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Meet the Maker: Henry Stocek

Meet the Maker: Henry Stocek

by John Calkin

Originally published in American Lutherie #62, 2000 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Six, 2013



There is a host of nonluthiers without whom lutherie would suffer. I refer to the makers and suppliers of the products that eventually comprise our instruments — the wood, trim items, pickups, cases, hardware, and finish products that make instruments more functional and more interesting. It should come as no surprise that most of these folks are as fascinating and dedicated as any luthier. We’ve met a few of them in these pages before, and I hope to give more of them the exposure they deserve.

First up is Henry Stocek, the celluloid guru who introduced us to the art of turtleoid creation (see Reinventing the Celluloid Tortoise). He created Deep River Vintage Instrument Supply to furnish the trade with imitation tortoiseshell pickguard stock that was reminiscent of the color and patterns used in the ’30s. Other items are on the way.

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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.

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Decades of Banjo

Decades of Banjo

from his 1984 GAL Convention lecture

by Tom Morgan

Originally published in Guild of American Luthiers Quarterly, Volume 12 ,#4, 1984



I would be a lot more comfortable today if I could have a gutiar and a five piece band, but I quickly discarded the idea of trying to set an hour’s lecture to music.

I learned to love the sound of a good banjo not too long after the vintage years, and have had the privilege of examining a lot of good instruments. RB was the designation the Gibson company used for their five string or regular banjo, and TB means tenor banjo. Small numbers such as 2,3,4, and 5 were used, and just before the war early numbers like 7, 12, 18 and 75 came into use. The new models after World War II started with 100, 150 and 250, which was also their list price, and an 800 was added later.

The Air Force sent me to Washington D.C. in 1955, where I met Callie Veach. Callie was originally from Arthur, West Virginia, and had several mountain traditions in his past such as hunting, making whiskey, riding horses, and making music. By the time we knew him, he worked at free lance carpentry, but kept a large number of musical instruments, which he modified, inlaid with Mother-of-Pearl and used to horse-trade with the local musicians.

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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.

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