Saturday, June 27, 2015


I have to say, this batch of 6 guitars has a lot of variety. Lots of different woods, three headstock designs, 6 different rosettes, two new models and some bracing variations.  Here are some new pictures from the workshop.

pegheads before drilling

finished pegheads
gluing soundhole and fingerboard reinforcements

planing reinforcements

beveling reinforcements
Here are pictures from the bracing process on the spruce guitars in the batch.

The 6 rosettes.

The 6 guitars have a partial wood tornavoz and here is the installation.

Repair: Lester Devoe 2008

This week I had the pleasure of repairing a guitar by one of the great builders of flamenco guitars, Lester Devoe.  Devoe is closely associated with Paco de Lucia and other great players.

This negra had a redcedar top and Madagascar rosewood back and sides.

It also has the best fitted and smoothest functioning traditional friction pegs I have ever felt.

The action and bridge height was textbook for flamenco, and no wonder these guitars are so sought after as some luthiers say the bridge is the number one important part in a guitar.

The repair was a straight forward re-glue of half of a back brace. The owner, who is quite a connoisseur, told me Lester uses hide glue exclusively throughout the build (like me) which makes re-gluing that much easier since hide glue is reversible.

What a joy to work on great guitars like this one!

Repair: Andreas Kirmse 2011

A few weeks back I got this 2011 Andreas Kirmse for some nut and saddle work and polishing the finish and even though I didn't document the job I still wanted to share my thoughts on this German double top or sandwich top.

A double top, also called a sandwich top or a composite top, usually consists of a layer of a honeycomb type material between two thin veneers of spruce or redcedar.  As I understand it, this filler material is very light, flexible and strong. Unlike a solid top, a composite top is equally flexible along every axis as if the wood were lacking in grain structure.

The top is about 2.5 mm thick, just like a standard solid wood guitar top, but probably weighs less. It is braced minimally, only 5 braces parallel to the grain, with no support under the perimeter of the lower bout.  The guitar also uses double or laminated sides and solid lining that was doubled under the top in the lower bout.

As you may guess the guitar is super loud and responsive with a very lyrical voice but mellow trebles. I enjoyed taking a look at this super well crafted German guitar.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Batch Work

Most guitar makers build in batches. Making the same part for various guitars is more efficient and a good way of practicing your technique and refining it. Right now I am working on parts for 6 guitars. I cut up all the wood and then join, profile, scrape, plane, glue and carve it, for parts such as the top, back, sides, braces, rosette, binding, purfling, neck, heel, headstock, end blocks, glue blocks and linings. When all that is prepared I start construction of the guitars and finally I break up the 6 guitars into batches of 2 and do the binding, fretboard, fretting, neck carving, bridge and finishing.

Aside from this I am also currently working on 2 new models. One is based on a plantilla of the Madrid School of Domingo Esteso and Santos Hernandez and the other on the Torres 1864 FE-17. For these I have to make new soleras, templates and moulds.