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In January, 2016 I bagan a project to build Two Kasha Classical “sister” Guitars. They are being built built with my friend Frank Sole, musician and student Luthier. This project was inspired by Frank. This instrument differs greatly in the bracing design of typical classical guitars and was developed by Dr. Michael Kasha in cooperation with luthier Richard Schneider. The instrument features a bracing design by Dr.Richard Kasha which is star patterned rather than ladder braced and the back braces are arched allowing the back to float independently and act more like a from that moves with the vibrations and air movement in the guitar ,rather that being fixed by rigid cross bracing. The soundboard is designed to increase the energy of the strings as they affect the soundboard and provide an increased bass response.

It began with a paper plan from Luthiers Mercantile, the construction of a Solera ( the building form) is based on a design by John Bogdonavitch, luthier. (see his book “Building the Concert Classical Guitar”) The set up on the solera allowed a 2 mm forward tilt in the neck and a ramp of 3 mm built up from the bridge location to the end of the guitar to create the proper string geometry. (now that one guitar is fully complete, that set-up worked perfectly. The strings are at the proper height and has excellent playability.

Both guitars are rosewood with rosewood sides, western red cedar tops, Spanish Cedar necks with Mahogany neck blocks.  One instrument was constructed with cedar bracing and the other spruce. (these are the only two principal differences between theses instruments.  The end port is constructed to allow access to the inside of the instrument for stringing as this guitar uses a through the soundboard string design which differs from traditional classical guitars where the strings on the bridge on the top of the soundboard.

The saddle design here is a three part configuration of American Walnut, Figured maple and bone. It has a bone nut and medium fret wire. The back “floating brace design” is constructed of maple and mahogany laminations.

Both instruments are being hand finished with French polish. These instruments will be on display and for sale at the Woodstock Luthiers Invitational October 23, 2016. Inquiries about pre-purchase can be discussed.

The first of the two are complete, here is a photo of one.

Kasha Classical Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

Kasha Classical Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt Luthier

Kasha Classical Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt Luthier

Kasha Classical Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt Luthier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following is a gallery of the construction photos to date.

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Please inquire about purchasing one of these fine instruments

The PF Diamonte, Rosewood

This guitar is an ooo sized instrument, 15 inches at the lower bout and 11.5 at the upper. This guitar sits comfortably in the lap. The body is select Rosewood. The neck is 40 year old aged mahogany with a maple laminate. The soundboard is Lutz spruce with Lutz carved bracing. It features my geometric rosette in ebony and maple, an ebony fingerboard bound in curly maple with triangle MOP position markers and dot side markers. The head plate is Cocobolo with maple binding, the Rosenblatt name logo with Gotoh 510 timers in chrome. , The back plate is a curly maple .The nut and saddle are bone. Bound with Curly maple and a b/w/b purfling. This guitar is nice player that will age beautifully and open up nicely. A great addition to any guitar collection.   Delivered in an Ameritage custom case.

  • AAA East Indian Rosewood back and sides
  • Alaskan Sitka Spruce soundboard
  • 40 year old two piece mahogany neck with maple laminate
  • 2 way truss rod
  • Geometric rosette in Ebony with maple
  • Ebony wave design bridge
  • Kings design headstock with cocobolo head plate and gold MOP Rosenblatt name
  • Curly maple binding with B/W/B purfling
  • Inside; Lutz spruce bracing, rosewood bridge plate, Cedar kerfing
  • 25.4 scale Ebony fingerboard, 14 fret to the body, bound w/Curly maple
  • MOP triangles pattern fingerboard position markers
  • Lacquer finish exterior
  • 18% nickel fret wire,
  • Bone nut and compensated bone saddle
  • Ebony bridge pins with Abalone dots
  • Gotoh 510 Tuning Machines
  • Ameritage custom case

 

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The Venice, African Mahogany

Currently, is a one-of-a-kind instrument.  It is the first of this model off my bench. The body size is typical of a full sized cutaway and constructed of select African Mahogany with a Lutz spruce soundboard.The back plate is X-Braced using mahogany braces. The ebony fingerboard is bound with ebony, It has large fret wire where each fret end is pre rounded and polished before installation making it smooth and very playable. It has a warm sound and rich with beautiful overtones and a nice presence. The soundboard delivers a delicate balance of responsiveness and clarity. Delivered in an Ameritage custom case.

 

 

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The PF Geo, Rosewood with 45 year old Alaskan Sitka soundboard

The unique specialty of this guitar lies in its soundboard. Crafted from a 45 year old Salvaged Alaskan Sitka. The trees original life was was a stringer on a bridge that spanned a river in allowing access for crews to build a water generated power facility in the 1970s. In the 80’s the bridge was replaced and the log laid at the forest floor for 25 years.  When that log was salvaged only a few of the most wonderful soundboards were reclaimed… In essence the tree supported a bridge and the soundboard it produced is now doing the same.. The color of the soundboard is its natural color. This is truly a Torrified wood. Over time it has developed a beautiful natural patina, but more importantly the sound achieved from this set is one of wonderful. I cannot build another instrument exactly like this as the boards are no longer available. The rosewood back and sides are select, the ebony fingerboard inlaid with a geometric pattern in white/gold MOP with an Abalone rosette and ebony bridge. The head plate is ebony with my wave design with the JR Logo in gold MOP, complimented with Gotoh tuners . It delightful to play and delivers a superb sound.  delivered in an Ameritage custom case.

  • AAAA East Indian Rosewood back and sides
  • 45 Year old Alaskan Sitka Spruce soundboard
  • 40 year old one piece mahogany neck
  • 2 way truss rod
  • Abalone B/W/B rosette
  • Ebony wave design bridge
  • Wave design headstock with ebony head plate and abalone gold MOP logo
  • Ivoroid binding with coral rope purfling
  • Inside; Lutz spruce bracing, rosewood bridge plate, cedar kerfing
  • Ebony fingerboard, 14 fret to the body, 25.4 scale
  • MOP geometric pattern position markers
  • Lacquer finish exterior, Shellac finished interior
  • 18% nickel fret wire,
  • Bone nut and compensated bone saddle
  • Ebony bridge pins with Abalone dots
  • Gotoh 510 Tuning Machines
  • Ameritage custom case

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The Parlor, 12 fret, Quilted Maple.

