CLASSICAL GUITARS FOR SALE

Monday, July 27, 2015

Vintage Chisels

[The] offset chisel allows paring nearly flat on the work without the fingers getting in the way, and gives better visibility when making vertical cuts.

Aldren A. Watson, Hand Tools, Their Ways and Workings, 1982



Someone asked me the other day if I liked the chisels that are sold by Luthiers Mercantile Inc, click here for the website, and I replied that I do, I own three of them now and I may buy more. Maybe.


A 10mm LMI chisel with a new hickory handle




These are still my favorite chisels, vintage ones that I have picked up at flea markets over the years.

The chisels (my one inch wide Samson chisel is not in this picture) are Keen Cutter, Union Hardware, Stiletto, Stanley, and um, I can't remember the other brand. That doesn't matter, these chisels work for me.

Nothing fancy, they hold an edge and if they get dull after a while I take a break and sharpen them.

A violin maker once tried to get me to buy his set of Berg chisels, he extolled their virtues for 10 minutes and when he took a breath, I asked him why he was selling them.

"I don't need them anymore, I have other ones that suit me better," was his answer.

I didn't buy them, a set of straight chisels doesn't excite me.



One thing that I enjoy about these chisels is that they all have an offset, which makes sense to me because when you hold a chisel the line from wrist to radius and ulna is not straight.

A person should buy the tools they like and can afford to help make woodworking fun, enjoyable and challenging!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Mile Stone and Sapele Guitar Bindings

The purfling consists of simple rosewood fillets...

Luca Waldner, describing a guitar made by Antonio Torres




On July 4, 2015, my blog received its 250,001 hit!

Thank you to all of you who visit or have visited my blog!

I am very grateful for that!

Also on the 4th, other than being the 17th anniversary of me marrying my beautiful wife, I had some time to start glueing the black/purflings to the sapele binding that will go the latest guitar.


This is a western red cedar/Indian rosewood guitar that I am constructing for the 2016 Guitar Foundation of America Convention that will be held in Denver, Colorado. I have posted about this guitar elsewhere in my blog.

I bought a sapele back and side set from LMII about fifteen years ago to make a guitar, but never got around to making it because I never really like any wood that looks like mahogany. I don't get a kick from mahogany.

I had wanted to make a soprano ukulele from this sapele set, I got the top and back cut out, but lost interest. Then this guitar came along and screamed that it needed a sapele insert in its back and I obliged.

Now, most of that sapele set is gone and I can move on to other more gorgeous and exciting wood.

Remodeling My Current Workshop/Studio

It is a small shop, cluttered with pieces of wood, guitars of many types and in various stages of disrepair and repair, and photographs of Sabicas, the Romeros and other friends decorate the wall.

Gerald J. Bakus, A Comprehensive Reference to the Classical and Flamenco Guitar, 1977



Today, I started pulling down the old wall paneling in my studio.

I plan on replacing it with tongue and groove paneling made from aspen.

The original paneling was made to look like pine, but the owners previous to use had painted it white which made the paneling even more ugly.



Here is a before photo. My life is one big clutter.




Here is what the wall looked like at 5pm this afternoon.

The room behind the exposed studs is our bathroom, which is the next project to be done in the house.

My wife and I want to house to be ours and to reflect the tastes of the original owners, Colonel Reginald Barnsley and his wife, Jeanette. The rest of the house is paneled with pine and the faux pine paneling sheets.

And I am going to put amber shellac on the aspen to make it match the pine.

Once I finish the paneling I am having a plumber install plumbing for a washing machine and have an electrician wire in a 220v outlet for a dryer. I am tired of driving to the laundromat in Estes Park to do our laundry.

I plan on converting the current woodshed/storage shed into a studio this fall and winter. It will give me a whooping 280 square feet of room to do my work.

I'm really excited about that.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Antonio Torres FE 19 Style Guitar: Bearclaw Sitka Spruce/Granadillo

...Antonio Torres created his uniquely designed instrument in the modest provincial town of Almeria, which is about as far away as you can get from the musically sophisticated capitals of Europe.

