar if its back and sides happen to be yellow instead of brown?

In my search for native American wood suitable for great classical guitar back and sides, I stumbled upon Osage orange or bodark, as it is sometimes called. This wood grows in my area of East Tennessee, not abundantly, but it is available if I do my own felling, bucking, and milling. It has most of the desirable qualities of Brazilian rosewood and is in fact vastly superior to rosewood in one important quality: Osage orange is almost unaffected by changes in humidity. How many old Brazilian rosewood guitars have you seen that weren’t cracked? Think too of the impact this could have for violin and lute pegs.

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