Searchable Abstracts

Of All Available Guild of American Luthiers Publications

Current as of January 1, 2009

The up-to-date version will always be available for download from the Guild’s Web page at

By searching this document you can identify which GAL publications will be most useful to you and order them through our Web page at Or, we will be happy to send paper order forms by snail mail. We do not take phone orders. You may contact us at:

Guild of American Luthiers
8222 S Park Ave
Tacoma WA 98408-5226
(253) 472-7853

Publications Included In This Document--------------------

American Lutherie magazine, #1 – #92 (1985 – 2007). All AL issues are abstracted here so that this document can serve as an index of your complete collection, but please note that American Lutherie #1 – #48 are out of print. AL#1 – #12 have been superceded by The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume One. AL#13 – 24 have been superceded by The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume Two. AL#25 – 36 have been superceded by The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume Three. AL#37 – 48 have been superceded by The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume Four. AL#49 – 60 have been superceded by The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume Five. In the abstracts below, a reference to, for example, American Lutherie #10, page 47 would be abbreviated thusly: AL#10 p.47
Lutherie Tools, a 128-page hardback book published in 1990. Lutherie Tools is a compilation of GAL material on the subject of tools published before 1985, plus some new material. None of the material in Lutherie Tools is available in American Lutherie back issues. In the abstracts below, a reference to, for example, Lutherie Tools, page 55 would be abbreviated thusly: LT p.55
Lutherie Woods and Steel String Guitars, a 156-page hardback book published in 1997. Lutherie Woods is a compilation of GAL material published before 1985, plus some new material. None of the material in Lutherie Woods is available in American Lutherie back issues. In the abstracts below, a reference to, for example, Lutherie Woods, page 44 would be abbreviated thusly: LW p.44
The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume One, a 500-page hardback book published in 1999. The Big Red Book One is a compilation of American Lutherie magazine, #1 – 12 (1985 – 1987). It also contains a considerable amount of GAL material published before 1985. In the abstracts below, a reference to, for example, The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume One, page 401 would be abbreviated thusly: BRB1 p.401
The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume Two, a 500-page hardback book published in 2000. The Big Red Book Two is a compilation of American Lutherie magazine, #13 – 24 (1988 – 1990). It also contains a considerable amount of GAL material published before 1985. In the abstracts below, a reference to, for example, The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume Two, page 447 would be abbreviated thusly: BRB2 p.447
Historical Lute Construction by Robert Lundberg, a 280-page hardback book published in 2002, contains all of the material of Mr. Lundberg’s series which ran in 19 episodes between American Lutherie #12 and #38. Specific book pages are not referenced in the abstracts, as the material was somewhat reorganized for the book, as well as being indexed, outlined, and supplimented with appendices.
The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume Three, a 500-page hardback book published in 2004. The Big Red Book Three is a compilation of American Lutherie magazine, #25 – 36 (1991 – 1993). In the abstracts below, a reference to, for example, The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume Three, page 403 would be abbreviated thusly: BRB3 p.403
The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume Four, a 500-page hardback book published in 2006. The Big Red Book Four is a compilation of American Lutherie magazine, #37 – 48 (1994 – 1996). In the abstracts below, a reference to, for example, The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume Four, page 404 would be abbreviated thusly: BRB4 p.404
The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume Five, a 500-page hardback book published in 2008. The Big Red Book Four is a compilation of American Lutherie magazine, #49 – 60 (1997 – 1999). In the abstracts below, a reference to, for example, The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume Five, page 405 would be abbreviated thusly: BRB5 p.405


GAL publications are listed below in roughly chronological order of their original publication, so that as you search you should find increasingly current information.


Inexpensive Thickness Gauge by Mark Rische
LT p.2
This simple wood-frame gauge may be all you need to build archtop instruments, though the finest increment it will read (probably) is 1/64” (the ruler is up to you). Cheapness and ease of construction are its reason for being.

Dial Indicator Caliper by T.E. Owen
LT p.2
The aluminum frame and dial indicator of this tool puts it in a whole other class of accuracy from the one above, and it should be at least $100 cheaper than its commercial counterpart. The hassle lies in cutting out the thick metal frame. Hardwood should be just as satisfactory if you have an object of known thickness to reset it by from time to time.

Bass Neck Angle Jig by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
LT p.3
\tools\jigs \bass\viol
All the adjustments on this jig make it seem sort of rickety, but Lyman was the GAL’s bass guru for years and if he says it works, it works.

Fret Spacing Template by Tom Peterson
LT p.4
\fingerboard\fretboard \tools\created
To make this template you must know the fret spacing of one scale length and be able to lay it out accurately, but after you’ve done that you can very quickly plot the fret positions for any larger scale length with no math or measuring tools. Very slick!

Duplicating Fretboards by Tom Peterson
LT p.4
\tools\created \fingerboard\fretboard
With an accurate miter box and a slotted fingerboard you can easily make any number of boards with the same scale length. No muss, no fuss, no measuring.

Centerline Square by Donald L. Brown
LT p.5
Brown’s simple tool is used for marking any lines that must be square to the centerline of a flattop instrument plate, such as back braces or bridges.

Fluorescent Inspection Lamp by Kent Rayman
LT p.6
Light up the inside of your guitar for a good look. This lamp even fits through f-holes.

Mirror with Penlight by Tim Olsen
LT p.7
Try taping a tiny flashlight to your inspection mirror to light up the area you wish to scan.

F-Hole Light by C.F. Casey
LT p.7
This inspection light uses a flashlight battery and will even fit through a mandolin f-hole.

Round-hole Light by C.F. Casey
LT p.7
Try using a night light bulb to set your guitar aglow. Larger bulbs could be used with this rig, but the additional heat could be dangerous to your guitar.

Adjustable Work Lights by Tom Mathis
LT p.7
By combining a mike stand, a gooseneck, and a swivel lamp you can put light exactly where you want it.

Davis Electric Bending Iron by Ted Davis
LT p.8
\tools\created \bending
Even fine woodworkers might be thwarted by a project that combines metal work and electrical work. The reason to try it is the opportunity to save a sizable chunk of money. Davis’ iron uses a hot water heater element as a heat source, and it is as complicated as many of us will wish to tackle. It’s about as pretty and useful as any commercial unit, though, and the plan and photo should be all you need. It’s only fair to mention that a bit of the work is jobbed out to a machine shop.

Torch and Pipe Bending Iron by Tim Olsen
LT p.10
\tools\created \bending
This is 4 variations on the same theme: using a propane torch to heat a pipe on which to bend instrument sides. This is the easiest and cheapest way to get into the game.

Bending with a Flat Iron by Tom Mathis
LT p.11
\bending \tools\created
Mathis heated small pieces of binding on a laundry iron before bending. No starch, please.

Sheet Copper Oval by Larry Lundy and W. Daum
LT p.11
\bending \tools\created
The authors rolled up a thick tube of copper, bolted it to a board, and shot a propane torch into the back of it for bending ribs. They claim a couple of advantages over round pipe.

Lead Filled Beer Can by Dick Deneve
LT p.11
\bending \tools\created
The best thing you can do with a beer can is empty it. The next best thing might be to put a heating element in the empty can and then fill it with lead to make a bending iron.

More Electric Bending Irons by Tim Olsen
LT p.12
\bending \tools\created
The focus here isn’t on the design of the iron, but on the source of heat. There is probably a heat element that you can find locally and adapt for the purpose, and Olsen offers some suggestions.

Heated bending Form by Hugh Manhart
LT p.12
\tools\jigs \tools\created \bending
The author bends his sides on a cold form after boiling them. He has added heat to the form to dry them quickly once they are bent.

Tool Steel by H.E. Huttig
LT p.14
\sharpening \tools\hand
A description of sharpening stones, and how to use and maintain them, follows a short history of steel and its principal alloys. This is a brief overview and doesn’t consider every sharpening technique, but it may be as much as any good woodworker needs to know.

Hardening and Tempering Steel by Alan Carruth
LT p.16
Carruth describes the general process of identifying and heat treating a piece of steel for use in edged hand tools. It’s not as complicated as you might believe. Making your own chisels will make you feel like a magician.

Inexpensive Small Forge by David W. Shell
LT p.17
An ex-knife maker describes a simple forge that costs very little. By the time you are forging your own tools you have left most luthiers far behind you. In this day of designer tool catalogs its hard to find a tool you can’t buy, no matter how specialized, but you may find that forging steel offers an excellent outlet for the hairy beast, semi-civilized part of you that you never knew you had.

Grinding, Honing, and Stropping by Lawrence D. Brown
LT p.18
Everyone agrees that clean work requires sharp tools, but few descriptions of sharpening give a time frame for how long it takes. Neither does this one, but it does lend a feel for time passing as the work is described. There’s an Alabama basket maker who maintains that the first sharpening of a new knife takes at least an hour. So use this guide and hang in there, you won’t get the job done in a jiffy.

Power Sharpening by Shelly Sax
LT p.20
\sharpening \tools\power
You can sharpen tools in a jiffy if you have the right wheels for your grinder. Once the right wheels are installed perhaps the machine should then be called a polisher. All sharpening takes a knack, but power sharpening can be down right dangerous if your mind wanders off. But, no, it’s not cheating.

Sharpening Jointer Knives by Bill McCall
LT p.21
\tools\power \sharpening
Jointers are wonderful machines until they need sharpening. Resetting the blades in the machine is such a task that most shops let the blades become uselessly dull before they are reground, but McCall’s solution is to sharpen the blades while they are mounted in the machine. It doesn’t seem like a job for the timid, but it’s better than turning your jointer into a shelf for half-finished projects.

Japanese Water Stones by Dale Brotherton
LT p.22
Japanese woodworking and the associated tools have nearly reached a cult status in the US, and this has turned off some woodworkers who might otherwise benefit from a little knowledge of Japanese tools and techniques. Water stones have probably received the warmest welcome of all the imported traditional Japanese technology, and Brotherton offers an understanding of the stones and how they are used.

Using Old Sanding Belts by Dick Deneve
LT p.23
\tools\power \sharpening
Putting metal to a sanding belt will quickly ruin it, but belts that are already worn by wood may have a life left for grinding metals. This short description will get you started.

Making a Carving Knife by Chris Burt
LT p.24
Today you can buy a kit for making knives such as the author describes... think of an oversize carpenter’s pencil with a blade instead of a lead. Burt’s version is pre-kit and made from a straight razor. It’s more work, but it’s more in the DYI spirit.

Making a Small Chisel by David W. Shell
LT p.25
How about making a chisel from a file? It’s a lot of work, but the satisfaction level is high. You’ll need a forge (see LT p.17). If nothing else, you’ll come to appreciate why fine tools cost so much. At best, you’ll have a tool friend for life.

Crooked Knives by Nicholas Von Robison
LT p.26
\tools\hand \tools\created
Imagine you’re going to stab yourself in the stomach. That’s how your hand holds a crooked knife. It cuts on the pull stroke. Robison claims many lutherie uses for a crooked knife and explains how to make one. If you accidentally stab yourself in the stomach with it please don’t mention that you read about it here.

Using Old Bandsaw Blades by Dick Deneve
LT p.27
Recycle your worn bandsaw blades into useful hand tools. The author makes them into scrapers, handsaws, and knives for removing fingerboards. Pretty nifty.

Grinding Scrapers by James Fagan
LT p.27
Toss out your burnisher and sharpen your scrapers with a power grinder. Sounds unlikely, but the author swears by it

Woodcarver’s Scrapers by Louis DeGrazia
LT p.28
\tools\created \sharpening
These scrapers are made from table knives and are intended to scrape 3-dimensional items, not flat plates.

Razor Scrapers by Tim Olsen
LT p.29
\tools\created \sharpening
You can regrind single-edged razor blades into good little scrapers that will last longer than the raw blade. Here’s how.

Refret Saw by Donald L. Brown
LT p.29
Brown’s saw is a short length of Blitz saw blade mounted in a wooden handle, and used to clean out fret slots on a bound neck.

Thumb Gloves David Newton
LT p.29
Cut the thumbs off a pair of gloves. Wear them while using a cabinet scraper. Now your thumbs shouldn’t suffer burns from the hot tool.

Three Tools for Bass Makers by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
LT p.30
\bass\viol \tools\created
The tools are a small electric chainsaw, a cheap block plane, and a Japanese saw rasp. The author uses the chainsaw for rough carving bass plates, the reshaped planes for finer carving of plates, and the saw rasp for truing fingerboards.

Miniature Jeweler’s Saw by Donald L. Brown
LT p.31
The author made a saw frame with a 1" throat for work in tight places. It uses modified jeweler’s saw blades.

Using Small Wooden Planes by Al Leis
LT p.32
\tools\created \tools\hand
The author describes 4 of his shop-made planes. He gives no instruction for their construction, but gives a source (in 1979) for the blades. A brief instruction for making such planes is found in the following article.

Making a Jointer Plane by Paul Estenson
LT p.33
Estenson supplies all-too-brief instructions for making a wooden jointer plane. The form of construction will lend itself to any type of wooden plane.

Fret Notching and Cutting Tool by Brian Watkins
LT p.34
\tools\created \fingerboard\fretboard
When Watkins submitted this article in 1981 there were no fret nippers on the market to trim fret tangs to fit inside the slot of a bound fingerboard. His solution was to build a bench-mounted beast of a tool that chopped the frets to length or trimmed the tangs for bound boards. The 3 diagrams make it look like quite a project.

Single Fluted Reamer by Alan Carruth
LT p.36
\tools\created \lute \pegs
Despite the contemporary proliferation of lutherie tools, making your own is still a reasonable idea, especially if you have more time than money. The author’s 1 diagram gives dimensions for a lute peg reamer, and the directions are clear. It sounds like it may take a fair amount of time, though.

Inexpensive Peg Shaver by Henry Aitchison
LT p.36
\tools\created \pegs
To make this peg shaper you must first have a reamer to make the peg holes (and the hole in the peg shaper). The shaper blade is made from a reground hacksaw blade.

Flushing and Beveling Fret Ends by Hank Schrieber
LT p.37
\fingerboard\fretboard \tools\created
The author’s tool is a file mounted in a cool handle that will either mill the fret ends square or ramp them to the angle of your choice (you have to choose during construction, the toll isn’t adjustable).

Making Aluminum Clamps by James Cassidy
LT p.38
\tools\clamps \tools\created
These clamps are for light duty, such as gluing a flattop bridge in place. The instructions are good, but no specs are supplied. You make them to fit the job in mind.

All Wood Cam Clamps by Dave Flager
LT p.38
\tools\clamps \tools\created
Cam clamps are a standard item in any lutherie shop. The author’s design uses a wooden shaft to support the clamp. This clamp is easier to make than the commercial variety and will suffice for most light duty, but isn’t as satisfying to use as commercial clamps.

Bridge/Bass Bar Clamp by J.R. Weene
LT p.40
\tools\clamps \tools\created \bridge\guitar \violin
Weene’s design is a wooden C-clamp intended for specialized uses.

Brace Gluing Cam by Phillip W. Walker
LT p.40
\tools\clamps \tools\created
The author’s clamp is a kidney-shaped chunk of plywood meant to be rotated inside a guitar body until it jams a brace back into place. This one wins the why-didn’t-I-think-of-that award for simplicity.

Two Quick Clamps by Charles A. Palis
LT p.41
\tools\clamps \tools\created \violin
The two clamps are a simple spool clamp for violins and a handscrew.

Cello and Bass Clamps by Frederick Battershell
LT p.41
\cello \bass\viol \tools\clamps \tools\created
This is simple instructions for a humongous spool clamp.

Fret Clamp by Bob Gleason
LT p.41
\fingerboard\fretboard \tools\created
This tool is actually a caul for clamping frets into their slots before supergluing them in place. The caul clamps all the frets at once, assuring that the fret tops will be level (assuming that your caul is also true).

Clamping Lining with Clothespins by Bruce Scotten
LT p.42
\tools\clamps \tools\created
Clothespins make cheap clamps for gluing lining in place, but they are weak and the wrong shape. Here’s how to correct those deficiencies.

Dulcimer Gluing Jig by Tony Pizzo
LT p.42
\dulcimer\fretted \tools\jigs
This jig is actually an adjustable-shape mold for dulcimer assembly, though changing its dimensions will make it suitable for any instrument.

Lute Rib Clamp by Leo Anway
LT p.43
\lute \tools\clamps
This slick and simple system uses a guitar string and a mechanical tuner to hold lute ribs to the construction form during assembly.

Go-Bar Deck by Duane Waterman and David Sheppard
LT p.44
The go-bar deck is an elegantly simple method of clamping parts together, most often used for clamping braces to instrument plates. It’s cheap and easy to make and will awe your friends if they’ve never seen one before. Make sure it’s loaded up before you introduce them to it.

Vacuum Press by Reagan Cole
LT p.45
The author wins the DIY award for 1978. Vacuum clamp systems abound today, but they are expensive. This one utilizes an old refrigerator compressor and a shower curtain (not to mention a ton of ingenuity).

Making a Glue Pot by Wesley Wadsworth
LT p.46
\gluing \tools\created
Adapting kitchen items for use in the shop is always a clever way to tick off the cook and save some money at the same time. The author finds that a baby bottle warmer or something called a “hot pot” makes a good heater for hide glue, and he describes how to adapt a glass jar as the actual pot. Instructions for building a thermostat for the pot are also included at no extra charge.

Hide Glue Steamer by Elliott Burch
LT p.47
\gluing \tools\created \violin
The trouble with hide glue is that it cools so fast, often faster than clamps can be applied. The author says, “Heck, let it cool as fast as it wants!” His simple steamer rejuvenates the glue after it’s been applied and the clamps are in place. He claims that it won’t swell the wood or hurt a violin’s finish, either.

Bridge Plate Heating Tool by John M. Colombini
LT p.48
\repair\other \tools\created
This tool is a brass block mounted to a C-shaped handle. The block is heated and placed inside the guitar against the bridge plate. The arm of the handle tells you where you are and makes the rig manageable. Also included is a diagram for a steel hook used to pry off the bridge plate once the glue has softened from the heat.

Anesthesia Bag for Clamping by Joyce Westphal
LT p.48
\dulcimer\fretted \tools\clamps \tools\created
The author cuts 2-liter anesthesia bags into big rubber bands for clamping end blocks onto dulcimers. Perhaps this rig has to be seen to be appreciated, but unfortunately no picture is supplied.

Marquetry Sawing Table by J.C. Nelson
LT p.49
\tools\jigs \inlay \tools\created
Marquetry is a form of inlaying one veneer inside another before the entire assembly is inlayed or applied to another surface. This table aids in getting the pieces to fit together with no gaps.

Bow Tip Vise by Phillip W. Walker
LT p.49
\bow \tools\jigs \tools\created
This simple devise should make it easy to glue an overlay on the tip of a bow.

Pearl Cutting Vise by Charles Wearden and Robert Lenhart
LT p.50
\inlay \tools\clamps \tools\created
Pearl blanks that won’t hold still while they are cut contribute to broken blades. If you can’t get the hang of it you may find this foot-operated, spring-loaded vise to be just what Doctor Inlay ordered.

Guitar Body Vise by Duane Waterman
LT p.50
\tools\created \tools\clamps
When working on the sides of an instrument it’s often a great help to capture the body in certain positions. This stationary vise could be adapted to any instrument. It uses pipe clamp screws as the adjusting mechanism.

Body Mold by Glenn Markel
LT p.52
\tools\jigs \tools\created
Markel’s design is a basic inside mold that houses the developing instrument body inside a frame of layered wood. More elaborate molds can be made, but this design has sufficed luthiers for hundreds of years.

Instrument Molds by Bo Walker
LT p.53
\tools\jigs \tools\created
Walker’s inside mold is even more basic than Markel’s. It is little more than a deep plywood frame with a guitar-shaped hole in it. The finished mold uses no hardware other than a few screws. Using such a light mold is delightful, but necessitates the accurate bending of the ribs since a lot of clamping pressure can distort the mold.

Body Mold and Bending Form by Duane Waterman
LT p.54
\tools\jigs \tools\created \bending
The only real difference between this mold and the previous two designs is a flange that allows the mold to be clamped upright in a bench vise. However, Waterman goes on to make a side-bending form from the waste material of the mold.

Banjo Fifth Peg Press by John M. Colombini
LT p.57
\banjo \tuners \tools\clamps \tools\created
Most banjo fifth-string pegs are held in place by a collar of tapered splines that must be driven into a slightly undersize hole. The author’s design permits the peg to be seated with a C-clamp, rather than a hammer, definitely a step in the right direction.

Banjo Resonator Clamp Stand by James Gilbert
LT p.58
\banjo \tools\clamps \tools\jigs
This outfit is used for gluing arched resonator backs onto the resonator rims. That is, the arch is created by the jig while a series of toggle clamps secure the glue joint.

Tuning Machine Knob Remover by Robert Steinnegger
LT p.58
\tuners \tools\created
This simple but slick tool uses wedges to drive pressed-on plastic tuner knobs off the shafts.

Vise Accessories by Kent Rayman
LT p.59
The accessories are a taper attachment and protective jaws. While designed for the Versa-Vise, they can be adapted to any vise..

Brace Jacks by Kent Rayman
LT p.59
\tools\created \repair\other
Similar to machinist’s jacks, these jacks are used inside the guitar while gluing braces or to support the top while bridge work is being done.

Dremel Rosette Attachment by Ted Davis
LT p.60
\tools\jigs \rosette
Davis’ jig uses an adjustable pin on the router base to register the router in a hole drilled in the center of what will be the soundhole. By sliding the pin about, a rosette cavity (or cavities) of any dimension can be created.

End Mill Cutters by Bruce Scotten
LT p.61
\tools\power \rosette \binding
The author recommends that luthiers try end mill cutters to machine channels for rosettes and binding.

Saddle Slot Dremel Base by Don Alfieri
LT p.61
\bridge\guitar \tools\created
The author adds nylon bolts to the bottom corners of his Dremel base while routing bridge slots. The tool rides on the bolt heads, raising the router above the level of the bridge. A very cool (not to mention elegantly simple) idea.

Routing Rosette Slots by John Spence
LT p.61
\tools\jigs \rosette
Spence uses sub-bases for his router to make rosette cavities. The sub-bases are drilled with holes that fit over a pin mounted in the center of what will be the soundhole.

Two Dremel Jigs by J.D. Mackenzie
LT p.62
\tools\jigs \binding \inlay
The first jig is a Dremel base used while cutting binding channels. The second is another base used to inlay decorative stringing of the face of headstocks.

Simple Rosette Slot Jig by J.D. Mackenzie
LT p.62
\rosette \tools\jigs
This is yet another design for routing rosette slots, though it looks rather more cumbersome to set up than others. It uses a full-size router and indexes off a pin in the center of the soundhole.

Router Guide Base by Al Leis
LT p.63
\tools\jigs \binding \rosette
Complexity and close-tolerance adjustability seem to go hand-in-hand in this sort of jig, so this version may be a bit more time-consuming to make. On the other hand, it looks more useful than some of the others. The jig uses a full-size router to create binding and rosette slots.

Archtop Routing Jig by Rion Dudley
LT p.65
\tools\jigs \binding
Obviously, routers won’t sit flat on an archtop plate. So how can we cut those pesky binding slots? This router guide registers on the sides of the guitar rather than the plates. It is intended for the Dremel tool, though the idea will work just as well with a larger router.

Pickup Routing Fixture by J.V. Buehrer
LT p.66
\guitar\electric \tools\jigs
Unlike contemporary pickup routing templates, which are the size and shape of the desired cavity, the author’s design is a frame of wood that the entire router sits into. The amount of travel inside the frame dictates the size of the cavity made in the guitar. Buehrer’s frame specs are for a router with a round base 6" in diameter. A formula is given for laying out frames of different sizes for different needs. It’s harder to envision the finished cavity with this system, but the idea is perfectly sound.

Router Jointing Jig by George Gawlik
LT p.67
Jointing the center seam of instrument plates with a router is a perfectly sensible idea. Gawlik’s design is pretty complicated, though.

Peghead Splining Jig by Jim Williams
LT p.68
\tools\jigs \repair\neck
Broken headstocks sometimes require more than glue for a permanent repair. With a router and this jig splines can be added to the repair on either side of the truss rod.

Router Templets by James Cassidy
LT p.69
\guitar\electric \tools\jigs
Templets of this kind use bushings on the router base as a cutting guide. The templates must be accurately made as an oversize version of the actual hole to be made in the guitar. Modern templates use a guide hole of actual size and require the use of a pattern maker’s bit to cut the cavities. Cassidy’s design will work fine, it’s just harder to lay out.

Ruck-Brune Sanding Machine by Derek Iverson
LT p.70
\tools\power \tools\created
A good thickness-sanding machine will turn your shop life around. A bad one will only make it more miserable. Iverson’s was the first report on a truly useful shop-made sander at a time when there were no inexpensive commercial units to be had. This design requires machine shop work and some welding, and there is no power feed. Power feed is nice but hardly a requirement on a machine intended for limited production.

Variation and Taper Sled by Tim Olsen
LT p.72
\tools\power \tools\created
Variation on the Ruck-Brune sander, that is. The more information you have on keeping your beast up and running, the better. The taper sled is for producing a long board with a tapering thickness.

Balanced Steel Drum Variation by Kent Rayman
LT p.73
\tools\power \tools\created
Again, this is a variation in the Ruck-Brune sander. You need to read all these articles before beginning construction of your sander in order to avoid mistakes that others have already made. If you can’t weld or run a metal lathe you’ll have to job out much of the work, and it won’t be long before you’ve spent enough money to buy one of the cheaper machines available today.

A Power Feed Model by Hank Schrieber
LT p.74
\tools\created \tools\power
The power feed for this drum sander uses a separate motor, a very good idea. This version has no dust collector, so one must be adopted from the previous articles. Welding plays a large role in the construction of this machine, as well.

A Small, Low Cost Sander by Pete Estes
LT p.76
\tools\power \tools\created
This thickness sander is of all-wood construction, and is intended for lighter duty than the previous models. It’s made with a 12” roller. You’ll no doubt find that it’s still better than no thickness sander at all..

Small, Low Tech Sander by Art Smith
LT p.77
\tools\power \tools\created
Smith’s is another light duty thickness sander, this time using a 10" sanding drum.

Dust Free, Open Sided Sander by Al Leis
LT p.78
\tools\created \tools\power
This mini-thickness sander is a whole other breed than the ones in the previous articles. It utilizes a 6" drum arbor-mounted on an electric motor and covered with a dust collection system. Since it is open-sided it can sand a panel up to 12" wide, but it is only capable of light duty. For sanding small stock, however, it should be a delightful little machine.

Davis Precision Thickness Sander by Ted Davis
LT p.79
\tools\power \tools\created
This is the most official-looking of all the shop-made sanders included here, though others may prove to be heavier-duty. It requires no welding or machine shop work. The sanding drum is a full 18" wide, and the machine incorporates power feed. If you’re determined to build your own, this may be the machine to copy. If your determination is limited you might want to consider renting time on a production sander from a machine shop.

Vertical Belt Sander by Rolfe Gerhardt
LT p.82
\tools\power \tools\created
The author remounted his 6x48 belt sander on edge, and found that it offered a variety of new uses.

Making an Adjustable Bed by James Cassidy
LT p.82
\tools\power \tools\created
Make an adjustable work surface for an edge-mounted belt sander to assure you can get it properly perpendicular.

Edge Sander Jig by Dave Flager
LT p.83
\tools\jigs \tools\power
Flager made a table to mount his portable belt sander on edge.

Peghead Joint Sanding Jigs by John Zuis
LT p.83
\tools\jigs \tools\power
One method of neck construction calls for making the neck and the headstock from different pieces of wood. The author’s jigs are designed for making the necessary joint. The first is intended for the Shopsmith disk sander and the second is for any other disk sander.

Sandpaper Hints by Boyd Butler
LT p.84
\tools\hand \tools\created
Butler describes a tool that aids in tearing sandpaper sheets into useful sizes, and a sanding board for use in close places.

Sanding Drum Hints by Rich Westerman
LT p.84
Westerman mentions a source of quality cloth-backed abrasive rolls, and a belt cleaning material.

Sanding Drum Hints by Tom Peterson
LT p.84
The author suggests that spraying them with a silicone lubricant can extend the life of power abrasives.

Drum Sanding Hints by Tim Olsen
LT p.84
Olsen says that sanding drums can be cleaned of wood resin by an application of Plexiglas. The resins stick to the melted plastic and fly off the drum.

Sanding Drum Tips by J.D. Mackenzie
LT p.84
\gluing \tools\power
The author recommends a glue for adhering sandpaper to sanding drums.

22” Three-Wheel Bandsaw by Al Leis
LT p.86
\tools\power \tools\created
The author made his bandsaw from a kit, customizing it to fit his needs. It cost less than $200 (in 1983) and gave him a machine with which he is very happy.

Sharpening Bandsaw Blades by Tim Olsen
LT p.87
\sharpening \tools\power
This is one of the most useful articles in the book. The sharpening method described is quick and easy (especially if you already own a Dremel tool), and will extend the life of your bandsaw blades by five of six times.

Bandsaw Dust Collector by Tim Olsen
LT p.88
\health \tools\power
Machine manufacturers have become hip to the health problems that accompany the use of their equipment, and most incorporate dust collection ports into their new machines. This was hardly the case in the old days, and there are still tons of old machines in use. If you have one you are responsible for your own health, and thus the modification of your machine. The author’s ideas can be adapted to almost any bandsaw.

Lining Cutting Jig by William Spigelsky
LT p.88
Use this bandsaw jig to cut rectangular stock into triangular unkerfed lining blanks. This tip is confusing until you realize that the box is a permanent part of the jig, and that the jig should be clamped to the saw table. The binding stock is fed through, and supported by, the box.

Lute Neck Block Fixture by Brian Derber
LT p.88
\lute \tools\jigs \neck
This bandsaw jig will cut the facets on a neck block to which the ribs of a lute are glued. Despite the 6 drawings this article is confusing.

Curve-Cutting Bandsaw Fence by Tim Olsen
LT p.90
\tools\jigs \tools\power
A hinged fence can be used to cut accurate curved pieces. Changing the angle of the hinge changes the radius of the curve.

Tuner Roller Hole Jig by Derek Iverson
LT p.91
\tuners \tools\jigs
Iverson’s jig is for drilling tuner holes in the headstocks of classical guitars using plank-mounted machines.

Purfling Groove Cutter by William Spigelsky
LT p.91
\binding \tools\power \tools\created
It’s a pleasure to witness the work of an original thinker. This binding cutter is comprised of a stack of small slitting saw blades mounted on a bolt that mounts in the drill press. The rig indexes off the top or back plate and cuts a channel equal to the stack of blades. It looks pretty foolproof, and may be less likely to chip than a router bit.

Bridge Slot-Cutting Jig by Thomas Rein
LT p.92
\tools\jigs \bridge\guitar
The jig is adjustable for the amount of compensation. It is intended for use in a drill press using an end mill as a cutter.

Making Brad-Point Bits by Tim Olsen
LT p.92
This article may be of more historical significance than anything else. Few people would make their own drill bits today. They don’t have to, since so many specialty tools are available through the mail, or even at a local hardware store. This was hardly the case in 1979 when Olsen wrote this piece.

Fret Bending Tool by Brian Watkins
LT p.94
\fingerboard\fretboard \tools\created
The author’s tool accurately bends individual frets by using a drill press as press. Such a tool is largely out of date today with the advent of tools that bend a whole stick of fretwire in seconds.

Archtop Carving Gauge by Glenn Markel
LT p.95
\tools\created \guitar\archtop
Markel’s gauge is little more than a cone mounted to the drill press table. Adjusting the table height or the quill lock allows the drilling of holes that will guide the carving of the plates. Or, if one side is already carved, one setting will mark the plate to an even thickness.

Fretboard Jig by Robert Lenhardt
LT p.96
\fingerboard\fretboard \tools\jigs
This jig will cut the taper on a fretboard using a table or bandsaw, and then guide the slotting of the board on a radial arm saw. With a bit of ingenuity a table saw could do the whole job.

The Shopsmith by Des Anthony
LT p.98
Combination tools are seldom as useful or fun to use as a collection of specialized machines. But if you have little room and less money they may be the best choice. The Shopsmith is a popular brand of combination tool, and Anthony is enthusiastic about its use in a lutherie shop.

Jig For Cutting Side Slots by William Spigelsky
LT p.99
\tools\jigs \guitar\classical
With this jig a radial arm saw is used to cut the slots in the neck into which the side of a classical guitar are fit.

Jig For Cutting Banjo Neck Angle by James Gilbert
LT p.100
\tools\jigs \banjo
This radial arm saw jig will radius the face of a banjo neck to 10” and cut it to the desired angle. However, it doesn’t cut the relief for the flange or tension hoop.

Miniature Table Saw by Duane Waterman
LT p.101
\tools\created \tools\power
Cutting small pieces is more fun (and safer) on a small saw. This simple table saw uses a 3” blade mounted directly on the shaft of a small motor. The version in the 2 drawings has a table that is not adjustable for blade height.

Lining Strips by Tim Olsen
LT p.101
This table saw jig is intended to evenly cut the kerfs in rectangular strips of lining.

Fingerboard Radiusing Jig by Ron Lira
LT p.102
\tools\jigs \fingerboard\fretboard
This table saw jig is a swing to the bottom of which a fretboard is mounted. Swinging the board over the saw blade cuts the radius.

George Vogl, Toolmaker by H.E. Huttig
LT p.104
\people \tools\hand
Vogl was a toolmaker who specialized in violin making hand tools. These three small pieces sketch what life was like for one group of Europeans after WWII reduced their life to a near pre-industrial state. And since violinmakers have always had a pre-industrial mindset, they got along quite well. With 1 illustration of old tools.

Factory Life by John Judge
LT p.106
\people \guitar\flattop
The author’s wonderful depiction of life in the Guild guitar factory during the mid-to-late ‘60s may open some eyes about what life is like in an instrument factory. Those who demonstrate that they like to work and can do it well will be given all they can handle and then some, probably with an undersized remuneration. Many will be locked in the same operation for years, but smart bosses are always watching for enterprising workers and will let the cream rise. For those few, factory work can be quite interesting. This is a delightful episode.

Two Production Machines by John Judge
LT p.108
More tales from the Guild factory from the same period of Judge’s life. The two machines are a power-sanding table that trued the edges of ribs to receive the plates, and a huge pin router.

A Survey of Seventeen Luthiers
LT p.114
\tools\hand \tools\power
This collection of luthiers lists the tools, machines, and supplies they find indispensable in creating the diverse work they do.


Taxonomy and Nomenclature by Nicholas Von Robison
LW p.2
It takes a good writer to make this stuff interesting, but Robison pulls it off. Common names are a lot more fun and will usually get you by, but in the end there’s nothing like knowing a few scientific names of trees to dazzle’em at cocktail parties. Be careful how you try it at guitar conventions, though, some of those guys are pretty hip, scientifically speaking.

Glossary of Basic Wood Terms by Hart Huttig and Nicholas Von Robison
LW p.6
It seems like there’s 6 ways to say any particular thing about a piece of wood, and you might as well know them all. Here they are.

Top 40 Wood List by Nicholas Von Robison
LW p.10
\wood\trees \wood\hard \wood\soft
You could build guitars and never learn about more than 2 kinds of wood but, boy, would your guitars be boring. Forty kinds are likely more than you’ll ever use, but it’s better to be over-prepared than under. Includes range descriptions, scientific nomenclature, wood description, and uses in lutherie.

Wood for Instrument Making by David Sturgill
LW p.16
\wood\trees \wood\soft \wood\hard
This is not a wood-by-wood list like the above article, but a description of what is required of wood that has to serve the different functions in an instrument, and why certain varieties are most often chosen for those functions. Also includes information about harvesting and processing wood for instruments.

World Outlook, a Merchant’s View by Michael Gurian
LW p.21
\wood\hard \wood\soft
Gurian’s 1979 forecast for the future of lutherie woods was pretty much on the money. When he gave the lecture this piece was taken from he was perhaps the most important supplier of instrument wood, so he was in a position to know. The picture looked gloomy then, and certainly nothing has gotten better since.

Wood Bibliography by Nicholas Von Robison
LW p.23
\wood\hard \wood\soft \wood\other \wood\trees
Most of the objective information you’ll want to know about trees and wood has already been written down somewhere. This is a list of where to look.

Moisture Content by Greg Jackson
LW p.29
\wood\trees \humidity
We all want to work with dry wood, but the subject isn’t as cut-and-dried as you might think (sorry). Jackson has the lowdown on chemically bound water and free water in wood, and why air drying is no guarantee of anything in particular.

Quick Humidity Gauge by Anonymous
LW p.31
\humidity \tools\created
Make a wooden humidity gauge. Really! But you’ll need a hygrometer to build it by.

Acid Rain by Nicholas Von Robison and Perry Thomas
LW p.31
There are still plenty of people who believe that acid rain, global warming, and ozone problems are hoaxes perpetrated by disturbed liberals with nothing better to do. If this outlook was reported today it would raise eyebrows, but it was 1984 and we were already in trouble. What are the odds that things have gotten better?

Harvesting Englemann Spruce by Dennis Coon
LW p.34
\wood\soft \wood\trees
Small companies that try to service the lutherie world usually struggle to make a go of it. Tonewoods are designer woods required to be nearly perfect in every way, so there is much loss during milling, but first perfect trees must be found, felled, and hauled out of the mountains. It’s hard work for small pay, but there’s a romance to it. And good reading, too.

Early Englemann by Jan Callister
LW p.37
\wood\soft \wood\trees
Early as in an early supplier of Englemann. Luthiers and musicians have become so spoiled by wood suppliers that it’s a wonder that good top wood doesn’t cost more by now. This story is another example of what a small specialty lumber company has to go through.

Wood Salvaging Down Under by Des Anthony
LW p.38
\wood\soft \wood\other
Tonewood is where you find it, even if you find it in another instrument.

Selecting Australian Timbers by Lindsay Hewson and Jim Williams
LW p.39
If stringed instruments had been invented in Australia they would be very different than they are today. They might have an altogether kind of tone quality, and we'd be struggling to get Sitka to sound like celery top pine. Well, it’s the other way around, which will give you an idea of what Aussie luthiers have to go through to sound like the rest of the world.

Osage Orange by Ted Davis
LW p.41
Davis is a champion of mock orange as a tonewood, and his enthusiasm is catchy. This is just about as much info about it as you’re likely to find.

Bubinga by Roger Sperline
LW p.42
This is one of the first descriptions of this fine wood as a tonewood.

Wood Dust: Beware by Ervin Somogyi
LW p.43
If the dust in your shop is out of control, then so is your health. Dust collection or elimination isn’t difficult. Somogyi explains the dangers and how he minimized them in his own shop.

Resawing on a 12" Bandsaw by James E. Patterson
LW p.45
\tools\power \tools\created
How to convert a Sears 12” bandsaw to cut guitar sets, and how to make a fence for it.

Resawing on a 14" Bandsaw by Peggy Stuart
LW p.46
Mostly this is about how to set up a Rockwell bandsaw for best resawing performance, though this will help you with any similar bandsaw.

Resawing on a 32" Bandsaw by Tim Olsen
LW p.46
In a small shop a saw this size qualifies as a Big Mamoo. This piece is more detailed than the previous two articles, and as a collection they should put you well on the way to avoiding those pesky tonewood suppliers. Or appreciating them, one or the other.

Variables in Archtop Design by Jimmy D’Aquisto
LW p.50
The final decade or so of the 20th century saw an explosion in the number of archtop makers and a maturation of the archtop guitar into a versatile instrument. D’Aquisto pioneered this development beginning just as this article was put to paper in 1979. He abandoned tone bars for an X brace, then manipulated all the variables mentioned here to expand the role of the archtop in contemporary music.

Birth of the Packaxe by Francis Kosheleff
LW p.56
Kosheleff invented a dozen ways to hinge or detach the guitar neck in order to make it travel-friendly. He describes the development of his travel guitars and offers some hints about how these patented guitars function.

Resonator Guitar Construction by Dick DeNeve
LW p.58
The author builds a somewhat unorthodox Dobro-style guitar, though they look normal from the outside. His variations on the basic design are made to overcome weaknesses in vintage Dobros.

Restoring a ‘20s Gibson L-O by Ted Davis
LW p.60
\guitar\flattop \plans \repair\crack \repair\other \restoration
This restoration included a new top, fingerboard, and headstock veneer, as well as the repair of numerous side cracks. Davis made a plan of the guitar while it was disassembled which is available as GAL Instrument Plan #6, though a scaled-down version is included with the article.

Restoring a Martin Harp Guitar by Ted Davis
LW p.62
\guitar\harp \repair\neck \repair\crack \plans \restoration
This rare Martin required the creation of a new harp neck as well as the repair of many top and side cracks. The plans included are also available as GAL Instrument Plan #7.

Pearls Before Junk Dealers by Richard Irwin
LW p.66
\guitar\flattop \restoration
Irwin found a small gold-painted guitar in a junk shop that turned out to be an 1850 2-24 Martin. Removing the gold paint revealed a nearly pristine guitar marred only by some pick wear.

Gallagher Factory Tour by Gerald W. Aquino and Don Gallagher
LW p.68
Just like it says.

Life After the Dead by Rick Turner
LW p.70
\guitar\electric \binding \tools\power \gluing
Turner started his lutherie life as part of the Grateful Dead’s clan of artists, engineers, and craftsmen, but ended up with his own company which built distinctive electric guitars.

Klein Design by Steve Klein
LW p.74
\guitar\flattop \bracing\flattop
This is a history of Klein’s unusual steel string guitars, as well as a window into the mind of one of lutherie’s most creative thinkers. Includes photos as well as a plan of the top of the guitar Klein built for Joe Walsh.

Making Pointy Rosettes by Tim Olsen
LW p.78
\inlay \tools\power
Are you tired of rosettes that are just rings around the soundhole? Here’s a jumping off point if you want to take the plunge. The next step is to get rid of the round soundhole.

Drill Press Rosette Grooves by Larry F. Stevens
LW p.80
\inlay \tools\power
A drill press only wants to make holes, but you can train it to do a lot of tricks. For instance, why not use it to mill the slots for rosette rings to snuggle into? Groovy! With diagrams of the cutting bits.

Cutting and Inlaying Pearl by James E. Patterson
LW p.80
\inlay \tools\hand \tools\power
This article compresses into less than 6 pages everything you need to know about cutting and inlaying shell, except for how to make up original designs. Creativity is a tough thing to teach.

Copying Pearl Patterns by Robert A. Steineggar
LW p.86
\inlay \restoration
The author keeps a comprehensive file of all the cool patterns that cross his bench, and here's how he does it. It’s not quite as easy and obvious as you might think.

Tinting Lacquer Marks Inlays by Michael Dresdner
LW p.86
There are several ways to lay out an inlay pattern before routing, but this one might be the most accurate.

More Inlay Tricks by Tim Shaw
LW p.86
\inlay \gluing
Sometimes a little finesse in the way we work can be as important as the basic job. In fact, lutherie is all about finesse. If you glue your pearl pieces in place before tracing them Shaw’s bit of finesse may save you some broken shell.

Gold Leaf by Nicholas Von Robison
LW p.87
Traditional ways of decorating instruments follow a narrow path. The author uses gold leaf to enhance his inlays. The path grows a little bit wider. Includes 3 illustrations of the steps involved.

Two Tips on Pearl Inlay by Steve Goodale
LW p.87
The author offers a way to attach the pattern to the pearl, and a method of coloring the pearl.

Bending with a Paint Stripper by Al Leis
LW p.88
\bending \tools\created
Bending sides can be an intimidating process. It was especially so before the advent of the Fox bender. The author found a new method of applying heat to the wood to coerce the bend.

Removing Side Ripples by Don Musser
LW p.90
\bending \tools\jigs
Some wood ripples when it is wetted for bending. Musser describes how to remove the ripples, but you’ll have to have a metal bending form to use his method.

Making Florentine Cutaways by Eric Berry
LW p.90
Florentine cutaways are the pointy kind. This instruction is for adding the cutaway to your basic design as construction progresses, not for adding a cutaway to an already completed guitar.

Beware of “Regrind” Plastic by Anonymous
LW p.92
Plastic is often recycled in the factory, and various colors may be added to a basic mix. Plastic for instrument adornment is never supposed to be made this way, but it can happen. Your supplier should make good on it.

Fixing Shrunken Binding by Michael Breid
LW p.92
\binding \repair\other \restoration
The author has had good luck heating and stretching shrunken binding back to its original configuration. Here’s how.

Making Lining Strips-One by Rolfe Gerhardt
LW p.93
The author uses a gang saw to produce kerfed lining strips in quick fashion.

Making Lining Strips-Two by Boyd Butler
LW p.93
\bracing\other \tools\power
How to jig up a bandsaw to kerf linings one strip at a time.

Making Ling Strips-Three by William R. Cumpiano
LW p.94
Yet another way to make your own kerfed lining, with 4 diagrams of the procedure. More sophisticated than the previous two articles, but not necessarily a better way to go about it.

Deep Studding Top Cracks by Al Leis
LW p.95
\repair\crack \tools\clamps \tools\created
So how does one reach w-a-y back there to reinforce top crack repairs? By making a special clamp, and by evolving a slick method of using it. Here’s how it’s done.

Sanding Board Tip by Alan Carruth
LW p.95
The author offers a simple trick for making flat-bottom sanding blocks.

Positioning Studs for Top Cracks by Mike Janoska
LW p.96
Problem: since you began pumping iron your arms are too big to fit through a guitar soundhole. Here’s another way of reinforcing top crack repairs without asking help from your pencil-arm brother-in-law.

Removing Finish for Bridge Gluing by Tim Olsen
LW p.96
\bridge\guitar \gluing
Finish your guitar, clean off a footprint for the bridge, then glue it on. It’s easy, here’s how.

Modified Cam Clamp by John Colombini
LW p.97
\bridge\guitar \tools\clamps
The author couldn’t reach through the small soundhole of a guitar to bolt the bridge on, so he devised a nifty cam clamp that not only holds the socket but aids in lining up all the pieces during the operation.

Splining Soundboard Cracks by Michael Dresdner
LW p.97
Dresdner studs the crack, then compresses the edges of the top crack into a wedge shape into which a tapered spline is glued. This technique has become routine, but this is one of the first times it reached print. He also offers a recipe for touching up the new wood to a “vintage” color.

Gluing a Cracked Back or Top by Ted Davis
LW p.98
\repair\crack \gluing
This is a method for mending cracks in free, unbraced plates using only small nails and a workboard.

Nuts and Bolts for Bridge Gluing by Tim Olsen
LW p.98
\bridge\guitar \gluing \tools\clamps
How to use bolts and wing nuts to align a bridge through the pin holes and form part of the clamping force.

Post and Wedge for Clamping by Bill Colgan
LW p.98
\tools\clamps \repair\other \gluing
This is a slick way of regluing loose braces deep in an instrument where clamps can’t reach, and simpler than some other techniques we’ve seen. The drawing gives a good illustration of the concept.

Capo as Tool in Bridge Work by Tim Earls
LW p.98
\tools\clamps \bridge\guitar
Here’s a simple trick to keep slack strings out of the way while you work on the saddle. Especially helpful on 12-strings.

Flattop Bridge Removal by Jim Williams
LW p.99
\bridge\guitar \repair\bridge \tools\created
Clean bridge removal is almost an art, but the right heat source and the proper tools can give even the first-timer a fighting chance. Williams offers a dedicated lamp setup for heat and a modified cabinet scraper to slide through the glue joint.

Rebuilding the Tune-O-Matic by William Hatcher
LW p.99
\bridge\electric \repair\bridge
This classic piece of guitar hardware suffers from its share of rattles and loose parts, even on new units. You can tune it up and quiet it down. Here’s how.

Improved X Bracing by Don Musser
LW p.100
Get rid of those scalloped braces and the bulge in the top of the guitar in one operation. Musser’s design is asymmetrical and pretty radical from a “vintage” view point, but a number of luthiers have confessed that it has improved their guitars.

Top and Back Joints by Tim Olsen
LW p.101
\tools\clamps \gluing
Build a simple shooting board to make plate joints with a plane, then use one of 3 tried-and-true forms of clamping workboards to glue them together.

Gluing Pickguards by Robert Steinegger
LW p.102
\synthetics \gluing
Here’s a good trick for gluing pickguards to raw wood that let’s the ‘guard shrink without cracking the soundboard.

Transparent Pickguards by Lester DeVoe
LW p.102
\synthetics \gluing
The author likes transparent pickguards but doesn’t like commercial pickguard stock. Here’s how he makes his own.

Half-and-Half Tops by Harry Fleishman
LW p.103
\wood\soft \guitar\flattop
Perhaps Harry didn’t invent the guitar top made from two varieties of wood, but he has certainly made it a trademark of his instruments. The text explains the why of it, and the single photo offers a peek at one of Fleishman’s unique designs.

Calculating Fret Scales by Bob Petrulis
LW p.104
\fingerboard\fretboard \computers
The author gives you the math to lay out the frets for any scale length and demonstrates how to use a computer spread sheet to do the same operation a lot faster.

Calculating String Tension by Max Krimmel
LW p.106
To use this article you’ll need a gram scale, a Hz frequency chart, and a calculator. You can figure for yourself what some of the string makers won’t tell you.

Cutting Nut Slots with Strings by Michael Trietsch
LW p.106
The cheapo way to cut perfect nut slots is to use the wound string that will sit in the groove as a saw. It doesn’t work while the nut is mounted on the guitar, though. The unwound string slots are cut with an X-acto saw.

Nut Slotting Files by Michael Dresdner
LW p.107
\tools\hand \tools\created
In the “old days” you couldn’t buy a set of nut slotting files. They didn’t exist. The author used pattern makers files with parallel safety sides. He recommends learning about and adapting the tools from every trade that crosses your path.

Calculating Neck Angle Changes by Michael Dresdner
LW p.107
All right, so you got the neck off of your flattop and you’re about to reset it. How much wood do you have to remove from the heel to achieve the proper correction? It turns out that you can calculate that figure, and here’s how to do it.

Adjustable Neck Joints by Larry Robinson
LW p.107
Put a hinge on your guitar neck and change the angle any time you please. Really. The design leaves the fingerboard floating over the body, though.

Neck Relief by Philip Mayes
LW p.108
The arc of a plucked string can be calculated. Therefore, it stands to reason that that arc could be built into the neck relief, giving the lowest possible buzz-free action. Yup, but it’s tough to make such minute adjustments to a flexible stick like a guitar neck. Still, the concept is interesting, and on a graphite neck might be entirely practical.

Heat Pressing Necks by Tim Olsen
LW p.110
No, you don’t press a neck to take the wrinkles out. Sometimes it’s necessary to heat a crooked neck, overbend it with clamps, then hope it cools and relaxes into some semblance of straightness. This sort of caveman lutherie is still called upon from time to time, and you probably won’t find a more detailed description of the operation than this one.

Blackboard Eraser Polisher by Michael Dresdner
LW p.111
\fingerboard\fretboard \tools\created
Dresdner steals yet another tool from another discipline, this time for polishing frets after they’ve been shaped with a file.

Doodlebug Pad Polishers by Marvin Tench
LW p.111
\tools\created \fingerboard\fretboard
Yet another substitute for messy steel wool on your bench (not to mention your pickups). Doodlebug pads are a 3M scouring pad made of nylon. Polish your frets with impunity.

Frets and Fingerboard Care by Randy Stockwell
LW p.111
Once again finesse in refretting is used to match the shape of the fingerboard to the arc of the plucked strings. Stockwell’s method calls for experience rather than formulae, however. Compare this to the method on p.108.

A Laminated Neck Design by Tim Olsen
LW p.112
Necks fashioned from one hunk of wood are beautiful but wasteful. Laminated designs intended to conserve the most wood are often considered unsightly, so Olsen tackled the problem with a laminated design that offers the prettiest wood, the highest strength, and that makes the installation of a curved truss rod a snap. Pretty cool.

Truss Rod Repair on a Fender by Dave Gentry
LW p.114
\neck \fingerboard\fretboard \repair\neck
Fender’s unorthodox method of installing a truss rod makes the replacement of the rod a strange undertaking. Gentry’s technique is clever, and far less invasive than removing the entire fingerboard.

Splicing on a New Peghead by Tim Olsen
LW p.114
Sometimes a peghead break is so traumatic that the best plan is just to toss the old one in the trash and start over. Here’s how (using mostly hand tools), and don’t be surprised if the rebuilt neck is better than the original.

Fiberglass Headstock Repair by William Hatcher
LW p.117
\repair\neck \synthetics \gluing
Try this method of repairing a headstock break when you don’t trust Titebond to do the job. It involves extensive touchup work, however.

Routing Neck Dovetails by Larry Stevens
LW p.118
\guitar\flattop \neck
The author borrowed this dovetail system from Max Krimmel. The routing jigs are fully described, and it is recommended that the head block be routed before the body is assembled, Martin-style.

Removing Dovetails-One by John Thierman
LW p.120
Steam out the neck with a tea kettle. See also the next article.

Removing Dovetails-Two by Kent Rayman
LW p.120
Steam out the neck with a pressure cooker. See the previous article and the next article.

Removing Dovetails-Three by Michael Dresdner
LW p.120
Steam out the neck with a cappuccino machine. See also the previous 2 articles. This variation involves sawing off the fretboard at the body joint.

Neck-to-Body Joint by Garth Fleming
LW p.121
How about a locking mortise-and-tenon joint? Works like a dovetail with only half the hassle.

Adjustable Truss Rod by Jim Williams
LW p.121
Make your own Rickenbacker-style double rod.

Spiritual Lutherie by Raphael Weisman
LW p.122
Build your Self while you build your instruments. Without the one, the other would be a pretty empty achievement.

Glorious Uncertainty by Nicholas Von Robison
LW p.123
The author maintains that if we knew that each piece of work was going to turn out perfectly there would be no reason to continue building. Maybe, maybe not. It depends on how narrowly our lives are focused. We should always be a beginner at something.

Learning Guitar Making by Tim Olsen
LW p.124
\philosophy \schools
Now that lutherie has boomed, is it best to attend a school to learn the trade? Or does self-education (and self-discovery) still make sense. It depends.

Apprenticeships by Jeffrey R.Elliott
LW p.124
\schools \philosophy
The author has been an apprentice and has trained apprentices. Before you face either situation you should read this to learn what you are getting into.

Building a First Guitar by Harry Coleman
LW p.125
The author went all out on his first guitar, using only the best materials he could find. Is this the best way to approach lutherie? He thinks so.

Pedagogue’s Lament by William Cumpiano
LW p.126
\philosophy \schools
An instructor of guitar making examines the potential impact of his students upon the lutherie world, and decides that it may not be all positive. There’s no accounting for human nature, no matter how good a teacher you may be.

In Defense of the Amateur by Nicholas Von Robison
LW p.127
Amateurs, by definition, love what they do. Professionals may start out that way and then find out that it’s not so hunky-dory. Amateurs are free to discover, but professionals are locked into the expectations of their clientele. Are we building instruments or are we building a life? Just something to think about.

Lutherie Schools
LW p.128
A list of schools, organizations, and periodicals to help you find your way.

Sources of Supply
LW p.132
Where to buy your wood and tools.

LW p.134
Abstracts of reviews of books, videos, and periodicals related to the themes of this book.

Further Reading in American Lutherie
LW p.142
The material in Lutherie Woods is mostly pre-American Lutherie. This list of related articles will help bring you up to date.

(pre-American Lutherie material)

Area Tuning the Violin by Keith Hill
BRB p.20
\philosophy \physics\violin \violin
Hill advocates tuning different portions of the plates to segments of the overtone system, using various tonic notes to suit the particular wood before you. No measuring tools are necessary during tuning since the actual thickness of the plate portions is of no consequence. He maintains that this is the tuning system used by the Italian masters.

Violin Ribs/Latent Tension by John Meng
BRB p.25
\bending \violin \physics\violin
Meng suggests bending violin ribs using a backer of sheet aluminum to prevent shattering the wood, then goes on to suggest that tensions in the wood are often inadvertently built into instruments. Given time, the wood relaxes into its new shape, and the tone of the instrument improves at the same rate.

Potassium Dichromate, Oxalic Acid, and Carnauba Wax by Jeffrey R. Elliott
BRB p.36
\finish\other \tools\power
Various chemicals have been used for centuries to color (or de-color) wood. Fiddle makers are hip to tons of these, but Elliott describes a couple that he finds useful on his guitars. He also advocates lubricating tools and work surfaces with carnauba wax, which will not contaminate your wood.

Honest Ron’s Lacquer Finishing Technique by Ron Lira
BRB1 p.37
\finish\lacquer \finish\shellac
How to deal with lacquer in less than one page. Heavy on Sherwin-Williams products and short on details, it is nevertheless interesting for his use of heated lacquer.

Spray Finishing Setup by Rolfe Gerhardt
BRB1 p.41
\finish\lacquer \finish\spraying \health
That is, setting up the actual spray system from compressor to gun, with additional information about spray room accessories. It’s worth noting that in his update the author (a maker of top quality mandolins) mentions that he has abandoned lacquer in favor of water-base products.

The Business of Lutherie by Richard Brune, George Gruhn, Steve Klein, Max Krimmel, and Robert Lundberg
BRB1 p.48
\business\ethics \business\other
The economic atmosphere surrounding lutherie has changed a lot since this 1980 panel discussion, but tapping into the lutherie boom is no easier than it ever was. Max Krimmel followed his genius out of guitarmaking many years ago, but the rest of these gentlemen are still active, and their longevity suggests that they knew what they were talking about so long ago. Panel discussions aren’t often as much fun as this one.

Basic Sitar Repair by Thom Lipiczky
BRB1 p.94
\repair\other \instruments\other
Sitars are wonderful to look at, strange to hold, lovely to listen to, and peculiar to repair and set up. These days, when vintage instrument values make repair a high-risk endeavor, Lipiczky’s offbeat cures for broken gourds and loose frets are a breath of fresh air. Sitar repair has no doubt advanced since 1979, but we’ll have to take what we can get as far as instruction is concerned. The Indian words make for exotic reading, and the chart of string gauges may save your bacon one strange day.

Hide Glue Techniques by Donald Warnock
BRB1 p.112
\humidity \gluing
Luthiers returning to hide glue have begun a movement, and if you wish to join you’ll need all the help you can get. The stuff can be pretty fussy. Warnock explains the varieties of hide glue, how to live with it, and how to apply it to several different instruments. Where else can you get information about veneering the back of a neck?

Seedlac by Nicholas Von Robison
BRB1 p.121
Robison insists that as an instrument finish seedlac is superior to shellac in every sense. You never heard of seedlac? Jeez, you better get on the bus! If French polish thrills you but it’s fragility gets up your nose, seedlac could make your day.

Health Hazards: Solvents, Glues, and Shell by Ervin Somogyi
BRB1 p.122
\finish\lacquer \gluing \health \inlay
Somogyi wrote this scary little article in 1983, but if you think that the chemicals luthiers encounter have gotten friendlier you better think again. The compounds that have been making people sick for decades are still out there, and regulation doesn’t seem to have made much of an impact. You’ll have to be your own safety cop, and this article is a good place to begin.

White, Yellow, and Hide Glues by Lawrence D. Brown
BRB1 p.162
Brown urges luthiers not to use white glue, to be careful where we use yellow glue, and to explore the possibilities of hide glue. As a maker of instruments that are commonly disassembled during repair, his stilt is natural. His advice is well grounded, though, and you’ll do well to examine his arguments before you build anything.

Sponge Soundhole Plug by Glen Markel
BRB1 p.166
Markel offers a simple trick for sealing off instrument ports before finishing.

Rosin Varnishes by Louis De Grazia
BRB1 p.167
\violin \finish\varnish
Rosin varnishes preceded the varnishes developed by the Cremonese violin masters. Though they are often scorned by experienced luthiers, De Grazia maintains that the ease with which they can be mixed and applied makes them a good starting point for the budding violin builder.

Several Glue Tricks by Tim Earls
BRB1 p.171
Handy tips for spreading and cleaning up Titebond and epoxy.

Finishing With Lacquer by Glen Markel
BRB1 p.178
\finish\lacquer \finish\spraying
These are finishing tips picked up while Markel worked at Guild. The best of them involve heating the lacquer and building a stationary buffing wheel.

Twenty Ancient Dyestuffs and Eleven Mordants by Nicholas Von Robison
BRB1 p.210
\finish\lacquer \finish\other
The dyestuffs are from bugs, flowers, and tree parts. Mordants are chemicals that set the colors and may shift the hue. Dyers’ hip talk is a lot of fun, and the bits of dye history Robison includes add sparkle to a colorful article. Working with these materials could add mountains of snob appeal to a guitar. Rather than describe a three-color ‘burst as yellow/red/brown it might be described as fustic/madder/walnut hull. Be the first on your block to give it a go.

Soundhole Plug for Spraying by Pete Estes
BRB1 p.213
Don’t get finish inside your flattop when you spray, use this handy, easy-to-make gizmo.

Kasha Guitar Soundboard by Gila Eban
BRB1 p.214
\bracing\classical \guitar\classical \plans \physics\guitar
Eban offers an eloquent argument for trying the Kasha system in your own shop, as well as many details of her own guitars. A page-sized blueprint is included. She maintains that there is a philosophy and an aesthetic behind the Kasha design that is self-revealing and pleasing to work with, and that the design will always be under-realized until a larger number of builders have come to understand and absorb it.

Bass Crate by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
BRB1 p.254
Lyman created a shipping crate for the bass viol that will take abuse without damaging the bass, which is suspended in the crate without touching any of the walls. With 5 good drawings of crate details. It’s not lutherie, but it might save your instrument.

Violin Varnish and Sealers by Graham Caldersmith
BRB1 p.262
\violin \finish\other \finish\varnish
The Sacconi technique of sealing fiddles with silicates has not been widely accepted. Nevertheless, the author explains how he has successfully used silicates to seal and harden violin wood before varnishing, as well as the use of vernice bianca (basically whipped egg whites) to act as an interface between the silicate and the varnish.

Sealing With Shellac and Varnishing Rosewood by Neil Hebert
BRB1 p.264
\finish\varnish \finish\shellac
This guitarmaker has adopted finishing techniques that are often reserved for violins, and claims that in eye and tactile appeal it is superior to lacquer. Particularly important is how he deals with rosewood’s tendency to bleed color, a problem that fiddle finishers don’t have to face.

Finishing Lute Soundboards by Lawrence D. Brown
BRB1 p.265
\lute \finish\lacquer
Historically, lute soundboards were left unfinished in order to produce the best sound. However, the raw wood collected dirt at a rate that is unacceptable to contemporary musicians. Brown has found a compromise using lacquer that doesn’t affect the sound production of the instrument.

Oil Varnish Techniques by David Rolfe
BRB1 p.284
Violinmakers can (and do) talk at length about varnish formulas. Rolfe leaves that to others, and instead describes at length the process of getting the varnish onto the instrument with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of cleanliness. Included is a discussion of brushes, rags, rubbing down and polishing materials, drying boxes, and where in your shop to varnish.

Tuning the Guitar by Ian Noyce
BRB1 p.288
\tuning\temperament \bridge\other \fretboard \guitar\classical \guitar\flattop
‘Bet you thought you knew how to tune a guitar. Some are fussier than others, right? Noyce explains that fussiness, and by examining the fussiness it can in part be designed out of the guitar. On the other hand, part of the problem is psycho-fussiness, meaning that you have to tune to suit the peculiarities of human hearing. They say that horses have perfect pitch, so tuning up must be much less of a chore for them.

Controlling Strings, Wood, and Air by Carleen Hutchins
BRB1 p.300
\physics\guitar \physics\violin
Hutchins is an acoustician who knows how to talk to a crowd of rookies. This 1980 lecture is loaded with cool anecdotes, impressive facts, and news of the newly developed (though long thought about) violin octet. Whoever would have thought that the physics of sound could be fun?

Dissolving the Mysteries by Graham Caldersmith
\physics\guitar \guitar\classical \guitar\flattop
Caldersmith loves the scientific aspects of instrument design, and offers this primer to help explain what's going on in an excited classical or steel string guitar without going off the scientific deep end. The most interesting part is that in his update (17 years later) he has reversed is position on how to use this information. Information doesn’t change as much as how we use it, and we can’t use it if we don’t understand it. That, in a nutshell, is the acoustician’s tenant.

Lemon Oil and Carnauba Wax by Jimmie Van
\wood\hard \finish\lacquer \finish\other
Discusses the advantages of cleaning instruments with lemon oil and resealing the finish with carnauba wax.

Epoxy by Paul Jacobson
There is a small but vocal movement afoot to return lutherie to a “purer” state by (among other things) reverting to hide glue and French polish. Don’t be too quick to sign on until you’ve read this article. There is no such thing as “pure” lutherie, and you should understand what you’re surrendering before you relinquish modern techniques. Epoxies have advanced since this was written in 1978, but the reasons for using them remain the same.

The Case for Using Natural Dyes by Nicholas Von Robison
\finish\lacquer \finish\other \wood\hard
Robison offers a convincing, multi-pronged philosophical stance for using natural dyestuffs that should lodge firmly among the luthiers that build ancient instruments or see them on their repair bench. Or anyone else who admires subtlety more than bright pizzazz.

Spraying Lacquer With Nitrogen by Harry Coleman
\finish\spraying \finish\lacquer
If you’re hurting for space or can’t yet afford a compressor, you may find that spraying with a tank of nitrogen makes sense. You may find that it makes sense no matter what, depending on the volume of your finish work.

The Truth About Temperaments by Edward Kottick
Nearly every person alive in the western world has grown up with music that sounds the same in every key, but there was once a time when music had no keys, and later a time when each key had its own particular sound. We are perfectly comfortable with how our music sounds, but are we richer for it? More importantly, people once had different concepts of music, and perhaps different expectations. They thought differently. And if they thought differently about music perhaps they thought differently about everything. How can we understand their times if we can’t understand the way they thought? Kottick doesn’t delve into this, but you might be tempted to after reading this article.

Hangers for Spraying and Storage by Bill Colgan
A case is made for suspending instruments to be finished by hooks attached nylon cord, both during spraying and while drying.

Big Red Book Two
(Pre-American Lutherie Material)

Charlie Christian Pickup by Doc Kauffman
BRB2 p.19
One of the pioneers of the solidbody guitar gives a brief description of one of the first successful pickups, complete with 3 full-scale drawings of the pickup and a sketch of its flux pattern compared to a more contemporary pickup.

Epitaph for a Luthier: Miguel Company by H.E. Huttig
BRB2 p.23
A number of builders impacted the lutherie scene simply by keeping the craft alive during the dark days of the ‘50s and early ‘60s, even though they are all but forgotten today. Company fled Castro’s Cuba to Florida, where he made all manner of guitars and Latin instruments.

Flamenco Capo by D. Alfieri
BRB2 p.25
Flamenco guitars are very light in weight, and a conventional capo could unbalance them and even change their sustain. This all-wood capo should correct the problem.

Diagnosing with an Ohmmeter by Bob Petrulis
BRB2 p.31
\electronics \repair\other
The author discusses ways to diagnose various electric guitar repairs before the instrument is even disassembled.

Museum Services for Luthiers by Laurence Libin
BRB2 p.48
\organizations \business\other
Luthiers who deal in restoration and re-creation of old instruments may find that museums may harbor help that is otherwise unavailable, and you may not have to visit the museum to avail yourself of its services. Libin discusses what museums are usually prepared to do to help researchers, and how to deal with museums when you need their help.