My parlor model is an o sized small beauty that is a pleasure to play and hold. It’s the kind of instrument that fits perfectly onto the lap. I has a sweet sound. The soundboard is Lutz and paired with a AAAA quilted maple body. A scale length of 24.9 inches, 12 frets to the body, the spanish cedar neck is complimented by a slotted wave design headstock with schertler tuners, ebony head plate and Abalone JR logo. The fingerboard is ebony with my unique mother-of-pearl pearl domino-dot position markers and it has an ebony bridge. The rosette is my geometric design of cocobolo and ebony. The body binding is ebony. Comes with a custom Hard shell Ameritage carrying case.   This model available in rosewood or walnut as special order.

 

  • AAAA Curly Maple back and sides
  • AAA Lutz Spruce soundboard
  • Lutz spruce bracing
  • Rosewood bridge plate
  • Cedar kerfing
  • Mahogany neck and tail block
  • Spanish Cedar Neck, slotted headstock, ebony head plate
  • Ebony fingerboard, 12 fret to body, 24.9 scale length, 1-3/4″ nut
  • Cocobolo and Ebony geometric rosette
  • Ebony binding
  • Ebony wave design bridge
  • 18% nickel fret wire
  • MOP domino dot position markers
  • Abalone JR logo
  • 2 way truss rod
  • Ebony bridge pins with Abalone dots
  • Bone nut and compensated bone saddle
  • Hand toned/ Nitro Cellulose lacquer exterior
  • Shellac finished interior
  • Schertler tuning machines
  • Ameritage custom case

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Acero Grande

“Big Maple” is a grand sized guitar built on my largest form. The guitar is constructed of 4A curly maple with a lutz spruce soundboard and delivers full sound with a good bass response and a flavorful balance of tone across all the strings. Its 25.4″ Ebony fingerboard is inlaid with hand-cut maple leaves in Mother-of Pearl. This guitar has a beautiful projection and clean midrange and great bass response not tipically found on maple guitars. The neck is a 5 piece mahogany / maple laminate. Bound in ebony with an ebony fingerboard and bridge. Complimented with an ebony head plate with the JR logo and chrome tuners with ebony buttons. (builders prototype)  with Ameritage custom case. This sized instrument is available in rosewood with Sitka soundboard.

  • AAA Lutz Soundboard
  • AAAA Curly Maple Back and sides
  • Five piece laminated Mahogany and Maple hand carved neck with flat heel design
  • Chess Piece Headstock , ebony head plate with White MOP JR Logo
  • Ebony fingerboard with Maple and ebony binding and bone nut, 24.9 scale length
  • Maple leaf design, White Mother of Pearl position markers
  • Abalone side position markers
  • Ebony Binding with Chevron Binding front and back
  • Ebony heel plate
  • Ebony Bridge with Bone Saddle
  • Ebony and Maple Geometric Rosette
  • Ebony and maple tailpiece
  • Interior finish Shellac
  • Exterior finish, Lacquer
  • Ameritage case.

 

 

Hello. welcome to the Jay Rosenblatt Guitar blog. My last post was mid-February. Now its the end of September 2015. Time flies.

Maple bound Ebony fingerboard with Ebony and Maple Geometric Rosette on a Jay Rosenblatt guitar

Maple bound Ebony fingerboard with Ebony and Maple Geometric Rosette on a Jay Rosenblatt guitar in process

I currently am preparing to exhibit my guitars at the Woodstock Luthiers Invitational Showcase in Woodstock, New York, on October 23rd., 24th., and 25th., 2015. I will have a table there exhibiting my instruments and will also have my guitars played in performance by Frank Sole and Henry Nerenberg. Two excellent musicians who will perform onstage at 4:00 pm., Saturday, October 24th, 2105.

Frank and Henry will be performing at The Woodstock Luthiers Invitational on Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

Frank Sole and Henry Nerenberg will be performing at The Woodstock Luthiers Invitational playing Jay Rosenblatt Guitars Saturday, October 25th., 2015 @ 4pm.

The Woodstock Luthiers Showcase is a feast for the eyes and ears and displays the works of over 60 talented luthiers, makers and instrument builders. Friday is the day to see the instruments and marvel at the guitars on display. Saturday and Sunday feature full day performances by the best pickers and musicians performing on the handmade instruments being exhibited. A must attend event if you love guitars and guitar music.

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My last blog post detailed construction of a Weissenborn Lap Steel guitar. This instrument has been completed and delivered to its new owner. Since that posting I submitted the photographs of it construction to Guitarmaker Magazine along with an article on how I built it. “Guitarmaker Magazine”is the publication of  A.S.I.A., The Association of Stringes Instrument Artisans. The publisher, Alton Acker, reproduced the images and article as the featured story. The magazine can be purchased through the A.S.I.A. web site where you can also sign up for a membership which includes 4 yearly publications and information about seminars and luthier events and other services they provide to the guitar builder and entheusiast.  http://asiartisans.org/content/.

Weissenborn Lap Steel Guitar handbuilt by Jay Rosenblatt

Weissenborn Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt featured in GuitarMaker Magazine.

Weissenborn Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt featured in GuitarMaker Magazine.

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Weissenborn guitar by Jay Rosenblatt building photographs

Weissenborn guitar by Jay Rosenblatt building photograph

 

The A.S.I.A symposium 2015 .

The Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans trade and lecture symposium, held bi-yearly was held this past June at East Stroudgberg University in East Stroudsberg, Pennsylvania. This years lectures by many top builders included topics on the business of the guitar business, repair techniques, building tips and tricks, jigs and fixtures, soundboard replacement, finishing techniques, voicing the instrument and historical presentations. The event also featured the vendor area where you can purchase woods and supplies. The evening held other lectures with social and musical gatherings. More info at http://asiartisans.org/content/

A previous post highlighted a Mahogany Venitian Cutaway guitar. on-the-guitar-building-workbench-2015.  Since that post that instrument has also been completed. The finish was a hand rubbed French polish. I used a medium-dark amber on the back, sides and neck and a light blonde on the soundboard. The finish produced a wonderful sheen on the African Mahogany back and spruce top and enhanced the organic feel and look of it. This instrument will be exhibited for purchase at The Woodstock Luthiers Invitational.

hand built mahogany venetian cutaway acoustic guitar with Sitka Soundboard by Jay Rosenblatt

Mahogany venetian cutaway acoustic guitar with Sitka Soundboard by Jay Rosenblatt

Recently of the bench and completed is this Rosewood and Sitka PF model. The photos below show it just after it came out of the finish shop. This guitar features a beautiful set of reddish brown rosewood matched to an Alaskan Sitka soundboard. The neck is laminated from 40 year old mahogany with a maple center strip. It has an ebony fretboard bound in maple with triangle position markers and my geometric rosette in ebony and maple.  The head plate is Cocobolo with a maple binding and the first guitar to have the Rosenblatt name inlaid into the headstock.  The guitar has had a shellac tone coat and a lacquer finish applied. This instrument will be featured at The Woodstock Showcase and is for sale. Please inquire!

The guitar that Jack Built.  This summer I had a young guitar student take a class with me to learn guitar building. He preformed all the steps necessary with my guidance and constructed a beautiful Mahogany and Sitka guitar. Having never used woodworking tools before he did quite well and had the dexterity of a future woodworker. The guitar featured a mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard and a rosewood bridge. He also cut and installed a whale motif headstock inlay. The instrument was built over a month, two to three 5 hour classes per session. At this point the guitar is at the finisher getting a Notrocellulose finish. Should be a beauty that he will enjoy for many years to come.

Other projects around the shop include two sister Kasha style Classical guitars. Working with Frank Sole, musician and builder to construct these instruments, we have completed all the building forms and have crafted and carved the neck, heel and headstock . The soundboard bracing is in progress.  Ill update as it moves along.

A little experimentation. I have been playing with some experimental bracing patterns on a cutaway in the works. Inspired by the Arches in Utah I will assemble this in a manner where no two braces actually touch each other, yet pass through and over/under each other allowing more flexibility through the top. This will not be available currently on any model untill it is time tested and proves to be a worthy design. This is an experimental design.

Prototypical experimental bracing design by Jay Rosenblatt. All rights reserved!!

Experimental bracing design by Jay Rosenblatt. All rights reserved!!

Please look for my next post. I will be highlighting and describing the guitars I will exhibit and have for sale at The Woodstock Luthiers Invitational Showcase.

Thank you for reading.

Jay Rosenblatt

This week began a Weissenborn project. Based loosely on a style 3, this page I will highlight photographs of its construction. I will update it as I move along its completion. This is a special build with a delivery date of Mid April.

3/13/15 Completed Koa and Sitka Weissenborn Guitar by  © Jay Rosenblatt 2015

3/13/15 Completed Koa and Sitka Weissenborn Guitar by © Jay Rosenblatt 2015

About the woods: This was constructed with Koa back and sides and an Alaskan sitka soundboard. The fingerboard is Macassar Ebony and came from LMI. The headstock is Mahogany which came from a 3×3 billet from Hibdon Hardwoods. The bridge of Honduran rosewood was also from Hibdon. The binding is a traditional Rope design made from scraps of maple and mahogany. The head plate is Koa. The pearl rosette was from the Duke Of Pearl. Ebony bridge pins with Abalone inlays were used and the position markers are Abalone too.

The Koa back and sides came from Notable Woods in Lopez, Washington. These are age dried pieces of Koa with a nice tone and appear to be very stable. The Sitka soundboard is of salvaged wood from Alaska Specialty Woods, Craig Alaska. The story behind the soundboard is that it came from a bridge stringer that once spanned over Back Bear Creek. It was a 63″ diameter log that was aquired by the mill in 1998, about 2 years after the bridge was pulled to be replaced replaced with steel bridge. The wooden car bridge was installed when the road there was used for logging in 1984-85. Now that road is used for recreation and to get to a hydro electric generator were water falling off the mountain from black bear lake is run through a turbine. The build is based on a template from Waldon Instruments. I have modified my braces to suit my building style.

Weissenborn template from Waldron Music used for body and bracing dimensions

February 9th, 2015, Weissenborn template arrived from Waldron Music to be  used for body and rough bracing dimensions.

All photography © Jay Rosenblatt, Jay Rosenblatt Guitars.

The spruce top plates were jointed and clamped together

The Alaskan Sitka spruce top plates were jointed and joined together  using clamps and weights to make a nice tight center line. Although those clamps look big I use very light pressure on them.

along

The template was traced to the top plates, cut out and sanded to thickness.

The template was traced to the top plates, cut out and sanded to thickness of about .115

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An abalone rosette was installed with contrasting black fibre. This abalone came from the Duke of Pearl.

Abalone rosette installed and sound hole cut out

Abalone rosette installed and sound hole cut out

The loa back and sides arrived from Notable Woods

The Koa back and sides arrived from Notable Woods

The Koa back plates being joined

The Koa back plates being joined in a similar fashion as the top plates

The bracing was cut, and installed using a clamp method

The bracing was cut, and installed using a clamp method

The bracing for the back was cut and installed

Tha back was patterened and thicknesses to about .095.  The bracing for the back was cut and installed using go bars method.

The braces war carved, bridge plate installed and are ready to meet the instrument sides.

The braces war carved, bridge plate installed and are ready to meet the instrument sides.

