In the Jay Rosenblatt Guitar Workshop, Spring/ summer 2014

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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