Blog

July 14, 2011

Shellac

Shellac is the primary ingredient in the varnishes that I make and use. I dilute the shellac in grain alcohol and mix it with resins. I like working with shellac for several reasons, mainly because it is a natural product and is not harmful to my health like many of the other finishing options on the market. While it’s not the toughest finish in the world, it’s easy to repair and bring back to life, it looks great, and it […]
June 14, 2011

Francesca at Retrofret

I just finished a Francesca 12 string which is currently for sale at Brooklyn’s Retrofret, one of the finest vintage guitar shops in the country. The guitar has a red spruce top, mahogany back and sides, ebony fingerboard, Brazilian rosewood bridge, Stella repro purfling and a repro tailpiece, which I made. It was built with fresh hot hide glue and has a French polished varnish finish. The scale length is 26 1/2″, with strings from .0013″ to .0066″, it is […]
May 3, 2011

Celebrating Seven Years

On May 1st, I celebrated seven years of self employment. I’m extremely thankful that I have a very patient wife and supportive family. I’m also grateful to the many customers I’ve had over that time. I really couldn’t have done it without you all. I sincerely appreciate your support. When I started this venture, many friends thought it was a little crazy to quit a fairly good job as a carpenter and project manager for a general contractor to build […]
April 28, 2011

New Angelina 12

I recently finished an Angelina 12 string that I’d been wanting to make for a while. It was inspired by the work of Raphael Ciani and Antonio Cerrito, two of my favorite luthiers of days gone by. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to build it. The top of the guitar is red spruce. The back and sides are mahogany. The bridge and fingerboard are ebony. The bridge pins are bone with a “French eye”, very sharp looking. […]
February 14, 2011

New Ermida

After having made a batch of purfling based on the stuff the Larson brothers had used, my mind had turned back to the Larsons and more specifically to my Ermida model, which is a copy of their Stahl Style 6. My Larson obsession renewed, I had to get an Ermida out of my system. I had not built an Ermida in six years, during which time I’ve learned a few things and I wanted to put some of them into […]
January 19, 2011

Purfling

My friend Tony Klassen is a guitar collector turned builder. Tony has been collecting rare and fine instruments for about 30 years and he has a very intimate knowledge of some of the greatest instruments that have been made in this country. A number of years ago Tony started building guitars. Due to his insight into the old classics, he had a pretty good leg up on the competition. His company is Ark New Era Guitars. Check him out if […]
January 3, 2011

New Model- The Silvio

A few years ago, a friend in Italy turned me onto the guitars of Luigi Mozzani. Mozanni was a virtuoso guitar player who eventually began making guitars, harp guitars and mandolins. There is alot of great information on Mozzani and his instruments on Gregg Miner’s fabulous site, harguitars.net. Here is a link to the article on Mozzani.                 One of the shapes that seemed to be very inspirational to Mozzani kept popping out […]
December 11, 2010

Tis the Season to Humidify

This post may be a little late, but it’s better late than never. This is the time of year that you really need to pay attention to your instruments. As winter settles in and the air dries out, it is very important to humidify your guitar(s). Most guitar makers keep their shops at around 40%-50% relative humidity. Guitars built under these conditions will handle extremes on both ends of the humidity spectrum the best. That’s not to say that they […]
November 15, 2010

Guitars and tomatoes

My apologies for being delinquent on the blog updates. It’s been a busy summer and things are just now starting to calm down. My family and I spend our summers gardening and enjoying the outdoors. One of our goals has been to put up as much food as possible for the long winter. We kept three gardens this year one in the backyard, behind the shop, one at a community garden, and a large one out at a friends farm, […]
July 26, 2010

The Apprentice

For the past two and a half years I’ve been training an apprentice, Cyrus Brown-LaGrange. I met Cyrus almost twenty years ago, back when I used to play music on the street. His mother worked at the Farmers Market and he used to come by and listen to us play. Before long I was giving him music lessons in exchange for home cooked meals. Since then he has become a very close family friend. A few years back, Cyrus and […]