To aid in the assembly of the tow plates an open ended form was constructed. The headsotck which attaches to the top, back and sides can be held in place as it is clamped to the body.

To aid in the assembly of the two plates to the sides an open ended form was constructed. The headsotck which attaches to the top, back and sides of the instrument can be held in place as it is clamped to the body.

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In preparation for the binding, traditional rope binding is made by laminating strips of maple and mahogany together. These will be slices diagonally into thin strips which will be installed as binding around the instrument.

In preparation for the binding, traditional rope binding is made by laminating (here) strips of maple and mahogany together. These will be sliced diagonally into thin strips which will be installed as binding around the instrument and around the fingerboard and headstock.

The side plates have been dimensions and brought to a thickness of about. .085. These will be hand bent on a bending iron.

The side plates have been dimensions and brought to a thickness of about. .085. These will be hand bent on a bending iron.

The sides are bent and cooling in the form awaiting the tail and headstock assembly and kefing.

The sides are bent and cooling in the form awaiting the tail and headstock assembly and kefing.

The headlock, which is actually the neck block too was fabricated from a solid piece of mahogany

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Headstock layout

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Traditional Weissenborn Headstock template used for outline. Cut to shape on a bandsaw

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Weissenborn headstock rear view

The weisssenborn headstock is cut from one piece of Mahogany with a book matched set of Koa head plated attached.

The Weisssenborn headstock is cut from one piece of Mahogany with a book matched set of Koa head plated attached.

Tail block installed

Tail block installed

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Headstock glue-up in holding form

Headstock unit installed

Headstock unit installed

Kerfing being installed in the Weissenborn.

Kerfing being installed in the Weissenborn.

Notches for braces are routed

Notches for braces are routed

Notches for the back braces are cut and the back is checked for fit

Notches for the back braces are cut and the back is checked for fit

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A simple end graft is constructed from mahogany and chevron binding and fit into a slot cut out in the tailpiece.

A simple end graft is constructed from mahogany and rope binding and fit in a slot cut into the tailpiece.

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Rope binding is made by slicing the laminate I made and gluing the strips to a piece of b/w fiber strip

Rope binding is made by slicing the laminate I made and gluing the strips to a piece of b/w fiber strip

The back of the Weissenborn has been attached to the sides © Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

The sides are returned to the holding form, checked for square and level. The back is then glued to the sides. © Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

The sides have been attached to the back and the sound board has been fitted and attached

The sides have been attached to the back

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The Sitka Spruce soundboard has been fitted and attached to complete the main structural components of this Weissenborn Lap Steel guitar.  © Jay Rosenblatt guitars

When I removed this guitar from the form I noticed something unique to the instrument. When I tapped on the center of the soundboard, sort of a thump with my thumb, I was able to hear the sound that produced come out not only from the sound hole but I also heard it way up in the headstock. The vibrations traveled straight up through the hollow neck and emitted at the top of the guitar.

I have a little music box mechanism that plays a simple tune very quietly when you crank the handle. Barely audible without something to amplify its sound, like a wooden music box. I place it where at the bridge position to test the guitars responsiveness to a very quiet sound, essentially  making the guitar the music box. (try it one day) The sound is greatly amplified and comes through the sound hole. When I put the mechanism at the top of the neck the sound transversely traveled down and out the sound hole almost as loud as from the bridge position. I am certain that the energy from the nut will also travel through the guitar and add to the sound of this instrument. Perhaps thats is little secret behind the Weissenborn’s unique sound.

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The Rope binding has been installed the top

The Rope binding has been installed the top

Weissenborn Guitar with rope binding by Jay Rosenblatt

February 23, 2015  The rope binding on the soundboard side is complete.

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I have begun the finishing  the body in preparation for the fingerboard and bridge, This is getting a hand rubbed shellac finish (french polish}. The back and sides Amber, 2 lb cut, and the top, Med-Dark Blonde, 1 LB cut.

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In this photo you can see the shimmer of the wood which is typical of KOA. This photo is also very close to the real color.

The fingerboard position markers are strips of maple inserted into the fret slots then sanded level

The fingerboard position markers are strips of maple inserted into the fret slots then sanded level

Rope binding and MOP dots are added to the fingerboard

Rope binding and Abalone dots are added to the fingerboard. After sanding this fingerboard is only about 3.5mm thick.

The fingerboard is glued in place and clamped.

3/7/15 The fingerboard is glued in place and clamped.

Almost nearing completion here. Next the nut, saddle, bridge, tuning machines and stringing

Almost nearing completion here. Next the nut, saddle, bridge, tuning machines and stringing

The bridge made from Honduran Rosewood. Carved to be similar to the original design, attached with hide glue.

The bridge made from Honduran Rosewood. Carved to be similar to the original design, attached with hide glue.

The nut slot cut and fitted with a bone nut.

The nut roughed in. This will be adjusted for size and slots cut for strings

The instrument is now complete and you can hear it here.     http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-tzMqhN/     Pass Word  “Weiss1”

The initial stringing sounds awesome. I used John Pearse Weissenborn strings, 80/20 bronze, 15 to 60. A final adjustments for string height and level across the tops will be performed, but as it is this Weissenborn has a rich tone, a beautiful natural reverb, good presence and response, and a lovely character.

Weissenborn Lap Steel Guitar handbuilt by Jay Rosenblatt

Weissenborn Lap Steel Guitar handbuilt by Jay Rosenblatt

 

3/13/15 Completed Koa and Sitka Weissenborn Guitar by  © Jay Rosenblatt 2015

3/13/15 Completed Koa and Sitka Weissenborn Guitar by © Jay Rosenblatt 2015

Weissenborn Lap Steel Guitar handbuilt by Jay Rosenblatt

Weissenborn Headstock Detail by Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

Weissenborn Lap Steel Guitar handbuilt by Jay Rosenblatt

Weissenborn back headstock detail by Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

Weissenborn Lap Steel Guitar handbuilt by Jay Rosenblatt

Weissenborn Fingerboard detail

Weissenborn Lap Steel Guitar handbuilt by Jay Rosenblatt

Weissenborn Koa Back detail by Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

 

 

 

Thanks for looking. I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed building it!

