The Guitar Maker's Workshop Paperback – Jun 1 2004
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From Library Journal
Intended as a beginner's guide for experienced woodworkers interested in making a guitar, this book assumes a fairly complete knowledge of woodworking tools and techniques and also an intermediate level of skill in finishing and detail work. Long-time luthier Middleton uses the old European approach to making a stringed instrument, including carving, gluing, bracing, and finishing, which he defends as desirable in handmade instruments,. But instrument-making supply companies now offer a variety of purpose-built tools and woodworking supplies that greatly simplify the old-fashioned process. To ignore these tools and supplies makes it much more difficult for a beginner to complete such a project. The book is handsomely produced, with detailed photos and clearly written text, yet many books on instrument building incorporate the newer approach?such as Robert Benedetto's Making an Archtop Guitar (Miller Freeman, 1994) and William Cumpiano's Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology (Chronicle, 1994)?and these will probably serve patrons better.?Eric C. Shoaf, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence, R.I.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Rik Middleton has been playing and perfecting the art of making classical guitars for many years. He is a full-time luthier.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The author comes across as a very experienced luthier and is able to provide lots of shot cuts and tips. He explains how to construct several low cost jigs to help you through the process.
As a novice, I was able to follow the book although I had to re-read the odd paragraph to full understand it. A glossary of terms would have helped me here.
The book concentrates on classical nylon string guitars although there is one chapter explaining the differences in making a steel string guitar. There is no treatment of electric guitars. The sections are as follows:
1 Introduction to the Guitar Maker's Workshop 2 The Tools 3 Timbers 4 The Assembly Framework 5 The Front 6 The Back 7 The Sides 8 The Head and Neck 9 Linings 10 The Assembly Procedure 11 Inlay Work 12 The Fingerboard 13 The Bridge 14 Finishing 15 Stringing Up 16 Further Challenges 17 The Steel-strung Guitar
Recommended for novices wanting to make their first classical acoustic guitar.
I am actually going to attempt this author's techniques on a ukulele, or more, before I spend the a lot more money on the woods for a classical guitar. I think it will be much cheaper to hone my skills on something smaller (ie less expensive) and then work up to something larger.
While this book might not be a complete guide to building your first guitar, I feel it definitely belongs any any aspiring luthier's library. Since I am attempting to build my instruments without using up electrons, by hand with no woodworking machines, this author gives lots of detailed info on how to accomplish those tasks. If you want to build a guitar with machines this might not be the book for you.
One thing I like is that the author gives diagrams/plan on different tools (lightweight clamps, thicknessing gauge, trammeling inlay cutter, guitar body mold, etc...) you can make yourself to complete your guitar.
Next up in my reading will be "Making Master Guitars" by Roy Courtnall. Hopefully after that I will be ready to get to work on my first guitar.
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