American Lutherie #100
Winter 2009

This issue’s cover features British Luthier Gary Southwell’s A-Model guitars.

Photo by Kevin Mason

American Lutherie #100 – Winter 2009


SKU: N/A Category:

Additional information

Choose Membership Status


Historical Influences in a Modern Guitar Design

from his 2006 GAL Conventin lecture by Gary Southwell

English luthier Gary Southwell first became well known for his copies of 19th-century guitars. Turns out they were better instruments than conventional post-Torres wisdom would indicate. After deeply absorbing these lessons, Gary has designed a very modern nylon-string instrument which draws inspiration from Panormo, Stauffer, and Lacôte.

This issue’s cover features British Luthier Gary Southwell’s A-Model guitars.

Photo by Kevin Mason

American Lutherie #100 – Winter 2009


SKU: N/A Category:

Additional information

Choose Membership Status


Installing an Acoustic Pickup System in a Flattop Guitar

from his 2008 GAL Convention workshop by Brian Michael, with help from Alex Glasser

Brian and Alex both work in the repair department at Gryphon Stringed Instruments, where they install a whole lot of pickups. They show us how it’s done, step by step.

Meet the Maker: John Gilbert

by John Mello

Here’s a genuine living lutherie legend. John Gilbert had a great job as an engineer, but then in 1965 he made a guitar for fun and got hooked. He made 120 innovative and well-regarded classical guitars for some of the field’s top players before handing over the business to his son Bill in the ’90s. Gilbert has been a mentor to many aspiring makers over the years, including interviewer John Mello.

This article appears in our anthology book Classical Guitars.

The Guitar as a Structure and Some Practical Information on Bracing

by Jim Blilie

What’s a structure? Basically anything that holds itself up, like a guitar. Some structures work better than others. This can often be explained in mathematical terms, and author Blilie shows us some helpful realities and the numbers behind them.

Total Flame Out: Retopping a Harp Guitar

by Harry Fleishman

Why use deeply flamed redwood for a harp-guitar top? Because it is insanely gorgeous. But why not use it? Because the bridge will tear off the short grain. Then what do you do with a fancy, one-of-a-kind harp guitar with a busted top? Just put on a new top without disturbing the binding or the finish. Harry shows us how.

Crafting Marie’s Guitar

by Christian Steinert

It’s not a classical guitar. It’s not a lute. That vaulted, multiribbed back on a Baroque guitar poses special problems in the building process. Steinert shows us how he built an instrument from GAL Instrument Plan #27.

Owning and Playing the “Marie Antoinette” Guitar

by Kent LaRue

LaRue owns the Baroque guitar we were just talking about in the last article, and loves it. He uses it in his work as a musical educator and performer at Historic Williamsburg. (Just so you don’t think he really dresses like that.)

Inharmonicity of Guitar Strings

by Mark French

Real stuff is quirky. Like how guitar strings need to be the “wrong” length in order to sound “right.” The gloriously simple math of Pythagoras doesn’t quite get the job done. But toss in a few dozen more numbers and Greek letters and you can get closer. French uses lasers and spreadsheets and stuff to show us how.

Roped In

by Fred Casey

That cool “rope” edgebinding is a distinctive feature of old Weissenborn lap steel guitars. Casey figured out a way to make it and bend it.

Product Review

by Randy DeBey

“Pegheds” geared violin pegs. These pegs are the same size and wooden friction pegs. How do they get the gears in there? Do they really work? Violin maker DeBey gives a detailed review.

It Worked for Me

by Jeffrey Elliott, John Calkin, Harry Fleishman, and Peter True

Make a breakaway clamp for use through a soundhole. Make a dust collector for a bandsaw. Make a small, precise miter box using magnets. Keep pickup springs from sproinging while you install them.


edited by R.M. Mottola

Includes information about the earliest metal strings; double-neck acoustic guitars; and compensating a parlor guitar bridge.

In Memoriam: David Minnieweather

by Veronica Merryfield, and David King

We only just met David a few years ago, and now he’s already gone. Read his memoriam.