Its been about three months since the Woodstock Luthiers Invitational. I had a great time exhibiting my guitars there. I was well greeted by all the attendees and the other exhibitors and luthiers. It was a great event and I formed many new alliances. Many  musicians stopped by to ask questions and play my instruments..

me at woodstock

Jay Rosenblatt, luthier, exhibiting at the Woodstock Luthiers Invitational in Woodstock, NY

 

I was fortunate to have Kinloch Nelson stop by and play one of my guitars. Kinloch is an amazing and talented musician who has a unique open tuning style that is all his own. Kinloch Nelson is a true master of the acoustic guitar. www.kinlochnelson.com. Kinloch, it was a pleasure to listen to you and have you play my guitar.

Kinloch Nelson playing a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar

Kinloch Nelson playing a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar

Kinloch Nelson picking on a Jay Rosenblatt guitar

Master of the acoustic guitar, Kinloch Nelson

Mr.  John Monteleone stopped to chat for a moment. A thrill to pose in the photo with him. Monteleone’s work represents the finest in arch top guitar design and construction in the 20th century. His work embodies the marriage of traditional and contemporary arch top guitar design and stands as a benchmark for his craft. His work has been exhibited in the metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Guitar Heroes” exhibition in 2012 and his instruments are highly prized and desired by jazz musicians worldwide. http://www.monteleone.net. Thank you for the time John.

A moment to chat with master luthier John Monteleone

A moment to chat with master luthier John Monteleone

J.R. Rogers, creator and founder of the Acoustic Guitar Forum stopped by to talk and play for a while. JR’s online web site and forum is a premier site devoted to helping guitar enthusiasts, players and luthiers to join together share ideas and information. Currently there are 25,000 subscribing members to his forum. Thanks for stopping by JR.    http://www.acousticguitarforum.com

JR Rogers creator of Acoustic Guitar Forum testing out a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar.

JR Rogers, creator of Acoustic Guitar Forum testing out a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar.

The show itself was packed with attendees and exhibitors. It was probably the busiest to date.

Luthiers Invitational Main floor. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.

Luthiers Invitational Main floor. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.

 

A project I started in late 2014 is in its final stages. 

This Cutaway model made of Honduran Mahogany with an Alaskan Sitka Top is ready to go to the finisher.  Many steps along the way to makes this baby come to life.

Here are a few photos of the work. I am very pleased with how this turned out as it represents many fine details of my woodworking and guitar building ability. Each instrument I make is a lesson in patience and each one progressively teaches me more about this craft.

Interior detail of Mahogany florentine cutaway by Jay Rosenblatt Luthier

Interior detail of Mahogany florentine cutaway by Jay Rosenblatt Luthier

Closing the box on the Mahogany Cutaway. © Jay Rosenblatt

Closing the box on the Mahogany Cutaway. © Jay Rosenblatt

Binding the headstock

Completed Cocobolo and Maple Acoustic headstock

Completed Cocobolo and Maple Acoustic headstock

Detail of Neck/ body connection on a Jay Rosenblatt Cutaway model guitar

Detail of Neck/ body connection on a Jay Rosenblatt Cutaway model guitar

Detail of florentine cutaway and rope binding on aJay Rosenblatt Guitar

Detail of florentine cutaway and rope binding on aJay Rosenblatt Guitar

Cutting position markers in Mother of Pearl

Cutting position markers in Mother of Pearl

Arrowhead position markers on a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar

Arrowhead position markers ready for inlay a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar

Arrowhead inlays installed

Arrowhead inlays installed

Individually sized and ends polished frets prior to installation on fingerboard

Individually sized and ends polished frets prior to installation on fingerboard

Frets installed after ends are polished

Frets installed after ends are polished

Test fitting ot tuning machines. Gotoh 510s in cosmo black

Test fitting ot tuning machines. Gotoh 510s in cosmo black.

Maple burl backplate with Gotoh tuners. Jay Rosenblatt Guitars.

Maple burl backplate with Gotoh tuners. Jay Rosenblatt Guitars.

This guitar features; Honduran back and sides, Alaskan sitka soundboard, Quilted maple binding with rope purfling, a Macassar ebony fingerboard, ebony bridge, cocobolo head plate with maple binding, a maple burl backplate, arrowhead fingerboard markers with MOP side dots, bone nut and saddle and will have a lacquer finish applied.

Florentine cutaway acoustic guitar prior to finish application of Lacquer. Jay Rosenblatt Guitars © 2015

Florentine cutaway acoustic guitar prior to finish application of Lacquer. Jay Rosenblatt Guitars © 2015

 

Jay Rosenblatt Guitars Handbuilt Mahaogany Cutaway Guitar © 2015

Jay Rosenblatt Guitars. Handbuilt Mahaogany Cutaway Guitar © 2015

More photos to come soon.

Thanks for reading and keep playing your guitar. For information on how to contact me go to the “about page”.

 

Busy, Busy Busy, Thats all I can say. The past three months have been work in preparation for my exhibit table at the Woodstock Luthiers Showcase in Woodstock, New York. October 24th, 25th and 26th,. I will have several guitars on display there. All are ready for sale with custom fit Ameritage cases. One just back from finish in the final stages of set-up. (second from left in photo) Hope to have that ready at showtime. The guitars that will be for sale at Woodstock will include a quilted maple parlor, a OOO sized curly maple and lutz spruce guitar, a alaskan sitka topped jumbo with Rosewood back and sides,  an all Mahogany Tenor Ukulele and a Bearclaw and curly maple 00. (still under construction). Other items for sale will include LR Baggs pickups and pre-amps and Phil Jones Acoustic amplifiers.

