THE YEAR 2021 has been a year of repairs, teaching others how to build guitars and completion of just a few beautiful instruments.
Coming into the year I was completing instruments started in the summer and fall of 2020, “Red Rose” above was one of them. This beauty sports a Redwood soundboard with Rosewood back and sides. The fingerboard is rosewood with a carbon fiber reinforced mahogany neck. Warm and sparkly.
Currently another Red Rose is being built and will be ready in about a month. Just in time for the Woodstock Luthiers Showcase. This too will have a redwood soundboard, rosewood back and sides, a cedar neck reinforced with carbon fiber and a two way truss rod, a Cocobolo fingerboard bound in mahogany and rosewood, Mother of pearl position markers and sperzel tuners. Finished in French polish. Contact me for details or to reserve this for yourself.
Another guitar complete and currently available is “Big maple”. This is my largest steel string. It is composed of Lutz Spruce and Curly hard maple with a mahogany neck and ebony fingerboard and bridge. This has hand cut maple leaf inlays, a tusq nut and saddle and Sperzel tuning machines. You may think that because it is maple it might be dry sounding instrument but this guitar has a beautiful clean and warm tonal quality. (hear audio clip below) Comes in an Ameritage custom case. Finished in an amber French polish. This is a beautiful big bodied guitar that sits comfortably on the lap. Call for pricing.
Big Maple sound clip. Played by Frank Sole. Jay Rosenblatt Guitars ©2021
And the repairs kept coming. Due to Covid lockdown, and probably because everyone was staying at home in early 2021, people must have had more time to clean their closets uncovering guitars they had ignored for years. I also suppose because more time was spent at home they wanted to learn how to play those ignored guitars, but you cant play broken guitars. I had instruments coming in for repair that were left unattended for so long with so many issues I sadly turned them away. Many others were completed with great success.
This one in particular was worthy of the time it took to fix. This 1903 Martin Parlor with a severely warped top, worn bar frets, a rotted bridge plate and a multitude of cracks.
Restoration of the Martin guitar was successful and I was able to bring this rare beauty back to life and made it playable again. In former modifications they tried to make this a steel string, UGG. That caused real problems for the soundboard by warping it. They they also put on the wrong bridge in a second repair.
After routing off the bad bridge I flattened the original soundboard using a clamping caul, moisture and warmth. The top was in clamps being flattened for over a month. I saved the original soundboard without replacing it, (the soundboard would have to be so damaged for me to consider replacement on this guitar), I fabricated a new bridge and and reinstalled replacement bar frets. That was no simple task as each fret bar had to be sanded to fit the slots which varied in width.. When completed I restrung it with folk strings. A very nice and special instrument indeed.
Cedar and Rosewood acoustic guitar by Jay Rosenblatt.
Planned to be part of a CBS special.
Almost a TV star. In early February I was supposed to be interviewed by Steve Overmeyer, producer for “The CBS New York This Morning” program for a special on building handmade guitars in a small shop. This was the result of an article that was written about me in New Jersey Monthly in 2020. The human interest editor at CBS read the story and thought it would make a interview good piece. I was called by Steve Overmeyer and had some conversations about the video shoot. We were all prepared to do the interview and have a crew to come film me in my shop. I had prepared for about a month creating parts for an instrument and set up small stations for demos to give them visuals aside from my pretty face., I’d prepared all the parts for a cedar and rosewood guitar.
On the day of the video taping in February I received a call from Steve. He told me the camera crew had been locked out of the equipment building that housed their cameras, lights and gear. Someone in the building tested positive for Covid and no one was allowed to enter the building or get equipment. All shoots were cancelled. There went my chance of TV fame.
The instrument I was building for the video, (detail above), its parts were put on the shelf after the shoot cancellation. I was dissapointed to say the least. I did not complete it till many months later. But now complete this is a fine instrument. The combination of the cedar soundboard combined with the rosewood body and mahogany neck gives this guitar a full and lush tonal quality. Made for finger style playing this is available for sale and would make a great addition to any fine collection. I will be posting a full set of phtos with a description soon.
Never too Old to learn. Two Students built guitars with me this year. Both students took a 10 day working class in my shop. These were broken up into two days a week for 5 weeks. The instruction covered all the techniques needed to build a guitar. Side bending, jointing and joining the back and soundboard, making the body, Binding, attaching a neck, installing the frets, set up and applying a shellac finish. Both student made instruments they are very proud of.
The Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase October 22 through 24th, 2021
I am thrilled to announce that once again I will be exhibiting at the The Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase. This will take place October 22 through 24th, 2021, at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, New York. I will be there along with a group of other fine luthiers and acoustic instrument builders.
There will be restrictions as required by New York State on the amount of people attending this event. To accomodate more attendees the amount of show tables has been reduced and spaced 6 feet apart. The amount of vendors has been reduced as well. I’m hoping that by October things will be a bit more relaxed as more people will have gotten the vaccine. If you are considering attending please check out the event page here and pre-order tickets. http://www.woodstockinvitational.com
Il be following up soon with more photos and news. Remenber, Please support you local luthier. Buy a handmade guitar. make the investmant. Its worth it in so many ways.
Thanks for reading.
Jay Rosenblatt. Jay Rosenblatt Guitars.
Categories: 17 inch custom acoustic archtop, Acoustic Guitar building class, Acoustic guitar music and performance, Acoustic Guitar Repair, Botique guitars, Custom luthier built guitars, guitar building, Guitar Repair, Hand-built acoustic guitars, Lutherie, Luthier guitars, parlor guitar, The Artisan Guitar Show, tonewoods, Woodstock Luthiers Invitational, Woodstock Luthiers Invitational Showcase