Stave-back Guitar
by Carl Samuels

I call these “lutars” because they are a hybrid combination of lute and guitar. I fit my lutar ribs to each other over a mold. The dots on my instruments are filled holes in the waist of the instrument. I drilled the holes so that I could use screws to position the ribs securely on the mold prior to gluing. There is no significant tendency for the ribs to spring back and separate at the waist, because when I bend the ribs, they 'remember' their new shape — just like any well-bent guitar side. Additionally, I use Titebond Extend glue for a very strong, reliable glue seam, and then reinforce the glue seams internally with bands of nylon ribbon (traditionally, lute makers used linen or silk). I think I am the only luthier who makes these.

You know how folk singers tape their sets to the side of their guitars? Well, I have figured out a way to get rid of all that messy tape - just make a stainless steel sound box and attach the sets list with cute smiley-faced refrigerator magnets! This stainless steel lutar sound box is .027" thick. So, do folks who create mixed-media lutars still qualify as “Luthiers”?

Back view of a stave-backed 6 string guitar The inside view of a stave-back guitar back view of a 10 string stave-back guitar Another back view of a six 6 string stave-back guitar a metal stave-back body
Carl Samuels

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