Design Factors in the String Bass by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
BRB2 p.52
Lyman has made basses for several contemporary bass luminaries and has decided that they need qualities in the bass that weren’t called for in the past. He offers specific ways to match a bass to the requirements of the player.

Meet the Maker: Manuel Davila by H.E. Huttig
BRB2 p.61
Davila made flamboyantly decorated instruments in Guatemala with little regard to contemporary customs. He also built with home-made toad glue. Too bad we don’t know more about him.

An Overview of Pickup Design by Tim Shaw
BRB2 p.62
\electronics \guitar\electric
This is just about as good a description of how pickups work as you are going to find. Shaw was a main man at Gibson, and relates several of the design considerations to specific guitars. If pickups are really this easy to understand why do they seem so mysterious? Includes 4 diagrams of how pickups are built.

Lute Making by Lawrence D. Brown
BRB2 p.68
During the ‘70s it was common for guitarmakers to build lute-shaped instruments utilizing the technologies of the guitar, even to the point of designing their own shapes. Brown offers a large number of reasons why this was a mistake and a disservice to the instrument and modern lutenists, citing the many factors of historical lutes that should be retained rather than messed with. It’s interesting to note that in the years following this article the emphasis of lute making returned to following historical guidelines.

Meet the Maker: Robert Lundberg by Kent and Aggie Rayman
BRB2 p.78
\people \lute
Lundberg is a classic example of a man who couldn’t fit into any of the slots society tried to force him into, yet who went on to become an important individual in his field. Lute players of the world couldn’t be happier about it.

Acoustic Variables in Fretted Dulcimer Construction by Bonnie Carol
BRB2 p.96
Despite its simplicity, the lap dulcimer can be ruined by poor design as easily as any other stringed instrument. The author describes ways to deal with different varieties of wood and fingerboard design to achieve maximum tone and volume from a given shape and size dulcimer.

Resonance by Roger Siminoff
BRB2 p.99
\bracing\flattop \physics\guitar
The author considers X braces as structural elements and tone bars as tone adjusters, and that tone color can be altered by the stiffness of the tone bars and the size of the soundhole. Despite the possibilities, no examples for use are given.

Remembering Hermann Hauser II by H.E. Huttig
BRB2 p.154
\people \guitar\classical
The author visited Hauser in Germany in 1966. This short biography and remembrance adds a bit of humanity to a man who is usually only thought of in terms of the guitars he left behind when he died.

Meet the Maker: Victor Gardener by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
BRB2 p.158
\people \violin
Gardener was an independent sort from Oregon who built closely in the style of the violins of the classic period in Italy. Mentions Hans Weishaar.

Aesthetics of Restoration by D. Alfieri
BRB2 p.176
The goal and duties of the instrument restorationist are not always clear cut since the philosophy of restoration is not universally agreed upon. The author makes a good case for a conservative approach to the subject and the work.

Guitar Sound Criteria by Thomas Knatt
BRB2 p.200
Knatt discusses the elements of classical guitar construction that help create the sound he is after, such as thinning the top, the characteristics of the action and saddle, accuracy of fret placement, and the effects of brace shaving. Mentions Carleen Hutchins.

Soundboard Bracing Considerations by Paul Wyszkowski
BRB2 p.201
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical \physics\guitar
The author uses a light approach to science to explain the function of the classical guitar top and attempts to translate the functions of physics into a form the luthier can use at the bench.

Sound Generator for Experimentation by Matt Fichtenbaum
BRB2 p.203
\physics\guitar \physics\violin \electronics
The author supplies schematics for anyone wishing to build their own tone generator.

Dulcimer String Pins by Bud Ingraham
BRB2 p.209
\dulcimer\fretted \accessories \strings\other
Ingraham uses guitar bridge pins to fasten the ends of his dulcimer strings.

Hammer Dulcimer String Pins and Loops by Edward Damm
BRB2 p.236
\dulcimer\hammered \strings\other
By using a collection of drawings the author demonstrates many ways to string the hammered dulcimer.

Hammer Dulcimer by Alan Carruth
BRB2 p.242
\plans \dulcimer\hammered
A drawing, a photo, and a one-page blueprint help explain the unique way Carruth constructs his hammered dulcimers.

Calfskin Banjo Head by Kirk Hogan
BRB2 p.244
\banjo \skin
Mounting a skin head on a banjo has become a lost art. Here’s how to do it.

Constructing a Medieval Lyre by John Taye
BRB2 p.258
There must certainly be more than one way to make a lyre, especially since the instrument was never standardized. Taye uses a series of drawings, a blueprint, and a photo to help explain how he chose his version and how he builds them.

Fitting Lute Pegs by Lawrence D. Brown
BRB2 p.260
\lute \pegs
Lute pegs are different than violin pegs and have their own requirements if they are to function properly. Brown gives a thorough explanation.

Head V-Joint by Duane Waterman
BRB2 p.282
\neck \guitar\classical
The author uses a series of drawings to help explain the creation of a unique but tradition method of attaching the headstock to a guitar neck.

Folk Harp Design by R.L. Robinson
BRB2 p.284
Robinson was a champion of the folk harps long before the current Celtic music craze. He built a lot of harps, and had some strong opinions about how it should be done.

Making Bridges Using Power Tools by Kent Rayman
BRB2 p.289
\bridge\guitar \guitar\classical
The author uses a table saw and no jigs to help speed up the creation of classical guitar bridges.

Updating the Mountain Dulcimer by Hardy B. Menagh
BRB2 p.290
\dulcimer\fretted \bridge\other
Menagh’s dulcimer utilizes a shortened fretboard, a banjo-ish bridge, and a tailpiece to help make the instrument louder. He also employs an X brace under the top.

Patents by Scott McKee
BRB2 p.292
So, your brand new gadget is about to change music forever, huh? You’d better know how to protect it and yourself. McKee explains the patent process and how to do much of your own footwork.

Hurdy-Gurdies by Alan Carruth
BRB2 p.298
There’s nothing like a hurdy-gurdy to help you win the hearts of the damsels at a Renaissance fair. Carruth offers helpful advice about making one that even plays music! Turn that crank and relive the Middle Ages!

Floating Saddle for Dulcimer by Jeff Feltman
BRB2 p.315
\bridge\other \dulcimer\fretted
Feltman offers a dulcimer bridge design that hardly changes the traditional look of the instrument but is said to dramatically improve the volume of the instrument. It’s a sad commentary on our noisy society that the only way to improve volume is by making it louder. Oh, well. With drawings enough to make things clear.

Hammer Dulcimer Tuning Tricks by Edward Damm
BRB2 p.335
Some of these tricks need to be built into the instrument. The others are useful after it’s complete. With hammered dulcimers you need all the tuning help you can get.

Evolving the Classic Guitar Soundboard by Ted Davis
BRB2 p.340
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical \wood\soft
The author began building classical guitars before there was much written help out there, and he evolved his design specs by making a lot of guitars. Some of these have been absorbed into the general body of classical guitar literature, other remain unique.

Violin Bridge Tuning by Alan Carruth
BRB2 p.349
Unhappily, a new violin bridge is just an unusable flake of wood. You not only need to adjust it for proper action but tune it to help bring the most out of the instrument. Here’s how.

Adjustable Bass Bridge by Peter Psarianos
BRB2 p.356
\bridge\other \bass\viol
There are two main styles of commercially available bass bridge adjusters. Here’s how to fit them to a bridge. With 6 drawings and a handy spec chart of the two adjusters.

Laminated Dulcimer Fretboard by C.F. Casey
BRB2 p.361
\dulcimer\fretted \fingerboard\fretboard
The laminated, hollow fretboard is one of the standard designs of the dulcimer industry. Casey’s is a bit nicer than most.

Purfling Lamination by Duane Waterman
BRB2 p.367
This is a trick method of laminating wood purfling strips and bending them to shape at the same time.

Lute Action by Lawrence D. Brown
BRB2 p.394
It is perhaps true that a good playing action must be built into the instrument, and that less adjustment can be done to a finished lute than to other instruments. Brown explains lute action adjustment from the perspectives of both the builder and the repairperson.

Testing Tonewood Samples by Graham Caldersmith
BRB2 p.400
\wood\soft \wood\hard \physics\guitar
The “Young’s Modulus” of any piece of wood can be calculated, giving a result measurable in frequency. Comparing the Young’s Modulus of a wood species with unknown qualities with a chart of other species of known characteristics can tell you what to expect before any instrument work is commenced. Here’s how to calculate the Young’s Modulus of any piece of wood you have on hand.

Hammer Dulcimer Partials by Nicholas Von Robison
BRB2 p.418
This is a physics of sound primer for the hammered dulcimer.

Banjo Block Rim by Elliott Burch
BRB2 p.444
Most banjo rims (or pots) are laminated from one long strip of steam-bent wood. An even stronger rim can be made of blocks laid up like a brick wall. Here’s how to make one.

Basic Bass Adjustments by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
BRB2 p.450
The rude construction of many basses prevents them from being as subtle an instrument as a violin, but they have their own setup requirements that may not be obvious to the uninitiated. Lyman shares his years of experience with bass creation and repair to help us get the most from any bass, however crudely fashioned or maintained.

Structural Considerations by Paul Wyszkowski
BRB2 p.452
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical
It’s well known that designing a guitar for longevity and designing a guitar for best performance may drag the designer in opposite directions. Guitar construction is a compromise (like life itself). The author takes a closer look at the situation.

Handmaking Zither Pins Bruce Day
BRB2 p.455
\pegs \instruments\other
Tuning pins on antique zithers are different and larger than modern steel pins. Fortunately they are not hard to make. Here’s how.

Bob Mattingly’s Building Process by Duane Waterman and William Tapia
BRB2 p.456
\guitar\classical \bending
Mattingly was one of the most respected classical builders in America before his death. This article examines some of the unusual construction techniques he used.

In Search of the Lost Cobza by Hardy B. Menagh
BRB2 p.458
The cobza is an obsolete, nearly-neckless lute from Romania. The author capitulates his efforts to track one down while touring the cobza's homeland.

Irish Bouzouki by Rich Westerman
BRB2 p.462
\instruments\other \plans
Westerman was among the first to produce quantities of Irish bouzoukis, or citterns. Here he offers an explanation of his design, as well as a blueprint for the instrument. The plans are available as GAL Instrument Plan #3.

Spring 1985

Letter to the editor by Paul Wyszkowski
AL#1 p.5
\guitar\classical \physics\guitar
Wyszkowski defends assertions he made in a previous article (Vol. 12, #4, GAL Quarterly) concerning sound radiation of the (1,0) mode in the classic guitar. His assertion is based on the work of William Strong and Graham Caldersmith. Criticism was made by Gila Eban.

Letter to the editor by Michael Dresdner
AL#1 p.3
Dresdner discusses the availability of files suitable for nut slotting, and supplies an address for the Grobet Company.

Letter to the editor by Jose Llorens
AL#1 p.5
\tuners \repair\other
Llorens describes methods of fixing mechanical flaws in Schaller classic machines.

Pearly Shells and Nichols by David Nichols
BRB1 p.2 AL#1 p.10
\inlay \gluing
Nichols does a lot of custom inlay work, including ultra-fancy work on new instruments for the Martin Company. He describes his entire process here, illustrated with 15 photos. He also reveals his tool choices and sources of supply.

Basics of Air Resonance by W.D. Allen
BRB1 p.8 AL#1 p.16
\physics\guitar \physics\violin
Allen attempts to introduce the nonphysicist to useful concepts of resonance including standing waves, captured air mass, and soundhole size. Illustrated with the author's own sometimes-whimsical drawings, the article aims at preparing luthiers to understand heavier fare on the physics of musical instruments.

Hints for Area Tuning the Violin by Keith Hill
BRB1 p.30 AL#1 p.21
\physics\violin \philosophy
Hill theorizes that the violinmakers of the classical period tuned tap tones of certain areas of their instruments to desired pitch relationships. He finds these to be consistent within the work the individual makers, and suggests that the natural resonances of the human body may be a model for this idea. Specific techniques and tools are described

1918 Martin 1-18, #13336 by Ted Davis
BRB1 p.38 AL#1 p.27
\guitar\flattop \plans
The article contains 4 photos, a short text, and a reduced image of GAL Instrument Plan #8. Both pages of the very thorough drawing are presented. A chance to get an accurate preview of the plan before you buy. This is a very small flattop guitar, less than 13" at the lower bout.

Ukuleles Are For Real! by Bob Gleason
AL#1 p.31
Gleason admonishes luthiers to respect the ukulele as a legitimate instrument with its own challenges and rewards. Martin and Kamaka ukes are mentioned.

Dalbergia Nigra and Friends by William Cumpiano
BRB1 p.14 AL#1 p.32
\wood\hard \wood\trees
In this interview with well-known author and wood expert Bruce Hoadley, Cumpiano seeks to clear up certain questions about Brazilian rosewood relating to identification and confusion with other Dalbergias and so-called rosewoods.

Workbench Design Ideas by Mark Stanley
BRB1 p.18 AL#1 p.36
Stanley proposes a lutherie workbench of an unusual stepped-width design and gives thoughts on the materials and carpentry involved in constructing it.

Lutherie: Art or Science? by R.E. Brune
AL#1 p.38
\philosophy \guitars\classical \physics\guitar
Brune criticizes the theoretical design work of Dr. Michael Kasha, concluding that it is in fact less scientific than the empirical work of luthiers untrained in physics.

Dulcimer Frets: My Way by Merv Rowley
BRB1 p.42 AL#1 p.40
\dulcimer\fretted \fingerboard\fretboard
Rowley describes a method of setting nails into half-round slots in a dulcimer fretboard. The slots are made by passing the fretboard over a veining bit in a router table with a miter fence.

Guitar Back Fitting Jig by Ted Davis
BRB1 p.13 AL#1 p.42
\tools\jigs \guitar\classical \guitar\flattop \tools\created
Davis presents a drawing of a jig for properly forming the sides and lining of a guitar to accept a domed back. The sides are held in a mold while a sanding stick, held by a central post, is passed over them.

Finding That Part by Bill Hultgren
AL#1 p.43
\business\ethics \business\other
Hultgren offers advice to those conducting telephone searches for parts or materials.

Electronic Moisture Meters by Gregory Jackson
BRB1 p.44 AL#1 p.44
\tools\measuring \humidity \wood\other
Jackson comments on the basic principle upon which electronic moisture meters work, use of the meters, and why you should not try to cobble together your own.

Internal Probing Tool by Elliot Burch
BRB1 p.45 AL#1 p.45
\tools\hand \repair\crack \tools\created
Burch describes modifying an automotive part-retrieving claw into a device for positioning small crack-reinforcing studs.

Pneumatic Cylinders by Michael Jacobson-Hardy
BRB1 p.26 AL#1 p.46
\tools\power \tools\clamps \tools\created
Jacobson-Hardy describes devices based on pneumatic cylinders for bending sides, clamping braces to plates, clamping plates to sides, and holding neck blanks in a lathe.

Luthier's Long Knife by C.F. Casey
BRB1 p.17 AL#1 p.49
\tools\hand \tools\created
Casey briefly describes the construction and use of a long-handled knife designed to be used with two hands.

Illuminating Instrument Repairs by John Jordan
BRB1 p.73 AL#1 p.50
\tools\hand \tools\other \tools\created
Jordan describes two incandescent lights designed for use inside guitars. One uses a 7½-watt bulb on a standard power cord. The other uses tiny low-voltage bulbs and a step-down transformer.

Bandsaw Riser Block by Joel Ivan Hawley
BRB1 p.29 AL#1 p.51
\tools\power tools\created
Hawley describes a method of sawing part way into a 4x4, then clamping it to the bandsaw table and using it as a table for sawing the outline of a guitar or banjo peghead.

The Right Stone by Ervin Somogyi
AL#1 p.52
\sharpening \tools\hand
Somogyi comments briefly on the relative merits of oil stones and water stones.

Embarrassing Moments in Lutherie by Carl McFarland
AL#1 p.53
\health \humor \instrument\other
McFarland drilled up through the face of a finished tamburah when drilling holes for string anchors in the tail area of the sides.

Embarrassing Moments in Lutherie by William McCaw
AL#1 p.53
\tools\power \health \guitar\classical
McCaw ruined a classic peghead when the cheap collar of his router gave way.

Review: Classic Guitar Making by Overholtzer. Reviewed by William McCaw.
BRB1 p.486 AL#1 p.54
\reviews \guitars\classical
The reviewer praises the book as the most logical of the construction methods he has read, but takes issue with some specific techniques.

Review: Constructing the Mountain Dulcimer by Kimball. Reviewed by Peter Estes.
BRB1 p.486 AL#1 p.54
\reviews \dulcimer\fretted
The reviewer praises the book in general, and especially the quality of the diagrams.

Summer 1985

Letter to the editor by Tony Pizzo
AL#2 p.3
\instruments\other \wood\other
Where to get gourds and gourd seeds for building ethnic instruments.

More on Template Routing by Ron Lira
BRB1 p.47 AL#2 p.7
\tools\power \tools\jigs
Lira recommends specific routers and bits.

1984 Lutherie Biz Panel
BRB1 p.48 AL#2 p.8
\business\ethics \business\promotion \business\other
This panel discussion from the 1984 GAL Convention features Bob Meltz, Matt Umanov, David Sheppard, Ted Davis, and Steve Grimes. Straight talk on the realities of being a one-man lutherie shop.

Where Are They Now? by Tim Olsen
BRB1 p.56 AL#2 p.13
\business\ethics \business\other \philosophy \people
An update of the 1980 Lutherie Business panel discussion, featuring George Gruhn, Max Krimmel, Steve Klein, Robert Lundberg, and R.E. Brune.

Radiation from Lower Guitar Modes by Graham Caldersmith
BRB1 p.68 AL#2 p.20
\guitar\classical \physics\guitar \bracing\classical
Caldersmith discusses the efficiency and pattern of sound radiation in the classic guitar produced by the four lower resonance modes, which he calls monopole, cross dipole, long dipole, and tripole. Mentions Tom Rossing, Gila Eban, Paul Wyzskowski, Fred Dickens, Michael Kasha, Richard Schneider, and Greg Smallman.

Wood's Appearance by William Cumpiano
BRB1 p.74 AL#2 p.25
\wood\trees \wood\hard \wood\soft
Cumpiano discusses wood color and figure on the cellular level.

The Geophysical Guitar by H.E. Huttig
AL#2 p.25
Humorous fiction. A guitar of continental proportions is constructed with disastrous results.

Mario Maccaferri: Feisty as Ever by Michael Dresdner
AL#2 p.32
\guitar\flattop \guitar\other \synthetics \people
A brief life history of Mario Maccaferri, including his career as a musician, his work with the Selmer Company and the Django Reinhardt guitars, his plastics manufacturing, his association with John Monteleone, and his projects as he nears retirement.

Western Forestry Center Show by Mark Humpal
AL#2 p.35
The 1985 annual exhibition of instruments from the area around Portland, Oregon. Some of the people involved are Paul Schuback, Jeffrey Elliott, Robert Steinegger, William McCaw, Ken Butler, and Robert Lundberg.

Fresno Classic Guitar Festival by David Macias
AL#2 p.38
\meetings \guitar\classical
Brief overview of the 1985 event.

AAMIM Convention by Jim Williams
AL#2 p.40
\meetings \organizations
Brief overview of the 1985 meeting of the Association of Australian Musical Instrument Makers. Attendees included Graham Caldersmith, Alistair McAllister, Greg Smallman, Mark Lewis, and Gerard Gilet.

The Red (Spruce) Scare by Ted Davis
BRB1 p.46 AL#2 p.41
\wood\soft \wood\trees
Davis tells of his long, difficult, and ultimately successful quest to obtain logs of red spruce (Picea rubens).

Calculating String Tension and Gauges by Graham McDonald
BRB1 p.78 AL#2 p.42
\physics\guitar \guitar\flattop \strings\tension \strings\guitar
McDonald gives formulae and graphs to determine appropriate steel string gauges for nonstandard scale lengths.

One Way to Make Kerfed Lining by Richard Ennis
AL#2 p.44
\bracing\other \bending \tools\power \tools\jigs
Ennis kerfs wide boards on the table saw, then rips them to twice the desired width. He then rips each of these at an angle with a bandsaw to produce (after they are sliced lengthwise) two lining strips.

Ocelot Ear and Spruceana by Don Musser
BRB1 p.135 AL#2 p.45
\wood\hard \wood\trees
Musser describes two Amazon woods with properties similar to Dalbergia nigra.

Skin Heading Ethnic Drums, etc. by Topher Gayle
AL#2 p.46
\skin \instruments\other \tools\jigs
A jig for holding a natural-skin head at tension while it is being glued to a drum.

Cheap Brune Sander Drum by Mark Goulet
AL#2 p.48
\tools\power \tools\created
A thickness sander drum is produced from scrap lumber without the use of a lathe.

Two Lacquer Tips by Ted Kellison
BRB1 p.72 AL#2 p.49
\finish\lacquer \tools\other \finish\spraying
Kellison presents a safe method for preheating lacquer before spraying, and recommends an anti-static gun.

Laminate Trimmer by C.F. Casey
AL#2 p.49
\tools\power \binding
Casey prefers laminate trimmers to Dremels.

No, It's a Craft by Alan Carruth
AL#2 p.50
Philosophical musings. Is lutherie an art or a science?

Review: Guitars and Mandolins in America Featuring the Larsons' Creations by Robert Hartman. Reviewed by John Bromka. Also reviewed by Ron Lira.
BRB1 p.487 AL#2 p.51
\reviews \guitar\flattop \mandolin \guitar\harp
Positive reviews praise the text, photos, and ad reproductions in this book about the Larson brothers, who made instruments from the 1880s to 1944.

Review: The Strad Facsimile - An Illustrated Guide to Violin Making by Edwin John Ward. Reviewed by Frederick Battershell.
BRB1 p.487 AL#2 p.51
\reviews \violin
The reviewer praises the concise approach of the book as it describes one builder's construction of a violin.

Review: Lutes, Viols and Temperaments by Mark Lindley. Reviewed by Edward Kottick.
BRB1 p.488 AL#2 p.52
\reviews \lute \viol \physics\guitar \tuning\temperament
The reviewer calls the book a brilliant overview and analysis of all that can be said about the complex issue of temperament on string instruments between 1520 and 1740.

Review: Guitars: From the Renaissance to Rock by Tom and Mary Ann Evans. Reviewed by C.F. Casey.
BRB1 p.488 AL#2 p.53
\reviews \guitar\classical \guitar\electric \guitar\flattop
The reviewer calls this the best of the popular (as opposed to scholarly) histories of the guitar.

Three Helpful Tools by Brian Mascarin
BRB1 p.77 AL#2 p.54
\tools\hand repair\other fingerboard\fretboard \guitar\archtop \tools\created
They are: an archtop guitar brace jack, a modified 1/4" phone plug to position an output jack, and a clear plastic square for scribing fret positions on a fretless bass.

Fall 1985

Letter to the editor by Bob Benedetto
BRB1 p.79 AL#3 p.2
Benedetto offers advice on making a living as a luthier.

Letter to the editor by Paul Wyszkowski
AL#3 p.2
\guitar\classical \philosophy
Wyszkowski rebuts R. E. Brune's criticism of the work of Dr. Kasha in American Lutherie #1 and mentions the work of Richard Schneider, then goes on to counter a criticism of the GAL.

Letter to the editor by Jamey Hampton
AL#3 p.5
\guitar\classical \philosophy
Hampton counters R.E. Brune's criticism of Michael Kasha in AL#1, and draws upon Jose Ramirez III to help defend the scientific philosophy of guitarmaking.

Rendezvous with Destiny, a Symposium '85 talk by Chris Martin
BRB1 p.80 AL#3 p.8
\guitar\flattop \business\other \people
Martin, currently head of the Martin Guitar Company, offers some personal history and business advice to luthiers.

A Love Affair with Wood, a Symposium '85 talk by C.F. Martin III
BRB1 p.84 AL#3 p.11
\guitar\flattop \wood\hard \people
The former head of the Martin Guitar Company reminisces about his life as a guitar maker, offers a short history of the company and certain guitar models, and in the process mentions C.F. Martin Jr., Frank Henry Martin, and Mike Longworth.

How to Get Free Advertising by Larry Robinson
AL#3 p.15
Robinson suggests methods of getting your name and work into newspapers and periodicals.

The Trade Secret, a true story by Michael Dresdner
BRB1 p.83 AL#3 p.16
\business\ethics \philosophy
Dresdner relates a story from his early days which illustrates the fact that only the ill informed believe in trade secrets.

Lutherie's Contribution to Science by Paul Wyszkowski
AL#3 p.17
Wyszkowski submits that the generations of luthiers have intuitively followed the scientific method.

Practical Guitar Maker's Bibliography by Paul Wyszkowski
AL#3 p.19
\guitar\classical \physics\guitar \wood\hard \wood\soft
Sixty books and articles dealing with guitar acoustics are rated for legitimacy, clarity, and usefulness.

Trends: 1985 Lute Society Seminar by Lawrence D. Brown
AL#3 p.22
\lute \organizations \meetings
Brown comments on trends in lute making toward Baroque instruments, all-gut stringing, larger body sizes, and lower pitches.

Bow Hair Jig by Thomas Snyder
BRB1 p.88 AL#3 p.24
\bow \tools\jigs \violin \tools\created
Measured drawings are presented for building a jig to facilitate rehairing bows. A detailed method for using the jig is also presented.

Symposium '85 Overview by Dick Boak
AL#3 p.26
\meetings \organizations
Coverage of the 1985 regional GAL meeting is presented.

Oh, Wonderful Cyanoacrylate! by Chris Pile
AL#3 p.37
\gluing \repair\crack \repair\other
Pile offers tips on using superglue.

First Class Travel Guitar by Ed Mettee
BRB1 p.90 AL#3 p.38
\guitar\electric \guitar\other \finish\other
Photos and sketches fill out a description of a knockdown solidbody guitar that fits into a briefcase.

Screw Misc. by Chris Pile and Tim Earls
AL#3 p.41
\repair\other \tuners
Pile contends that Schaller and Badass hardware comes with inferior screws, and that the good screws that come with cheaper machine heads should be swapped for them. Mr. Earls offers a method of cleaning bolt threads after cutting the bolt.

Building a Plywood Bass by Richard Ennis
BRB1 p.92 AL#3 p.42
\bass\viol \wood\other
Rough sketches help describe a fast and cheap substitute for a bass viol. It has no scroll or waist, and a flat top and back.

Embarrassing Moments in Lutherie by Larry Robinson
AL#3 p.45
\inlay \business\other \humor
Robinson cut an elaborate inlay pattern to the wrong scale, but made it work.

Luthier's Hotline by Bill Hultgren
AL#3 p.46
\repairs\other \inlay \tools\hand \synthetics
A question/answer format offers sources for micarta, pearloid inlay materials, and small files.

Custom Paint Aftermath by Tim Earls
AL#3 p.46
\finish\lacquer \repair\other \finish\spraying
Earls describes his ordeal of completing a guitar painted by an auto body shop. He finds that even the best auto painter may not understand the intricacies of the guitar.

Review: The Technique of Violin Making by H.S. Wake. Reviewed by Frederick Battershell.
BRB1 p.489 AL#3 p.48
\reviews \violin
The reviewer finds the book to be poorly organized and under-illustrated, making it a poor text for the beginning violinmaker.

Review: The Science of Sound by Tom Rossing. Reviewed by Paul Wyszkowski.
BRB1 p.491 AL#3 p.48
\reviews \physics\guitar \physics\violin
The reviewer finds the book to be a complete text on the basics of acoustics that is relatively free of math and technical jargon.

Review: 1/1 The Quarterly Journal of the Just Intonation Network by The University of Iowa, School of Music. Reviewed by Edward L. Kottick.
BRB1 p.490 AL#3 p.49
The reviewer finds the journal interesting, yet is nevertheless critical of its informational accuracy.

Review: Experimental Musical Instruments. Reviewed by Fred Carlson.
BRB1 p.490 AL#3 p.50
\reviews \instruments\other
The reviewer finds the newsletter “thin”, but is enthusiastic about its future.

Winter 1985

Letter to the editor by Patrick W. Coffey
BRB1 p.147 AL#4 p.3
\gluing \tools\other \tools\created
Coffey describes how to make a small electric glue pot for under $13.

Letter to the editor by Michael Knutson
AL#4 p.3
\strings\tension \strings\guitar
Knutson suggests changes to a string tension formula previously published in American Lutherie #2.

Letter to the editor by Peg Willis
AL#4 p.7
Willis makes interesting comments about the musicians' responsibility to an instrument's compensation factor. She contends that a musician's technique can help an instrument play in tune.

Manuel Velazquez: An Appreciation by William Cumpiano
BRB1 p.96 AL#4 p.8
\guitar\classical \wood\hard \people
Cumpiano shares a pleasant visit with Velasquez in Puerto Rico where the conversation is all about classical guitars, wood, compensation factors, and balancing the tone of the instrument.

Remarks to Symposium '85 by Manuel Velazquez
BRB1 p.96 AL#4 p.10
Velazquez speaks briefly about the qualities that make a good luthier.

A Chat with Don Manuel transcribed by William Cumpiano
BRB1 p.96 AL#4 p.11
\guitar\classical \wood\hard \gluing \people
Velazquez fields a number of questions about the specifics of building the nylon-strung guitar, including types of glue, choice of wood, construction design, and finishing.

Drafting Instrument Plans by Ted Davis
BRB1 p.108 AL#4 p.16
\plans \tools\hand
In this lecture Davis describes his method of making instrument plans from a guitar, then fields questions and takes suggestions.

Tarrega Played a Maple Guitar by David Macias
BRB1 p.114 AL#4 p.20
\guitar\classical \wood\hard \people
Macias relates an interesting anecdote about the first maple classical guitar he built, then translates a Pujol description of the Tarrega guitar made by Torres.

Devolution of the Modern Lute by Robert Cooper
BRB1 p.116 AL#4 p.22
\lute \bracing\lute \strings\other
Cooper's lecture tracks his own development as a lute maker and the instrument's return to historically accurate models. Mentions Hermann Hauser II, a number of performers, which designs and glues are preferable, how to remove a neck when necessary, and briefly discusses strings.

Building the Kamanche by Nasser Shirazi
BRB1 p.126 AL#4 p.27
\plans \instruments\other \wood\other \bow \skin
Shirazi offers a history of the Persian bowed instrument as well as plans and construction advice. The kamanche is a four-stringed neck attached to a gourd. The plans are a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #9.

South American Rosewood by John Jordan
BRB1 p.132 AL#4 p.31
\wood\trees \wood\hard \wood\other
Jordan describes 14 varieties of rosewood, and 14 varieties of false rosewood. Some max out as large shrubs, and only offer interest to wood collectors. Others are of high interest to luthiers, or should be.

In the Ramirez Workshop by William Tapia
BRB1 p.140 AL#4 p.36
\guitar\classical \people \business\other
Tapia relates the history of Ramirez guitars and tells of his time there learning to properly repair them.

Making the Ramirez Guitar Nut by William Tapia
BRB1 p.140 AL#4 p.39
\guitar\classical \fretboard \repair\other
Tapia describes the method used to make guitar nuts in the Ramirez shop.

Comments on the Kasha Question by Gila Eban
AL#4 p.42
\guitar\classical \physics\guitar \bracing\classical
Eban takes on Paul Wyzskowski as she champions the design innovations of Michael Kasha. She has incorporated many of Kasha's changes into her own classical guitars. Her rebuttal mentions Richard Schneider, Jamey Hampton, and Graham Caldersmith.

Comments on the Kasha Question by R.E. Brune
AL#4 p.42
\guitar\classical \philosophy
Brune, a defender of traditional values, defends his criticism of the Kasha innovations, along the way mentioning Schneider, Hampton, and Segovia.

Micro Table Saw by William Conrad
BRB1 p.136 AL#4 p.43
\tools\power \tools\created
Conrad explains how he converted his Dremel moto-lathe into a miniature table saw.

Dulcimer Fretboards: My Way by Peg Willis
BRB1 p.146 AL#4 p.46
\dulcimer\fretted \fingerboard\fretboard
Willis explains the construction of her unique hollow dulcimer fretboard, which has coved sides that blend into the soundboard.

In Praise of the Plywood Bass by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr
BRB1 p.148 AL#4 p.48
\bass\viol \wood\other \philosophy
Lyman champions the use of common materials and low sophistication in the production of serviceable, affordable bass fiddles. Mentions Kay basses and the Richard Ennis design in American Lutherie #3.

Luthier's Hotline by Bill Hultgren
AL#4 p.50
Hultgren offers quick advice about obtaining instrument kits and why one should use them, and mentions two sources of used instruments.

Why I Am a Guild Member by Paul Wyszkowski
AL#4 p.51
Wyszkowski, a member of the GAL Board of Directors, gives a pep talk about the advantages and philosophy of GAL membership.

Review: The Luthier's Mercantile Catalog for Stringed Instrument Makers by Luthier's Mercantile. Reviewed by Frederick Battershell.
BRB1 p.492 AL#4 p.52
\reviews \wood\hard \wood\soft \wood\dealers
The reviewer examines what has become one of the main-stay catalogs of lutherie and finds that it's not only chock full of wood, supplies, and tools, it's a nearly encyclopedic source of lutherie information.

Review: Violin-Making As It Was, And Is by Ed. Heron-Allen. Reviewed by Kirk A. Janowiak.
BRB1 p.494 AL#4 p.52
\reviews \violin
The reviewer finds that this book is a necessary addition to any luthier's library, but especially to one who may not yet be equipped with power tools.

Review: Geometry, Proportion, and the Art of Lutherie by Kevin Coates. Reviewed by R.E. Brune.
BRB1 p.492 AL#4 p.53
\reviews \guitar\baroque \instruments\other \lute
The reviewer finds that this book about Renaissance and Baroque stringed instruments is "the most intense 178 pages of treatise on the art of lutherie. . . ." Lots of math, and "exquisite" drawings of 33 instruments.

Spring 1986

Letter to the editor by Bob Benedetto
AL#5 p.3
\schools \business\other
Benedetto suggests that lutherie schools be taken seriously.

Letter to the editor by Jim Williams
AL#5 p.7
\guitar\classical \philosophy
Williams endorses scientific guitar design and refers to the work of Australian guitar maker Greg Smallman. Also brings up the names of Kasha and Brune.

Letter to the editor by Michael Knutson
AL#5 p.7
\strings\tension \strings\guitar
Knutson makes a correction to his earlier letter about wire strength and string tension printed in American Lutherie #4 (which was a response to an article in American Lutherie #2.)

Letter to the editor by Peter Estes
AL#5 p.7
\guitar\other \guitar\flattop \guitar\classical
Estes mentions the negative feedback he received about his GAL contribution, Data Sheet #290, in which he recommended a specific method of fitting backs to guitars.

GAL Members at BDAA Meeting by James Flynn
AL#5 p.6
\balalaika \organizations
Flynn sends a picture of six Guild members at the Balalaika and Domra Association of America.

Interview with William DelPilar by Ted Davis
BRB1 p.150 AL#5 p.10
\guitar\classical \finish\shellac \wood\hard \people \wood\soft
Davis offers his conversation with a professional luthier who made over 800 classical guitars between 1956 and 1986.

The Bluegrass Dobro by Bobby Wolfe
BRB1 p.154 AL#5 p.14
\guitar\resophonic \repair\other
Wolfe explains some history of the Dobro-style resonator guitar and mentions John Dopera, then details its construction and lists some commonly seen repairs and how to deal with them.

Regluing Guitar Bridges by Ken Donnell
BRB1 p.168 AL#5 p.22
\repair\bridge \bridge\gluing \bridge\guitar
Donnell gives a thorough description of his methods of bridge removal and regluing. Both classical and steel string guitars are covered.

Continental Plank Fest, a German wood buying adventure by Ervin Somogyi
BRB1 p.172 AL#5 p.26
Somogyi describes his adventure of buying guitar tops in Germany, and the extent to which bowed instruments dominate the German market.

Two Spruces, a comparison of Sitka and German spruce by Ervin Somogyi
BRB1 p.172 AL#5 p.27
Somogyi uses personal experience to compare Sitka and European spruces.

Recombinant Guitar Design by Gary Frisbie
AL#5 p.31
Frisbie states his philosophy of how a luthier should evolve his designs.

The Travielo, a highly transportable 'cello by Ernest Nussbaum
BRB1 p.180 AL#5 p.32
\cello \instruments\other
Nussbaum describes his “travel cello,” a takedown frame-body/neck which uses a transducer to produce full sound.

Honesty by George Manno
AL#5 p.33
\business\ethics \violin
Manno makes a plea for fairness when buying vintage instruments from unsuspecting owners.

Lute Rib Cutting Jig by Robert Cooper
BRB1 p.182 AL#5 p.34
\lute \tools\jigs \tools\created
Cooper describes his method of making ribs for a “half round” lute, in which all the ribs are the same.

Bass String Choices by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
BRB1 p.184 AL#5 p.36
\strings\other \bass\viol
Lyman compares different makes of strings for the bass viol.

The Cimbalom by Alexander I. Eppler
BRB1 p.186 AL#5 p.38
\dulcimer\hammered \instruments\other
Eppler describes the most sophisticated member of the hammered dulcimer family, but offers no construction information.

Violin Top Removal by George Manno
BRB1 p.150 AL#5 p.40
\violin \gluing \repair\other
Manno describes a method of removing violin tops that have been improperly attached with contemporary glues.

Classic Guitar Soundboard Graduation by Tom Blackshear
BRB1 p.195 AL#5 p.41
Blackshear describes his method of thinning the top of an assembled guitar to enhance the tone.

Fret Slot Template Bar by Richard Ennis
BRB1 p.188 AL#5 p.42
\tools\power \tools\jigs \fingerboard\fretboard
Ennis describes how to cut fret slots on a table saw using notches in a fixed bar as depth stops to regulate the fret spacing.

GAL Lore Galore by Tim Olsen
AL#5 p.44
Editor Olsen gives a brief history of the GAL and describes the back issues of Vols. 6 and 7 of the GAL Quarterly that were then available.

Mandolin Binding Trick involving rubber cement by Elliot Burch
BRB1 p.185 AL#5 p.51
\mandolin \binding \gluing
Burch offers a method of binding a mandolin that contributes to the ease of removing the plates at a later date.

Review: The Early History of the Viol by Ian Woodfield. Reviewed by Christopher Allworth.
BRB1 p.495 AL#5 p.53
\viol \instruments\other \vihuela
The reviewer finds the book to be “important and useful” to builders who wish to pursue the early viols.

Review: Julian Bream / A Life on the Road by Tony Palmer. Reviewed by Gila Eban.
BRB1 p.496 AL#5 p.53
\reviews \guitar\classical \people
The reviewer finds the book to be of interest to the luthier, even though it offers little technical information about guitars.

Summer 1986

Letter to the editor by Dana Bourgeois
BRB1 p.149 AL#6 p.3
\gluing \fingerboard\fretboard \guitar\flattop \neck
Bourgeois comments about in inappropriateness of refretting many old Martin guitars with the “Teeter” epoxy method.

Letter to the editor by Dick Boak
AL#6 p.3
\philosophy \business\other
Boak warns us that luthiers must keep up with the times and a changing market as we pursue our craft, and that complacency is a vice none of us can afford.

Roger Sadowsky: Man of “Action” by Roger Sadowsky
BRB1 p.204 AL#6 p.8
\fingerboard\fretboard \gluing \repair\other \repair\neck \neck
Sadowsky's convention lecture thoroughly describes his version the Don Teeter system of fretting with epoxy and oversize fret slots.

The Well-Unpublished Luthier by William Cumpiano
BRB1 p.190 AL#6 p.14
\business\other \people
Cumpiano goes to some length telling of the travails and trials of producing the book, Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology.

Our Great Spherical Friend by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
AL#6 p.19
Lyman likens the physical properties of a stringed instrument to those of the earth's atmosphere (our great spherical friend), and advises us that an understanding of science should underlay our intuitional sensitivities.

Steve Kauffman: Winnin' and a-Grinnin' by Ted Davis
AL#6 p.22
\guitar\flattop \guitar\archtop \people
Davis interviews the great flatpicker about (mostly) nontechnical matters.

Trimming Violin Bridges by George Manno
AL#6 p.26
\bridge\violin \violin
Manno describes his method of tuning an out-of-the-box violin bridge for maximum performance. A "personal expansion" upon previously published work by Alan Carruth.

1932 Martin C-3 Archtop Guitar by Ted Davis
BRB1 p.103 AL#6 p.27
\plans \guitar\archtop
Davis gives a compact history of Martin archtops and offers a blueprint of the C-3 model, then goes on to have a mock interview with Steve Kauffman's C-3, Suzie. The plan is a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #10.

Monteleone: A Modern Builder Interprets the Archtop
BRB1 p.227 AL#6 p.34
\guitar\archtop \mandolin \people
Monteleone's lecture covers personal background, after which a question/answer segment gets to the specifics of archtop design and construction.

Monteleone: An Interview by Ted Davis
BRB1 p.222 AL#6 p.38
\mandolin \guitar\archtop \people
This lengthy interview sheds more light on the archtop maker's background and furnishes information about his mandolins.

Brace Arching Jig by Dana Bourgeois
BRB1 p.177 AL#6 p.44
\bracing\flattop \tools\jigs
Bourgeois shares a method of making properly arched top braces for the contemporary “flattop” guitar.

Comment on the Kasha Question by Paul Wyszkowski
AL#6 p.45
\guitar\classical \philosophy
Wyszkowski offers a luke-warm acceptance of the potential of the Kasha guitar as interpreted by Richard Schneider.

Comment on the Kasha Question by Carl Margolis
AL#6 p.45
\guitar\classical \guitar\flattop \philosophy
Margolis defends the Kasha guitar system, using the Kasha-influenced instruments of Steve Klein examples.

Martin Bridge Clamping Caul by Dick Boak
BRB1 p.230 AL#6 p.46
\bridge\gluing \tools\clamps repair\bridge
Boak shares a Martin company fixture used for gluing bridges on flattop guitars.

More Lore: An Historical Look at the GALQ, Vols. 8 and 9 by Tim Olsen
AL#6 p.48
Editor Olsen submits more GAL history and describes available back issues of the old Quarterly, the previous GAL publication.

Luthiers' Hotline by Bill Hultgren
AL#6 p.51
\ivory \instruments\other
Hultgren mentions a source for elephant ivory, though he finds its use unethical. He also warns that anthrax can be contracted from working with infected ivory, and that most American doctors will not recognize its symptoms. St. Croix instrument kits get a nod of approval.

Review: SMAC83: Proceedings of the Stockholm Music Acoustics Conference. Reviewed by Tom Rossing.
BRB1 p.496 AL#6 p.52
\reviews \physics\violin
The reviewer finds that this collection of scientific papers will be of value to instrument builders, though it offers no “how to” advice.

Sharing by Lawrence D. Brown
BRB1 p.231 AL#6 p.55
Brown contends that the best luthiers are willing to share their knowledge and that mediocre craftsmen are not, then urges everyone to contribute to American Lutherie.

Fall 1986

Experimental Violin Acoustics by George Bissinger
BRB1 p.232 AL#7 p.6
\physics\violin \violin \bracing\other
This transcription of a lecture by a professor of physics examines how five variables affect the performance of the violin. The variables are loudness curves and student instruments; free plate tuning and testing; humidity effects on plate modes; bass bar tuning; and coupling between enclosed air and plate vibrations.

Guitar Neck Fractures by William Cumpiano
BRB1 p.240 AL#7 p.13
\repair\neck \gluing \neck
Cumpiano lists his favorite methods of repairing various sorts of broken necks.

Woodshop-in-a-Can by James Jones
BRB1 p.244 AL#7 p.18
Jones explains how he converted a mobile home into a complete shop.

Ed Arnold, String Tie Kind of Guy by Nicholas Von Robison
BRB1 p.248 AL#7 p.21
\wood\trees \people \wood\dealers \people
Robison interviews Arnold about harvesting wood in Mexico and dealing it in America.

Hardanger Fiddle by E.M. Peters
AL#7 p.24
\violin \instruments\other \plans
A brief description of a typical Norwegian fiddle accompanies Peters' plans for the same, along with a photo of two Hardangers and a drawing of useful ornamentations. The plans are a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #11. Hardangers utilize a set of sympathetic strings and may be tuned in over twenty ways.

H.L. Wild by Paul Wyszkowski
BRB1 p.250 AL#7 p.26
\wood\dealers \people
Wyszkowski describes his visit to H.L. Wild and provides some background information about the legendary tonewood dealer.

Out of the Basement by Richard Bingham
BRB1 p.250 AL#7 p.27
Bingham provides a brief anecdote about making a guitar from a “found” guitar kit from H.L. Wild.

A Scene from Dickens by Steve Curtin
BRB1 p.250 AL#7 p.28
Curtin shares his impressions of his first visit to H.L. Wild.

Premiata Liuteria by Mario Maccaferri from his Symposium 85 lecture
BRB1 p.256 AL#7 p.29
\guitar\flattop \ukulele \synthetics \people
Maccaferri speaks about his life as a musician, luthier, and inventor. Mentions the Selmer company and Django Reinhardt.

Tacoma Triumph by Tim Olsen
AL#7 p.34
\meetings \organizations
Editor Olsen highlights the events of the GAL's 10th convention, which was held near the Guild's headquarters city of Tacoma, Washington, in 1986.

Convention Exhibitors/Auction Donors
AL#7 p.40
\meetings \organizations
This is a who's who of the people who starred in the GAL's 10th convention halls.

Flying Caps in T-Town by Bon “Flying Caps” Henderson
AL#7 p.42
Henderson provides an insider's view of convention life outside the halls.

Our Great Spherical Friend, Part II by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
\bass\viol \philosophy \physics\violin
Lyman offers another philosophical look at lutherie and acoustical physics. (American Lutherie #7 p.43)

Acid Rain Update by Nicholas Von Robison
AL#7 p.45
Things look bleaker for the world's forests.

Repairing the Viola da Gamba by Lawrence D. Brown
BRB1 p.246 AL#7 p.46
\viol \repair\other \repair\crack \restoration
Brown gives advice about the special repair needs of very old instruments.

Hot Spatulas for Hide Glue by William Conrad
AL#7 p.48
\gluing \tools\hand
Conrad gives useful advice about disassembling instruments for repair.

Violin Top Crack Repair by George Manno
BRB1 p.258 AL#7 p.50
\violin \repair\crack
This is repair advice from an experienced violinmaker. The procedure listed begins after the top has been removed. Top removal was described in American Lutherie #5.

So, You Want To Be My Apprentice! by Ken Cartwright
AL#7 p.52
\business\other \philosophy
Cartwright lists the qualities that he expects in an apprentice, and also details what he expects to offer the apprentice in return.

Installing the Floyd Rose Tremolo by Denny Rauen
BRB1 p.260 AL#7 p.53
\bridge\electric guitar\electric bridge\guitar
Rauen's installation procedure is meant to remove as little wood from the guitar body as possible. This is not a procedure for retrofitting the bridge system to guitars using a stock Fender-style bridge, but for dropping it onto a new body or one with a hardtail bridge.

Violin Bridge Holder by Alan Carruth
BRB1 p.439 AL#7 p.54
\bridge\violin \violin \tools\created
Carruth describes a fixture he uses to hold a violin bridge while it is being tuned. It will save your fingers and help prevent cracking the bridge.

More on Bridge Gluing by Robert Doucet
BRB1 p.431 AL#7 p.55
\bridge\gluing \repair\bridge \tools\hand
Doucet offers slick tricks for removing dried glue from raw wood, replacing spruce pulled up by the bridge, tracing braces to make clamping cauls, and roughing saddle blanks into shape.

Bridge Regluing Caul by Sam Sherry
BRB1 p.181 AL#7 p.56
\repair\bridge \guitar\flattop \bridge\gluing \tools\created
Sherry claims his “bridge plate” style caul is a universal tool that makes bridge regluing easier.

Fret Slot Fix by Fred Campbell
BRB1 p.331 AL#7 p.57
\fingerboard\fretboard \gluing \repair\other
Campbell fixes a chipped fret slot with wood dust and superglue.

More On Epoxy Fretting by Tom Mathis
BRB1 p.253 AL#7 p.57
\fingerboard\fretboard \gluing \repair\other \neck
Mathias adds more tips to the Teeter/Sadowsky fretting method.

More Lore by Tim Olsen
AL#7 p.58
Editor Olsen again describes a number of Quarterly back issues, volumes 10 and 11 from 1982 and 1983.

Sanding Table by Steve Andersen
BRB1 p.239 AL#7 p.59
\tools\power \tools\other \health \tools\created
Anderson built a gridded table that uses the vacuum created by a squirrel cage fan to capture sanding dust.

Review: A Catalogue of Pre-Revival Appalachian Dulcimers by L. Allen Smith. Reviewed by James Flynn.
BRB1 p.497 AL#7 p.60
\reviews \dulcimers\fretted
The reviewer doubts the book's conclusions and finds it of no value to the serious luthier. He states, however, that dulcimer enthusiasts may find it interesting.

Review: Italian Violin Varnishes by George Fry. Reviewed by George Manno.
BRB1 p.498 AL#7 p.60
\reviews \violin \finish\varnish
The reviewer finds the book to be a worthwhile investment for anyone seriously trying to duplicate antique violin finishes.

Review: Physics And Music by Neville H. Fletcher. Reviewed by Tom Rossing.
BRB1 p.498 AL#7 p.61
\reviews \physics\guitar \physics\violin
The reviewer is enthusiastic about this booklet for the nonscientist, finding it useful and accurate.

Luthier's Hotline by Bill Hultgren
AL#7 p.62
Answer Man Hultgren asks for help from the readership in this column.

Winter 1986

Letter to the editor by J.G. Molnar
BRB1 p.466 AL#8 p.3
Molnar shares interesting anecdotes about the difference between Spanish guitars made for export, which he maintains reach our shores unfinished, and those finished by the shops for use in Europe.

Letter to the editor by R.E. Brune
AL#8 p.3
\guitar\classical \philosophy
Brune maintains that innovations in the classical guitar have happened on a regular basis in recent history, and do not depend solely on the work of Dr. Kasha to bring the instrument up to date.

Letter to the editor by George J. Manno
AL#8 p.5
Manno makes various points about violinmakers as a society and urges the creation of an information-sharing guild just for violin people.

Letter to the editor by David Golber
AL#8 p.5
\skin \instruments\other
Golber adds information to the Shirazi article about the Persian kamanche (American Lutherie #4). Specifically, what kind of skin is traditionally used for the soundboard of the instrument.

Letter to the editor by Richard Ennis
AL#8 p.6
\bass\viol \wood\other
Ennis defends the plywood bass (and plywood in general in its application to instruments) and goes on to mention a few particular problems with the instrument that need to be addressed.

Letter to the editor by Loretta Kelley
AL#8 p.7
\violin \instruments\other
Kelley adds to the information fund concerning the Hardanger fiddle (see American Lutherie #7).

Kasha Soundboard without Waist Bar by Gila Eban
BRB1 p.266 AL#8 p.8
\guitar\classical \physics\guitar \bracing\classical
Eban charts the design evolution of the Kasha system of classical guitars as applied to her own instruments. With many drawings, glitter tests, and a discussion of different materials.

Conrad Color System by William Conrad
AL#8 p.16
\wood\soft \guitar\classical \tools\measuring
Conrad finds that spruce tops can be graded for density by the color of the light that shines through them, and uses a camera light meter to calibrate them.

An Overview of the Hauser Tradition by Jeffrey R. Elliott
BRB1 p.274 AL#8 p.18
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical \people \rosette \neck \wood\soft \plans
This lecture transcription presents a chronological overview of the work of Hermann Hauser Sr. A major investigation of some important guitars.

1943 Hauser Classic Guitar Plan by Jeffrey R. Elliott
BRB1 p.274 AL#8 p.28
\plans \guitar\classical
Elliott offers a scale drawing, dimensions list, and a bill of materials for a Hauser guitar. The drawing is a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #12.

Meet Gregg Smallman by Graham Caldersmith & Jim Williams
AL#8 p.30
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical \physics\guitar
This interview covers the evolution of Smallman's guitars as he worked his way toward the lattice bracing system for which he has become famous. Classical guitar lore from the outback of Australia.

Nylon/Steel String Guitar by Francis Kosheleff
BRB1 p.463 AL#8 p.35
\guitar\classical \strings\guitar
Kosheleff changes the treble quality of his classical guitars by using three steel strings run through the standard bridge and then attached to a tailpiece.

Relation of Science to Aesthetics in Lutherie by Dr. Michael Kasha
BRB1 p.290 AL#8 p.36
\guitar\classical \philosophy \physics\guitar
Kasha firmly maintains that science has much to offer instrument design, but also claims that the best tone may be simply what the public is used to, and that this interesting variable can be tracked but not predicted. He believes that tone perception is as important as tone production.

Bars and Struts by Jose Ramirez III
BRB1 p.292 AL#8 p.38
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical \physics\guitar
Ramirez expounds upon his experiments with classical guitar top thickness and bracing patterns and size to achieve the best tone and stability.

Two Little Triumphs by Ervin Somogyi
AL#8 p.41
\humor \business\ethics
Somogyi relates two tales of dealing with the public.

VIBRA: Good for What Ails Ya? by Brian Derber
AL#8 p.42
\violin \finish\other
Derber tries out “good tone in a can,” a wood treatment that the manufacturers claim instills a vintage tone in your new instruments. He finds it wanting, though his test is hardly scientific. Nor does he believe that further testing is warranted.

Fresno Classic Guitar Day by David Macias
AL#8 p.44
\meetings \guitar\classical
Macias describes a pleasant festival of lectures, discussion, and music.

Folding Banjo Stand by Dick Kenfield
BRB1 p.295 AL#8 p.46
\banjo \accessories
Kenfield's instrument stand is cheap and easy to build.

Fiddle Facts by Al Stancel
BRB1 p.296 AL#8 p.47
\violin \pegs \bow \business\ethics
Stancel offers an interesting potpourri of violin information concerning steel wool, bow bugs, tuning pegs, appraisers and the IRS, appraiser scams, and the dangers of steel strings to old fiddles.

Calculating Radii by Chris Foss
BRB1 p.321 AL#8 p.48
Foss supplies a formula for calculating the radius of an arc from a known length and deflection. Ever try to make your own radiused jigs for guitar plates? It might help to know this formula. It might also scare you off.

Multi-Radius Fretboard by Denny Rauen
BRB1 p.298 AL#8 p.49
\repair\neck \fingerboard\fretboard \guitar\electric \neck
Rauen corrects an action problem by changing the fingerboard at a time when most repairmen were correcting the problem in the frets.

Cylinders Don't Make It by Tim Olsen
BRB1 p.298 AL#8 p.49
\fingerboard\fretboard \guitar\electric \neck
Editor Olsen finds that for the lowest string action a fingerboard must resemble a cone shape, rather than a cylinder.

More Lore (conclusion of the series) by Tim Olsen
AL#8 p.52
This is the last in the series combining GAL history with a listing of Quarterly back issues. Quarterly was the GAL publication preceding American Lutherie. Volumes 11 and 12 are described.

Scalpel, Please! by Robert Stebbins
AL#8 p.54
\tools\hand \health \tools\created
Stebbins writes briefly about one of his favorite tools.

Spring 1987

Letter to the editor by Ernest Nussbaum
AL#9 p.3
\violin \strings\tension \strings\violin
Nussbaum offers corrections to the “Fiddle Facts” article found in American Lutherie #8.

The Paul Schuback Story by Paul Schuback
BRB1 p.304 AL#9 p.6
\violin \wood\soft \cello \people \tools\hand
In this fascinating lecture from the 1986 GAL convention Schuback speaks of his apprenticeship to a French violin maker in 1962, then goes on to offer details about instrument construction, wood, and a Q&A session.

'Cello Soundpost Crack Repair by Tim Olsen and Don Overstreet
BRB1 p.311 AL#9 p.10
\cello \repair\crack
A concise description and photos explain a repair done in the Schuback shop

Arched Plate Copier by Steve Grimes
BRB1 p.312 AL#9 p.14
\guitar\archtop \mandolin \tools\power \tools\created
Grimes' pantograph for routing archtop plates is heavy duty and not real cheap if you have to job out the welding, but it accurately removes 90% of the excess wood. Several drawings accompany the detailed description.

Simple Carving Machine by Richard Ennis
BRB1 p.316 AL#9 p.18
\guitar\archtop \mandolin \tools\power \tools\created
Ennis' carving machine is not as straight forward in use as Grimes', but its construction should be within the reach of most luthiers. A router mounted in a carriage rides over template rails to cut the contours into the plates of an archtop instrument.

Don Teeter: Cussed and Discussed by Don Teeter
BRB1 p.318 AL#9 p.20
\repair\neck \fingerboard\fretboard \business\ethics \neck \people
How does an Oklahoma farm boy become a luthier? How does that same luthier become a writer and mentor to a generation of guitar repairmen? Teeter's 1985 convention lecture tells all, then goes on to update his neck resetting procedure and his method of eliminating dead notes on the fretboard.

Building the Flattop Bass by Tim Olsen
BRB1 p.322 AL#9 p.24
\bass\flattop \plans \bracing\flattop
Olsen offers the philosophy, theory, construction details, and plans for a new instrument. The plans are a shrunken version of GAL Instrument Plan #13. Though Olsen and a few others began building flattop basses in the 1970s, in a real sense this article is the birth certificate of the instrument. The flattop bass is a flattop guitar on steroids, not to be confused with the bass viol.

Compensating Classic Bridge by H.M. Kolstee
BRB1 p.330 AL#9 p.32
\guitar\classical \bridge\guitar
Kolstee's adjustable bridge saddle is made of bone, except for the locking set screw. It is easily adjustable for intonation and uses shims to adjust the string height.

Restoring the Paisley Tele by Dave Schneider
BRB1 p.332 AL#9 p.34
\guitar\electric \finish\lacquer \finish\other \restoration
A '68 paisley Tele is reborn, complete with Parsons B and E benders and a complete refinishing from the foil on up.

Musical Strings by H.E. Huttig
BRB1 p.334 AL#9 p.36
\strings\guitar \guitar\classical
Have you ever wondered how cat gut strings were named? This article suggests an answer as it delves into some string facts and fictions.

Our Great Spherical Friend, Part III by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
AL#9 p.39
\violin \philosophy
When an articulate violin-family maker discusses his craft he sounds much like a professional wine taster. Lyman is articulate. This segment of his series deals with plate tuning.

Cutting Classic Head Slots by Richard Jordan
BRB1 p.336 AL#9 p.42
\neck \guitar\classical \tools\power
Jordan's article outlines all the steps he uses to shape a classical headstock. He cuts the slots with Dremel router, router base, and fence, and they come out very clean.

Durkee's Patent Bridge by Tim Olsen and Robert Steinegger
BRB1 p.202 AL#9 p.44
\bridge\guitar \guitar\flattop
Here's the low down on a trick Washburn bridge from 1897. A photo and drawing explain the plot line, but the mystery remains.

Violin Q & A by George Manno
AL#9 p.45
\violin \wood\hard \repair\other
The GAL's resident violin expert of the time answers questions about cleaning violins, top reinstallation, domestic tool sources, domestic wood, and treating potassium silicate (a wood sealer) with tea to keep it from staining spruce green.

African Rosewood by John Jordan
BRB1 p.338 AL#9 p.46
\wood\trees \wood\hard \wood\other
Jordan catalogs and describes nine rosewoods from Africa, and nine false rosewoods. Some max out too small for instruments but are of interest to wood collectors. Others should interest the open-minded luthier.

Plywood Bass Top Repair by Dale Randall
BRB1 p.342 AL#9 p.49
\bass\ viol \repair\other
Randall finds an inventive way to fix a bass that's been dropped on its top, but the repair leaves a 1/4" hole through the top that must be plugged and disguised.

The Spanish Patron by William Conrad
BRB1 p.344 AL#9 p.52
\guitar\classical \tools\jigs
A Patron is the workboard used to build a guitar in the Spanish style. Conrad explains how to build one, and the reasoning behind it.

Barber Chair Workbench by Michael Sanden
BRB1 p.343 AL#9 p.54
\workshop \tools\created
An ex-barber turned luthier converts his old chair into a sturdy, adjustable workbench with 360° of accessibility.

Review: Jose Oribe: The Fine Guitar. Reviewed by C.F. Casey.
BRB1 p.498 AL#9 p.56
\reviews \guitar\classical \people
The reviewer believes that the book may help an experienced luthier adjust his “attitude” toward his craft and thereby make a better instrument. The beginner may not find it so useful.

Review: From the Pages of Experimental Musical Instruments, Volume 1 by Experimental Musical Instruments. Reviewed by Tim Olsen.
BRB1 p.500 AL#9 p.52
\reviews \instruments\other
The reviewer is enthusiastic about the mind-opening possibilities of this booklet/cassette combination.

Review: Guitar and Vihuela: An Annotated Bibliography by Meredith Alice McCutcheon. Reviewed by Joseph R. Johnson.
BRB1 p.499 AL#9 p.56
\reviews \guitar\classical \vihuela
The reviewer finds that the book “falls short of being a thorough international bibliography, but will prove valuable to guitar and vihuela teachers, students, and luthiers.”

Review: The New Yorker Special by Frederick Cohen. Reviewed by Tim Olsen.
BRB1 p.500 AL#9 p.56
\reviews \guitar\archtop \people
The reviewer has high praise for this 28-minute film about famed archtop builder Jimmy D'Aquisto. As well as being a “valentine” to D'Aquisto, this film offers a tasty repast for information-hungry luthiers. (American Lutherie #9 p.57)

Calculating Radii, Again by Tim Olsen and Chris Foss
AL#9 p.58
This is a correction and clarification of the article found on page 48 of American Lutherie #8.

Summer 1987

Letter to the editor by Gila Eban
AL#10 p.3
Eban adds a correction to her article in American Lutherie #8.

Letter to the editor by Richard Ennis
BRB1 p.467 AL#10 p.5
Ennis' letter describes a flattop bass guitar he recently completed.

Memories of Vladimir Bobri by H.E. Huttig
BRB1 p.358 AL#10 p.6
\guitar\classical \people
Bobri was an artist and a patron of the arts, a composer and transcriber of guitar music, president of the New York Guitar Society, and editor of Guitar Review. Huttig's admiration for the man is obvious in this salute following Bobri's death by fire

Remembering Harry LeBovi by Fred Calland
BRB1 p.360 AL#10 p.8
\violin \people
LeBovit was an aficionado of the violin all his life, a maker of fine violins, and a self-made recording engineer, all of which he did on his own time while working for the US government. Calland recalls a dynamic individual who touched many important lives.

Building the Vihuela and Viola da Mano From Historical Evidence by John Rollins
BRB1 p.362 AL#10 p.10
\vihuela \viol \bracing\other
Recreating these instruments required deep research into antique literature and a search of centuries-old woodcuts and tapestries. Many such drawings and sketches illustrate this long article, as well as photos of instruments by the author and Raphael Weisman. A transcription of Rollins' 1986 convention lecture.

The Hammered Dulcimer: Ancient, Wonderful, and Still Evolving by Sam Rizzetta
BRB1 p.374 AL#10 p.20
Rizzetta is often called the father of the modern hammered dulcimer. This lengthy lecture transcription from the 1984 GAL convention covers the 19th century dulcimer as made in America as well as Rizzetta's entry into field in the 1960s. He carefully explains his own innovations, material choices, and construction techniques.

Violin Q & A by George Manno
AL#10 p.28
\violin \cello \schools
Manno fields 2 pages of questions about building and repairing the fiddle family, from the basic “What kinda glue?” to “What kind of cello bridge to aid projection?”

Building the Tar, an instrument plan and article by Nasser Shirazi
BRB1 p.382 AL#10 p.30
\instruments\other \skin \wood\other \plans
The tar (or Persian banjo) is a classical Iranian instrument, the body of which is carved from a mulberry log and covered in lambskin. The neck traditionally incorporates rams horn and camel bone. Exotic, fascinating, wonderfully politically incorrect. Some alternate materials are listed for those who can't wait for their camel to die. With a scaled down version of GAL Instrument Plan #14.

A Couple More Things about Superglue by Don Musser and Chris Pile
BRB1 p.397 AL#10 p.35
\gluing \repair\crack
Improve the hold of superglue by adjusting the pH factor of the wood. Thick superglue and accelerator are introduced. Also, how to find and heal hairline guitar cracks before lacquering.

Jack Batts: An Interview by Jeff Feltman
BRB1 p.390 AL#10 p.36
\violin \finish\varnish \gluing \people
Intelligent questions and no-holds-barred answers make this long interview with a veteran builder seem too short. All violin articles should be this interesting. Forty-nine years dedicated to wood, glue, and varnish have to teach one a great deal. Mentions Sacconi, Stradivari, Guarneri, and Amati.

American Plucked String Instruments at the Shrine to Music Museum by Joseph R. Johnson
BRB1 p.398 AL#10 p.44
\banjo \guitar\flattop \mandolin \violin \instruments\other
This is a checklist of what to look for when you get there. Also, a reason to go

Fret Slotting Jig & Formula by John Schofield
BRB1 p.401 AL#10 p.47
\tools\jigs \tools\power \fingerboard\fretboard
Schofield offers a table saw slotting jig that is simple to use and as accurate as your own layout work can make it. The drawing is rough, but it's enough. The formula is an alternative to the more common "rule of 18."

The Effect of Bracing on Guitar Resonance by J. and O. Jovicic
BRB1 p.402 AL#10 p.48
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical \physics\guitar
Serious research using a classical guitar with four different brace patterns. The experiment started with a simplified fan brace pattern, and fan braces were added for subsequent evaluation. Translated from the French. Part Two is in American Lutherie #12.

'Way Down Upon the Amazon River by John Curtis
BRB1 p.412 AL#10 p.53
\wood\trees \wood\hard \wood\dealers
A wood merchant relates the difficulties of getting lumber out of the jungle, and why the rain forest isn't being replanted.

Flexible Dulcimer Hammers by Russ Carlisle
BRB1 p.409 AL#10 p.55
\dulcimer\hammered \accessories
These hammers sport a shaft of bamboo. They can be quickly flipped to offer hard or padded hammer surfaces. Make a set. Throw a dance.

High School Dreams by Dave Schneider
BRB1 p.414 AL#10 p.56
\philosophy \bracing\flattop \lute \people
A dream comes true. Schneider relates his growth toward a successful lutherie career. He begins with a high school shop program, travels through various repair and furniture jobs, apprentices as a lute maker, and ends up self-employed.

Heatgun Powered Bending Iron by F.W. Fais
BRB1 p.396 AL#10 p.59
\bending \tools\created
Fais' iron uses chromed pipe... must be very pretty. A simple and cheap tool, even if you don't already have a heat gun.

Our Great Spherical Friend, Part IV by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
BRB1 p.196 AL#10 p.60
\bass\viol \wood\other \philosophy
Lyman's quest is to build an inexpensive but musically useful string bass. In this episode he tries to improve a Kay plywood bass. The results leave him ambivalent but hopeful.

Review: A Guitar Maker's Manual by Jim Williams. Reviewed by Cyndy Burton.
BRB1 p.500 AL#10 p.62
\reviews \guitar\flattop \guitar\classical
The reviewer finds the book's layout convenient and the photos and drawings clear. She wishes that more attention had been spent on the final details of setup, but in the end recommends the book.

Fall 1987

Letter to the editor by Lloyd Scott Oglesby
BRB1 p.297 AL#11 p.3
An analytical chemist offers some fascinating information about hide glue. It turns out that formaldehyde makes hide glue waterproof. Jump ahead to American Lutherie #15 for Oglesby's how-to article about hide glue.

