American Lutherie #94
Summer 2008

The gorgeous instrument on this issue’s cover was part of a display at the 2004 GAL Convention drawn from the collections of Jim Forderer and Jim Westbrook. More on them in this issue. The back cover shows an oud by Peter Kyvelos. More on him in this issue as well.

Photo by Jonathon Peterson

American Lutherie #94 – Summer 2008

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Constructing the Middle Eastern Oud with Peter Kyvelos, Part One

by R.M. Mottola

R.M. Mottola visited the workshop of Peter Kyvelos over the course of a year to document the construction of an oud. Peter’s shop, Unique Strings in Belmont Massachusetts, is a focus of the American Middle-Eastern music scene. Look for the conclusion of the series in American Lutherie #95.

The gorgeous instrument on this issue’s cover was part of a display at the 2004 GAL Convention drawn from the collections of Jim Forderer and Jim Westbrook. More on them in this issue. The back cover shows an oud by Peter Kyvelos. More on him in this issue as well.

Photo by Jonathon Peterson

American Lutherie #94 – Summer 2008

$4.00$5.00

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On the back cover we see the soundboard of an oud by Massachusetts oud builder Peter Kyvelos.

Photo by R.M. Mottola

Geometric Design of the Stradivari Model G Violin, Part Two: ƒ-Holes

by Robert J. Spear

Violin maker and scholar Robert Spear applies his reconstruction of Stradivari’s geometrical methods of to the design of the f-hole. The series concludes in American Lutherie #95 with the design of the scroll.

Meet the Collectors: Forderer and Westbrook

by Cyndy Burton

They live 5,000 miles apart, but guitar collectors Jim Forderer and Jim Westbrook are close friends and collaborators. We meet them in this issue and talk about a few of their instruments as well as publishing projects and dendrochronology research.

Meet the Maker: Paul Fischer

by Woodley White

English classical guitar maker Paul Fischer began his lutherie career as an apprentice harpsichord maker over fifty years ago, then worked in the shop of David Rubio. Today he is one of the world’s most highly-regarded builders. Meet this innovative luthier in this issue.

The Venezuelan Cuatro

by Aquiles Torres

The Venezuelan cuatro is a long-necked, 4-stringed instrument descended from the Renaissance guitars brought to the area by Spaniards in the 15th century. See a step-by-step photo essay of the construction of the cuatro by Aquiles Torres, plus a preview of our GAL Instrument Plan #58.

GAL Instrument Plan #58: Venezuelan Cuatro

Drawn by Aquiles Torres

Reduced plan image appears in article. For more information on the full-scale instrument plan, see GAL Instrument Plan #58.

The MacRostie Mandolin Deflection Jig

by Don MacRostie

Don MacRostie is the maker of Red Diamond mandolins and a tool developer for Stewart-MacDonald. At our 2004 Convention he demonstrated a machine that measures the deflection of the soundboard of a carved-top mandolin. Don has found the readings of this machine to be highly predictive of the sound of the finished mandolin. We get the full scoop in this issue.

The “Corker” Guitar: A Sideport Experiment

by Alan Carruth

There is a lot of buzz out there today about soundports, holes in the sides of guitars intended to improve the sound. GAL stalwart Al Carruth offers the results of his research into the size and placement of soundports, using the “corker” guitar.

Quick Cuts: Chris Pantazelos’ 7-String Classical Guitar

by R.M. Mottola

Chris Pantazelos has had good results with an all-wood diagonal lattice soundboard bracing plan.

It Worked for Me

by Dan Fobert, Terrence O’Hearn, and Fabio Ragghianti

Dan Fobert makes small hitchpins for bouzoukis without the use of a lathe. He builds them up out of brass rod stock and tubing. Clever!