Workshop Update

workshop Oct 17, 2012

My wife Magz and I moved from the Finger Lakes region in New York to the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains in North Carolina in 2010. Needless to say, as with any move it was disruptive on many fronts. I had to pack up my entire shop and put it into storage for two …

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Collecting Tonewood

sawing walnut

I was fortunate enough to come across about a dozen logs of Black Walnut and Cherry several years ago and made it back up to New York last year to cut it up into two to four-inch billets using an Alaskan Chainsaw Mill. While it was slow going, I was able …

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Figured Backs

Have you ever noticed how many hardwood suppliers have jumped on the bandwagon and entered the instrument wood market? Many of these suppliers have been in the business for years and no doubt know their wood. But perhaps in some cases they are taking advantage of those luthiers who are willing to sacrifice stability for …

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French Polishing Using 151 Proof Alcohol


Liquor Laws in many states do not permit the sale of rocket fuel (151 proof Everclear), which is the prevalent recommended substitute for the toxic mineral spirits often used as the cutting agent in French Polishing. When I stumbled across this substitute, I lived in New York state where Everclear is not available. As I …

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Pinned Necks

Michael Gurian developed an innovative method for attaching necks to both Classical and Steel String guitar bodies. Borrowing from a tried-and-true timber-framing technique of inserting a pin through eccentric holes in a mortise and tenon neck joint he was able to create a very serviceable neck joint. Cumpiano and Natelson further promoted this technique in …

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