Guitar Notes for the New Year, LaLaLa

Hello, it has been a while. Happy holidays to all.

As you can see in the photo I have put some of my guitars on display in my shop. Some of these are completed guitars that I use at shows and and some are under construction waiting for new owners.

The past year was somewhat busy in the shop, I completed a few new instruments and there were lots of repairs and plenty to keep me busy.

Recently I had a story writer from our statewide magazine, New Jersey Monthly, come visit me along with a professional photographer. The photographer and I set up a few working images that I have yet to see and the story will be published in the March 2020 issue of NJ Monthly. 

Jay Rosenblatt and some handbuilt guitars
Jay Rosenblatt in his shop with several of his handmade instruments 2019

In the photo;

(L-R) “Kasha Classical” with a reclaimed cedar soundboard and rosewood back and sides, “Big maple”, A Lutz Spruce top with maple back and sides and hand cut inlays just completed and strung up today, “Moonwood and Maple” under construction, a Moonwood Soundboard, 4A maple back and sides, maple laminate neck,  In my hands a “7 String Baroque” This is an exact replica of a romantic era guitar, “Red Rose” (behind me) Redwood and rosewood PF model with mahogany neck (new, complete, sweet),         “Domino” radially braced hybrid guitar made of Myrtle and alaskan spruce, “Apollo 17” “A-framed semi-arch-top with walnut back and sides, “Arches”, a guitar inspired by the Arches in Utah with a unique intersecting arch bracing system. (some of these instruments are featured in my past posts)

What else? Currently I am in the design process of an electric guitar model. That will be down the line but working on it.

In the New Year, April, 3-5, 2020, I will be exhibiting my acoustic guitars at the Artisan Guitar Show in Harrisburg, PA.

This is a three day event with concerts, musical performances, hand-built instruments and their makers, vintage instruments, workshops and classes.

Follow this link for info on the show. http://artisanguitarshow.com/.  

I am happy to announce that I will have my favorite musical duo, “Frank and Hank,” Frank Sole and Henry Nerenberg, perform for me at the show on Sunday, April 5th., featuring my instruments.

"Frank and Hank"
Frank Sole and Henry Nerenberg “Frank and Hank”, will be featuring Jay Rosenblatt Guitars in performance at the Artisan Guitar Show April 3,4,5, 2020

 

Well Thats it for now. Looking for that special acoustic guitar? Drop me a line.

Thanks and Happy New Year to all,

Jay Rosenblatt

Jay Rosenblatt Guitars. Hand-built acoustic guitars for sale

Hello,  This page highlights hand built instruments that are currently available for sale.

These are new instruments. For a more detailed description scroll to following page. If you are interested in purchasing one of these fine guitars please contact me at 973-445-0015.

Email;  jayrose2@earthlink.net.

Prices quoted upon request.

Thank you,

Jay Rosenblatt

If you are interested in purchasing one of these fine guitars please contact me at 973-445-0015.

 

 

The sister Kasha Classical guitar project

 

img_0338In 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the guitar building workbench of Jay Rosenblatt 2015

Its been about three months since the Woodstock Luthiers Invitational. I had a great time exhibiting my guitars there. I was well greeted by all the attendees and the other exhibitors and luthiers. It was a great event and I formed many new alliances. Many  musicians stopped by to ask questions and play my instruments..

me at woodstock
Jay Rosenblatt, luthier, exhibiting at the Woodstock Luthiers Invitational in Woodstock, NY

 

I was fortunate to have Kinloch Nelson stop by and play one of my guitars. Kinloch is an amazing and talented musician who has a unique open tuning style that is all his own. Kinloch Nelson is a true master of the acoustic guitar. www.kinlochnelson.com. Kinloch, it was a pleasure to listen to you and have you play my guitar.

