Posted on

Letter: Vacuum Clamp

Letter: Vacuum Clamp

by David Haxton

Originally published in American Lutherie #67, 2001

 

GAL:

I share Jon Calkin’s enthusiasm for the dished workboard (see AL#65). I know it’s made my guitars better. But he could trade all his clamps and dedicated workstations for a much simpler and, I would say better, solution: the use of a vacuum pump. You get absolutely even clamping pressure across the entire face of the plate and no dents from over-tightened clamps. In fact, I preshape and sand all my braces before gluing, lessening the need for chisel work after glue-up, and the whole procedure is quicker. I’ve also used my vacuum pump to make radiused sanding blocks for fretwork and laminated linings, and they make great hold-downs. My pump came from a mail-order surplus supply company for about $80. —

Posted on

A Special Guitar Neck Modification

A Special Guitar Neck Modification

by Ralph Bonte

Originally published in American Lutherie #103, 2010



Last week I was able to make someone very happy. Christophe contacted me through my website, in pursuit of a luthier who could help him with his problem. Four years ago he had an accident while cleaning up the bushes surrounding his house. He was working with a wood chipper and wearing safety gloves. To make a long and painful story short, had he not worn the gloves he would have lost the tip of his left thumb. Due to the gloves, his thumb got caught in the motor of the chipper and was torn out of his hand, causing troubles for the muscles and tendons in his arm. Christophe used to be a recording artist playing the guitar. It took him four years of physical therapy to overcome and adapt to the new situation.

In the past year, the urge to play the guitar again became overwhelming. However, he could no longer play a regular guitar since he lost the support of his left thumb. He tried a prosthesis, but that didn’t work. He found it too awkward. When I read his message, I immediately agreed to do the work, although I did not know how I was going to do it.

Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article

This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page.

If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.
Posted on

Questions: Amplifying Flattop Bass

Questions: Amplifying Flattop Bass

by Harry Fleishman

Originally published in American Lutherie #65, 2001 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Six, 2013



Mark Brantley of Appleton, Minnesota asks:

I recently ordered Tim Olsen’s plans for the Flattop Bass (GAL Plan #13). Do you have any advice on a good electric pickup for it?


Harry Fleishman of Boulder, Colorado responds:

It’s difficult to offer too much advice about amplifying your acoustic bass without more input about how loud you need to play, how high a fidelity to the instrument’s actual acoustic voice you want, and what your budget is; but here goes anyway.

Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article

This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page.

If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.
Posted on

Flamenco Capo

Flamenco Capo

by D. Alfieri

Originally published in Guild of American Luthiers Data Sheet #46, 1977 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume Two, 2001



Start with a block of ebony 2 1/2" × 1/2" × 1/2". With a jigsaw, rasp, and sandpaper, cut out and shape (see drawing). Drill a hole through the center of the block and taper with an appropriate-sized reamer to match a violin peg. The size of the peg should relate aesthetically to the guitar.

Drill a 1/16" hole at a 115° angle on one arm. Notch the arms as shown with a fine file.

Inlay is optional. A bit of holly veneer dyed red with a red nylon string is a simple, but nice touch.

Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article

This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page.

If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.
Posted on

Electronic Answer Man, Part 1

Electronic Answer Man, Part 1

by Rick Turner

Originally published in American Lutherie #29–31 and #33–36, 1992 and 1993



Electronic Answer Man, Part 2 by Rick Turner (can be seen in Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume 4)


Can you explain pickup phase and polarity? How does coil polarity relate to hum and humbucking? I have heard that it is possible to achieve hum canceling in a Strat. How is this done?

Let’s start by trying to understand the basics of “absolute phase.” The easiest example is not a guitar, but rather a drum. Imagine putting a mike in front of a bass drum, running the mike through a mixer, power amp, and finally a set of loudspeakers. As the drum is struck, the drumhead first moves forward, then back. The first cycle of a sonic wave consisting of first pressurized, then rarefied air moves out from the drum head and intercepts the mike.

Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article

This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page.

If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.