Julian Bream, from Antonio Torres, Guitar Maker, by Jose Romanillos, 1987




I spent part of the morning fine tuning the top bracing on this guitar.

That means dividing the strings, putting my hand through the sound hole with a piece of 220 grit garnet paper taped to the end of my index finger.

The idea is to take just a few swipes on the top of the treble side braces to make the treble strings a little louder and more bell-like. They do sound louder with more separation from the bass strings.

I also sanded the top just behind the bridge to "hot rod" the top, as luthier Tom Blackshear once about that technique.

The guitar is brand new and sounds new. I can't wait to hear it in six months!



I purchased the granadillo back and sides from Hibdon Hardwood.

Jerry Hibdon asked me if he can post photos of this guitar on the gallery page of their website. I said "yes" to that!

It was nice wood to work, I do plan on using this tone wood again.


Here is a YouTube of Cinzia Milani playing one of my favorite pieces!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

New Tool: A Stanley No.36 1/2 Ruler, Warrented Boxwood English

While "measure twice and cut once" is always pithy advice, it is more important to measure accurately and to know that you have.

Aldren A. Watson, Hand Tools, 1982


I bought this ruler off of eBay a couple of weeks ago.

I needed a folding ruler to carry in my coat pocket so I can measure the hands of potential clients, to see what scale length will suit them best for playing a classical guitar.



I had originally wanted to by a one foot four fold Stanley ruler, but the ones that were being auctioned at the time were out of my price range.

I won this one, received it in the mail and then found several affordable one foot four fold rulers on eBay.

Funny how it always happens that way.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Off the Bench: Antonio Torres Style Classical Guitar, or Another Reason Why I Make Classical Guitars

A musical instrument is, without doubt, one of the most ingenious inventions of man.

Manuel Rodriguez, The Art and Craft of Making Classical Guitars, 2003



One reason why I build classical guitars are young musicians.

They need quality affordable instruments, proper tools that allow them to grow.

Those young people make me push myself as a woodworker, I want to make better and better guitars. Each guitar I make is a "concert" guitar, only the best, something with a beautifully loud voice that touches the hearts of those who listen.



This morning, Kyle, drove up from Denver to be present when I put the strings on his Torres/Santos guitar for the first time.

He almost cried when he took his new guitar out of its case and saw how beautiful it is.

He hadn't even heard it.

I installed the strings, showed him how the 12 hole bridge works and tuned it to concert pitch.

My, it is a wonderful sounding guitar.

I ran a few scales on it, played part of a piece by Manuel Ponce then handed it over to him.

He played it for two hours straight. If his girlfriend in Denver hadn't been waiting for him, he'd be playing as I write this.



I am grateful for the earth that the trees grew upon that gave me the wood to create this beautiful tool.



It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction.
-Pablo Picasso

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Why I Make Classical Guitars and Why You Should Buy One of My Guitars

The finest guitars are made by individual craftsmen, not by factories.

Christopher Parkening, The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method, Vol.1, 1972



Wilson, I love the guitar.

The craftsmanship is truly evident in the depth and character of tone, I am more aware of my tone property.

It makes me want to play even more than usual, because it sounds so good.

The last time a guitar made me feel like that was when I was playing Alex Kommodore's $10,000 John Gilbert guitar.

Thanks.


James L., Littleton, Colorado



Thank you, James, for those kind words!

I hope your new guitar will help you with your musical career.

This is the guitar that James purchased from me, it has a Sitka spruce top...

If you want to see a video of Stephen Valeriano playing this guitar, go to the right hand side of this blog, scroll down to the second photo of a guitar and click on the photo.



...with eastern Black Walnut back and sides

My goal as a guitar maker is simple - to make the most responsive, beautifully voiced guitar possible, a guitar that you fall in love with so much you never want to stop playing it.

Current base price for one of my guitars is $2500.

If you are interested in purchasing a guitar from me or placing an order for a custom model, please contact me at highcountrylutherie@gmail.com





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