Acoustic Guitars and Ukulele by Jay Rosenblatt luthier

Acoustic Guitars and Ukulele by Jay Rosenblatt luthier

Acoustic Guitars and Ukulele by Jay Rosenblatt luthier

Acoustic Guitars and Ukulele by Jay Rosenblatt luthier

About the guitars in the photo above, here are their ingredients. Maple Parlor Guitar. (far left in top photo) Hand built acoustic parlor guitar by luthier Jay Rosenblatt

  • AAAA Quilted Maple back and sides
  • AAA Lutz Spruce soundboard
  • Lutz spruce carved bracing
  • Rosewood bridge plate
  • Cedar kerfing
  • Spanish Cedar Neck with ebony head plate
  • Ebony fingerboard, 12 fret to body, 24.9 scale length
  • 1-3/4 nut width, 2-1/4 width at 12th fret
  • Cocobolo and Ebony geometric rosette
  • Ebony binding
  • Ebony wave design bridge
  • 18% nickel fret wire
  • MOP position markers
  • Abalone JR logo
  • 2 way truss rod
  • Ebony bridge pins with Abalone dots
  • Bone nut and compensated bone saddle
  • Hand toned amber glow with Nitro Cellulose lacquer exterior
  • Shellac finished interior
  • Schertler tuning machines
  • Ameritage custom case

Bearclaw Sitka with Maple back and sides OO. (Second From left in top photo)

Bearclaw Sitka top on Quilted maple body. Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt luthier

IMG_4695

Bearclaw Sitka top on Quilted maple body. Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt luthier

IMG_4697

Geometric Rosette in Ebony and maple fibre on a Jay Rosenblatt guitar

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Headstock detail on Bearclaw Sitka and maple guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

Reverse of Headstock on Maple guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

Reverse of Headstock on Maple guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

  • AAAA Curly Maple back and sides
  • AAA Bearclaw Sitka Spruce soundboard
  • Lutz spruce carved bracing
  • Maple  and mahogany 9 piece laminated neck
  • 2 way truss rod
  •  Geometric design ebony and maple  rosette
  • Ebony arc design bridge
  • Ebony Head-plate
  • Curly maple back plate on headstock, steam bent to match curve
  • Ebony binding with coral design purfling
  • Rosewood bridge plate, Cedar kerfing
  • Ebony fingerboard, 14 fret to the body, 25.4 scale
  • 1-11/16 nut width, 2-1/8 width at 12th fret
  •  Reversed abalone diamond pattern position markers
  • Nitrocellulose Lacquer finish exterior, Shellac finished interior
  • 18% nickel fret wire, bone nut and saddle
  • Abalone JR logo, Ebony bridge pins with Abalone dots
  • Bone nut and compensated bone saddle
  • Gotoh chrome Keystone style tuning machines
  • Ameritage custom case

Big Maple, (second from right in photo at top)

Maple and Lutz Spruce Acoustic Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

Maple and Lutz Spruce Acoustic Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

Maple and Lutz Spruce Acoustic Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

Maple and Lutz Spruce Acoustic Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

  • AAAA Curly Maple back and sides
  • AAA Lutz Spruce soundboard
  • Lutz spruce carved bracing
  • 40 year old Mahogany/ Maple 5 piece laminated neck
  • 2 way truss rod
  • Chippendale design headstock
  • Ebony and maple geometric rosette
  • Ebony wave design bridge
  • Ebony Head-plate
  • Ebony binding with chevron purfling
  • Rosewood bridge plate, Cedar kerfing
  • Ebony fingerboard, 14 fret to the body, 25.4 scale
  • 1-11/16 nut width, 2-1/8 width at 12th fret
  • MOP Maple Leaf position markers
  • Lacquer finish exterior, Shellac finished interior
  • 18% nickel fret wire, bone nut and saddle
  • Abalone JR logo, Ebony bridge pins with Abalone dots
  • Bone nut and compensated bone saddle
  • Sterling Silver Tuning Machines, (Martin)
  • Ameritage custom case

The Prima Fino Geo, 45 year old Alaskan Sitka and East Indian Rosewood. (far right in top photo)

45 year old sitka with Rosewood back and sides 00 guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

45 year old sitka with Rosewood back and sides 00 guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

45 year old sitka with Rosewood back and sides 00 guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

Prima Fina Geo EIR back view

Prima Fina Geo EIR back view on Jay Rosenblatt Guitar

  • AAAA East Indian Rosewood back and sides
  • 45 Year old Alaskan Sitka Spruce soundboard
  • Lutz spruce carved bracing
  • 40 year old Mahogany/ Maple 9 piece laminated neck
  • 2 way truss rod
  • Abalone B/W/B rosette
  • Ebony wave design bridge
  • Ebony Head-plate with Chippendale design headstock
  • Ivoroid binding with coral rope purfling
  • Rosewood bridge plate, Cedar kerfing
  • Ebony fingerboard, 14 fret to the body, 25.4 scale
  • 1-11/16 nut width, 2-1/8 width at 12th fret
  • MOP geometric pattern position markers
  • Lacquer finish exterior, Shellac finished interior
  • 18% nickel fret wire, bone nut and saddle
  • Abalone JR logo, Ebony bridge pins with Abalone dots
  • Fully compensated saddle
  • Gotoh 510 Tuning Machines
  • Ameritage custom case

The guitars above when purchased will all come with custom fit Ameritage Cases. These are beautiful and Durable!

Ameritage custom case for Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

Ameritage custom case for Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

Ameritage custom case for Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

Ameritage custom case for Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

 Currently on the workbench; In the works. I am currently working on a Mahogany and Sitka venetian cutaway acoustic model. This guitar features Honduran Mahogany back and sides matched to a light curly sitka soundboard. A maple and mahogany geometric rosette adorns the sound hole , curly maple binding with Rope purling and B/W fibre pull it all together. The back bracing is of mahogany with a hybrid X/ladder pattern. The soundboard bracing is forward-X pattern, scalloped and hand tuned sitka. Neck block and tail block of aged mahogany. The neck will be a 9 layer lamination with 40 year old Mahogany and maple strips.

