The ASIA Symposium this weekend

 

I have just completed putting together my presentation which includes over 200 photographs and guitar building sequences for my class this Saturday morning at The ASIA Symposium, (The Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans).

The Symposium will commence on Wednesday at The Stroudsberg University in East Stroudsberg, PA, and runs through Sunday with classes Thursday through Saturday.
There will be over 35 builders sharing their knowledge, skills and talents with the attendees plus lectures and informational discussions. I am thrilled to be included as a presenter. There will also be vendors selling woods and materials.

My presentation on Saturday Morning titled “The Basics and Beyond” will highlight many topics on building and show several processes using hand tools and small power tools.

You can still register for this event by going to http://asiartisans.org. Anyone who either has a desire to build or learn repair will benefit from this event.

 

The ASIA Symposiumt and organization are open to the public to join and to attend. The symposium will cover topics on guitar and stringed instrument building, maintenance, repair, inlay, marquetry, finishing, restoration and creation of acoustic instruments. My presentation will be on the basic tools and forms needed to build acoustic guitars and what they do, Saturday Morning, 6/10 from 9:00 to 10:30AM

A host of great presenters and some of the masters or lutherie  will be there sharing their knoweledge including; Linda Manzer (Linda Manzer Guitars), John Monteleone (Monteleone Guitars), Dan Erliwine (Stu-Mac), John Hall (Blues Creek), David Nichols (Custom Pearl Inlay), Michael Gurian (Gurian Guitars), Chris Herrod, (Luthiers Mercantile), Matt Laravee and More.  A full schedule of classes and presenters can be found on their website  http://asiartisans.org/content/.

Thanks for reading

Jay

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In the luthiers workshop, The Woodstock Luthiers Invitational and acoustic music.

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

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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On the guitar repair workbench, Gibson L-37, 1934, Archtop rebuild and restoration

Theres always something going on in my little workshop.  Most times it working on an acoustic guitar in one phase or another. The past few months have been a mix of completing older projects, getting new builds to the finishing shop, keeping repairs flowing and new ideas in the works. Of a very most recent and interr=esting repair I have received was a  1937 Gibson L-4 acoustic arch top jazz guitar.

This instrument came to me in pieces and hadn’t been played in twenty years, left unchecked in an attic the back was split down the length, the sides expanded outward from 20 years of no support and the top and sides had many cracks and splits. The good things was the neck was still secure and the fingerboard salvageable.

 

Gibsom 1934 l-37 repair
Gibson 1934 L-4 repair

IMG_2944

After removing the back pieces I was able to re-glue the two halves together. I then ran a strip of maple along the inside of the length of the break for additional strength.

The interior cracks were re glued and cross strips of spruce were added for support.

 

Split back repaired on 1937 Gibson L-4 Archtop
Split back repaired on 1937 Gibson L-4

 

Clamping the back pieces
Clamping the back pieces

the sides were pulled back together and cracks repaired.

Gibson l-4  © Jay Rosenblatt
Inner cracks at ends of F holes were patched with spruce  to avoid future cracking
Fixing side crack Gibson l-4 1927
Fixing side crack Gibson l-4 1927

The back was re-attached and new binding replaced.

 

After re-assembly, binding wqas replaces to reinforce back plate. Instrument was left in original paint finish for authenticity
After re-assembly, binding wqas replaces to reinforce back plate. Instrument was left in original paint finish for authenticity

 

The guitar was slowly strung up. The goal was to get the instrument playable without refinishing or removing its natural wear of 75 years. The customer couldn’t be happier

IMG_3209
And a very happy customer!

On the luthiers workbench; Large body maple guitar with maple leaf inlays, Parlor guitar with red spruce soundboard

 

Recently completed; I recently received one of my guitars from my finisher. This instrument came out beautifully. This large bodied guitar, 17 inched across the lower bout, features ;

AAAA Lutz spruce top with Black and white geometric rosette, Back and side are of AAAA Quilted maple. The neck is a 5 piece laminate of 40 year old mahogany with a double maple center strips, an ebony fingerboard with hand cut white gold MOP maple leafs motif, the head plate of ebony with a gold white MOP, JR logo, fingerboard is bound with ebony and a strip of maple, bridge of ebony, the body bound with ebony and b/w purfling and trim. Assembly  of major body components are constructed with hide glue.

Maple and Lutz Spruce Large Body Maple Motif Acoustic Guitar by Luthier Jay Rosenblatt
Maple and Lutz Spruce Large Body Maple Motif Acoustic Guitar by Luthier Jay Rosenblatt
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Ebony Binding with Chevron purling on AAAA maple body
IMG_3431
Heel Detail; 5 piece, from 30 year old mahogany laminated with maple strips neck. Ebony heel cap
IMG_3429
Jay Rosenblatt Headstock with JR LOGO. Ebony Heabplate, sterling silver tuning machines
IMG_3428
Lutz Spruce soundboard with hand assembled geometric rosette and ebony Bridge

 

 

 

 

I recently completed the build of a Walnut parlor guitar. This is currently at the finishing shop getting a nitrocellulose finish.

This steel string acoustic features 50 year old american walnut back and sides, red spruce top, 12 fret to the body 24.9 inch scale length ebony fingerboard on a mahogany neck with slotted headstock, classical tuners with butter bean knobs. Traditional Russian handmade classical rosette, rosewood head plate with abalone JR logo, rosewood bridge, bone nut and saddle. This instrument will be ready for sale by June 2014

 

 

IMG_2703
Frets being installed on the Walnut andRed spruce parlor 000 guitar
IMG_2724
The guitar ready for disassembly and lacquering
You can see the beautiful red tint in this red spruce tone wood
Parlor Guitar of Americam=n walnut, red spruce soundboard, mahogany neck, slotted headstock by Jay Rosenblatt
Parlor Guitar of Americamn walnut, red spruce soundboard, mahogany neck, slotted headstock by Jay Rosenblatt

 

 

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.

Woodstock Luthiers Invitational 2013.

 

This past October, 2013 was the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase in Woodstock, NY. I was thrilled to have a table there exhibiting my guitars. I also had LR Baggs pickups and pre-amps and Phil Jones amps for sale. Business was good.

My table
Table in Woodstock, NY

Many people stopped by. It was a flurry of activity and conversation about guitars, pickups and amplification for three days. Many musicians played my guitars too with great enjoyment.

The amazing Vicki Genfan stopped by  and played  my Cocobolo and vine guitar. That was amazing. She is amazing. More about Vicki and her music here http://vickigenfan.com/

Vicki Genfan
Vicki Genfan

John Sebastian (The Lovin Spoonful ) also stopped by to say hello and pick a quick tune. Very nice of him indeed.

image

I was lucky to have Frank Sole, a fabulous guitar player and friend help me all three days of the event. Frank entertained visitors to my booth with his great talent and helped sell allot of amps.

Frank Sole, left, and Jay Rosenblatt
Frank Sole, left, and Jay Rosenblatt
Chatting it up at the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase
Chatting it up at the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase

 

Al Petteway stopped by to ask a few questions about my guitars for a moment. Learn more about Al here http://www.alandamy.com/

Al Petteway and Jay RosenblattIMG_4333

All in all it was a great event and I was glad to be part of it and hope to do it again next year.