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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Woodstock Luthiers Invitational 2013.

 

This past October, 2013 was the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase in Woodstock, NY. I was thrilled to have a table there exhibiting my guitars. I also had LR Baggs pickups and pre-amps and Phil Jones amps for sale. Business was good.

My table
Table in Woodstock, NY

Many people stopped by. It was a flurry of activity and conversation about guitars, pickups and amplification for three days. Many musicians played my guitars too with great enjoyment.

The amazing Vicki Genfan stopped by  and played  my Cocobolo and vine guitar. That was amazing. She is amazing. More about Vicki and her music here http://vickigenfan.com/

Vicki Genfan
Vicki Genfan

John Sebastian (The Lovin Spoonful ) also stopped by to say hello and pick a quick tune. Very nice of him indeed.

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I was lucky to have Frank Sole, a fabulous guitar player and friend help me all three days of the event. Frank entertained visitors to my booth with his great talent and helped sell allot of amps.

Frank Sole, left, and Jay Rosenblatt
Frank Sole, left, and Jay Rosenblatt
Chatting it up at the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase
Chatting it up at the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase

 

Al Petteway stopped by to ask a few questions about my guitars for a moment. Learn more about Al here http://www.alandamy.com/

Al Petteway and Jay RosenblattIMG_4333

All in all it was a great event and I was glad to be part of it and hope to do it again next year.

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

Looking back at the Woodstock Luthiers Invitational 2012

It has been almost 5 months since I have written a post (sorry for the delay) and about the same amount of time since the 2012 Woodstock Luthiers Invitational that was held at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, NY . This event would not be possible with it’s creator Baker Rorick.

Jay Rosenblatt wit Rorick Baker, creator of the Woodstock Invitational event
Jay Rosenblatt with Baker Rorick, creator of the Woodstock Luthiers Invitational event. http:// woodstockinvitational.com

http://www.woodstockinvitational.com/

Carl Barney (far right) selling beautiful tonewoods. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.
Carl Barney (far right) selling beautiful tonewoods. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.
Luthiers Invitational Main floor. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.
Luthiers Invitational Main floor. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.

I had the great pleasure of not only attending and photographing the event, seeing all the beautiful hand-made instruments and meeting their builders, also meeting the tone-wood vendors and buying select woods for some of the instruments I am building, but also hearing all the amazing musicians whom performed on many of those beautiful instruments.

Bucky Pizarelli performing at the woodstock Luthiers Invitational. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt
Bucky Pizarelli performing at the woodstock Luthiers Invitational. 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
Bruce Ackerman checking out an acoustic.
Bruce Ackerman checking out an acoustic.

Some of the builders there showing their work.

Veillette Guitars. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.
Veillette Guitars. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.
Irvin Somogyi with one of his guitars. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.
Ervin Somogyi with one of his guitars. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.
Ken Parker with his latest Creation, a 3.5 pound Wood and Carbon Archtop. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt
Ken Parker with his latest Creation, a 3.5 pound Wood and Carbon Archtop. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt

Aside from being around all those guitars (feeing so in my element) and meeting their builders, an amazing thing happened. I had a chance encounter with John Sebastian (The Lovin Spoonful) himself. While going out to my vehicle I met him and just as a hoot asked him if he would take a look at a Maple Parlor Guitar that I built.

With a smile and without hesitation John followed me to my car and picked up my parlor guitar. For a moment or two he just humored me and picked a few notes. Then his ear moved toward the sound hole followed by his hand reaching into his pocket and pulling out some finger picks began to play. For the next 5 minutes Mr. Sebastian picked out a bluegrass tune and other melodies while we both tapped out feet and smiled. (I was in heaven) Fortunately for me I had a camera around and my friend John Grunberg grabbed a few photos of us together. At the end of his playing he smiled and said to me “beautiful”. My heart soared. What a blast. What a gentleman.

John Sebastian Playing my Maple Parlor Guitar. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt
John Sebastian Playing my Maple Parlor Guitar. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt

At the event I met some amazing instrument builders, master luthiers and prominent people in the music industry. Ervin Somogyi, Ken Parker, Michael Gurian, Tom Ribbeke, Linda Manzer, Dick Boak of Martin guitar, my friend, teacher and luthier Frank Finocchio, Randy Muth, Machihiro Matsuda and a host of others. My aplolgies to all the other fine builders not mentioned here as that would take up a page in itself.

