American Lutherie #113
Spring 2013

On this issue’s cover, we see a mandolin scroll being bound in ivoroid in the workshop of Andrew Mowry.

Photo by Andrew Mowry

American Lutherie #113 – Spring 2013

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Binding F-5 Mandolins

by Andrew Mowry

Here’s a detailed, lavishly-illustrated step-by-step description of binding an F-5 mandolin with ivoroid including the body, scroll, neck, and peghead. No technology breakthroughs or math here. Just a careful process of getting it right. Old-school bling.

On this issue’s cover, we see a mandolin scroll being bound in ivoroid in the workshop of Andrew Mowry.

Photo by Andrew Mowry

American Lutherie #113 – Spring 2013

$8.00$10.00

Clear
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On the back cover, the instrument reposes in naked beauty, its fair curves bathed in Maxfield-Parrish tones of light.

Photo by Andrew Mowry

Bog’s Way

by Tom Harper

John Bogdanovich has published a book and a DVD set on building classical guitars his way. We have reviewed those in past issues. But now Tom Harper takes the review to a whole new level. Yes, he’s kicking it up a notch, people! Closely following the DVD instructions, he builds a guitar Bogdanovich’s way, even though it is significantly different from the way Tom has been building guitars for years. In fact, his purpose is specifically to challenge his own habits and assumptions. This gives him a lot to talk about as he works his way through the process.

Meet the Maker: David Wren

by Steve Denvir

In the 1970s, scruffy hippies in a few different parts of the North American continent became curious about guitars and tried to build them. Fast forward forty years. The hippies grew up to be the master craftspersons of the current Golden Age of American Lutherie. David Wren is one of them. We drop in to talk about his early days with Jean Larrivée as well as his current work making gorgeous steel string guitars.

D’Aquisto’s Wedge Bridge

by John Monteleone

In the last phase of his influential career, archtop guitar maker Jimmy D’Aquisto developed an all-ebony bridge that used a wedge for height adjustment rather than threaded posts. After D’Aquisto’s death, John Monteleone was asked to complete some instruments that were discovered in D’Aquisto’s shop, including making bridges in the D’Aquisto style. Monteleone presents photos, notes, and a full-scale drawing of the wedge bridges.

Thoughts on 12-String Guitars

by Roger Alan Skipper

Opinions vary about what the 12-string guitar should be, and how it should be built. How strong does it need to be? How strong is too strong? We put together a virtual roundtable of builders to talk it over. It’s not a definitive recipe, but grist for your creative mill.

Three Flattop Acoustic Basses

by Graham McDonald

Way back in 1988, three guitar making buddies in Sydney, Australia each got an order for a flattop bass, aka an acoustic bass guitar. Jim Williams, Gerard Gilet, and Graham McDonald each used a different soundboard bracing plan, and the results were quite different from each other. Here’s notes on what they did and how it turned out.

Design Analysis of Torres Guitars

by John Saucier

José Romaillos literally wrote the book in the instruments of guitar pioneer Antonio Torres. Ever wonder if “Tony” made the body longer when he use a longer scale? Or if his later guitars tended to be wider than his early ones? Or how consistent he was about the proportion of the upper bout, waist, and lower bout? John Saucier has mined those data and presents the information as informative charts.

Making a Truly Flat Sanding Bar

by Mark French

Even here in the Space Age, we can learn a thing or two from 17th-century lens makers. Want to make a bar for truing a set of frets? Mark French shows that we can start with three pretty-flat bars, and with just a few strips of sandpaper, end up with three really-flat bars. No CNCs or certified machinists’ stones required.

It Worked for Me

by John Calkin, Jeffrey Yong, and John Pendergast

Calkin puts stubby legs on a dished workboard to facilitate clamping. Yong makes a slotted guide to improve the speed and accuracy of making a guitar nut. Pendergast uses rolls of shelf edging to make laminated linings.

Questions

edited by R.M. Mottola

More on “rift-sawn” wood. Thoughts on grain direction in body blocks. Finding info on making resophonic instruments. Bending herringbone purfling.

In Memoriam: Darlene Eddinger

by Chris Herrod

A friendly face and voice that greeted many a wood buyer has passed on. Read her memoriam.

In Memoriam: Fredrick C. Lyman

by Deb Olsen

Fred Lyman was one of the GAL’s earliest members and most generous supporters. He will be missed by many. Read his memoriam.