Guitarmaker Issue 87

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Front Cover

Sylvan Wells

The neat, clean, organized shop of Sylvan Wells (Bay State Guitars).


From the Director

Alton Acker

Acker memorializes Pete Seeger, folk icon. With 1 drawing.


Jigs and Fixtures for Guitarmakers, Part 2

Sylvan Wells

Wells describes, in great detail, jigs and techniques for fretting, neck tenoning, bracing, pressing tuner bushings, and making/fitting backstrips. From his 2013 symposium talk; see issues 86 and 88 for more jiggy goodness. With 32 photos.

tools, jig; tools, shop-built; bridge; bracing

Building My First Guitar, Part 2

David O’Mara

O’Mara finishes chronicling his journey in building his first guitar. In this installment he starts by gluing on the back and ends with a sweet-sounding finished guitar. Be sure to check out his great-looking homemade binding thickness trimmer. See issue 87 for part 1. With 15 photos.

guitar, acoustic; tools, jig; tools, shop-made

Guitarmaker Visits J.B. Alred, Inc.

Alton Acker

Acker visits Alred for a shop tour and interview. Alred is a high-tech manufacturer of carbon fiber products with a personal interest in musical instruments. He discusses several unique products he has created including a violin soundpost setter and a D-shaped neck reinforcement tube that resists torsion as well as bending. Alred is willing to work with any luthier who can benefit from carbon fiber. With 20 photos.


Moving a Side Dot Marker

Nate Clark

While repairing and refretting a Gibson J-200, Clark sanded through the binding over the 15th fret side dot marker. He removed a triangle of binding and replaced it with a new one where the side dot is lowered below the fingerboard; a clever one-hour repair. With 13 photos.

repair; guitar, steel-string

Building the Digital Temperature Controller

Jack Clark

Clark revisits the temperature conroller he wrote about in issues 60 and 63 and creates a digital model. His build is based on Berlin’s article in issue 86, but Clark adds a few features and gives many tips on wiring that a non-electricial will certainly find beneficial. Clark also gives a detailed part list and a wiring diagram. With 13 photos and 1 diagram.

tools, shop-built

Fledgling Luthier Showcase

Jack Clark

Electric guitars of Joe Wilson. Wilson, though only building for three years, has made over 100 guitars in a variety of styles. With 6 photos.

biography; guitar, electric

On Inlaying

David Nichols

An excerpt from Nichols’ demonstration with Kief Sloate-Dowden at Symposium 2013. Here he talks about epoxy, superglue, and techniques (coloring the fill) to get an invisible joint and perfect fit while recommending the best epoxy and superglue for inlay work. Then Nichols answers questions on dust management, transferring a pattern to your work, and cutting to the line. In Issue 91, page 15 Nichols answers how he installs frets in an inlaid fretboard. With 5 photos.


ASIA Letters

Godfrey Harris, Chuck Erikson

Both Harris and Erikson lambaste the U.S. Government for its proposed ban on all ivory, including antiques as well as non-elephant non-endagered ivories. Links are given in the letters for more information and the chance (now over) to comment on / oppose the aburd legislation.

CITES; Lacey; inlay

Vintage Stratocaster Refret

Greg Voros

How the Gruhn Guitar shop handles a refret on a vintage ’62–up Stratocaster with a curved veneered fretboard. Includes a handy fixture for use when pushing the frets out sideways. With 8 photos.


Working in a Busy Music Store

Jamonn Zeiler

Zeiler restores a black Gibson L00 that the guitar store where he works didn’t want to take in trade. With 7 photos.


“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