Letter to the editor by Alan L. Wall
AL#11 p.7
\tools\clamps \tools\hand
Wall has discovered that the easiest way to make the wooden portions of spool clamps is with a hole saw.

Letter to the editor by Michael Parsons
BRB1 p.429 AL#11 p.7
\wood\other \repair\other \repair\bridge
Parsons relates his history of building instruments from salvaged wood.

Non-Traditional Aesthetics in Lutherie
AL#11 p.8
\violin \guitar\flattop \instruments\other
The following four articles demonstrate how innovation and individual flair can lead to instruments that don't resemble the rest of the pack.

Developing a New Design by Steve Klein
BRB1 p.416 AL#11 p.8
\guitar\flattop \inlay \physics\guitar \people \philosophy
Klein's lecture outlines his aesthetic concerns about the contemporary steel string guitar, and many of the details of his ever-evolving, iconoclastic instruments. Mentions Richard Schneider and Michael Kasha.

Marvels Among the Reeds by Susan Norris
BRB1 p.419 AL#11 p.10
\violin \instruments\other \people \philosophy
Norris offers no details about her asymmetric 10-string fiddle, but the one good photo adds much to a delightful little article.

Innovative Concepts within Fixed Limits by Gila Eban
BRB1 p.420 AL#11 p.12
\guitar\classical \rosette \finish\lacquer
Eban builds Kasha-style classical guitars. She comments at length about how her aesthetic concept for the guitar evolved, and offers many details of her construction procedures. Her descriptions of her work are so entrancing that you will long for more photos than the five that are offered. With rosette drawings.

Why Make It Square? by Fred Carlson
BRB1 p.427 AL#11 p.14
\guitar\flattop \philosophy \people
Carlson makes a case for less conformity in lutherie. Only 1 photo of one of his dramatic, asymmetrical guitars, but it's quite inspiring.

Embarrassing Moments in Lutherie by Nicholas Von Robison
AL#11 p.21
Hardly anybody's embarrassing moment is as embarrassing as Robison's.

Indian Import and Export by Gulab Gidwani
BRB1 p.428 AL#11 p.22
\wood\trees \wood\hard \wood\dealers \people
A well-known importer and dealer of tonewoods relates some of the difficulties of doing business with third-world nations, such as getting a sawyer of railroad ties to cut fretboards.

Sitar Repair by Dave Schneider
BRB1 p.432 AL#11 p.24
\instruments\other \repair\other \wood\other
Don't take that repair job without this article! One question remains unanswered: why does sanding the finish of a sitar release such a strong smell of tobacco?

The Scalloped Fretboard by Dave Schneider
BRB1 p.371 AL#11 p.26
\fingerboard\fretboard \neck
This little article doesn't offer a lot of detail, but it might be all you need.

Modified F3 Mandolin by Robert Steinegger, Nicholas Von Robison, and Tim Olsen
BRB1 p.434 AL#11 p.27
\mandolin \plans
Steinegger made a mandolin based on the work of Orville Gibson, but modified the neck pitch and soundboard arch to make it satisfy contemporary playing standards. He also changed some materials. With a scaled down version of GAL Instrument Plan #15.

Violin Q & A by George Manno
AL#11 p.30
\violin \finish\varnish \finish\shellac \bow
Manno is an honest man (even when honesty hurts), knowledgeable, and opinionated. An especially strong column that touches upon repair prices, colors for varnish touchups, tonewood sources, Polish white bow hair, and Tetto Gallo violins.

The Steel String Guitar Today
BRB1 p.474 AL#11 p.32
A Panel Discussion with Max Krimmel, Jean Larrivee, Bruce Ross, Ervin Somogyi and Robert Steinegger
\guitar\flattop \business\other \wood\soft \wood\hard
Such panel discussions are always interesting, but this one especially so, mostly because three of the five panelists run one-man shops. The questions (and even many answers) don't seem to change much from year to year, but it's good to hear from some smaller voices in the industry for a change.

Roy Smeck: Wizard of the Strings by James Garber
BRB1 p.436 AL#11 p.40
\banjo \ukulele \people
This is an interview with the man who may have been the best known instrumentalist of his time, the Chet Atkins of vaudeville, if you will. The conversation is mostly about his instruments.

Harvey Thomas and the Infernal Music Machine by Tim Olsen
BRB1 p.440 AL#11 p.44
\guitar\electric \humor \people \electronics \inlay \tools\power
A rollicking, good-time account of a era gone by and a free-spirited maker of outrageous electric guitars who was pretty much unknown outside of his own territory. It'll make you feel good.

Review: Violin Set-Ups and Adjustments by Dan Erlewine and Paul Newson. Reviewed by George J. Manno.
BRB1 p.502 AL#11 p.50
\reviews \violin \repair\other \bridge\violin \fingerboard\fretboard
The reviewer finds this video to be a wise investment, especially for one new to the craft.

Review: The Manuscript on Violinmaking by Giovanni Antonio Marchi. Reviewed by Don Overstreet.
BRB1 p.502 AL#11 p.50
\reviews \violin
The reviewer finds the book to be of mild interest for the violin historian, but seems to have been generally disappointed in its usefulness to the luthier.

Review: Appraisers Reference Manual of Authentic String Instruments and Bows by Thomas E. Florence. Reviewed by George J. Manno.
BRB1 p.502 AL#11 p.51
\reviews \violin \bow \business\other
The reviewer finds this to be the one book that every violin shop and instrument appraiser should own. 'Nuff said.

Spraying Stand for Guitar by Michael Parsons
BRB1 p.430 AL#11 p.55
\tools\created \finish\lacquer \finish\spraying
With this stand-alone jig you can spray or brush an instrument without having to touch it.

Winter 1987

Letter to the editor by Ralph Novak
BRB1 p.459 AL#12 p.5
\fingerboard\fretboard \sharpening \bridge\guitar
Novak offers tips on fretwork, tool sharpening, fitting bridge pins, recycling clogged sandpaper, and admonishes us to get steel wool out of our shops.

Letter to the editor by William T. Walls
BRB1 p.481 AL#12 p.5
\violin \bow \repair\other
Walls offers tips about cleaning and polishing violins and bows.

Antonius Stradivarius in South Dakota by Joseph Johnson
BRB1 p.448 AL#12 p.8
\guitar\baroque \rosette
Johnson examines a Stradivarius guitar from the Shrine to Music collection.

Plexiglas Sanding Blocks by Jay Hargreaves
BRB1 p.473 AL#12 p.11
\tools\hand \fingerboard\fretboard \tools\created
Drawings and description for two sanding blocks that use 3M Stikit paper.

“1704” Varnish Recipe by George Manno
BRB1 p.451 AL#12 p.12
\finish\shellac \violin
This is a recipe for a touchup violin varnish, with instructions for adding colors.

The Effect of Bracing on Guitar Resonance
BRB1 p.402 AL#12 p.14
Part 2: Holographic Study of Resonance Patterns by J. & O. Jovicic
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical \physics\guitar
This article is more technical talk translated from the original French publication in Acustica. With 51 reproductions of laser interferograms. Part 1 was in American Lutherie #10.

The Sami-Sen: an instrument plan by Nicholas Von Robison
BRB1 p.452 AL#12 p.18
\skin \instruments\other \plans
Robison offers description, anecdotes, photos, and a drawing of an instrument that might be crudely described as a Japanese 3-string banjo. The plans are a shrunken version of GAL Instrument Plan #16.

Portland, Oregon, is a Lutherie Town! by Tim Olsen
AL#12 p.20
This article offers 7 photos from a Portland instrument exhibit and a listing of Portland builders and repair people. The next six articles on this list are also by or about Portlanders.

An Interview with Jeffrey Elliott by Joseph Bacon
BRB1 p.454 AL#12 p.22
\guitar\classical \wood\hard \people \finish\shellac
A lengthy interview with the well-known maker of classical guitars covers such subjects as training, wood seasoning and supply, finishes, and boomerangs. Cyndy Burton participates. Mentions Hauser Sr., Michael Kasha, Richard Schneider, Ralph Towner, and Julian Bream.

Steiny and the Everly Guitar by Tim Olsen
BRB1 p.460 AL#12 p.26
\guitar\flattop \binding \people
Enhanced with 6 photos, this is the tale of one luthier's connection to famous musicians, the Everly Brothers. Have you ever made a guitar with solid gold frets and binding? Robert Steinegger has.

Robert Lundberg: an Interview by Tim Olsen
AL#12 p.30
\lute \philosophy \people
Did people of a given time and place think and respond differently than we do? Lundberg thinks so. He has learned to think like an ancient luthier by studying their work, and has therefore made a connection to a neglected tradition and society. It shows in his work and his speech, and apparently, in his life.

Historical Lute Construction: The Erlangen Lectures, Day 1 by Robert Lundberg
AL#12 p.32
\lute \instruments\other
The first of 19 articles in our lute construction series, Lundberg traces the history of the lute family and construction.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Six-Course Lute, Hans Frei 1530 An Instrument Plan by Robert Lundberg
AL#12 p.48
\lute \plans
This is a scaled-down version of GAL Instrument Plan #17. Many construction details are listed in the accompanying text and do not show up on the blueprint. Virtually all the plans in this series are intended to be used with the text, and do not stand alone.

Electric Violin: The New Frontier by George Manno
AL#12 p.50
\violin \instruments\other \electronics
Manno examines the Zeta JV-205 and the EV-5 Barrett electric violins and finds them exceptional. High marks go to both, but especially to the Zeta.

Innovation in the Electric Guitar by Paul Hamer
AL#12 p.52
\guitar\electric \philosophy
Hamer's lecture captures the electric guitar in mid-evolution. He mentions retrofit pickups, locking trem systems, and the Roland guitar synth. He is obviously thrilled to be a part of the parade.

More on the Bass:
Lost Shirts and Curved Braces by Harry Fleishman
BRB1 p.464 AL#12 p.54
A Port, But No Pins by William McCaw
BRB1 p.468 AL#12 p.54
Tap It and Tune It by David Freeman
BRB1 p.470 AL#12 p.54
\bass\flattop \bracing\flattop \bridge\other \wood\other
These three articles augment Tim Olsen's initial bass offering in American Lutherie #9, and as a collection they still offer the largest fund of information on the creation of the acoustic bass guitar to reach print.

At the Outer Limits of Solid Geometry: Leo Burrell's “Twisted Neck” Guitar
BRB1 p.472 AL#12 p.60
\neck \fingerboard\fretboard
Burrell's patented guitars have a neck that actually twists 45° to keep the action uniformly low. They incorporate many other astonishing characteristics, too. Has anyone ever seen one of these guitars for sale?

Review: The Flamenco Guitar by David George. Reviewed by David Macias.
BRB1 p.503 AL#12 p.64
\reviews \guitar\classical
The reviewer encourages all students of the guitar to read this book, regardless of their special interests.

When We're sixty-four by Tim Olsen
AL#12 p.65
\organizations \philosophy
The GAL is 64 issues old, counting all its publications.. Editor Olsen lists the qualities that have made the Guild successful.

Spring 1988

Letter to the editor by John Randerson
BRB2 p.161 AL#13 p.5
\violin \finish\varnish
Randerson adds a lengthy note about different alcohols to the 1704 violin varnish formula previously offered by Manno in American Lutherie #12, and Manno answers.

A Remembrance of Segovia by R.E. Brune
BRB2 p.2 AL#13 p.6
\guitar\classical \people
Brune's anecdotes help close the gap between the man and the legend.

The Maestro's Hauser by H.E. Huttig
BRB2 p.4 AL#13 p.7
\guitar\classical \restoration
Huttig relates a story about the instrument that was the center of the classical guitar universe for decades, the Hauser played by Segovia.

A Meeting with Andres by Richard Schneider
BRB2 p.5 AL#13 p.7
\guitar\classical \people
Schneider tells of his first, and rather strange, meeting with Segovia.

Tuning Air Resonance by W.D. Allen
BRB2 p.6 AL#13 p.10
\violin \physics\violin
Allen shows how changing the internal air resonance of the violin can change the performance of the instrument, and claims that this variable applies to any stringed instrument. With many charts (including Allen's hula-dancing molecules), graphs, and photos.

The Great White (and Shocking Pink) North by Tim Olsen
BRB2 p.12 AL#13 p.16
\guitar\electric \guitar\flattop
Life inside the Larrivee guitar shop during its electric/acoustic phase.

Historical Lute Construction: The Erlangen Lectures, Day 2 by Robert Lundberg
AL#13 p.24
This portion of the series has to do with the shape of the lute body, or bowl. It includes 21 photos of historical models and numerous drawings and label signatures. This series includes 19 segments.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Six-Course Descant Lute after W. Venere c. 1580, An Instrument Plan by Robert Lundberg
AL#13 p.37
\lute \plans
This plan is a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #18. Lundberg recommends that the uninitiated not try to build an instrument from these plans without first reading the entire series of lectures.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Eight-Course Bass Lute after M. Deiffopruchar c. 1600, An Instrument Plan by Robert Lundberg
AL#13 p.38
\lute \plans
This plan is a shrunken version of GAL Instrument Plan #19. Same warning as above---the plans are meant to function with the body of the text.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Harmonic Analysis of String Excitation Methods by J. and O. Jovicic
BRB2 p.20 AL#13 p.40
guitar\classical \physics\guitar \strings\other
This is a scientific analysis of how variations in picking a note change the response of the classical guitar. Translated from the French.

Is Your Wood Ready To Use? by George Manno
BRB2 p.24 AL#13 p.44
\humidity \tools\measuring \wood\other
Manno points out there is a difference between wood that is dry and dry wood that is well seasoned, and offers a test for both. He maintains that only dry, well-seasoned wood is worth using.

The White Collar Luthier by Tim Shaw
BRB2 p.26 AL#13 p.46
business\other \philosophy
In his convention lecture Shaw compares the life of an independent luthier with life inside the Gibson custom shop, and finds that the rewards of one are different than the rewards of the other, but that either can offer an attractive way of living.

Making Organic Colorants Light Safe by George Manno
BRB2 p.32 AL#13 p.52
\violin \finish\varnish
Manno explains how to make the colorants of violin varnish safe from fading. He also offers advice about keeping your chemical experiments safe.

Opening and Cleaning Cracks by Al Stancel
BRB2 p.34 AL#13 p.54
\violin \repair\crack \gluing \restoration
Stancel opens old repaired cracks with heat and chemicals, cleans them with surfactants, and mends them with hide glue. The author works with the fiddle family, but his advice should flow over into any luthier's discipline.

How Super Glue Works by Yves Parent
BRB2 p.36 AL#13 p.56
\gluing \repair\other
A chemist explains how superglue functions, and why you might want to give your wood an alkaline bath before you squirt on the goo.

Review: From the Pages of Experimental Musical Instruments, Volume II. Reviewed by Tim Olsen.
BRB2 p.490 AL#13 p.57
\reviews \instruments\other
Olsen admits to an interest in odd musical noises. This cassette gets his approval as “interesting,” and not a lot more.

Summer 1988

An Introduction to French Polishing by Cyndy Burton, Greg Byers, Robert Steinegger, & Buzz Vineyard
BRB2 p.38 AL#14 p.4
This workshop lecture and its audience participation make a wonderful case for the value of collected experience. These 7 pages of text and photos offer tips and information not to be found in any of the French polishing videos and articles that have come out since, as well as explaining the basics of finishing with shellac.

Why Are Old Violins Superior? by Graham Caldersmith
BRB2 p.46 AL#14 p.12
\violin \philosophy
Is it possible that old fiddles aren't superior? Yes, but the only people who want to believe that it's true are the contemporary violinmakers. Human nature would rather cast its faith to a mythical past than deal honestly with the present. Or not. Caldersmith doesn't pretend to settle the debate.

Gene Rhinehart's Resophonic Guitar Cones by Ed Vande Voorde
BRB2 p.55 AL#14 p.14
Rhinehart's Dobro cones have developed a wonderful reputation. In this interview he outlines his material choices and production techniques.

Which Spruce Is That? by Dana Bourgeois
BRB2 p.37 AL#14 p.17
\wood\soft \guitar\flattop
Where did Martin buy their spruce from year to year during their vintage days? Bourgeois discovered that there is no way to know, and that guitar experts are forced to guess.

Archtop Guitars: Is Bigger Better? by Steve Grimes
BRB2 p.58 AL#14 p.18
\guitar\archtop \physics\guitar
A noted maker of archtop guitars offers a detailed description of the method he uses to adjust the tone of his instruments during the carving process. He finds he is willing to sacrifice a little volume in order to attain a precise tonal character.

Two Tools for Within by Harry Fleishman
BRB2 p.60 AL#14 p.21
\tools\hand \tools\clamps \electronics \repair\other \tools\created
Fleishman's tools are a rubber band-powered jack clamp for regluing braces, and a homemade wrench for tightening output jack nuts inside an acoustic guitar.

Historical Lute Construction: The Erlangen Lectures, Day 3 by Robert Lundberg
AL#14 p.22
\lute \bracing\lute \rosette
This portion of the series deals with the soundboard, or belly, of the lute, including the braces and rosette. Many drawings illustrate the shape and thickness of historical lute tops. Beautiful drawings accompany the photos of astonishing rosettes (the drawings are not patterns of the photos). Where did those old guys find the patience? This is the third of 19 installments.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Lute Rosette Patterns by Robert Lundberg
AL#14 p.40
\lute \rosette
Lundberg offers seven rosette drawings for copying, or for using as a point of departure.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

10-cs Renaissance Lute after Magno Dieffopruchar, 1612 An Instrument Plan by Robert Lundberg
AL#14 p.42
\lute \plans
This is a reduced version of Gal Instrument Plan #20. It is not intended to furnish a complete visual statement, but should be used in conjunction with the text to build an instrument.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

7-cs Renaissance Alto Lute after Wendelio Venere, 1592 An Instrument Plan by Robert Lundberg
AL#14 p.44
\lute \plans
The is a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #21. The warning above applies here, also. This plan should be used with the text.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Flattening Rosewood Potato Chips by Ervin Somogyi
BRB2 p.66 AL#14 p.46
\wood\hard \tools\clamps \bending \tools\created
Somogyi saves a stash of warped rosewood guitar sets by clamping them between aluminum plates and heating them with a clothes iron.

Diary of a Shop Accident by Nicholas Von Robison
AL#14 p.48
\health \tools\power
Robison saws off the tip of his thumb. A shop safety reminder for the experienced craftsperson.

Our Great Spherical Friend, Part 5: An Experimental Bass by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
AL#14 p.50
\bass\viol \wood\other \physics\violin
Lyman forges ahead in his quest for a cheap but satisfying substitute for the traditional solid wood bass viol. This segment describes an experimental bass made of lauan plywood and 2x4 studs. The results leave him hopeful that he is on the right track.

“Formula 411” Varnish Recipe by George Manno
BRB2 p.67 AL#14 p.53
\violin \finish\varnish \restoration
Manno offers a recipe for a golden-red varnish for use on new violins.

Portland's World Forestry Center Exhibition by Jonathon Peterson
AL#14 p.54
\organizations \meetings
Peterson is a devoted fan of this organization, which disseminates educational information about forestry related topics and provide the forest products industries a "place where they can put their best foot forward." The Center's Handmade Musical Instrument Show is the chief draw for luthiers.

File Sharpening by Jonathon Peterson
BRB2 p.76 AL#14 p.56
\sharpening \tools\hand \health

Accident Prevention: A Case History by Jeffrey R. Elliott
AL#14 p.57
\repair\other \business\other \cases
Elliott observes that one of the best ways to ensure the safety of a guitar is to make sure it is a good fit in its case.

A Sort-Of-Controlled Bracing Experiment by Richard Jordan
AL#14 p.59
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical \wood\soft
Jordan used spruce of different stiffness to brace three nearly identical classical guitars, and found the differences to be dramatic. His stiffness test was especially easy to run.

Review: Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology by William R. Cumpiano and Jonathan D. Natelson. Reviewed by Cyndy Burton.
BRB2 p.490 AL#14 p.60
\reviews \guitar\flattop \guitar\classical
This book, which has since become sort of the Bible of guitarmaking, is described by the reviewer as “the book we've all been waiting for.”

Fall 1988

Historical Lute Construction: The Erlangen Lectures, Day 4 by Robert Lundberg
AL#15 p.6
\lute \bridge\other \fingerboard\fretboard \ neck \pegs
This segment covers the bridge, neck, fingerboard, pegbox, and pegs of the lute. With photos and a number of drawings. This series is comprised of 19 installments.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

76 cm. 13-Course Baroque Lute after Magno Deiffopruchar c. 1600, GAL Instrument Plan #22 by Robert Lundberg
AL#15 p.28
\lute \plans
This is a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #22. While accurately drawn, it is not a blueprint, and is intended to be used in conjunction with the text of the entire series.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Hey Mr. Bass Man! A Visit to Hammond Ashley Associates by Tim Olsen
BRB2 p.82 AL#15 p.30
\bass\viol \cello \violin \people
This is a “factory tour” of the Ham Ashley shop. They specialize in the larger members of the violin family.

Making Waterproof Hide Glue by Lloyd Scott Ogelsby
BRB2 p.77 AL#15 p.35
Concocting your own glue is perhaps one of the ultimate steps in lutherie self-sufficiency. Ogelsby insists that it isn't difficult, just tricky, but he lists some good reasons for making the effort.

1988 Vermillion, South Dakota Convention Coverage by Tim Olsen
AL#15 p.36
\meetings \organizations
Editor Olsen offers his usual keen synopsis of the central GAL event. Fun for all.

Flying Caps in Vermillion by Bon “Flying Caps” Henderson
AL#15 p.45
A long time GAL staffer offers an “outsider's” view of the convention. How is this possible? Read it for yourself!

The “Belly Art” of Japanese Lutherie by R.E. Brune
BRB2 p.86 AL#15 p.46
\guitar\classical \tools\power \tools\hand \philosophy
An intense description of Japanese classical guitar making taken from Brune's convention lecture. Life in Japan is probably not much like you imagine it to be, it is far more interesting. The Q&A segment deals more with Brune's own guitar work. With photos inside a Japanese “factory.”

The Witten-Rawlins Collection of Northern Italian String Instruments
BRB2 p.100 by Joseph R. Johnson
AL#15 p.56
\lute \guitar\baroque \violin \instruments\other \restoration
Johnson offers a brief note about the Witten-Rawlins collection that was recently acquired by the Shrine to Music Museum.

Fret Crown Radius: A Cause of Pitch Error? by Steve Newberry
BRB2 p.106 AL#15 p.60
\physics\guitar \fingerboard\fretboard \neck
Newberry proves mathematically that large frets do not cause an instrument to play out of tune (though they might easily help a guitarist to play out of tune. There's a large theoretical difference).

The G-String Market by Dr. Tom Rossing
AL#15 p.62
This is a humorous comparison of a G string force waveform to a Dow Jones Industrial Average graph.

Routing Mandolin F-holes by John Schofield
BRB2 p.81 AL#15 p.64
\mandolin \tools\jigs \tools\power
Schofield uses a pin router to cut matching f-holes in his mandolin tops quickly and safely.

Wonders of the Lutherie World: The Great Oregon Prairie Fiddle
AL#15 p.65
\humor \violin
Anyone can dance to a fiddle. In Oregon they can dance on a fiddle.

A Case of Explosion Damage by Keith Davis
AL#15 p.66
\violin \bass\viol \repair\other
A natural gas explosion blows up the instruments of an entire school orchestra. Davis comes to the rescue, but wonders what the long-term ramifications will be for the fiddles and bass viols.

Opinion by Wayne Harris
AL#15 p.68
\philosophy \business\promotion
Harris has a poor opinion of musicians who expect luthiers to give them free instruments. He wishes that both sides could respect the luthier/musician symbiosis.

Review: Guitars and Mandolins in America by Robert Hartman. Reviewed by Joseph R. Johnson.
BRB2 p.490 AL#15 p.69
\reviews \guitar\flattop \mandolin \guitar\harp
The reviewer is enthusiastic about the research potential of this updated book, and believes it will be of use to the repairman who may face Larson instruments on his bench.

Review: The Shrine to Music Museum - A Pictorial Souvenir. Reviewed by Tim Olsen.
BRB2 p.490 AL#15 p.69
\reviews \viol \violin \instruments\other
The reviewer finds this book to be a valuable research resource and a fine coffee table specimen.

Winter 1988

Letter to the editor by Beverly Maher
BRB2 p.80 AL#16 p.3
Maher adds corrections to American Lutherie #8 and #13. She mentions that Segovia's famous Hauser guitar was from 1937, and that it is at home in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Letter to the editor by Jeffrey R. Elliott
BRB2 p.80 AL#16 p.3
Elliott corrects his own mistake about the year of Segovia's most famous Hauser guitar.

One Man's Mandolins by Steve Andersen
BRB2 p.112 AL#16 p.6
\mandolin \finish\lacquer \people
A well-known maker of archtop instruments offers an in-depth examination of his building style and his business.

Steve Andersen's Precision Pantograph
BRB2 p.112 AL#16 p.8
\mandolin \guitar\archtop \tools\power \tools\created
This is 9 photos and a small description of the machine that might be the production archtop maker's best friend.

Historical Lute Construction: The Erlangen Lectures, Day 5 by Robert Lundberg
AL#16 p.20
\lute \tools\jigs
The various lute parts were discussed in previous segments of this series. Now it is time to assemble a plan of attack for the integration of those parts, and to build the form for the bowl. With several drawings and photos. Fifth in a series of 19 articles.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

1948 D'Angelico New Yorker; An Instrument Plan by Steve Andersen
BRB2 p.139 AL#16 p.29
\guitar\archtop \plans
This is a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #24. The article also provides an introduction to the particular guitar that was copied for the plans, and photos. Jazzer nirvana on paper.

World Forest Outlook by Nicholas Von Robison and Parry Thomas
AL#16 p.33
Only 6% of the rain forest harvest is exported, only 20% is used for timber, and 80% of the trees cut are burned. Pollution may ultimately represent as much of a threat as the chain saw. This article tries to get a handle on the situation.

Dulcimer Compensation by Cliff Dennis
AL#16 p.35
\dulcimer\fretted \bridge\other
Jeez, someone finally took the mountain dulcimer seriously enough to try and compensate it's intonation. Welcome to the 21st century, Mr. and Mrs. Dulcimer.

Gene Harner, Fiddle Maker, an interview by Ted Davis
BRB2 p.136 AL#16 p.36
\violin \mandolin \people
An unpretentious luthier from Tennessee talks honestly about building fiddles and mandolins.

Sound Radiation from Guitars by Dr. Tom Rossing
BRB2 p.144 AL#16 p.40
Charts, graphs, drawings, and formulae bulk up this in-depth scientific examination of how a guitar makes noise.

Bass String Update by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
BRB2 p.197 AL#16 p.50
\bass\viol \strings\other
Lyman examines D'Addario Nylon Core Upright Bass Strings as well as Savarez “Corelli” strings.

Dog Bone Bracing by John Morgan
AL#16 p.52
\guitar\flattop \bracing\flattop
Morgan uses braces that seem to taper the wrong way, but reports good results. They also stop short of the lining. He lists other distinctions in his design that complement the new bracing system.

Review: Guitars, Guitars, Guitars: A Pictorial Reference Manual by Dave Crocker, John Brinkmann, and Larry Riggs. Reviewed by Mark Humpal.
AL#16 p.54
\reviews \guitars\electric \guitar\flattop
The reviewer finds that if you just like to look at guitars, and don't demand art quality photos, you'll like this book and its 1200 pictures.

Review: Tuning the Wood: Contemporary Illinois Stringed Instrument Builders by The Illinois State Museum. Reviewed by Mark Humpal.
AL#16 p.54
The reviewer finds this to be “a wonderful little book...,” “slick, well crafted, ready for the coffee table...”

Review: From the Pages of Experimental Musical Instruments, Vol. III. Reviewed by Tim Olsen.
AL#16 p.55
\reviews \instruments\other
It's hard to tell when the reviewer is being enthusiastic or facetious, but I think he likes this cassette collection of odd musical noises (noisy musical oddities?).

AL#16 p.56
\organizations \philosophy
Todd Brotherton remarks about the growth of the Guild, and encourages all members to support the GAL by contributing articles.

BRB2 p.480 AL#16 p.57
\electronics \bridge\electric \gluing
Members ask, and members answer about guitar pickups, guitar storage, stop tailpiece set up, and spoiled Titebond glue.

Spring 1989

An Introduction to the Stradivarian Mystique by Tim Olsen
BRB2 p.162 AL#17 p.6
\violin \physics\violin \finish\varnish \restoration
Whether or not there is anything new to be said about Stradivari, it is impossible for a serious publication about lutherie not to take him into account at some point. Olsen's lengthy article includes analytical drawings and photos of the master's work. All the guitar and mando folks might wonder what the fuss is about. Olsen sets us straight.

S. E. Nalimov, The Master Balalaika Builder by A.I. Peresada
BRB2 p.178 AL#17 p.22
\balalaika \people
Nalimov is to the balalaika as Stradivarius is to the violin. This article is condensed from Peresada's biography of Namilov. With photos, drawings, and label reproductions.

M.A. Kupfer, Craftsman by James Flynn
BRB2 p.178 AL#17 p.28
\balalaika \people
It turns out that life for a Russian instrument maker isn't far different than for an American luthier. Long hours, difficult conditions, and small financial rewards. The turf may be different, but the job remains the same.

Building the Prima Balalaika by James Flynn
BRB2 p.178 AL#17 p.29
\balalaika \plans
Plans and instruction for an instrument designed by Kupfer. The plan is a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #25. Kupfer is a famous luthier in Russia.

The “Moskvichka” Concert Balalaika; An Instrument Plan by M.A. Kupfer, Jim Flynn, and John Morgan
BRB2 p.178 AL#17 p.30
\balalaika \plans
This is a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #25.

A Short History of the Balalaika by Alexandre Belevich
BRB2 p.178 AL#17 p.34
Just like it says. Accompanied by a selection of prints.

Back in the BDAA (Balalaika and Domra Association of America) by Jim Flynn
BRB2 p.178 AL#17 p.37
\balalaika \organizations
Perhaps we shouldn't be amazed by the seemingly large interest in various ethnic instruments and the music they produce. It seems that it's easier to change countries than it is to change music. This organization publishes a quarterly newsletter, holds conventions, and offers scholarships to young musicians.

An Interview with Yuri Aleksik by James Flynn
BRB2 p.178 AL#17 p38
\balalaika \people
Aleksik is a master prima balalaika player from Kiev. Flynn asks him about instruments in this short interview.

Collapsible 'Cello Mold by Jack Levine
BRB2 p.194 AL#17 p.40
\cello \tools\jigs
Levine solves a problem many of us might face at first: How to set up shop in a confined, shared workspace. The solution is a takedown mold and a secure footlocker for tools and work in progress.

White Lacquer, No Specks by Dana Bourgeois
BRB2 p.199 AL#17 p.43
finish\lacquer \finish\spraying
Bourgeois discovers a simple trick to keep his spray work uncontaminated... spray it upside down and hold it there until the lacquer flashes off.

Adjustable Compensated Bridge by John Morgan
BRB2 p.198 AL#17 p.44
\bridge\guitar \guitar\flattop
Bridge setup must be done after the bridge is glued to the guitar in Morgan's system. It also requires many little operations, but the intonation should come out perfect and the saddles remain individually adjustable for height. The finished bridge looks pretty cool, too.

The Cranked Top by Brett Borton
BRB2 p.208 AL#17 p.46
\guitar\flattop \wood\soft \bracing\flattop
Have you ever seen a mandolin with an intentional crease or sharp bend to the top behind the bridge? That's a cranked top. Borton describes how to add a cranked top to the steel string guitar, though he's not too specific about why we should try it.

Notes on Preparing Lake Pigments by Geary Baese
BRB2 p.206 AL#17 p.48
\finish\shellac \finish\varnish \violin \restoration
Baese writes about adding color to violin varnishes in an historically accurate manner. He defines a lake pigment as “fixing... an organic soluble dye upon an inorganic carrier to render an insoluble colored compound.”

In Defense of Short Scale Basses by Michael Sacek
BRB2 p.153 AL#17 p.50
\bass\viol \bass\flattop
Sacek prefers a scale length of 31" for bass fiddles and bass guitars. The article contains no plans, but offers enough food for thought that builders should take his ideas into consideration. In the one photo his instruments look pretty interesting.

14-Course Archlute after M. Sellas; An Instrument Plan by Robert Lundberg
AL#17 p.51
\lute \plan
This is a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #23. This blueprint is not meant to offer a complete visual picture of the instrument, but is to be used in conjunction with Lundberg's lecture series as printed in American Lutherie.

Review: First Bass. Reviewed by Tim Olsen.
BRB2 p.490 AL#17 p.52
\reviews \bass\electric
The reviewer enjoys the premier issue of a magazine for bottom end kind of people.

Review: The Steel String Guitar: Construction and Repair (Updated Edition) by David Russell Young. Reviewed by David Thormahlen.
BRB2 p.490 AL#17 p.52
\reviews \guitar\flattop \repair\other
The reviewer has reservations about the repair chapter of this book, but otherwise finds it to be “accessible, innovative, and valuable.”

Review: Useful Measurements for Violinmakers: A Reference for Shop Use by Henry A. Strobel. Reviewed by Al Stancel.
BRB2 p.490 AL#17 p.52
\reviews \violin
The reviewer gives this book very high marks for usefulness, readability, and accuracy.

BRB2 p.480 AL#17 p.54
\schools \guitar\archtop \tools\hand \plans
This column provides a list of lutherie teaching facilities, advice about graduating archtop tops, sharpening files with vinegar, plus sources of supply for various guitar components and tools.

Summer 1989

Stalking Northwest Tonewoods by Bruce Harvie and Casey Wood
BRB2 p.210 AL#18 p.6
\wood\trees \wood\soft \wood\hard \wood\dealers
This is a Q&A session from the S. Dakota convention. The answer folks not only harvest and sell a wide variety of “designer” tonewoods, they are well up on alternative woods for lutherie. Very informative, and fun.

Miniature Hydraulic Jacks by Dale Randall
AL#18 p.11
\tools\clamps \tools\hand
Randall built a foot-operated mini-jack for regluing braces inside an instrument.

Classic Italian Violin Varnish by Geary Baese (transcribed from his 1988 convention lecture)
BRB2 p.214 AL#18 p.12
\violin \finish\varnish
Baese draws upon old literature and recent black light testing to draw his conclusions about the structure of old varnishes. The Q&A session reveals a high sophistication in the audience.

Toward a Classic Guitar Family by Graham Caldersmith
BRB2 p.222 AL#18 p.20
\guitar\classical \instruments\other
Caldersmith and the Canberra Guitar Ensemble work toward developing a series of classical guitars to match the range of the violin family.

An Interview with Darryl Wolfe by Ted Davis
BRB2 p.228 AL#18 p.26
\mandolin \people \restoration
Both of these men love and revere the F-5 mandolin. Wolfe owned four Lloyd Loar mandos up to the time of the interview, studied and photographed 130 old F-5s, and published the F5 Journal. One man's opinion can dispel, and perhaps create, instrument mythology.

1923 signed Lloyd Loar F-5 Gibson Mandolin, An Instrument Plan by Ted Davis
BRB2 p.228 AL#18 p.30
\mandolin \plans
This is a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #26. The article also offers a plan of the Virzi Tone Producer, a map of top and back thickness, and a page of recommendations for building new F-5s to original Gibson specs.

An Experimental Tenor Violin by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
AL#18 p.36
\violin \instruments\other
Lyman not only comes up with a new instrument, but also writes the article as a lesson in problem solving as he worked toward an uncertain goal.

Finite Element Simulation of Guitar Top Vibration by Phil Banks
AL#18 p.38
\physics\guitar \guitar\flattop \guitar\classical
Banks, like many before him, attempts to display on paper the movements of an excited guitar top. He is uncertain of his results, but his illustrations are certainly foxier than a normal graph or oscilloscope printout.

Meet the Maker: Wes Brandt by Jonathon Peterson
BRB2 p.238 AL#18 p.42
\guitar\flattop \wood\other \people
Peterson offers a short interview with a luthier who makes small-bodied steel string guitars from alternative woods.

1989 World Forestry Center Luthier's Show by Jonathon Peterson
AL#18 p.43
\organizations \meetings
Peterson continues his enthusiastic reports about an annual event in an intriguing setting.

Special Caliper for 'Cello by Jack Levine
BRB2 p.246 AL#18 p.44
\cello \tools\measuring \tools\hand \tools\created
Levine made a deep-throated caliper for accurately measuring the thickness of the cello plate that is not removed, when the other is.

Meet the Maker: Fred Lyman by Jonathon Peterson
BRB2 p.248 AL#18 p.46
\bass\viol \people
Lyman is an inveterate experimenter best known for his string basses, a regular American Lutherie contributor, and an interesting thinker.

An Interview with Les Paul by George Manno
BRB2 p.280 AL#18 p.48
\guitar\electric \people
The long-lived jazzer/inventor/guitar designer talks mostly about his long association with Gibson.

Review: Classic Italian Violin Varnish: Its History, Materials, Preparation and Application by Geary L. Baese. Reviewed by Robert Lundberg.
BRB2 p.490 AL#18 p.52
\violin \finish\varnish
The reviewer finds he could easily recommend this book if it weren't so overpriced.

Opinion by Joseph R. Johnson
AL#18 p.56
Johnson offers another pep talk to the Guild. He finds that the GAL is doing everything they promised, and doing it well. Why aren't we surprised?

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB2 p.480 AL#18 p.57
\wood\hard \finish\water-base \wood\soft \strings\guitar
Fungus uses maple as a coloring book. No one seems to be happy with Hydro-Cote. Kiln-dried spruce is raked over the coals. An unusual guitar finds a hardshell case. There is a source for real gut guitar strings.

Fall 1989

Letter to the editor by Brett Borton
AL#19 p.3
\guitar\flattop \bracing\flattop
Borton sends 2 photos updating his work on crank tops (American Lutherie #17), and an X brace substitute.

Letter to the editor by Arnold M.J. Hennig
BRB2 p.221 AL#19 p.5
\bridge\guitar \repair\bridge \tools\created
Hennig gives advice about removing guitar bridges with a sharpened putty knife. He also laments the fact that popular opinion believes that guitars, unlike violins, have a "shelf life," and as a result are often eventually neglected rather than repaired.

Letter to the editor by Anthony D. Blokzyi
AL#19 p.5
\guitar\electric \bass\electric
Blokzyi furnishes a description of the Gittler guitar, an all stainless steel, skeletonized instrument.

Historical Lute Construction: Practicum Part One by Robert Lundberg
AL#19 p.6
\lute \gluing \tools\hand
The lute theory is over and the chips begin to fly. The series begins with the construction of the lute body. Detailed captions to 48 step-by-step, how-to photos with detailed point the way. This series is comprised of 19 installments.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Violin Horror Stories by Al Stancel
BRB2 p.239 AL#19 p.20
\violin \business\ethics
Even experts in the violin field get burned now and then, and once in a blue moon they end up better off than they thought from a fiddle deal. Stancel offers true tales from both sides of the coin. Exactly what kinds of worms eat fiddles?

In Memoriam: Dell Staton by H.E. Huttig
AL#19 p.23
\guitar\classical \people
Farewell to a jazz guitarist/repairman.

A Baroque Guitar Restoration by R.E. Brune
BRB2 p.250 AL#19 p.24
\guitar\baroque \repair\other \repair\bridge \guitar\classical \restoration
A guitar that may have belonged to Marie Antoinette is brought back to playing condition. This article gives a good picture of what goes into the restoration of a museum-quality instrument.

Baroque Guitar, c. 1650-1700 An Instrument Plan, measured by R.E. Brune and drawn by John Morgan
AL#19 p.32
\guitar\baroque \plans
Build your own Marie Antoinette guitar. This is a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #27.

The Mandolin Orchestra in America, Part One by Joseph R. Johnson
BRB2 p.262 AL#19 p.34
\mandolin \instruments\other \restoration
Mandolin mania in America was a social phenomenon that was inflated to the max by the Gibson Company advertising propaganda. This portion of the series details the rise of the mandolin orchestras and mandolin clubs. Part Two and Part Three follow in American Lutherie #20 and American Lutherie #21.

Meet the Maker: Frank “Andy” Johnson by Jonathon Peterson
BRB2 p.294 AL#19 p.40
\banjo \wood\hard \wood\soft
Johnson is a banjo restorationist and tonewood supplier from Washington State. He specializes in selling spruce to the major piano manufacturers.

Fiberglas Reinforced Peghead Repair by Kent Everett
BRB2 p.296 AL#19 p.42
\neck \repair\neck \synthetics
Experience with fiberglass boat repair leads to a new method of fixing shattered headstocks.

Meet the Maker: Ralph Rabin by Jonathon Peterson
BRB2 p.300 AL#19 p.44
\violin \people
Rabin learned to make violins in Cremona, Italy. His description makes it sound like a wonderful way to learn.

Amazon Timbers Update by Todd Taggart
BRB2 p.302 AL#19 p.46
\wood\hard \wood\trees
Taggart's prognosis for the future of traditional tonewoods is gloomy, but his experiences with controlled wood harvesting in South America shine a ray of hope on the situation. He also mentions solar box cookers, which can substitute for firewood in many third world countries where firewood is the chief use of timber. Taggart emphasizes conservation rather than alternative woods.

Heelblock Hank: His story by Louis "Buddy" Hale and Michael H. Price
BRB2 p.309 AL#19 p.51
\humor \repair\neck \repair\other
American Lutherie tries an informational comic strip. Parts Two and Three follow in American Lutherie #20 and American Lutherie #21.

Resetting a Dovetailed Neck by Jonathon Peterson
BRB2 p.312 AL#19 p.52
\neck \repair\neck \tools\created
Peterson uses a cappuccino machine to steam the neck out of its joint, and wood shavings to rebuild the dovetail.

Review: Antonio de Torres, Guitar Maker - His Life and Work by Jose Romanillos. Reviewed by Jeffrey R.Elliott and Cyndy Burton.
BRB2 p.490 AL#19 p.56
\reviews \guitar\classical \people
The reviewers find this book to be “a significant resource. . .densely packed with information both useful and interesting.” The evolution of the classical guitar, as described by Romanillos, should be of interest to all contemporary builders.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB2 p.480 AL#19 p.58
\repair\crack \gluing \bending \finish\varnish \finish\lacquer \finish\spraying
An Ovation rep talks about fixing cracked tops and doing touchups. Also find out about: a masking agent for superglue, unwarping twisted but unbraced plates, cooking varnish (mmm!), and masking soundholes before spraying.

Three Legged Bridge by Francis Kosheleff
AL#19 p.59
\bridge\other \instrument\other \balalaika
Got a movable bridge instrument with ladder-style bracing? Want to try a bridge design that might offer an improvement in tone? Kosheleff has an idea you should look at.

Wonders of the Lutherie World: The Feral Balalaika by Francis Kosheleff
AL#19 p.61
A balalaika takes root and grows in the wild. Elaborate lutherie humor.

Winter 1989

Letter to the editor by Michael Darnton
BRB2 p.345 AL#20 p.5
Darnton adds information to Olsen's article about Stradivari in American Lutherie #17.

The Mandolin Orchestra in America, Part Two by Joseph R. Johnson
AL#20 p.8
\mandolin \restoration
Johnson examines the mandolin orchestra at the turn of the century when an aggressive ad campaign by Gibson changed the look and sound of the American mandolin forever. Part One is in American Lutherie #19. Part Three is in American Lutherie #21.

Retouching Violin Varnish by Michael Darnton
BRB2 p.306 AL#20 p.14
\violin \repair\other \finish\varnish \restoration
Darnton offers some in-depth advice to help you make your violin repairs invisible.

An Interview with Stewart Pollens by Cyndy Burton
BRB2 p.316 AL#20 p.18
\business\other \people \restoration
Pollens is Associate Conservator of the Department of Musical Instruments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. How does a major museum maintain its instruments? How do they view their responsibilities to their collections? How does one train to do the work? Here it is.

Maximum Mirrors by Dale Randall
BRB2 p.318 AL#20 p.20
\tools\created \repair\crack \bracing\other
Randall lines the entire guitar back with plexiglas mirrors while working inside the body. Looks like a fine idea.

Meet the Maker: Bill McCaw by Jonathon Peterson
BRB2 p.319 AL#20 p.21
\guitar\classical \people
William McCaw is a builder in pursuit of the $1000, high quality classical guitar.

String Making: Old and New by James Rickard
BRB2 p.320 AL#20 p.22
\strings\guitar \strings\violin \strings\other
Life inside the D'Addario company.

Six Lutherie Tools; Jeffrey R. Elliott interviewed by Jonathon Peterson
BRB2 p.330 AL#20 p.32
\tools\hand \sharpening \rosette \binding \tools\created
The 6 tools are: a guitar cradle, a grimel (hand purfling cutter), a hand circle cutter, a shooting board, a circle cutting jig for the Dremel tool, and water stones for tool sharpening.

Meet the Maker: Patrick Marshall by Jonathon Peterson
BRB2 p.338 AL#20 p.38
\bass\viol \people
Marshall is a builder of bass fiddles.

Historical Lute Construction: Practicum Part Two by Robert Lundberg
AL#20 p.40
\lute \rosette \bracing\lute
Lundberg makes a complete lute top. Contains photos and several drawings with detailed captions. This series is comprised of 19 episodes.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Heelblock Hank: His Story, Part Two by Louis "Buddy" Hale and Michael H. Price
BRB2 p.310 AL#20 p.55
\repair\neck \humor \repair\other
The informational comic strip continues. Part One was in American Lutherie #19. The final part follows in American Lutherie #21.

Review: Make and Play a Lute by Ronald Zachary Taylor. Reviewed by James Flynn.
BRB2 p.490 AL#20 p.56
\reviews \lute
The reviewer bubbles with enthusiasm for this book.

Review: L'ELAN. Reviewed by Francis Kosheleff.
BRB2 p.490 AL#20 p.56
\reviews \schools \instruments\other
The reviewer finds this little Canadian magazine put out by a lutherie school to be “interesting but not too deep.”

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB2 p.480 AL#20 p.58
\guitar\classical \schools \instruments\other \synthetics
Answers to questions about guitars by Cantos and Galiano; learning lutherie at Red Wing Technical School; buying Portuguese stringed instruments; synthetic fretboards; and spelling “lutherie”.

The Big One of '89 by Francis Kosheleff
AL#20 p.63
\health \people
An earthquake shakes down a luthier's life, and he lives to offer a striking description of the event.

Spring 1990

Jose Romanillos: On the Path of Utter Dedication, by Jose Romanillos
BRB2 p.346 AL#21 p.8
\guitar\classical \philosophy
A dedicated person lives a life of joy and frustration. Finding a suitable balance is the tough part. Romanillos aims his thought at the guitar and strikes a much larger target.

An Interview with Bowmaker Michael Yeats by Cyndy Burton
BRB2 p.354 AL#21 p.12
\bow \business\ethics \ivory \restoration
Training, ethics, money... all luthiers face the same dilemmas, but it's possible that those who face the field of professional classical musicians are tried a little harder. Yeats offers straight talk about all three issues.

The Multiple-Scale Fretboard by Ralph Novak
BRB2 p.364 AL#21 p.14
\guitar\electric \fingerboard\fretboard \neck
Novak's patented fretboard uses slanted frets that alter the scale length from string to string, growing longer toward the bass side. He lists a series of improvements over the normal fretboard.

The Elizabethan Connection by John Bromka
BRB2 p.364 AL#21 p.15
\guitar\baroque \fingerboard\fretboard \neck
It seems that some 17th century Elizabethan luthiers beat Novak to the punch with a multiple-scale fretboard.

Historical Lute Construction: Practicum Part Three by Robert Lundberg
AL#21 p.16
\lute \bracing\lute \bridge\other
Lundberg builds the treble bars and the bridge in this segment of his series. There are photos and several drawings accompanied by detailed captions. This series is 19 episodes long.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Ren-Shape Precision Molding Material by Ed Beylerian
AL#21 p.31
\synthetics \tools\jigs \tools\created
Luthiers try lute molds of a new synthetic material. Its stability is pleasing but its strength may make it of limited use for some.

Reflections on Segovia's Guitars at the Metropolitan by Jeffrey R. Elliott and Cyndy Burton
BRB2 p.358 AL#21 p.32
\guitar\classical \restoration
The authors make a cross-country pilgrimage to examine two world famous classical guitars, one by Manuel Ramirez and one by Hermann Hauser Sr. The wonder is that there are riddles there yet to be solved.

Heelblock Hank: His Story, Part Three by Louis “Buddy” Hale and Michael H. Price
BRB2 p.311 AL#21 p.35
The GAL's own comic book hero signs off. Parts One and Two were printed in American Lutherie #19 and American Lutherie #20.

Who Made Marie Antoinette's Guitar? by Robert Lundberg and R.E. Brune
BRB2 p.352 AL#21 p.36
\guitar\baroque \inlay \restoration
Lundberg says that perhaps he's tracked down Marie's own luthier. Brune examines the evidence and decides he's not prepared to jump on board.

Wood Treatment and Sizing Materials by Rick Rubin
BRB2 p.362 AL#21 p.38
\violin \finish\other \restoration
The goal is to preserve instrument wood for centuries, or make it stiffer. Either or both will do. Rubin examines a list of wood additives and lets the reader decide what to do.

The Mandolin Orchestra in America, Part Three by Joseph R. Johnson
AL#21 p.44
\mandolin \instruments\other \guitar\harp \guitar\flattop \banjo \restoration
A number of non-mandolins were considered to be intrinsic parts of the mandolin orchestras. This installment of the series looks at all the boys in the band (and some girls, too).

Opinion by Nicholas Von Robison
AL#21 p.56
\wood\trees \philosophy
Robison is concerned about the plight of the world's tropical forests, but pleads that a boycott of rain forest wood will backfire on the would-be conservationists.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB2 p.480 AL#21 p.58
\finish\other \violin \zither \bending \restoration
Topics include dealing with paint strippers, books about the violin, unwarping rosewood, and parts/plans for zithers and harps.

Wonders of the Lutherie World: Great Guitar by Bob Banghart
AL#21 p.59
Lutherie humor. We've heard of guitars in a museum, but a museum inside a guitar?

Review: Musical Acoustics - Selected Reprints. Reviewed by Steve Newberry.
BRB2 p.490 AL#21 p.60
\reviews \physics\guitar
The reviewer decides that the physics of sound has general usefulness that should appeal to all instrument makers, and specific usefulness (such as the acoustics of bells) that may be of interest only to specialists. This book offers both, but the guitar-making reviewer finds it to be generally valuable. “When an expert holds forth on the subject he loves it can be a treat, even if you are not yourself involved with that subject.”

Summer 1990

A New Mandolin Family by Otis A. Tomas
BRB2 p.368 AL#22 p.4
\mandolin \philosophy
This Canadian luthier used the proportions of musical harmony to design his mando family. His instruments have carved tops and an arched back that utilizes five staves. Very pretty.

Andalusia and the Modern Guitar by R.E. Brune
BRB2 p.372 AL#22 p.10
Brune maintains that strict definitions separating the classical and flamenco guitars were not formulated until the 1950s, before which they often shared many of the characteristics that now separate them.

Guitar String Action by Don Teeter. Transcribed from his 1988 convention lecture
BRB2 p.389 AL#22 p.15
\fingerboard\fretboard \neck \gluing
The guitar repair guru talks about setting up acoustic and electric guitars, installing truss rods in old instruments, superglues, saddle materials, and bridge designs.

Lutherie - The Hard Way by John Larsen
AL#22 p.18
\guitar\classical \lute \gluing \people
Larsen built his first guitar in 1950. His article describes the difficult road folks had to follow before the Information Age engulfed lutherie.

Historical Lute Construction: Practicum Part Four by Robert Lundberg
AL#22 p.20
\lute \bracing\lute
In this episode Lundberg tunes the belly, or top, of the lute. This segment depends more on the text than the earlier episodes of practicum. Lundberg's series is spread over 19 installments.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Spruce Bridge Plate by Rion Dudley
BRB2 p.384 AL#22 p.28
\wood\soft \bridge\other
Dudley adds a 1/10" layer of spruce between the instrument top and the bridge plate of a 12-string guitar, and under the bridge of a flattop mandolin. He likes the results, but is uncertain what the operation actually does to the performance of the top.

An Interview with Violinmaker Nancy Conescu by Cyndy Burton
BRB2 p.392 AL#22 p.29
\violin \schools \people
Conescu offers insight into the value of formal lutherie training. After violin making school she worked for years under the watchful eye of master repairmen and builders.

The Ultimate Troika by Francis Kosheleff
AL#22 p.30
Kosheleff offers more offbeat lutherie humor.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB2 p.486 AL#22 p.32
\violin \fingerboard\fretboard \bridge\violin
Darnton suggests the most basic reading list for those wishing to make their first violin, and answers three questions pertaining to violin setup.

Peavey - Makin' in the U.S.A. by George Manno
BRB2 p.402 AL#22 p.34
\guitar\electric \business\other \people \computers
This is an interview with Hartley Peavey, whose manufacturing empire includes electric guitars, amplifiers, and other electronic gear for musicians. Topics include computerized manufacturing, offshore guitars, artist endorsements, and the Peavey business philosophy.

Violin Varnish by Michael Darnton
BRB2 p.376 AL#22 p.38
\violin \finish\shellac \finish\varnish \restoration
Violin people think about finishes in a way that guitar makers have difficulty grasping. It is an obsession. Darnton's lengthy article discusses varnish types and components and offers a few recipes. It doesn't seem fair that guitar folks don't get to play with stuff called dragons blood, sandarac, and propolis, to name just a few. Such exotic incantations are bound to improve a finish, don't you think?

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB2 p.480 AL#22 p.49
More information about Hydro-Cote.

Opinion by Alan Carruth
AL#22 p.50
Carruth is a champion and practitioner of acoustic science. Here, he defends his field against artistic criticism.

Subject Guide to American Lutherie #1 - #20
AL#22 p.52
This is an alphabetical (by topic), cross-referenced list of the first twenty issues of American Lutherie.

Fall 1990

An Interview with Steel String Guitarmaker Dana Bourgeois by Gila Eban
BRB2 p.386 AL#23 p.8
\guitar\flattop \people
This interview took place while Bourgeois was designing acoustic guitars for Paul Reed Smith, an enterprise that never came to fruition but which led to Bourgeois starting his own company in Maine. He talks about his early days as a luthier and his association with Eric Shoenberg.

Waterglass vs. Calcium Silicate by John Chipura
BRB2 p.393 AL#23 p.12
\violin \finish\other
This is a wood treatment shoot-out. Waterglass is a controversial ingredient in violin finishing. Chipura makes a case for using calcium silicate instead.

Finding Pickup Phase with a VOM by Ralph Novak
BRB2 p.413 AL#23 p.13
\guitar\electric \electronics \tools\measuring
Novak finds a simple method of getting electric guitar pickups in phase.

Windows in Time: An Interview with Collector and Harp Guitarist John Doan by Jonathon Peterson
BRB2 p.406 AL#23 p.14
\zither \instruments\other \people \restoration
Doan describes his collection of oddball zithers.

Meet the Maker: George Smith by Jonathon Peterson
BRB2 p.398 AL#23 p.20
\instruments\other \harpsichord \people
Smith is a veteran builder of many instruments who prefers to specialize in guitars and harpsichords.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB2 p.486 AL#23 p.22
\pegs \fingerboard\fretboard \bridge\violin \neck \tools\hand
Topics include sharpening a peg reamer, dealing with fingerboard tearout, tailpiece setup, pitching the neck, and staining the bridges.

A Visit with Maestro Jose Yacopi by Roberto Blinder
BRB2 p.414 AL#23 p.24
\guitar\classical \vihuela \wood\other \people
Blinder interviews an Argentine instrument maker about his career, his guitars, wood, and strings.

The Swahili Kibangala An Instrument Plan by James Hillier
BRB2 p.411 AL#23 p.28
\skin \instruments\other \plans
The kibangala is a seven string, four-course instrument carved from solid wood that utilizes a skin head. The plan is a shrunken version of GAL Instrument Plan #28.

An Inexpensive Bow Winding Lathe by Gary Fish
BRB2 p.412 AL#23 p.30
\bow \tools\power tools\created
Fish converted a sewing machine to wrap bow handles.

1990 Convention Rundown and Wrap-up by Bon “Flying Caps” Henderson
AL#23 p.32
\organizations \meetings
A short description of the major GAL event.

List of Convention Exhibitors
AL#23 p.39
Sixty-seven builders and suppliers turn out to show their wares.

Historical Lute Construction: Practicum Part Five by Robert Lundberg
AL#23 p.42
In this segment Lundberg prepares the bowl for removal from the mold, fits the neck and the countercap, reinforces the ribs, and fits the belly to the bowl. From a series of 19 articles.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Lutherie in Romania by Gabriel Petric
BRB2 p.420 AL#23 p.54
\guitar\classical \instruments\other
AL #23 takes its second glimpse at instrument making in a strange land and finds that the concerns of luthiers are the same the world over.

Review: Constructing a Bluegrass Mandolin by Roger Siminoff. Reviewed by David Riggs.
BRB2 p.490 AL#23 p.57
\reviews \mandolin
Riggs used Siminoff's F-model book to build an A-model mandolin. His review offers building tips from his own experiences, as well as recommendations for changes in the book.

A Thrifty Wooden C-Clamp by C.F. Casey
BRB2 p.429 AL#23 p.58
\tools\clamps \tools\created
Make your own laminated maple c-clamps.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB2 p.480 AL#23 p.60
\wood\other \rosette \plans \restoration
Three luthiers relate their experiences about building with cherry. Other topics include instrument plans from the Ashmolean Museum and a short bibliography about parchment roses.

Winter 1990

Talk about Archtops an interview with Steve Andersen, Steve Grimes, and Ted Beringer by Jonathon Peterson
BRB2 p.422 AL#24 p.6
This informal roundtable discussion delves deeply into the background, influences, and work of three builders at a time when the archtop guitar was just coming into its own for the second time.

Logging Luthiers by Steve Banchero and Janet Toon, as told to Cyndy Burton
BRB2 p.446 AL#24 p.13
\wood\soft \wood\trees \wood\dealers \cello
A collection of violin and cello makers harvests spruce in the national forest.

Voicing the Steel String Guitar transcribed from a convention lecture by Dana Bourgeois
BRB2 p.470 AL#24 p.16
\guitar\flattop \bracing\flattop \tools\measuring \wood\soft \wood\hard
This is perhaps the strongest article ever published in American Lutherie about voicing the top and bracing of the steel string guitar. The fallout from this piece has been very wide spread.

Graduation Marking Device by Michael Darnton
BRB2 p.449 AL#24 p.25
\violin \tools\measuring \tools\created
Darnton's contrivance marks the finished thickness on violin plates that have already been carved to within 1mm-2mm of final tolerances, and it is simple to make.

Meet the Maker: Ivo Pires by Jonathon Peterson
BRB2 p.465 AL#24 p.26
\guitar\other \violins \people
America (and indeed, the world) is so deep with people who have had a meaningful life in some phase of lutherie that we should cease being surprised to discover an unknown person who has already racked up 30 or 40 years of experience. Pires is one of those folks, and his story is charming and illuminating. The cream seems to rise wherever it may be.

A Low Cost Bass by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
BRB2 p.430 AL#24 p.30
\bass\viol \wood\other \plans
Lyman builds a bass with a lauan body and a top of quartersawn 2x4s, and is quite pleased with the outcome. There are only 2 photos, but a lot of text. Lyman's conventional basses are in the hands of many well-known musicians. He certainly knows the difference between good and bad instruments. Part 2 follows in the next issue.

Low Cost Bass: An Instrument Plan by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
BRB2 p.430 AL#24 p.32
\bass\viol \plans
This is a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #29, which also includes a full-scale body outline.

Working with Koa by Bob Gleason
BRB2 p.460 AL#24 p.38
\bending \wood\hard \gluing \guitar\flattop \ukulele
A Hawaiian guitar maker passes on some of his tricks for the successful use of an indigenous wood. With photos of his sidebending procedure.

Historical Lute Construction: Practicum Part Six by Robert Lundberg
AL#24 p.40
\lute \neck
This segment deals primarily with veneering the neck and getting it fitted and glued to the bowl. With 49 photos and detailed captions. This series is 19 episodes in length.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB2 p.486 AL#24 p.54
\violin \finish\varnish \neck \tools\hand
Details include cooking varnish, finishing necks, causes of neck cracks, and adjusting a peg shaper to match your peg reamer.

Try Cherry! by John Calkin
BRB2 p.469 AL#24 p.56
\wood\other \finish\lacquer \finish\spraying
Calkin encourages the use of alternative tonewoods. He offers advice about choosing cherry boards and methods of finishing cherry instruments that he has found attractive.

It Worked For Me
BRB2 p.478 AL#24 p.57
\repair\bridge \electronics \tools\other \fingerboard\fretboard
A new column offers quick advice about many aspects of the business. This time mixed materials are used for a steel string saddle to balance the signal of a transducer; a piece of snare drum head is used as a mask while doing fret work; a heat lamp is partially suspended from the ceiling for convenience and space saving.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB2 p.480 AL#24 p.59
\electronics \schools \plans
The column offers information about electric guitar wiring diagrams, a new guitar making course, and a source for hurdy-gurdy plans.

Reviews: 10 wood books reviewed by Nicholas Von Robison.
BRB2 p.490 AL#24 p.60
\wood\trees \wood\other \reviews
Buy these books if: wood mystifies and intrigues you; you want to know how to use a species; you want to identify a species; you want to know where a species grows; you want to try a new wood for a specific purpose; your curiosity is making you crazy.

Spring 1991

Looking at Lutherie Schools from the 1990 GAL Convention panel discussion by Steve Banchero, David Freemen, Lars Kirmser, David Vincent, and Donald Warnock
BRB3 p.16 AL#25 p.6
\schools \guitar\flattop \guitar\classical \violin
\viol \repair\other \business\other \business\promotion
Violin making schools have long supplied the trade with fresh talent. It remains to be seen if guitar making schools will have the same impact. This panel of instructors offers opinion about what they have to offer and what their expectations are for graduates.

A Low Cost Bass, Part 2 by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
BRB2 p.430 AL#25 p.14
\bass\viol \wood\other \fingerboard\fretboard \finish\oil
Lyman continues his crusade for a low-cost, high performance bass viol. Part 1 was printed in the previous issue.

Starburst Rosette by C.F. Casey
BRB3 p.482 AL#25 p.21
\rosette \guitar\classical
This is one way to make a rosette when you are tired of simple circle patterns.

Julian Bream's 1973 Romanillos Guitar from the 1990 Convention lecture by Kevin Aram
BRB3 p.2 AL#25 p.22
\guitar\classical \rosette \bracing\classical \restoration
Aram offers an anecdotal history of one of the most influential classical guitars of our time. With 26 photos. Mentions Hauser I, Torres.

1973 Romanillos Classic Guitar An Instrument Plan by Kevin Aram
BRB3 p.12 AL#25 p.32
\guitar\classical \plans
This is a reduced version of our full-scale Plan #30.

Doin' That Portland Thing! a visit to the 13th Portland Area Instrument Makers Exhibit by Phillip Lea
AL#25 p.34
Lea offers the lowdown on an important regional instrument show.

Still a Prime Mover: An Interview with Dan Erlewine by Tim Olsen
BRB3 p.13 AL#25 p.36
\people \guitar\electric \repair\other
Is there any doubt that Erlewine is the world's best-known guitar fixer? He's also a heck of a nice guy. Editor Olsen nailed Erlewine's feet to the floor long enough to answer a few questions. With 4 neat snapshots. Mentions Herb David, Mike Bloomfield.

Purfling Veneer Plane by Peter Schaefer
BRB3 p.476 AL#25 p.40
\binding \tools\created \violin
Schaefer's tool will give you control over the skinniest pieces of wood that go into your instrument.

Attic Strads, and Why What's Worth Something Is Worth What It's Worth by Michael Darnton
BRB3 p.22 AL#25 p.42
\violin \business\other \philosophy
Why are some fiddles worth so much? Which ones might you find that will provide good investments? Which sleepers should you look for if you want a really good inexpensive violin for playing? Darnton doesn't offer the last word, but his advice is worth heeding. Mentions Stradivari, Guarnari.

Meet George Gorodnitski by Jonathon Peterson
BRB3 p.26 AL#25 p.44
\guitar\electric \people
A Russian luthier moves to L.A. and shows up in Tacoma. He was trained in violins and moved on to electric guitars. This is what it was like, rockin' in the USSR.

First Impressions of America by George Gorodnitski
BRB3 p.28 AL#25 p.47
\philosophy \people
Gorodnitski fled Russia for an unknown fate in the USA. This article is only one column long, but it's pretty striking. You may never think the same way about the Rose Parade again.

Seth Summerfield, Luthier by Bill Colgan, Jr. and Greg Bernd
BRB3 p.24 AL#25 p.48
\bracing\flattop \health \people \guitar\flattop \philosophy \violin
Like many of his generation, eighty-year-old Summerfield led a hard life. He didn't turn to professional instrument making until he reached what many would call old age, but after that he didn't waste any time. There's quite a few Seth Summerfields out there, and their story is always a good one.

Hidden Reinforced Peghead Repair by Jim Merrill and Bill Colgan, Jr.
BRB3 p.29 AL#25 p.50
\repair\neck \fingerboard\fretboard
This repair involves removing part of the fingerboard and sinking support splines from the top of the instrument, rather than from the back.

Bending Sides with Silicone Blankets by Michael Keller
BRB3 p.30 AL#25 p.52
\bending \guitar\flattop \guitar\classical tools\created
Silicon heat blankets are good for more than bending sides. Keller touches upon other uses, but his instructions for making forms and putting them to use is the focus here, and they cover about all you need to know. Once you have the blanket, the forms are cheap to make.

It Worked For Me
BRB3 p.476 AL#25 p.55
\bow \tools\hand \health \tools\created \violin \fingerboard\fretboard
Make a storage container for bow hair, and a fret file that can't scratch the fingerboard. And switch to sport glasses if your old eyeglasses cause you grief in the shop.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB3 p.446 AL#25 p.56
\violin \repair\other \finish\varnish \restoration \repair\neck
Darnton turns some pictures of a mystery fiddle into a thousand words. Or a few hundred, anyway. Then he moves on to discuss distorted ribs, retouching varnish, and tracking down a mystery buzz. He adds an update about his varnish formula.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton BRB3 p.472 AL#25 p.59
\instruments\other \strings\other \binding \guitar\archtop
Answers are about hardware sources, Gibson scale lengths, a pantograph for routing archtop plates, and a North Carolina repairman offers some repair prices.

Review: How to Make a Violin Bow by Frank V. Henderson. Reviewed by David Riggs.
BRB3 p.462 AL#25 p.60
\reviews \bow \violin
The reviewer is very enthusiastic about this book. It may be the only such book out there, but it may be all you need. Too bad it's out of print, and expensive if you can find it. Everything about violins is expensive.

Summer 1991

Myles Gilmer, Wood Merchant an interview by Todd Brotherton
BRB3 p.42 AL#26 p.5
\wood\soft \wood\hard \wood\trees \wood\other \wood\dealers \business\other
Gilmer buys wood from all over the globe and sells it to a number of special interests in the woodworking field. He's been around, he's concerned about the forests and ethical harvesting, and he's articulate. Without the Gilmers of America there would be very few independent professional instrument makers.

