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The Guitar Maker's Workshop Paperback – Jun 1 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Crowood Press (June 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186126707X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861267078
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 1.3 x 24.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 440 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #517,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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Amazon.com: HASH(0x96cfa24c) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96d0ee34) out of 5 stars Complete set of instructions on how to make a guitar Feb. 17 2001
By Chris Mandalovic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is the first book I read on how you make a guitar. It is quite readable and takes you through all of the steps in a sequential manner. There is lots of solid information in the book and it is well illustrated with diagrams and photographs.
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.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96d0ee88) out of 5 stars Excellent resource, compares favorably with Cumpiano and Natelson Nov. 6 2007
By S. Mather - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This work is comprehensive, like the similar book by Cumpiano and Natelson. That said, I really like the simple tips and tricks that Middleton includes. Without exception they are insightful and simple ways to do the very precise work of instrument-making, and vastly simplify and ease the process for the amateur. Also, his tool list is very short and complete, which is a must for controlling the start-up costs of instrument making. Ten stars if they were available. I'll follow up this review once I've completed at guitar following the book's instructions. At this point, I'm merely using it to complement Cumpiano and Natelson.
HASH(0x96d102dc) out of 5 stars Nice Book For a Luthier's Library April 28 2016
By red58impala - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So I decided I want to be a luthier - well not actually a luthier - more of a guy who made his own guitar. This is the third book I have read on guitar making. Some of the steps the author glosses over, or basically says you should know how to use a certain tool, or the information has been offered elsewhere. I do not see this as a problem as he did not want to spend time talking about steps other authors have devoted much time to. That being said I do feel his instructions are clear and he explains why he does what he does. For example he explains why he likes to put a slight arch in the top.

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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96d102c4) out of 5 stars good book for newbies Dec 8 2008
By C or E Kleinman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book, and would highly recommend it for first time guitar builders. The best part of the book, is the author/s attempt to keep it simple .From tools, to wood ,to simple jigs, spare room workshop, and using inexpensive woods to build one/s first guitar. I would not recommend this book for advanced builders, as it falls short in many areas for advanced guitarmaking
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96d10684) out of 5 stars Excellent Book Jan. 27 2010
By L. Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having made a number of acoustic guitars in the past, I found this book to be fairly easy to follow. I have no doubt that anyone with reasonable woodworking skills would be able to build their first classical guitar following these instructions.