Mahogany and Sitka Acoustic cutaway by Jay Rosenblatt

Mahogany and Sitka Acoustic cutaway by Jay Rosenblatt

Bracing pattern on Mahogany and sitka top

Bracing pattern on Mahogany and sitka top by Jay Rosenblatt

Hybrid mahogany  X/ladder bracing design on Jay Rosenblatt Guitar

Hybrid mahogany X/ladder bracing design on Jay Rosenblatt Guitar

Assembling body on Mahogany cutaway by Jay Rosenblatt

Assembling body on Mahogany cutaway by Jay Rosenblatt

Roping curly maple binding in place on a Mahogany venetian cutaway acoustic guitar

Roping curly maple binding in place on a Mahogany venetian cutaway acoustic guitar

Binding detail on Cutaway by Jay Rosenblatt

Binding detail on Cutaway by Jay Rosenblatt

Binding detail on Cutaway by Jay Rosenblatt

Binding detail on Cutaway by Jay Rosenblatt

Mahogany Cutaway guitar ready for neck by Jay Rosenblatt luthier

Mahogany Cutaway guitar ready for neck by Jay Rosenblatt luthier

 Guitar Building class and Instruction. In the next few months I will be setting up a shop where I can teach guitar building and construction. Group classes of two people per class or individual instruction will be offered. Topics covered from bending sides to carving braces, fretwork to final assembly will be taught in the classes. You can build a guitar too! More information will follow. Jay Rosenblatt Speaking at CJWA_2   Getting out to play a bit enjoying the fruits of my labor playing my hand built guitars with some friends at Hat City Kitchen’s All Acoustic Open Mic, Orange, NJ

Enjoying the fruit of my labors at Hat City Kitchen's All Acoustic Open Mic, Orange, NJ

Enjoying the fruits of my labor playing my hand built guitars with some friends at Hat City Kitchen’s All Acoustic Open Mic, Orange, NJ

Below are some links to the fine vendors who have provided parts, woods, jigs, cases or finishing.

In conclusion; I hope you can make it up to Woodstock to see these instruments first hand. If you are a player, picker, professional musician or just like to have fun and enjoy music, please come up to Woodstock, New York next week. It will be a great day of music, musicians, and guitars, built by hand and being displayed by their builders. For moder details go to http://www.woodstockinvitational.com

Woodstock Luthiers Showcase October 25th and 26th., 2014

Woodstock Luthiers Showcase October 25th and 26th., 2014

Thanks for reading this blog. Have a great day!

It has been 3 months since my last big post. Catching up here are works in progress, finished guitars and instruments.

My latest instrument in the works is this Maple OM sized guitar. This build is getting lacquered at this time. This is a steel string acoustic guitar with curly maple back and sides and a Bearclaw Sitka top.

This guitar has a black and white color scheme. The rosette is ebony and maple, the binding ebony with a herringbone purling. Ebony fingerboard with arrowhead inlays and an arc shaped ebony bridge design. The back of the head plate has a steam bent quilted maple veneer and the headstock head plate is Ebony. The JR logo (not shown)  is of white pearl.

The photos below show some of the building process from this maple guitar.

 

Assembly of the geometric rosette on a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar

Assembly of the geometric rosette on a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar

Geometric Rosette is assembled ready to be installed around the sound hole.

Geometric Rosette is assembled ready to be installed around the sound hole.

 

X-Brace being attached with go bars on a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar.

X-Brace being attached with go bars.

Back braces being attached

Back braces being attached

Hand Carving the x braces and tone bars on a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar

Hand Carving the x braces and tone bars on a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar

Low angle of carved x- braces on a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar

Low angle of carved x- braces on a J R Guitar

Bending maple sides for an acoustic guitar by Jay Rosenblatt © Jay Rosenblatt photo.

Bending maple sides for an acoustic guitar © Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

Back attached to sides

Back attached to sides © Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

Neck carved and headstock shaped.

Neck carved and headstock shaped for a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar.

Ebony Binding attached and roped in place on Jay Rosenblatt Guitar

Ebony Binding attached and roped in place © Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

Fingerboard gets inlay

Fingerboard gets inlay

 

After body assembly the neck is fitted for proper angle and playability.

After body assembly the neck is fitted for proper angle and playability.

Rear view of Laminated Neck, heel joint. Neck is fitted for proper angle and playability.

Rear view of Laminated Neck, heel joint. Neck is fitted for proper angle and playability.

The bridge is hand made

The bridge is hand made © Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

The bridge position is marked.

The bridge position is marked.

 

 

Headstock before JR Logo inlay.  © Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

Headstock before JR Logo inlay. © Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

This guitar is currently in the finishing process. I hope to have it ready for the Woodstock Luthiers Showcase in October.

 

Maple guitar in the spray booth © Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

Maple and bear claw sitka spruce guitar in the spray booth © Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

In a previous posts I showed a small walnut parlor guitar just before it went to the finisher, well this is now complete. The finish of Nitro Cellulose has been done and the guitar is strung up.

Hand built walnut Parlor Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt Luthier.

Hand built walnut Parlor Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt Luthier.

In the images below images you can see some of the final steps building process after the finish was applies. Its at that point I permanently attach the bridge and do a final set up for playability.

This guitar who’s body is constructed from a piece of wood that came from a 50 year old American Walnut tree that was felled in the late 60’s. I cut the back and side set from it for this instrument, joined with a red spruce (Adirondak) soundboard. This guitar features a 24.9 scale length fingerboard in ebony with a rosewood  bridge and head plate. A mahogany neck with slotted headstock, bone nut and saddle and a classical style rosette. This is a steel string guitar with a clear and light tone.  The inlays are of mother of pearl and abalone. The neck feels nice with its slightly wider fingerboard and shorter scale length making it a really nice finger style guitar.