Thoughts on Steel String Guitar Making from the 1990 Convention lecture by Jean Larrivee
BRB3 p.37 AL#26 p.8
\guitar\flattop \bracing\flattop \gluing \finish\other \wood\soft \wood\hard \humidity \neck \tools\clamps
Larrivee has overseen the creation of 15,000 acoustic guitars and 12,000 electrics. Much of what he has to say pertains as strongly to the one-off builder as it does to another industry giant, and he doesn't hold back on anything.

An Improved Soundpost Setter by Dale Randall
BRB3 p.480 AL#26 p.13
\violin \tools\hand \tools\created
Go fishing for your soundposts. Land them perfectly. This is a soundpost setter unlike any other. Really.

Star of David Dan Erlewine interviews the lutherie mentor of his youth
BRB3 p.46 AL#26 p.14
\business\other \people \lute \instruments\other \philosophy \tools\hand
It's tough to be in business and stay successful. It's really tough to stay in business and keep having fun, too. Herb David tells how he runs his business, builds a few instruments, stays in shape, has fun. Here's the last line of his personal prayer: “Deliver me from temptation but keep me in touch.” You gotta love the guy. Mentions Sam Varjebedian.

Gimme Back My Minutes: some time management tips for repair people by Rick Turner
BRB3 p.72 AL#26 p.22
\business\other \business\accounting \guitar\electric \electronics \bracing\flattop
Exactly what it says.

Make a Tiny Table Saw by Dale Randall
BRB3 p.478 AL#26 p.25
\tools\power \tools\created
Randall explains how to make it, but not what it's for.

Inside Warmoth Guitar Products from the 1990 Convention talk and factory tour by Ken Warmoth
BRB3 p.60 AL#26 p.26
\guitar\electric \neck \fingerboard\fretboard \tools\power \wood\other \humidity \computers \tools\jigs \ bass\electric \finish\other
Most in-the-know electric guitar folks consider Warmoth necks and bodies to be the best going. Here's how they're made. With 22 photos.

Birth of the Strat-Compatible Parts Industry Jay Hargreaves interviews Ken Warmoth
Birth of the Strat-Compatible Parts Industry Jay Hargreaves interviews Lynn Ellsworth
BRB3 p.53 AL#26 p.32
\guitar\electric \bridge\electric \wood\other \computers \electronics
These two men started together as Boogie Bodies. They were on the first floor of the explosion in retrofit guitar parts, and they seemed to know or know of everyone. Ellsworth dropped out of the guitar scene for some years, but Warmoth grew from a garage industry to a computer driven, climate-controlled leader of the pack. Here, both men speak openly of the early days.

Donald Warnock, Viol Maker an interview by Cyndy Burton
BRB3 p.32 AL#26 p.42
\viol \business\other \finish\varnish \finish\shellac \people
It's wonderful that this interview is in the same issue as interviews with Larrivee and Warmoth, since they are opposites. The first two are sort of factory moguls, and Warnock is the gentlemanly craftsman/artist. All have forged a successful life on their own terms, and the contrast is delicious.

Giveaway Dulcimers by Keith Davis
BRB3 p.477 AL#26 p.47
\dulcimer\fretted \business\other
Here's the premise: build a boatload of one-string noisemakers and give them away. Inspire kids to make music. Take a tax break.

Let's Get Busy an interview with Chris Brandt by Jon Peterson
BRB3 p.56 AL#26 p.48
\business\other \business\ethics \business\accounting \repairs\other
Brandt owns a luthiers co-op, and finds it makes more sense and money than four men running their own separate shops do. He's got the lowdown on keeping records, using time efficiently, sharing labor, hiring a front man, and turning over work quickly. Lots of business hints and tips for any luthier, regardless of your position.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB3 p.446 AL#26 p.52
\violin \finish\lacquer \repair\other
Darnton discusses wolf tones, the life span of new fiddles, and why lacquer is never used on a violin.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB3 p.472 AL#26 p.54
\bass\electric instruments\other \guitar\archtop
Get your red-hot answers here! Want to build an electric stand-up bass? Correspond about viola Portuguesa or a Pakistani dulcimer? Buy a film about Jimmy D'Aquisto? You're in luck.

It Worked For Me
BRB3 p.476 AL#26 p.57
\tools\clamps \tools\hand \guitar\archtop \fingerboard\fretboard
Try gluing your frets in place with cloth strapping and a trick clamping caul. Improve the wooden plane found in Sloane's Steel String Guitar Construction.

Review: Guitar Player Repair Guide by Dan Erlewine. Reviewed by Manny Bettencourt.
BRB3 p.463 AL#26 p.58
\reviews \repair\other \fingerboard\fretboard \guitar\electric
The reviewer finds that this book is an invaluable resource for the professional repairman and will let the amateur evaluate a potential repair and decide whether or not he has the skill to tackle it.

Review: Steel-String Guitar Construction by Irving R. Sloane. Reviewed by David Riggs.
BRB3 p.463 AL#26 p.58
\reviews \guitar\flattop \tools\hand \guitar\archtop
The reviewer finds that this book offers good, solid instruction to the person building their first guitar.

Review: Fine Woodworking Design Book Five. Reviewed by Harry Fleishman.
BRB3 p.464 AL#26 p.59
\reviews \guitar\classical \dulcimer\fretted
The reviewer admires the beauty of the book's photography, but seems hesitant to recommend it since so little of it is dedicated to musical instruments.

Review: Making Stringed Instruments - A Workshop Guide by George Buchanan.
Reviewed by C. F. Casey.
BRB3 p.464 AL#26 p.60
\reviews \tools\hand \bending \violin \mandolin \plans
The reviewer decides that for the average luthier this book is “not a must-have, but a nice-to-have.” Most of the guitar information can be found in other sources. As a non-fiddle maker, he found the violin information interesting and clear.

Fall 1991

Using Your Work Space from the 1990 GAL Convention panel by Chris Brandt, Richard Brune, Jeffrey Elliott, Richard Schneider, Ervin Somogyi, and David Wilson
BRB3 p.80 AL#27 p.4
\business\other \health \tools\power \workshop \humidity \repair\other \tools\hand \tools\clamps \finish\spraying \bending \philosophy \guitars\classical \guitar\flattop \violin \cello \bass\viol \wood\other
A look inside the shops of six professional luthiers, featuring floor plans, tooling descriptions, notes on lighting and specialized machinery, and ideas about how work space can help (or hurt) your lifestyle. With a good Q&A segment and 63 photos.

Building the Prima Gusli by James Flynn
BRB3 p.100 AL#27 p.26
\zither \instruments\other \plans \strings\other
This instrument is a unique and graceful-looking Russian folk psaltery, a sophisticated version of the lap harp grade schoolers play by sliding numbered sheet music under the strings.

Prima Gusli An Instrument Plan by James Flynn
BRB3 p.106 AL#27 p.32
\plans \zither \instruments\other
This is a shrunken version of our full-scale Plan #31.

The Portuguese Guitarra: A Modern Cittern by Ronald Louis Fernandez
BRB3 p.108 AL#27 p.34
\instruments\other \guitar\other \strings\other
This instrument is a lovely looking cittern, sort of a big mandolin with 12 strings. The traditional tuners are unique, compact, and distinctly ungraceful, but they allow---indeed, encourage---the use of a wonderfully distinctive headstock. With 16 photos.

An Interview with Hideo Kamimoto by Joseph R. Johnson
BRB3 p.118 AL#27 p.46
\people \repair\other \business\other \neck \guitar\flattop
The famous repairman/author discusses his book, his history as a luthier, and his expectations for his own future.

Condit's Clamp-O-Rama by Michael Darnton
AL#27 p.51
\humor \tools\clamps
This is a humorous photo of some specialized clamps developed by Condit for violin repair.

A Day on Lost Mountain by Jonathon Peterson
BRB3 p.122 AL#27 p.52
\guitar\classical \people
Richard Schneider discusses his current work at “the most beautifully situated guitar shop in the world.” The Kasha influence upon the classical guitar keeps evolving in the hands of this masterful builder/teacher.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB3 p.472 AL#27 p.54
\schools \finish\water-based
How does one learn lutherie? Here's a list of schools, programs, organizations, and journals that can help. Also, a Rhode Island luthier offers his experience with water-base lacquers and the new polyurethanes.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB3 p.446 AL#27 p.56
\violin \repair\other
Darnton explains how to disassemble a fiddle, and the effects of soundhole size on violin performance.

It Worked For Me
BRB3 p.476 AL#27 p.58
\tools\hand \tools\clamps \tools\measuring \sharpening \tools\jigs
The column offers notes on steel scrapers, lining clamps, and a complete graduated chart of drill bit sizes using number, metric, fraction, and letter sets.

Review: The Fender Guitar by Ken Archard. Reviewed by K. Kobie.
BRB3 p.465 AL#27 p.60
\reviews \guitar\electric
The reviewer finds that this book is a well-written, useful reference about all Fender guitars.

Review: The Modern Classical Guitar for Friend or Builder by Donald M. Sprenger. Reviewed by C. F. Casey.
BRB3 p.465 AL#27 p.60
\reviews \guitar\classical
The reviewer finds this book to be an uneven rehash of other material with very crude drawings. It doesn't seem that he cared for it.

Winter 1991

Historical Lute Construction: Practicum Part Seven by Robert Lundberg
AL#28 p.8
The greatest part of this segment is spent getting the belly attached to the bowl. With 40 photos. This complete series is 19 segments in length.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Free Plate Tuning, Part One: Theory by Alan Carruth
BRB3 p.136 AL#28 p.18
\physics\guitar \physics\violin \tools\measuring
Most acoustic scientists are not prepared to reduce their work to a plane-by-the-numbers chart of an instrument top. Neither is Carruth. It remains to be seen what improvements free plate tuning will offer to the average guitar, but there is every chance that luthiers who ignore the work as an inartistic invasion of their craft and art will be left in the dust. Carruth invites you to get on board right now. Parts Two and Three are in AL#29 and AL#30. The entire series apperas together in BRB3.

Entrepreneurs in Spite of Ourselves by Ralph Novak
AL#28 p.32
\business\other \philosophy
If you build instruments for money you should learn about running a business. Novak relates his good experiences at a college workshop for entrepreneurs.

A Talk with Bob Taylor by Phillip Lea
BRB3 p.126 AL#28 p.34
\guitar\flattop \people \computer \tools\power \tools\jigs \tools\created \bracing\flattop \wood\other \tools\clamps \bending \neck \finish\other \cases \philosophy \humidity
Few people in Guitarland are as outspoken and clear-headed as Bob Taylor. Others might say he's just opinionated. He believes a good guitar is a good guitar, no matter if it was whittled by Gepeto or cranked out by a dozen computer-guided milling cutters. This article offers a peek into the Taylor factory and a guided tour through one man's thoughts about the contemporary guitar. With 28 photos.

Peg Hole Bushing and Cheek Patching by Al Stancel
BRB3 p.75 AL#28 p.46
\violin \pegs \repair\neck \repair\other
A master fiddle surgeon explains a common operation. With 11 drawings to help guide you through the procedure.

Meet Michael Darnton by Jonathon Peterson
BRB3 p.124 AL#28 p.51
\violin \people \schools \business\other \cello
Peterson gives us the biographical scoop on American Lutherie's Violin Q&A man.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB3 p.472 AL#28 p.54
\mandolin \binding \guitar\other
Roger Siminoff delivers an answer about graduating the top plate of an F-5 mandolin.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB3 p.446 AL#28 p.56
\violin \fingerboard \gluing \philosophy \bridge\violin
Why are bridges always made of maple? Why do fiddles have points? How does one tune a fingerboard? Do epoxy or superglue have any accepted uses on the violin? Darnton furnishes answers.

It Worked For Me
BRB3 p.476 AL#28 p.58
\inlay \bridge\electric \repair\other \tools\created \tools\clamp \workshop \repair\bridge
Tips on cutting pearl, altering a stock Fender trem unit, repairing worn bridge plates, epoxy for tropical wood, making a stationary instrument bench-clamp from a Klemsia clamp, and vacuuming out the interior of a guitar.

Space Bass by David Riggs
AL#28 p.59
A luthier volunteers for the space program in this humorous piece.

Review: The Gibson Guitar (Volumes 1 & 2) by Ian C. Bishop. Reviewed by Gary Frisbie.
BRB3 p.466 AL#28 p.60
\reviews \guitar\electric \guitar\archtop \guitar\flattop
The reviewer decides that these books are mostly accurate, and a useful alternative to exposure to the actual guitars. Volume 2 offers corrections to Volume 1. These may not be books for the guitar scholar.

Spring 1992

The Spanish Guitar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by R. E. Brune
BRB3 p.194 AL#29 p.6
\guitar\classical \restoration \tools\hand
Brune outlines the first major exhibition of Spanish guitars ever mounted in America. With 8 photos, including one of Santos Hernandez. Also mentions Torres, M. Ramirez, Segovia, Simplicio, Barbero, Romanillos, and others.

Historical Lute Construction: Practicum Part Eight by Robert Lundberg
AL#29 p.10
\lute \binding \fingerboard\fretboard
In this episode Lundberg makes and fits the fingerboard and installs the half binding. The lute is beginning to look pretty official at this point. With 47 photos. The entire series is 19 episodes in length.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Harp Guitar: That Extra-String Thing by Jonathon Peterson
BRB3 p.178 AL#29 p.20
\guitar\harp \bracing\flattop \bracing\classical
Most people who even knew what one was thought of the harp guitar as a less-than-useless dinosaur. Then came Michael Hedges. Peterson looks back at a strange instrument whose best music might just lie in the future. With 49 photos and a number of good drawings. Mentions Torres, Hauser I, Scherzer, Staufer, Mozzani, Gibson, Knutsen, Martin, and so on.

Dyer Harp Guitar An Instrument Plan by Todd Brotherton
BRB3 p.192 AL#29 p.34
\plans \guitar\harp
This is the guitar into which Michael Hedges breathed new life. The drawing is a shrunken version of GAL full-scale Plan #31. Sometimes our scaled-down plans are useful for building, but this one is reduced a bit too far in order to fit it onto the magazine. Order the plans.

The Sawmill at Poussay by Gayle Miller and Ken Sribnick
BRB3 p.174 AL#29 p.38
\wood\other \tools\power \wood\tress \tools\other
Visit a water-powered French sawmill that supplies tonewood to 350 luthiers. With 7 photos. Mentions George Miller.

Free Plate Tuning, Part Two: Violins by Alan Carruth
BRB3 p.136 AL#29 p.42
\violin \physics\violin \tools\measuring
Carruth tries to keep it light as he describes the glitter dances that should improve your violins, and even sheds light on cello plate tuning. If you feel threatened by the dryness of science just relax and give it a try. Carruth is on your side. Really. With a whole bunch of drawings. Part One was in AL#28. Part Three follows in AL#30. The entire series appers in BRB3.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB3 p.472 AL#29 p.53
\mandolin \bridge\other
Many questions but only one answer this time. John Sullivan offers intonation specs for a mandolin bridge.

Electronic Answer Man by Rick Turner
BRB3 p.426 AL#29 p.54
\electronics \guitar\electric
A new column is born. What is pickup phase and polarity? Why do positions 2 and 4 on a 5-way Strat switch sound funky? Turner knows and tells all.

It Worked For Me
BRB3 p.476 AL#29 p.56
\bending \tools\power \tools\clamps \bridge\electric \tools\created \fingerboard\fretboard \gluing \ivory \inlay \workshop \repair\bridge
Tips about soaking unbent guitar sides, fixing the “bad” version of the Dremel tool, cleaning Levis, making clothes pins into better clamps, unwarping Tun-O-Matic bridges, and building a quickie pole lathe.

Review: The Luthier's Mercantile Catalog for Stringed Instrument Makers. Reviewed by Cyndy Burton.
BRB3 p.467 AL#29 p.58
\wood\hard \wood\soft \reviews \tools\hand \tools\other
Seldom does a new catalog cause so much excitement. The reviewer especially likes it for bedtime reading.

Review: Identifying Wood: Accurate Results with Simple Tools by Bruce Hoadley. Reviewed by Nicholas Von Robison.
BRB3 p.467 AL#29 p.58
\reviews \wood\trees
The reviewer decides this book isn't perfect for the DIY wood analyzer, but it will do, especially since it's the only game in town.

Review: Making Guitar 1 by Daniel Fort and Owen Riss. Reviewed by Lloyd Zsiros.
BRB3 p.468 AL#29 p.59
\reviews \guitar\classical \guitar\flattop
The reviewer likes this video at first, but after repeated viewing finds it comes up short. If you have all the books and still can't get motivated, perhaps this tape will help.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB3 p.446 AL#29 p.60
\violin \finish\varnish
Darnton sheds light on asymmetrically graduated violin tops, natural drying vs. UV drying of varnish, and the market in Baroque fiddles.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB3 p.434 AL#29 p.62
\reviews \electronics \guitar\flattop
Another new column is born, two in one issue! Fleishman tests the Acoustech guitar pickup and gives it pretty good grades. Mentions Ralph Towner.

Summer 1992

Builders Broadsided by Brazilian Ban by R. E. Brune
AL#30 p.4
\wood\hard \business\other
CITES restrictions on Brazilian rosewood include a ban on the import/export of objects that contain that wood. There are exceptions, however. Brune gives us the lowdown on the original agreement.

Travels in French Lutherie by Paul Hostetter
BRB3 p.196 AL#30 p.6
\guitar\flattop \people \guitar\harp
AL is one of the few available resources that examines the foreign instrument scene in any detail. Hostetter's chief interest lies in the Selmer Django guitars designed by Maccaferri, but he peeks into every nook that offers a glimpse of strange instruments. Along the way he meets Francois Charle and Maurice Dupont. With 5 photos of Selmers.

A Selmer Primer by Francois Charle and Paul Hostetter
BRB3 p.197 AL#30 p.7
Get the straight skinny about Maccaferri/Selmer guitars from a French expert.

A Visit with Maurice Dupont by Paul Hostetter
BRB3 p.200 AL#30 p.10
\guitar\flattop \bracing\flattop \wood\soft \people \guitar\classical
Meet a French guitar maker whose specialty is the recreation of Selmer guitars. Dupont even mills his own spruce. He is one of the more accessible foreign luthiers, and his guitars are available in the States. Mentions Maccaferri, Django Reinhardt.

Free Plate Tuning, Part Three: Guitars by Alan Carruth
BRB3 p.136 AL#30 p.16
\physics\guitar \guitar\flattop \guitar\classical \guitar\archtop \tools\measuring
Accessibility and usefulness are the keys to this segment of Carruth's study. He addresses the archtop, flattop, and classical guitars, and even builds a flattop out of oak to compare its tuning modes to conventional tonewoods. With many mode diagrams and plate graduation charts. Too many scientific studies leave the luthier asking, “So what do you want me to do?” Carruth offers some real-world suggestions. Parts One and Two were in AL#28 and AL#29.

Historical Lute Construction: Practicum Part Nine by Robert Lundberg
AL#30 p.28
\lute \neck \pegs
This episode oversees the construction of the pegbox. With 50 photos. This entire series comprises 19 episodes.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Meet the Maker: Richard Schneider by Jonathon Peterson
BRB3 p.206 AL#30 p.40
\guitar\classical \people
Many still have doubts about the merits of the Kasha versions of the classical guitar, but no one questions Schneider's reputation as a masterful creator of instruments. This interview focuses on his time spent in Mexico learning the trade from Juan Pimentel.

In Search of the Perfect Cone by Tim Earls
BRB3 p.204 AL#30 p.44
Multiple radius fingerboards revisited. Earls strives to put the design process into the hands of Joe Guitar maker using “barnyard” geometry. Seems to work. The article also contains a description of the Warmoth multiradius fretboard, which has become sort of the industry leader.

Taking the Guitar Beyond Equal Temperament by Don Musser
BRB3 p.210 AL#30 p.46
\fingerboard\fretboard \tuning\temperament
Musser tries to get the guitar to play in tune with itself by laying out the frets for just intonation, rather than equal temperament. Interchangeable fretboards allow the changing of keys and tunings. Pretty interesting, and the new fret pattern looks very bewildering and cool. Based on the work of Mark Rankin.

It Worked For Me
BRB3 p.476 AL#30 p.48
\violin \pegs \finish\lacquer \finish\other \fingerboard\fretboard \binding \repair\crack \repair\bridge tools\jigs \repair\crack \tools\created \repair\other \gluing \finish\spraying \tools\clamps \workshop
The membership offers tips about a jig for edge-planing veneer, miscellaneous fiddle work, unwarping guitar bridges, quick fixes for worn frets, lacquering rosewood, spring-loaded brace jacks, mixing varnish in a rock tumbler, splicing ivoroid, buffing finish, racking your tools with Velcro, and dealing with Martin side cracks.

Electronic Answer Man by Rick Turner
BRB3 p.426 AL#30 p.51
\electronics \guitar\electric
Turner explains how to help quiet a buzzy Silvertone, quick-check pickup phase, and the different characteristics of high and low impedance pickups.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB3 p.434 AL#30 p.52
\reviews \electronics \guitar\flattop
Fleishman wrings out the line of Mini-flex guitar mikes and finds them wanting. He also tries out the Radio Shack electret condenser mike #33-1063 and likes it.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB3 p.446 AL#30 p.54
\violin \pegs \organizations \finish\varnish
Darnton examines the use of various woods for tuning pegs, discusses the differences among Italian, German, French, and English methods of building fiddles, runs down a list of violin societies, and dismisses the use of supplier-prepared violin varnishes.

Review: Animal Magnetism for Musicians by Erno Zwann. Reviewed by Curt Carpenter.
BRB3 p.469 AL#30 p.56
\reviews \bass\electric \electronics
The reviewer is disappointed in the chapters about pickup making. The rest of the book is hard to follow and perhaps too deep for beginning luthiers. The book does offer food for thought, but should be used in conjunction with other references.

Review: The Ultimate Guitar Book by Tony Bacon. Reviewed by Lloyd Zsiros.
BRB3 p.469 AL#30 p.56
\reviews \guitar\electric \guitar\flattop \guitar\classical
The reviewer finds that although the book offers no information on playing or building guitars, it is otherwise an excellent resource and a pleasure to read. The photos are excellent and the book covers a lot of ground.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB3 p.472 AL#30 p.58
\mandolin \pegs \schools \guitar\archtop \repair\other \restoration
Readers respond to questions about lutherie schools; additional info about GAL Plan #22 for the Loar F-5 (must reading for mando freaks!); fixing sunken tops on carved instruments; and finding ivoroid friction pegs for banjos.

Fall 1992

Letter to the editor by Jose Romanillos
BRB3 p.203 AL#31 p.7
Romanillos co-authored the catalog for the Exhibition of Spanish Guitars in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and he asks that R. E. Brune elucidate upon his statement that the catalog contained inaccuracies (AL#29).

Letter to the editor by R. E. Brune
BRB3 p.203 AL#31 p.7
Brune answers Romanillos letter, above.

Segovia's 1937 Hauser by R. E. Brune
BRB3 p.212 AL#31 p.8
\guitar\classical \plans \bracing\classical
Brune visits with, measures, and draws Segovia's most famous guitar. The plans offered are a reduced version of GAL full-scale Plan #33. Brune feels that the guitar misses the maestro. With 19 photos.

Thickness Sanding Disk for Drill Press by Gavin Baird
BRB3 p.218 AL#31 p.14
\tools\power \tools\created
You can thin all your guitar wood on the drill press. Baird's sander is perhaps as accurate as any. He claims control of the wood to within .001".

North American Softwoods from the 1990 Convention Panel Discussion by Ted Davis, Bruce Harvie, Steve McMinn, Byron Will, and David Wilson
BRB3 p.226 AL#31 p.18
\wood\soft \wood\trees \wood\dealers
As the large stands of old growth timber are harvested it is likely that quality tonewoods will come more and more from men who can take the time to harvest and pack out individual trees. Who are they, how do they work, and what's their prognosis for the future? The discussion also introduces species that you probably never considered for top wood until now. With photos and range maps.

A Primer on Botanical Pronunciation by Nicholas Von Robison
BRB3 p. 231 AL#31 p.23
Whadija call that tree? An introduction to Latin pronunciations.

Whence Tree Names? by Nicholas Von Robison
BRB3 p. 235 AL#31 p.27
\wood\trees [delete \wood\other]
Those Latin tongue twisters actually mean something. Scholars actually find joy and amusement in many of the scientific names. You might, too.

Commercial Graphite Acoustic Guitars by John Decker
BRB3 p.224 AL#31 p.30
\synthetics \guitar\flattop \guitar\classical \bracing\flattop
This alternative to wood is outside the reach of most luthiers. It's interesting to know how hard some are working to make graphite sound like wood. Graphite might have its own sound to offer, but once again inventors have to deal with what humans are used to, rather than with what they might have if they were more open minded. With 7 photos.

1992 National Convention/Exhibition Coverage
AL#31 p.34
\meetings \organizations
Journeyed to South Dakota with 300 fanatics to talk instruments. This is a quick wrap-up with 35 photos.

1992 Exhibitors List
AL#31 p.41
The turnout at this convention was 65 builders and merchants.

The Bob Mattingly Memorial Fund
AL#31 p.45
Mattingly was a super-supporter of the Guild and of free information exchange. Donations to the GAL can be earmarked for this fund, which has been used to bring specific speakers and exhibitions to Guild conventions.

Remembering Bob Mattingly by Gila Eban
AL#31 p.45
\guitar\classical \people
Eban salutes a man whose generosity helped many persons on their quest for the good life as luthiers.

Historical Lute Construction: Practicum Part Ten by Robert Lundberg
AL#31 p.46
\lute \neck \pegs \tools\power
This segment sees the completion of the pegbox, its attachment to the lute, and the manufacture of tuning pegs on a machinist's lathe. With 40 photos and detailed captions. The entire series is 19 episodes in length.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

An Ingenious Epinette by John Bromka
BRB3 p.237 AL#31 p.55
\dulcimer\fretted \instruments\other
Bromka examines a French member of the lap dulcimer family. With 2 photos.

D'Aquisto Opens New String Factory by Tim Olsen
AL#31 p.56
A world-renowned luthier decides to make strings his own way.

It Worked For Me
BRB3 p.476 AL#31 p.57
\tools\hand \gluing \repair\crack \tools\clamps \tools\created \fingerboard\fretboard \tools\power
Members offer tips about specialty fretsaws, the best fret nippers, a cheap Dremel speed controller, mixing small portions of hide glue, finding and fixing body cracks before finishing, and making a clothes pin-powered brace jack.

Meet the Maker: Byron Will by Jonathon Peterson
BRB3 p.222 AL#31 p.58
\harpsichord \business\other \people
Will talks primarily about the business end of being a harpsichord maker.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB3 p.434 AL#31 p.60
\reviews \tools\hand \fingerboard\fretboard
Fleishman reviews the Waverly Fret Tang Nipper and finds that for the full-time builder it is an indispensable tool.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB3 p.472 AL#31 p.61
\rosette \synthetics \plans \lute \restoration
Information bytes about Baroque lute roses, synthetic materials for guitar construction, guitar and hurdy-gurdy plans, and information sources concerning lutes.

Electronic Answer Man by Rick Turner
BRB3 p.426 AL#31 p.62
\electronics \guitar\electric
Turner goes deep with information about the effect of wire insulation size on the character of a pickup, and explains the construction of guitar capacitors.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB3 p.446 AL#31 p.64
\violin \repair\other \bracing\other
Why don't the ribs of a broken fiddle fit the top any more? How much spring should be built into a bass bar? Why is there a step in the neck behind the nut on my fiddle. Darnton knows, now you will, too.

In Memoriam: Hart Huttig II by R. E. Brune
BRB3 p.499 AL#31 p.67
\guitar\classical \people
A stalwart of the nylon-strung guitar who was best known as a wood supplier passes away. Brune remembers a good friend and a pioneer of the American lutherie boom.

Winter 1992

Letter to the editor by Michael Cone
BRB3 p.307 AL#32 p.2
\physics\violin \physics\guitar
Writes of soundboard graduation and using a glass capillary tube for plate excitation.

Ivory Lute Labeled Magno Dieffopruchar in the collection of J & A Beare
BRB3 p.238 AL#32 p.4
\lute \ivory
A one-of-a-kind, almost fabled instrument. With 13 photos.

Ivory Lute: Picture This by Ken Sribnick and Gayle Miller
BRB3 p.238 AL#32 p.6
\lute \ivory
The lute photographers relate a wonderful anecdote about their pilgrimage to the London shop of Charles Beare to shoot the unicorn, er, no, the great white lute. With 3 more photos.

Ivory Lute: Questions Remain by Robert Lundberg
BRB3 p.241 AL#32 p.7
\lute \ivory
It seems that there is real doubt about the authenticity of this very same lute. American Lutherie's lute meister looks at the photos and thinks, “Hmm, maybe it is real.” With one more photo of Moby Lute.

Meet the Maker: Ren Ferguson by Jonathon Peterson
BRB3 p.242 AL#32 p.8
\guitar\flattop \people \repair\other \business\other \banjo \mandolin
The shop honcho of Gibson West relates some personal background. Ferguson moved to Montana long before Gibson did. Did Gibson really build a factory there just for him? Probably not. Mentions Rob Ehlers, Steve Carlson, Henry Juszkiewicz.

A Walk Through Gibson West with Ren Ferguson by Jonathon Peterson
BRB3 p.244 AL#32 p.11
\guitar\flattop \tools\jigs \gluing \tools\clamps \tools\hand \tools\power \inlay \fingerboard\fretboard
As a maker of fine acoustic instruments Gibson was reborn in Montana. The man in charge of creativity and efficiency leads the GAL team through his domain. With 17 photos.

An Interview with H. E. Huttig by R. E. Brune
BRB3 p.250 AL#32 p.16
\guitar\classical \people \wood\dealers
Huttig began importing guitar parts and European tonewood in the 1950s, and was a hard-core enthusiast of the classical guitar even before that. As a businessman and a friend to musicians and luthiers his life had far-reaching fallout. Mentions Barbero, Bobri, Hauser II, Hernandez, Romanillos, Ramirez, Esteso, and so on.

The Amazing But True Story of the Guild's Early Years by Bon “Flying Caps” Henderson
AL#32 p.24
Read about how dreamy-but-enthusiastic-hippie-types built a strange little newsletter into an organization of international respect.

In the Beginning by R. E. Brune
AL#32 p.25
A man who witnessed the very labor pains that preceded the birth of the GAL recaptures the details and makes a dire prophecy.

Meet the Maker (of the Guild): Tim Olsen by Todd Brotherton
BRB3 p.258 AL#32 p.26
\organizations \people \business\other \philosophy
Olsen is the leader of the Guild, though he would strongly resist being called the boss. Sometimes it seems that people are led to where they can best serve, regardless of the path they might have chosen for themselves. Tim doesn't make instruments any more, but through the GAL he shines a light upon all of us who do. This interview is proof that, often, people are even more interesting than you suspect. Mentions Deb Olsen, Bon Henderson, J.R. Beall, Bob Petrulis, Leo Bidne, Harvey Thomas.

Conventions Overview
AL#32 p.30
\meetings \organizations
This convention flashback offers 3 group photos and a description of all the conventions squeezed into a paragraph apiece.

Honor Roll
AL#32 p.32
\organizations \people
This is a salute to the Guild's most loyal members.

Alphabetical Subject Index to American Lutherie #1-#32
Just like it says. (AL#32 p.33)

Chemical Stains by Michael Darnton
BRB3 p.266 AL#32 p.44
\violin \finish\other \restoration
Nothing is easy for fiddle people. When they aren't tweaking and gluing wood they are stirring up a witch's brew in their home chem labs. Darn if Darnton doesn't sound like he likes it, though. Buy some fancy wood. Trick it into changing color.

Antonio Raya: Granada's Rising Star by Lisa Hurlong
BRB3 p.265 AL#32 p.46
\guitar\classical \people
An adopted daughter of Granada describes an up-and-coming Spanish guitar maker. Good local color. Mentions Antonio Marin.

Hellfire! or How Not To Build A Banjo by Harold Turner
BRB3 p.257 AL#32 p.47
\banjo \humor
Build a banjo and scare the congregation, and not with music. Luthier humor, and more good local color. Turner was there when the banjo bomb was invented. A shrinking calf skin head was the culprit.

The Vihuela Makers of Toledo, 1617 by Jose L. Romanillos
BRB3 p.262 AL#32 p.48
\vihuela \organizations
Scholarship on the trail of a vanished instrument.

Meet the Maker: Guy Rabut by Tim Olsen
BRB3 p.268 AL#32 p.52
\violin \people \restoration \schools \cello \business\promotion
A long-time Guild member makes it as a violinmaker in the Big Apple after a twenty-year run. Mentions Ed Campbell, Peter Prier, Rene Morel.

Bowling Ball Instrument Stand by Willis Groth
BRB3 p.490 AL#32 p.56
\tools\created \workshop \tools\clamps
This pivoting work stand really is made of a bowling ball. You have to see it to understand it.

Repairing Catalyzed Finishes by Jim Grainger
BRB3 p.270 AL#32 p.58
\finish\other \repair\other \restoration \finish\spraying \business\other
Grainger swears that this work is easy and profitable, and makes it seem so. The secret ingredient is called Final Coat, a Mohawk product.

Review: The Workbench Book by Scott Landis. Reviewed by Robert Lundberg
BRB3 p.470 AL#32 p.62
\workshop \reviews
“. . .please do take a look at this marvelous book of workbenches, for it will not fail to fill you with ideas of how to improve the 'heart' of your own shop.”

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB3 p.446 AL#32 p.64
\violin \fingerboard\fretboard \gluing \bridge\violin
What should one expect from a purchased ebony fingerboard? Should a fiddle bridge lean back, and how far? Can you offer hints about using hide glue? Darnton's wide experience rescues another page of readers.

It Worked For Me
BRB3 p.476 AL#32 p.66
\tools\hand \inlay \guitar\classical \neck \fingerboard\fretboard \tools\clamps \wood\other tools\power \electronics \guitar\electric
Members offer tips about nut scribes, an equal-spacing divider, fly-tiers vise, securing wood stacks with Redirod, routing a classical headstock to shape, making clay dots, a fret wire display for customers, and more.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB3 p.472 AL#32 p.69
\instruments\other \plans \tools\measuring \rosette \restoration
Readers to the rescue! Information about nyckelharps, hurdy-gurdy plans, the Sabine 1500 electronic tuner, baroque guitar roses, and an Ontario source for lacquer.

Spring 1993

Meet the Maker: Roberto Gomes by Cyndy Burton
BRB3 p.272 AL#33 p.6
\guitar\classical \wood\other \people \wood\hard
A Brazilian guitar maker comments upon his situation in Brazil and his first trip to America as a luthier.

Brazilian Tonewoods by Roberto Gomes
BRB3 p.275 AL#33 p.9
\wood\other \wood\trees \wood\hard
Straight from the horse's mouth---a Brazilian guitar maker talks about Brazilian tonewood. Ever wonder what a living rosewood tree looks like? Well, wonder no more. With 6 photos and a range map.

Brazilian Guitar Makers by Roberto Gomes
BRB3 p.278 AL#33 p.12
\guitar\classical \people
Gomes offers a list and short description of some current Brazilian builders.

Torres Guitar Restoration by R. E. Brune
BRB3 p.280 AL#33 p.14
\guitar\classical \guitar\other \guitar\harp \restoration \repair\crack \repair\neck \wood\soft \wood\hard \binding \bracing\classical \bridge\guitar \gluing \finish\shellac \fingerboard\fretboard \plan
Brune describes a rare 11-string Torres guitar and the manner in which he restored it. With 11 photos and a half-page of drawings. Mentions Romanillos.

Stalking the Wild Maple by John Boser
BRB3 p.173 AL#33 p.22
\wood\hard \humor
Gathering one's own tonewood can be a tiresome pursuit. Boser takes a humorous look at one of his futile expeditions.

Building Hollow Radius Forms by Colin Kaminski
BRB3 p.476 AL#33 p.23
\tools\jigs \tools\created \bracing\other
Kaminski's form uses two sheets of plywood of different thickness. They are stacked and screwed together down the center, and the thin sheet is curved by placing rows of wedges between them. A wood frame is built around the plywood, then polyester is poured between the sheets to make the radius permanent. It works, but it can be messy.

Inside Pacific Rim Tonewoods by Steve McMinn
BRB3 p.288 AL#33 p.24
\wood\soft \wood\dealers \wood\trees
The head honcho of a new designer tonewood company describes his operation. With 4 photos.

The Great White Sitka by Jeffrey R. Elliott
BRB3 p.290 AL#33 p.26
\wood\soft \wood\trees
How does one hack a log that's 11' wide into 4000 guitar tops? Very carefully! With 9 photos detailing the decimation of Moby Spruce. By the way, this is a log that Steve McMinn rescued from the pulp mill.

Innovative Instruments for the Performing Musician by Francis Kosheleff
AL#33 p.29
Another page of humor from the mildly depraved mind of Kosheleff. With two cartoons.

Reproducing the Finish of the “Rawlins” Stradivari Guitar by Geary Baese
BRB3 p.292 AL#33 p.30
\violin \finish\varnish \guitar\baroque \restoration
When a violin guy gets on the trail of an old guitar it comes out sounding an awful lot like a violin article. And when Stradivari is involved what else can one expect? Baese makes an educated guess about the materials and techniques that finished a famous guitar. With 8 photos.

Micro-mesh by David Freeman
BRB3 p.308 AL#33 p.35
\tools\other \finish\other
Micro-mesh is the latest word in sandpaper. In fact, it's not even paper and it doesn't feel sandy. Freeman and his students use it for all wet-sanding chores, including the final gloss finish. It's that fine.

At the Workbench by Wes Brandt
BRB3 p.303 AL#33 p.36
\bending \tools\hand \fingerboard\fretboard \repair\crack \finish\other \tools\measuring \tools\created
A well-known repairman delivers eight tips, including an alternate way to bend a Venetian cutaway, tool tips, and a way to bend sides more accurately.

Big Blue Ladder by Harold Turner
BRB3 p.308 AL#33 p.39
\wood\soft \humor
Turner thinks you might like to try white pine as a tonewood. But you'll have to harvest it yourself. Here are some suggestions about how to go about it.

Sustainability: An Issue Facing Luthiers by John Curtis
BRB3 p.298 AL#33 p.40
\organizations \wood\trees
Curtis is a wood dealer and a founder of WARP (Woodworkers Alliance for Rainforest Protection). Here he examines international law, species extinction, conservation, and local economies in the Third World. Oh yeah, and the American luthier's place in this scheme.

Shortening Schaller Shafts by David Golber
BRB3 p.310 AL#33 p.46
\tuners \repair\other
If stock tuners stick up too far from the top of your headstock you can fix them, but it requires a machinist's lathe.

Carving Neck Facets by John Calkin
BRB3 p.306 AL#33 p.48
Calkin offers a neck shaping method that gives preconceived notions a chance to be born. What you want in a neck is what you get, quickly and with straight lines.

Electronic Answer Man by Rick Turner
BRB3 p.426 AL#33 p.50
\electronics \guitar\flattop
Turner talks about building pickup/microphone systems into an acoustic guitar.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB3 p.446 AL#33 p.52
\violin \pegs \repair\neck \repair\other
What is a spiral bushing, and when do you use it? It's a one-question column this time around.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB3 p.434 AL#33 p.54
\reviews \electronics \guitar\flattop
Fleishman tests the Dean Markley SST acoustic guitar pickup (saddle/transducer) and decides that it may fit certain needs but it doesn't offer faithful reproduction of the guitar's acoustic sound.

It Worked For Me
BRB3 p.476 AL#33 p.56
\bridge\electric \tools\clamps \tuners guitar\electric \tools\created \workshop
Member-supplied info about turning a WWI aircraft into a guitar bridge with tuners, and the Wonder Vise for clamping down acoustic guitars.

Review: Building a Herringbone-style Acoustic Guitar by Don MacRostie and Dan Erlewine. Reviewed by Dave Maize.
BRB3 p.471 AL#33 p.57
\reviews \guitar\flattop
Videos begin to get their due in the review department. The reviewer decides this tape is a valuable aid for the first-time builder.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB3 p.472 AL#33 p.58
\guitar\resophonic \instruments\other \bracing\classical \neck \bass\electric
Readers supply info about Quarterman resonator cones, a hurdy-gurdy book, bracing cedar classical guitar tops, and dealing with dead spots in bass guitar necks.

'Way, 'WAY Down South by Bill Garofalo
BRB3 p.312 AL#33 p.60
While in Argentina Garofalo and his wife trek to a guitar factory only to find that it makes (surprise!) amplified acoustics and solidbody instruments.

Summer 1993

Letter to the editor by Ervin Somogyi
AL#34 p.4
\organizations \people
Somogyi was burned out of house and shop during the Oakland Hills Firestorm. He describes his plight and how the Crafts Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) helped rescue him. If you need such help, or if you would like to contribute to CERF, Somogyi tells how.

CITES Tree List by Nicholas Von Robison
AL#34 p.5
\wood\trees \business\other
Any artifact containing wood from a CITES tree might be impounded at any international border. This list may help you if you travel or do import/export.

A Timely Top Replacement by Jeffrey Elliott
BRB3 p.316 AL#34 p.6
\repair\other \bracing\classical \bridge\guitar \restoration \binding \gluing
Elliott believes that top replacements might be far more common in the future than they are now. Instruments with tired tops might have them replaced rather than retire the rare/irreplaceable hardwoods that comprise the rest of the instrument. Anyhow, he tried it out. Here he presents a description of the operation and the ethics involved, with 23 photos.

Meet the Maker: Bart Reiter by Paul Hostetter
BRB3 p.324 AL#34 p.14
\banjo \ inlay \people \schools \business\promotion
Reiter is perhaps the best known current maker of open back banjos. He traces his beginnings and some specifics of the banjo market. With 3 photos.

Applications of the Silicone Heating Blanket in Violin Making by George Borun
BRB3 p.328 AL#34 p.18
\violin \bending \repair\other \fingerboard\fretboard \tools\created
Not many people make the mental leap from violins to the space age easily. Borun did, and found the connection useful. His list of uses extends far beyond bending the ribs.

Meet the Maker: Michael Sanden by Jonathon Peterson
BRB3 p.330 AL#34 p.20
\guitar\other \people \guitar\harp \business\other
A Swedish guitar maker comes to America for a round of twenty-questions. When non-Americans step out on Lutherie Road the trip isn't necessarily the one we imagine. Sanden shares a lot of information about his mentor, Georg Bolin.

A New Look at Harp Guitars by Jonathon Peterson
BRB3 p.334 AL#34 p.24
\guitar\harp \guitar\electric \bracing\flattop \plans \strings\guitar \strings\tension \electronics \neck \fingerboard\fretboard \tuners
In AL#29 Peterson looked back at the harp guitar. This time he takes a forward look. A number of luthiers find fascination and a new potential in the big beast, and this is the best look at their results to date. With 28 photos and 8 detailed drawings. Also available is GAL full-scale Plan #34, the Klein solidbody electric harp guitar.

Questions about Segovia's 1937 Hauser by R. E. Brune
BRB3 p.351 AL#34 p.41
Is the Met's Segovia Hauser the famous Hauser? Probably, but maybe not. That such mysteries can remain about the most famous classical guitarist ever is quite heartening.

Echoes of H. E. Huttig
AL#34 p.42
\guitar\classical \people
A well-loved man is remembered in his own words. Also see AL#32.

Wet/Dry Bulb Thermometers by J. E. Patterson
BRB3 p.313 AL#34 p.44
\tools\measuring \humidity
Even the best hygrometer needs to be reset occasionally. Here's how, and why.

Conical Radius Fretboard Formula by Elaine Hartstein
BRB3 p.314 AL#34 p.46
Another method to plot the modern fingerboard.

A Timeless Learning Experience by Sheldon Schwartz
AL#34 p.49
A salute to David Freeman from one of his former students.

Origins of the Mountain Dulcimer by John Calkin
AL#34 p.50
\dulcimer\fretted \humor
Calkin takes a humorous (and highly fictionalized) whack at folk history.

Electronic Answer Man by Rick Turner
BRB3 p.426 AL#34 p.52
\electronics \guitar\electric \guitar\flattop \bass\electric
This column is dedicated to combining magnetic and piezo pickups.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB3 p.446 AL#34 p.54
\violin \pegs \gluing \finish\other
What adjustments change the tone of a violin? Should new pegs be reshaped or should the pegbox holes be opened to fit them? Which glue for a top center seam? Are stains really useless?

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB3 p.434 AL#34 p.56
\reviews \fingerboard\fretboard \neck
Fleishman examines a rash of Stew-Mac fretting tools and their fretting video. He gives the green light to the entire package after extensive testing.

It Worked For Me
BRB3 p.476 AL#34 p.58
\fingerboard\fretboard \gluing \tools\clamps \binding \tools\jigs \bridge\guitar \tools\created \inlay
Member tips about tapering fingerboards, epoxy-fitting saddles, vacuum clamping, tinted glue for installing abalone, and binding fingerboards.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB3 p.472 AL#34 p.60
\business\other \schools
Burton supplies a stock answer to give people who want to be your apprentice or hit on you about making instruments. It's long, but it's a good one, and it covers all the bases.

In Memoriam: Hammond Ashley by Dave Wilson and Peggy Warren
BRB3 p.499 AL#34 p.61
\bass\viol \cello \violin \people
A man who was a fixture in the American lutherie scene and the Guild passes on at 91.

Fall 1993

Letter to the editor by Tom Peterson
BRB3 p.305 AL#35 p. 2
Remembrance of H.E. Huttig.

Violin Setups, Part One by Michael Darnton
BRB3 p.352 AL#35 p.6
\violin \pegs \fingerboard\fretboard \repair\other \tools\hand \tools\jigs \tools\measuring \sharpening
To the uninitiated, violin setup seems to have way too many steps for the small number of moveable parts involved. Taken one step at a time, the mystery falls away. Darnton explains the tools and procedures he uses to get the most out of a violin. This segment includes fitting pegs, correcting problems with the nut, making a fingerboard, and fitting a soundpost. Part Two is printed in AL#37. With 30 photos.

It's a Kabosy by Paul Hostetter
BRB3 p.386 AL#35 p.16
\instruments\other \fingerboard\fretboard
The kabosy is a folk instrument from Madagascar. It comes in several body shapes, but always has a neck with the same layout of staggered frets, many of which don't completely cross the fingerboard. It's easy to build and fun to play once your eyes stop being baffled by the weird frets.

The Malagasy Kabosy An Instrument Plan by Paul Hostetter
BRB3 p.392 AL#35 p.21
\plans \instruments\other
Using these drawings and text you can make your own kabosy in a few days. This is a reduced version of GAL full-scale Plan #35.

Meet the Maker: Tom Ribbecke by Nicholas Von Robison
BRB3 p.370 AL#35 p.24
\guitar\electric \guitar\flattop \wood\other \people \guitar\archtop
As an adviser to the trade, a builder of high quality guitars, and teacher, Ribbecke has had a strong influence on the work of many luthiers. This interview sketches his beginnings in lutherie.

Some Alternative Lutherie Woods from the 1992 convention workshop by Tom Ribbecke
BRB3 p.372 AL#35 p.26
\wood\other \wood\hard \wood\dealers \wood\soft
Ribbecke gathered information from across the country for this talk, an introduction to the woods that may eventually---like it or not---change the look of the instruments we make and play.

Alternative Lutherie Woods List by Nicholas Von Robison
BRB3 p.376 AL#35 p.30
\wood\other \wood\hard wood\soft
What is that strange wood? Where did it come from, and what should you expect from it?
A look at 28 varieties of wood you may not have considered working with.

Historical Lute Construction: Practicum Part Eleven by Robert Lundberg
AL#35 p.34
\lute \finish\shellac
In this segment the lute is prepped for finish and treated with French polish. With 41 photos and substantial text. Part of a series of 19 step-by-step articles.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

A Tribute to My Teacher: The Legacy of Arthur Overholtzer by Bruce McGuire
BRB3 p.499 AL#35 p.44
\guitar\classical \people
Overholtzer is cussed and discussed, but he had an undeniable influence on the American classical guitar scene. He built Spanish guitars in a very un-Spanish manner.

Designing Rosettes with Computer Graphics by Wayne Kelly
\rosette \computers
Have a try at laying out rosette tiles with your PC. (AL#35 p.46)

Another Look at Fretting by Ralph Novak
BRB3 p.368 AL#35 p.48
\fingerboard\fretboard \tools\hand
Good fretwork is complicated, but practice makes it a staple in the repairman's income. Novak offers advice garnered from twenty-odd years in the business.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB3 p.446 AL#35 p.52
\violin \neck \fingerboard\fretboard
What are the proper dimensions and shape of the neck? What is a "tight" fiddle? What is fingerboard tilt? What does a player mean when he says he "can't reach" the D string? Darnton answers all.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB3 p.434 AL#35 p.54
\reviews \tuners \bridge\electric
The Guild's resident tool and hardware tester takes a look at Waverly vintage-style tuners, Sperzel locking machine heads, and the Trem-Setter stabilizing device. All are given the nod of approval.

It Worked For Me
BRB3 p.476 AL#35 p.56
\finish\other \finish\oil \finish\varnish \tools\jigs \bridge\guitar \fingerboard\fretboard \physics\violin \physics\guitar \bridge\gluing \tools\jigs \tools\hand
Members offer alternatives to lacquer; plate tuning advice; a jig for making bridges that fit your radiused top; and fretting tips.

Electronic Answer Man by Rick Turner
BRB3 p.426 AL#35 p.58
\electronics \guitar\electric
Turner spends nearly 2 pages talking about electric guitar wiring harnesses, which wire to use, and what pot values to try.

Opinion: Classic Guitars Are Too Quiet by Paul Hurley
AL#35 p.60
\guitar\classic \philosophy
Hurley believes that classical guitars aren't loud enough, and that if design changes can't make improvements, perhaps concert halls should be changed or amplification used. He wishes to boost the popularity of guitar concerts.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB3 p.472 AL#35 p.61
\instruments\other \bridge\electric
Sources of harp information, the Parsons/White string bender, and the identity of Juan Roberto.

In Memoriam: Robbie Robinson by Betty Truitt and Ray Mooers
BRB3 p.499 AL#35 p.62
\instrument\other \people
Robinson was a prime mover in the resurgence of the folk harp.

In Memoriam: Mario Maccaferri by John Monteleone
BRB3 p.499 AL#35 p.63
\guitar\flattop \violin \synthetics \people
One of the grand old men of stringed instruments passes on. Maccaferri designed the Django-style Selmer guitar as well as the plastic uke.

Winter 1993

Finishing Techniques for Hiding Repair Work from the 1992 convention lecture by Dan Erlewine
BRB3 p.380 AL#36 p.6
\finish\shellac \finish\other \repair\other \restoration \repair\neck
Erlewine hides his wooden patches under a field of colored French polish, then paints over it with simulated wood grain, and then might shoot a sunburst around everything. Old European craftsmen would smile in recognition of these tricks, but they are seldom applied to guitars.

Meet the Maker: Ervin Somogyi by Colin Kaminski
BRB3 p.393 AL#36 p.12
\philosophy \people
Many of us suffer periods of lutherie burnout, but few as dramatically as Somogyi, whose house and shop were lost in a great California fire. This interview offers early background information and an update of how he has coped since the fire.

Principles of Guitar Dynamics and Design from the 1992 convention lecture by Ervin Somogyi
BRB3 p.396 AL#36 p.16
\physics\guitar \guitar\flattop \bracing\flattop \lute
Somogyi delves into many of the technical considerations of guitar design and construction. With a large number of drawings.

What You Should Know About the Hardanger Fiddle by David Golber
BRB3 p.410 AL#36 p.26
\violin \instruments\other \inlay \strings\other \repair\other \repair\neck
The chief difference between the Hardanger and a normal violin is its use of sympathetic strings, though other differences abound. Ornate decoration is also usual. Golber offers a good description of a typical Hardanger and how to set it up. With 9 photos and a number of drawings.

Historical Lute Construction: Practicum Part Twelve by Robert Lundberg
AL#36 p.32
\lute \pegs \neck
Lundberg explains how to make and fit the pegs to the lute. With 26 photos and detailed captions. This is one of 19 step-by-step segments in the series.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Fingerboard Radius Sanding Blocks by Wayne Kelly
BRB3 p.476 AL#36 p.39
\tools\hand \synthetics \tools\created \fingerboard\fretboard
Make your own radiused blocks from auto body filler.

Meet the Maker: Scot Tremblay by Jonathon Peterson
BRB3 p.405 AL#36 p.40
\guitar\other \plans \finish\other \restoration \neck
Trembley is a Canadian luthier who specializes in the guitars of the 19th century, both as a maker and a restorationist. He has studied the subject deeply. With 12 photos and a scale drawing of an 1816 Salon Guitar by Jose Martinez. This plan is a reduced version of GAL full-scale Plan #36.

Sharpening Scrapers by Robert Lundberg
BRB3 p.416 AL#36 p.46
\sharpening \tools\hand
Scrapers are wonderfully useful tools despite the difficulties they often pose to beginners. Lundberg explains how to tame them.

Jatoba by Nicholas Von Robison and Debbie Suran
BRB3 p.420 AL#36 p.50
\dulcimer\hammered \wood\hard \wood\other \bending
Two luthiers examine an alternative wood and find that their samples do not match each other, and that their research texts don't match descriptions, either. Two chunks of wood point to a common problem for those who are driven to be different.

At the Workbench of the Twelfth Fret by Jonathon Peterson
BRB3 p.422 AL#36 p.52
\gluing \electronics \guitar\archtop \fingerboard\fretboard \binding \tools\power \cases \repair\other finish\lacquer
Four repairmen offer a variety of tips about altering mechanical archtop bridges, adding more "pop" to fretless bass necks, soldering and shielding electrics, carbide bandsaw blades, abrasive cord, superglue, cutting saddle slots, double-stick tape, bending plastic binding, beveling pickguard stock, replacing bar frets with T-frets, and restoring headstocks to look old.

Electronic Answer Man by Rick Turner
BRB3 p.426 AL#36 p. 56
\electronics \guitar\electric \bass\electric
Turner warns repairmen not to get in over their heads with custom electronics work, and describes two elaborate jobs that came out right for all concerned.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB3 p.446 AL#36 p.58
\binding \strings\violin \violin \cello
Darnton discusses classical violin strings and a timesaving method of cutting the purfling slots.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB3 p.434 AL#36 p.60
\reviews \tuners \bridge\electric
Toolman tries out the Hipshot Extender Key for guitars, and the Hipshot Trilogy bridge. He finds them to be useful products with specific uses.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB3 p.472 AL#36 p.63
\plans \mandolin \instruments\other
Readers offer information about the mandolin family of instruments, and where to find drawings of the National Duolian guitar.

Spring 1994

CITES Paperwork Update by R. E. Brune
AL#37 p.5
\wood\other \business\other
If you attempt to move across international borders any artifact containing wood from a CITES tree (which includes Brazilian rosewood) you may risk confiscation if first you don't fill out the right forms and pay the proper fees. It's a slow and expensive process, and Brune's forecast for the future is even scarier.

James L. D'Aquisto: Building the Archtop Guitar. A Brief Overview by Tim Olsen
BRB4 p.2 AL#37 p.6
\guitar\archtop \binding \bracing\other \neck
Nobody built a better archtop than D'Aquisto did. Olsen outlines the procedures and peculiarities of a famous luthier's work.

James L. D'Aquisto: Building the Archtop Guitar. The Soundboard by Tim Olsen
BRB4 p.6 AL#37 p.10
\guitar\archtop \bracing\other \tools\hand
Olsen travels from the general (in the preceding article) to the specific. He zeros in on D'Aquisto's soundboard work for a detailed examination. With 47 photos.

Meet the Maker: John Koster by Nicholas Von Robison
BRB4 p.17 AL#37 p.22
\repair\other \people \restoration
How does a man become conservator to a famous collection of stringed instruments, and just exactly what does he do after he's there? Koster maintains the collection at the Shrine to Music Museum.

Violin Setups, Part Two by Michael Darnton
AL#37 p.26
\violin \bridge\violin \strings\violin
And you thought you knew all there was to know about making that fiddle play. Darnton continues his instruction from AL#35. This time he tunes and fits the bridge, strings, tailpiece, saddle, and end button. With 13 photos.

Historical Lute Construction: Practicum Part Thirteen by Robert Lundberg
AL#37 p.32
\lute \finish\other
Lundberg cleans, scrapes, waxes and oils the various parts of the lute that will not receive French polish treatment. With 29 photos, detailed captions, and two recipes for lute wax. Also included is a guide to all 19 installments and plans of this series.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Cutting Michigan Maple by Elon Howe
AL#37 p.40
\wood\hard \mandolin
Another luthier turns woodcutter using a Wood Mizer portable bandsaw, and maple isn't the half of it. With 4 photos and a diagram for sawing logs into "bastard cut" mandolin wood.

Floyd by Nicholas Von Robison
AL#37 p.42
\violin \wood\other \humor \people
Local color and good humor are key ingredients of this peek at an independent-minded violinmaker. Arizona rosewood? Manzinita tuning pegs?

Ash Varnish: A modern Alchemist's Recipe by Keith Hill
BRB4 p.23 AL#37 p.44
\violin \finish\varnish \restoration
Hill cooks up a varnish that resembles the fiddles in the early paintings, not those same fiddles 300 years later. A hundred years from now he expects his violins to be prettier than anyone's.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#37 p.49
Burton assembled a list of plans for all the instruments she could find, and a list of sources for those plans.

Getting down to BASSIC's by Frank Bolger
AL#37 p.50
\organizations \meetings
The Bay Area Society of Stringed Instruments Craftspersons puts on its first exhibit. This organization is now called NCAL.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB4 p.422 AL#37 p.52
\reviews \tools\other \tools\clamps
Fleishman spent a month doing all his repair work on The Apprentice, an instrument holder from WidgetWorks, and declares that he can't give it up.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB4 p.442 AL#37 p.54
\violin \bracing\other
Darnton reflects upon bass bar design and tap tone pitches for viola and cello. (

Electronic Answer Man by Rick Turner
BRB4 p.416 AL#37 p.56
\electronics \tools\measuring
Turner's column is all about the essential electronic measuring instruments for the guitar shop.

Review: The History and Artistry of National Resonator Instruments by Bob Brozman. Reviewed by Ron Lira.
BRB4 p.458 AL#37 p.57
\reviews \guitar\resophonic
The reviewer says, “I'm so impressed with this book I could just bust!” Apparently America now has a National heaven.

It Worked For Me
BRB4 p.482 AL#37 p.58
\tools\power \fingerboard\fretboard \gluing \tools\hand \computers
Reader tips about carving instruments with a chain saw disk on a grinder, clamping violin fingerboards, making waterproof hide glue, deep-throat sockets and nut wrenches, making templates from computer printouts, and cutting ceramic nuts with a diamond file.

Summer 1994

Historical Lute Construction: Practicum Part Fourteen by Robert Lundberg
AL#38 p.8
\lute \fingerboard\fretboard \strings\tension
The GAL lute meister reaches the end of the line. Here he makes the nut, ties on the frets, and completes the setup. With a string tension formula, nut spacing diagram, 34 photos, and detailed captions.
Note: All of the material from this series can be found in the GAL’s hardback book, Historical Lute Construction. None of this material appears in any volume of the Big Red Book of American Lutherie.

Fe, Fi, Faux Fender from a 1992 convention lecture by Dan Erlewine
BRB4 p.28 AL#38 p.18
\guitar\electric \finish\other \restoration
How do you make a new electric guitar that looks like it spent forty years in the bar wars? Erlewine uses two finishes with incompatible shrink rates, rope, the concrete floor, you name it! Creativity can be harsh, but his Tele certainly looks vintage.

Segovia's 1937 Hauser: Top and Back Thicknesses by R. E. Brune
BRB4 p.34 AL#38 p.24
\guitar\classical \tools\measuring
Brune made a map of plate dimensions using a new (and expensive) gizzy called the Elcometer. Then he decides that plate thickness probably isn't so big a deal. Well, at least you have a model to guide you.

A Look at Lutherie in Bubenreuth, Germany by David Riggs
BRB4 p.20 AL#38 p.26
\meetings \violin \zither \guitar\classical
Sometimes German instruments can look downright, well, German! Not the ones that Riggs captured on film, though. Perhaps the whole world is now one big melting pot.

Meet the Maker: Nick Kukich and Jeanne Munro by Jonathon Peterson
BRB4 p.36 AL#38 p.30
\guitar\flattop \people
The folks from Franklin Guitars are outspoken and articulate. Are steel string makers really the “bottom feeders” of the guitar world? Kukich was there at the rebirth of the OM guitar.

The Ukrainian Bandura: A Distant Relative of the Harp Guitar by Francis Kosheleff
BRB4 p.42 AL#38 p.34
A typical bandura looks like a melted acoustic guitar with about a hundred extra strings spread across the body. OK, not that many. A lot, though. Kosheleff knows these Russians well.

Sullivan's Super Sander an interview with John Sullivan by Jonathon Peterson
BRB4 p.39 AL#38 p.36
\tools\power \tools\created
Sullivan built a maximum performance thickness sander for $800 and 100 hours time.

Long Live King Koa! by Bart Potter
BRB4 p.44 AL#38 p.)40
\wood\hard \wood\trees \wood\dealers
Harvesting wood in Hawaii, conserving it for the future, and looking at koa's working properties.

Heed Herr Helmholtz (or How I Built My First Guitar Twice) by Mike Doolin
BRB4 p.48 AL#38 p.44
\physics\guitar \bracing\flattop \guitar\flattop
Anyone willing to dismantle their first guitar deserves a lot of credit, especially if it came out cosmetically pristine the first time. Doolin replaced the top of his first guitar to bring the bass response up to spec. With 9 photos and a lot to think about.

Making Flat Cases by John Calkin
BRB4 p.59 AL#38 p.48
\cases \wood\other
How to make hardshell, vinyl-covered, fur-lined cases for instruments that won't fit into a stock case.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB4 p.422 AL#38 p.52
\reviews \electronics \guitar\flattop
Fleishman has made himself an expert in the field of amplifying the acoustic guitar. Here he examines the Transducer/Mic Combo, from Dana Bourgeois Guitars, and decides that it is a “real bargain.”

It Worked For Me
BRB4 p.482 AL#38 p.54
\tools\hand \inlay \pegs \tools\power \electronics
GAL members offer advice and tips about nut files, making dulcimers from scrap wood, silencing the hum of cheap acoustic guitar electronics, buying hardwood cutoffs, the Ryobi oscillating drum sander, checking for high or low frets, Olson & Silk abrasive drums, nut and saddle spacing templates, the Hurricane Blower, abalone and epoxy headstock caps and rosettes, heat sealing irons, and tuning peg tapers.

Sayonara, Sitka Spruce! by Larry Trumble
AL#38 p.58
\wood\soft \wood\trees
Trumble forecasts the future for one of lutherie's staple woods.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#38 p.59
\wood\soft \strings\other \fingerboard\fretboard
Reader-supplied info about Canadian tonewood sources, shipping fretwire to Sweden, and a source for unusual strings.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB4 p.442 AL#38 p.60
\violin \business\other \business\ethics
Advice about making musicians happy with your work and dealing with student-grade instruments.

Fall 1994

Bridge and Bridge Patch Replacement from a 1992 convention lecture by Bryan Galloup
BRB4 p.52 AL#39 p.10
\guitar\flattop \repair\bridge \bridge\guitar
Here's the whole story, with some tools for heat removal of the parts not seen in the magazine before. Pull those worn parts and make your own replacements. With 38 photos.

Meet the Maker: Eric Meyer by Jonathon Peterson
BRB4 p.65 AL#39 p.18
\violin \pegs \wood\other
Meyer's current gig is the manufacture of violin fittings. He describes his peg making process in detail.

Making Pickguards by John Calkin
BRB4 p.70 AL#39 p.25
\guitar\electric \synthetics \repair\other \accessories
The focus here is electric guitar pickguards, both wood and plastic. Some tips carry over to acoustic pickguards.

Meet the Maker: Henry Strobel by Jonathon Peterson
BRB4 p.85 AL#39 p.27
\violin \people
A violinmaker talks about his foray into publishing violin books.

Two-Part Inside Violin Mold by Elon Howe
BRB4 p.80 AL#39 p.28
\violin \tools\jigs
A nontraditional mold deep enough to keep the ribs square to the top and back plates.

The Tiple by Jorge Gonzalez
BRB4 p.62 AL#39 p.30
Outwardly, the tiple resembles a biggish ukulele with 10 strings arranged in four courses. Tuning arrangements vary with geography. In America the Martin tiple is the best known.

1937 Martin T-17 Tiple an instrument plan by Jorge Gonzalez
AL#39 p.32
\instruments\other \plans
This is a reduced version of our full-scale Plan #37.

The Anti-Murphy Concert by Al Carruth
AL#39 p.34
\violin \philosophy
Fine musicians get together with acousticians and luthiers to try old against the new. No agreements are reached, but apparently a good time was had by all.

Just Beat It! Making a New Fender Neck Look Old from a 1992 convention lecture by Dan Erlewine
BRB4 p.72 AL#39 p.36
\guitar\electric \finish\other \neck \restoration
In the last issue Erlewine described how he made a new “old” Tele body. In this installment he attacks the neck, quite literally. With 40 photos.

Opinion by Andrea Tacchi, Translated from Italian by Stuart Rabinovitsh
AL#39 p.44
Tacchi opines that perhaps our attitude toward our work has too hard an edge, that we may be too eager to lose sight of the artist within us to produce the best work we are capable of.

Review: A Guide to Useful Woods of the World. Reviewed by Nicholas Von Robison.
BRB4 p.458 AL#39 p.46
\wood\trees \wood\other
The reviewer finds the book to be accurate and that the authors and editor did their best to escape the dry, technical aspects of wood science.

Review of the Strobel Series for Violin Makers, books one through four and a preview of book five. Reviewed by Robert Lundberg.
BRB4 p.458 AL#39 p.46
\violins \reviews
The reviewer finds that Strobel's books are useful and accurate, and that the author has made a brave attempt to encourage luthiers to make their own violins, rather than strict copies of master instruments. Always look for the latest edition of each volume since changes and updates often accompany each new edition.

Review: Making Master Guitars by Roy Courtnall. Reviewed by Kevin Aram.
BRB4 p.461 AL#39 p.49
\guitar\classical \reviews
The reviewer finds that his good first impression of the book is dimmed by six months spent in its company. He maintains that the information is inconsistent and not in the best interest of the beginning luthier, nor complete enough for the experienced builder.

Review: New Zealand Timbers by Norman C. Clifton. Reviewed by Marc Worsfold.
BRB4 p.463 AL#39 p.51
\wood\trees \wood\other
This book only concerns itself with wood varieties that grow large enough to harvest for lumber. In that light, the reviewer finds it to be an “excellent, well-researched book that gives a different view of New Zealand resources other than sheep.”

It Worked For Me
AL#39 p.52
\bending \tuners \tools\other \tools\created
Members offer tips about making a bending iron, fitting Waverly tuners, annealing tools on an electric stove, and successfully using masking tape as double stick tape.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB4 p.422 AL#39 p.54
\gluing \reviews
The GAL's Toolman examines Bob Smith Industries line of epoxies and CA glues and finds that they shoot down the competition.

Electronic Answer Man by Rick Turner
BRB4 p.416 AL#39 p.56
\electronics \guitar\electric \bass\electric
Turner updates the membership on some wire work he has done lately in his own shop.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB4 p.442 AL#39 p.58
\violin \neck \strings\violin
Darnton tells what to look for if a certain string breaks consistently, and how to remove a firmly attached violin neck.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#39 p.60
\guitar\other \lute \strings\other \plans
Readers offer information about Weissenborn guitars, sources of lute strings, and dulcimer plans.

