Guitarmaker Issue 24

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Finger Planes

Bob Benedetto

Cover photo of three of Benedettos' finger planes sitting on one of his Guarnieri-style violins.

tools, hand


Bill Giebitz, Tom Mulhern, Dah Hoffman, David Hurd, Shane McElroy, Arif Verner, Larry Brooks, Russel Merz, Gary Motoro

Giebitz renews his membership. Mulhern sings praises to ukelele maker Bob Gleason. Hoffman and Merz sing praises to ASIA/Guitarmaker. Hurd contributes a not-to-be-missed rant against Guitarmaker, ASIA, and the Board of Directors. McElroy asks how he can advance the field of guitar making. Verner visits Spain (and he has an associated article in issue 25). Brooks enjoyed the ASIA dinner during NAMM. Mortoro thanks Robert Benedetto for helping him build his first archtop.

ASIA; Guitarmaker; event; guitar, archtop

International Letters

Nick Luzac, Samo Sali, Alexander Pirogov

Luziak laments not being able to get supplies or information in Croatia. Sali is doing guitar research in Slovenia. Pirogov sends sketches of electric guitar designs.

guitar, electric

Directory Errata

Dick Boak, Matt Groenig

Board member Evan Davis' address was missing from the last directory, phone numbers were left off, and some unlisted numbers were listed. Includes a cartoon of Bart Simpson writing "I will not publish unlisted phone numbers" a hundred times on the blackboard.

directory; errata

Unchopping a Tree

W.S. Mervin, Dick Boak

How to put a tree back together after it has been cut down (hint: it is a lot of work). With 1 illustration


More Letters: Beware the Butcher and Fan Fret Concerns

John Kitakis

Kitakis implores luthiers not to shave braces on old guitars. Marques claims that Ralph Novak's fan fret patent is invalid because the concept was used on Renaissance bandoras and orpharions. Novak responds. With 1 photo.


Members' Spotlight

David LaPlante, Michael Dunn, John Calkin, John Jordan, Mark Hendrickson, Arthur Crow, Tony Pliedade, Ray Lynch

Each author talks briefly about his luthiery. Laplante's contribution is particularly interesting because he gives some details of a classical guitar he built with very unusual proportions and sound requirements. With 11 photos.

biography; guitar, nylon string

ASIA Insurance Update

Dick Boak, Roger Sadowsky, Daniel Schoenfeld, Russ Pampel

ASIA has been trying to get health and business benefits for its members. Success has been limited, but here are the results.

insurance; business


The writer (whose name has been lost) disagrees with John Gilbert's comments on the unimportance of soundboard silking in issue 23. This writer asserts that silking is an indicator of good quartering with is very important. Also see issue 25 for a follow-up to this follow-up.

tonewood; soundboard

Even More Letters: Waterbased Finishes and ASIA in the Information Age

David Berkowitz, Arnold Hennig, Debbie Suran

Berkowitz asks if anyone has had success with water based finishes. Suran and Hennig drag ASIA into the information with Compuserve and a computer-based bulletin board system (BBS).

finishing; ASIA

Tips from Readers

A.B. Acker, Craig Carter

Acker provides a BASIC program for calculating fret distances. See issues 24 and 27 for comments and updates. With one listing and 1 table. Carter offers three ways you can detect runout in a soundboard. See issues 25 and 26 for comments and updates. With 3 illustrations (one of which gets corrected in issue 25).

fret; tonewood

A Short History of the Lace Sensor

Don Lace, Jr.

History of the Fender Lace Sensor (pickup) designed by Don Lace. We still don't know how it works, though. With 1 picture.

electronics; guitar, electric

A Call for the Standardization of Humidity Levels at Musical Instrument Dealerships

An open letter signed by 12 manufacturers calling for dealers to control the humidity in their stores.


Elasticity/Density in Softwoods

P. Howard

A table of elasticity and density of 11 softwood tonewoods.

tonewood; soundboard

Vintage Guitars for Sale

Bruce L. Ross

Ross provides asking prices for 4 vintage guitars he has for sale.

guitar, acoustic

Banjo Mute That Works on Guitars

Frank Geiger

Geiger invents a banjo mute that reduces the instrument's volume (insert banjo joke here). The mute also works on guitars. With 2 drawings.

banjo; guitar

New Guitar and Bass Replacement Necks from Moses

Moses, Inc.

Moses offers replacement graphte (carbon fiber) necks for electric guitars and bases. With 1 photo.

guitar, electric

Carving Machines

Ric McCurdy

McMurdy recommends Terrco carving machines as used by Steven Gilchrist.

tools, power

Brazilian Rosewood

Craig Carter

Carter has a limited number of pre-CITES Brazilian rosewood sets


Martin Sustainable Yield Prototype Guitars Featured in WARP/RISD Ecological Design Exhibition

Martin has experimented heavily with sustainable and reclaimed woods. Prototypes were put on display at the Rhode Island School of Design to educate dealers, consumers and employees. The article discusses the suitability of several woods and the requirements for various parts of an acoustic guitar. With 2 photos.

tonewood, tonewood, soundboard

Gibson Acquires Dobro

Gibson bought the Original Musical Instrument Co., manufacturer of the original dobro.

guitar, resophonic; Gibson

The Tim Poling Memorail Scholarship Fund

ASIA establishes a scholarship fund. This issue includes a grant application for up to $1000.


ASIA Summer Seminars

Grit Laskin holds an advanced inlay seminar. You could build a Telluride mandolin with Rick Turner & Michael Hornick. You can learn building, repair and restoration, fretting, sunburst finishing, and so on at the Great Northwoods. The article includes a dozen more options. Looks like a summer of opportunity. With 2 photos and 1 illustration.


Steven Gilchrist Interview

Charmaine Lanham

Reprinted from Nashville Music Quarterly, Lanham interviews Australia's premier mandolin maker. Gilchrist talks about his love for the mandolin and his history and philosophy as a builder. With 1 photo.

interview; mandolin

Job Listings

Bob Anderson, Frederik Gustafsson, Mark Soski

Anderson, a carpenter, offers to build a shop in exchange for an apprenticeship. Gustafsson and Soski are looking for careers in lutherie. With 1 photo.


The Lighter Side

Jim Olson is immortalized on an episode of the Simpsons and Mad Magazine goes unplugged. With 1 photo and 1 illustration.


Guitar Player's Repair Guide: How to Set Up, Maintain, and Repair Electrics and Acoustics

Dan Erlewine's excellent book adds 100 pages of goodness to its second edition. With 1 photo.


Three Guitars and a Harp

Ray Mooers, Walter Brogan, Jim Olson

Four photos: 1) Dusty Strings (Mooers) harp, 2) custom Martin for Steve Miller, 3) a Walter Brogan dreadnought, and 4) an Olson small jumbo.

harp; guitar, steel string

“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