On guitar building, a productive year

Looking back at 2013, it has been a very productive year in the guitar workshop and other areas of my luthier business.

Brace shavings
Brace shavings

Most recently I completed the closing of a new guitar body. This one is constructed of East Indian Rosewood. The soundboard is from a 40 year old Alaskan Sitka Float Log  felled in the 70’s that I purchased from Alaska Specialty Woods in 2010. It has been on my shelf seasoning. The Braces are Sitka from the same supplier. This instrument will be less ornate than my previous builds without to much pearl or embellishments keeping my focus on the sound of this instrument.

Top, back and sides ready to be assembled in this East Indian Rosewood Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt
Top, back and sides ready to be assembled in this East Indian Rosewood guitar by Jay Rosenblatt. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo

The bridge-plate is Rosewood that matches the sides. The center strip is also cut from the remains of the back. The x brace has an ebony inlay into the joint for added stiffness at the center.

Ebony Inlay at "X" for added strenght and stiffness
Ebony Inlay at “X” for added strenght and stiffness. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo
Sitka Spruce Top being attached to body. Abalone rosette installed.
Sitka Spruce Top being attached to body. Abalone rosette installed. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo

This newer body style is smaller and a little more rounded than my large body instruments.  It sits comfortably in the lap and has enough body depth to provide a good bass  response.

Finished body ready for binding. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo
Finished body ready for binding. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo

In progress right now is another parlor guitar. This instrument is about 2/3 through the process.

This instrument is constructed of 50 year old American Walnut back and sides.  I received an 8 foot by 12″ x 5/4 board as a gift from a friend. There were long checking about a foot into each end of the board. After resawing the boards I was able to salvage 4 sets of backs and sides.

50 year old American Walnut used on this parlor guitar by Jay Rosenblatt. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo
50 year old American Walnut used on this parlor guitar by Jay Rosenblatt. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo

The wood was not quarter sawn but being such an old age is  very stable and went together beautifully.  The top of this guitar is Red Spruce that I acquired from Carl Barney. The rosette is a classical style, handmade rosette, of wood fiber and very beautiful from LMI. Currently the body is complete, the neck is done a temporarily installed. It needs the nut, bridge, saddle tuner and strings and an initial set up.

Walnut Parlor JR Guitar, Jay Rosenblatt luthier
Walnut Parlor JR Guitar, Jay Rosenblatt luthier
Walnut Parlor Guitar in progress. guitar by Jay Rosenblatt. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo
Walnut Parlor Guitar in progress. guitar by Jay Rosenblatt. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo
Walnut Parlor Guitar, Classical rosette detail. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo
Walnut Parlor Guitar, Classical rosette detail. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo

Another instrument almost near completion is this quilted maple large bodied guitar.

Maple guitar under construction. © Jay Rosenblatt
Maple guitar under construction. © Jay Rosenblatt

This one has a Lutz spruce top, ebony geometric rosette, ebony bindings, ebony fingerboard with maple strip inlay, hand cut mother-of-pearl maple leaf position markers, Chippendale headstock design and an ebony bridge.

Detail of Ebony fingerboard with Maple inlay strip and Ebony and maple geometric rosette. © Jay Rosenblatt
Detail of Ebony fingerboard with Maple inlay strip and Ebony and maple geometric rosette. © Jay Rosenblatt
5 Piece mahogany laminated neck with maple and mahogany strips. © Jay Rosenblatt
5 Piece mahogany laminated neck with maple and mahogany strips. © Jay Rosenblatt

These photos show it in a test assembly for preliminary setup and is now being spray finished by my good friend and luthier, Tony DiDomenico. This  should be completed early 2014.

Maple big body in test mode waiting to go to finish. © Jay Rosenblatt
Maple big body in test mode waiting to go to finish. © Jay Rosenblatt
Maple leaf fingerboard top detail
Maple big body guitar fingerboard detail with Maple leaf motif
Maple Leaf Guitar waiting for final buffing. Photo by finisher and luthier Tony DiDomenico. © Jay Rosenblatt
Maple Leaf Guitar waiting for final buffing. Photo by finisher and luthier Tony DiDomenico. © Jay Rosenblatt
Maple leaf Guitar waiting for final buffing. Photo by finisher and Luthier Tony DiDomenico. © Jay Rosenblatt
Maple leaf Guitar waiting for final buffing. Photo by finisher and Luthier Tony DiDomenico. © Jay Rosenblatt
Maple leaf Guitar waiting for final buffing. Photo by finisher and Luthier Tony DiDomenico. © Jay Rosenblatt
Maple leaf Guitar waiting for final buffing. Photo by finisher and Luthier Tony DiDomenico. © Jay Rosenblatt

Earlier this year I finished this beautiful Quilted Maple parlor guitar.

Amber Quilted Maple Parlor Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt. © Jay Rosenblatt
Amber Quilted Maple Parlor Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt. © Jay Rosenblatt

This has a Lutz spruce top, AAAA Quilted Maple back and sides, hand carved mahogany neck with slotted headstock and Schertler tuners, hand made geometric rosette, hand toned back and sides with a golden amber stain. Ebony fingerboard, bridge and headstock, domino dot position markers, Ebony end-graft and ebony bindings .

Quilted Maple Parlor Guitar with hand toned amber stain and Nitro Cellulose lacquer. © Jay Rosenblatt
Quilted Maple Parlor Guitar with hand toned amber stain and Nitro Cellulose lacquer. © Jay Rosenblatt

You can see a full gallery of photos of this beauty here,   http://jayrosenblatt.smugmug.com/Handbuiltguitars/Quilted-Maple-Guitar

I have other guitars and projects in the works. This year was also a good year for my repair business. There have been many repairs I have made to keep guitars playable for other musicians. Add to that the addition of the LR Baggs line of pickups and installations and having the Phil Jones line of amps available for sale and I think 2014 will continue to show growth in guitar building and repairs as well.

Showing my instruments and selling LR Baggs Pickups and Phil Jones Amps at the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase in Woodstock, NY this past October, 2013.
Showing my instruments and selling LR Baggs Pickups and Phil Jones Amps at the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase in Woodstock, NY this past October, 2013.

I want to thank you for reading my blog and I hope you enjoy these posts.

Wishing you all a Happy New year, a great year for playing, music and song.

All my best to you for peace, health and prosperity.

Sincerely,

Jay Rosenblatt.