Winter 1994

Doc and Leo and Me by Curt Carpenter
BRB4 p.90 AL#40 p.8
\guitar\electric \guitar\resophonic \electronics \people
Carpenter tells of his VA-sponsored apprenticeship to a legend of the electric guitar industry. A fine string of anecdotes. Carpenter actually moved in with Doc Kauffman and his wife, relived all the old stories, learned to build guitars, visited with Leo Fender, met Rudy Dopera, and made pickups. Carpenter left the army to enter the Guitar Wars.

Cat Guts and Glitter and Horsehair on Bow Sticks
an overview of the 1995 Catgut lectures by Al Carruth
BRB4 p.86 AL#40 p.14
\organizations \violin \physics\violin
The Catgutters have many interests that overlap the interests of GAL people, but they offer it more formally than GAL writers do. Well, more formally than non-violin GAL writers.

Segovia's 1912 Manuel Ramirez by R. E. Brune
BRB4 p.96 AL#40 p.18
\guitar\classical \plans
There is an undying interest in the Segovia guitars. Brune offers good description as well as 10 photos and a complete set of plans. The plans is a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #38.

Two Travel Guitars and Their Makers by Jonathon Peterson
BRB4 p.24 AL#40 p.24
\guitar\classical \guitar\other
Classical guitarists are too fussy to simply travel with a shrunken guitar. These two luthiers offer instruments that suit the special needs of special guitarists.

Ain't Nobody's Business But My Own
from a 1992 convention workshop by Dan Erlewine
BRB4 p.102 AL#40 p.28
\business\ethics \business\other
Many luthiers hate to talk about money because they don't like to acknowledge how little they clear per year. It's often a tough life. But all of us want to know how the others are doing, and if we are cheating ourselves. A brave, outspoken panel and a roomful of pros share a vociferous exchange of money talk.

Meet the Maker: Jim Roden by Jonathon Peterson
BRB4 p.114 AL#40 p.38
\dulcimer\fretted \wood\trees \people
Roden is a dulcimer maker and a forester, so he understands that we need to preserve forests and we need to cut them, too. He freely addresses both sides of the coin.

Fretboard Materials: A Semiscientific Survey by C.F. Casey
BRB4 p.112 AL#40 p.40
\fingerboard\fretboard \wood\hard
Casey devised his own methods of testing fingerboard woods for strength and abrasion resistance. His results will probably surprise you.

Resetting a Dovetailed Guitar Neck from a 1992 convention lecture by Bryan Galloup
BRB4 p.116 AL#40 p.42
\guitar\flattop \neck \repair\neck
Detailed captions for 36 photos explain how to cook the neck out of a flattop and put it back on the way it ought to be.

Vreeble and Veneer by John Calkin
BRB4 p.82 AL#40 p.50
\finish\lacquer \finish\other \repair\other \finish\spraying
Calkin's pair of articles first takes a look at Vreeble, a form of lacquer-based crackle paint, and then at refinishing an electric bass with curly maple veneer.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB4 p.22+71+197 AL#40 p.53
The only question with an answer in this column offers a list of lute makers throughout the world, though the list is admittedly not all-inclusive.

Electronic Answer Man by Rick Turner
BRB4 p.416 AL#40 p.54
\electronics \guitar\electric \bass\electric
Have you got a new idea about wiring a guitar or bass? Turner helps you decide if it may be worth the effort of trying it out. The fact that a new wiring system will work doesn't mean anyone will want to hear it. Or buy it. Or care at all.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB4 p.422 AL#40 p.56
\electronics \guitar\flattop
Fleishman tests the L.R. Baggs Micro Drive preamp and the MEQ-932 preamp available from Martin. Both units are for acoustic guitars, and the reviewer found them both to be a good value but not necessarily interchangeable.

It Worked For Me
AL#40 p.60
\tools\other \tuners \tools\created
Readers offer advice and information about extending the width of your bench vise, making a guitar inspection light, flattening the knobs of turned tuning pegs, and using an opaque projector for instrument designing.

Spring 1995

The Guitar Family, Continued by Graham Caldersmith
BRB4 p.126 AL#41 p.10
\guitar\classical \guitar\other \instrument\other
Caldersmith is working to expand the voice range of guitar ensembles, both classical and steel string. With 4 photos and frequency response graphs. The first installment of Caldersmith's work with a classical guitar family came way back in AL#18.

A Practical Approach to Hammered Dulcimers by John Calkin
BRB4 p.154 AL#41 p.18
\dulcimer\hammered \bracing\other \bridge\other
The goal is to make the lightest possible instrument that will stay in tune. Calkin examines bracing, bridge design, scale lengths, wood, and hammer design.

Meet the Maker: Debbie Suran by Nicholas Von Robison
BRB4 p.134 AL#41 p.26
\dulcimer\hammered \bracing\other \bridge\other
Suran is a performer/builder of hammered dulcimers.

Hammered Dulcimer Plan by Debbie Suran and Nicholas Von Robison
BRB4 p.137 AL#41 p.29
\plans \dulcimer\hammered \strings\tension
Suran's design allows for the least amount of tension over the side bridges, which contributes to instrument stability. This plan is a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #39.

Making Oval Mandolin Rosettes by Jonathon Peterson, et al.
BRB4 p.140 AL#41 p.34
\mandolin \rosette
Seven luthiers explain how they cut that oval slot.

Meet the Maker: Lara Espley by Nicholas Von Robison
BRB4 p.152 AL#41 p.38
\wood\other \philosophy \people
Espley is a Canadian maker of wonderfully distinctive instruments. Here she talks about her favorite woods (purpleheart, koa), her training, and the gender gap.

Felix Manzanero and his Collection of Antique Guitars by Ronald Louis Fernandez
BRB4 p.144 AL#41 p.40
\guitar\classical \instruments\other
It's untrue that all the old builders were stodgy old putzes locked into a cold tradition. Some of their guitars were pretty far out.

Electronic Answer Man by Rick Turner
BRB4 p.416 AL#41 p.47
\electronics \guitar\electric \bass\electric
Turner discusses solder, and a pickup pan pot.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB4 p.422 AL#41 p.48
\reviews \tools\measuring \accessories
Fleishman examines the battery-powered Stealth guitar tuners from Sabine, which are meant to be mounted on the guitar. He finds them useful but aesthetically hard to hide on the instrument.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB4 p.22+71+197 AL#41 p.50
\instruments\other wood\other \health \tools\jigs
Members send in advice about stearate-free sandpaper, toxic wood, hurdy-gurdies, classical guitar top design, and hollow radius forms.

Review: Making an Archtop Guitar by Bob Benedetto. Reviewed by Tom Ribbecke.
BRB4 p.463 AL#41 p.52
\reviews \guitar\archtop
The reviewer finds that this book sets a new standard for guitarmaking books in general, and that it should affect the evolution of the archtop guitar for many years to come.

Review: The Art of Inlay by Larry Robinson. Reviewed by John Calkin.
BRB4 p.464 AL#41 p.53
\reviews \inlay
The reviewer finds that if you wish to push your inlay work beyond the traditional patterns you may find this book indispensable.

Opinion by Ervin Somogyi
AL#41 p.54
\philosophy \business\ethics
Somogyi believes that ethics is a cloudy but deep issue that all luthiers must contend with. Simply trying to do your best work is not the end of the issue.

Violin Q&A by Michael Darnton
BRB4 p.442 AL#41 p.56
\violin \cello \bridge\other \finish\varnish \finish\shellac
Why is there a step in the neck behind the nut of my fiddle? What angle are the junctions of the ribs cut to at the corners? What's the difference between French and Belgian cello bridges? Zits in the varnish? Why does my French polish crackle?

It Worked For Me
AL#41 p.58
\finish\lacquer \tools\hand \repair\other \tools\power \tools\created \finish\spraying
Reader info about measuring the interiors of small instruments, lacquering in rainy weather, making a tool for brace scalloping, fixed table saw fences for repeatable cuts, regluing back braces, and a homemade nut-slotting tool.

Summer 1995

In Memorium: Jimmy D'Aquisto
BRB4 p.151 AL#42 p.3
\guitar\archtop \people
One of the world's best luthiers passes on.

Tailoring Sound in Classic Guitars by Robert Ruck
BRB4 p.174 AL#42 p.12
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical \finish\varnish \finish\shellac
Ruck spends most of his time in this lecture talking about top design and finishing. With photos and several drawings, plus a detailed list of his finish materials and procedures.

A Walk in the Suburban Woods by Kenny Hill
BRB4 p.184 AL#42 p.22
\guitar\classical \wood\trees \wood\other
A maker of classical guitars harvests some strange local trees to try out as instruments.

Museum Collections as Resources for Musical Instrument Makers by John Koster
BRB4 p.160 AL#42 p.26
\viol \violin \instruments\other \restoration
Koster explains what you can hope to gain by examining museum instruments, how to approach a museum, and what to do when you get there.

HD-28 Soundboard Replacement by Alan Carruth
BRB4 p.192 AL#42 p.40
\physics\guitar \repair\other \restoration
Carruth ran mode and frequency tests on the old top and the replacement top. The goal was to reproduce the quality of the old airlines-damaged top.

Meet the Makers: Klaus and Peppe Reischel by David Riggs
BRB4 p.188 AL#42 p.42
\tuners \people
The Reischels make Landstrofer tuners, high-quality German gears for classical guitars.

Dedicated Drill Press for Hammered Dulcimer Production by Chris Foss
BRB4 p.190 AL#42 p.44
\dulcimer\hammered \tools\power \tools\jigs
Foss describes his permanent setup for drilling tuning pin and hitch pin holes in dulcimer pin blocks.

Fretboard Radius Sander by Duane Heilman
BRB4 p.196 AL#42 p.46
\fingerboard\fretboard \tools\power \tools\created
Heilman offers plans for a drum sander that has a radius built into the drum.

Meet the Maker: Des Anthony by Cyndy Burton
BRB4 p.194 AL#42 p.48
\wood\other \people
An Australian guitarmaker talks about Australian wood, his instruments, and the Australian vacation system.

Electronic Answer Man by Rick Turner
BRB4 p.416 AL#42 p.51
\electronics \guitar\flattop
Turner's system of tuning an acoustic guitar pickup is elaborate. He also talks about amps for the acoustic guitar.

Questions by Cyndy Burton
AL#42 p.52
\schools \organizations
Burton updates the list of schools, classes, individuals, organizations, and journals that will help you learn lutherie.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB4 p.422 AL#42 p.54
\reviews \electronics \guitar\flattop
Fleishman examines the Highlander acoustic guitar pickup and decides it's pretty good, but not perfect. He has never met the perfect pickup, so far.

Review: Electric Guitars and Basses, a Photographic History by George Gruhn and Walter Carter. Reviewed by John Calkin.
BRB4 p.465 AL#42 p.56
\reviews \guitar\electric \bass\electric
The reviewer is enthusiastic about this picture book but decides that it may have no relevance to the life of a typical luthier.

Review: The Physics of Musical Instruments by Neville H. Fletcher and Tom Rossing,. Reviewed by Don Bradley.
BRB4 p.466 AL#42 p.57
\reviews \physics\guitar \physics\violin
The reviewer finds that the authors have made an invaluable reference for studying the vibration of all types of musical instruments.

Review: The Conservation and Technology of Musical Instruments, A Bibliographic Supplement to Art and Archaeology Technical Abstracts, Vol. 28, edited by Cary Karp. Reviewed by Robert Lundberg.
BRB4 p.481 AL#42 p.57
\reviews \repair\other \instruments\other \violin \restoration
The reviewer finds that although the abstracts are clear and well written, the quality and usefulness of the abstracted material is not judged. The unwary may be sent on a long search for information of little, or dangerous, use.

Violin Q&A by Michael Darnton
BRB4 p.442 AL#42 p.60
\violin \finish\varnish
Why can't I get the proper degree of polish from my varnish? How high should a saddle be? Why do my violins come apart during varnishing? What stylistic mistakes are most common? Why is oil varnish so nasty?

It Worked for Me
AL#42 p.62
\bending \fingerboard\fretboard \bridge\other \sharpening
Readers offer info about a string tension simulation jig, sanding ribs and bridge feet on the same sander, adding an oven thermostat to a bending iron, and refretting some Japanese guitars.

Fall 1995

Meet the Maker: Jim Williams by Todd Brotherton
BRB4 p.202 AL#43 p.8
\guitar\classical \people
Australians continue to make a mark in the evolution of the guitar. Williams made his mark as an author, as well. He discusses his background and his instruments.

Lattice Bracing Guitar Tops from a 1992 convention lecture by Jim Williams
BRB4 p.206 AL#43 p.11
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical \bracing\flattop
Williams discusses the building style he has borrowed from Greg Smallman for classical guitars. With 14 photos, plus drawings.

Ebony and African Blackwood: Rare Gifts of Nature by Nicholas Von Robison
BRB4 p.198 AL#43 p.18
\wood\hard \wood\other
Both of these woods have recently become available as body wood for stringed instruments. Robison offers a technical look at two beautiful woods, and tries to predict their futures.

Meet the Maker: Jess Wells by Jonathon Peterson
BRB4 p.212 AL#43 p.24
\viol \bow \people
Wells specializes in the creation of early stringed instruments. Here he discusses that particular market, his training, and the history of the viola da gamba. With 17 photos.

English Treble Viola da Gamba an instrument plan by Jess Wells
BRB4 p.217 AL#43 p.28
\viol \plans
This is a reduced version of GAL Instrument Plan #40.

14th National Convention/Exhibition Coverage
AL#43 p.34
\organizations \meetings
An in-depth description of the 1995 Guild convention in Tacoma.

Calculating Fret Intervals with Spreadsheet Software by Wayne Kelly
AL#43 p.46
\fingerboard\fretboard \computers
If you have access to a PC (and you obviously do) you can use this article to set up your own fret slotting system. Not about how to cut slots, but where to cut them.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB4 p.422 AL#43 p.48
\reviews \tools\jigs \tools\other \bridge\guitar \fingerboard\fretboard
Fleishman examines and enjoys two tools from Stewart-MacDonald, the Bridge Saddle Routing Jig and the Adjustable Fret Slotting Saw.

Electronic Answer Man by Rick Turner
BRB4 p.416 AL#43 p.50
\electronics \guitar\electric \bass\electric
Turner talks about the Grateful Dead and some of their gear.

Violin Q&A by Michael Darnton
BRB4 p.442 AL#43 p.52
\violin \repair\other \finish\other
What is Nussbaum? Is there such a thing as irreparable damage?

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB4 p.79+81+133+193+405 AL#43 p.54
\schools \lute \tools\hand \instruments\other
Members help each other with information about lutherie schools, specialized planes for lute work, and building pedal steels.

It Worked for Me
BRB4 p.482 AL#43 p.56
\violin \guitar\archtop \bracing\other \gluing \fingerboard\fretboard \tools\created
Readers offer info about routing the ledges of violins, locating a new brace in the top of an old mandolin by passing thread through tiny holes in the top, making your own abrasives, roughing out an archtop plate with dado blades in a table saw, making a glue roller, arching fingerboards with a router, making a tool to remove banjo tone rings, mitering purfling, saving a classical guitar top from cave-in, and making an instrument stand from PVC pipe.

Review: Electric Guitar Setups by Hideo Kamimoto. Reviewed by John Calkin.
BRB4 p.466 AL#43 p.60
\reviews \neck \fingerboard\fretboard \bridge\electric
The reviewer finds that this should be a useful book for any but the most experienced repairman.

Review: Checklist of Technical Drawings of Musical Instruments in the Public Collections of the World by Rob van Acht. Reviewed by Robert Lundberg.
AL#43 p.61
\reviews \plans
The reviewer finds that this book is too limited in its scope, and recommends against its purchase. However, he maintains that a sensibly revised edition would be an important and welcome resource, and that such a revised edition is in the works.

First Annual NCAL Award by Ervin Somogyi
AL#43 p.65
\organizations \humor
NCAL is the Northern California Association of Luthiers. Who says luthiers have no sense of humor? They certainly do. It's just twisted, that's all.

Winter 1995

Manuel Velazquez: A Man Who Loves the Guitar by Bob Desmond
BRB4 p.222 AL#44 p.8
\guitar\classical \people
This is a short biography of a luthier who entered the trade before many of us were born, and who has turned classical guitar making into a family business.

Meet the Maker: Michael Gurian by David Hill
BRB4 p.236 AL#44 p.17
\guitar\flattop \people
Gurian knows much more than he tells in this interview, but it's good to know he's still actively part of the guitar scene. He has worked alone, started an informal school of guitarmaking through the apprentices he has trained, owned guitar factories, invented tools, and is currently a supplier of parts and accessories.

Developing Models for Contemporary Violinmaking from a 1995 convention lecture by Guy Rabut
BRB4 p.230 AL#44 p.20
\violin \finish\other \bridge\violin
Apparently not every violinist is determined to have a fiddle that looks 300 years old. Rabut has made some interesting attempts to update the violin without sacrificing the tone that everyone demands. Can't wait until these babies start showing up in symphonic orchestras.

Designing and Tuning the Hammered Dulcimer by Chris Foss
BRB4 p.238 AL#44 p.26
\dulcimer\hammered \bracing\other
This is one of the most invigorating articles on the hammered dulcimer ever. Foss has made over 1000 instruments, has developed some hard opinions, and has tried a truckload of interesting experiments. Ever carpet the inside of a dulcimer? Foss has. Find out why.

Meet the Maker: Saul Koll by Jonathon Peterson
BRB4 p.242 AL#44 p.32
\guitar\electric \guitar\archtop \guitar\flattop \people
Koll has fashioned a living by creating unique, often bizarre, guitars, both acoustic and electric. For many, ideas often come easy, it's selling them that's hard. Koll has found a niche. With 23 photos.

That Fine Shine: Applying Nitrocellulose Lacquer by Fred Campbell
BRB4 p.248 AL#44 p.38
\finish\lacquer \tools\other \finish\spraying
Campbell finishes the guitars that other luthiers build. He has become an expert spray meister with the confidence to give away the tricks he has learned the hard way. This is perhaps the best piece on lacquering AL has ever printed. With photos and a finishing schedule.

Swedish Lutherie Down Under (The Ground) by Michael Sanden
BRB4 p.256 AL#44 p.46
Sanden converted his whole basement into a complete shop. Here's his floor plan.

Ten Mountain Dulcimer Books. Reviewed by John Calkin.
BRB4 p.472 AL#44 p.48
\dulcimer\fretted \reviews
As always, not all books are created equal. Calkin compares all the dulcimer books he could round up.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB4 p.133+193 AL#44 p.51
\binding \finish\lacquer \business\other
Members send in useful info about keeping the "bleed" off bindings while finishing, lutherie on the internet, and instrument insurance for your shop.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB4 p.422 AL#44 p.52
\reviews \tools\hand \tools\measuring \fingerboard\fretboard
This time the GAL's Toolman tests a Stewart-MacDonald diamond coated fret file, and the Hacklinger gauge for measuring the thickness of instrument tops and backs. He likes the file enough to recommend it. He likes the gauge, too, but its high price puts him off.

Violin Q&A by Michael Darnton
BRB4 p.442 AL#44 p.54
\violin \neck \gluing \cello
What is neck pitch, and what does it do to/for the violin? How does one deal with an Elmer's glue repair? Why is poplar sometimes used for the cello and viola? Darnton tells all.

Opinion by David Freeman
AL#44 p.56
Freeman tries to decide what musicians really want from an instrument. Well, he and we all know what they want, but how can we possibly give it to them?

Review: Making and Modifying Woodworking Tools by Jim Kingshott. Reviewed by Andres Sender.
BRB4 p.467 AL#44 p.57
\reviews \tools\hand \tools\created
The reviewer finds that this book is particularly useful for the plane maker, and ultimately decides that it is "... a remarkable deal if you can find it."

It Worked For Me
BRB4 p.482 AL#44 p.58
\tools\jigs \binding \banjo \dulcimer\fretted \bridge\guitar
Readers send in information about gluing braces to tops, binding banjo rims, extra-wide but lightweight dulcimer fretboards, and bridge slot routing.

Spring 1996

Letter to the editor by Gretchen Weeks Brough
AL#45 p.2
\business\other \plans \computers
Brough offers her services as a freelance computer drafter to members who would like instrument plans drawn in AutoCAD.

Ecuadorian Diary by Debbie Suran
BRB4 p.258 AL#45 p.4
\wood\other \guitar\classical \instruments\other
On the trail of S. American luthiers, strange instruments, and unusual wood varieties, in a land where travel is difficult but the people are friendly. Ask your tonewood supplier to start stocking armadillo shells.

Decorative Techniques in Lutherie by R.E. Brune
BRB4 p.264 AL#45 p.10
\finish\other \inlay \finish\varnish \restoration
This 1995 lecture transcription investigates the history of art applied to lutherie in all its varied forms, and then translates many of them into illustrations of contemporary instruments. Topics include painting, gilding, carving, veneer, inlay, engraving, and varnish work. With 49 photos and illustrations.

Paradoxes in Guitar Acoustics by Alan Carruth
BRB4 p.285 AL#45 p.22
How is it that some makers build consistently superior guitars even though, scientifically speaking, they have no direct control over the thing that makes them superior (high frequency response)? Carruth is a long-time researcher and acoustician. This 1995 lecture transcription is about the design compromises that luthiers face while pursuing the ultimate guitar.

Talkin' Repair by Dan Erlewine and Frank Ford
BRB4 p.276 AL#45 p.28
\business\ethics \repair\neck \repair\other
This wide-ranging lecture transcription from the1995 GAL convention covers some specific repair techniques, professional ethics, customer relations, pursuing a profit, and vintage instrument repair. Strong advice from two of the best known men in the business.

Meet the Maker: Don Overstreet by Jonathon Peterson
BRB4 p.290 AL#45 p.36
\violin \people
Overstreet took formal training in violin construction with Peter Prier in Salt Lake City, then ended up in the shop of Paul Schuback where he builds and repairs the instruments of the fiddle family. It seems that all who trod the same path make a unique journey (a strong theme in the GAL).

Quick and Cheap Peghead Splining Fixture by Richard Beck
BRB4 p.294 AL#45 p.40
\repair\neck \neck \tools\jigs
Beck is a repairman for some heavy hitters in the music biz. Here he offers a sound method of repairing shattered headstocks using a router.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB4 p.41+79+123+150+193 AL#45 p.43
\bow \instruments\other \banjo \binding \finish\lacquer
Members furnish information about learning to make bows, banjo-lins, and keeping bindings pristine during finishing.

More Than a Dozen How-to Videos. Reviewed by John Calkin.
BRB4 p.474 AL#45 p.44
\reviews \inlay \electronics \repair\neck \finish\lacquer \finish\spraying
Some videos are worth the money, and some aren't. It depends more on the depth of your experience and interest than on the quality of these videos, which is generally good. Take a look at a batch of tapes (and one book) from Stewart-MacDonald about building or repairing stringed instruments.

Violin Q&A by Michael Darnton
BRB4 p.442 AL#45 p.50
\violin \repair\other
This time the column has but one concern, removing the top plate.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB4 p.422 AL#45 p.54
\reviews \tools\hand \electronics
Fleishman test drives the adjustable fretboard arching planes from Luthiers Mercantile International, and finds that they handle the curves nicely. Also, an update on Highlander pickups.

It Worked for Me
BRB4 p.482 AL#45 p.56
\fingerboard\fretboard \tools\jigs \finish\shellac \banjo \gluing
Readers offer tips about cleaning strung headstocks, mixing shellac, finishing fretboards with Micro-mesh, sanding disks for covering hollow-radius forms, vise mounts, dismantling white glue joints, and a finishing fixture for banjo resonators.

Review: The Rickenbacker Book: A Complete History of Rickenbacker Guitars by Tony Bacon and Paul Day. Reviewed by Richard Beck.
BRB4 p.468 AL#45 p.58
\reviews \guitar\electric
The reviewer finds that this is a “best value in a guitar history and identification book.”

Review: The Complete Guide to Sharpening by Leonard Lee. Reviewed by Jess Wells.
BRB4 p.468 AL#45 p.58
\reviews \sharpening \tools\hand
The reviewer finds that this book is “the one sharpening book on the market today which I find useful as a reference in my library.”

Review: Acoustic Guitars and Other Fretted Instruments: A Photographic History by George Gruhn and Walter Carter. Reviewed by Robert Lundberg.
BRB4 p.469 AL#45 p.59
\reviews \guitar\flattop \guitar\archtop \mandolin \guitar\resophonic
The reviewer finds that the book is a valuable document flavored, however, by the biases of collectors and the vintage market which may have a tendency to overlook many important and interesting instruments. The photos are judged to be excellent, superb.

Summer 1996

Letter to the editor by Ron Fernandez
BRB4 p.263 AL#46 p.3
More information about South American instruments and tonewoods (and toneshells from armadillos). This refers to Suran's article in AL#45.

The Luthiers Have Taken Over the Asylum
BRB4 p.298 AL#46 p.6
\guitar\flattop \wood\other \electronics \business\other
Steel string company honchos Bill Collings, Ren Ferguson, Richard Hoover, Jean Larrivee, and Bob Taylor discuss the development of their guitars, current production techniques, tonewood, amplification, and the immediate future of the instrument. From the 1995 convention panel discussion moderated by Joseph R. Johnson.

The Neapolitan Mandolin by Robert Lundberg
BRB4 p.316 AL#46 p.20
\mandolin \bracing\other \restoration
An introduction to the structure and methods of construction of historical instruments, especially the belly. With 12 photos, 2 pages of notes and bibliography, and a family tree of Neapolitan luthiers from the 15th to the 20th centuries.

Your Most Important Machine by Teri K. Novak, D.C.
AL#46 p.30
A chiropractor (and wife of a well-known luthier) describes how to prevent your shop life from harming your health. From her 1995 GAL convention lecture, with 18 photos and a number of drawings.

Meet the Merchant: Todd Taggart by Cyndy Burton
BRB4 p.312 AL#46 p.38
\tools\hand \wood\dealers \people
The driving force behind Luthiers Mercantile International talks about building a business, supplying an industry, and helping to make a guitar town out of Healdsburg, California.

Alternative Archtop Considerations by Jonathon Peterson
BRB4 p.326 AL#46 p.42
\guitar\archtop \bracing\other
Buzz Vineyard builds archtop guitars with pin bridges and strange bracing, and rosewood backs and sides. What's the result? He tells all to Peterson.

Meet the Makers: Two Gentlemen From Auckland by Carl Kaufmann
BRB4 p.330 AL#46 p.47
\bracing\classical \wood\other \people
New Zealanders Laurie Williams and Nicholas Emery build innovative instruments for the homelanders, though export may be in their futures. They have access to wood varieties that most of us have never even heard of.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB4 p.422 AL#46 p.50
\reviews \schools
Fleishman attends Charles Fox's American School of Lutherie and sends back a very enthusiastic report of what he found there.

Out of One Bind and into Another by Robert Brook
BRB4 p.221 AL#46 p.52
\mandolin \binding
Brook describes a new method of binding scroll headstocks on F-model mandolins.

Sources: Wood edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#46 p.54
\wood\hard \wood\soft \wood\other
A new column is born, kicking off with 2 pages of places to buy tonewood.

Violin Q&A by Michael Darnton
BRB4 p.442 AL#46 p.56
\violin \cello \gluing
Darnton discusses the glues he keeps in his shop. Also, setting up the cello.

It Worked For Me
BRB4 p.482 AL#46 p.58
\cello \repair\other \inlay \fingerboard\fretboard \instrument\other
Readers offer tips about repairing a cracked cello pegbox, resetting engraved inlays, template making for autoharp construction, and making fret slot sawing guides.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB4 p.79+133+150 AL#46 p.60
\finish\lacquer \wood\soft \binding
Members respond to problems concerning vinyl wash coats for lacquer work, soundboard suppliers, and binding f-holes, while other members play stump the Guild.

Fall 1996

Retro Voicing the Flattop Guitar by Jonathon Peterson
BRB4 p.332 AL#47 p.6
\guitar\flattop \bracing\flattop
So you've got a guitar that ought to sound better than it does. What can you do to it to perk up the punch? Experts Marc Silber, Scott van Linge, Robert Steinegger, Dana Bourgeois, Frank Ford, and T.J. Thompson describe how they shave braces, and show that brace shaving isn't your only weapon.

The Jacaltec Maya Guitarria by Carol Ventura
BRB4 p.350 AL#47 p.20
\instruments\other \wood\trees \wood\other
When these Guatemalans decide to build an instrument they begin by hacking a tree out of the jungle. Read this and you may never bad-mouth your suppliers or instruction books again. With 32 step-by-step photos of the birth of a guitarria.

California Meetin', The 1996 Healdsburg Guitar Makers Festival
AL#47 p.28
Healdsburg is quickly becoming Guitar Town, USA. This festival featured displays, lectures, and tours, not to mention fun. With 12 photos.

Meet the Maker: Geoff Stelling by John Calkin
BRB4 p.346 AL#47 p.30
\banjo \guitar\electric \people
A profile of one of the leaders in high-end banjos, featuring a tour of the shop, production techniques, construction methods, and banjo/motorcycle cross-pollination.

Classic Guitar Intonation by Greg Byers
BRB4 p.368 AL#47 p.34
\guitar\classical \fingerboard\fretboard \bridge\other \physics\guitar
Finding perfect intonation through deep math and jiggling the string length at both ends. For some luthiers the quest for perfection knows no bounds. The rest of us are just jealous.

Meet the Maker: Marc Silber by Colin Kaminski
BRB4 p.364 AL#47 p.46
\guitar\flattop \guitar\classical \people \restoration
Silber is a musician, nomad, repairman, musical historian, guitar designer, dealer, collector, and all around keeper of the flame. How can a man have so much fun and make a living at the same time?

Amplifying Acoustic Instruments by Harry Fleishman
BRB4 p.358 AL#47 p.50
\electronics \guitar\flattop \physics\guitar
Fleishman has worked with all the commercial piezo pickups and has made a bunch of his own. Shop-brewed pickups can be cheap, useful, and instructive, but finding the best use for any piezo can be complicated. Adding microphones or magnetic pickups to the mix can be more confusing than helpful. Fleishman takes a look at all the angles. From his 1995 convention lecture.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB4 p.41+150+193+405 AL#47 p.57
\bass\flattop \plans
Readers to the rescue, with information about amplifying the acoustic bass, buying lacquer in Ireland, finding uke plans, and shaping bass necks.

Violin Q&A by Michael Darnton
BRB4 p.442 AL#47 p.58
\violin \pegs \business\other
Darnton fields questions about slipping pegs and pricing repair work and estimates.

Review: Dobro Set Up & Maintenance by Paul Beard. Reviewed by John Calkin.
BRB4 p.470 AL#47 p.60
\reviews \guitar\resophonic
The reviewer generally likes this video for the specific information it offers about Dobro hardware. He also finds that half the tape is too basic to be of real help to seasoned luthiers.

Review: Como Hacer una Guitarra by Hernan Rengifo Canas. Reviewed by Kenny Hill.
BRB4 p.471 AL#47 p.60
\reviews \guitar\classical
This book, printed only in Spanish, describes guitar making in Ecuador. The reviewer finds that the Ecuadorian guitar as described in this book is crudely fashioned, and that the text is incomplete. Nevertheless, he enjoys it as a look into another culture.

Sources: Tools and Hardware edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#47 p.62
\tools\hand \tuners \tools\power
A page of tools especially for the luthier, and a page and a half of tools and supplies of a more general nature. Where to get your tools. Or, at least, where to get your catalogs.

It Worked For Me
BRB4 p.482 AL#47 p.65
\tools\other \tools\hand \repair\neck \workshop
Members offer tips about workbenches for repair work, a useful combination rasp/file, and removing guitar necks with a wallpaper steamer.

Winter 1996

Letter to the editor by George Diamesis
BRB4 p.297 AL#48 p.3
Diamesis writes about the lutherie scene in Greece, and sends 2 photos of ethnic instruments he and his students have built.

Letter to the editor by Rudy Walker
BRB4 p.205 AL#48 p.4
Walker sends photos and a description of an electric guitar designed around the Monkees logo of the mid-'60s.

Letter to the editor by Kerry Char
BRB4 p.205 L#48 p.5
Char sends several photos of a unique resophonic mando-cello he made for Gregg Miner.

Cranking Out Baroque Guitars by Lawrence K. Brown
BRB4 p.378 AL#48 p.6
\guitar\baroque \philosophy
Brown made the elaborate trim for 27 Baroque guitars, then spread the actual construction over a year and a half. All the details are included. He believes that too much patience stands in the way of making a living. This is an article with attitude.

Meet the Maker: Bishop Cochran by Jonathon Peterson
BRB4 p.386 AL#48 p.14
\guitar\electric \guitar\other \tools\jigs \tools\power \people
Cochran is a player/maker of electric and acoustic/electric guitars who uses machine shop equipment and supplies to create his instruments. The emphasis is on precision work, duplicable procedures, and practical designs.

The Guitar Neck: Its Design and Physics by Ervin Somogyi
BRB4 p.394 AL#48 p.22
\physics\guitar \neck
This 1995 convention lecture covers the physical nature of the neck. Not how to do the work, but how to make a neck for maximum playability and instrument performance. Both steel string and classical guitars are discussed. With 1 photo and a slough of diagrams.

Meet the Maker: John Mello by Cyndy Burton
BRB4 p.408 AL#48 p.28
\guitar\classical \repair\other \people \restoration
Mello is a repairperson, guitarmaker, restorer, and instrument dealer. He apprenticed under Richard Schneider and worked with Jeff Elliott before opening his own shop. Much of the interview dwells upon the restoration of an 1862 Torres guitar.

Accurate But Overengineered Dovetail Resetting Jig by Frank Ford
BRB4 p.404 AL#48 p.36
\tools\jigs \repair\neck \tools\hand
Ford built an elaborate jig for resetting the necks of valuable and delicate guitars where a slip of the chisel can't be risked. The contrary nature of guitars may dictate that some hand fitting is required after the jig is used, but much of the danger is removed.

Water-base Lacquering on a Budget by Christopher Luck
BRB4 p.406 AL#48 p.38
\finish\water-base \finish\spraying
How to get a good CrystaLac finish in a small shop on a tight budget.

Two-Part Dovetail Jig by Phillip Murray
BRB4 p.400 AL#48 p.42
\tools\jigs \tools\power \neck
Even in this age of the bolted on neck, there are plenty of guitarmakers who'd rather use a dovetail. Murray's well thought out jigs cut both the male and female portions of the joint.

Reviews by John Calkin
BRB4 p.474 AL#48 p.46
\reviews \violin \repair\other \finish\shellac \repair\crack
Reviewed here are six videos, one about violins setups, one about French polishing, and four about guitar repair. All are found worthy, though two of the repair tapes are for the inexperienced luthier.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB4 p.422 AL#48 p.49
\reviews \tools\hand \tools\power
The GAL's Toolman/stand-up comic checks out a potpourri of rasps, a pair of small drawknives, and a specialized chisel, and suggests what you should do with your junky Model 3 or 4 Dremel tool.

Sources: Plans edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#48 p.52
A list of all the instrument plans that Burton could track down, and where to buy them.

Violin Q & A by Michael Darnton
BRB4 p.442 AL#48 p.54
Look out for buzzy nuts. Why might violins sound too dark? What fiddle books should be purchased? The book discussion is especially worthy and entertaining.

It Worked For Me
BRB4 p.482 AL#48 p.56
\tools\hand \finish\other \binding
Guild members offer tips about fret dressing, buying tools from a welding supply store, touching up synthetic finishes with lacquer, putting a new handle on your peg-hole reamer, making a dust containment tent for your shop, installing binding, shipping violins safely, and using liquid masking agents during instrument finishing.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB4 p.113+405 AL#48 p.60
\fingerboard \fretboard \electronics
Readers help out with information about the rule of 18, a source for custom pickups, and sources for decals.

Spring 1997

In Memoriam: Richard Schneider
BRB5 p.37 AL#49 p.3
\people \guitar\classical
A well-known teacher and maker of controversial classical guitars passes on.

Meet the Maker: Rene Baarslag by Woodley White
BRB5 p.2 AL#49 p.6
\guitar\classical \people
A Dutchman who moved to Spain and learned guitar making with the help of Antonio Marin, Baarslag has carved out a reputation as a fine luthier. The descriptions of his home will make you wonder why luthiers can’t live this well in America. Baarslag’s life must be very pleasant.

Passport to Spain by Woodley White
BRB4 p.4 AL#49 p.10
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical \binding
Baarslag journeys to the American School of Lutherie to teach a week-long class about building classical guitars. White attended, and gives a full report. With 37 photos.

Stage Acoustic Guitars by John Calkin
BRB5 p.12 AL#49 p.20
guitar\other \bridge\guitar \tools\jigs \guitar\flattop
How to make thin-body guitars intended to be plugged in on stage. The bodies are hollowed from solid stock. Design considerations are emphasized. Production jigs are described, as are a set of jigs for making bridges.

Meet the Maker: Fred Carlson by Tim Olsen
BRB5 p.18 AL#49 p.28
\guitar\flattop \people \guitar\other
Carlson grew up on a New England commune and never outgrew the philosophy of sharing. He would rather let his uniqueness bloom than give in to commercial considerations. You’ll be glad you met him here.

Soundboard Doming by Brent Benfield
BRB5 p.34 AL#49 p.36
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical
So you bought a spherically dished form in which to build your guitars. But how do you go about it? Benfield describes a path notable for its lack of complication. This is a painless way to bring your guitars into the 21st century. Most of the ideas are applicable to flattop guitars as well.

Time is the Enemy by Richard Beck
BRB5 p.26 AL#49 p.40
\guitar\flattop \tools\jigs \tools\power
Beck’s theme is to keep the quality but cut the time involved in building acoustic guitars. He shares his jigs for shaping headstocks and arching braces using a router table and heavy aluminum jigs. You may have to get a machine shop in on this job.

Wood Identification for Luthiers by Nicholas Von Robison
BRB5 p.30 AL#49 p.44
\wood\trees \computers
Robison describes wood identification as an adventure. You’ll need some reference books and a microscope, and a computer wouldn’t hurt. Ever see an instrument trimmed in smokewood? How do you know, Sherlock? Without a little scientific trickery your guess could be wrong either way. Get with the program. With 6 photomicrographs of softwoods.

Resetting a Neck with Jeff Traugot by Colin Kaminski
BRB5 p.44 AL#49 p.50
\repair\neck \neck \tools\created \tools\jigs
Neck resetting techniques have changed enormously in the last few years, and they continue to evolve. Traugot has been in the forefront of the evolution. Here’s his up-to-the-minute description of the procedure.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB5 p.436 AL#49 p.54
\reviews \tools\hand tools\power \inlay \fingerboard\fretboard
Fleishman examines two retrofit bases for the Dremel mini-router, and likes them both for different reasons. He also test drives a set of micro-chisels and JAWS, a hand-powered fretting press, and recommends them.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#49 p.57
Only one answer in this column, a chart for converting wire gauge numbers into inches.

It Worked for Me
BRB5 p.488 AL#49 p.58
\tools\hand \tools\created \finish\shellac \finish\varnish
Readers offer advice on Rubbermaid toolboxes; a company that sharpens files; making a drill press routing tool out of a pencil sharpener; and good-smelling AURO varnishes and shellacs for instrument finishing.

Violin Q&A by Michael Darnton
BRB5 p.458 AL#49 p.60
The style and size of violins, like most everything else in noncommunist countries, is driven by the market place. Darnton responds to a query about which fiddle makers are best to copy, and how to arch the plates to please contemporary musicians.

A Bow Making Course. Reviewed by Colin Kaminski.
AL#49 p.62
\violin \bow
The reviewer attended the course taught by Joseph Regh in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. The course lasted two weeks. Kaminski is extremely enthusiastic about his experience. Classes are small and Regh’s teaching is high quality, making the event very personal.

Summer 1997

How Frank Frets by Frank Ford
BRB5 p.60 AL#50 p.4
\fingerboard\fretboard \guitar\flattop \tools\created \tools\hand
Ford has been a preeminent repairman for years, but has recently emerged as a fine teacher of repair topics. Everyone’s refretting tricks are a little different. Even if you have a handle on the general principle you may find that Frank Ford has something to offer you.

Meet the Maker: Arul Dominic Xavier by Jonathon Peterson
BRB5 p.56 AL#50 p.14
Xavier traveled all the way from India to attend the Healdsburg Guitarmakers Festival. This interview makes it obvious to what lengths some folks have to go to become luthiers. Think you’re on a budget? In India a GAL membership costs about one third of a month’s wages.

A Feast for the Eye by Kalia Kliban
BRB5 p.48 AL#50 p.20
\inlay \tools\hand \tools\power
Kliban reports on an inlay workshop led by Larry Robinson. Robinson has become a master of shell decoration and an important teacher in the field. This article covers everything from design to engraving, and amounts to a condensed version of Larry’s book on the subject. With photos of the workshop and knockout inlay work.

The Concert Zither by John Roeder
BRB5 p.72 AL#50 p.30
Roeder offers construction advice about the classic German zither, which has 5 strings over a fretboard and as many as 40 open strings used for chord and bass accompaniment. Included are drawings and photos, as well as a shrunken version of GAL Instrument Plan #41. Mentions Franz Schwarzer.

Meet the Maker: Michael Hornick by Tim Olsen
BRB5 p.68 AL#50 p.40
\people \guitar\flattop
Hornick has become renown as the creator of Shanti guitars. In this interview he discusses the road to the top of the lutherie profession as well as tonewood and guitar design.

Understanding Nitrocellulose Lacquer by Michael Hornick
BRB5 p.41 AL#50 p.44
\finish\lacquer \tools\power \finish\spraying
Good lacquer work isn’t mysterious, just a pain in the neck. Hornick has it down to an art and a science, and he offers up his recipe to the last detail.

Portland Oregon’s 1997 Handmade Musical Instrument Exhibit by Jonathon Peterson
AL#50 p.48
Here are photos of knockout instrument work.

Meet the Maker: Kent Everett by John Calkin
BRB5 p.38 AL#50 p.50
\people \guitar\flattop
Everett is one of those monster craftsmen who can knock out 50 fine instruments a year, alone. This interview not only covers his lutherie background but also explains the shop schedule that keeps the guitar flowing at such a prodigious rate. Featuring five photos and one of Everett’s comic strips.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB5 p.436 AL#50 p.54
\fingerboard\fretboard \bridge\guitar \tools\jigs \tools\hand \reviews
Fleishman examines two tools used for changing the width of fret tangs and a Dremel tool jig for routing bridge slots after the bridge is glued to the guitar. He likes them all.

Violin Q&A by Michael Darnton
BRB5 p.458 AL#50 p.56
\violin \bracing\other \fingerboard\fretboard \pegs
This time the GAL’s fiddle guru talks about bridge shoes, fitting pegs, detecting a loose bass bar, streaky ebony, and “Russian” string setups.

It Worked for Me
BRB5 p.488 AL#50 p.58
\tools\jigs \tools\hand \repair\other \finish\other
Readers offer tips and advice about an instrument neck support; new handles for Micro Plane rasps; a strap button repair; a lamp for your router; Bernards pliers; uses for shish kebob sticks; a glue clearing scraper; and a method of touching up polyurethane finishes.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB5 p.137 AL#50 p.60
\finish\lacquer \finish\other \guitar\classical \tools\jigs \tuners
How does one repair lacquer checking? Is there a source for slot headstock mandolin machines? What finish did Martin use before switching to lacquer? Is there a video that teaches classical guitar construction? How does one use the dished workboard? Members come to the rescue once again.

Fall 1997

Scale Length and Tone by Ralph Novak
BRB5 p.86 AL#51 p.6
\fingerboard\fretboard \neck \physics\guitar \strings\tension
Scale length is seldom used as a design criterion to achieve a given tone, but Novak shows that a given set of strings behaves differently according to the scale length it is stretched over. There are reasons to change other than player comfort. Impress your friends with your knowledge of the evil clang tone.

The Design and Construction of an Eccentric Guitar by Kevin B. Rielly
AL#51 p.13
One guitar, two necks, and two distinct functions: half solidbody with magnetic pickups, half hollow with a piezo pickup. Not to mention a look you haven’t seen before.

Binding Router Jig by David Grey
AL#51 p.16
\binding \tools\jigs \tools\power \tools\created
Grey’s nifty jig uses a table router to bind guitar bodies. The classiest part is the micrometer adjustments built into the jig.

Meet the Maker: Hermann Hauser III by Armin Kelly
BRB5 p.80 AL#51 p.20
\guitar\classical \people \philosophy \people
The name Hermann Hauser needs no introduction in the classical guitar world. Here Hauser #3 talks about heritage, learning the craft, wood, and closing in on the perfect guitar.

Rocky Mountain Tonewood Alternatives by Don Musser
BRB5 p.84 AL#51 p.24
\wood\soft \wood\other
Musser offers a peek at varieties of top wood you may never have considered, and finds them promising. The varieties are white fir, sub-alpine fir, Colorado blue spruce, and one that may be a hybrid. Includes four photos of sectioned logs.

Meet the Maker: Boaz Elkayam by Jonathon Peterson
BRB5 p.92 AL#51 p.26
\guitar\classical \guitar\other \philosophy \people
Elkayam grew up as a luthier, built guitars as he traveled half the world on a motorcycle, never stopped learning, and seems never to have met a challenge he didn’t welcome. High-class lutherie skills don’t necessarily make a person interesting. If Boaz quit the trade today he’d still be someone you’d like to seek out. Check out his classical guitar with two fingerboards (but only one neck). With photos of beautiful instruments, beautiful places, and beautiful women.

Finger Planes, the Cheap and Easy Way by Nathan D. Missel
BRB5 p.143 AL#51 p.36
\tools\created \tools\hand
You can build these little hollowing planes for a dollar or two and very little time.

Of Sympitars and Suzalynes by Fred Carlson
BRB5 p.100 AL#51 p.38
\guitar\other \guitar\flattop
Inspired by his fiddle-building partner, Suzy Norris, Carlson has created a guitar that utilizes a large number of sympathetic strings. The obstacles that had to be overcome were significant, but “angel voices” never come easy to us Earth folks.

Meet the Makers: Jeffrey Huss and Mark Dalton by John Calkin
BRB5 p.104 AL#51 p.42
\guitar\flattop \tools\power \bracing\flattop \people
Virginia luthiers Huss and Dalton show off their shop and talk about the business of going into business. They make 7 high-end acoustics per month, and they make it sound easy.

Review: Musical Instrument Design by Bart Hopkin. Reviewed by John Calkin.
BRB5 p.471 AL#51 p.46
\reviews \plans \instruments\other
The reviewer likes this book about instrument creation. The book deals lightly with the physics of music and lightly with the concept of craft. Hopkin’s real message is that musical instruments are everywhere on the planet, not just in the guitar shop, and he happily guides the reader through the creation of dozens of them. Deals with wind and percussion instruments more than with strings, but the string section is useful.

Review: Things About the Guitar by Jose Ramirez III. Reviewed by Bryan Johanson.
BRB5 p.471 AL#51 p.46
\reviews \guitar\classical
Though taken aback by the ego of the author, the reviewer decides the book is invaluable to his enjoyment of the guitar. “If you care about the guitar, you should own this book.”

Review: Woodshop Dust Control by Sandor Nagyszalanczy. Reviewed by John Calkin.
BRB5 p.471 AL#51 p.47
\reviews \workshop \health
The reviewer likes the informal structure of this book about an important health consideration in any woodshop. Shop dust can be controlled on a low budget when necessary, and many collectors and aids can be made in the shop.

Review: Gibson’s Fabulous Flat-top Guitars by Eldon Whitford, David Vinopal, and Dan Erlewine. Reviewed by Woody Vernice.
BRB5 p.472 AL#51 p.48
\reviews \guitar\flattop
The reviewer especially raves about the photography included in the book, though his assessment of its value to the working luthier is not so hot.

Review: The Ukulele, A Visual History by Jim Beloff. Reviewed by John Calkin.
BRB5 p.472 AL#51 p.49
\reviews \ukulele
The reviewer enjoyed his time spent with this book, but decides its appeal will be to those who are already ukulele enthusiasts. If you aren’t one, it probably won’t make you one.

Review: Guitar Electronics with Lindy Fralin. Reviewed by John Calkin.
BRB5 p.472 AL#51 p.49
\reviews \guitar\electric \electronics
This video is about designing, making, and repairing pickups, starting at the bottom. The reviewer enjoyed the tape and found that it taught him new material in a manner that didn’t frighten him off.

Violin Q&A by Michael Darnton
BRB5 p.458 AL#51 p.50
\violin finish\varnish \finish\other \restoration
Straight talk about why slab-sawn wood is a poor choice for violin necks, boiling down an alcohol solution, getting a chin rest to stay on a fiddle, and making lake pigments.

It Worked for Me
BRB5 p.488 AL#51 p.52
\fingerboard\fretboard \guitar\archtop \sharpening \cases \repair\other
Readers furnish tips about adding frets to a completed mountain dulcimer, making a wooden tailpiece for archtop guitars, fitting strap buttons, making side templates for guitars, sharpening bandsaw blades, and buying cases in small quantities.

Sources: Glues and Finishes by Cyndy Burton
AL#51 p.54
\gluing \finish\varnish \finish\lacquer \finish\waterborne
Burton lists 2 pages of suppliers and manufacturers of finish and glue, and offers more than a page of useful tips gleaned from many luthiers.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#51 p.57
\mandolin \guitar\classical \fingerboard\fretboard
How does one refit the back to distorted mandolin sides? Bring out a dead note on the fingerboard of a classical guitar? Find mandola plans? Readers offer solutions.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB5 p.436 AL#51 p.58
\tools\hand \wood\dealers \reviews
The Guild’s tool buster tames two new offerings and enjoys the ride. The first is a knife for opening cracks in guitar tops. The other is jig that thins and shapes the splints to be put into the slots cut by the knife. Along the way he examines the catalog of Luthiers Mercantile International.

Winter 1997

Letter to the editor by Joe D. Franklin
AL#52 p.3
\guitar\classical \guitar\flattop \physics\guitar
Many builders maintain that a guitar top that varies in thickness offers better tone than a uniform top. Franklin offers technical reasons for why it is so.

The 1997 Healdsburg Guitar Festival by Jonathon Peterson
AL#52 p.6
\business\promotion \meetings \inlay
Though only 2 years old, the Healdsburg show has become culturally and commercially important, as well as a luthiers’ information exchange. Peterson interviews organizers and luthiers who set up displays. The spread of 19 photos is an even split of personalities and close-ups of interesting guitars.

Meet the Maker: Charles Fox by Fred Carlson
AL#52 p.10
\schools \people
Fox has made an impact on the guitar community as an influential teacher and a designer of tools. Carlson attended Fox schools in the ’70s and ’90s, and in this interview he asks Fox to contrast his schools and predict the future of lutherie in America.

Crazy Like Charles Fox: Guitar Making Jigs for the 21st Century, Part 1 by John Calkin
BRB5 p.108 AL#52 p.12
\schools \tools\created \tools\jigs \tools\power
The main thrust of Fox’s American School of Lutherie lies in teaching lone guitarmakers to make better instruments through more accurate tooling and in helping them become more commercially viable by increasing their production. Calkin attended one of Charles’ week-long Contemporary Guitar Making seminars and documented much of the hard info for American Lutherie readers. This segment concentrates on nearly 3 dozen jigs and fixtures that anyone can add to their lutherie arsenal, most of them adapted to power tools. Parts 2 & 3 to follow.

Scroll Carving by Guy Rabut
BRB5 p.152 AL#52 p.28
\neck \violin \tools\hand \sharpening \wood\hard \cello
To non-fiddle people all violins look about the same. To the initiated, however, they are vastly different. Besides offering a thorough description of his scroll carving techniques, Rabut gives us a glimpse into the world of the violin in-crowd where an appreciation for subtlety is the stock-in-trade. Guy is a high-profile maker who has had the opportunity to examine many world-class violins.

Meet the Maker: R.E. Brune by Tim Olsen
BRB5 p.144 AL#52 p.42
\people \guitar\classical \philosophy \tools\power
Brune was an original founder of the Guild, has been a GAL convention lecturer, and an American Lutherie author. He’s also a world-renowned maker, dealer, and collector of classical guitars. In this interview he offers some personal background as well as what he thinks it will take to stay afloat in the lutherie world that’s coming. His insider’s view of high-buck instrument dealing is especially compelling.

The Restoration of Agustin Barrios’ Francisco Simplicio by R.E. Brune
BRB5 p.148 AL#52 p.46
\guitar\classical \repair\other \finish\shellac \restoration
What does it take to restore an important instrument? Skill, research, and a solid feel and appreciation for the time during which the piece was made and played. Skip any of these factors and you could easily screw up an irreplaceable piece. Brune describes his approach to one guitar while at the same time demonstrating the qualities necessary to enter this field.

Meet the Maker: Augustino LoPrinzi by Jonathon Peterson
BRB5 p.138 AL#52 p.50
\people \guitar\flattop \guitar\classical \business\other
Augie LoPrinzi has made or overseen the construction of over 8000 guitars. He went from a one-man shop in the back of his barbershop to a factory that employed 30 people and made 80 flattops a month. Now back in a small-shop setting, his enthusiasm for the guitar is as high as ever. Come along for one of the wilder rides in the annals of lutherie.

Hangin’ with Augie by John Calkin
BRB5 p.141 AL#52 p.53
\people \humor \guitar\flattop
Augie LoPrinzi has been an accessible luthier who taught or influenced dozens of people as they entered the business. Calkin “knew him when,” back in the ’70s at a time his small shop churned out 25 guitars a month. This is a different look at a man who was also a barber, pool hustler, amateur magician, wannabe classical guitarist, and a storyteller deluxe. Fun.

Violin Q&A by Michael Darnton
BRB5 p.458 AL#52 p.56
\repair\other \finish\varnish \violin
The soundpost of a cello can push the hard grain of the spruce right through the varnish. So how does one fix the problem? Is your varnish not as clear as you’d like? Damn! What’s the best way to scale down a 4/4 violin to the smaller sizes? Darnton comes to the rescue again.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB5 p.436 AL#52 p.58
\tools\hand \tools\power
Ever thought to look in a fabric store for lutherie tools? I’ll bet’cha that Harry beat you to it. He found a deal on aprons, some good layout tools for design work, and bias tape for tying on bindings. Then he opened a Woodcraft catalog and discovered clamps and a carbide burr cutter he couldn’t live without. Just one more column demonstrating why the editorial staff has developed a fatherly concern for their toolman’s life on the edge of lutherie.

Review: Tom Ribbecke’s Archtop Building Course. Reviewed by Fred Casey.
BRB5 p.473 AL#52 p.60
\guitar\archtop \schools \reviews
The reviewer came away from Ribbecke’s seminar not only feeling that he now had the foundation needed to build archtops, but felt that his lutherie skills in general had been boosted by his experience.

Sources: Organizations and More edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#52 p.62
A short list of new books, videos and cyber-stuff, as well as a list of organizations and periodicals with a lutherie bias. Seems like no matter what instrument you want to build there are some official folks who want to help you. Hurrah!

It Worked for Me
BRB5 p.488 AL#52 p.64
\guitar\classical \guitar\resophonic \fingerboard\fretboard \repair\other
Members contribute ideas about repairing caved-in tops on classical guitars, curing a buzzy National resonator guitar, and a variation on fret installation procedures.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB5 p.137 AL#52 p.65
\finish\lacquer \instruments\other
Readers answer questions about pore-filling with epoxy, the finish used on old Martins, info about Portuguese instruments, getting money for lutherie school, and books about making sitars and sarods.

Spring 1998

D’Aquisto’s Design Development by Paul Gudelsky
BRB5 p.168 AL#53 p.8
\people \guitar\archtop
An overview of D’Aquisto’s career by a man who studied guitar construction with Jimmy and collected a number of his instruments. It becomes clear how complex an individual D’Aquisto really was. Lots of generalized talk about wood and archtop design, too, but nothing scientific. More of a tribute to a man who died way too soon.

Remembering Jimmy by Paul Schmidt
BRB5 p.172 AL#53 p.9
\people \guitar\archtop
D’Aquisto’s biographer bids farewell to the man who was called by some the world’s greatest luthier of our time. A touching and very real-world story.

Three Decades of Innovation captions by John Monteleone
BRB5 p.172 AL#53 p.14
A photo-essay of 8 D’Aquisto archtops formerly owned by Paul Gudelsky, set up to show the progression of Jimmy’s designs.

D’Aquisto’s Design Development: Another View by John Monteleone
BRB5 p.176 AL#53 p.18
A world-renowned maker of archtops who knew D’Aquisto well offers a more technical examination of Jimmy’s design evolution.

Meet the Maker: Shelley Park by Cyndy Burton
BRB5 p.164 AL#53 p.22
\people \guitar\flattop
Park plays jazz guitar and builds Selmer-style guitars like those designed by Mario Maccaferri and played by Django Reinhardt. She furnishes some interesting thoughts about alternative woods and different finishes. Are women luthiers who survive long enough to become professionals really more interesting than many of the men, or do they just give better interviews? You decide.

A Tale of Two Schools by Fred Carlson
AL#53 p.26
\schools \people
Carlson attended Charles Fox’s original guitar making school in 1975, and nearly a generation later reunited with Fox at his new facility, the American School of Lutherie. Basic to Fred’s story is the manner in which the times, two people, and guitar making have changed in 20-odd years. The times, indeed, are a’changin’.

Crazy Like Charles Fox: Guitar Making Jigs for the 21st Century, Part 2 by John Calkin
BRB5 p.108 AL#53 p.32
\schools \tools\jigs \tools\created \guitar\classical \guitar\flattop
In AL#52 we looked at the tools and jigs Charles Fox uses to build acoustic guitars. In Part 2 we examine how that equipment is put to use as Fox takes us through the procedure of building a classical guitar at his American School of Lutherie. Most of this info will be just as useful to the steel string builder, as well.

Meet the Maker: George Fortune, Jr. by John Calkin
BRB5 p.178 AL#53 p.44
\violin \tools\created \people
Fortune is a self-taught fiddle maker and instrument repairman in rural Virginia. To many of his neighbors he is known simply as the Fiddle Man. Perhaps Americans aren’t losing their independent spirit, but often it feels like it. Calkin pays tribute to a man who seems to represent a whole way of life.

Semihemispherical Fret Ends by Harry Fleishman
BRB5 p.192 AL#53 p.48
\fingerboard\fretboard \neck
Who but Harry could design frets that look like half a hot-dog sliced lengthwise? Seriously, though, Fleishman’s method of shaping and installing frets should mark the end of player discomfort and fret end hang-up. Not to mention that his frets look seriously cool.

It Worked for Me
BRB5 p.488 AL#53 p.50
\repair\crack \tools\power \tools\clamps
Readers furnish methods of repairing side cracks and dents, modifying the Ibex clamp for gluing on classical guitar bridges, using a scroll saw for lutherie, and a sad tale about inner tube rubber bands.

Ten Fiddle Books. Reviewed by John Calkin.
BRB5 p.486 AL#53 p.52
\violin \cello
A non-fiddle maker reviews 10 of the less expensive books about building violins. Are they useful? Interesting? Deadly dull? Worth the bread? There are far more expensive books in this category, but these are the ones most likely to be encountered by the beginner. This will give you a leg up before you order.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB5 p.436 AL#53 p.56
\tools\hand \tools\jigs \electronics
Harry ’fesses up: many luthiers are just too darn serious to grok good humor. But he, himself, is serious about testing new gear. In this issue he sort of likes a Bench Guitar Cradle, isn’t very enthusiastic about the Ultimate Guitar Mirror, is ambiguous about a fret slotting miter box and saw, finds a good mini-mic to combine with piezo pickups for not a lot of money, hates a commercial go-bar deck, and raves about a neck removal jig for dovetail joints. Whew!

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB5 p.147 AL#53 p.59
\finish\lacquer \finish\shellac
Is epoxy a good pore filler under lacquer? Maybe yes, maybe no. Is there a pain-free method of developing lutherie skills? Two American Lutherie staffers offer advice.

Violin Q&A by Michael Darnton
BRB5 p.458 AL#53 p.60
\violin \finish\varnish \repair\other
Are there good alternative finishes for violins? What’s the best way to repair a nicked fiddle? Where is the best place to position the soundpost?

Sources: Wood edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#53 p.62
\wood\dealers \wood\soft \wood\hard \wood\other
Ms. Burton has rounded up almost two pages of wood suppliers. If you can’t find it here you may have to go cut it yourself.

Review: The Classical Guitar: A Complete History by John Morrish. Reviewed by
Bryan Johanson.
BRB5 p.474 AL#53 p.64
\reviews \guitar\classical
The reviewer finds the book flawed in minor ways but says that it is well worth its price of $75, which is a pretty good recommendation.

Summer 1998

French Polishing with Eugene Clark by Cyndy Burton
BRB5 p.182 AL#54 p.6
\finish\shellac \people
Jeez, there’s a lot to know about French polishing. Changing lubricating oils can change the quality of the job, but there are reasons to change oils. The pad you rub with makes a difference. The longevity and toughness of the finish can be controlled by the materials you use. This work is deeper than meets the eye. Burton attended a class taught by Clark, and she brings home the straight skinny for American Lutherie.

1997 Tokyo Musical Merchandise Trade Show by Ervin Somogyi
AL#54 p.16
\business\other \people
Until the Asian market crisis many American luthiers thought that dealing their instruments in Japan would provide the best of living opportunities. Much of Somogyi’s production goes to Japan, and in 1997 he visited Japan at the invitation of his distributor to visit dealers and attend the “NAMM show” of the Orient. Here’s what business and lutherie in Japan is really like.

Meet the Maker: Judy Threet by Cyndy Burton
BRB5 p.204 AL#54 p.21
\guitar\flattop \people \philosophy
Threet is a Canadian builder who specializes in fingerstyle guitars. Her guitars often display an artistic flair that few can match. This interview takes a decidedly philosophic turn, and appropriately so, since Threet used to be a professor of philosophy.

It’s Called a What? Some Thoughts on the Irish Bouzouki by Graham McDonald
BRB5 p.198 AL#54 p.26
\instruments\other \bending \tools\jigs \tools\created
Advice about building an Irish instrument with a Greek name from an Australian in an American magazine. You could get jet lag just thinking about it. McDonald covers the construction of the entire instrument (his neck joint is really slick) but the focal point is his top construction. He steams thick flat plates in the oven and bends them into an arch until they set. After joining there is a minimum of carving yet to be done. All this is in the name of saving time and timber.

Meet the Maker: Joseph Curtin by Tim Olsen
BRB5 p.194 AL#54 p.34
\people \violin
The personal history of violin people is often the most interesting because so many of them realize that a formal approach to learning their craft is often the fastest way of being recognized in the business, even though they may invest many years in the process. And they frequently find themselves in exotic places as they learn. It must work, too. How many of us need an assistant and a business manager to help hold down the fort, as Curtin does?

After the Fox: How Charles Changed my Lutherie Life by John Calkin
BRB5 p.127 AL#54 p.38
\tools\jigs \tools\created \tools\power \humidity
Inspired by his time spent at Fox’s American School of Lutherie, Calkin revamps his whole building procedure. Dished workboards turn out to be easy and cheap to make. Mando, uke, and dulcimer sides are bent with an electric silicone blanket. Molds are revamped. Speed and precision are in, drudgery is out (well, almost). Parts 1 and 2 were in American Lutherie #52 and #53, respectively.

It Worked for Me
BRB5 p.488 AL#54 p.50
\repair\other \tools\power \guitar\archtop \guitar\classical \gluing
Want to power-carve a top to rough specs without a pantograph? Redesign the waist bar of a classical guitar to repair a cave-in? Make brace repair clamps that are virtually free? Use a superglue applicator that won’t clog for days? Here you go: advice from readers.

Violin Views by Michael Darnton
BRB5 p.458 AL#54 p.52
\violin \business\other
Darnton dwells upon the value of violins (as opposed, at times, to their cost), and finds that customers drive the cost of violins even when they aren’t sure of the value. For non-fiddle people this may be the most interesting column he has written, and for violin folks it should prove quite enlightening.

Review: A Collection of Fine Spanish Guitars from Torres to the Present by Sheldon Urlik. Reviewed by Cyndy Burton.
BRB5 p.474 AL#54 p.54
\reviews \guitar\classical
The reviewer urges the purchase of this pricey book ($119.95) by anyone seriously interested in the history or construction of the classical guitar.

Review: Easy Guitar Maintenance and Repair by Harvey Citron. Reviewed by John Calkin.
BRB5 p.476 AL#54 p.55
\repair\other \guitar\electric \bass\electric \reviews
The reviewer finds that this video is a good learning device for anyone wishing to learn how to set up their electric guitar or bass, perhaps less so for acoustic players.

Review: Archtop Guitar Design and Construction by Robert Benedetto. Reviewed by John Calkin.
BRB5 p.476 AL#54 p.56
\guitar\archtop \tools\hand \tools\power \finish\lacquer \reviews
The reviewer finds this set of 5 videos to be useful and complete for those who wish to build an archtop guitar, but that those who lack previous lutherie experience should also have the book by Benedetto.

Review: Spray Finishing by Andy Charron. Reviewed by John Calkin.
BRB5 p.477 AL#54 p.57
\tools\power \finish\other \finish\waterborne \reviews \finish\spraying
The reviewer decides that the book should be of use to anyone who is about to purchase their first spray gear, but that other sources of information are more lutherie-specific.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB5 p.436 AL#54 p.58
\tools\measuring \tools\other \fingerboard\fretboard \violin \guitar\archtop
Fleishman tries out a tool for puncturing archtop plates to establish depth of cut, likes it, but finds that the standard size tool is for violin makers and guitar makers must special order; the nut files of a lifetime come into his shop; a good tool that Everyman can afford turns out to be nice fret slot cleaning tool.

Sources: Tools and Hardware edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#54 p.62
\tools\hand \tools\power \tools\other \workshop
Where to get the gear you need to do what you want to do as a luthier.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB5 p.208 AL#54 p.65
\binding \fingerboard\fretboard \fingerboard\fretboard \neck
Readers supply information about Bolteron binding, refinishing violin fingerboards made of light colored wood, vintage clay dot fretboard markers, turtleoid pickguard stock, and sharpening dull files.

Fall 1998

In Memoriam: Irving Sloane by Roger Sadowsky
BRB5 p.213 AL#55 p.3
\people \tuners \tools\hand
Sadowsky remembers Irving Sloane as a Renaissance man, and surely just the work he did in the lutherie field would qualify him for that. He designed and produced tuning machines, a slew of hand tools, and three instruction books that no doubt continue to be the worthy introduction many of us have to the world of lutherie. He was also Sadowsky’s father-in-law. This small remembrance is as nice as any man has had.

Sabicas’ 1951 Marcelo Barbero by R.E. Brune
BRB5 p.217 AL#55 p.8
\guitar\classical \plans \people \restoration
The story of this astonishing flamenco guitar involves Barbero, Sabicas, Carlos Montoya, and Elektra records. It dropped from sight until showing up at Brune’s for repair. Brune drew up a complete set of plans while the guitar was in his possession. They are printed here, and are also available as a full-size GAL Instrument Plan #42.

Meet the Maker: Paul McGill by Mark Bass
BRB5 p.214 AL#55 p.16
\people \guitar\resophonic \guitar\classical
McGill is a thinking-man’s guitar maker with some strong notions that run counter to current lutherie mythology. He also has a big-time clientele who believe he is right. With 6 photos.

