On guitar building, a productive year

Looking back at 2013, it has been a very productive year in the guitar workshop and other areas of my luthier business.

Brace shavings
Brace shavings

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.

Top, back and sides ready to be assembled in this East Indian Rosewood Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt
Top, back and sides ready to be assembled in this East Indian Rosewood guitar by Jay Rosenblatt. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo

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.

Ebony Inlay at "X" for added strenght and stiffness
Ebony Inlay at “X” for added strenght and stiffness. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo
Sitka Spruce Top being attached to body. Abalone rosette installed.
Sitka Spruce Top being attached to body. Abalone rosette installed. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo

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.

Finished body ready for binding. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo
Finished body ready for binding. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo

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.

50 year old American Walnut used on this parlor guitar by Jay Rosenblatt. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo
50 year old American Walnut used on this parlor guitar by Jay Rosenblatt. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo

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.

Walnut Parlor JR Guitar, Jay Rosenblatt luthier
Walnut Parlor JR Guitar, Jay Rosenblatt luthier
Walnut Parlor Guitar in progress. guitar by Jay Rosenblatt. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo
Walnut Parlor Guitar in progress. guitar by Jay Rosenblatt. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo
Walnut Parlor Guitar, Classical rosette detail. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo
Walnut Parlor Guitar, Classical rosette detail. © Jay Rosenblatt Photo

Another instrument almost near completion is this quilted maple large bodied guitar.

Maple guitar under construction. © Jay Rosenblatt
Maple guitar under construction. © Jay Rosenblatt

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.

Detail of Ebony fingerboard with Maple inlay strip and Ebony and maple geometric rosette. © Jay Rosenblatt
Detail of Ebony fingerboard with Maple inlay strip and Ebony and maple geometric rosette. © Jay Rosenblatt
5 Piece mahogany laminated neck with maple and mahogany strips. © Jay Rosenblatt
5 Piece mahogany laminated neck with maple and mahogany strips. © Jay Rosenblatt

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.

Maple big body in test mode waiting to go to finish. © Jay Rosenblatt
Maple big body in test mode waiting to go to finish. © Jay Rosenblatt
Maple leaf fingerboard top detail
Maple big body guitar fingerboard detail with Maple leaf motif
Maple Leaf Guitar waiting for final buffing. Photo by finisher and luthier Tony DiDomenico. © Jay Rosenblatt
Maple Leaf Guitar waiting for final buffing. Photo by finisher and luthier Tony DiDomenico. © Jay Rosenblatt
Maple leaf Guitar waiting for final buffing. Photo by finisher and Luthier Tony DiDomenico. © Jay Rosenblatt
Maple leaf Guitar waiting for final buffing. Photo by finisher and Luthier Tony DiDomenico. © Jay Rosenblatt
Maple leaf Guitar waiting for final buffing. Photo by finisher and Luthier Tony DiDomenico. © Jay Rosenblatt
Maple leaf Guitar waiting for final buffing. Photo by finisher and Luthier Tony DiDomenico. © Jay Rosenblatt

Earlier this year I finished this beautiful Quilted Maple parlor guitar.

Amber Quilted Maple Parlor Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt. © Jay Rosenblatt
Amber Quilted Maple Parlor Guitar by Jay Rosenblatt. © Jay Rosenblatt

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 .

Quilted Maple Parlor Guitar with hand toned amber stain and Nitro Cellulose lacquer. © Jay Rosenblatt
Quilted Maple Parlor Guitar with hand toned amber stain and Nitro Cellulose lacquer. © Jay Rosenblatt

You can see a full gallery of photos of this beauty here,   http://jayrosenblatt.smugmug.com/Handbuiltguitars/Quilted-Maple-Guitar

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.

Showing my instruments and selling LR Baggs Pickups and Phil Jones Amps at the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase in Woodstock, NY this past October, 2013.
Showing my instruments and selling LR Baggs Pickups and Phil Jones Amps at the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase in Woodstock, NY this past October, 2013.

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.

Sincerely,

Jay Rosenblatt.

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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 .

Cocobolo and Redwood

I have completed a new instrument that I have been working on for a while now. It is stunning.

This acoustic features a Redwood top, Cocobolo back and sides, Bloodwood purfling with a coral and BW/WB purfling, 24.9 scale, hand carved mahogany neck with chippendale headstock, ebony fingerboard with hand cut and inlayed white/gold mother of pearl vine with abalone leaves, white gold MOP vine inlay with abalone leaves and white/gold pearl JR logo on  headstock, hand cut ebony and cocobolo geometric rosette with black/brown fillet and binding, ebony w/w/b/w endpiece, rosewood heel-cap,  herringbone back centerstrip and ebony bridge with bone nut and saddle. This has a varnish finish.

Although I have not had the time to properly photograph it I am posting some quick photos here. Enjoy!

Jay Rosenblatt with Cocobolo and redwood handbuilt guitar

Jay Rosenblatt Vine inlay custom headstock

Jay Rosenblatt Vine Inlay on Cocobolo neck

Jay Rosenblatt cocobolo guitar back

Jay Rosenblatt redwood guitar top

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