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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The Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase 2014

Once again this year I will be exhibiting my guitars at the  The Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase 2014.

This event will showcase hand built acoustic guitars and acoustic stringed instruments by their builders.

It will take place in Woodstock, New York, October 24th., 25th., and 26th., 2014. Information can be found at http://www.woodstockinvitational.com.

The weekend is highlighted by musicians performing on the hand built instruments throughout the days.

If you love guitars, fine woodworking and great music this is the place to see and be. Hope to see you there.

Look for me in the Vendor Hall next to the main building. I will also have LR Baggs pickups and pre-amps for sale along with Phil Jones Pure Sound Acoustic amps.

 

 

 

Hand built acoustic parlor guitar by luthier Jay Rosenblatt

 

2014-WILS-web-250x250

Woodstock Luthiers Invitational 2013

On October 25th, 26th and 27, 2013 the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase will take place in Woodstock, New York.

This is an event where the finest in hand-built acoustic guitars and acoustic stringed instruments displayed by their builders and daily performances by many talented musicians come together.   http://woodstockinvitational.com/about2013.html

Woodstock image

I will have LR Baggs Pickups for sale at my table including the M1-A, The Lyric, The Anthem, Anthem SL,  I-Beam and I will also have the Gigpro, Para DI and Venue DI pre-amps for sale. If you need a great acoustic pickup or pre-amp I recommend LR Baggs. You can find me and my exhibit in the Vendors Annex.

LR Baggs AD

I will also have some of my guitars on display to play and to check out the pickups and amps.

Cocobolo and redwood guitar featuring Redwood soundboard, cocobolo back and sides, geometric Rosette of Ebony and Cocobolo with black and red fiber detail, ebony bridge , fingerboard and headplate with coral purfling and ebony binding. gold MOP and abalone pearl vine inlay © Hand built by Jay Rosenblatt
Cocobolo and redwood guitar Hand built by Jay Rosenblatt
Maple Parlor Guitar with ebony appointments hand built by Jay Rosenblatt
Maple Parlor Guitar with ebony appointments hand built by Jay Rosenblatt

Pictured here are some of the LR Baggs products I will have on sale.

LR Baggs Lyric bridgeplate microphone acoustic Pickup
LR Baggs Lyric bridge plate microphone acoustic Pickup
LR Baggs Venue DI Pre Amp
LR Baggs Venue DI Pre Amp
LR Baggs M1-A Active body sensitive acoustic pick-up
LR Baggs M1-A Active body sensitive acoustic pick-up

Find out more about the LR Baggs product line here   http://www.lrbaggs.com/

In my opinion LR Baggs makes the best acoustic pickups and Phil Jones make the most natural sounding amps for Guitars, Basses, and Violins. combine these two together and you have the best acoustic sound available from your instruments.

I recently became a distributor of Phil Jones Pure Sound Amps . I will have the CUB II AG 150 on display at my table and there will also be one in the main building amp room for testing and listening. You can order them from me at the show or by email or telephone. Please look for my information on my “About Page” on this blog.

Pictured here is the Phil Jones CUB AG-150 two channel amp. This is a sweetie of an amp, 100 watts in a very portable package weighing only 15 LBS. 6.8kg. Perfect for the musician that needs portability,  great tone and the ability to plug a guitar and mic in when playing small clubs and gigs. It comes with a padded gig bag and an optional stand  is available.

IMG_2008

Find out more about Phil Jones Products here,  http://www.philjonespuresound.com.

Last year at the Woodstock Invitational I made good friends with many of the other builders and also the vendors who will be providing tone woods and parts for the luthier. I got to personally meet John Sebastian who delighted me by playing one of my guitars. I  listened to some great performances and was totaly inspired by the great and talented luthiers who participated in the event. Here are some of last years photos.

John Sebastian Playing my Maple Parlor Guitar. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt
John Sebastian Playing my Maple Parlor Guitar. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt
Irvin Somogyi with one of his guitars. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.
Irvin Somogyi with one of his guitars. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.
Kinloch nelson performing at the Woodstock Luthiers Invitational.  Photo © JAy Rosenblatt
Kinloch Nelson performing at the Woodstock Luthiers Invitational. Photo © JAy Rosenblatt

The Luthiers Invitational Woodstock NY

Baker Rorick, (right) creator of the Woodstock Luthiers Invitational and Jay Rosenblatt.
Baker Rorick, (right) creator of the Woodstock Luthiers Invitational and Jay Rosenblatt.

I hope you can make it to this wonderful event. Please stop by and meet me in the Vendors Annex. Happy playing. Enjoy!

Jay Rosenblatt, Luthier.