1998 GAL Convention Coverage
AL#55 p.20
\organizations \meetings
If you weren’t there, too bad. But you can begin to imagine what it was like from this extensive coverage.

Meet the Maker: David Gusset by Jonathon Peterson
BRB5 p.224 AL#55 p.32
\violin \people
Gusset’s early work made him intimately familiar with many fine old Italian violins, and he has used their influence to make his mark in world violin making competitions.

The Frame Guitar by Sam Littlepage
BRB5 p.209 AL#55 p.40
Suppose you made a stiff framework that resembled a guitar that was strong enough to resist most of the distortion to which the instrument is prone, and then built a guitar around the framework. Well, Littlepage has beat you to it. He reports that it not only works, but also improves the guitar in every way.

Length of Newt’s Tail by Width of Dragon’s Hair by Ken Sribnick
AL#55 p.45
\tools\hand \tools\measuring \philosophy
Sribnick believes that consistent accuracy stems from shop standards. One set of measuring tools, one set of templates, one style of doing things. He makes a good case, too.

Meet the Maker: Paul Jacobson by Cyndy Burton
BRB5 p.243 AL#55 p.48
\people \guitar\classical \tools\jigs \business\other
Jacobson is a widely respected builder of classical guitars who considers lutherie to be the equivalent of writing sonnets. They are both exercises in controlled creativity. And both can be beautiful.

It Worked for Me
BRB5 p.488 AL#55 p.54
\neck \tools\power \finish\lacquer \tools\created \tools\hand
Readers contribute tips about joining necks to bodies, finishing in lacquer, getting more mileage out of your belt sander and router, reversible glue for sanding fixtures, and making hand planes.

Sources: Electric Hardware edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#55 p.58
\electronics \guitar\electric \bass\electric
Where to get pickups, condenser mikes, electric guitar parts, and general electronics gear.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB5 p.208 AL#55 p.60
\tools\other \neck \bridge\gluing \tools\hand
Readers supply information about improving the Fox side bender, the proper neck set on a nylon-strung guitar, sharpening files chemically, and whether to glue on a guitar bridge before or after finishing.

Violin Views by Michael Darnton
BRB5 p.458 AL#55 p.61
\violin \philosophy
Repair ethics updated. Centuries from now some of those “cheap” fiddles won’t be cheap any more, and the quick and dirty repairs we do to keep them functional today may be considered butchery in the future. Is it time to reconsider our impact on the violin scenes to come?

Review: Basic Pickup Winding and Complete Guide to Making Your Own Pickup Winder by Jason Lollar. Reviewed by Bishop Cochran.
BRB5 p.477 AL#55 p.63
\electronics \guitar\electric \tools\created \reviews
The reviewer finds that this book is weak on pickup design considerations but that it will ultimately set the luthier free to customize his sound and escape the high cost of commercial pickups.

Review: Wood: The Best of Fine Woodworking. Reviewed by Nicholas Von Robison.
BRB5 p.477 AL#55 p.63
\wood\trees \reviews
The reviewer finds this collection of magazine articles will furnish new information to woodworkers of all experience levels. It should also encourage many to harvest their own wood supply and show them how to make it into a material worthy of their best work.

Review: Basic Inlay Techniques and Intermediate Inlay Techniques by Larry Robinson. Reviewed by John Calkin.
BRB5 p.478 AL#55 p.64
\inlay \reviews
The reviewer finds that for anyone wishing to attempt intricate, carefully fitted inlays these two instruction videos should guide them through the craft phase and help to release whatever art they may be capable of.

Review: How to Repair Your Diatonic Accordion or Concertina by John Townley and Jehan Paul. Reviewed by John Calkin.
AL#55 p.65
\instruments\other \repairs\other \reviews
The reviewer enjoyed this video. It is iconoclastic and hip, and should help anyone keep their squeezebox wheezing healthily. Instruction should always be this fun.

Review: The Luthier’s Art (1996) and The Luthier’s Art (1997). Reviewed by Woody Vernice.
AL#55 p.65
\guitar\flattop \guitar\classical \meetings \reviews
These are two picture books of guitars made by luthiers who attended the Healdsburg Guitar Festivals in 1996 and 1997. The reviewer finds that the pictures are too little, but that luthiers looking for new ideas may browse through them endlessly.

Winter 1998

Letter to the editor by Jon Sevy
AL#56 p.3
\computers \business\other
Sevy has developed a spreadsheet for calculating the over-all time spent building a lutherie project. He offers the spreadsheet to readers through his website.

Letter to the editor by Derrick McCandless
AL#56 p.3
\bass\electric \business\promotion
McCandless built a functioning P/J bass that is 8' long and otherwise to scale.

Letter to the editor by Tim O’Dea
AL#56 p.4
Australian O’Dea gives an enthusiastic description of Australian blackwood and its use in lutherie Down Under. The wood is similar to koa, to which it is related.

Letter to the editor by Tony Graziano
AL#56 p.4
Graziano sends in a photo of a double-neck ukulele made in his shop.

Letter to the editor by Brian Burns
AL#56 p.5
\organizations \meetings
Burns is a member of the thriving Northern California Association of Luthiers, and he offers advice to others about how to start a successful lutherie organization.

The Modern Mandolin by Lawrence Smart
BRB5 p.248 AL#56 p.6
\mandolin \instruments\other
The demands of contemporary players has forced many changes in the mandolin family since the fabled Loar family of Gibsons was created in the 1920s. Smart has built mandolins, mandolas, and mandocellos to work together as an ensemble as well as separately, and here he discusses the differences that might be desirable in the family as the setting is changed, as well as the changes that players have asked for in his instruments. Accompanied by charts of Smart’s instrument specs as well as those of Gibson.

Meet the Maker: Linda Manzer by Cyndy Burton
BRB5 p.256 AL#56 p.16
\people \philosophy \guitar\archtop
Through her artistic merit, dogged determination, and sheer grit, Manzer has risen to the top ranks of her profession. This interview covers her background and training, work ethic, favorite woods, and other lutherie intimacies.

Shaping the Sound: A Personal Approach to Building Classical Guitars by Jeffrey R. Elliott
BRB5 p.230 AL#56 p.22
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical
In every craft the cream inevitably rises, and Elliott is known to make some of the creamiest classical guitars in the world. Though this article offers a complete recipe for building guitars with “allure,” it becomes obvious that the most important ingredient is the artistic sensitivity he has developed. Not to be overlooked if your goal is to cook up fine classicals. With a list for further reading.

Martin Tenor Ukulele by Pete Hurney
BRB5 p.240 AL#56 p.32
\ukulele \plans
Uke builder Hurney offers a description and plans for the Martin Tenor, as well as outlines of the Martin Soprano and Concert models. The plans are available as GAL Instrument Plan #43. With front and back photos of 3 sizes of Martin ukes.

The Chainsaw Lutherie of Tom Ribbecke, Part One: The Neck by Jay Hargreaves
BRB5 p.262 AL#56 p.36
\neck \fingerboard\fretboard \tools\power \tools\jigs \guitar\archtop
Ribbecke is a renowned maker of archtop guitars. He also opens his shop periodically to small classes that wish to learn his formula for successful and graceful guitars. Hargreaves attended one such week-long session and brought back the straight skinny for American Lutherie readers. Part 1 details the construction of a laminated maple neck and associated details. Part 2 follows in American Lutherie #57.

Meet the Maker: David “Kawika” Hurd by John Calkin
BRB5 p.285 AL#56 p.44
\people \ukulele \wood\other \computers
David Hurd’s classical guitar drew accolades at the ’98 convention’s listening session, but he’s better known for his ukes and his info-jammed ukulele website. He’s also had the opportunity to build instruments from species of Hawaiian wood that most of us have never even heard of. Life is different in Hawaii. Still.

Searching for Blue Significance by John Calkin
AL#56 p.50
\guitar\archtop \philosophy
Scott Chinery had 22 luthiers build 22 archtop guitars, all of them blue. Why? And why did the Smithsonian Institute decide to display them? And then throw in a big shindig for luthiers and guitar nuts alike? Calkin treks to Washington D.C. in the name of the Guild to figure out what all the fuss is about and discovers that hardly anything is what it seems.

Clearly Protective by Kent Everett
BRB5 p.290 AL#56 p.54
\accessories \repair\other \guitar\flattop
So you hate the way pickguards look but like the job they do? Everett shows how to apply a clear pickguard without bubbles or fingerprints coming along for the ride.

Sources: Plans edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#56 p.56
This list of instrument plans probably isn’t world-inclusive, but it’s the biggest list we’ve put together so far. Collect them all and you could probably build for the rest of your life and never use the same plans twice.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
BRB5 p.436 AL#56 p.58
\tools\other \reviews
The Guild’s toolin’ fool bows out as a regular columnist by reviewing tools that could only exist in an Ideal World. Or Funnier World. Pure satire from a man who knows about purity.

Violin Views by Michael Darnton
BRB5 p.458 AL#56 p.62
\violin \restoration
Before you try to fix, buy, or sell a violin, you better know what you’re diving into. Darnton explains how to evaluate the condition of a fiddle and how to spot old repairs and perhaps even forgeries.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#56 p.64
\physics\guitar \tools\jigs \accessories
Readers help out with answers to questions about the Universal Side Bender, casting and plating tailpieces, and why guitars with the same strings and setup can feel very different to the player.

It Worked for Me
BRB5 p.488 AL#56 p.65
\tools\created \gluing
Members submit tips about building a fret bender and spreading glue.

Spring 1999

Letter to the Editor by Jeff Elliott
AL#57 p.3
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical
Elliott offers a correction to his top brace system as stated in his lecture printed in American Lutherie #56.

Binding Guitars by Jeff Huss and Mark Dalton
BRB5 p.292 AL#57 p.6
\binding \tools\power \bending \guitar\flattop
The H&D Guitar Company builds about 100 guitars per year, the great majority of them bound in wood. Here’s how they do it.

More Binding Tips and Tools by John Calkin
BRB5 p.297 AL#57 p.11
\binding \tools\power \tools\hand \guitar\flattop
Calkin was hired by Huss and Dalton to take over their guitar binding. His story includes a description of how to make wood binding, and covers the hand tools he uses during the binding procedure.

Stick with Hide Glue by Frank Ford and Don MacRostie
BRB5 p.302 AL#57 p.14
The authors believe that hot hide glue is the best adhesive for virtually all construction and most repair jobs. Here’s why they think so and how they handle this ancient material. Includes diagrams of the customized glue pots used by both men, photos, and a hide glue grading chart.

Meet the Maker: Joshia de Jonge by Cyndy Burton
BRB5 p.300 AL#57 p.22
Joshia’s classical won high praise during the listening session at the GAL’s 1998 convention, quite an achievement for a 19-year-old woman. But then, just about every member of her family builds guitars. Her free-spirited optimism may be as much a product of her upbringing as her youth.

The Chainsaw Lutherie of Tom Ribbecke, Part 2 by Jay Hargreaves
BRB5 p.262 AL#57 p.24
\guitar\archtop \wood\soft \tools\power \tools\jigs \bracing\other
In this installment the top plate is carved and braced. Ribbecke roughs out the plates in a unique vacuum cage that goes a long way toward keeping his shop clean. The chainsaw wheel he attaches to his grinder gives this series its name, and speeds the carving process dramatically. Tuning the top isn’t completed until the guitar is assembled in the next segment. Part 1 was in American Lutherie #56.

Estimating an Initial Soundboard Thickness by David Hurd
BRB5 p.310 AL#57 p.32
\wood\soft \physics\guitar
Uke maker Hurd was once a research scientist, and intuitive instrument construction is not his bag. Using his formula luthiers can compare known wood species with unknowns and learn what to expect of the new ones. He also offers some top dimensions for instruments of the ukulele family. With charts and much math.

Tales of True Companionship by John Calkin
BRB5 p.317 AL#57 p.40
\guitar\other \tools\jigs \plans \tools\created
Calkin builds a uniquely shaped travel guitar called the True Companion, and here explains its construction as well as the jigs he devised for production building. The plan is a mini-version of GAL Instrument Plan #44. With photos, including one of the sternest luthier of the year. Ya’ll remember to smile when it’s your turn!

Adjustable Dished Workboard by Kevin Rielly
BRB5 p.330 AL#57 p.46
\tools\created \tools\jigs
By now we all know about using dished workboards to create a radius on flat instrument plates. Rielly’s board is easier to make than most, and can be adjusted for either the top or back radius.

A Few Realities About Runout by Don Musser
BRB5 p.322 AL#57 p.48
Musser supplies wood to the trade, and his notions about grain runout may surprise you. Wood from split billets doesn’t guarantee a minimum of runout unless the billet itself has absolutely no runout. Does it matter? Musser thinks so.

Domestic Tranquility by Paul McGill
BRB5 p.324 AL#57 p.50
\health \tools\power
McGill’s lutherie shop is in his basement, and keeping his house free of fumes and dust involved lots of planning and not a little money. Here’s how he did it.

Meet the Maker: Steve Kinnaird by John Calkin
BRB5 p.327 AL#57 p.53
Kinnaird is a minister, luthier, blues guitarist, and all-around nice guy. You’ll be glad you met him.

Violin Views by Michael Darnton
BRB5 p.458 AL#57 p.56
\violin \business\ethics
Good violins often come with a certificate of authenticity, but what does that mean? What are the legal ramifications of a certificate, and who writes them? Are they trustworthy? How does one gain the necessary expertise to write certificates? Cool stuff, even if you could care less about fiddles.

Product Reviews by Fred Carlson
BRB5 p.436 AL#57 p.58
\tools\power \reviews
Carlson takes over the GAL test pilot seat for new tools. This time he flies the Turbo-carver, an ultra-speed carving tool similar to (but not as elaborate as) a dentist drill. Carlson likes the tool but can’t seem to find a lot of use for it in lutherie. And though the tool is fairly inexpensive, he also questions its lifespan.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#57 p.61
\bending \binding \instruments\other \repair\neck \finish\shellac
Members answer questions about Soluvar spirit varnish, bending ivory binding, and how to mend a badly carved neck, and fretting the Turkish saz.

Review: Acoustics of Wood by Voichita Buchur, reviewed by Nicholas Von Robison
BRB5 p.479 AL#57 p.62
\physics\guitar \physics\violin \wood\other \reviews
The reviewer finds that this technical tome about how wood vibrates may have a lot of value to any luthier who wants to work out the math, but that its high price will make it unavailable to most.

Review: Tambura by Dusan Brankov reviewed by John Calkin
BRB5 p.480 AL#57 p.63
\review \instruments\other
The reviewer finds that this book will guide any luthier through the construction of this instrument that is sort of a simple guitar from Yugoslavia

Sources: Schools edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#57 p.64
If you’re looking for formal lutherie instruction in the UK, Canada, or US, this list of schools is your best place to start.

Summer 1999

The Chainsaw Lutherie of Tom Ribbecke, Part 3 by Jay Hargreaves
BRB5 p.262 AL#58 p.6
\bending \guitar\archtop \bridge\guitar \binding \tools\jigs \accessories
The final installment in the series, parts 1 & 2 were in AL#56 and #57, respectively. In this segment the sides are bent, the body is assembled and bound, the neck is fitted to the body, and attention is given to tuning the plates. Special consideration is given to making the adjustable bridges as well as Tom’s elegant ebony/graphite tailpiece.

Meet the Maker: Bonnie Carol by John Calkin
BRB5 p.358 AL#58 p.16
\people \dulcimer\fretted
Bonnie Carol has been a mainstay on the dulcimer scene for three decades. She is alive and well in Colorado, still building and performing. With photos of her shop, instruments, and construction process. Mentions Max Krimmel

Kasha Collaboration, Part 1 by Jonathon Peterson
BRB5 p.332 AL#58 p.20
\guitar\classical \tools\clamps \people \bracing\classical
Boaz Elkayam and George Majkowski extend the work of Michael Kasha and Richard Schneider in a project that entails the construction of 10 guitars. A wide variety of building techniques involving hand and power tools, as well as vacuum clamping, is necessary to make these complicated instruments. An unlikely pairing of craftsmen contributes to our understanding of one of the most controversial instrument designers of our times, and the memory of a respected luthier and teacher.

Reconciling Structural and Acoustic Design in Violin Making by Graham Caldersmith
BRB5 p.362 AL#58 p.32
\violin \physics\violin \bracing\other
Everyone knows that the most responsive instruments often teeter on the edge of self-destruction from string tension. Building fine-sounding instruments that will also have a reasonable lifespan is one of our general goals. Caldersmith takes a scientist’s view of the violin and decides that arching design is the key to longevity, while an understanding of free-plate tuning is needed to release the tonal qualities the luthier seeks. He furnishes 7 charts and diagrams to help make his case, as well as a photo of his Australian self. But what we all want to know is if a pursuit of science will eventually enhance our luthier’s intuition. Is it better to think or to feel? Do we really have to choose?

Meet the Maker: Gary Southwell by Cyndy Burton
BRB5 p.366 AL#58 p.38
\guitar\other \guitar\classical \people
Southwell makes gut-strung guitars that may be strange or more-or-less conventional, but always elegant, and he makes them for some high-profile patrons. His specialty is pre-classical or “salon” guitars. He’s an eloquent Englishman whom you’ll be happy to meet.

Calculating Arc Parameters by Jon Sevy
BRB5 p.355 AL#58 p.42
If first-year college math pushed your left-brain functions to the limit (been there, done that) you may cringe at the sight of the simplest equation. If so, check out this article. Modern luthiers build arcs into many of their instruments, and if you don’t know how to create them to lay out your own jigs you’ll be forever at the mercy of tool suppliers. Worse yet, when someone asks what the radius of your back plate is you can shrug your shoulders and look like an idiot. Let Sevy solve your problem. You can do it!

About the Cello Tailpiece by Eric Fouilhe
BRB5 p.370 AL#58 p.46
\accessories \cello
What affect does the tailpiece have on your latest fiddle? Bet you don’t even know! We’ll bet you haven’t even thought about it! The cello is the object of concern here, but is there a large difference? The cello tailpiece has evolved into an inelegant plastic lump, and Fouilhe maintains that it’s often a source of sonic foul play, sort of like a 200-pound jockey on a race horse.

Why Lutherie? By Ervin Somogyi
AL#58 p.49
Why do you lutherize? Really, why? Luthiers may be more inclined to look inward than others, but they’re no more inclined to talk about what they find there than anyone else. Somogyi’s eloquent confession might spark the rest of us into talking more deeply about our art and craft.

Product Reviews by Fred Carlson
BRB5 p.436 AL#58 p.52
\review \tools\other
How would you like a video camera that can snoop inside your guitar? Carlson examines the Chapin Insight guitar inspection camera and finds that it’s loads of fun and probably very useful to a repairman who has the $350 to improve his inspection capabilities.

Review: Ring the Banjar! The Banjo in America from Folklore to Factory, by Robert Lloyd Web, reviewed by Woody Vernice
BRB5 p.480 AL#58 p.55
\reviews \banjo
In 1984 the MIT museum sponsored an exhibition of banjos built predominantly in and around Boston. This book is sort of the catalog of that show, complete with two essays about the history of the banjo and the Bostonians who built the factories. The reviewer decides that if you like the open-back banjo you’ll enjoy this book.

Review: Making and Playing Musical Instruments by Jack Botermans, Herman Dewit, and Hans Godefroy, reviewed by David Riggs
BRB5 p.480 AL#58 p.55
\review \instruments\other
The reviewer likes this book about building assorted folk and flea market instruments, though he doesn’t expect serious luthiers to have much use for it. Not unless they like to kick back with a tin can banjo, that is. A fun book for unserious moments.

Review: Violin Making ---Live! Watch Me Make a Cello, Step-by-Step by Henry Strobel, reviewed by John Calkin
BRB5 p.481 AL#58 p.56
\cello \violin \review
The reviewer finds this set of three video tapes (about 6-hrs. worth) to be roughly made but perhaps invaluable to the learn-at-home crowd.

Review: Julian Bream, the Foundations of a Musical Career by Stuart W. Button, reviewed by Cyndy Burton
BRB5 p.481 AL#58 p.57
\people \guitar\classical
Bream began when the classical guitar world was small, indeed. The reviewer finds this collection of letters about Bream’s early years to be small, expensive, and enjoyable.

It Worked for Me
BRB5 p.488 AL#58 p.58
\finish\shellac \tools\created \tools\jigs \bridge\guitar
Guild members contribute tips concerning a stand that holds a guitar during varnishing, determining the height of mando-family sides, a jig for routing classical guitar bridges, and making dished workboards.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#58 p.60
\mandolin \guitar\classical \bass\viol \repair\neck \violin
Readers furnish information about the properties of stainless steel, making mandolin neck joints, dating Ramirez guitars, learning to repair the upright bass, acquiring violin molds, and manufacturers of silk and gut strings.

Fall 1999

The Squishy Subject of Restoration Ethics by Frank Ford
BRB5 p.374 AL#59 p.6
\business\ethics \ivory \inlay \bridge\guitar \finish\lacquer \finish\shellac \restoration
A top repairman tackles the sticky subject of what repair and restoration work should be tackled in this age of vintage instrument mania, especially in the area of elective surgery. Even today’s utilitarian instruments may be tomorrow’s hot collectibles, so every instrument that passes over our bench has to be considered in this light. What work should we refuse, and what are our liabilities for the work we do? Includes photos, mostly of vintage guitars and mandolins.

Meet the Maker: Steve Kauffman by David Melly
BRB5 p.386 AL#59 p.18
\people \guitar\flattop \philosophy
Kauffman had been a luthier for sometime before he apprenticed to Steve Klein. Today he builds Klein acoustics in his own shop as well as his personal line of guitars. He’s a thoughtful and thought-provoking man, and you’ll be glad you met him.

Kasha Collaboration, Part 2 by Jonathon Peterson
BRB5 p.332 AL#59 p.22
\guitar\classical \tools\hand \fret \neck \tools\clamps
George Majkowski and Boaz Elkayam complete their work on 10 Kasha guitars to honor the memory of Richard Schneider and to keep his work alive. The hand tools involved, the strange method of fretting, and the cool vacuum clamps, as well as the design philosophy behind the guitars, make this a pair of articles not to be missed. The Old World meets the future here and they blend very nicely.

A New Look at the Chromatic Dulcimer by Merv Rowley
BRB5 p.390 AL#59 p.36
\dulcimer\fretted \fingerboard\fretboard
Rowley may have been the first to use metal rod for frets rather than fretwire, a technique often attributed to Richard Schneider. He has built dulcimers for many years and has been something of an innovator. Here he examines the chromatic, rather than the diatonic dulcimer, and decides that perhaps it’s time has come and how to make it most acceptable to those who already play the conventionally fretted instrument.

Meet the Maker: Grit Laskin by Gordon Gray
BRB5 p.402 AL#59 p.39
\guitar\flattop \people \inlay
Laskin is a well-known maker of masterful guitars and a groundbreaking artist in inlay concept and design. He’s also a novelist and a recording artist. If the photos of his guitars and inlay work don’t inspire you, you’re certainly from an old school of lutherie.

Making Compensated Saddles by Jeff Huss and Mark Dalton
BRB5 p.396 AL#59 p.46
\bridge\guitar \guitar\flattop \tools\clamps
Hand carved and compensated bone saddles are a mark of finesse. Fine work is all about the details, and Huss and Dalton discuss a detail that is often overlooked but easy to make.

Gene Rhinehart: Northwest Resophonic Connection by Jonathon Peterson
BRB5 p.392 AL#59 p.50
\guitar\resophonic \people
Rhinehart has built Dobro-style guitars for years, and was among the first to furnish custom resonator cones to the industry. Includes a new plan format, a one-page diagram of a square neck guitar with a chart of dimensions. Different methods of seating the cone are discussed, and photos show some of the details of Rhinehart’s work.

Product Reviews by Fred Carlson
BRB5 p.436 AL#59 p.56
\reviews \tools\hand \tools\power \bridge\guitar
Carlson checks out Iboney, a specially treated cow bone used for nuts and saddles. Also in this column is an examination of 3 Stew-Mac tools, a fingerboard and bridge heating iron, a purfling cutter attachment for the Dremel MultiPro, and a binding cutter for the Stew-Mac version of the MultiPro router base. Fred likes the Iboney, and decides that both Stew-Mac Dremel attachments are better made than the Dremels themselves. The heating iron passes inspection, too, but the GAL Tool Guy feels a bit luke-warm about it.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#59 p.59
\finish\water-base \wood\hard
Readers come to the rescue with information about Crystalac products and using wenge as bridge material.

It Worked for Me
BRB5 p.488 AL#59 p.60
\tools\hand \tools\jigs
GAL members help out with tips about making planes for bow making as well as a jig for gluing on bow tips.

Review: Acquired of the Angels by Paul William Schmidt, reviewed by Linda Manzer
BRB5 p.482 AL#59 p.62
\people \guitar\archtop \review
The reviewer finds this book about the life and work of John D’Angelico and James D’Aquisto “is a wonderful and carefully prepared book,” though perhaps not free of errors.

Review: Advanced Inlay Techniques by Larry Robinson, reviewed by John Calkin
A BRB5 p.478 L#59 p.63
\inlay \review
Robinson not only continues to widen the scope of instrument inlay, he invites others to come along and shows them how to do it. The reviewer is very enthusiastic about this video tape.

Review: Research Papers in Violin Acoustics, 1975-1993 edited by Carleen Hutchins and Virginia Benade, reviewed by David Hurd
BRB5 p.483 AL#59 p.63
\violin \review \physics\violin
The reviewer finds that the expense and daunting technical nature of this two-volume set should not prevent individuals from acquiring them and wading in. He admonishes that one never knows what will come out of such reading, but that nothing will come of it if it isn't attempted.

Review: Shoptalk 5 by Todd Sams, Don MacRostie, and Dan Erlewine, reviewed by John Calkin
BRB5 p.484 AL#59 p.65
\reviews \tools\power \tools\jigs \neck
The reviewer likes this instruction video that is ultimately intended to sell product, and finds that the instruction far outweighs the salesmanship angle of this Stew-Mac tape.

Winter 1999

Letter to the editor by R.E. Brune
AL#60 p.4
Brune’s letter gives us an update of the Spanish flamenco scene as he found it during a visit to Spain in May of 1999.

Expanding Steel String Design by Fred Carlson, Harry Fleishman, William Eaton, and Saul Koll
BRB5 p.422 AL#60 p.6
\guitar\flattop \philosophy
The market for flattop guitars probably isn’t evolving away from tried and true designs at all, but individual luthiers are working on instruments that would baffle (and hopefully intrigue) Orville and old C.F. These four groundbreaking guitarmakers got together to discuss their work in front of an audience at the 1998 GAL convention, and if their work and philosophies don’t show you anything you must be hopelessly lost in the nostalgic past. This article is a condensed version of that discussion.

Arching and Voicing in Violin Plates by Graham Caldersmith
BRB5 p.399 AL#60 p.16
\violin \physics\violin
Caldersmith offers this article as an aesthetic link with his more scientific treatise in AL#58. The shape of a fiddles sound can be explained technically, then interpreted into a wooden shape that must please the maker’s artistic eye. If you’ve been scratching your head over the meaning of all the technical gobbledygook, this may be the information you’ve been waiting for. With a drawing and photos of the carving process.

On the Selection and Treatment of Bracewoods by Ervin Somogyi
BRB5 p.417 AL#60 p.19
\wood\soft \bracing\lute
How important is the grain orientation of your braces? Is quartersawn wood really the stiffest? Somogyi ran a small series of tests that suggest that information we all trust and take for granted may be little more than lutherie mythology.

The Maalaea Special by Rich Mermer
BRB5 p.408 AL#60 p.22
Are you familiar with the Weissenborn Hawaiian guitars of the ‘20s? How ‘bout the acoustic lap steel work of David Lindley? Well, Lindley often plays a Weissenborn, which is lap guitar with a sound chamber that includes a hollow neck (think of a guitar whose mother was frightened by a fretted dulcimer). Rich Mermer doesn’t build exact Weissenborn copies, but a very similar design. His good plan is a single-page diagram with a chart of measurements.

Meet the Maker: Bob Gernandt by John Calkin
BRB5 p.420 AL#60 p.28
This North Carolina luthier likes to use native timber in the wide variety of instruments he builds. His particular interest is the Irish bouzouki and cittern.

Project Evia by Joseph Curtin
BRB5 p.412 AL#60 p.30
\violin \instruments\other \synthetics
Evia is Curtin’s shorthand for Experimental Viola, a design he has created in wood and which he hopes to transfer into graphite and foam. Perhaps the time for change is finally upon us. Many think they can see the end of first-quality tonewood, and if we’re going to alter a 500-year-old tradition by changing wood species, why not change all the way and leave wood behind? Curtin (a widely respected creator of bowed instruments) seems certain that synthetic instruments of tonal excellence are less than a decade away.

Healdsburg 1999 by Jonathon Peterson
AL#60 p.36
Healdsburg has become a Mecca for makers and fans of custom guitars. If you weren’t there you don’t have to be square, these photos and Peterson’s crisp text will clue you in on what you missed.

Meet David Santo by Todd Novak
BRB5 p.431 AL#60 p.38
Santo has not only been a luthier of wide experience, he has been a consultant to several instrument companies of note.

Refret With David Santo by Todd Novak
BRB5 p.432 AL#60 p.39
Clear text and 19 photos explain how to do a fret job the old fashioned way---no fancy-shmansy new jiggery or expensive tools. Fret jobs have been done this way since the advent of barbed fretwire, and it’s good to be reminded that self-reliance and skill can still get the job done.

Product Reviews by Fred Carlson
BRB5 p.436 AL#60 p.44
\cases \reviews
Hi-Tone instrument cases are reviewed and not found wanting, “a contender for the handsomest case out there, and very solidly built.”

Review: Mandolin Magazine reviewed by Randy Allen
BRB5 p.485 AL#60 p.48
\mandolin \review
Mandolin magazines come and go. The small market must cramp their longevity. Then reviewer likes this latest contender, and if it’s as good as he says we all hope it will hang around for awhile.

Review: Assembling a Solidbody Electric Guitar by Dan Erlewine, reviewed by John Calkin
BRB5 p.485 AL#60 p.48
\guitar\electric \review
All it takes to slap together a parts guitar is a screwdriver and some common sense, right? Way wrong! The reviewer decides that this video should be figured into the budget of every first-time guitar assembler.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
BRB5 p.485 398 AL#60 p.49
\vihuela \finish\other \gluing \wood\hard
What sort of finish did Kohno use? How toxic is superglue? Are vihuela plans available? (No. You can have that one for free.) Does birdseye maple grow in Europe? Get your answers, get’em while they’re hot!

It Worked for Me
BRB5 p.485+488 AL#60 p.50
\fingerboard\fretboard \tools\jigs \tools\power
This time readers furnish tips about a fixture for cutting fret slots with a radial arm saw, how to use a dished workboard, and altering the LMI router base for Dremel tools.

Sources edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#60 p.52
\wood\hard \wood\soft \electronics \gluing \inlay \plans \tools\hand \tools\power
This column updates several source lists that have appeared in past issues. If you need it to build instruments, you should find a supplier here.

Spring 2000

Meet the Maker: Geza Burghardt by Cyndy Burton
AL#61 p.4
\people \guitar\classical \neck
Burghardt and his family emigrated to Canada from Hungary in 1988 with few worldly goods and little English and proceeded to carve out a niche in a fashion we have grown accustomed to hearing about in these pages. He seems to prefer classical guitars and hand tools.

Crafting Pickguards at Huss & Dalton by Robert Painter
AL#61 p.14
\synthetics \guitar\flattop
How to cut, bevel, and buff a pickguard using celluloid flat stock.

Reinventing the Celluloid Tortoise by Henry Stocek
AL#61 p.17
Stocek loves vintage Martins, and resupplying the world with pre-war style pickguard and binding stock has become his passion. His story is proof that recreating the past can be much harder than simply getting along with the present. It’s also the story of how celluloid is made.

Meet the Maker: David Rivinus by Jonathon Peterson
AL#61 p.20
\instruments\other \people
This luthier has redesigned the viola into a beast he calls the Pellegrina. Its ergonomic design can potentially extend the working life of violists while supplying the tone they need for the most exacting jobs. The price, however, is a way-cool new look for the instrument. Way-cool for some, at least. With photos and drawings of different viola bridges.

Still Voicing, Still Dreaming by Dana Bourgeois
AL#61 p.28
\bracing\flattop \guitar\flattop
Ten years after the GAL convention lecture that made him a guru to most of the steelstring clan, Bourgeois has new information to offer about the construction and voicing of the flattop guitar.

Clark “Neo-Irish” Harp by David Riggs
AL#61 p.34
\instruments\other \plans
The Celtic harp has become something of a cult object. The author offers his plans as a place to begin creation and not as an idea frozen in stone. There are 7 photos of construction details, along with some suggestions of how to proceed. The plans are a shrunken version of GAL Instrument Plan #45.

The P-1 Guitar by Kevin B. Rielly
AL#61 p.38
The P-1 is a funky plywood guitar intended for the lowest end of the handmade market. That’s a real tough slot to fill, but Rielly seems curious about the possibilities and not too concerned about staking his livelihood on the little devils. There’s a moral here, though: there is someone hungry for almost anything you can make. Finding that guy may be the hard part.

Meet the Maker: Fabio Ragghianti by Harry Fleishman
AL#61 p.40
\people \guitar\classical
Ragghianti is an Italian luthier. It’s interesting that luthiers from around the world seem to think of their instruments in the same terms. This easily allows them to immediately find a common ground regardless of their cultural background or language. Ragghianti came to America, then Fleishman went to Italy. The terrain didn’t seem to make a lot of difference.

The Acoustical Characteristics of the Concert Cymbalom by Janos Pap
AL#61 p.46
The cymbalom is the mother of hammered dulcimers. It may also be the mother of the piano. It’s also a complex animal to build, though building it isn’t the focus here. What can be learned by rolling an instrument into an acoustics laboratory? We’re still not sure. With charts, drawings, and a photo of the beast in question.

Product Reviews by John Calkin
AL#61 p.52
\reviews \tools\jigs \tools\hand \mandolin
Good grades are given to the Stew-Mac neck jig, a fretting aid. The fret nippers intended for jumbo fret wire is greeted with mixed emotions. The Allen mandolin tailpiece is found to offer grace and dignity to any mando with a bridge high enough to allow its use.

Sources: Schools and More edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#61 p.55
\schools \organizations
This is a list of lutherie schools in the USA, Canada, and the British Isles, followed by a list of organizations, periodicals, and publishers of interest to luthiers.

It Worked for Me
AL#61 p.60
\bridge\guitar \tools\jigs \tools\hand \neck \strings\other
Readers offer tips about a bridge-making process, making a tool for wedging open the joint of a loose brace, a method for quickly jigging a larger table for power tools, a neck-carving jig, and 2 ways to dress banjo strings to prevent tailpiece damage.

Review: Guitar Finishing Step-by-Step by Dan Erlewine and Don MacRostie, reviewed by John Calkin
AL#61 p.62
\reviews \finish\spraying \finish\lacquer
The reviewer recommends this book to anyone who wishes to spray lacquer, but especially to those who wish to recreate many of the electric guitar finishes the factories have put out.

Review: The Player’s Guide to Guitar Maintenance by Dave Burrluck, reviewed by Dave Zogg
AL#61 p.62
The reviewer decides that this very pretty book should serve all but the tool-disabled to care for their guitars.

Review: Spray Finishing Basics by Dan Erlewine and Don MacRostie, reviewed by John Calkin
AL#61 p.63
\reviews \finish\lacquer \finish\spraying
The reviewer likes this video for its good advice to luthiers who have no access to professional equipment. Those who already have a booth and good spray gear will also benefit from the instruction. The 2 jobs involved are both electric guitars finished in colors.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#61 p.64
Readers offer useful advice about the use of zero frets, stringing and setting up flamenco guitars, superglue finish touch-ups, and using wenge as a tonewood.

Summer 2000

Letter to the Editor by R.E. Brune
\people \guitar\classical
Mentions the death of Jim Norris, who “was instrumental in bringing the classical guitar to Chicago in the late 1950s and early 1960s...”

Designing the Archtop Guitar for Sound by John Monteleone
AL#62 p.6
No one in the field of archtop guitars is more respected than Monteleone. This article represents his full thoughts on the instrument as of 1998.

Meet the Maker: David Freeman by Jonathon Peterson
AL#62 p.18
\people \schools
Freeman is an independent thinker who builds a wide variety of instruments and runs his own lutherie school in Canada. He’s also outspoken and articulate. You’ll be glad you met him here.

Development of the European Guitar 1780-1880 and its Relevance to Modern Guitar Design by Gary Southwell
AL#62 p.26
\guitar\other \guitar\classical
The evolution of the guitar was not a straight-line event. Though both the classical and the steelstring have been more or less fixed in form for over a hundred years the century before that has not been well-documented. Here Southwell has begun to repair that oversight. A luthier with a keen sense of history, he has used the guitars of this period to inform and guide his own creations. With 37 photos of historical and Southwell guitars.

Meet the Maker: Masaru Kohno by Andrea Tacchi
AL#62 p.42
\people \guitar\classical
Kohno classicals are ranked with the best of 20th century guitars. His youth in pre-war Japan was an experience unfamiliar to most of us, though his path toward higher standards of craftsmanship is one that many luthiers have traveled. His life was not an ordinary one.

Router Jig for Shaping a Neck by Mike Nealon
AL#62 p.46
\tools\jigs \neck
Nealon’s jig allows a router to fully shape the neck behind the heel, including the diamond on the back of the headstock.

Kit Review: The Riverboat Banjo from Musicmaker’s Kits by John Calkin
AL#62 p.50
\banjo \reviews
This is the first of a new semi-regular column. The Riverboat features massive amounts of wood to paint or carve, as well as a head adjustment system that eliminates all of the traditional banjo hardware. Calkin likes it.

Product Reviews by Fred Carlson
AL#62 p.54
\fingerboard\fretboard \reviews
Carlson examines Frank Ford’s “Frets.Com, A Luthier’s Notebook”, an ongoing CD-ROM project taken from Ford’s website and finds that it offers more information than one reviewer can deal with. The reviewer also looks at the Fret Tang Expander and the Fret Tang Compressor, 2 tools invented by Ford, and finds them a good addition to his tool kit.

It Worked for Me
AL#62 p.56
\tools\power \tools\jigs \bridge\guitar \tools\clamps
Ideas presented include a jig that turns a stationary belt sander into a small thickness sander, a method of gaining more saddle intonation correction without modifying the guitar bridge, an elaborate go-bar deck system for clamping bridges to guitar tops, and an easy way to clean varnish from the string holes of classical guitar bridges.

Meet the Maker: Henry Stocek by John Calkin
AL#62 p.59
\synthetics \people
Stocek began a small business to supply the guitar trade with pickguard stock that resembles pre-war celluloid. He loves old Martins, bluegrass, and “the right look,” and all three have altered his life.

Review: From Harp Guitars to the New Hawaiian Family: Chris J. Knutsen, History and Development of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar by George T. Noe and Daniel L. Most, reviewed by Jonathon Peterson
AL#62 p.62
\guitar\harp \guitar\other \reviews
The reviewer recommends this book that traces the history of harp and Hawaiian guitars, focusing sharply of the life and work of Knutsen.

Review: Taylor on Guitars: New Neck Designs by Bob Taylor, reviewed by Woody Vernice
AL#62 p.63
\neck \reviews \guitar\flattop \philosophy
This video is used to explain the design of the new Taylor neck. The reviewer likes it as more than the selling aid that Taylor envisioned, that for him it opened the discussion for the future role of the handbuilder.

Fall 2000

In Memoriam: Jose Ramirez IV by Tim Miklaucic
AL#63 p.3
\people \guitar\classical
Current patriarch of a guitar-making dynasty dies at the age of 47.

In Memoriam: Nicholas Von Robison by Tim Olsen
AL#63 p.3
Nick was a multi-faceted friend of the GAL and instrumental in its on-line existence. He was a frequent AL author, especially on the subject of botany.

Meet the Collector: Sheldon Urlik by Cyndy Burton
AL#63 p.10
\people \guitar\classical
When a collector becomes a historian his importance to lutherie takes on a new dimension. Urlik’s collection begins with Torres and extends to many important current, and can be examined by anyone in his book A Collection of Fine Classical Guitars, from Torres to the Present.

An American in Mirecourt by Paul Schuback
AL#63 p.20
\violin \binding \tools\hand \people
This piece would be important just as an historical document of Schuback’s apprenticeship to a French violin maker in the early ’60s. The inclusion of his current shop practices and building methods makes it an article that everyone interested in the violin should read.

Getting Fit by John Calkin
AL#63 p.34
\guitar\flattop \tools\clamps \tools\hand \tools\power
OK, so you’ve got all the parts for your flattop guitar body prepped for construction. How do you get all the pieces to fit together? The author details the construction methods used at the Huss & Dalton Guitar Co, all of which should prove useful to any small shop.

Meet the Maker: Clive Titmuss by Gordon Gray
AL#63 p.40
\people \lute
Titmuss is a Canadian who builds and performs upon the lute. He’s also a lute historian and a musicologist. It takes an interesting person to make a mostly-forgotten piece of the past come alive, which is what Titmuss does.

V Joint a la Geza by Cyndy Burton
AL#63 p.46
\neck \guitar\classical
The V joint is an elegant, traditional method of adding a pitched headstock to a classical guitar. This 20-photo essay follows the able hands of Geza Burghardt as he completes the entire operation.

Nine Electric Guitar Construction References Reviewed by John Calkin
AL#63 p.50
\guitar\electric \reviews
The best of these books and videos should put you well on the way to making professional quality electric instruments. You should know about the others, too, if only so you know to avoid them.

Product Reviews by Fred Carlson
AL#63 p.56
\reviews \humor \finish\oil
Mr. Fred spins a tale about new finish products, then reviews the orange oil-based finish products from Livos.

It Worked for Me
AL#63 p.58
\tools\created \tools\power
Readers share suggestions for building a guitar mold, a Florentine cutaway bending attachment for the Fox Universal Bender, and a work light for the Dremel mini-router.

Review: Sunburst Finishing by Dan Erlewine and Don MacCrostie, reviewed by John Calkin
AL#63 p.61
\finish\spraying \finish\lacquer
The reviewer admires this video as a look at the real world of guitar finishing, where standards are high and problems are bound to arise.

Review: Northumbria Tuning Gears, reviewed by Gary Southwell
AL#63 p.61
\reviews \tuners
The reviewer likes these high-end tuning machines for their precision and elegant appearance.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#63 p.63
Readers discuss the dynamics of changing the shape or air volume of the classical guitar.

Opinion by Keith Hill
AL#63 p.64
Hill suspects that many luthiers pursue their craft to please the eye more than the ear because that is what they know how to do, and also that the road of pure science cannot lead them back to the straight path.

Winter 2000

The Classic Guitar: Four Perspectives by Jeffrey R. Elliott, Greg Byers, Eugene Clark, and Gary Southwell
AL#64 p.6
Four note-worthy builders of the classical guitar talk about their influences, their building philosophies, and some of the their construction techniques in a panel discussion that should inspire anyone interested in the instrument.

Meet the Maker: Rick Turner by Jonathon Peterson
AL#64 p.20
\people \guitar\electric \guitar\flattop \electronics
Not frequently is one person so often in the right place at the right time with the skills to take advantage of the situation. Turner has “been there and done that” as an inventor and designer of instrument electronics as well as a repairman, designer, and manufacturer of Alembic guitars and basses and Turner-brand electric and acoustic guitars. His story is as colorful as it is informative.

Clark Irish Harp Revisited by Craig Pierpont
AL#64 p.38
American Lutherie #61 offered a plan and description of the Clark Irish harp. Here harp maker Pierpont gives a more technical explanation of the Clark’s anatomy and explains why it is a good starting point for any prospective harp builder.

The Bassola by R.M. Mottola
AL#64 p.44
The author’s invention is an attempt to create the tone of the upright bass in a more portable instrument. The Bassola is a carved-plate instrument very much like a huge F-model mandolin, though not as large as a bass mandolin. It utilizes standard bass guitar strings and “fits in any car.”

From Firewood to Bracewood by Nathan Stinnette
AL#64 p.50
\bracing\flattop \tools\jigs \tools\power \wood\soft
Stinnette is the Huss & Dalton Guitar Co. employee in charge of converting split red spruce trees into billets of brace wood, and then into guitar braces. The article describes how the rough chunks of wood are converted into quarter-sawn boards and then how the boards are made into braces.

Review: Archtop Guitar Master Class Series Part 1: Focusing on Bridges and Tailpieces by Bob Benedetto, reviewed by John Calkin
AL#64 p.56
\reviews \guitar\archtop \accessories \bridge\guitar
The reviewer finds this video to be more opinion than explanation, and that the limited amount of information included doesn’t justify its purchase.

Review: The Art of Violin Making by Chris Johnson and Roy Courtnall, reviewed by Michael Darnton
AL#64 p.56
\reviews \violin
Though the reviewer finds that this book shares a few of the same limitations as all other violin construction books, in the end “this is a great book (that) for the most part completely eclipses every previous violin making text.”

Kit Review: Stew-Mac’s D-28 Guitar by John Calkin
AL#64 p.58
\reviews \guitar\flattop
The author enjoyed building this kit and decides that it is a fine value as well as a good way to enter guitar making.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
AL#64 p.61
\reviews \accessories \tuners
Fleishman returns to this column after a long absence, and finds that he has a strong admiration for Hipshot Ultralight Bass Tuners. He also examines the Earvana intonated nut intended for Fender electric guitars and finds that they do improve intonation, though the installation is not a piece of cake.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#64 p.64
Members offer advice about repairing broken ivoroid binding, as well as recommending info sources about Kasha guitar designs and the work of Richard Schneider.

It Worked for Me
AL#64 p.65
\tools\jigs \computers
Readers offer a design for a workboard for carving violin plates and a computer spreadsheet that plots string spacing at the nut.

Spring 2001

In Memoriam: David Rubio by Paul Fischer
AL#65 p.5
Born David Joseph Spinks, Rubio was an Englishman who adopted his Spanish nickname. He became a well-known maker of classical guitars, early instruments, and violins.

An American in Mirecourt, Part Two by Paul Schuback
AL#65 p.10
\violin \people \tools\hand
Schuback learned violin making in a small shop in France during the ‘60s. This segment of his 1995 convention workshop lecture covers completing the plates and fitting the neck, fingerboard, nut, and soundpost to the body. There’s lots of local French color, old tools, and old ways presented here, as well as a bit of how the violin has changed since the days of the first Italian masters. Part One appeared in American Lutherie #63.

Evolving the Dished Workboard by John Calkin
AL#65 p.22
\tools\created \tools\clamps \tools\jigs
The dished workboard can make it easier to make better guitars. Calkin reveals several ways to make them more versatile, more accurate, and more fun to use.

Meet the Maker: Eugene Clark by Jonathon Peterson
AL#65 p.28
\people \guitar\classical
Clark began his guitar building over 40 years ago, which makes him one of the true father figures of our craft. His life has been a crooked path, with interesting things at every jog in the road. You’ll like meeting him.

Pre-finish Surface Preparation by Fred Campbell
AL#65 p.39
\finish\lacquer \finish\spraying \tools\hand \tools\power
A large part of the secret to getting a fine gloss finish of any sort is the preparation of the wood before anything is even applied. Campbell has specialized in finish work for years and isn’t shy about sharing what he knows.

Meet the Maker: Sergio Huerta Chavez by Bruce Calder
AL#65 p.44
\people \guitar\classical
Chavez is a builder of guitars and violins from Mexico who has managed to find markets in the US. Lutherie-life south of the border is probably different than you think, especially if Paracho has been your only touchstone.

CAD Notebook by Dana Bourgeois
AL#65 p.48
No doubt many of us pursue lutherie as an escape from an ever-escalating technology that the rest of the world imposes upon us. If that’s you, skip this new column. If, however, you see yourself entering lutherie as a business you may find yourself shut out of future developments if you can’t speak CAD (Computer Aided Design). Bourgeois’ arguments for getting involved are strong, and you may even find a degree of fun in the pursuit. Working with Mastercam software to design guitars and parts will be the focus of future columns.

Sources: Schools edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#65 p.52
Lots of folks want to teach you to build stringed instruments. Here’s a 5-page list of them.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#65 p.57
\finish\other \bass\flattop \electronics \finish\shellac
Answers to pressing questions: Should instrument interiors be sealed? How can a flattop bass best be amplified? What sort of alcohol should be used for French polishing?

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
AL#65 p.59
\reviews \electronics
AL’s Tool Meister reviews a bunch of circuit accessories from Stewart-MacDonald. He rejects the Black Ice crunch-adder but likes the Voltage Doubler, ConducTool, Megaswitch, and Yamaha 5-way switch.

Review: The Acoustic Guitar Guide by Larry Sandberg, reviewed by Benjamin Hoff
AL#65 p.62
Hoff seriously doesn’t recommend this book about buying and maintaining a guitar.

Review: Installing Transducer Pickup Systems by Dan Erlewine, reviewed by John Calkin
AL#65 p.63
\reviews \electronics
The reviewer recommends this video about installing under-the-bridge flattop guitar pickups.

It Worked for Me
AL#65 p.64
\workshop \tools\jigs \electronics
Readers submit ideas for a guitar vise attached to the workbench, a method of accurately hand-shaping a guitar headstock, and creating a portable sound system.

Summer 2001

In Memoriam: Robert Lundberg
AL#66 p.5
Lundberg was perhaps the foremost lute maker in America, a champion of building lutes in an historical manner, a longtime member and supporter of the GAL, and author of the landmark book Historical Lute Construction. Family and friends take a deep look at the significance of his life and work.

Meet the Maker: Harry Fleishman by Ken Goodwin
AL#66 p.6
\people \bass\electric \guitar\flattop
Fleishman has been a guitar and bass designer/builder, a teacher of lutherie and writing, a longtime member of the GAL, a frequent contributor to American Lutherie and its current product reviewer. Harry is as well-known for his outrageous sense of humor as for the outrageous instruments he creates.

A Bridge for the 21st Century by Scott van Linge
AL#66 p.16
The author has some unique ideas about how bridge and brace shape and weight effect the volume and tone of flattop guitars. His ultimate guitar bridge is going to make a lot of traditionalists nervous, but it is pretty in a minimalist fashion and should be a winner if it does what he claims.

Meet the Maker: Sebastian Stenzel by Greg Hanson
AL#66 p.20
\people \guitar\classical
Stenzel is a German who specializes in classical guitars. He shares much information about his guitars as well as some opinions that may surprise you.

Conical Fretboard Radiusing Jig by Mike Nealon
AL#66 p.28
\tools\jigs \fingerboard\fretboard
The author offers plans for a jig that uses a router to shape the surface of a conical fretboard.

Meet the Maker: Taku Sakashta by Jonathon Peterson
AL#66 p.32
\people \guitar\archtop \guitar\electric
Sakashta left Japan to build both archtop and flattop guitars in California. He is definitely not afraid to design away from tradition.

Wet Inlay by John Calkin
AL#66 p.38
Inlay advice using epoxy and Inlace mixed with various substances to fill the routed holes, rather than a solid such as MOP.

Vincente Tatay and His Guitars by Steve Newberry
AL#66 p.47
\people \guitar\classical
Tatay built guitars in the back room of a music store in WWII-era Manhattan. Newberry hung out then as a teenager. Not many of us have memories of our youth that are this cool. Alas. Or is it just that Newberry tells a really good tale?

Kit Review: Musicmaker’s Hurdy-Gurdy by John Calkin
AL#66 p.50
\reviews \instruments\other
Calkin barely knew what a hurdy-gurdy was when he began this kit, and afterwards he still wasn’t too sure. Not that it was the kit’s fault. The hurdy-gurdy (a mechanical fiddle) has nearly vanished from the musical scene and few details are to be found outside of museum blueprints. The kit turned out pretty good, though it makes no attempt at historical accuracy. Fun stuff.

Review: Custom Guitars: A Complete Guide to Contemporary Handcrafted Guitars edited by Simone Solondz, reviewed by Benjamin Hoff
AL#66 p.55
The reviewer finds this book too expensive and too incomplete to recommend on any level other than for the nice photography.

Review: Benedetto Archtop Plans, reviewed by Dave Riggs
AL#66 p.56
\plans \reviews \guitar\archtop
Riggs raves about the detail included in this blueprint of a Benedetto archtop.

Review: Custom Knifemaking by Tim McCreight, reviewed by John Calkin
AL#66 p.57
\reviews \tools\created
The reviewer decides that if you want to make your first knife you just about can’t go wrong with this book.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
AL#66 p.58
Fleishman spends an entire column talking about a particular brown masking tape, and darn if he doesn’t make it sound like a fine use of space.

CAD Notebook by Dana Bourdeois
AL#66 p.60
In this segment the author instructs how to get Mastercam Draft software to draw the outline of a particular guitar body. The one you want, that is, not just any old outline.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#66 p.63
\tools\power \fingerboard\fretboard
Answers to questions about clogged abrasive on a Performax drum sander, and about obtaining Ramirez-like fretwire.

It worked for Me
AL#66 p.64
\tools\jigs \tools\hand \fingerboard\fretboard
Readers offer tips about a form for maintaining the shape of a bent guitar side while it dries, making toothed scrapers, and filling deep wear marks in fretboards.

Fall 2001

Sitar Making in India by Jay Scott Hackleman
AL#67 p.6
\instruments\other \people
Hackleman spent nearly a year in India learning one shop’s traditional ways of making sitars. The low state of technology in India, and the amazing work they do with so few tools, make this a fascinating read no matter what your interest in ethnic instruments.

Coverage of the 2001 GAL Luthiers Convention by Bon Henderson
AL#67 p.22
\people \meetings \organizations
If you weren’t there you can still get a feel for the show. It’s worth it.

Meet the Maker: David Minnieweather by Jonathon Peterson
AL#67 p.34
\people \bass\electric
Minnieweather lives in Oregon and makes some fine-looking electric basses, including a stunning electric upright.

Making a Scraper Plane by Peter Giolitto
AL#67 p.40
\tools\hand \tools\created
Scraper planes are good for dressing down figured wood without tearing them up or following the grain. Here’s how to make one.

Quick-and-Dirty Bridge and Brace Repair by John Calkin
AL#67 p.42
\repair\bridge \repair\other \gluing
Some instruments aren’t worth repairing because their value is less than the cost of the repair work. Unless, that is, you resort to superglue and a bit of trickery. On the cuatro used in the example a tailpiece is used along with the stock bridge to prevent steel strings from tearing the bridge off the top again.

Meet the Maker: John Kitakis by John Calkin
\people \ukulele
Kitakis and his sons make high-end ukes in Hawaii.

CAD Notebook by Dana Bourgeois
AL#67 p.51
In the last installment we learned how to make a computerized outline of a guitar body using Mastercam software. In this installment we learn how to make a wireframe image that suggests three dimensions.

Sources: Wood and Inlay edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#67 p.54
\wood\dealers \inlay
This is a list of where to buy wood (tone or otherwise) and inlay materials.

Review: Dangerous Curves: The Art of the Guitar by Darcy Kuronen, reviewed by John Calkin
AL#67 p.60
This is a picture book of guitars that the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, included in a show of artfully conceived instruments. The reviewer loves the style of the photography but gives the project a so-so evaluation.

Review: Music, Cognition, and Computerized Sound; An Introduction to Psychoacoustics edited by Perry R. Cook, reviewed by R.M. Mottola
AL#67 p.60
The luthier who has no interest in how human beings hear and interpret sound hasn’t really come to terms with instrument making at all. The reviewer likes this textbook that takes in this subject, though it sounds like heavy going.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#67 p.62
\tools\power \tools\jigs \computers \accessories
More advice about cleaning power abrasive belts, hints about using the Fox bender (from Fox), where to market a high-end guitar stand, and where to find on-line lutherie advice.

It Worked for Me
AL#67 p.64
\tools\jigs \inlay
Readers send in tips about a jig for slotting flattop bridges, and using wet inlay.

Winter 2001

Meet the Maker: Bob Benedetto by Jonathon Peterson
AL#68 p.8
\people \guitar\archtop
Benedetto has had as large an impact on the modern archtop guitar as anyone. He’s also a really nice guy, unpretentious and level-headed. You’re gonna like him.

Archtop Guitars – It All Creates Music by Robert Benedetto
AL#68 p.16
For a builder of orthodox archtop guitars Benedetto certainly has some iconoclastic ideas. His opinions about bridges, tailpieces, guitar setup, and tonewood may turn your head around.

Working with Water-based Finish by John Kitakis
AL#68 p.24
Kitakis has a long history of jobs in wood finishing, so when he finally made the jump to water-based finish (in his case CrystaLac) he knew what he was doing. Working with CrystaLac isn’t quite the same as working with lacquer, but the author makes a good job of clearing the off-spray.

Meet the Maker: Tom Blackshear by Cyndy Burton
AL#68 p.28
\people \guitar\classical \plans
Blackshear has been building classical guitars since the ’50s. He has been strongly influenced by the work of Miguel Rodriguez.

Miguel Rodriguez by Ronald Louis Fernandez
AL#68 p.33
\people \guitar\classical
There are discrepancies in the Rodriguez family history that the author seeks to remedy.

An Introduction to Metal Engraving by David Giulietti
AL#68 p.40
\inlay \tools\hand
The pursuit of engraving skills demands just a small investment in tools but a large investment in determination and time. At least, for those not born to be artists. But the author makes it clear that there is hope for nearly all of us who truly wish to acquire this skill.

Constructing an Under-Saddle Transducer by R.M. Mottola
AL#68 p.50
Yes, you can make your own transducer pickups and save big bucks. Here’s how.

Meet the Maker: Fernando Cardosa by Joao Jose de Santana Borges
AL#68 p.54
AL has certainly included an international air this year, and this introduction to Brazilian luthier Cardosa adds to the festivities.

It Worked for Me
AL#68 p.58
\tools\created \tools\hand \tools\jigs
Readers submit tips about altering a block plain into a toothed plain, making a jig to accurately arch braces, and using a wireless doorbell to keep track of walk-in traffic in the shop.

CAD Notebook by Dana Bourgeois
AL#68 p.62
Previous columns saw the creation of a 3D wireframe computer image of a dreadnought guitar body. In this installment a 2D profile of a side is extracted from the software, from which the side set can be cut to shape before bending.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#68 p.66
\wood\soft \health \guitar\classical \guitar\flattop
Readers to the rescue once again! Answers to questions about dust masks, cleaning sanding belts, gathering on-line lutherie advice, building a 12-string from 6-string plans, designing a baritone classical guitar, and differentiating the qualities of various top woods.

Spring 2002

Controlling Soundboard Development by Larry Mills
AL#69 p.8
\bracing\flattop \tools\jigs
An introduction to free plate and fixed plate voicing of the guitar top, the latter using a jig to fix the braced plate much as it will be on the guitar, though tapping is used as the driver, not strings. Interesting, and a good presentation of current bracing notions.

The Heretic’s Guide to Alternative Lutherie Woods by John Calkin
AL#69 p.13
\wood\other \bending
This is an examination of 17 varieties of wood not usually associated with guitars, their bending characteristics, and how they look. Calkin’s opinions about tonewood have proven to be pretty controversial, but this article may help if you are tired of the same old look on your instruments.

Battery-Powered Instrument Amplifiers by Joseph Ennis
AL#69 p.22
Build an amp that matches the resonance of your acoustic instrument. Build it into the instrument if you like. Ennis offers some math, some circuitry, and some advice to beginners who want the most portable amps for their instruments. With a circuit diagram.

Meet the Maker: Kerry Char by Jonathon Peterson
AL#69 p.28
\guitar\harp \people
Char is a guitar maker who also specializes in the restoration of old and odd instruments, particularly harp guitars by Knutsen and others.

The Search for the Lute Maker’s Donkey by Andrew Atkinson
AL#69 p.36
\lute \tools\hand \tools\created \workshop
The author’s focus is on recreating a lute maker’s shop, circa the late 16th century. Old paintings provide some of his most valuable research materials. He is not only interested in old tools, but in the old ways of making those tools.

A Method for Specifying Contours of an Arched Plate by R.M. Mottola
AL#69 p.40
\computers \guitar\archtop
Not really a computer article, the author uses a CAD-like system of plotting the contours of an arched plate. The result is sort of a topo map of the plate that is used to rout the plate into terraces that are then faired into a finished plate. Mottola explains the drawing, not the machining.

Lutherie Trivia by Ervin Somogyi
\AL#69 p.46
\wood\trees \humor
The wry Somogyi presents some little-known information that may not improve your work but will nicely occupy your mind as you carve a neck for the 50th time, or whatever. The meaning of many words has drifted so far from the roots of those words that, in the strictest sense, we no longer know what we are talking about, even though we continue to communicate very nicely. Mostly. A fun piece.

Kit Review: Musicmaker’s Regency Harp by John Calkin
AL#69 p.48
\Instruments\other \reviews \finish\lacquer
The author discovers that this kit provides a harp fit for a professional musician. The finished harp is a powerful instrument with a wide range, and though the kit is pricey it is easy to build. The process of lace finishing is described in detail.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
AL#69 p.56
\tools\power \reviews
Guitar maker and teacher Fleishman compares two thickness sanders, the Performax 22-44 and the Delta 31-250, finding that both are useful, have different peculiarities, and that you are better off with either one than without a thickness sander at all.

CAD Notebook by Dana Bourgeois
AL#69 p.59
How to use Mastercam’s Scale function to generate a fret pattern.

It Worked for Me
AL#69 p.62
\tools\hand \tools\clamps \tools\created
More work tips from readers: a useful tiny flashlight, removing super glue from your fingers, a clamp for installing crack-mending cleats, and plotting the contours of a dished workboard.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#69 p.64
\wood\other \physics\guitar \gluing \finish\shellac
Q&A: Is spalted wood dangerous to one’s health? How does a string vibrate? How does intonation work? How should fills in a shellac finish be dealt with?

Summer 2002

Meet the Maker: Ralph Novak by John Calkin
AL#70 p.4
\people \guitars\electric \fingerboard\fretboard
Novak has been on the guitar scene since the late ‘60s, specializing in the creation and repair of electric instruments, though his expertise doesn’t end there. His best-known invention is probably the Novax fanned fret system, though his work with multi-string guitars deserves note. Mentions Charles LoBue.

Small Shop Production Techniques by Ralph Novak
AL#70 p.12
\tools\jigs \tools\power
The author uses neck making in his example of how gearing up to make small runs of like parts can make the small shop more efficient and profitable.

1869 Francisco Gonzalez: A Restoration by Jeffrey Elliott
AL#70 p.16
\guitar\ classical \restoration \business\ethics \tools\other \plans
Returning a historically important guitar to life is not only a painstaking project but also one that must be done with finesse and a respect for the instrument’s value as an historical document. This restoration took several months and much research and investigation, requiring the use of tools not normally associated with guitar repair. With photos and a magazine-size version of GAL Instrument Plan #47 of the instrument under discussion.

The Hidden Gem of Thickness Sanders by Bruce Petros
AL#70 p.36
The author finds that the General Model 15-250 M1, for $1600, may be the most sander for the money that the small shop can afford.

Minotaur Guitars: An Experiment in the Staufer-Scherzer Tradition by Alan Bieber
AL#70 p.40
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical \neck
Bieber’s classical guitars feature removable, adjustable necks and slight double cutaways to increase fretboard access. They also look quite remarkable.

Audio Spectroscopy by R.M. Mottola
AL#70 p.44
\computers \physics\guitar \bass\electric
With digital recording and spectrographic analysis software a computer can print out a diagram of an instrument’s tone spectrum, reducing the complicated issue of tone comparison to easy-to-read graphs. The scientifically inclined luthier may find that this helps him build better instruments, while others may decide that it’s another case of too much information. If you’ve found that intuition has carried you as far as it can you might check out the usefulness of “tone pictures”.

Slotting Fretboards by John Calkin
AL#70 p.48
\tools\power \fingerboard\fretboard
Using templates and a tablesaw to slot fingerboards in minutes, and how to make your own templates. With photos and 5 fret scales for off-beat scale lengths.

Calculating Soundbox Volume by Dave Raley
AL#70 p.52
\computers \physics\math
There are a number of reasons you might wish to know the volume of an instrument. Raley uses a spreadsheet program and some careful measuring to determine this figure.

Another Method for Calculating the Area of a Plate by R.M. Mottola
AL#70 p.53
\computers \physics\math
The author has simplified a computer technique for use with graph paper and pencil, and maintains that the system is accurate to about .5%. If you know the area of a plate you can figure out the volume of the soundbox, as in Raley’s article on p. 52.

Product Review by Fred Carlson
AL#70 p.54
\synthetics \bridge\guitar \philosophy \reviews
Carlson ventures into Plasticland hoping to find a useful substitute for animal parts on his guitars. An aversion to both plastic guitar parts and animal slaughter leaves hardly any useful material for bridge saddles, and he sort of settles on a material called Tusq. Partly tongue-in-cheek and generally philosophical, the review concludes that beef bone saddles will be around for awhile yet.

CAD Notebook by Dana Bourgeois
AL#70 p.58
This segment begins instruction in drawing a neck using MasterCam Draft, Version 8. If you stumble onto the perfect neck and wish to have it machine reproduced you may have to know this stuff.

It Worked for Me
AL#70 p.62
\tools\hand \tools\power
Reader’s submit tips and ideas about making a tool for precision thinning of veneers, a fence for your bandsaw, an electric guitar knob puller, and a brush for cleaning airbrushes.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#70 p.64
\finish\varnish \fingerboard\fretboard \guitar\electric \violin
Readers ask and readers answer. This time: Who will make small quantities of custom rosettes? Can refretting change the tone of a guitar? What’s the low-down on brushed varnish finishes? Who sells a Les Paul plan? Where can vintage pickups be rewound? What’s a JCV violin?

Fall 2002

In Memoriam: Frederick Dickens
AL#71 p.3
Dickens did R&D work at Bell Labs in his day job, and was among the first to look at the functioning of the guitar from a mathematical vantage point. He was known for his inquisitive mind and willingness to share his knowledge with others.

Constructing the Spanish Rosette, Part One by Eugene Clark, with Jonathon Peterson
AL#71 p.8
\guitar\classical \rosette
How deeply do you want to dive into the matter of making rosettes? Here Clark will submerge you until you gasp for air or make a fine rosette, whichever comes first. Designing the rosette and dying the sticks receive deepest treatment, though no words are spared when describing the cutting and sizing of the materials. Everything is here. Part Two will appears in American Lutherie #73.

Meet the Maker: Duane Heilman by John Calkin
AL#71 p.24
\ukulele \computers \people
Heilman builds quirky, imaginative ukes that he auctions on-line. He’s also made hundreds of exotic picks that he sells the same way.

Thoughts on Violin Setup by Don Overstreet
AL#71 p.30
Everything about the violin must be just so, since there are few details that an experienced musician is going to overlook. The instruments can be extremely expensive and the work standards are very high. Overstreet is an old hand at the game, and here gives the straight info on getting it right.

Getting Wired: Rick Turner at ASL by Tom Harper
AL#71 p.36
\electronics \guitar\electric
Turner is an inventor, guitarmaker, and a wireman extraordinaire. Harper attended Turner’s wiring workshop at the American School of Lutherie and reports back what he learned there.

See No Evil: Super-Safe Binding Router Jig by Harry Fleishman
1AL#71 p.42
\tools\power \tools\jigs \binding
Harry can rout his guitars for binding with his eyes closed. Honestly! The system he explains uses a laminate trimmer suspended by a swinging arm and you can build it in your shop.

