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.
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
Looking back at 2013, it has been a very productive year in the guitar workshop and other areas of my luthier business.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another instrument almost near completion is this quilted maple large bodied guitar.
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.
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.
Earlier this year I finished this beautiful Quilted Maple parlor guitar.
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 .
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.
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.
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
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.
I will also have some of my guitars on display to play and to check out the pickups and amps.
Pictured here are some of the LR Baggs products I will have on sale.
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.
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.
I hope you can make it to this wonderful event. Please stop by and meet me in the Vendors Annex. Happy playing. Enjoy!
August kept me busy in my shop. Although there were a few days I should have enjoyed a little sun I found my self inside on various tasks.
I decided to add a falling maple leaf motif to a fingerboard for a quilted maple guitar under construction. It began with lamination a .20 white maple fiber and an ebony binding to the fingerboard. In this shot you can see the fibre and ebony being clamped up and the finished result below.
When that was complete I cut a series of gold/white Mother of Pearl maple leafs in progressively smaller sizes.
Those were inlaid into the fingerboard in a random falling leaf pattern as per suggestion by my friend Tony DiDomenico Luthier, builder of fine instruments and finisher, http://didomenicoguitars.com. The stems pieces were then cut, no small task for such small pieces, and the fill was added.
The body of the maple guitar will get some herringbone binding. The overall look of this instrument will be black and white.
I have also continued work on a Walnut parlor. The woods in this are from and 50 year old piece of american walnut that someone gave me and I re-sawed. The Red spruce top is 3A, very clean, and Im using a hand made Russian traditional rosette.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.