Whenever I can I like to use reclaimed or salvaged wood. Currently I am joining up a soundboard purchased years ago from Alaska Specialty Woods.
This set was reclaimed from a bridge that spanned Bear Creek River in Alaska in the 70’s. Its stringers were made from two 60” logs.
After 10 years of service the bridge was dropped to the forest floor and a new metal bridge installed. The logs were reclaimed around 2000. It was cut into sound boards that are stiff, with a beautiful loose grain and a naturally aged color that can’t be sanded out. I have used this before in a guitar called “Bridges”. This set exhibits a bit of bear claw and a warm amber rose color. Beautiful!
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!!
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.
Please inquire about purchasing one of these fine instruments
The PF Diamonte, Rosewood
This guitar is an ooo sized instrument, 15 inches at the lower bout and 11.5 at the upper. This guitar sits comfortably in the lap. The body is select Rosewood. The neck is 40 year old aged mahogany with a maple laminate. The soundboard is Lutz spruce with Lutz carved bracing. It features my geometric rosette in ebony and maple, an ebony fingerboard bound in curly maple with triangle MOP position markers and dot side markers. The head plate is Cocobolo with maple binding, the Rosenblatt name logo with Gotoh 510 timers in chrome. , The back plate is a curly maple .The nut and saddle are bone. Bound with Curly maple and a b/w/b purfling. This guitar is nice player that will age beautifully and open up nicely. A great addition to any guitar collection. Delivered in an Ameritage custom case.
AAA East Indian Rosewood back and sides
Alaskan Sitka Spruce soundboard
40 year old two piece mahogany neck with maple laminate
2 way truss rod
Geometric rosette in Ebony with maple
Ebony wave design bridge
Kings design headstock with cocobolo head plate and gold MOP Rosenblatt name
Curly maple binding with B/W/B purfling
Inside; Lutz spruce bracing, rosewood bridge plate, Cedar kerfing
25.4 scale Ebony fingerboard, 14 fret to the body, bound w/Curly maple
MOP triangles pattern fingerboard position markers
The body size of this instrument is typical of a full sized cutaway and constructed of select African Mahogany with a Lutz spruce soundboard.The back plate is X-Braced using mahogany braces. The ebony fingerboard is bound with ebony, It has large fret wire where each fret end is pre rounded and polished before installation making it smooth and very playable. It has a warm sound and rich with beautiful overtones and a nice presence. The soundboard delivers a delicate balance of responsiveness and clarity. Delivered in an Ameritage custom case.
The PF Geo, Rosewood with 45 year old Alaskan Sitka soundboard
The unique specialty of this guitar lies in its soundboard. Crafted from a 45 year old Salvaged Alaskan Sitka. The trees original life was was a stringer on a bridge that spanned a river in allowing access for crews to build a water generated power facility in the 1970s. In the 80’s the bridge was replaced and the log laid at the forest floor for 25 years. When that log was salvaged only a few of the most wonderful soundboards were reclaimed… In essence the tree supported a bridge and the soundboard it produced is now doing the same.. The color of the soundboard is its natural color. This is truly a Torrified wood. Over time it has developed a beautiful natural patina, but more importantly the sound achieved from this set is one of wonderful. I cannot build another instrument exactly like this as the boards are no longer available. The rosewood back and sides are select, the ebony fingerboard inlaid with a geometric pattern in white/gold MOP with an Abalone rosette and ebony bridge. The head plate is ebony with my wave design with the JR Logo in gold MOP, complimented with Gotoh tuners . It delightful to play and delivers a superb sound. delivered in an Ameritage custom case.
AAAA East Indian Rosewood back and sides
45 Year old Alaskan Sitka Spruce soundboard
40 year old one piece mahogany neck
2 way truss rod
Abalone B/W/B rosette
Ebony wave design bridge
Wave design headstock with ebony head plate and abalone gold MOP logo
Ivoroid binding with coral rope purfling
Inside; Lutz spruce bracing, rosewood bridge plate, cedar kerfing
Ebony fingerboard, 14 fret to the body, 25.4 scale
My parlor model is an o sized small beauty that is a pleasure to play and hold. It’s the kind of instrument that fits perfectly onto the lap. I has a sweet sound. The soundboard is Lutz and paired with a AAAA quilted maple body. A scale length of 24.9 inches, 12 frets to the body, the spanish cedar neck is complimented by a slotted wave design headstock with schertler tuners, ebony head plate and Abalone JR logo. The fingerboard is ebony with my unique mother-of-pearl pearl domino-dot position markers and it has an ebony bridge. The rosette is my geometric design of cocobolo and ebony. The body binding is ebony. Comes with a custom Hard shell Ameritage carrying case. This model available in rosewood or walnut as special order.
AAAA Curly Maple back and sides
AAA Lutz Spruce soundboard
Lutz spruce bracing
Rosewood bridge plate
Mahogany neck and tail block
Spanish Cedar Neck, slotted headstock, ebony head plate
“Big Maple” is a grand sized guitar built on my largest form. The guitar is constructed of 4A curly maple with a lutz spruce soundboard and delivers full sound with a good bass response and a flavorful balance of tone across all the strings. Its 25.4″ Ebony fingerboard is inlaid with hand-cut maple leaves in Mother-of Pearl. This guitar has a beautiful projection and clean midrange and great bass response not tipically found on maple guitars. The neck is a 5 piece mahogany / maple laminate. Bound in ebony with an ebony fingerboard and bridge. Complimented with an ebony head plate with the JR logo and chrome tuners with ebony buttons. (builders prototype) with Ameritage custom case. This sized instrument is available in rosewood with Sitka soundboard.
AAA Lutz Soundboard
AAAA Curly Maple Back and sides
Five piece laminated Mahogany and Maple hand carved neck with flat heel design
Chess Piece Headstock , ebony head plate with White MOP JR Logo
Ebony fingerboard with Maple and ebony binding and bone nut, 24.9 scale length
Maple leaf design, White Mother of Pearl position markers
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.