Kit Review: Musicmaker’s Irish Bouzouki by John Calkin
AL#71 p.44
\reviews \instruments\other
Irish ‘zooks are cool, though they don’t much resemble bouzoukis and very few of them come from Ireland. The author finds the kit to be easily assembled and a bargain. Though the nontraditional materials may turn off some, the instrument is playable and sounds decent.

Sources: Schools and More edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#71 p.50
The interest in lutherie is growing so quickly that sources of information and instruction are hard to keep up with. This list includes schools, on-line instruction, organizations, periodicals, and publishers.

CAD Notebook by Dana Bourgeois
AL#71 p.58
Drawing the neck in CAD continues with the headstock design.

Product Reviews: Grizzly Pneumatic drum Sander by R.M. Mottola
AL#71 p.62
\reviews \tools\power
Mottola likes the Grizzly H2881 pump sander, a handheld drum sander he uses for sculpting neck heels and the like. He doesn’t however, much enjoy doing business with the Grizzly company.

It Worked For Me
AL#71 p.64
Readers submit their lutherie ideas. This time, mending (or even shrinking) a soundhole during construction, making an angle-reading fixture used to lay out the inside of a guitar to be repaired, and filling a guitar with cold cereal (no milk!) to figure out its volume.

Review: So You Want to Make a Double Bass by Peter Chandler
To Make a Double Bass by Harry S. Wake
Double Bass Making by Bob Hitchings
all 3 reviewed by David Riggs
AL#71 p.66
\reviews \bass\viol
The reviewer turned his pages into a gathering of all the chief sources of useful bass making information, finding that in the end “there is a very deep well of information not in print.”

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#71 p.68
\bass\flattop \wood\other \fingerboard\fretboard \finish\other \instruments\other \tuners
Q&A about the dangers of spalted wood; building an archtop acoustic bass guitar; altering a guitar’s tone during refretting; finding balalaika tuners; and escaping the use of lacquer for finishing instruments

Winter 2002

Greven Images by John Greven
AL#72 p.8
\inlay \tools\hand
Greven’s inlay work specializes in large easily repeatable designs highlighted by engraving of a photographic quality. His pearl-cutting techniques are pretty strange, but no one can argue with the quality of the finished work. With 18 photos and a pair of drawings of graver types and angles.

Castles in Spain by Stephen Frith
AL#72 p.18
\guitar\classical \schools
How would you like to learn guitar making in a Spanish castle? How about under the tutelage of Jose Romanillos? Cool, huh? Frith explains what it’s like. Any organization with a staff member named Big Pep has to be pretty far out.

The Case for KTM by Michael Turko
AL#72 p.22
A number of well-known luthiers have switched to this finish, including the speed-builder John Greven. In the author’s experience it’s quick, easy, rivals nitro lacquer in appearance, and is non-toxic, a winning combination for sure.

Meet the Maker: Edward Victor Dick by Ken Goodwin
AL#72 p.24
\people \instrument\other \guitar
A Canadian now living in Denver, Dick has a long and varied career as a builder, repairman, and teacher. He builds a wide array of instruments, including some fascinating sound sculptures. The photos illustrate his versatility as a builder and artist.

Making Kerfed Lining by John Calkin
AL#72 p.32
\tools\jigs \tools\power
A small shop can easily make all the nice instrument lining it needs if it already has a tablesaw and a thickness sander and invests in a few simple jigs. It isn't hard, but it isn’t especially fun, either.

Tuning in Thirds by Jonathon Peterson
AL#72 p.36
\guitar\archtop \guitar\electric
Jazz guitarist Ralph Patt and luthier Saul Koll have teamed up to make archtop 8-string electric guitars that are tuned in thirds rather than standard tuning. The guitars look a little strange because there is no taper to the fingerboards. You'll have to read the article to understand the thinking behind them. Watching Patt play must confuse the heck out of other guitarists.

Dot Marker Position Gauges by R.M. Mottola
AL#72 p.44
\fingerboard\fretboard \tools\jigs
The author has devised a set of layout gauges for positioning the side markers and fretboard dots of his guitars, easily assuring himself that all dots will be nicely and quickly centered. A set of gauges for various scale lengths is included for photocopying.

Meet the Maker: Michihiro Matsuda by Michael Bashkin
AL#72 p.46
\people \guitar\flattop
Changing countries and cultures to enhance one’s skills must be a daunting and exhilarating experience. Matsuda came from Japan to learn lutherie in Arizona, then apprenticed in California. His designs are innovative and his guitars lovely to behold.

The Right CAD Curve by David Golber
AL#72 p.50
It’s the difference between a spline and a Bezier curve, but we’re not geeky (read smart) enough to understand it. Bezier curves are good and splines aren’t, but not all CAD software supports their use. Uses 8 plots to make the difference more understandable.

Review: Dan Erlewine Lutherie Videos by John Calkin
AL#72 p.54
\reviews \repair
Eight new videos (with four already on DVD) from the inventor of video lutherie instruction. The reviewer obviously likes them and believes they will speed the learning curve for anyone interested in guitar repair and maintenance.

Product Reviews by R.M. Mottola
AL#72 p.60
\finish\water-base \finish\lacquer \tools
The reviewer examines the Asturmes ES/RV spray gun and finds that it’s the answer to the finish problems he’s found, and at a reasonable price.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#72 p.62
\electronics \business\ethics \tools\jigs
Readers ask, and readers answer. Topics include a foam for making instrument support molds, amp kits, and the ethics of adding restoration labels to your work.

It Worked for Me
AL#72 p.65
Readers submit helpful tips about installing a piezo pickup end pin jack and marking nut spacing with a bandsaw.

Spring 2003

In Memorium: Francois Pistorius
AL#73 p.3
South African luthier Pistorius died way too young, but don’t we all. Here a few of his friends remember him.

Meet the Maker: Kathy Matsushita by Cyndy Burton
AL#73 p.8
\people \computers
Matsushita is a professional teacher and an adventurous luthier, which makes for a fine combination for an interview. Her story is one of the best examples of how the internet has impacted our lives, of how we can teach and learn by electron. Joy and information can be the same thing.

Constructing the Spanish Rosette, Part 2 by Eugene Clark w/ Jonathon Peterson
AL#73 p.14
\rosette \tools\hand \guitar\classical
Clark is one of the old American masters of lutherie. Building an original rosette in the Spanish tradition is way more complicated than routing a channel and poking in some abalone, as steel stringers are apt to do, but with Clark’s instruction you can do it.Part 1 appeared in American Lutherie #71.

Waterborne Solutions by Mike Doolin and John Greven
AL#73 p.24
Finding good water-based instrument finishes becomes more important as luthiers (and various state and federal government agencies) become more health conscious. The authors are both Portland people, and by trying different materials and application techniques and then combining their discoveries they have made big leaps toward finding the perfect alternative to lacquer.

A Contrabass for the Pugo Brothers by Juan Carlos Morales
AL#73 p.34
The struggle toward lutherie can be really difficult in countries where the people honor the old ways and mistrust anything new. The Pugos in this little story the fought indifference and fear of their Ecuadorian countrymen to become makers of violins and other instruments.

What Happens if I Make It Bigger? By Jon Sevy
AL#73 p.36
\bracing\flattop \physics\guitar \strings\tension
This piece is aptly subtitled “Rules of thumb for approximating changes in the size of braces, tops, and strings,” which sums it up nicely. Our teachers promised us that math wouldn’t be irrelevant in our futures, and here their words come back to bite us. Sevy obviously believed them, and here presents some “easy” formulas for calculating the results of changes in size we might make in our instruments.

Stop Giving Your Guitar the Finger by John Calkin
AL#73 p.40
\guitar\flattop \workshop \tools\hand
Everyone develops little work habits or adopts minor tools that together make a big difference in their work and the pleasure they find in it. This is one man's collection of odds and ends that changed the quality and quantity of his work.

Ted’s Excellent Adventures by Steve Regimbal
AL#73 p.46
\guitar\archtop \mandolin \guitar\other
Take a quick look at three adventurous instruments by archtop builder Ted Berringer. They are a 12-string octave guitar, a 5-string mandolin, and a 6-string archtop made entirely of spruce.

Meet the Maker: George Wunderlich by Nathan Stinnette
AL#73 p.50
\people \banjo
Wunderlich builds minstrel banjos, recreations of banjos made before the various factories turned them into standardized items that standardized the way we all think about the banjo.

Pantograph Neck Shaft Duplicator by Mike Doolin
AL#73 p.54
\tools\power \neck
Perhaps you’d care to make all your necks look and feel the same, just as the big factories do. Perhaps you’d like to make them a lot faster while you’re at it. And do it all on a budget? Doolin’s machine may be just what you were looking for.

Plywood by R.M. Mottola
AL#73 p.57
Does plywood have a place in the luthier’s bag of tricks? The author thinks it may, and gives us some examples to think about.

Review: A History of the Lute from Antiquity to the Renaissance by Douglas Alton Smith reviewed by Bryan Johanson
AL#73 p.60
\reviews \lute
The reviewer pronounces this book to be “a massive achievement to which the reader can return again and again for information, insights, and pleasure.” A pretty good indication that he found it useful and valuable.

Review: Shoptalk 6 reviewed by John Calkin
AL#73 p.61
\reviews \bridge\guitar \tools\other \binding \synthetics \bracing\flattop \electronics
This video is a collection of shop tips that the reviewer found to be valuable and entertaining, especially in view of the low price.

Bridge Positioning Fixture by Pete Barthell
AL#73 p.62
\tools\jigs \bridge\guitar \guitar\classical
As the title indicates, a nice fixture for finding the proper location of the classical guitar bridge. With 6 photos and a set of diagrams.

Product Reviews by Jeffrey Elliott w/ Cyndy Burton
AL#73 p.64
\reviews \tools\hand
Some tools have a value way beyond function. Elliott looks at three he especially likes, a low-angle plane, a marking gauge, and a spokeshave.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#73 p.65
\bending \physics\guitar \schools \guitar\archtop \electronics
Q&A about bending wood, a cracked archtop tailpiece, instrument efficiency, signal-generating equipment, building a guitar amp, and choosing a lutherie school.

It Worked For Me
AL#73 p.68
\wood\other \tools\hand \tools\created
Just two tips this time---how to build a toothpick guitar while in prison and how to make a veneer scraper for thinning the parts of Spanish rosettes.

Summer 2003

Remembering Robert Bouchet by Philippe Refig
AL#74 p.6
\people \guitar\classical
Bouchet (1898-1986) was one of only a handful of guitar makers that kept the craft alive previous to the “lutherie boom” we are now enjoying. His small output belies the influence he had on the classical guitar. The author knew Bouchet and has written a charming, if too short, biography.

Guitar Tattoos: Inlay Harry’s Way by Harry Fleishman
AL#74 p.8
Fleishman’s perspective on guitar design and construction is all his own, so it’s no surprise that his brand of inlay should also be unique. He has a philosophy of inlay (and of working, and living in general) that guides his pursuit of guitar decoration that is just as important as how the work is accomplished. This lecture is Harry at his best, shedding light on a deep subject while flooring us with laughter. Great stuff, with cool photos.

Motorized Dish Sander by Mike Doolin
AL#74 p.19
\tools\power \tools\created
No, this isn’t a machine for sanding dishes. You’d find that in Good Housekeeping. This is a motorized, dished workboard for sanding the contours of arched plates into your assembled instrument sides. It beats doing it by hand by miles, and Doolin’s clever design looks easier to build than others.

Meet the Maker: Steve Grimes by Jonathon Peterson
AL#74 p.20
\people \guitar\archtop
Grimes is one of the premier archtop builders of our times. His flattops aren’t bad, either. He worked for years in the Northwest before moving to Hawaii, where the slack-key guitar scene has impacted his flattop designs. He’s an interesting man and an influential builder. My, didn’t we all look different during the ‘60s and ‘70s!

Forces on Archtop Guitars by Franz Elferink
AL#74 p.30
\physics\guitar \guitar\archtop
A variety of forces begun by simple string tension not only make our instruments function but may eventually tear them apart. With a little math we can determine what those forces are and sort of decide if our archtops are beefy enough to withstand them.

Meet the Maker: George Morris by Ed Beaver
AL#74 p.32
\people \schools
Morris has spent his life teaching others to build instruments. Teachers influence their fields in ways that rarely become apparent because it’s often their students who become prominent. It takes a special character to thrive under these conditions, and character seems to be something Morris has plenty of.

A Cheapskate’s Sampler by R. M. Mottola
AL#74 p.36
\tools\hand \wood\other
A tight-fisted and humorous look at buying select tools, wood, and strings without draining your bank account.

Meet the Maker: Do Viet Dung by Andy DePaule
AL#74 p.40
\people \instruments\other
A common, if unspoken, theme that runs through AL is how different humans are around the world even though they may share the same work or obsessions. Vietnamese luthier Dung is a prime example. Things are different over there. May we keep sharing, but may we all remain different!

Some Traditional Vietnamese Instruments by Any DePaule
AL#74 p.43
A short discussion that includes the Dan ty ba, Dan guyet, Dan bau, Dan tran, and Dan tam thap luc.

Get Bent! A Versatile Shopmade Side Bender By Mike Doolin
AL#74 p.44
\bending \tools\created
An evolution of the familiar Fox bender idea. Another example (two in one issue!) of Doolin’s genius for creating effective tools that any of us can build to fill a void in our shop routine.

Van Eps Fretboard Slotting Jig by Jim DeCava
AL#74 p.46
\tools\hand \fingerboard\fretboard
A look at an old solution to a much older problem — how to accurately slot a fingerboard to receive the frets. Contains some interesting history of the Liberty Banjo Company.

Kit Review: LMI’s OM Guitar by John Calkin
AL#74 p.48
\reviews \guitar\flattop
The oversize nature of the parts in this kit offers the ability to build guitars that are wider and/or deeper than the standard Martin OM. The author builds one he calls the magnum, a normal OM shape that has the depth of a dreadnought. He finds it to be a thoroughly top-flight instrument. With photos and a sidebar about the author’s Ferrari OM, an attempt to build the lightest possible instrument that will still thrive in the real world.

Making Dished Workboards by Rodney Stedall
AL#74 p.55
The author includes a formula for creating radiused workboards as well as a method of making them with a router.

Tracker Remote Switches by Bruce Petros
AL#74 p.56
Using old organ-building technology it’s possible to switch on\off the same machine from a number of workstations. Here’s how, with photos and a pair of drawings.

Opinion by Harry Fleishman
AL#74 p.58
\philosophy \wood\other
Long-time AL contributor Fleishman takes to task contributing editor John Calkin for being a closed minded so-and-so, referring to statements made in Calkin’s “A Heretic’s Guide to Alternative Lutherie Woods” in American Lutherie #69. Fleishman’s plea for tolerance is well made.

Review: Getting a Bigger Sound: Pickups and Microphones for Your Musical Instrument by Bart Hopkin with Robert Cain and Jason Lollar reviewed by Fred Carlson
AL#74 p.60
\reviews \electronics
The reviewer likes this book a lot. It is more concerned with explaining how instrument amplification works and how one might build his\her own gear than in reviewing the many commercial units that are available.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#74 p.61
\wood\trees \guitar\harp \bridge\guitar \electronics \neck \computers
Answers to questions about quartersawing wood, having necks reproduced by CNC, comparing bridge designs on a flattop guitar, installing a truss rod, and building electronic effects into guitars.

Product Review by Harry Fleishman
AL#74 p.64
\reviews \tools\hand \accessories
Mr. Harry examines fossil ivory as a material for bridge pins, nuts, and end pins, and finds it exquisite. He also checks out the Stew-Mac Bridgesaver tool and finds it useful on a variety of fronts.

It Worked for Me
AL#74 p.66
\rosette \tools\clamps \tools\hand \tools\jigs \tools\created \binding
Readers contribute tips about constructing the Spanish rosette, making a plane for small parts, and a jig for routing the binding channels on archtop instruments.

Fall 2003

Geza’s Precision Assembly Jig by Geza Burghhardt with Cyndy Burton
AL#75 p.6
\tools\jigs \guitar\classical
Geza Burghhardt builds classical guitars on a workboard rather than a mold, but it isn’t just any old workboard. Its carefully jigged up for accuracy and guitar-to-guitar consistency and his jigs are nearly as pretty as his guitars. Well, to another luthier, anyhow.

Hands-On Archtop Mandolin Making, Part 1 by Peggy Stuart
AL#75 p.12
\mandolin \tools\hand \schools
The author describes her mandolin making class with Red Diamond mandolin builder Don MacRostie, giving us a photo-heavy series that should be of practical use to anyone in the mandolin field regardless of their experience. The emphasis is on hand tools, though power tools are used to add efficiency. With photos and drawings, this is the first in a four-part series.

From Russia, With Strings Attached by Fred Casey
AL#75 p.32
\guitar\flattop \plans
Casey examines a Staufer-ish guitar made in Russia, a seven-string flattop with an adjustable neck feature. The guitar is parlor-size and with the old figure-eight body shape. Included are 12 photos as well as a small version of GAL Instrument Plan #48, a blueprint of the guitar with a list of all specs and materials.

Calculating Guitar Side Height by Mike Doolin
AL#75 p.39
\physics\guitar \physics\math
Doolin enlists the aid of Jon Sevy to work out the math used in determining the side height of an instrument with a spherically-domed back. Knowing the side height will allow you to profile the sides to fit the guitar design before they are bent.

Meet the Maker: Dake Traphagen by Jonathon Peterson
AL#75 p.42
\people \guitar\classical
For those who really make an impact in lutherie complete immersion in the craft is the rule, not the exception. Long days, few breaks, and a lot of work. Traphagan is a good example. Floating to the top of the heap isn’t a simple matter. Still, one can get there while maintaining a sense of humor and a continuing appreciation for the mysteries of the craft, and Traphagan is also a good example of that, too. A really good interview with photos and diagrams of guitar tops.

Decorative Guitar Heel Carving by John Greven
AL#75 p.56
\neck \tools\hand
Heel carving is one of the few decorative effects usually permitted on steel string guitars. Carved heels look cool and, according to Greven, aren’t that hard to do. The tools required are minimal and the impact on the instrument large, a really fine combination.

Making Bridge Plates by John Calkin
AL#75 p.60
\bracing \tools\jigs
The emphasis of this little article is a Jeff Huss jig for quickly producing bridge plates on the tablesaw.

Fingerboard Radius Gauges by R.M. Mottola
AL#75 p.62
Cool beans! Radius gauges you can cut out of the magazine and use on your instruments. Jeez, I mean gauges that you can Xerox, then cut out and mount on a backer board and use on your instruments. What was I thinking?

Product Review by R.M. Mottola
AL#75 p.64
\reviews \cases
The author tries out soft cases (gig bags) by Colorado Case Co. and finds them to be satisfying though pricey.

Dedicated Binding and Purfling Routers by Mike Doolin
AL#75 p.66
\binding \tools\jigs \tools\power
The author always uses the same binding/purfling scheme on his guitars, so he jigged up permanently set routers to use on his Ribbecke jig. Pretty cool if you never change your decoration scheme.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#75 p.68
\guitar\electric \finish\shellac
Answers to questions about plans for the Gibson Firebird electric guitar and problems with a French polished finish.

It Worked for Me
AL#75 p.69
\tools\created \finish\water-based
Readers submit tips about making a saw to kerf lining and using KTM waterborne finish for colored finishes.

Winter 2003

Letter to Editor by David Quinn
AL#76 p.6
Quinn offers a math correction to Mike Nealon’s compound radius jig found in American Lutherie #66.

Letter to Editor by William Nesse
AL#76 p.6
Nesse offers a math correction to Rodney Stedall’s dished workboard article in American Lutherie #74.

Is Guitar Design an Oxymoron? By Steve Klein
AL#76 p.8
\synthetics \guitar\flattop \business\other \bracing\flattop \philosophy
Klein delivers a lecture that asks as many questions as it attempt to answer. Why has guitar design seemed to stall when so many other fields are jumping into the future? What do musicians really want? How can we make musicians want what we want to build? Is there any more to improve on the steel string guitar? A thought-provoking piece, indeed.

Meet the Maker: John Greven by Mike Doolin
AL#76 p.16
\people \computers \guitar\flattop \business\other
This wonderful interview has the kind of depth that only happens when friends talk. It takes familiarity to know what to ask and how to answer. Humor permeates this discussion of alternative woods, business ploys, the Internet, and in general living the life of a successful luthier. Greven has been in the business as long as anyone and is generous with his advice and experience.

Hands-On Archtop Mandolin Making, Part 2 by Peggy Stuart
AL#76 p.28
\mandolin \tools\created \tools\jigs
Stuart continues her tale of learning to make a mandolin under the tutelage of Don MacRostie. In this episode of the four-part series, jigs and power tools become more important as the instrument comes together. This isn’t about becoming Geppetto, plying one’s trade with a knife and a chisel. This is about making mandolins in the real world. Routers and tablesaws are staple items, as are several impressive jigs created by MacRostie.

Classical Cremonese Violin Soundhole Placement by Michael Darnton
AL#76 p.38
Certainly no instrument maker has been as studied and thought about as Stradivari. Not only would modern makers like to be as successful as he was, but his methods were poorly recorded and have to be rediscovered by examining his instruments. It’s a puzzle, and luthiers are by nature patient puzzle solvers. So, was there a Cremonese formula for laying out f-holes? Darnton thinks so, and believes he may be onto the answer.

Cutting a Fanned-Fret Fingerboard by Mike Doolin
AL#76 p.41
\neck \fingerboard\fretboard \tools\created
Fanned-Fret fingerboards use those wacky, slanted frets you’ve probably seen on some “California” guitars. So how does one cut those slots accurately? Doolin has worked out a method — make the ‘board its own miter box. Pretty cool.

Charles Fox’s Superglue Binding Method by Tom Harper
AL#76 p.42
\binding \gluing
The author went to the American School of Lutherie where he learned the Fox style of binding from Fox associate Cameron Carr. The biding is completely taped in place while dry, then glued in after everything fits just right. Just one more example of how modern materials have improved the quality of lutherie.

Lacquer Details by John Calkin
AL#76 p.46
\finish\lacquer \health
One man’s journey through the world of lacquer paint that includes safety equipment, varieties of paint both old and new, application equipment, and some preferences.

Making an Access Panel by Larry Mills and Chris Jenkins
AL#76 p.52
Replacing the conventional guitar tail block with an access panel is an appealing idea whose time has come. Why you should use it and how it is made is the focus of this article. This may be the first article of its kind. Pretty humorous, too.

Product Review: by John Calkin
AL#76 p.58
\reviews \tools\other
The reviewer tries out the Spot Check contact thermometer on his side-bending machine and makes some interesting discoveries. This tool is too cheap and useful to be without.

CAD Notebook by Dana Bourgeois
AL#76 p.60
\computers \neck \tools\power
This is an episode in the series that even digiphobes will enjoy, taking the file to the CNC man to actually make necks by computer-guided milling machine. This is not a machine that most of us will ever own, or even want to, but it’s obvious how effectively it might add to ones output.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#76 p.64
\computers \synthetics \plans \finish\shellac \guitar\electric \fingerboard\fretboard
Readers come to the rescue with answers to questions about midi pickups, alcohol for French polishing, templates for the Gibson Firebird, the effects of fret shape on intonation, temporary pickguards, and the easiest GAL Instrument Plan to build.

It Worked for Me
AL#76 p.65
So you have a pretty little board and want to use it for a 4-piece back. Wouldn’t you like to make the most of that board while at the same time preserving the figure as much as possible? Sure you would. Here’s a formula that will help.

Spring 2004

Meet the Makers: Sue and Ray Mooers of Dusty Strings by Jonathon Peterson
AL#77 p.8
\people \instruments\other \dulcimer\hammered
This is a wonderful story of how a couple began a basement lutherie business and ended up employing 36 people in the creation of fine harps and hammered dulcimers. Everybody in the lutherie trades should be this nice and interesting (and the wonder of it is that so many are!). With photos, including a bunch of the harp assembly shop.

Shifting Gears on a Gretsch by John Calkin
AL#77 p.22
\guitar\electric \repair\neck
Dealing with a store saves you the hassle of dealing with customers but includes the uncertainties of not having access to the customers. The pros and cons are examined. Meanwhile, a Gretsch electric guitar fingerboard is removed, the truss rod swapped out, and the instrument is restored, all in good detail.

They Eat Linseed Oil, Don’t They? by Stephen Frith
AL#77 p.28
Frith travels to Austria to mill spruce with Tobias Braun, and suggests that other luthiers might like to treat themselves to such a holiday. See the world, spend time in the outdoors, and collect some European spruce at a remarkable price! With 9 photos of sawmill mayhem to whet your appetite.

An Authentic Hurdy-Gurdy by Wilfried Ulrich
AL#77 p.30
\instruments\other \plans
Whether the hurdy-gurdy is a fascination or an abomination is up to each listener, but it has to be built right to be given a fair shot. Ulrich uses historical examples as a basis for his instruments, then modifies them to suit contemporary players. This article contains some hurdy-history, photos of a museum hurdy, and a magazine-size version of GAL Instrument Plan #49. Also included are photos and drawings of Ulrich’s hurdy-gurdy, a chart of dimensions for laying out the key box, and a series of drawings to help explain the inner workings of the beast. You, too, can enjoy a bit of history in all its hurdy-glory.

Hands-On Archtop Mandolin Making, Part 3 by Peggy Stuart
AL#77 p.38
\mandolin \tools\hand \tools\jigs \tools\created \neck \fingerboard\fretboard
The epic continues! In this segment the neck is assembled, the body is closed up and bound, and the fingerboard is bound and fretted. All this is accomplished under the able tutelage of Don MacRostie at the American School of Lutherie. Parts 1 and 2 appeared in American Lutherie #75 & #76.

Neck Template Duplicating Carver by Peter Hurney
AL#77 p.54
\tools\created \tools\power \neck
Hurney’s pantograph uses chain drive and a chainsaw carving attachment on an angle-grinder to shape ukulele necks. The scale of the machine can be adjusted for whatever size neck you wish to carve. There are photos and a series of diagrams to help you along, but if you’re not already a mechanic you’d have to be pretty adventurous to build one of these without help.

Desktop CNC Machines by R.M. Mottola
AL#77 p.60
If you are not fascinated by computers you probably don’t want a personal CNC machine of any size. If lutherie is your escape from modern technology, you are also excused. But if computers and robots and programming turn you on you may want to combine your hobbies by investing in and/or building a small CNC machine. (The word hobby seems to connote such a lack of seriousness that we use it hesitatingly, but you know what we mean.) Mottola finds that his little CNC has moved his work beyond what he might attempt without it, as well as speeding up and spiffing up stuff that he used to do by other means. This is not so much a how-to as a why-do, but if it doesn’t charge you up, then computer-aided manufacturing is not for you.

Review: Emasco Finger Planes by Don Overstreet
AL#77 p.64
\reviews \tool\hand
The reviewer likes these brass finger planes made in Arizona and in the end decides that their price of $89 apiece is reasonable for any professional builder of archtop instruments.

Review: Setar Construction, An Iranian Musical Instrument, by Masser Shirazi, reviewed by Marc Connelly
AL#77 p.64
\reviews \instruments\other
The setar is a “long-necked, fretted, 3-or 4-stringed instrument with a gourd-shaped soundbox,” (reviewer’s description). The reviewer loves this book about how to construct the setar, admires it for its detail and concision, and enjoys the fact that it is printed in both English and Persian script (in 2 sections, not both at once).

It Worked for Me
AL#77 p.67
\tools\created \finish\other \tools\jigs
Included this issue is a jig for making accurate butt joints on ukulele sides, several uses for broken dozuki blades, a tip for making accurate wooden dowels, and a wonderful description of using overcooked pasta as a mahogany grain filler.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#77 p.68
\plans \instruments\other \guitar\classical
Readers contribute hints about converting mandolin plans into mandola plans, and five luthiers discuss the function and importance of guitar linings.

Summer 2004

The Dan and Frank Show: Through the Soundhole Repair Techniques by Dan Erlewine and Frank Ford
AL#78 p.4
\tools\hand \tools\created \repair\other \repair\crack
A ton of guitar repairs can only be accomplished by reaching through the soundhole. Here, two masters of the genre describe some of their methods a working in the cramped darkness, some of the tools they’ve used and/or created, and the attitude you have to acquire when getting stumped and handing back an unrepaired guitar is not an option.

Meet the Maker: Lester DeVoe by Cyndy Burton
AL#78 p.20
\people \guitar\classical
A maker of flamenco guitars discusses guitarists and instruments. A good interview can be as inspiring as a good how-to, and this is a good interview. Mentions Santos Hernandez, Sabicas, Paco de Lucia.

Hands-On Archtop Mandolin Making, Part Four by Peggy Stuart
AL#78 p.28
\mandolin \tools\jigs \binding \neck \fingerboard\fretboard
Ms. Stuart’s epic continues with the making of the headstock cap, shaping of the neck, installing the neck and fingerboard, as well as setting up and stringing the finished (but in-the-white) instrument. The first three parts were in the three previous issues of American Lutherie (#75, #76 & #77). Don MacRostie taught Stuart’s class at the American School of Lutherie. With photos, most of the step-by-step process.

Tales of Topographic Arches by Michael Darnton
AL#78 p.45
\tool\measuring \guitar\other
By making a topo map of the spherical arch you wish your top or back to be (in 1/32" intervals in this example) one only has to lay an outline of the guitar on the map and chart the contour of the sides. So easy. So elegant. So how come it wasn’t more obvious?

Meet Jeffrey Yong by John Calkin
AL#78 p.46
\people \wood\trees \wood\dealers
Yong hails from Malaysia, a country not often associated with fine lutherie. Nevertheless, he makes a lot of instruments that look very contemporary and tasty, and he has access to varieties of wood that would make many of us very envious.

A Lightweight Electric Bass by R.M. Mottola
AL#78 p.51
A couple decades ago electric musicians believed that the only way to get good sustain and tone was by playing a heavy guitar or bass. Guitarists gave up on this a few years ago, but bass players have been slower to go light. The author specializes in bass instruments, and the design he includes here weighs less than six pounds while surrendering precious little to much heavier bass guitars.

Fiber Optic Inspection Scope by Rob and Ben Edelstein
AL#78 p.54
How would you like an inspection tool that slides into any soundhole and gives you an electronic picture of what it sees? It’s here, it’s very cool, but it’s still pretty expensive.

Stalking the Wild Pine Rosin by Dave Raley
AL#78 p.56
The pine woods are full of leaky trees that want you to make rosin varnish. The author tells how to harvest it and how to make an electric tin can kiln to melt rosin into a form that can be dissolved in alcohol.

Making Templates for Stew-Mac’s Fret-Slotting Miter Box by Robert Deacon
AL#78 p.62
\fingerboard\fretboard \tools\jigs \tools\created
Using templates to slot a fingerboard is the way to go, whether you use a miter box or a table saw. The author doesn’t mention it, but his templates should work as well for table saw people as for the miter box folks. Of course, this is for making templates for scale lengths not offered by the manufacturer of the templates.

Two-Step Cutaway Bending by John Calkin
AL#78 p.64
The author maintains that the safest way to bend a radical cutaway is to do it in two steps, both using an electric blanket.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#78 p.67
\finish\shellac \finish\lacquer
What’s the best way to finish cocobolo? How come my shellac won’t dissolve? Readers want to know, and they get their answers.

It Worked for Me
AL#78 p.68
\tools\created \bridge\guitar \binding
Readers volunteer a design for a brace-prop gauge, a method of invisibly shrinking a pin bridge hole, and a base for turning a laminate trimmer into a binding router.

Fall 2004

Eight Concerns of Highly Successful Guitar Makers by R.E. Brune
AL#79 p.6
\workshop \gluing \strings \bridge\guitar \guitar\classical \neck \finish\varnish
In a sense Brune is laying down the law for successful classical guitar making. Much of it will be useful to any builder, and all of it is interesting because Brune is an interesting man who has his thoughts together. Not to mention that he’s a heck of a luthier with a deep background in the history of his craft. With photos and diagrams. Mentions Santos Hernandez, Marcelo Barbaro, Ignacio Fleta, Hermann Hauser, Sr.

2004 GAL Convention Coverage by Bon Henderson
AL#79 p.22
If you were there you know how cool it was, and if you weren’t, you’ll have to make do with the photos collected here.

Hands-On Archtop Mandolin Making, Part Five by Peggy Stuart
AL#79 p.34
\mandolin \tools\jigs \finish\lacquer \finish\shellac \finish\other
The author attended a mandolin making class taught by Don MacRostie at the American School of Lutherie. The first four parts of her report appeared in the four previous issues of American Lutherie (#75, #76, #77 & #78). Part Five concerns the application of a sunburst using stains, both by spraying and rubbing, as well as the application of lacquer and French polish finishes.

Bridge Shaping and Routing Jig by Paul Woolson
AL#79 p.46
\tools\jigs \tools\power \bridge\guitar
If you’re going to need a bunch of identical parts you might as well jig up to do it. Besides, making jigs is fun. Here’s one method (of many, no doubt) to make bridges a whole lot faster than you can make guitars to put them on. You can do that by hand, too, it just doesn’t feel that way.

A Crop of Tuning Machines by Todd Rose
AL#79 p.48
Slot-heads have been standard on classical guitars since they evolved away from wooden friction pegs, but that elegant design has appeared only intermittently on steel string guitars. Noting a comeback in the steel string slot-head, the author examines and evaluates many of the various tuners available, from the basic to the sublime. With photos and list of sources.

An Enhancement to the Outside Mold by R.M. Mottola
AL#79 p.58
\tools\jigs \bending
An outside mold is one that the instrument under construction sits inside of. Weird, huh? The author has made changes to his molds that make them into side bending forms as well. Pretty cool.

Product Review, by John Calkin
AL#79 p.60
The reviewer examines Stew-Mac’s top and back brace sets for flattop guitars and finds that they limit the luthiers design options, but he nonetheless is able to put them into one of his guitars with no qualms.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#79 p.63
\wood\other \gluing \finish\other
Readers have their questions answered. This time they concern buffing out the ultimate finish, freezing/refrigerating/microwaving hide glue, bending African blackwood, and hand-applying a sunburst finish.

It Worked for Me
AL#79 p.64
\tools\created \neck \fingerboard\fretboard
Readers send in suggestions about a machine for steaming out necks, making a long sanding block for radiusing fingerboards, and using a special palette knife.

Winter 2004

Carving the Lute Rose by Ervin Somogyi
AL#80 p.4
\lute \tools\hand \rosette
The author not only explains how the traditional lute rose is carved, but demonstrates how the technique might be used other than as a rosette.

Meet the Maker: Frank Ford by Jonathon Peterson
AL#80 p.10
\people \computers
Sometimes an interviewer has to pry information out of a person. Not so with Frank Ford, who unleashes a wonderful account of his life as a repairman in the Bay area. Prominently mentioned are Richard Johnston, Jon Lundberg, Dan Erlewine, and Mario Martello. Inspirational stuff.

Rebuilding a Rebuilt Headstock by Frank Ford
AL#80 p.15
\repair\neck \tools\power
Different repairpersons are willing to do jobs that others wouldn’t, and some repairs are socially acceptable at one time and not at another, so sometimes a repairman is faced with undoing another repair guy’s work. In this case it’s not as a restoration but to make the altered guitar more playable while keeping within the general style of the maker. This little Martin went from a slot-head, to friction pegs, to a solid head with contemporary tuners. Whew! Check out the use of the milling machine.

A Savart-Style Upright Bass by R.M. Mottola
AL#80 p.22
\bass\viol \bass\electric \plans
Savart built a simplified violin that apparently sounded very good. This was long ago. The author uses Savart’s general principles to build a much simplified upright bass that compares to the traditional design in sound. But the scale length is 34”, and it can use electric bass guitar strings if desired. An interesting concept and a cool looking instrument. Included is a one-page version of GAL Instrument Plan #50 of Mottola’s bass.

Meet the Dealer: Armin Kelly by Cyndy Burton
AL#80 p.28
\guitar\classical \people
Meet the dealer? Well, when a dealer has such a strong influence in the lives of the luthiers he represents, why not? If you build, and if you want to sell through a dealer, you need to read this interview. Besides, Kelly’s enthusiasm is so infectious it will send you right back to your workbench. Boutique guitar builders and shops are relatively new to the steel string, but it has always been the way among classical guitar people. This is why.

Removable and Adjustable Necks for Classical Guitars by Alain Bieber
AL#80 p.38
\neck \guitar\classical
The author offers a nice history of guitars built with adjustable and/or removable necks and states a variety of reasons why we should build our guitars with this feature today. The benefits of adjustability are pretty irrefutable, and modern adjustable systems are easier to incorporate than the dovetail joint so commonly seen. The effect upon instrument tone seems to be minor or nonexistent. This is a very convincing article. Mentions Fabricatore, Staufer, Scherzer, Lacote, others.

Essential Tools: Scratches and a Detail Knife by Eugene Clark with Jonathon Peterson
AL#80 p.46
\tools\hand \tools\created
Scratch tools are like one-tooth saws. One of Eugene’s has a chisel tip, the other a pointed tip. The detail knife has only one bevel and is intended to make right hand cuts only. Descriptions of their uses are included.

Experiments in Audio Spectroscopy by John C. Moore
AL#80 p.48
\computers \physics\guitar
Spectroscopy turns instrument noise into pictures, or graphs. As the author points out, the equipment for accomplishing this has now left the lab and is available to the home user. It may take some time to find out if these graphs are useful to the builder of instruments, but as Moore states, the only way to find out is to get started.

Product Review by Harry Fleishman
AL#80 p.52
\tools\measuring \fingerboard\fretboard \neck
Toolman Harry examines three new measuring devices from Stew-Mac and finds them all to be accurately made and useful. The tools are the Fret Rocker (for finding high frets), the String Action Gauge (for measuring string height), and the String Spacing Tool (for laying out nuts and perhaps saddles).

Making Patterns for an Access Panel by Lloyd Marsden
AL#80 p.56
\tools\jigs \tools\power
Gaining access to the inside of guitars through a door in the tail block seems to be catching on. The author’s method of construction saves the side material as part of the door to make the assembled instrument as normal looking as possible.

Review: The Bouzouki Book, by Graham McDonald reviewed by John Calkin
AL#80 p.58
\reviews \instruments\other
The reviewer found this book about several ways of constructing the Irish bouzouki to be up-to-date, useful, and generally well written, though the huge number of typos bothered him.

Review: The Vihuela de Mano and The Spanish Guitar: A Dictionary of the Makers of Plucked and Bowed Musical Instruments of Spain by Jose L. Romanillos and Marian Harris Winspear reviewed by Bryan Johanson
AL#80 p.59
\guitar\classical \vihuela \reviews \people
The reviewer gushes about the detail and quality of research that went into the book, as well as the authors’ enthusiasm for their subjects.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#80 p.60
\bass\viol \guitar\classical \restoration \instruments\other \health \philosophy
Experts field readers questions concerning building and repairing bass viols; the usefulness of sound ports in the sides of guitars; originality vs. playability of instruments; the value of Clark harps; and the possible health problems (and cures for) caused by toxic wood dust.

It Worked for Me
AL#80 p.64
\gluing \guitar\classical
Readers tell all about a method of fitting sides into a Spanish heel and an ingenious way to squeeze full-strength Titebond through a long, small tube.

Spring 2005

In Memoriam: Terry Demezas by Eric Meyer
AL#81 p.3
Another member of the tribe moves on.

Structuring Acoustics with Carbon Fiber by Steve Kauffman
AL#81 p.8
\synthetics \guitar\flattop \bracing\flattop
Kauffman and friend Steve Klein have used carbon fiber (graphite/epoxy) in as many guitar applications as anyone, stopping short (I think) of an entirely graphite instrument. If you’ve only dabbled with graphite truss rods and such you have no idea how hotly some others are pursuing synthetic materials to make wood guitars sound better and last longer. “All natural materials” has been a battle cry for decades, but perhaps the time is ripe for making natural materials better than nature had in mind. You be the judge.

Guitar Swap! By John Calkin and Steve Kinnaird
AL#81 p.22
\people \guitar\flattop
Two luthiers decide to build guitars for each other, a straight across trade and with a minimum of rules. Its wonderful fun if the anxiety doesn’t kill you.

Meet the Maker: Kevin La Due by Cyndy Burton
AL#81 p.26
\people \tools\jigs \wood\other \schools
A high school teacher coaches entire classes through guitar making. Think kids can’t do it? You’ll be surprised. Some well-made and easy-to-use jigs make the process faster and friendlier, and the use of local wood makes it affordable. Pretty inspirational.

Neck and Bridge Geometry for Domed Guitar Tops by Jon Sevy
AL#81 p.36
All those cool pre-war Martins not withstanding, many luthiers believe that domed guitar tops are the way to go. But they can complicate construction in unforeseen ways. Sevy offers a mathematical cure, a set of formulas for predicting neck pitch and saddle height. Probably not for the math challenged, but give it a look before you abandon this path.

Adirondack Spruce Growth Rates and Accessibility by Ralph S. Charles III
AL#81 p.40
\wood\soft \wood\trees
Man! How come red spruce is so expensive? And how come we can’t find a red spruce top as pretty as a piece of Sitka? Friends, if you look at enough old guitars you’ll realize that Adirondack spruce tops were rarely tight-grained, perfectly straight, and perfectly quartered all at the same time. The big stands of Eastern spruce may have been harvested 60 years ago, but forester Charles is here to say that the trees never grew with luthiers in mind. Man has had a random hand in growing red spruces for generations, and so have beavers. Conditions in the woods can change rapidly. It’s wild out there! To amateur naturalists this is exciting stuff.

Meet the Maker: Bob Jones by Bruce Calder
AL#81 p.46
\people \repair
Jones is one of the “big guys” in the New York City instrument repair scene. He owns some very cool collectables. He’s worked for some of the biggest names in the industry. He has definite opinions about how to get into the business. How could you not read this? With photos, including one of a double neck Selmer.

Building an Adjustable Bridge by Thomas C. DeVeau
AL#81 p.54
A basic archtop-style, floating bridge, that is.

Product Review: The JLD Bridge System reviewed by John Calkin
AL#81 p.56
\repair\bridge \repair\other \reviews
The reviewer likes this system of pulling down the bulging tops of flattop guitars.

Review: El Tiple Puertorrqueno: Historia, Manual y Metodo by Jose Reyes-Zamora reviewed by Fred Casey
AL#81 p.58
\instruments\other \reviews
The reviewer enjoyed this Spanish-only book about the Puerto Rican tiple, which includes the instrument’s history, how to build it, and how to play it.

Review: Left-Brain Lutherie by David C. Hurd, PhD reviewed by R.M. Motolla
AL#81 p.59
\reviews \physics\math \physics\guitar
The right side of the brain is creative and the left side is analytical. It’s nice when they can work together, but for most of us one side or the other is dominant. The reviewer (who is admittedly left-brained) would like even right-brained luthiers to read this book, though he admits that they may struggle. Intelligent people shouldn’t ignore any source of information that may improve their work. Those who become luthiers to escape from real work may not grasp this concept.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#81 p.62
\workshop \business\other \bridge\other \dulcimer\hammered
Readers supply answers to questions about work benches, digital photography, hammered dulcimer tops, and instrument intonation.

It Worked for Me
AL#81 p.64
\tools\created \bridge\guitar \bracing\classical
Members offer useful methods to fit a new bridge plate to a flattop, clamp fan braces in place, and protect the face of the peghead while setting up guitars.

Summer 2005

Teaching the Dream to Sing by Fred Carlson
AL#82 p.6
\people \instruments\other \guitar\harp \philosophy
Carlson makes some of the world’s coolest, most graceful, and weirdest stringed instruments. Focusing on a harp guitar he calls the Flying Dream he discusses at length how he designs and builds his creations. There is lots of detailed info here that will help you build the instruments you see in your mind, as opposed to the ones for which you can already buy a blueprint. Truly inspirational.

Prepare to Meet the Maker: Charles Beare by Jonathon Peterson
AL#82 p.26
\people \violin \lute \philosophy \finish\varnish \restoration
Beare is the captain of a violin restoration firm, a competition judge, and a man thoroughly versed in the intricacies of vintage violins. He has known all the experts of his life time, and he has formulated many strong opinions about old fiddles and the various fields that use them to do business. You’ll find him interesting even if you aren’t a violin person.

The Colombian Tiple by Luis Alberto Paredes Rodriguez
AL#82 p.34
\instruments\other \plans
Tracking the evolution of Spanish-based South American instruments can be complicated. Fortunately luthiers don’t have to care about it since we live in the present, or at least many of us try to. The Colombian tiple is a four course, 12-string instrument a bit smaller than a classical guitar, and not like the Martin tiple at all. The heart of this article is the 2 page version of GAL plan #51. The text dabbles with instrument history and offers a string gauge chart as well as a family tree of the tiple, bandola, and guitar. The most intriguing text involves the author’s method in compensating the nut when different gauges of strings are used in the same course.

The Helmholtz Resonance by R.M. Mottola
AL#82 p.38
\physics\guitar \physics\math
It’s not necessary to understand the physics of sound to be a great instrument maker, but it can’t hurt. Many of us would like to believe that we succeed using experience and strong intuition and don’t need science. Maybe an analytical mind just gets in the way, no? Or maybe the science guys are just smarter than the rest of us and we need an excuse not to stand in the same light that they do. Who knows? Anyhow, the Helmholtz resonance is the lowest vibratory mode of an instrument, though not necessarily the lowest note that instrument is capable of. All the rest of sound physics is built on top of the Helmholtz resonance, and Mottola devolves the science enough for the rest of us to understand. It’s fun but in the end it’s not clear that it really matters. For the few among us with operational math brains all the formulas are presented in a sidebar.

Fitting Flamenco Pegs by Aaron Green
AL#82 p.44
\pegs\friction \guitar\classical \tools\hand
As far as looks go, guitars with wooden tuning pegs are the cat’s patoot. Regarding long-term functioning, though... well, maybe you better read Green’s article. His method of installing hidden maple bushings in the headstock should put you way ahead of the game.

Diagnosis: Lutherie by Ervin Somogyi
AL#82 p.51
\philosophy \guitar\classical \people \humor
So you’ve made a guitar but it’s not all you hoped for. You have the opportunity to discuss it with your peers and they all have a cure. Unhappily the methods of correction don’t jibe. Somogyi finally got a response he could live with. It saved his guitar and eventually turned into an unexpected sale. The whole trick is in lucking into the right guy to talk to.

Quick Cuts: The Boujmaa Brothers’ Moroccan Lutherie Shop by Bruce Calder
AL#82 p.54
\instruments\other \people
Take a 2-page, 6-photo journey to a lutherie shop around the world. The ouds and other instruments are vastly different from American Normal and their decoration is almost beyond description.

Quick Cuts: Two Interesting Guitars by Philippe Refig
AL#82 p.56
This is a short description of a Hierros classical made in 1845 (no pictures) and of a Garcia from 1920.

Adjustable Saddles for Acoustic Guitars by Brian Yarosh
AL#82 p.58
Yarosh came up with a top-loaded (pinless) bridge with individual sliding bone saddles. You can build one yourself with his good description and photos.

Review: Aux origins de la guitare: vihuela de mano by Joel Dugot reviewed by Bryan Johanson
AL#82 p.63
\reviews \vihuela
The author really, really likes this history of the vihuela. But you have to read it in the French.

The Art of Modern Violin Making by Ricardo B. Flores reviewed by Ken Goodwin
AL#82 p.64
\violin \reviews
The reviewer enjoyed the CD-ROM format of this teaching unit, noting that the pictures are better than those of a typical book, though navigating around the CD can be irritating at first. Though he hints that there could be more instruction for the money he concludes that a beginning violin maker would find the CD a good investment.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#82 p.66
\gluing \guitar\resophonic \business\other \finish\shellac \guitar\classical \schools
GAL members answer questions concerning digital photography, health problems with super glues, finish repairs on a 1920 mandolin, locating Dobro plans, buying lutherie business insurance, and canting the fingerboard of a classical guitar.

It Worked for Me
AL#82 p.68
\tools\hand \gluing
Readers offer tips about making a hex wrench for working on bolt-on necks and using oral syringes to preserve and apply hide glue.

Fall 2005

Measuring Archtop Musical Instruments by Chris Burt
AL#83 p.6
\mandolin \guitar\archtop \violin \tools\measuring \instruments\other
Do you own or have access to archtop instruments that you’d like to duplicate? Ever wonder why they sound so good, or why they don’t? Use this article to map out the plate thicknesses, arch heights, and neck angles. Measure everything you can get your hands on. Become an expert. Tell your friends how they’re going wrong. Be the hero of your lutherie group. With 6 photos.

Meet the Maker: Pierre-Yves Fuchs by Jonathon Peterson
AL#83 p.10
\people \violin \bow
Fuchs went through cabinet making school and violin making school on his way to becoming a gold medal bow maker. He is traditional and opinionated, and will make you believe that there might be cosmic influences involved in making an excellent bow. Intuition, that is. Tradition, experience, and a good feeling about your work in progress. Science guys may pull their hair out, but most of us would rather have good intuition than a good grounding in physics.

The Cole Clark Guitar by Michael Finnerty and Bradley Clark
AL#83 p.14
\computers \wood\other \guitar\flattop
Cole Clark Guitars is an Australian company specializing in computer designed and manufactured flattop and electric guitars. Rather than use CNC machines to duplicate old guitar styles of construction they have modified their designs to suit the potentials of the machinery, which in the end reduces expensive hand labor by as much as half. A sidebar mentions the lutherie uses of 3 Aussie wood varieties.

Restoring Tarrega’s 1888 Torres by Jeffrey R. Elliott
AL#83 p.18
\restoration \guitar\classical \tool\hand \plans
Restoring famous instruments is a tricky business. If they are also old, well-played, and abused by poor storage facilities the work becomes a cross between knowledge, craft, and art. Elliott goes where few of us would care to travel, explaining every step of restoration as he goes. Perhaps as important is what he doesn’t do. The ethics of restoration is a foundation of the story. With photos as well as a 2-page spread of GAL Instrument Plan #52.

Amplifying Acoustic Guitars Update by Harry Fleishman and Mike Doolin
AL#83 p.36
\electronics \guitar\flattop
Two experts in the field of acoustic amplification discuss available equipment as well as why few of them seem to work as well as we might wish. They do not dumb down the technical talk, so be prepared to expand your vocabulary and your mind.

Quick Cuts: The 13-string Chiavi-Miolin Guitar by Johannes Labusch
AL#83 p.42
\guitar\harp \guitar\classical
Few harp guitars are nylon strung. Fewer still have frets under all the strings. The Chiavi-Miolin is unique, weird, and strangely beautiful. Its goal is to play piano and lute literature without leaving out notes.

Meet the Maker: Jay Hargreaves by Todd Rose
\bass\electric \bass\flattop \people
Bass maker Hargreaves is hardly a stranger to AL readers. Here he stands on the other end of the interview as he discusses his work as well as his affiliations with Michael Kasha and Richard Schneider..

Review: Folk Harp Design and Construction by Jeremy H. Brown reviewed by Fred Casey
AL#83 p.52
\instruments\other \reviews \strings\tension \strings\other
The reviewer notes that this book is more about harp construction theory than about actual construction techniques, but decides that that is where the emphasis should be. He notes that the section of string length vs. string tension is especially useful, and that the book as a whole should have an important place on any harp makers’ reference shelf.

Review: The Guitar of Andres Segovia Hermann Hauser 1937 reviewed by Tom Harper
AL#83 p.53
\plans \guitar\classical \people \reviews
This offering includes a pamphlet by Richard Brune and Don Pilarz that includes color photos of this guitar, a new full-size blueprint by Brune, a CD of music by Segovia, and a poster. The reviewer concludes that “as a builder of classical instruments I really can’t imagine passing up this compilation.” ‘Nuff said.

Review: Build Your Own Lap Steel Guitar by Martin Koch reviewed by John Calkin
AL#83 p.55
\guitar\other \reviews
The reviewer notes that luthiers with a modicum of experience may find this book and CD combination lacking in useful new information. However, he enjoyed the reading/viewing and decides that the beginning electric luthier could do much worse than starting with Koch’s work.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#83 p.58
\guitar\classical \fingerboard\fretboard \computer
Three well-known classical builders discuss fingerboards and guitar setup. Another member offers clues toward finding CAD drawings of instruments in books and on the internet.

It Worked for Me
AL#83 p.60
\bending \pegs
So you’ve made a poor bend on an instrument side. Want to try it over? One member came up with a steamer for sides that need to be straightened. Another member demonstrates how to rebuild the shafts of worn friction pegs.

Winter 2005

Letter to Editor by Richard Brune
AL#84 p.3
\guitar\classical \restoration
Brune comments on the restoration of the Torres guitar covered in American Lutherie #83. Brune worked on this guitar previous to Elliott’s restoration, and he offers two more photos of the instrument.

19th-CenturyRosette Marquetry for 21st-Century Guitars by Greg Byers
AL#84 p.6
With tools you’ve probably already got in your shop you can make mosaic rosettes that look modern and yet somehow traditional. The techniques differ from the bricks and tiles made of old and are more akin to the processes of making fancy purflings. Cooler than anything, but not for the impatient among us.

Meet the Maker: Del Langejans by Mark Swanson
AL#84 p.18
\people \guitar\harp \guitar\flattop guitar\classical
Langejans is a resourceful guitar maker with a big-time clientele. Many of his designs are unique, as is his finishing material and some of the wood he uses. He has strong opinions about how to get started and survive in the business, which have apparently worked for him very well.

Rib Depth of Guitars with Spherically Domed Plates by R.M. Motolla
AL#84 p.22
\tools\jigs \computers \physics\guitar
Instruments with domed plates must have the rib assembly altered to accept the topography of the plates. This can be done after assembly or before bending. The author offers an overview of how either can be accomplished.

Manuel Reyes: Guitarrero by R.E. Brune
AL#84 p.28
\guitar\classical \people \plans
This Meet the Maker article focuses on a Spanish luthier who has been in the business since 1949.

2003 Manuel Reyes Flamenco Guitar by Tom Blackshear
AL#84 p.33
\guitar\classical \plans
One page of notes plus a 2-page spread of GAL Instrument Plan #53 of a Reyes flamenco guitar.

Arched Plate Carving, Part One: Establishing the Outside Surface by Chris Burt
AL#84 p.36
\mandolin \guitar\archtop \violin
This is an in-depth look at the tools and procedures used in carving the plates of an archtop instrument. The first article in this series appeared in American Lutherie #83, and subsequent articles will follow.

Resurrecting the Family Banjo by John Calkin
AL#84 p.50
\banjo \repair\other \restoration \repair\neck \fingerboard\fretboard
Resurrection isn’t so much about true restoration as in making a dilapidated instrument function again in a manner that the owner can afford. Time-saving procedures are permitted that a restorationist wouldn’t dream of, but preserving the instrument as much as possible is still the goal.

Apprenticeships: Great Opportunity for Mentors and Apprentices by Bill Beadie
AL#84 p.54
\people \schools \philosophy
An apprenticeship, as described here, involves no transfer of cash, but the author lists a variety or reason why an apprenticeship might be a fine thing for apprentice and mentor alike.

Product Review: The Luthier’s Friend by Keith Davis
AL#84 p.57
\tools\power \reviews
The reviewer fairly gushes about the many uses for this drill press sanding tool.

Review: The Setup and Repair of the Double Bass for Optimum Sound by Chuck Traeger reviewed by James Condino
AL#84 p.58
\bass\viol \repair\other
The reviewer finds this book to be a treasure well worth the high cost to anyone serious about the standup bass.

Review: Baxter’s Database of Violin and Bow Makers v3.0 by Edward D. Baxter reviewed by Randy Debey
AL#84 p.59
\violin \bow \reviews
The reviewer seems ambivalent about the value of this software, claiming that it is frustrating to use and probably of most value to violinists who are searching for an older instrument and need information about the builders.

Review: Build a Steel String Guitar with Robert O’Brien by Robert O’Brien reviewed by John Calkin
AL#84 p.60
\reviews \guitar\steelstring \reviews
Though the reviewer found fault with this CD-ROM he decides that for the beginner it is better instruction than any book on the subject.

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#84 p.64
\wood\soft \wood\hard \fingerboard\fretboard
A member answers questions about using hardwoods for instrument tops and changing the color of a fretboard.

It Worked for Me
AL#84 p.65
\tools\hand \finish\water-base
Readers offer tips about using alcohol to clear imperfections in water-based finish, and about adding weight to a block plane to make it easier to use.

Spring 2006

The Irish Bouzouki: A Mandolin on Steroids by Graham McDonald
AL#85 p.8
McDonald’s forte has become the oversized mandolin called the Irish Bouzouki. Here he unloads a ton of information about building them with flattops and carved tops with several forms of neck attachment and scale lengths, including pin bridge and tailpiece models. Zowie!

Meet the Maker: David King by Jonathon Peterson
AL#85 p.20
\people \bass\electric \finish\other \fingerboard\fretboard
King is a perfectionist who even machines his own bridges. The finish he uses is a catalyzed polyurethane. He uses some interesting equipment to arch his fingerboards and install his frets. After reading this you may not be eager to set up next to him at an instrument show.

Arched Plate Carving, Part Two, Graduating the Top Plate and Cutting the f-Holes by Chris Burt
AL#85 p.30
\mandolin \violin \guitar\archtop
Burt’s in-depth examination of plate carving continues. His techniques are old-school, relying on tap tones to define plate stiffness and definite tonal relationships between the top and back plates.

Controlling Classical Guitar Neck Angle by Rodney Stedall
AL#85 p.37
\guitar\classical \neck
Using the Spanish foot requires that the neck angle of a classical guitar be established before the back is glued to the instrument, which locks all the parts firmly (and hopefully permanently) together. Stedall’s method will further your understanding of this problem and help you achieve the results you seek. With a drawing and a photo of a jig used to stiffen the body while the ribs are sanded to receive the back.

Meet the Maker: Greg Byers by Woodley White
AL#85 p.38
\people \guitar\classical
Byers has been around for a long time. He has an intuitive idea of what sound he is seeking in his guitars and a clinical approach to finding it. That’s quite a combination, and he is quite an interesting fellow.

Octet 2005: First Convention of the New Violin Family Association by Alan Carruth
AL#85 p.44
\people \violin \meetings
A few people have long struggled to expand the violin family from four members to perhaps eight. There isn’t airtight agreement here. But the family is growing. This description of the 2005 convention seems to explain how successful the new sprouts on the family tree might be.

Resurrecting the Family Guitar by John Calkin
AL#85 p.46
\restoration \repair\other \guitar\flattop \bridge\other \repair\crack
Some instruments aren’t valuable enough to warrant extensive repair work but are too interesting to throw away. Enter the resurrectionist. In this case the subject is a ‘30s tenor guitar by Regal. Cracks are fixed, braces are replaced, a new bridge is made, and the neck is refitted.

The Never-Ending Barber Chair Workbench by Michael Sanden
AL#85 p.52
Sanden first related his barber chair workbench to GAL members in 1986, and he has never stopped updating it. His latest incarnation is a model of useful efficiency, and the chair has nearly disappeared beneath the cabinetry. Very compact cabinetry at that.

The Metaphysics of the Guitar by Ervin Somogyi
AL#85 p.54
If a simple formulation of wooden parts was all it took to make a guitar there would be no small shops and no handbuilders. The factories would get it right and their efficiency would rule out the little guys. But the factories don’t, and the little guys haven’t been. Somogyi takes a shot at explaining why this is so.

Gibson used Three Different 24 ¾" Scale Lengths by Dan Erlewine and Don MacRostie, with Tim Shaw
AL#85 p.56
Every repair person who’s seen generations of Gibson guitars knows that the 24 ¾" scale ain’t necessarily so. If you measure from the nut to the 12th fret you get several magic numbers, and you deal with it. But here’s the low-down on why they may have changed and why the number has stayed the same.

Product Review: Stewart-MacDonald Fret Scale Rules by Harry Fleishman
AL#85 p.59
\Fingerboard\fretboard \tools\measuring \humor \tuning\temperament
Fleishman is at his humorous best here, hunting the past for how frets used to be laid out, why they were often wrong, and why the new Stew-Mac rules are tools worth having. Did you know there are at least three ways to calculate fret spacing? Did you know they vary in their results? Can musicians hear the difference?

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#85 p.62
\plans \finish\other \business\other
Who will finish your instruments for you for pay? What’s the safest way to fly with your guitar? How does doming instrument plates effect binding them? Are plans for 12-string guitars and ancient instruments available? GAL members furnish answers.

DVD Review: In Search of the Harp Guitar, It’s History, Players, and Makers, hosted by John Doan reviewed by Cyndy Burton
AL#85 p.64
\guitar\harp \reviews
The reviewer enjoyed this DVD, though she seems hesitant to recommend it to anyone seeking solid information about building a harp guitar. It’s a tour of the contemporary harp guitar scene important to anyone who wishes to be part of that society in any guise.

It Worked for Me
AL#85 p.65
\tools\jigs \guitar\archtop
A reader offers a jig for accurately fitting braces to arched plates and for gluing them in place.

Summer 2006

Arched Plate Carving, Part Three, Barring the Top Plate, and Graduating the Back Plate by Chris Burt
AL#86 p.6
\guitar\archtop \mandolin \violin
This segment wraps up Burt’s series on plate carving. Every luthier, but especially beginning luthiers, should read his “Word to the wise” paragraph, the best piece of advice you are ever likely to read.

Meet the Maker: Bernard Millant by Jonathon Peterson
AL#86 p.18
\violin \bow \people
Millant is a violin maker, a bow maker, an appraiser, an author, and a man of high repute within the fiddle world. The depth of training behind many fiddle people will astonish most guitarmakers, and it makes for entrancing reading.

Modern Approaches to Adjustable Neck Joints by Harry Fleishman and Mike Doolin
AL#86 p.24
\guitar\flattop \neck \synthetics
This neck joint should eliminate neck resets. Its pretty complex but within the grasp of any guitarmaker.

Meet the Maker: Carleen Hutchins by Alan Carruth
AL#86 p.32
\people \violin
Even if you could care less about violins you will be fascinated by this woman’s life. She has built and studied bowed instruments for as long as anyone, and her contributions to the field may be beyond estimating. If everyone’s life was as busy and fulfilling as Hutchins’ the world would be a far different place than it is. With photos and relative drawings of the 8 instruments in the new violin family.

Alternative Headstock Decoration and Truss Rod Adjustment Access by R.M. Mottola
AL#86 p.42
\neck \inlay \guitar\electric \rosette \computers
Strict traditions have hampered the evolution of musical instrument decoration, but the creativity of some luthiers will not be held back. Make your logos on your computer. Iron your labels right onto the wood. Engrave decorations with a desktop CNC. We haven’t begun to try what might be done, but this article might awaken you to the possibilities.

Seeking the Top by Michael Sanden
AL#86 p.48
\wood\soft \wood\dealers
The author is enthusiastic about the spruce he buys from Pacific Rim Tonewoods, and his tour of the facility provides some insight as to how trees become guitar tops.

A Flattop Mandolin Resurrection by John Calkin
AL#86 p.50
\mandolin \repair\crack \bracing\other \repair\other \restoration
This is another of the author’s attempts to save a ruined instrument without ruining the customer’s bank account. The subject this time is a WWI-era Gibson army-navy style mandolin.

Fourth International Puerto Rican Tiple Conference by Fred Casey
AL#86 p.54
\instruments\other \meetings
Luthiers probably believe that quality instruments made in the Western Hemisphere all come from North America because that’s all they hear about. Not so! The Puerto Rican lutherie scene may be small but the luthiers are just as intense about their craft as American and Canadian builders. So what’s a Puerto Rican tiple, anyway? You better read this to find out. Just don’t confuse it with the Martin or Colombian tiple---Puerto Rican luthiers have their pride, too!

A Review of Indoor Air Quality Health Issues by Robert A. Edelstein
AL#86 p.58
We all know that wood dust can make a luthier’s life miserable, but there are other air pollutants common to any woodshop. You better learn about them, and most of all you better learn how to avoid them. “Stay healthy! Make more instruments!” It should be one of our battle cries.

Product Review: SawStop Table Saws reviewed by James Condino
AL#86 p.62
\reviews \health \tools\power
Sawstop table saws are meant to screech to a halt before they can cut your skin. The reviewer finds that they really work. What are your fingers worth to you, anyway?

Questions edited by Cyndy Burton
AL#86 p.66
\finish\other \plans \wood\other \mandolin \repair\crack \guitar\classical
GAL members respond to questions concerning plans for a small classical guitar, eliminating scratches within a finish by choosing the right abrasive, mending a split in a ‘tatter-bug mandolin, and “Q”, the sustain of a tapped wood tone.

Reviews: The Ukulele by Denis Gilbert, and Ukulele Design and Construction by D. Henry Wickham reviewed by John Calkin
AL#86 p.68
\reviews \ukulele
The reviewer finds that neither of these books is that great but that Wickham’s is probably a better value than Gilbert’s.

It Worked for Me
AL#86 p.69
\tools\jigs \neck \gluing
Members supply information about a jig for routing elaborate headstock designs, and how to apply spray glue without contaminating your hand and arm.

Fall 2006

A Luthier’s Choices by Kenny Hill
AL#87 p.6
\guitar\classical \business\other \people
Hill has made guitars for eons, harvested his own wood, taught lutherie in a prison, and opened shops in Mexico and China. Not to mention that he’s a fine guitarist. The man has been around. This piece is part biography, part how-to, and all interesting. He’s led an interesting life, and he’s not that old.

18th GAL Convention Coverage
AL#87 p.14
GAL conventions can wear you out physically while they build you up as a luthier and human being. If you’ve never been, you need to go. This coverage shows what you missed this time and what you might expect during the next.

The Power of Circles by Michael Darnton
AL#87 p.26
The author demonstrates that the design of classic instruments (of whatever type) is dictated by simple geometric forms, and that to ignore such shapes while designing new instruments is to invite ungainliness into your shop.

Meet the Maker: Tom Shinness by Jonathon Peterson
AL#87 p.34
Shinness is a harp guitarist who builds his guitars by cutting and pasting — using real instruments! Cool guy!

Parametric Solid Modeling Software for Stringed Instrument Design by R.M. Mottola
AL#87 p.40
Parametric solid modeling is a usable step between computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing. It permits a three-dimensional picture of a part to be made. A CNC machine doesn’t need it, but a designer might in order to better visualize what it is the machine is about to make. If this makes no sense to you, welcome aboard. But CAD/CAM/CNC-made instrument parts are here to stay, even for small shops. Understanding the process will give you an edge over the stick-in-the-muds who can’t be bothered.

Meet the Maker: Rodney Stedall by Tom Harper
AL#87 p.44
\guitar\classical \people
Stedall is a South African optometrist/luthier and coordinator of the Guild of South African Luthiers. Are you surprised that South Africa has a guitar scene? Well, these days it can happen anywhere.

Fighting With Wolves by Alastair Fordyce
AL#87 p.48
The author hunts wolf notes with a lump of clay, and once he finds the spot that cures them he swaps out the clay for a bit of wood that weighs the same as the clay. Pretty ingenious, huh? And it ought to work as well for any other instrument. It may not be bracing in the strictest sense, but if it works, it works.

Fabio’s Fabulously Simple Neck Joint by Fabio Ragghianti
AL#87 p.50
\guitar\classical \neck
The author’s joint uses a simple spline. Steel-string guys may be skeptical but Ragghianti says it works fine on his archtops, too.

Sixty Seconds or Less by Daniel Fobert
AL#87 p.52
The author’s special workboard and clamps permit him to clamp a plate onto the rib assembly in a minute or less.