Bridge test fit prior to gluing on Parlor guitar © Jay Rosenblatt

Bridge test fit prior to gluing on Parlor guitar © Jay Rosenblatt

Bridge being attached with hide glue on parlor guitar by © Jay Rosenblatt

Bridge being attached with hide glue on parlor guitar by © Jay Rosenblatt

Walnut Back on parlor guitar by © Jay Rosenblatt

Walnut Back on parlor guitar by © Jay Rosenblatt

Classical Rosette on Parlor Guitar by © Jay Rosenblatt

Classical Rosette on Parlor Guitar by © Jay Rosenblatt

Cedar Slotted parlor guitar headstock © Jay Rosenblatt

Cedar slotted parlor guitar headstock with Waverly tuners © Jay Rosenblatt

Adirondak "Red Spruce" soundboard on parlor guitar by Jay Rosenblatt © Jay Rosenblatt

Getting ready to glue the bridge to the Adirondak “Red Spruce” soundboard on this parlor guitar. © Jay Rosenblatt

 

 

 

Another instrument I completed is a tenor Ukulele. This small instrument is constructed of ribbon striped mahogany for the soundboard and back. The sides are quilted mahogany. The fingerboard is ebony with MOP position markers as is the bridge. The headstock features my wave design and is of book matched Koa. The binding is maple with a black white fibre and the rosette is a chevron design. The neck on this is laminated with 40 year old mahogany which was repurposed from old Martin guitar neck blanks and has a maple center strip. The interior braces are lutz spruce with cedar kerning and a rosewood bridge plate. The tuners are Waverly with ebony knobs. The instrument is finished with a traditional hand rubbed shellac (french polish) which brings out the shimmer in the mahogany. This is a delightful instrument.

Ribbon striped Mahogany Ukulele by Jay Rosenblatt Luthier © Jay Rosenblatt

Ribbon striped Mahogany Ukulele by Jay Rosenblatt Luthier © Jay Rosenblatt

Parlor Guitar on workbench © Jay Rosenblatt

Ukulele on workbench © Jay Rosenblatt

Ukelele getting hand rubbed French Polish shellac finish  Jay © Jay Rosenblatt

Ukelele getting hand rubbed French Polish shellac finish Jay © Jay Rosenblatt

Handmade Ukulele bridge of ebony and bone © Jay Rosenblatt

Handmade Ukulele bridge of ebony and bone © Jay Rosenblatt

Binding attached with traditional rope system on Ukulele by © Jay Rosenblatt

Binding attached with traditional rope system on Ukulele by © Jay Rosenblatt

 

 

 

About my work shop. My workshop is in a single small room. Here is a panorama. Although this photo makes it look grand it is only about 20 feet x 20 feet wide but offers me enough room to work and display my instruments.

Panoramic photograph from the luthiers workshop of Jay Rosenblatt 2014. © Jay Rosenblatt

Panoramic photograph from the luthiers workshop of Jay Rosenblatt 2014. © Jay Rosenblatt

 

 

Recently I received another instrument back from my finisher. The guitar is a new design for me. It’s body shape is smaller than my standard large bodied guitar. (see my large body guitar “Big Maple” in a previous post). Closer in size to an OM model instrument. The specs.

  • Back and Sides: East Indian Rosewood
  • Soundboard: 40 year old Alaskan Sitka
  • Fingerboard, bridge and head plate: Ebony
  • Scale Length: 25.4
  • Neck Wood: 25 year old African Mahogany
  • Rosette: White fible with Abalone ring
  • Headstock Design: The Big Wave
  • Tuners: Sterling Silver
  • Fingerboard Inlay: White Gold Mother of Pearl geometrid pattern
  • Binding: White Ivoroid with Coral Purfling.
  • Endpiece and heel-cap: Ebony
  • Nut and saddle: Bone

 

This guitar is constructed of East Indian Rosewood back and sides and a 40 year old Alaskan Sitka Spruce soundboard.

It is my understanding that soundboard came from log that was salvaged from a bridge stringer that crossed an Alaskan river before it became soundboards. I purchased one soundboard in 2010 and I wish I had bought more. It is a beautiful loosely grained top with an amazing natural color and wonderful tone. Next time I come across these special woods I will have to get a few extras as now I see and hear how wonderful this guitar looks and sounds. This is truly special.

This guitar which I have named “Prima Fino” is named for my mentor and guru, Luthier, Frank Finocchio. I built a guitar with Frank 5  years ago that was his design, The “Prima”. Frank has helped me greatly and so I named this build “Prima Fino.  Frank builds and repairs guitars for over 30 years now in Easton, Pennsylvania, USA. He also teaches instrument building in week and two week long courses.  Find out more about frank here; http://www.finocchioguitar.com/2014/

The finish on this instrument was done by Tony DiDomenico, htttp://www.DiDomenicoguitars.com, Tony is a great luthier and finisher.

Inside label

Inside label

 

Rosewood and Sitka OM Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

Rosewood and Sitka OM Guitar by © Jay Rosenblatt guitars

 

Rosewood and Sitka OM Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

Rosewood and Sitka OM Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

© Jay Rosenblatt guitars

 

Rosewood and Sitka OM Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

Rosewood and Sitka OM Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

Rosewood and Sitka OM Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

Rosewood and Sitka OM Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

 

Rosewood and Sitka OM Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

Rosewood and Sitka OM Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

 

Rosewood and Sitka OM Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

Rosewood and Sitka OM Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

 

Rosewood and Sitka OM Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

Rosewood and Sitka OM Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt

 

This instrument will be available for purchase at the Woodstock Luthiers Invitational and Showcase in Woodstock, New York, October 25th and 26th., 2014. I hope to see you there.

Come see Jay Rosenblatt Guitars in Woodstock, NY in October.

Come see Jay Rosenblatt Guitars in Woodstock, NY in October.

Thanks for reading my blog and happy picking!

Jay

 

 

 

 

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