This weekend is the Artisan Guitar Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, at the Central Hotel and Conference Center.
This will be a gathering of luthiers, guitar and instrument builders, musicians, lecturers, pickers and players. The best of the best will be there exhibiting their instruments.
I am pleased to have been invited to exhibit at this event.
At the top of this page you will find some links to some of the instruments I will be showing this weekend. I will have other instruments not featured on this page. Click on the links above to read more detail about the guitars featured this weekend.
In May, 12, 13 & 14,, The LaConner Guitar Festival will take place in La Conner, Washington. I am looking forward to that as well and will be exhibiting there.
Thanks for reading.
Please scroll to may past posts to see more work and read more about the my instruments. I hope you can make the show. If you do please stop by my table. Thanks!!
It has been over 5 months since my last post. It has been a busy 5 months though.
In october of 2016, I exhibited my guitars at the Woodstock Luthiers invitational. It is an an honor to be included in the show. As always, I was surrounded by a great gathering of excellent makers and luthiers and the instruments they create. Fine instrument makers such as Linda Manzer, Tom Ribbeke, Ken Parker, Randy Muth, John Monteleone and too many others to mention were displaying their handmade instruments. I was fortunate to have my table between John Monteleone’s, a master builder who creates beautiful arch top guitars and an up and coming builder, Meagan Wells who also builds beautiful instruments.
One of the two Kasha Guitars built in my shop in 2016 found a new home. I was very pleased to find someone who knows guitars who truly appreciate the amount of work that went into this instrument and its craftsmanship and decided it had to be theirs. I also found a new home for the PF in Moonwood and maple.
But the most fun at the show comes from meeting old friends and making new ones, meeting all the people who stop at my table who share stories, information and ideas. The weekend was capped with music during the event and in the evening at local Venues in the Woodstock area.
Posing with a great guitar maker, Linda Manzer
Just after the Woodstock show two guitars started a new life on my workbench. A new Kasha Classical and a PF in Moonwood. The new Kasha has a salvaged Western Red Cedar soundboard and Rosewood back and sides. The interior braces are laminated spruce and mahogany. The neck is spanish cedar with a Madagascar Rosewood fingerboard and Cocobolo head plate. It has lacewood bindings, a walnut and maple bridge and will be finished with French polish. This will be complete for the upcoming Artisan Guitar show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, April 7, 8, 9, 2017.
Kasha cocobolo headstock
laminated Back bracing
French polish finish
Kasha Classical by Jay Rosenblatt
What a shine
UPDATE: The Kasha Classical is complete and available for purchase;
The other guitar that is on the workbench now and is nearing completion is a new PF Model steel string acoustic in Maple and Swiss Alpine “Moonwood”spruce. This is the third of this design and is replacing the one that sold at Woodstock. This instrument features a AAA Alpine Swiss Spruce soundboard, AAAA maple curly maple back and sides, Ebony binding, a Mahogany neck with Ebony fingerboard, Ebony head plate and bridge. The interior features a mahogany neck and heel block, spruce and mahogany laminated back bracing and Alpine spruce soundboard bracing. This also features an original design sine wave inlay in the back and my signature geometric rosette in ebony and maple. All the bindings are shop made and the finish is amber shellac on the entire body and neck with light blond shellac on the soundboard. It will be available with a custom Ameritage case.
Many repairs have come through the workshop in the past few months. From arch-top soundboard crack repairs and snapped acoustic necks to bridges coming off, re-frets, setups and restoration of collectable mandolin. I’ve see many fall and repaired all.
I will be exhibiting at these fine acoustic guitar shows very soon. Please come test drive one my instruments.
On October 21, 22, and 23, 2016, The “Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase” will commence again in Woodstock, New York. The dates are October 21, 22, and 23, 2016. The event is held at The Bearsville Theater and Utopia Sounstage on Tinker Street.
This will be a three day exhibition of hand-built acoustic guitars and instruments exhibited by by their makers.
This show is always an amazing opportunity to see, hear and play some of the finest instruments on this planet. The show has exhibitors from around the globe. Daily and half hourly performances by some of the finest musicians playing these hand made instruments happen on the main stage. There are lectures workshops and demonstrations. I suggest that you make this a go-to event if you love guitars and can make the trip. Find out more at The Woodstock Invitational Website Page http://www.woodstockinvitational.com.
I am excited to be exhibiting there and am pleased to be included as an exhibitor with all the other fine builders. This year I will be in the main room rubbing shoulders and hob knobbing with other masters of this craft who’s work I admire greatly.
The instruments below have been built over the past year and will be on display; A Kasha Classical, an experimental guitar design of mine I call “The Arches”, A 7-string Baroque transitional guitar built to the exact measurements of a the original created over 200 years ago, and my PF model in Quilted maple with a Moonwood soundboard and Mahogany neck.
I hope to see you in Woodstock. This will be an excellent to own a Jay Rosenblatt Original guitar if that is your fancy. Please stop in to say hello.
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 were hand finished with French polish. These instruments will be on display and for sale at the Woodstock Luthiers Invitational October 21, 22, & 23, 2016. Inquiries about pre-purchase can be discussed.
Hello. welcome to the Jay Rosenblatt Guitar blog. My last post was mid-February. Now its the end of September 2015. Time flies.
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.
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.
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/.
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.
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.
The guitar that Jack built at Jay Rosenblatt Guitars
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.
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.
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.
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.
The headlock, which is actually the neck block too was fabricated from a solid piece of mahogany
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.
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.
Thanks for looking. I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed building it!