Quick Cuts: The Making of a Maker by Tobias Berg
AL#87 p.54
A new category of article is born! Europeans often take a longer road to lutherie nirvana than Americans, finding several important stops along the way to opening their own shops. Berg was such a traveler and his story is very interesting.

Quick Cuts: The “Wintonbeast” 7-String Lap Steel Guitar by David Worthy
AL#87 p.56
The Australian author built a beautiful lap steel that looks “stranger than fiction” on the inside.

Product Review: De-Glue Goo reviewed by Mike Tagawa
AL#87 p.58
\gluing \reviews
This product removes beaded and smeared dry glue from most any surface with damaging the underlayment. The reviewer says it works.

Review: Guitar; An American Life by Tim Brookes reviewed by Ervin Somogyi
AL#87 p.60
The reviewer is wildly enthusiastic about this book that seems to cover every aspect of the American guitar.

Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
AL#87 p.64
\plans \strings\other \instruments\other \repair\other
Members answer other member’s questions. This time they concern plans for Dobro and requinto, judging string strength, finding out about experimental instruments, and learning to repair guitars.

It Worked for Me
AL#87 p.68
\tools\jigs \guitar\classical \fingerboard\fretboard
This time readers really rock out! First is a rocking sanding jig for radiusing fretboards, then a rocking jig for making classical guitar bridges.

Winter 2006

In Memoriam: Ted Berringer by Bruce Harvie
AL#88 p.3
Ted Berringer was a prolific and unfettered amateur builder with an impressive 55 years of experience in the art. He was a long-time GAL member and frequent attendee at GAL Conventions. Here’s and affectionate goodbye to a really likable guy.

Letter to Editor by Scott van Linge
AL#88 p.5
The writer takes exception to some of the brace work done by John Calkin in his American Lutherie #85 article, “Resurrecting the Family Guitar”. Van Linge is the current leading proponent of parabolic bracing. Parabolic and ramped bracing (to coin a term) vary significantly in shape and true believers have a large stake in one or the other. Their discussions are fascinating, and since only side-by-side comparison of similar guitars can offer distinctions the general public is usually left to make decisions based on no real evidence. Which is how lutherie mythology is maintained. There’s a truth somewhere, but how do we dig it out?

Double-Top Guitars by Randy Reynolds
AL#88 p.8
\guitar\classical \wood\other
Double-top guitars utilize a top made of two thin layers of spruce separated by a honey-comb material called Nomex. So few people have heard such guitars that the jury is still out (way out) concerning double-top benefits, but here’s how they are made and why. One thing seems sure — the guitar market is large enough to absorb every idea, so no facet of guitar evolution is likely to die out before its time.

Preliminary Conclusions about Double-Top Guitars by Brian Burns
AL#88 p.13
\guitar\classical \wood\other
This is a more scientific look at what the double-top might have to offer.

The Imperator by Alain Bieber
AL#88 p.16
\instruments\other \guitar\harp
The lyre guitar goes back centuries. Lyre instruments in general go back millennia. The author couldn’t resist resurrecting the harp guitar, bringing it up to current standards. His research covers a wide look at art history as well a guitar history. Fascinating!

The Universal Vacuum Island by Charles Fox
AL#88 p.24
\workshop \tools\jigs
Vacuum clamping has come to the small shop in a big way, at least in Fox’s shop. Suddenly, all other ways of working seem backward. Vacuum has dozens of uses in the guitar shop and the universal vacuum island makes them compact and within the financial reach of all of us. Fox is still the guru. If you ain’t got vacuum you ain’t got nothin’!

Meet the Maker: Benoit Meulle-Stef by Jonathon Peterson
AL#88 p.34
\people \guitar\harp
Meulle-Stef is a French harp guitar luthier who lives and works in Belgium. The harp guitar has deep roots in Europe and he is familiar with all of them. His own instruments have a grace that harp guitars often lack (and check out his fan-braced steel-string top!) This is another sign that lutherie has always been a global industry, even though American guitarmakers tend to forget or ignore it.

Rapid Prototypes of the Flattop Guitar by R.M. Motolla
AL#88 p.42
\guitar\flattop \synthetics \wood\other
Have you got design ideas that are radical or just untried? Perhaps you should toss together a trial instrument before you risk squandering valuable time on a master work that doesn’t work. Here’s how, with an emphasis on building with plywood and even Formica.

Meet the Maker: Jose “Pepito” Reyes Zamora by Fred Casey
AL#88 p.48
\people \instruments\other
Reyes-Zamora is a proud Puerto Rican who made it his business to rescue portions of the country’s history from oblivion. He has specialized in resuscitating the Puerto Rican tiple, an instrument unlike others of the same name.

A Different Way of Defining Body Shapes by Mark French
AL#88 p.52
\computers \physics\math
The author discusses the curve fit, a mathematical method of describing a shape that a computer, and thus a CNC machine, can understand. Curve fits have other benefits, too, but computer illiteracy prevents them from being described here. Includes a plethora of charts and graphs.

Product Review: edge vise, combination slot head fixture, and rosette cutter by Luthiertool Co. reviewed by John Mello
AL#88 p.58
\tools\jigs \tools\power \reviews
The reviewer (who bought these tools, by the way) finds that they were a good investment that saves him time and increases the accuracy of his work.

Review: Les Luths reviewed by Alain Bieber
AL#88 p.62
\lute \reviews
The reviewer heartily recommends this catalog of lutes and theorbos in the musical instrument museum of Paris.

Review: The Century That Shaped the Guitar by James Westbrook reviewed by Brian Johanson
AL#88 p.63
\reviews \guitar\classical
No, it wasn’t the 20th century, silly. It was the 19th century in which the classical guitar grew up. The reviewer calls this book wonderful, informative, and generous. There is also a CD available of 19th century guitar music played on restored instruments of the time.

Lutherie Under Glass by Ervin Somogyi
AL#88 p.64
The Northern California Association of Luthiers built a public display of how guitars are created. This is the story of how it came about.

Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
AL#88 p.66
\guitar\harp \plans \vihuela
This time curious readers are pointed toward plans for vihuelas and a theorboed lute guitar, which is a lute-shaped guitar sporting independent bass strings.

It Worked for Me
AL#88 p.68
\tuning\temperament \tools\hand
Readers offer a method of making radiused sanding blocks as well as an explanation of how intonation relates to the 12-tone scale.

Spring 2007

In Memoriam: Mario Martello by Richard Johnston
AL#89 p.3
A long-time repairman well-known in the Bay area of California passes on.

Low-Tech Prototyping Jigs and Methods by Tim Shaw
AL#89 p.6
\tools\jigs \tools\measuring \tools\power \bending \fingerboard\fretboard \factory
Shaw has worked for large guitar companies for decades. Currently with Fender, he runs an independent shop that makes prototype instruments for all the factories that fall under the Fender banner. He also does repairs on discontinued models where the factory equipment has been dismantled. Accomplishing one-off projects or small runs of parts is no different for a big company than for an independent luthier, they just have the luxury of big-budget equipment. Shaw’s methods of jigging up for parts manufacture incorporating speed and safety can be used by many one-off shops to hustle production and instrument development. Good stuff from one of the aces in the business.

Meet the Maker: Chris Jenkins by Steve Kinnaird
AL#89 p.18
\people \guitar\flattop
Texas luthier Jenkins has become an inspiration to those who have seen his work, though he drew his own inspiration and instruction from Charles Fox, Harry Fleishman, Ervin Somogyi, and Fred Carlson. He’s a classic example of what can be accomplished by seeking out talented instruction rather than fiddling one’s own way up the learning curve.

Making a Brass Plane by Ken Altman
AL#89 p.22
\tools\hand \tools\created
Watch Altman construct a 3" plane from brass stock and steel for the blade — a very cool and elegant tool for lutherie that’s not too hard to make and requires few tools to construct.

Mending a Bomber by John Calkin
AL#89 p.30
\repair\crack \repair\bridge \repair\other
A number of acoustic guitars built during the ’60s demonstrated peculiar design traits, and this smashed up Gibson B-25 is a fine example of such. The author returns it to playable good health while maintaining its quirkiness in all its glory.

The Trio Romantico and the Requinto by Fred Casey
AL#89 p.34
\instruments\other \plans
The requinto is a small classical guitar tuned a forth higher than standard tuning, and is the lead instrument in a form called Trio Romantico. Casey discusses the history of the instrument and offers a plan of one particular example. With photos and a 2-page version of GAL Instrument Plan #54.

Meet the Maker: Dmitry Zhevlakov by Federico Sheppard
AL#89 p.38
\people \rosette \guitar\classical
This is not only the story of a Russian luthier who also makes beautiful rosettes for other builders, but is another example of how the Internet has changed the world — in this case for better.

Jim Norris’ Lattice Bracing by Brent Benfield
AL#89 p.42
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical \synthetics
Lattice bracing in various forms seems here to stay. Norris’ construction method uses graphite fibers in epoxy, and is unique in that it allows the guitar to be strung before the body is officially closed, permitting tuning of the top while the braces are still completely accessible.

Aluminum Sonatas by James Condino
AL#89 p.48
\synthetics \violin \mandolin \bass\viol
Musical instruments made of aluminum didn’t catch on. This doesn’t mean that a number of companies didn’t go into manufacture, or that the instruments weren’t good. Every luthier knows how fickle and finicky the market is, so it’s no wonder that metal stringed instruments weren’t welcomed by the playing public. Examined here are a violin, a mandolin, and a pair of bass viols. The bass viol stories are the most fun since the author has personal experience with them. Fun stuff!

Optimizing Playing Surface Geometry by R.M. Mottola
AL#89 p.56
\fingerboard\fretboard \tools\measuring
Most repair people know that on a fretboard with a tight radius the upper frets have to be milled flatter than the first frets if the player wants to bend strings without “fret-out.” Most just file several times until the get the results they are after. What they are really doing is trying to turn the playing surface into a conical section. Mottola’s method is more precise. Consider it the thinking man’s way to dress frets for the most optimum action.

The Chanlynn Deflection Machine by John Calkin
AL#89 p.62
\tools\jigs \tools\measuring \people
Gunsmith Mark Chanlynn built Calkin a machine to precisely measure the deflection of a guitar top under a constant weight. There are no plans here, but it’s pretty obvious how it works, and just as obvious how it might help you make better guitars.

Product Reviews by Alan Perlman and John Mello
AL#89 p.64
\tools\jigs \tool\power \reviews \binding
Both reviewers test fly the Luthiertool Binding Cutter Base, an attachment for a small router or laminate trimmer. Perlman is enthusiastic about the tool. Mello is a little less so but admits he’s glad he bought it.

Questions edited by R. M. Mottola
AL#89 p.66
\synthetics \violin \bass\viol \fingerboard\fretboard \wood\other
GAL members respond to questions about carving a bass scroll, the strength merits of carbon graphite fiber, the availability of bar fret stock, and the use of balsa wood in violin construction.

It Worked for Me
AL#89 p.68
\bridge\other \tools\clamps \tools\measuring
Members offer advice about nut intonation, vacuum clamping, and turning your drill press into a thickness gauge.

Summer 2007

In Memoriam: John Sullivan by Bruce Harvie
AL#90 p.3
People die every day; that’s the way of the world. But it still hurts to see one of our lutherie family join the departed, especially one so young and talented. Sullivan was a Northwest builder known mainly for mandolins, but he made many other fine instruments as well.

Mechanical Compliance for Soundboard Optimization by David Hurd
AL#90 p.8
\ukulele \guitar\classical \tools\measuring \tools\jigs \wood\selection
Hurd believes that the fastest way to great instruments is science, and it’s hard to argue with such a rational man. His jigs measure the deflection of top plates while under tension, and once he carves the top and braces to the numbers he wants he’s done. Period. Sort of makes intuition obsolete. This could also be math heavy if he didn’t offer an Internet spread sheet to ease the pain.

Meet the Maker: Douglas Martin by Barbara Goldowsky
AL#90 p.16
\people \violin \wood\other
Martin is the guy who’s turning the violin world upside down with his balsa wood fiddles. They look pretty bizarre but critics and musicians seem to agree that he’s on to something. He’s also a very interesting guy.

Taylor Today by Mark French
AL#90 p.22
\guitar\flattop \people \factory \computers
Taylor Guitars started out as the sort-of-goofy new kid on the block and has grown into the largest production steel string guitar facility in the country. Maybe you’ll learn something from this factory tour and maybe you won’t, but it’s always fascinating to see how the big guys do things. It’s the state of the art in large production.

Build Variation in a Group of Acoustic Guitars by Mark French and Kendall Brubaker
AL#90 p.28
\guitar\flattop \tools\measuring \factory
The authors measured frequency response of dozens of similar Taylor guitars using a hammer and a noncontacting laser displacement sensor. The big surprise was that guitars made of various woods didn’t differ very much. Well, some people were surprised.

Meet the Maker: Kenny Hill by Cyndy Burton
AL#90 p.32
\people \guitar\classical \philosophy \schools
Hill is an amazing man who has been a classical performer, a harvester of his own tonewood, a teacher of prisoners, an entrepreneur who has opened guitar factories in three countries, and a really nice guy. And more! Truly a fascinating individual.

Construction of the Colombian Tiple by Anamaria Paredes Garcia and R.M. Mottola
AL#90 p.40
\instruments\other \tools\jigs \tools\power
Cross a 12-string flattop with a classical guitar and you get the Colombian tiple, only the tiple has four courses of three steel strings. Inside, though, it’s a classical. Follow the construction of the instrument in the shop of Alberto Paredes in this photo tour. Sr. Paredes authored GAL Instrument Plan #51, Colombian Tiple. See American Lutherie #82.

Meet the Maker: Mervyn Davis by Rodney Stedall
AL#90 p.46
\people \guitar\classical \bracing\classical \wood\selection
Davis’ South African upbringing inspires a wonderful decorative sense in his instruments. He’s built a ton of different stuff but may end up best known for his wildly unique modular guitars called Smooth Talkers.

Kiaat by Rodney Stedall
AL#90 p.51
\wood\other \wood\selection
With all the wood varieties in the world it’s criminal that so few are accepted in lutherie. Have a look at kiaat, a wood used by South African luthiers.

Kiaat and Tambotie by Ron Bushman
AL#90 p.51
\wood\other \wood\selection
Another look at two varieties of wood used by South African luthiers.

“Cricket”: A Reclaimed Salvage Recovery by James Condino
AL#90 p.52
\wood\other \mandolin \wood\selection
Condino’s mandolin is made from recycled materials, mostly Douglas fir and katalox. It is unique and beautiful, and the story behind it is pretty cool, too.

Woodchopper’s Ball by Bruce Harvie
AL#90 p.54
\wood\dealers \wood\trees \wood\selection
Specialty woodcutters must be the hardest working people in lutherie, but they also seem to have the most fun. Not just a woodcutter, Harvie is also a treasure hunter supplying luthiers in the trade with wooden jewels. This story is great fun.

Partial Refrets by John Calkin
AL#90 p.58
\tools\hand \fingerboard\fretboard \repair\neck
Sometimes only a few frets need to be replaced. Here’s how and why to do it and an idea of how to charge for it. Another lesson from Instrument Repair 101.

Product Reviews by Harry Fleishman
AL#90 p.62
\reviews \electronics
The reviewer test drives the Shatten pickup winder as well as the Stewart-MacDonald pickup winding kits and finds the road a bit bumpy until the instructions are consulted, but in the end recommends all the equipment whole-heartedly.

Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
AL#90 p.66
\plans \violins \finish\oil \guitar\flattop \tools\measuring \gluing
Members answer questions about round-shouldered dreadnought plans, plans for a kit violin, tailpiece-style parlor guitars, Tru-Oil finish, hide glue, and a gauge for measuring radii. Quite a variety this time around, with photos and an old catalog illustration.

It Worked for Me
AL#90 p.68
\tool\power \bridge\guitar
Members show off two inventions -- the power fret bender and the optionally pinless flattop bridge. Cool beans!

FALL 2007

There’s a Hole in the Bucket by Cyndy Burton
AL#91 p.6
\guitar\classical \guitar\archtop \guitar\flattop \violin \cello
Burton’s micro history of sideports (holes in the sides, in addition to the front soundhole) in stringed instruments serves as an introduction to the next three articles. Luthiers she mentions include John Monteleone, Robert Ruck, Alain Bieber, Gennero Fabricatore, Kenny Hill, Alan Carruth, Roger Thurman, and Augustino LoPrinzi.

Sideways by John Monteleone
AL#91 p.8
\guitar\archtop \mandolin
Ace archtop builder Monteleone is an advocate of side soundports (holes in the sides, in addition to the front soundhole) and has employed them for over a decade. His article includes personal background, developmental work on his sideported instruments, and construction techniques.

Herr Helmholtz’ Tube by Mike Doolin
AL#91 p.11
\physics\guitar \guitar\flattop
The author found that a sideport (hole in the side, in addition to the front soundhole) in his guitar changed its voice in an undesirable way. Adding a bass reflex tube to the hole returned the guitar to a tonal range he liked. He remains luke warm to the benefits of side ports.

Three Holes are Better than One by Robert Ruck
AL#91 p.12
Ruck has been adding sideports (holes in the sides, in addition to the front soundhole) to his classical and flamenco guitars for many years and is a strong advocate of their advantages. The incidents that led him to incorporate ports are very interesting. He mentions Roger Thurman and Augustino LoPrinzi.

Meet the Maker: C.F. Martin IV by C.F. Martin IV
AL#91 p.14
\people \guitar\flattop \wood\other \factory \wood\selection
The author is the current chief of the venerable family business. He provides a candid look at Martin Guitar company history as well as a short examination of alternative wood varieties. Highly entertaining.

A Rare Glimpse Inside an Early Martin Guitar by Rob Hoffman
AL#91 p.19
This is a detailed examination of a parlor guitar by Martin that pre-dates the company’s famed X bracing.

Grading on the Curves by Steve Andersen
AL#91 p.24
\guitar\archtop \bridge\guitar \bracing\other \tools\power
This is a very detailed look at how a notable builder of archtop guitars fits tone bars and bridges to his instruments.

Meet the Merchant: Jay Hostetler by Jay Hargreaves
AL#91 p.32
Not only is Hostetler a long-time employee/leader at Stewart-MacDonald, he’s a really nice guy. He sidesteps a lot of personal history to give us an entertaining inside look at Stew-Mac, a major supplier of tools, parts, and materials to the lutherie trade and the hideout of several interesting and talented luthiers and musicians.

Gibson L-00 Flattop Guitar, Circa 1937 by Kerry Char
AL#91 p.35
Char presents a hasty but interesting look at Gibson’s L-series guitar while zeroing in on the L-00, probably the most desirable member of the family. Learn how it was made, why they failed structurally, and examine the 2-page version of GAL Instrument Plan #55.

Resawing Lutherie Wood by Bruce Creps
AL#91 p.40
\tools\power \wood\trees \tools\jigs \tools\created \wood\selection \sharpening
Just about everything you’ll need to know about setting up a bandsaw for resawing and getting the most yield from your lumber. The emphasis is on the Hitachi CB75F resaw, but much of the info will translate to other bandsaws. Included is a good side bar on resharpening bandsaw blades.

Sustain and Electric Guitar Neck Joint Type by R.M. Mottola
AL#91 p.52
\guitar\electric \neck
Using as-identical-as-possible mock guitars and scientific instruments the author concludes that bolt-on necks sustain longer than either neck-through or glued-in necks, but that there was no discernable difference in sustain perceptible to the humans used as test subjects — pretty surprising results.

Bow Rehairing by Paul Hill
AL#91 p.56
\violin \bow
There’s good money out there for the person who can nicely rehair violin-family bows, but it’s not easy to learn. Hill begins with laying out the work bench and methodically illuminates the rehairing process.

It Worked for Me
AL#91 p.66
\tools\jigs \tools\power \gluing
Readers contribute tips about fitting backs to guitar ribs, piggybacking drill press chucks, and improvising a cheap but satisfactory hide glue pot.

Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
AL#91 p.68
\dulcimer\hammered \neck \bass\electric \restoration \strings\guitar \guitar\classical
GAL members answer questions concerning the Greek santouri, early steel guitar string construction, the possibility of restoring badly damaged instruments, and beefing up classical guitars for additional 2-4 strings.

Winter 2007

Building with the Spanish Solera by Eugene Clark
AL#92 p.8
\tools\jigs \guitar\classical \tools\hand \gluing \philosophy
An American master of the classical guitar explains how he builds using the solera, a workboard with a radius scraped into the body area to provide a slightly arched top. Clark places a strong emphasis on proper layout and hand tools.

Meet the Maker: Scott Baxendale by Steve Wiencrot
AL#92 p.20
\people \tools\hand \guitar\flattop
Baxendale has lived a hyperactive life as a repairman and builder in several parts of America, including a stint working for Stuart Mossman and then as owner of the Mossman company, and repairman for the Hard Rock Cafe chain and Gruhn Guitars, before opening his own shops in Denver. Few luthiers live as hard or cover as much territory.

Intonation in the Real World by Mike Doolin
AL#92 p.26
\bridge\other \neck \fingerboard\fretboard \tuning\temperament
The author begins with a lengthy introduction to explain why guitars can’t play exactly in tune in every key, all the way to the point where music theory clashes with physics. It’s pretty deep but it’s fun. The cure for wayward guitars is to find what music a guitarist plays the most, and then adjust the action and intonation at both the nut and the saddle to find the most satisfactory compromise for that player. This is the thinking luthier’s approach to intonation correction.

The Santur by Javad Naini
AL#92 p.35
\plans \instrument\other \dulcimer\hammered
The santur is the Persian version of the hammered dulcimer, often tuned to scales that would make it unplayable by Western musicians. With photos and a 2-page version of GAL Instrument Plan #56.

Meet the Maker: Stephen Sedgwick by Jonathon Peterson
AL#92 p.40
\people \guitar\harp
Harp guitars fascinate a lot more people than actually play them, so it takes a brave luthier to jump into the field. Sedgwick comes off as a delightfully modest man who is determined to make harp guitars or bust. His guitars are smallish and choice. This is yet another interview that makes it clear that life is different in other countries (England, in this case), and understanding that is one of the best reasons to travel. A wonderful interview.

Brace Voicing Through the Access Panel by Harry Fleishman
AL#92 p.48
This is a transcript of Fleishman’s 2006 GAL Convention workshop. He demonstrated how he could tailor the sound of his guitar by adding, removing, and shaping braces. He also showed slide shows of a similar project by Mark Berry, and the process of cutting an access panel into a finished guitar by Darrel Adams.

Brave Shaver by Mark Swanson with John Calkin
AL#92 p.52
Mark Swanson brought a brand-new guitar to Harry Fleishman’s 2006 Convention workshop, and had the guts to recut the braces there under Harry’s tutelage with an audience of luthiers looking on. Everyone agreed the results were positive.

Grading and Curing Lumber by Bruce Creps
AL#92 p.54
\wood\other \wood\trees \wood\selection
Creps’ business is dealing wood to luthiers. He gives advice on dealing with the mills that process your log, how to store and dry the planks, and (in American Lutherie #91) how to resaw it into useful instrument wood. Perhaps most interesting is the number of ills that can befall wood, both as a tree and while curing. Laying out boards for the prettiest sets and the greatest yield is also covered.

Product Review: Samson Zoom H4 Recorder by Harry Fleishman
AL#92 p.62
\reviews \electronics
Can you think of uses for a small CD-quality, digital recorder that interfaces with your computer? If not, skip this review. If you’d like to demo your latest guitar on your website, or analyze its tonal spectrum, then maybe this machine is for you. It’s fairly inexpensive, very portable, and Harry likes it.

Review: Building the Kamanche by Nasser Shirazi reviewed by Barbara Goldowsky
AL#92 p. 64
\instruments\other \people
“Mr. Shirazi’s book give clear and precise direction for building all the parts” of this Persian instruments, as well as information about building five different body types. This is perhaps the only American Lutherie book review that includes a nice interview with the author.

Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
AL#92 p.66
\business\promotion \bending \electronics
GAL members answer questions about dealing with instrument dealers and appropriate mark-ups, techniques for controlling temperature while bending sides, and measuring the top layer of a double-top guitar after construction (you can’t, so far).

It Worked for Me
AL#92 p.68
\neck \tools\jigs
Readers contribute tips about an adjustable neck system and a five-piece inside guitar mold.

In Memoriam: Victor Gardener by Chris Dungey
AL#92 p.70
\people \violin \wood\trees
Oregon violin maker Gardener was an influential luthier who lived a very long life. He is famous for mentoring younger luthiers in the skills of selecting and cutting trees (see “Logging Luthiers,” BRB2 p.446 AL#24 p.13). It always hurts when another member of the tribe passes on.

Spring 2008

Meet Robert Ruck by Jonathon Peterson
AL#93 p.10
\people \guitar\classical \wood\other \bracing\classical \gluing
Ruck has been one of the bright lights among American classical guitar makers for a long time, and this lengthy interview not only shows him to be a fascinating individual with an interesting history, but dwells at some length on the development of his guitars and the bracing patterns and other features he has evolved. Among his influences are Juan Mercadal, John Shaw, Hart Huttig, Neil Ostberg, and Manuel Barrueco.

Harp Guitars: Past, Present, and Future by Mike Doolin, Kerry Char, Gary Southwell, and Fred Carlson
AL#93 p.20
\guitar\harp \strings\guitar
Harp guitars have undergone a renaissance of sorts, in construction alternatives as well as the music that is being invented for them. Players want banks of super treble strings as well as an extended bass range. Luthiers have responded with new designs and different string configurations that make newer harp guitars more user friendly, more graceful, and musically more pertinent. The four members of this panel discussion are among the leading small builders of these interesting mega-guitars.

A Mid-19th-Century Martin Guitar by Jeff Liverman
AL#93 p.35
\plans \guitar\flattop
No size designation is given to this Martin, and no dimensions are printed on the scaled down plans reproduced in the magazine. The author’s guess is that the guitar was made in the 1840-1850 period. Though we automatically assume that a flattop guitar uses steel strings, Martin guitars of this period invariably were intended for gut strings and reproductions intended for use with steel strings should use very light strings indeed. Complete full-size plans for this guitar are available as GAL Instrument Plan #57.

Meet the Forester: Andrea Florinett by Greg Hanson
AL#93 p.38
\wood\trees \people \wood\soft
Author Hanson spent two weeks in Switzerland harvesting and processing lumber and tonewood with the Florinett family, who supply the guitar business with 7000 quality spruce tops each year. Florinett is a certified forester who is as concerned with the healthy harvesting of tree stands as with making the most and best use of the wood. The morality of business is also his concern if he is to help his village, his country, as well as the future of his family business. This is a compelling look at an end of the lutherie business that few of us even think about. With photos and a sketch of Picea abies subspecies.

Geometric Design of the Stradivari Model G Violin, Part One: Mold and Template by Robert J. Spear
AL#93 p.46
\physics\math \violin \tools\measuring
The author’s goal is to demonstrate that the Cremonese fiddle makers used geometry based on the Golden Mean to design their instruments. This installment concerns the body outline.

Fabio’s Excellent Nicaraguan Adventure by Mike Moger
AL#93 p.56
\schools \guitar\classical \people
Three luthiers travel to war-ravaged Nicaragua to teach a class in guitar making. Why? It’s an effort to aid job diversity and economic growth to an area often reduced to subsistence farming for a living.

Product Reviews: Mandolin tuners by James Condino
AL#93 p.60
\mandolin \tuners \tools\jigs \reviews
Condino rates all the commonly available mandolin tuners and explains why spending $500 for the best set available might make good economic sense. He also likes the Stew-Mac mandolin peghead drill jig.

Quick Cuts: An Experimental Carbon-Reinforced Guitar by Peter Vile
AL#93 p.64
\synthetics \guitar\classical \bridge\guitar
The author gives us a quick look at his carbon fiber/balsa, lattice-braced guitars with wingless bridges, and what he achieved with them. He mentions Kasha/Schneider, Greg Smallman, Jurgen Meyer, and Gila Eban.

Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
AL#93 p.66
\business\ethics \business\other \wood\other \instruments\other \fingerboard\fretboard
What are the ethics and implications of associating your lutherie business with the GAL? What’s up with the weird fretboards of the orpharion? Do local Northern Hemisphere woods make good guitars? How do I determine the scale length of an instrument if part of the fretboard is missing? Members supply intriguing answers to mysterious questions. With one photo of an orpharion.

It Worked For Me
AL#93 p.68
\tools\power \tools\hand
Members explain how to make kerfed lining and how to make a “side-pusher-outer” jack using Friendly Plastic.

Reviews: La Chitarra di Liuteria — Masterpieces of Guitar Making, by Stefano Grondona and Luca Waldner, reviewed by Tom Harper
AL#93 p.70
\guitar\classical \reviews
The reviewer much admires this book that attempts to supply the reader with an emotional appreciation of specific guitars made during the late 18th century to the mid-20th century.

Summer 2008

Constructing the Middle Eastern Oud with Peter Kyvelos, Part One by R.M. Mottola
AL#94 p.8
\instruments\other \people \lute
The oud, of course, is the Arabic ancestor of the lute, as well as being a popular contemporary instrument in many parts of the world. Kyvelos has been building them since 1970. The story offers a bit of background on the oud, a few of its recent historical builders, and Kyvelos himself, though most emphasis is placed upon the construction of the instrument. This part mostly concerns the construction of the bowl of the instrument.

Meet the Collectors: Forderer and Westbrook by Cyndy Burton
AL#94 p.18
\guitar\classical \people
As presented in this interview, Jim Forderer and Jim Westbrook are both collectors of guitars of the 19th century, a time period which included the development of the classical guitar. But most of their examples are about the evolution of that instrument and not about the finished post-Torres species. They are unique individuals with strange and wonderful tastes in guitars. With photos and a dendrochronological analysis of the top of a very early Martin guitar.

Geometric Design of the Stradivari Model G Violin, Part Two: f-holes by Robert J. Spear
AL#94 p.30
\physics\math \violin
The second installment of how geometry might have been used to design the Cremonese violin. Part One was in American Lutherie #93.

Meet the Maker: Paul Fischer by Woodley White
AL#94 p.36
\people \guitar\classical
Fischer has been building guitars for 50 years and has completed over 1000 instruments. He apprenticed as a harpsichord maker, then learned guitar making from David Rubio. As with any good interview, it quickly becomes apparent that who we are is more fascinating than what we do.

The Venezuelan Cuatro by Aquiles Torres
AL#94 p.42
\instruments\other \plans
This instrument is a small 4-string guitar with 14 frets clear of the body and no frets over the body, a flush fretboaard,a nd a large veneer tap plate. Note: the Cuatro built for the article has 17 frets clear of the body. The story includes photos and a shrunken version of GAL Instrument Plan #58.

The MacRostie Mandolin Deflection Jig by Don MacRostie
AL#94 p.50
\tools\jigs \mandolin \tools\measuring \wood\soft
MacRostie’s clever jig measures the top deflection of a carved mandolin under string load at any stage of its construction. It is a valuable tool within the reach of any luthier.

The “Corker” Guitar: A Sideport Experiment by Alan Carruth
AL#94 p.56
\physics\guitar \rosette
Carruth built a classical guitar with many ports cut in the side. By closing the ports with corks in various combinations he tested the usefulness of sideports and tried to establish the physics behind their use. Though this guitar did not make a believer out of him, he admits that his results are somewhat inconclusive. With one photo and a slew of charts and figures concerning the air modes of his guitar with various sideports open.

Reviews: Step by Step Guitar Making by Alex Willis reviewed by John Mello
AL#94 p.63
\reviews \guitar\flattop
The reviewer finds this book to be a useful addition to the beginning luthier’s library, but that it falls short of being a stand alone teaching text.

Quick Cuts: Chris Pantezelos’ 7-String Classical Guitar by R.M. Mottola
AL#94 p.64
\bracing\classical \guitar\classical
The builder followed the work of Greg Smallman in this lattice-braced guitar, though he omitted the carbon fiber used in Smallman’s designs. He found the system to be so successful that he abandoned traditional brace patterns in subsequent guitars.

Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
AL#94 p.66
\repair\crack \wood\other
Members answer questions about repairing cracks in a solidbody guitar, using yellow pine as a top wood, and using alternative woods and phenolics as fretboards.

It Worked for Me
AL#94 p.68
\sanding \instruments\other
Readers contribute a method for making bouzouki hitch pins and cleaning the wood junk out of sanding belts.

Fall 2008

The Al-Tho Design, an Experiment in Classical Guitar Bracing by Alain Bieber
AL#95 p.8
\bracing\guitar \guitar\classical
Amateur luthier Bieber and his professional mentor pursue a new direction in classical guitar bracing that spans 10 guitars over the course of the article. Although Greg Smallman is quoted as an inspiration, the Al-Tho designs look nothing like the lattice system we’ve become familiar with. Nor do they look like anything else seen to date. Very interesting stuff.

Meet the Maker: Norman Pickering by N.P. with Barbara Goldowsky
AL#95 p.14
\people \physics\violin
Pickering invented the phonograph cartridge named after him, but that’s just for starters. He’s spent a long lifetime researching and teaching acoustics, inventing clocks and aircraft instruments, working with medical ultrasonics, flying his own plane, researching bowed instruments, and playing viola in chamber ensembles. Just to name a few of his activities. A very interesting and intellectually restless man.

Constructing the Middle Eastern Oud with Peter Kyvelos, Part Two by R.M. Mottola
AL#95 p.18
\instruments\other \lute
The oud is the Arabic ancestor of the lute, as well as being a popular contemporary instrument in many parts of the world. Part One of this two-part series was printed in AL#94. This part concerns the construction of the soundboard and neck of the instrument.

Meet the Maker: Chuck Lee by Stephen Kinnaird
AL#95 p.26
\people \banjo
Lee is a prominent maker of old-time open-back banjos, ex-plumber, dedicated Christian, and Texas-style family man. Cool guy, and his banjos are interesting, too.

From Trash to Treasure by Tobias Braun
AL#95 p.32
\guitar\classical \restoration \repair\crack \repair\other \repair\neck \binding
Braun took on the job of restoring a massively injured Spanish factory guitar made approximately in 1900. This is not only a close look at how such work is done, but an examination of how these guitars were made. It’s not a Torres, but it’s pretty cool. With photos and 4 catalog page reproductions.

Geometric Design of the Stradivari Model G Violin, Part Three: The Scroll by Robert J. Spear
AL#95 p.44
\physic\math \violin
Did the Cremonese fiddle makers use geometry to plot the design of their violins? Can geometry explain the size relationships of violin parts and details? Spear thinks so. This is the third and final installment printed in sequential issues of American Lutherie.

Meet the Maker: Dan Fobert by Andy Avera
AL#95 p.50
\people \tools\clamps \guitar\archtop
Fobert is a Texas builder of archtop guitars who is unusually obsessed with making as many of the parts for his guitar as possible, not including (yet!) the tuners. There are luthiers who worship old guitars and work to reproduce them, and luthiers who can’t be bothered with something that’s already been done. Fobert is one of the latter.

Casting Custom Plastic Pickup Rings by Dan Fobert
AL#95 p.55
\synthetics \repair\other
You can make your own plastic pickup rings. No kiddin’! And it doesn’t seem like a real big deal. A little thought should uncover many other uses for the materials mentioned here.

Accidental Exotics by Mike Brittain
AL#95 p.57
Brittain is a Florida luthier obsessed with hunting down the tonewood trees that came to his home state either as infestations or introduced ornamentals. It turns out there’s lots of Indian rosewood growing in Florida, and many trees that have to be removed due to “progress” or storm damage. We can’t let them go to waste, can we Mike?

Florida Gold by John Calkin
AL#95 p.59
\wood\other \guitar\flattop
Mike Brittain (see previous article) sent a set of Florida rosewood to the GAL office, and the office staff looked around for someone to build a guitar out of it. Calkin answered the call. Well, someone had to scarf up the free wood, didn’t they? That Mike Brittain’s a swell guy, isn’t he? So this is the story of one particular guitar. By the way, the Florida rosewood in question is Dalbergia sissoo, not the Dalbergia latifolia most often used for guitars. But it looks great, works great, and sounds great.

Product Reviews: Plasti-Dip and the Stewart-MacDonald Binding Laminator by John Calkin
AL#95 p.62
\binding \synthetics \tools\clamps
The reviewer gives a thumbs up to Plasti-Dip, a thick liquid used to apply a plastic coating to tools, and to the Stew-Mac Binding Laminator, used to lay up various combinations of plastic or celluloid bindings and purflings.

Reviews: Classical Guitar Making, A Modern Approach to Traditional Design, by John S. Bogdonovich reviewed by John Mello
AL#95 p.64
\reviews \guitar\classical
The reviewer finds this book to be “an impressive achievement, a logical first choice of the available stand-alone methods for classical guitar construction.”

Reviews: Guitar Voicing Class with Ervin Somogyi by Joe Herrick
AL#95 p.65
\bracing\flattop \bracing\classical \wood\soft
The reviewer not only learned a lot about choosing tops and designing brace patterns, he had a very good time. The class took him beyond building generic guitars and into the realm of building the specific guitars that he and\or his customers want to hear.

Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
AL#95 p.66
\inlay \mandolin \wood\other \strings\tension
If you’ve got questions we’ll find somebody with an answer. This time the questions concern the search for inlay patterns, mandolin X bracing, the effect of constant detuning on guitar performance, and the availability of kauri wood.

It Worked for Me
AL#95 p.68
\tools\measuring \bridge\guitar \tools\created \sanding \finish\water-base
Cool beans! Here’s member information about laying out instruments with a laser beam, making or finding an inexpensive surface plate, improving the Selmer-Maccaferri bridge, and using an air-drive sander for finish work.

In Memoriam: Thomas Humphrey by Stephan Connor
AL#95 p.70
Humphrey was renowned as an innovative contemporary creator of classical guitars.

Winter 2008

Letter to Editor by John Calkin
AL#96 p.3
\philosophy \business\ethics \business\other
Calkin’s letter is concerned with repair shop work ethics, customer relations, and job burnout. It’s really about an old-timer surveying modern society and finding it lacking in some ways.

A Life in Lutherie: A Discussion with Manuel Velasquez and His Son Alfredo, by Robert Ruck and Jeffrey R. Elliott
AL#96 p.8
\guitar\classical \wood\soft \wood\hard \people \finish\varnish
Manuel Velasquez built his first guitar in 1929. Can you imagine that? His son Alfredo is carrying on the tradition, though Manuel has not retired. He has definite opinions about what woods make the best guitar and how they should be finished. He is a giant in the business and must be admired for his tenacity as much as his ability. And a fun interview to boot. Mentions Bobri, Andres Segovia, Torres, Santos Hernandez, and Hermann Hauser.

Meet the Maker: Kathy Wingert by Cyndy Burton
AL#96 p.18
\people \guitar\flattop \inlay \guitar\harp
Wingert has as extensive a lutherie background as anyone, and even does Chladni glitter tests on her guitars (which, by the way, look exquisite). Her daughter Jimi has a growing reputation as an inlay artist. How rare is a mother/daughter team in lutherie? Mentions Bob Mattingly, Larry Robinson and Harvey Leach.

The Jimi Inlay Experience by Cyndy Burton
AL#96 p.24
\people \inlay
Jimi Wingert seems like a cool and talented young woman with a growing clientele for fine inlay work. Oh, to have the funds to travel the country to meet all these people. Mentions Harvey Leach and Larry Robinson.

The Columbian Andean Bandola by Luis Alberto Paredes Rodriguez and Manuel Bernal Martinez
AL#96 p.28
\instruments\other \plans
The Andean bandola (isn’t that cool to say? Makes you want to have one) looks like a big 6-course flattop mandolin, though it stems just as much from the guitar. Bandola development went into over drive during the 1960s and continues today. In fact, the authors have developed a bandola family. One version owes a lot to the ever-influential Greg Smallman. With photos, a string gauge chart, and a tuning chart. Includes reduced image of GAL Instrument Plan #59.

Curtate Cycloid Arching by Dave Cohen
AL#96 p.26
\physic\math \mandolin \guitar\archtop
There are reasons why you might wish to describe the arch of an instrument mathematically. You might also wish to create an arch template by using math. Here’s a way to go about it. This is not for the math challenged among us.

Meet the Maker: Ted Davis by James Condino
AL#96 p.42
\people \wood\soft \wood\hard \guitar\flattop \mandolin
Davis’ lutherie exploits goes back to the ’70s. He was one of the first of the recent red spruce believers, and he harvested many trees to supply himself and a few others who were lucky enough to key into his business. He made guitars, mandolins, and dulcimers to support his hotrod automobile habit. He had strong opinions about wood that run counter to modern beliefs, and had the experience to back them up. Davis died before the interview was published. He will be missed.

A Homemade Magnetic Thickness Gauge by Alain Bieber
AL#96 p.49
\tools\measuring \tools\created
You, too, can make a gauge for measuring the plate thickness of finished instrument, and Bieber’s tool comes in at 1/30th the cost of a commercial tool.

Uke Making for Guitar Makers by Bob Gleason
AL#96 p.50
\ukulele \tools\created \finish\lacquer \wood\other
A low key (not to mention fun) description of how uke making varies from guitar making. Gleason also describes some of the varieties Hawaiian wood he likes to work with, a slick method for removing lacquer from the bridge foot print, and some of the construction tricks he has come up with. Owning a shop in Hawaii must surely take the lutherie life to another level.

Blind Listening Evaluation of Classical Guitar Soundports by R.M. Mottola
AL#96 p.54
Do you believe that soundports on the side of a guitar make a difference to the sound perception of the guitarist? Do you believe they don’t? Either way, you should read this article. It may change the way you build guitars, but it won’t give you more faith in the hearing of humans, even of professional musicians.

Peg Shapers That You Can Adjust by David Golber
AL#96 p.58
\violin \tools\created \tuners
The author got tired of hard-to-use commercial peg shapers, so he made a better one of his own. He describes it as a tool for actual human beings.

Inlaid Splices by John Thayer
AL#96 p.60
\repair\crack \tools\power
Don’t put a repair patch on top of the wood, put it in the wood! Probably for carved tops only, but a fine idea (and pretty, for you folks who like to peek inside of instruments.

Reviews: The Guitar in America, Victorian Era to Jazz Age by Jeffrey J. Noonan reviewed by Don Overstreet
AL#96 p.62
\banjo \mandolin \guitar\archtop \guitar\flattop \reviews
The book is about the Banjo, Mandolin, and Guitar Movement that ended with the Great Depression. While the reviewer admits that there is little here for luthiers, there is a ton of interesting material for the musical history buff. This time is where many of the instrument icons we all copy came from.

Reviews: Building the Selmer-Maccaferri Guitar by Michael Collins reviewed by John Calkin
AL#96 p.63
\reviews \guitar\other \humor
The reviewer enjoyed this 14-hour DVD set but advises that it’s not the last word in the construction of a fine guitar.

Google Calculator and the Guitar’s Magic Number by William Leirer
AL#96 p.68
\tuning\temperament \physics\math \fingerboard\fretboard
Did you know that the Google search engine has a calculator? This piece is a math lover’s dream. There’s lot of formulae. The goal is to lay out a fret pattern for any scale length, then find the perfect intonation point for it. You’ll need a pretty good guitar tuner to take advantage of the process. All you math challenged luthiers out there, just say “Duh. . . .”

Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
AL#96 p.68
\wood\other \tools\hand \people \fingerboard\fretboard
Questions abound, and with luck we get answers. And while you may not care today, tomorrow they may be important, so keep them around. This time----who was\is that luthier Craig Peterson? What musical value should we place on common Northern Hemisphere species of wood, and what is caramelization? Who made the finger planes for D’Angelico and D’Aquisto, and where can we get copies? And how do those guys extend the bass string fretboard back onto the headstock? Knowing stuff is fun, isn’t it?

Spring 2009

New Directions in Violin Making by Joseph Curtin
AL#97 p.4
\violin \bridge\violin \fingerboard\fretboard \neck \wood\other

It turns out that virtually every aspect of the violin can be altered to make it more playable, more visually interesting, and perhaps better sounding. What a relief! There’s life in the old girl yet. Are players brave enough to get on board?

Meet the Maker: Michael Dunn by Jonathon Peterson
AL#97 p.18
\people \guitar\flattop \guitar\other \guitar\harp \schools

Canadian Dunn studied guitar making in Spain but ended up specializing in Maccaferri-style guitars. He uses an internal soundbox similar to the original design. His use of wood inlay and marquetry, as well as his choice of body woods is original, playful, and stunning. He is also a lutherie teacher of note. Read this and have fun.

What is the Flamenco Guitar? By Richard Brune, Eugene Clark, John Park, and Jeffrey Elliott
AL#97 p.28
This is a transcription of a 2006 GAL convention panel discussion. Put a tap plate on a classical guitar; now do you have a flamenco guitar? Differences between the two guitars have largely been accentuated by the modern need to specialize and categorize. But beyond that, this is a fascinating conversation between four of the leading builders in the field and you don’t have to be a maker of nylon strung guitars to enjoy the details they offer and their pleasure in each others company.

Meet the Maker: Graham McDonald by John Calkin
AL#97 p.42
\people \mandolin \instruments\other
Aussie McDonald has built many sorts of instruments, though he has come to specialize in mandolins and bouzoukis and has written a pair of books about their construction. He has also contributed a number of articles to American Lutherie over the years. It becomes apparent that life is different in Australia. We should all take a field trip there.

Restoring a Battle Axe by Roger Skipper
AL#97 p.48
\guitar\flattop \repair\crack \repair\other
Skipper decides to save the life of a Martin D-28 that most of us would use for spare parts and firewood. A new top is made and severely cracked sides and back are restored to usefulness by interesting techniques that offer strength and renewed life rather than cosmetic perfection. In other words, a repair that mere mortals can afford. Good job!

A Method for the Design of the Guitar Body Outline by R.M. Mottola
AL#97 p.52
\plans \physics\math
No, you won’t find plans for any particular instrument here, or even any plan in the conventional GAL sense. This article is about intelligently laying out the body shape of a guitar using 11 parameters. Don’t let your brain glaze over yet, this isn’t about geometry or classical design theory, it’s about using simple design elements to create graceful body shapes using several historical outlines as examples and then moving on to shapes you might create to make the guitar more beautiful or efficient (to you, at least). There is some math (horrors!) but of a simple variety mostly embodying ratios.

Spherical Workboard Update by Brent Benfield
AL#97 p.62
Benfield builds in the Spanish style using a solera, or arched workboard, attached to an extension for the neck. The jig has been addressed before in these pages, even by Benfield, but the current version offers updates that make the jig more accurate and useful.

Reviews: The Mandolin Project by Graham McDonald reviewed by John Calkin
AL#97 p.64
\mandolin \reviews
The reviewer is very pleased with this manual that presents the construction of four different styles of mandolin. The instruction is concise and the illustrations well done.

Reviews: French Polishing for Guitarmakers 2.0 by Dr. Ronald Louis Fernandez reviewed by Tom Harper
AL#97 p.65
\reviews \finish\shellac
Beginners often face the prospect of French polishing with some trepidation. As in many facets of lutherie, video is usually a better instructor than text. With only a few reservations the reviewer finds this DVD to be a clear and concise tutorial.

It Worked for Me
AL#97 p.67
A drill press is rebuilt to make the depth stop adjustment
accurate to .001".

Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
AL#97 p.68
\finish\lacquer \bass\viol \rosette \plans \guitar\baroque \finish\oil
GAL members and other experts offer answers: How did Jimmy D’Aquisto finish his guitars? Why do some double basses have outside linings? How do I make oval rosettes? Where can I get plans for a rebec? How is the vaulted back of a baroque guitar made? Does olive oil make as good a finish as it does a salad dressing?

Summer 2009

Letter to the Editor by Kenny Hill
AL#98 p.3
Hill’s letter is a response to R.M. Mottola’s article in American Lutherie #96 about sound ports, which found that in one controlled experiment, experienced listeners were generally not able to hear a difference. Hill maintains that the science and his personal experience are at odds, and that he is willing to stand by his personal experience. To be continued, no doubt.

The Archtop Guitar: Perspectives on the Present and Future by Steve Grimes, Ted Megas, Tom Rebbecke, and Jeff Elliott
AL#98 p.6
This article is taken from a 2008 GAL convention panel discussion. Seems like these discussions are getting livelier and more interesting, no matter what field of lutherie may draw you the most. The interaction makes the archtop guitar seem more vital, and we’ll bet you’ll be drawn in. Perhaps changes are in the air. Nylon strings? Chambered bodies? Oh, they won’t threaten the old jazz box too much, but it’s good to know that nothing remains forever unchanged.

Meet the Maker: Cyndy Burton by Tim Olsen
AL#98 p.18
\people \guitar\classical \finish\shellac
Burton has been tenacious in her pursuit of the classical guitar, traveling widely and learning from the likes of William Cumpiano, Eugene Clark, and Jeffrey Elliott, making a name for herself in what has largely been a man’s world. We’re all members of her fan club and rejoice at finally knowing more about her.

Electric Guitar Setup by Erik Coleman and Elliot John-Conry
AL#98 p.28
\guitar\electric \tools\jigs \tools\hand
Two disciples of Dan Erlewine explain the latest techniques of setting up the electric guitar. All the details and specs are there, as well as a bit of philosophy. OK, not too much philosophy, but this is a chunk of fun taken from their 2006 GAL convention presentation and they function well in front of a crowd.

Restoring a Church Bass by Frederick C. Lyman
AL#98 p.34
\bass\viol \repair\other \restoration
There’s not a lot of detail to this piece, but there’s nice story telling and some philosophy to live by. Lyman has been involved in the bass world since before the GAL, and whatever he has to say about it is important (and usually fun).

Meet the Maker: James Buckland by John Calkin
AL#98 p.36
\people \guitar\classical \guitar\other
Buckland is a classical performer and teacher who also builds guitars, not an unheard of combination but a rare one. He is especially knowledgeable about guitar history and the little known Terz guitar, on which he is an authority. If that sounds dull you should also know that he started as a Canadian lefty who was initially inspired by Jimi Hendrix, among other rockers. He’s still a lefty, but now we have him in America. Canada has probably been sulking ever since.

Two Tuvan Instruments by Thomas Johnson
AL#98 p.44
\instruments\other \skin \plans
The instruments are the igil and the morin khuur. They may figure prominently on the top of the pops in Tuva, but have you heard of them. Both are fretless and played with a bow. One is covered in goat or fish skin and one is not. Either would have looked right in place in “Conan the Barbarian”. (That’s a compliment.) Full scale plans are available as GAL Instrument plan #60.

Fretboard Slotting with a CNC Router by John Svizzero and R.M. Mottola
AL#98 p.46
\tools\power \computers
Both authors made their own CNC machines, which impresses the heck out of us. The coolest thing about CNC fret slotting, aside from the dead certain accuracy, is the ability to cut slots with blind ends. Unbound fretboards can look bound. All the machine specs you’ll need to duplicate their efforts are included, and even us dummies can grasp what they’re about.

Dulcimer 101 by John Calkin
AL#98 p.48
\dulcimer\fretted \bending \tools\power \gluing
Calkin was inspired to write this by pleas from readers for more entry level stories. Dulcimers are needlessly maligned and in need of advocates, and the author is a strong one. Tools and jiggery are kept to a minimum to make construction as accessible as possible without hurting the integrity of the finished instrument. Beginning luthiers should stop complaining and get to work!

Using the Golden Section to Design a Kamanche by Ahanali Jahandideh, Mitra Jahandideh, Hadi Abbaszadeh, and Samad Jahandideh
AL#98 p.57
\instruments\other \physics\math \skin
The Kamanche is a Persian bowed instrument with a skin head. The authors use a ratio of the value of phi to define the shape of its body, a trick violin makers have used for a long time.

A Survey of Guitar Making Books by Graham McDonald
AL#98 p.58
\reviews \guitar\flattop \guitar\classical \guitar\archtop
The author rounds up a collection of acoustic guitar making manuals currently available to help us separate the wheat from the chaff. The serious student will no doubt end up with several of these books, but McDonald will help you decide which ones to buy first. Includes jacket photos of all the books discussed.

Product Reviews by Andy Mowry
AL#98 p.65
\tools\hand \mandolin \reviews
The author reviews the spoon plane and finds that it is more efficient at removing large quantities of wood when carving mandolin plates than the gouges he used to use, and it’s also easier on the carver, a not insignificant benefit.

It Worked for Me
AL#98 p.66
\tools\power \tools\jigs \guitar\flattop \guitar\classical
Two segments appear this time. The first uses an electric drill and a hole saw to create sound ports in the side of a finished guitar. The second utilizes a paper form to help create the side profiles of a wedge shaped guitar body — that is, a body deeper on the treble side than the bass side.

Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
AL#98 p.68
\business\accounting \bending \instruments\other \strings\tension \plans
If you’ve got questions, our members have answers, at least most of the time. This time the column concerns deducting the value of a charitable instrument donation from ones taxes, suitable temperatures for bending various species of wood, the instruments and tools of Joseph Bohmann, plans for a plucked psaltery, and the purity of string tones compared to tension.

In Memoriam: Lance McCollum by Harvey Leach
AL#98 p.71
Another member of the tribe passes on too soon.

Fall 2009

Letter to the Editor by Thomas Johnson
AL#99 p.3
\ukulele \wood\other
Johnson’s letter introduces us to English uke maker Ray Cowell, who began his career by making instruments from wood retrieved from the ocean liner RMS Olympic, sister ship to the ill-fated Titanic.

Letter to the Editor by Ron Fernandez
AL#99 p.3
\finish\shellac \reviews
Fernandez offers corrections to Tom Harper’s review of his instruction DVD French Polishing for Guitarmakers 2.0.

Letter to the Editor by Mary Monteiro
AL#99 p.5
Monteiro tells of the death of her friend, luthier Ivo Pires.

Building for Playability by David Freeman
AL#99 p.7
\guitar\flattop \guitar\classical \bass\flattop \bass\electric
Some features of guitar construction make the instrument functional for normal humans and tuneful music making, and getting them wrong can/will destroy the guitars usefulness. Other features aren’t necessary but may make the instrument more comfortable to play or offer extended musical capabilities. Freeman addresses both aspects in this article taken from his 2008 GAL convention workshop. He’s not the least bit shy about reconfiguring the guitar’s shape or features to make musicians better and happier. Whether or not you wish to make such alterations, much of this stuff you better know if you wish to make musical instruments rather than guitar-shaped objects.

Understanding Neck Rake by John Calkin
AL#99 p.11
\neck \guitar\flattop
It sounds pretty high-falutin’ to talk about the geometry of the guitar, but in the lightest sense it’s a useable conceit. If the angles of the top design and neck joint aren’t right, you won’t get an instrument that anybody wants to play, or can play. The author uses a mechanical, rather than mathematical, system to lay out the neck in relation to the body. You don’t have to know the angle, you just have to be intelligent. This, if you are a GAL member, is a given.

Meet the Maker: David Cohen by Roger Alan Skipper
AL#99 p.14
\mandolin \people
Cohen’s life followed an unusual progression — scientist, professor, mandolin maker, sort of in that order. He has a different take on instrument theory than some of us, but the work is the same as is the hard road most luthiers walk. Fortune and fame are elusive, regardless of ones background, but at least the work is satisfying. Cohen is also the author of several scientific papers concerning mandolins. His instruments look quite tasty. Mentions Michael Kasha.

Dana Hears, Voices: Optimizing Steel String Soundboard Response by Dana Bourgeois
AL#99 p.22
\bracing\flattop \physics\guitar
Taken from his 2008 GAL convention lecture, the author explains the basic functioning of a guitar top and how he manipulates the plates and braces to achieve the sound he’s after. Mostly, he says, he’s after the most different tap tones that the top and back can produce, but there are many other details given along the way. Bourgeois is often regarded as one of the champions of tap tuning.

Developing the Modern 20-String Concert Harp Guitar by Jeffrey Elliott
AL#99 p.30
\guitar\harp \plans
Even if you don’t care much about harp guitars you’ll enjoy the thought processes that went into the series of instruments documented in this article. If you are into harp guitars this is a must read. The initial harp guitar developed by John Sullivan, John Doan, and Jeffrey Elliott owed little to similar instruments of the past other than a basic shape, and the harp guitars which came after that first one have refined the new ideas. With photos of complete and instruments progress, a string gauge and tuning chart, and a mini-plan of 1986 guitar that started the series. Full-size plans are available as GAL Instrument Plan #61.

Electric Bass Design Considerations by Veronica Merryfield, David Minnieweather, and Harry Fleishman
AL#99 p.38
\bass\viol \bass\electric
As a panel discussion at the 2008 GAL convention this must have been the one not to miss. As an article it is engaging and intriguing. Why do electric bass makers get to have all this freedom and the rest of us have to make copies of stuff that appeared before we were born? Bass players seem to always have had more open minds than other musicians, and these three authors have certainly pushed the envelope.

Make a Dished Workboard, Freehand by Ryan Schultz
AL#99 p.52
\tools\jigs \computers \physics\math
There’s just enough math here to make our brains cloud over, so most folks should get along OK. If you’re cheap and want a solid one-piece dish, it should work just fine.

Meet the Maker: John Calkin by Lamar Scomp
AL#99 p.54
A long-time contributor to American Lutherie exposes himself.

Parametric Models of Guitar Cutaways by R.M. Mottola
AL#99 p.60
\physics\math \computers
Do you know why certain parts of our lives can’t be altered? Because smarter people than us are in control. If you are artistic enough, you can lay out a nice guitar shape with just a pencil and paper. If you are smart enough (not that being smart negates the possibility of artistic talent) you can use geometric forms and even a computer to shape a graceful guitar. This story is for smart people.

It Worked for Me
AL#99 p.65
\bridge\guitar \bridge\other \neck \guitar\archtop
In one bundle we are offered a new design in archtop guitar bridge construction, an adjustable neck (no details), and a cool way to hide pickup controls in a side sound port. Way cool!

Reviews: Engineering the Guitar: Theory and Practice by Richard Mark French reviewed by Bill Greenwood
AL#99 p.66
\reviews \physics\math
This book is aimed at “a niche audience of mathematically literate students who are relatively new to the details of guitar structure....” The reviewer decides it is a successful effort.

Review: Lyre-guitar: Etoile charmante, between the 18th and 19th centuries by Eleonora Vulpiani reviewed by John Doan
AL#99 p.67
\reviews \guitar\other
The reviewer admires this book that takes a serious look at the lyre-guitar, an instrument that most of us — even those with a bent for history — give short shrift.

Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
AL#99 p.68
\strings\tension \inlay \guitar\other
Members furnish answers to questions about string inharmonicity, working with horn, and “who made this parlor guitar?”

In Memoriam: Dennis Stevens by Harry Fleishman
AL#99 p.70
Another member of the tribe puts down his chisels.

In Memoriam: Rob Girdis by Rick Davis
AL#99 p.71
Another tribe member passes on, and is fondly remembered.

Winter 2009

Letter to the Editor by Alan Carruth
AL#100 p.4
Carruth, a frequent American Lutherie contributor and instrument physics guru, responds to Kenny Hill’s response to R.M. Mottola’s article about sound ports. Pretty juicy.

Letter to the Editor by Aaron Green
AL#100 p.5
Green brings news of the death of Carleen Hutchins, well known instrument maker and instrument physics investigator.

Letter to the Editor by Chuck Erikson
AL#100 p.5
Erikson, a major importer and wholesaler of shells used for lutherie, reports that Customs agents are stopping the export of instruments laden with shell work and charging large fees to clear them for shipping. Erikson assures us that all his shells are legal , and that the fees charged are a form under-the-table tax collections.

Historical Influences in a Modern Guitar Design by Gary Southwell
AL#100 p.6
\guitar\classical \bracing\classical \tuners \neck
Southwell has had fine luck using 150-year-old lutherie inspirations to fit his guitar designs into current musical trends and to extend his artistic vision. Happily, his clients have gone along with him. Could it be that English guitarists are less staid then American musicians? That’s a scary notion. At any rate, the evolution of the author’s guitars should inspire other luthiers to try arm rests, adjustable necks, cutaways, and different bracing patterns. Mentions Panormo, Lacote, and Stauffer. Taken from Southwell’s 2006 GAL convention lecture.

Installing an Acoustic Pickup System in a Flattop Guitar by Brian Michael and Alex Glaser
AL#100 p.14
\guitar\flattop \electronics \bridge\guitar
Things have changed a bit since the early days of the under-saddle, piezo pickup. The authors are only too happy to bring you up to date. From their 2008 GAL convention workshop.

Meet the Maker: John Gilbert by John Mello
AL#100 p.20
\people \guitar\classical
Gilbert is one of the men who made it OK for top-level classical guitarists to play American guitars. This interview is way overdue. He is long since retired, and his work has been taken over by son Bill Gilbert.

The Guitar as a Structure and Some Practical Information on Bracing by Jim Blilie
AL#100 p.30
\physics\guitar \bracing\flattop
A structural engineer agrees with our intuition: lighter is better for our instruments. There’s a lot of other neat stuff here, too, that may or may not change the way you make guitars, but there’s no point in believing that imagined benefits make real world differences. For all the technical stuff involved, this is not difficult reading. And it will give your brain a twist.

Total Flame Out: Retopping a Harp Guitar by Harry Fleishman
AL#100 p.38
\guitar\harp \repair\other \rosette \tools\jigs
Nobody wants to retop one of their guitars for any reason, but it hurts worse if structural failure is the cause. Fleishman gets it done in two easy steps. OK, maybe ten. But it looks a lot easier than we would imagine.

Crafting Marie’s Guitar by Christian Steinert
AL#100 p.40
\guitar\baroque \bending \rosette \ivory
If you’ve never seen photos of the guitar that supposedly belonged to Marie Antoinette, you’re really missing something. It will blow you away. Now imagine trying to recreate it! The author does just that, and has to reinvent his bending routine as well as other factors of creation. Very far out, but no mention of what the project cost, darn it!

Owning and Playing the “Marie Antoinette” Guitar by Kent LaRue
AL#100 p.41
Steinert (above) had a patron for his creation. Here the owner tells his part of the tale.

Inharmonicity of Guitar Strings by Mark French
AL#100 p.48
\strings\tension \strings\guitar \physics\math
We all know that metal strings need compensation, and that heavier strings need more compensation. But did you know exactly why? French offers up the scientific proof.

Roped In by Fred Casey
\binding \guitar\other \rosette
Make your own rope binding. The author makes the traditional binding for his Weissenborn-style guitar, and it looks great!

Product Reviews by Randy DeBey
AL#100 p.58
\tuners \reviews
The author takes an in-depth view of Pegheds, or Knilling Perfection Planetary Pegs, explains where to get them, how they are constructed, and how to deal with them.

It Worked for Me
AL#100 p.64
\tools\clamps \fingerboard\fretboard \tools\power \electronics
Members submit how-tos: how to make a light deep-throated clamp; how to add a dust collection port to your bandsaw; how to add extra fret slots to a fingerboard that’s already tapered; how to save yourself aggravation when installing electric pickups.

Reviews: Violin Rehairing with Roger Foster, by Ronald Louis Fernandez reviewed by Ken Altman
AL#100 p.67
\bow \reviews
The reviewer decides this DVD has weaknesses but that it will serve well as an introduction to bow rehairing.

Questions edited by R.M. Mottola
AL#100 p.68
\strings\guitar \plans \bridge\other
This time topics include the first use of wire strings; plans for double neck acoustic guitars; and adding saddle material to an existing saddle to create room for additional compensation.

In Memoriam: David Minnieweather by Veronica Merryfield and David King
AL#100 p.71
Seems like luthiers are dropping fast. Too fast. The bass maker is fondly remembered.

Names appearing in this document--------------------

The following list contains the names of the authors of all the articles, as well as the names of all the people who have been interviewed or written about. Additionally, certain names that commonly come up, names like Stradivari, Torres, D’Aquisto, Loar, Ramirez, and Maccaferri, are included here rather than being identified by keywords. Find the name on this list to be sure you spell it right, then search for that “word.” The full name may not always appear in the abstract, so try just last names, too.

Hadi Abbaszadeh
Yuri Aleksik
Randy Allen
Henry Aitchison
W.D. Allen
Steve Andersen
Ken Altman
Don Alfieri
Christopher Allworth
Des Anthony
Leo Anway
Gerald W. Aquino
Kevin Aram
Ken Archard
Hammond Ashley
Andrew Atkinson
Andy Avera
Joseph Bacon
Charles Baere
Geary Baese
Gavin Baird
Steve Banchero
Phil Banks
Marcelo Barbero
Manuel Barrueco
Michael Bashkin
Mark Bass
Fred Battershell
Jack Batts
Scott Baxendale
Edward D. Baxter
Bill Beadie
J.R. Beall
Paul Beard
J & A Beare
Charles Beare
Ed Beaver
Richard Beck
T. Beeston
Alexandre Belevich
Virginia Benade
Bob Benedetto
Brent Benfield
Tobias Berg
Ted Berringer
Greg Bernd
Eric Berry
Manny Bettoncourt
Leo Bidne
Alain Bieber
Richard Bingham
Ian C. Bishop
Ake Bjornstad
Tom Blackshear
Nick Blanton
Jim Blilie
Roberto Blinder
Anthony D. Blokzyi
Dick Boak
Vladimir Bobri
John S. Bogdonovich
Joseph Bohmann
Frank Bolger
Joao Jose de Santana Borges
Brett Borton
George Borun
John Boser
Jack Botersman
Robert Bouchet
Dana Bourgeois
Don Bradley
Dusan Brankov
Chris Brandt
Wes Brandt
Tobias Braun
Julian Bream
Michael Breid
John Brinkmann
Mike Brittain
John Bromka
Tim Brooks
Dale Brotherton
Todd Brotherton
Gretchen Weeks Brough
Donald L. Brown
Lawrence D. Brown
Lawrence K. Brown
Bob Brozman
Kendall Brubaker
R.E. Brune
George Buchanan
Voichita Buchur
James Buckland
J.V. Buehrer
Elliot Burch
Geza Burghardt
Dave Burrluck
Brian Burns
Leo Burrell
Chris Burt
Cyndy Burton
Ron Bushman
Boyd Butler
Ken Butler
Stuart W. Button
Greg Byers
Robert Cain
Bruce Calder
Graham Caldersmith
John Calkin
Fred Calland
Jan Callister
Ed Campbell
Fred Campbell
Fernando Cardoso
Cameron Carr
Russ Carlisle
Dorothy Carlson
Fred Carlson
Steve Carlson
Bonnie Carol
Curt Carpenter
Al Carruth
Walter Carter
Ken Cartwright
C.F. Casey (Fred Casey)
James Cassidy
Mark Chanlynn
Kerry Char
Francois Charle
Ralph S. Charles III
Andy Charron
Sergio Hearta Chavez
Scott Chinery
Harvey Citron
Bradley Clark
Eugene Clark
Kevin Coates
Bishop Cochran
Patrick W. Coffey
Frederick Cohen
Reagan Cole
Erik Coleman
Harry Coleman
Michael Collins
John Colombini
Bill Colgan, Jr.
Miguel Company
James Condino
Michael Cone
Stephan Connor
William Conrad
Dennis Coon
Robert Cooper
Roy Courtnall
Ray Cowell
Bruce Creps
Dave Crocker
William Cumpiano
Joseph Curtin
Steve Curtin
John Curtis
Mark Dalton
Bruce Day
Ed Damm
Jimmy D’Aquisto
Jim DeCava
Louis DeGrazia
Michael Darnton
W. Daum
Herb David
Manuel Davila
Keith Davis
Mervyn Davis
Ted Davis
Randy DeBey
John Decker
Louis De Grazia
Terry Demeza
Brian Derber
Joshia de Jonge
William, DelPilar
Dick DeNeve
Andy DePaule
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