Guitarmaker Issue 81

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Front Cover

Elliot John-Conry

Elliot John-Conry modifies a Hofner pickup

guitar, electric; pickup; repair

From the Director

Alton Acker

Bear’s thoughts meander from spring at his shop, to Symposium 2013, to the generosity of luthier Wayne Henderson, then to the music of the Gibson Brothers. He also advocates building ukuleles as a good way to use up smaller bits of tonewood and make a little profit. With 1 photo.

Vacuum and the Guitarmaker

Sylvan Wells

Wells, who has being using vacuum in his shop for 20 years and has demonstrated its use at several symposia, provides details on vacuum jigs for lutherie. He discusses materials, methods, and sources. With 11 photos.

Making a Nut for a Gibson Les paul

Nate Clark

Clark describes his efficent method for creating a high-quality well-fitting replacement nut for a Les Paul electric. With 26 photos.


Unique Projects in Lutherie

Jack Clark

Enter the twilight zone… The text in this article is from Jack Clark’s article in Issue 80 but the photos are from his article in (future) Issue 82. Bear is messing with our minds. With 7 photos from the future.

Fledgling Luthier Showcase

Jack Clark

The beautiful acoustic guitars of 20-something Eric Bashore. With 7 photos.


Cigar Box Guitars

Jack Clark

A review of the book “Cigar Box Guitars.” Clark says that beautiful photography highlights the step-by-step procedures, builder profiles, and a photo gallery of finished instruments.


ASIA Letters

Chuck Erikson, Tom Morrissey, William Richardson, David LaPlante, Charles Fox

Chuck Erikson lays out changes of address for various operations at the Duke of Pearl. Morrissey asks if there is lutherie training available for the Veterans Administration Vocational Rehabilitation program. WWII veteran Richardson, who is an ASIA life member, shares his praise for Guitarmaker, and tells us a little bit of what he is up to at 91 years of age. David LaPlante asks ASIA to provide a flow chart for navigating CITES/Lacey Act issues. Charles Fox responds to Bear’s letter thanking him for his article “Standardization in Luthierie.” To round this issue out, Graham looks for a vintage Martin rapairperson in Jerusalem.

Adam’s Hofner Repair, Part 2

Elliot John-Conry

John-Conry continues this repair with the pickups and wiring harness. He carefully re-fits the pickups to the arched top, adds some shielding, and cleans the pots. See Issue 80 for part 1. With 17 photos.

rapair; guitar, archtop

Making a Duplicating Router

Paul Lloret

Lloret builds a duplicating carver for rough-carving archtop plates. Made with easily accessible woodworking machines, this carver may not be accurate enough for final carving, but is much cheaper than machined metal models. With 11 photos.

Engineering the Classical Guitar

Dr. Richard Shile

Dr. Shile considers acoustic guitars from an engineering perspective, performing numerous experiments to validate his models. He looks at the soundboard, the neck-body joint, and braces while building several instruments. Good material for a left-brained luthier. Shile is looking to collaborate with an established luthier to translate his technology into production instruments. With 8 photos.

Invasive Pests & Diseases Affecting North American Hardwoods

Chris Treitsch

Trietsch discusses pests affecting North American hardwoods: Asian Long-Horned Beetle, Dutch Elm Disease, Emerald Ash Borer and American Chestnut Blight. With 1 photo.

Martin Guitar uses Botanical DNA To Thwart Counterfitters

A press release announcing that Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. has been chosen by Martin Guitar to covertly mark their guitars.

“ASIA is an organization where you not only grow your skills, but grow your extended family. I have met so many wonderful, knowledgeable people through this organization.” ~Michael Dickinson, Martin Guitar