Builders and friends; L_R Michael Gurian,   Matt Umanov,   Linda Manzer, Dick Boak, John Sebastian, Ken Parker,  Steve Grimes,  Susan Kolwicz,  Ervin  Somogyi, Tom Ribbecke. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt
Builders and friends, L-R; Michael Gurian, Matt Umanov, Linda Manzer, Dick Boak, John Sebastian, Ken Parker, Steve Grimes, Susan Kolwicz, Ervin Somogyi, Tom Ribbecke. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt
happy-traum-john-sebastian-and-howard-klepper. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt
Happy Traum, John Sebastian and Howard Klepper. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt
Guitar Nad inlay work by Tracy Cox. Photo © Jay Rosenblat
This photo and below; Guitar and inlay work by Tracey Cox. Photo © Jay Rosenblat

The Luthiers Invitational Woodstock NY

Linda Manzer's Picasso Guitar. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.
Linda Manzer’s Picasso Guitar. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.

This was such a great event that anyone who appreciates fine instruments, woodworking, guitars and music should attend. The variety of talent walking around the room is phenominal. You never know who you will run into there.

Frank Finocchio discussing his guitars with Irvin Somogyi. photo © Jay Rosenblatt
Frank Finocchio discussing his guitars with Irvin Somogyi. photo © Jay Rosenblatt
Randy Muth with one of his instruments. Photo © Jay Rosenblat
Randy Muth with one of his instruments. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt
Linda Manzer with one of her Archtops. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt
Linda Manzer with one of her Archtops. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt
Me and Ken Parker looking at one of his Hand Made Lutherie tools. One of his newest Lightweight Archtops in the foreground. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.
 Ken Parker and me talking about one of his Hand Made Lutherie tools. One of his newest Lightweight Archtops in the foreground. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.
Machihiro Mastuda on two of his concept instruments. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.
Machihiro Mastuda on two of his concept instruments. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.
Michael Pellerin and his Harp Guitar. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.
Michael Pellerin and his Harp Guitar. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt.

To sum this all up; What better way is there to hear music than to have great players playing great guitars, mandolins, banjos and violins that were created by some of the finest instrument builders on the planet? There is none. What better was is there to spend a day anywhere? I just dont know.  I do know that next year you should put the Woodstock Luthiers Invitational on your calendar for a must-go-to event.

Thank you Baker for all you do!

Jay Rosenblatt, Luthier

Rorick Baker. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt
Baker Rorick. Photo © Jay Rosenblatt

Good progress

Keeping busy in my shop. Recent ongoings have included a Guild D-40 repair, the completion of a modified drednaught sized guitar and  one of my larger sized guitars on my workbench.

I have been making great progress on this Cocobolo and Redwood acoustic. This baby is getting alot of time and alot of handwork.

Cutting channel for rosette by hand

The bracing on the top and back have been installed , the body has been assembled, the box closed and removed from it’s form. It has been waiting patiently for bindings.

Attaching sound hole brace
Top and back ready for assembly
Cocobolo sides out of form
Top back and sides assembled and out of form
Assembled body. Cocobolo, what a beautiful wood

I decided to try my hand at a bit of complex inlay and cut a vine style inlay into the fingerboard. The inlay is gold/white MOP with Abalone leaves and thorns. This is totally experimental and my finl decision wether I will use this on this guitar is still to be made. Although beautiful, it is a bit flashy.

Vine Inlay on Ebony Fingerboard
Pearl vine inlay on Head-plate

I was playing with combinations of bindings purfling and although I  considered a pearl purfling , I decided to stay in line with the guitars earthy feel and use a wood rope purfling with thin strips of black and red wood and a cocobolo binding to match the rosette, with a thin white strip to separate the binding from the sides from the sides.

That’s it for now, more to come soon. Thanks for looking

Jay

Cocobolo and rope purfling

The little things

To make a guitar, any guitar, small, large custom or simple requires lots of little steps. Many processes along the way, the little things that in the end add up to a finished instrument.

This week It began by marking up and making a set of braces.

I like to use templates in this process. I have a set of braces completely made for each of the instrument styles I build. In the photos here you will see a completed set in the background and the marked up pieces of spruce in the foreground. The template braces have the proper radius for the instrument being built. It is a simple step of tracing the braces onto my blanks and a complicated step of re-shaping and duplicating that radius by hand. I do the final scalloping after they are glued to the top or back, but having the basic shape gives me some guidance as to where I want to wind up.

Marking up braces on block of spruce

spruce braces after band-sawing
Acoustic Guitar braces in the making

After cutting the brace blanks from a piece of stock with my band saw, I draw the outlines of each brace required. Then the braces are thinned by hand with a small finger plane and radiused .

Scraping cocobolo side set prior to bendingI

In another part of the process guitars  I profiled some cocobolo sides and thicknessed them. These Cocobolo sides are stiff but seem to get flexible around .079″ inches. Scraping the sides smooth before I bend them saves a lot of work later. Just another one of those little things.