American Lutherie #119
Fall 2014

This issue’s cover shows the rosette of a fine classical guitar made for Pepe Romero by Mexican luthier Verónica Ayala Hernández. The instrument and its detailed marquetry are patterned on the work of Antonio de Torres.

Photo by Federico Sheppard

American Lutherie #119 – Fall 2014

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Rethinking the Semihollow Electric Guitar

from his 2011 GAL Convention workshop by Stephen Marchione

Marchione offers a semihollow model that is a response to his professional touring clients’ desire for a smaller, tougher guitar with all the fine quality and detail of a full archtop. He steps us through his building process, which gets a little help from a CNC machine.

This issue’s cover shows the rosette of a fine classical guitar made for Pepe Romero by Mexican luthier Verónica Ayala Hernández. The instrument and its detailed marquetry are patterned on the work of Antonio de Torres.

Photo by Federico Sheppard

American Lutherie #119 – Fall 2014

$8.00$10.00

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Additional information

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On the back cover we see Verónica’s husband Abel Garcia López at the French polish bench of his shop in Paracho, Michoacán, Mexico.

Photo by Federico Sheppard

Meet the Maker: Abel Garcia López

by Federico Sheppard

The town of Paracho is the center of guitar making in Mexico. As author Federico Sheppard says, they are known for making a lot of guitars, but not a lot of fine guitars. Well, here’s the guy who makes the good ones, like his father and grandfather before him. Take a close look at Abel’s workspace, tools, techniques, and family.

The Sabionari Guitar of Antonio Stradivari

by D. and F. Sinier de Ridder

A couple hundred years ago, this Stradivari guitar was not only old, it was old-fashioned. The owner had it modernized from a 5-course Baroque guitar to a 6-string Romantic guitar. That meant making a new neck, removing the rosette, and opening the body to make a lot of changes to the bracing and lining. Nowadays, those changes are not just outdated, they are anachronistic and kind of sacrilegious. Sinier and de Ridder got the job of making a new, original-style neck and returning the instrument to Baroque configuration.

2014 GAL Convention/Exhibition

Another wonderfully successful GAL Convention, packed with information, music, and camaraderie has now passed into the record books. You will be seeing many major articles drawn from its lectures and workshops over the next few years. In the mean time, take a look at photos of the fun we had.

Selecting Guitar Wood Based on Material Properties, Part Two

by Trevor Gore

How do you pick wood for a guitar? If you stood up and shouted “Science!” this is the article for you. This is the second and final episode in the series.

Multiscale Fretboards and Fingerboards: The Long and Short of It

by Harry Fleishman

Multiscale fretboards have been around for centuries. Harry Fleishamn has been around for decades. In that time he has built a lot of different permutations of the idea. Here he gives us some thoughts on how to do it accurately, elegantly, and efficiently.

Product Reviews

by R.M. Mottola

Remember the good old Versa Vise? They don't make it any more. Boo! But now Garrett Wade makes a similar unit. Yay! Is it any good? Mottola takes a close look and delivers his report.

Reviews

by John Mello

Mello likes the Fretboard Journal. OK, that’s nice. But why does he like it? While explaining that, he slips into a fond reverie about one of his favorite customers. It’s too much to explain here, but it does make some nostalgic sense.

It Worked for Me

by David Thormahlen, Kevin Rielly, Rodney Stedall, and Charles Freeborn

Make a small and unobtrusive pickguard for an archtop mandolin. Make an adjustable jig to set the angle of a dovetail neck. Use a sandpaper-lined dice-shaker to deburr small blocks. Get double duty out of an outside guitar mold.

Remembering Manuel

by Eugene Clark, Armin Kelly, Robert Ruck, Jeff Elliott and Cyndy Burton, and Paul Szmanda

Manuel Velázquez made a lot of friends and fans in his exceptionally long career as a maker of fine classical guitars. Here are a few remembrances a few folks who admired his work and his life.

Questions

edited by R.M. Mottola

Can I use my own horse’s tail hair in a fine violin bow? I think I’ll write a lutherie how-to book; is that a good idea or a bad one?

In Memoriam: Steve Newberry

by Ervin Somogyi

Steve was a guitarist, luthier, scholar, author, and experimenter who was a GAL member for twenty years and a regular at our conventions. He will be missed. Read his memoriam.