Bending purfling on a light bulb
Jay Rosenblatt, Luthier. Bending purfling on a light bulb

Maplewoodstock 2013. A day of music and Jay Rosenblatt Guitars

Maplewoodstock 2013 was this past weekend. I want to thank all of my friends and musicians who entertained us and all the folks that came out Saturday and Sunday to visit my booth. Both days were filled with great music and people. Everyone was having a great time.
Maplewoodstock Stage
My tent was slightly rained out on for an hour Saturday, but Sunday, although hot, was dry. The tent looked great and because I was under a tree in the shade many people hung around. It didn’t hurt to be under the tree on Saturday either when it rained  as it  kept people around helping sales too. I  received many inquiries about repairs and requests to commission me to build  acoustic guitars.

Maplewood tent

IMG_1507

maplewood tent2

On the day of the event I was displaying a Joe Mendel 5 string banjo. I will have it in my shop for about two more weeks before I send it back to Joe. This one has a Padauk tone ring, maple neck and brushed brass hardware. It’s a beautiful instrument with a deep, rich tone. If you are interested in this banjo please get in touch with Joe or myself.  Joe can be found at http://www.jmendelfrets.com

Mendel banjo at maplewoodstock sm

Keep in mind I have and install LR Baggs pick-ups and pre-amps .  Drop me a line to find out more about pricing and such.
Thanks,

Jay


Acoustic guitar building presentation at the CJWA by Jay Rosenblatt

On May 8th., 2013, I held a presentation on how I build my JR Acoustic Guitar at the Central Jersey Woodworkers Associations monthly meeting. http://www.cjwa.org. I was assisted by my friend and right hand man John Grunberg, and Frank Sole’, musician, who helped me set up and video taped the presentation.

Jay Rosenblatt Speaking at CJWA_1

My exhibit included six completed guitars, one of which Frank built, guitar bodies under construction, forms, woods, templates, materials, and about 250 images in my powerpoint presentation. I spoke for almost two hours. I am pleased to report the the interest and admiration of the audience was outstanding. I was told by many that it was the most informative and interesting presentation they have have had at their meeting in a long time.

Jay Rosenblatt Speaking at CJWA_2

To wrap up the show Frank Sole played finger-style on my recently completed Redwood and Cocobolo guitar to a huge applause. He was great! It was great!

Jay Rosenblatt Speaking at CJWA_8

I was very pleased to represent some of the companies who generously provided woods or from whom I purchase parts and materials that I use in my building process.

Luthiers Mercantile www.lmii.com/
Allied Lutherie www.alliedlutherie.com
Blues Creek Guitars www.bluescreekguitars.com
Finocchio guitar works www.finocchioguitarworks.com
Luthiers suppliers www.luthiersuppliers.com
Hibdon Hardwoods www.hibdonhardwood.com

Other fine companies to mention are Tony DiDomenico Guitars, finisher, Dale Bartholemew’s finishing shop, and High Mountain Tonewoods .

Photo Presentation on how I build a Jay Rosenblatt Acoustic Flattop Guitar

Jay Rosenblatt Luthier, handbuilt acoustic guitarOn May 8th., 2013, I will be showing photos and speaking about how I build acoustic guitars.

The presentation will contain over 200 images highlighting the building process of my acoustic guitars from start to finish, the tools I use, woods, jigs, brace layout and assembly, attaching the back, top and sides together, creating my geometric rosette, making the bridge, bindings, neck forming and shaping, and the basic assembly process that I have documented while making several of my guitars.

Jay Rosenblatt with Cocobolo and redwood handbuilt guitar

This event will be held at the Central Jersey Woodworkers Association Monthly meeting at the Old Brick Reformed Church, 490 Route 520, Marlboro, NJ, in the Church Parish Hall, located behind the church .

I will have some of my completed guitars on display and my friend Frank Sole will play a few tunes on one of my instruments for you listening pleasure. I will also have samples of the woods used in the building process and templates to pass around for review.

Jay Rosenblatt Vine Inlay on Cocobolo neck

I want to thank the sponsors who are my suppliers of the woods and tools I use in the building process and have generously donated materials, tools and templates to help me demonstrate some of the steps used in making guitars. I hope you will contact them for any of your instrument parts and needs.

Luthiers Mercantile www.lmii.com/
Allied Lutherie www.alliedlutherie.com
Blues Creek Guitars www.bluescreekguitars.com
Finocchio guitar works www.finocchioguitarworks.com
Luthiers suppliers www.luthiersuppliers.com
Hibdon Hardwoods www.hibdonhardwood.com

Other fine companies who help me in this process are
Tony DiDomenico Guitars, finisher, Dale Bartholemew’s finishing shop, High Mountain Tonewoods and Alaska Specialty Woods.

There is no charge to attend. I hope you can make the presentation and I hope to see you there.

Jay