Kinloch Nelson playing a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar
Kinloch Nelson playing a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar
Kinloch Nelson picking on a Jay Rosenblatt guitar
Master of the acoustic guitar, Kinloch Nelson

Mr.  John Monteleone stopped to chat for a moment. A thrill to pose in the photo with him. Monteleone’s work represents the finest in arch top guitar design and construction in the 20th century. His work embodies the marriage of traditional and contemporary arch top guitar design and stands as a benchmark for his craft. His work has been exhibited in the metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Guitar Heroes” exhibition in 2012 and his instruments are highly prized and desired by jazz musicians worldwide. http://www.monteleone.net. Thank you for the time John.

A moment to chat with master luthier John Monteleone
A moment to chat with master luthier John Monteleone

J.R. Rogers, creator and founder of the Acoustic Guitar Forum stopped by to talk and play for a while. JR’s online web site and forum is a premier site devoted to helping guitar enthusiasts, players and luthiers to join together share ideas and information. Currently there are 25,000 subscribing members to his forum. Thanks for stopping by JR.    http://www.acousticguitarforum.com

JR Rogers creator of Acoustic Guitar Forum testing out a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar.
JR Rogers, creator of Acoustic Guitar Forum testing out a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar.

The show itself was packed with attendees and exhibitors. It was probably the busiest to date.

Luthiers Invitational Main floor. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.
Luthiers Invitational Main floor. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.

 

A project I started in late 2014 is in its final stages. 

This Cutaway model made of Honduran Mahogany with an Alaskan Sitka Top is ready to go to the finisher.  Many steps along the way to makes this baby come to life.

Here are a few photos of the work. I am very pleased with how this turned out as it represents many fine details of my woodworking and guitar building ability. Each instrument I make is a lesson in patience and each one progressively teaches me more about this craft.

Interior detail of Mahogany florentine cutaway by Jay Rosenblatt Luthier
Interior detail of Mahogany florentine cutaway by Jay Rosenblatt Luthier
Closing the box on the Mahogany Cutaway. © Jay Rosenblatt
Closing the box on the Mahogany Cutaway. © Jay Rosenblatt
Binding the headstock
Completed Cocobolo and Maple Acoustic headstock
Completed Cocobolo and Maple Acoustic headstock
Detail of Neck/ body connection on a Jay Rosenblatt Cutaway model guitar
Detail of Neck/ body connection on a Jay Rosenblatt Cutaway model guitar
Detail of florentine cutaway and rope binding on aJay Rosenblatt Guitar
Detail of florentine cutaway and rope binding on aJay Rosenblatt Guitar
Cutting position markers in Mother of Pearl
Cutting position markers in Mother of Pearl
Arrowhead position markers on a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar
Arrowhead position markers ready for inlay a Jay Rosenblatt Guitar
Arrowhead inlays installed
Arrowhead inlays installed
Individually sized and ends polished frets prior to installation on fingerboard
Individually sized and ends polished frets prior to installation on fingerboard
Frets installed after ends are polished
Frets installed after ends are polished
Test fitting ot tuning machines. Gotoh 510s in cosmo black
Test fitting ot tuning machines. Gotoh 510s in cosmo black.
Maple burl backplate with Gotoh tuners. Jay Rosenblatt Guitars.
Maple burl backplate with Gotoh tuners. Jay Rosenblatt Guitars.

This guitar features; Honduran back and sides, Alaskan sitka soundboard, Quilted maple binding with rope purfling, a Macassar ebony fingerboard, ebony bridge, cocobolo head plate with maple binding, a maple burl backplate, arrowhead fingerboard markers with MOP side dots, bone nut and saddle and will have a lacquer finish applied.

Florentine cutaway acoustic guitar prior to finish application of Lacquer. Jay Rosenblatt Guitars © 2015
Florentine cutaway acoustic guitar prior to finish application of Lacquer. Jay Rosenblatt Guitars © 2015

 

Jay Rosenblatt Guitars Handbuilt Mahaogany Cutaway Guitar © 2015
Jay Rosenblatt Guitars. Handbuilt Mahaogany Cutaway Guitar © 2015

More photos to come soon.

Thanks for reading and keep playing your guitar. For information on how to contact me go to the “about page”.

 

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

 

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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
IMG_3436
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