New Spruce/Ziricote CITES Free Guitar

Here are a few photos of a guitar that I’ve been working on quite closely with a client. Spruce top and ziricote back and sides. The sides are laminated with cypress. The bracing is a the five fan Barbero hijo plan that I’ve used quite often over the past several years. It features my new rosette design with alternating Spanish cedar, walnut and maple hexagonal tiles. After comparing many woods and making several incarnations, we decided to go with a padauk bridge with brass reinforced holes. The purlfings are all hand made and the veneers are thicknessed by hand. The top ebony bindings are a hefty .100” in order to allow a large bevel for more comfort on the right arm. I find this to be much more attractive than an arm rest. Tuning machines will be Scheller with ebony buttons. I can’t wait to get this one strung up!

New Cedar/Rosewood Guitar

Finished up a new cedar and Indian rosewood guitar last week and got it delivered to its new owner, a great local guitarist Stefan Steinhauser. I’m quite happy with how this one turned out. It’s kind of a take on several Bouchet inspired guitars that I’ve liked in the past, mainly Marin Montero and Delarue. I feel like this guitar has the clarity that I like so much about this style of instrument. The basses aren’t too stiff or broad and the trebles aren’t to harsh, but it still has a nice clear attack and presence.

  • Western red cedar top

  • Indian rosewood back and sides

  • Spanish cedar neck with carbon fiber reinforcement

  • Ebony fingerboard with half 20th fret

  • Scheller tuning machines with snakewood buttons

Playing Catch-Up

Been busy doing a lot of sanding and fussing in the shop. Here are some photos of the two guitars I’ve been working on after their first seal coats of shellac. One is custom for a client and the other will be my show guitar for the festival season. I surprisingly got a lot of requests for this simple headstock design, so I’m bringing it back!

The next guitar in line is similar to my show guitar. Custom spruce and ziricote. Very excited for this one. A few photos at the end of the top and back being joined and a short video planing and scraping the sides.

The very fine people over at Siccas Guitars in Karlsruhe, Germany made a nice video of Artur Miranda Azzi playing of Bach’s Allegro BWV 1003 on one of my Torres/Romanillos models. The break-neck tempo doesn’t necessarily show off the more intimate character of this guitar, but it’s some very impressive playing none the less! Here’s a link to the guitar on their website:

The guitar I sent to Galerie des Luthiers in Lyon sold within a week or two. I was extra happy with how that one turned out, so I’m glad they liked it too! I’ll have another in line for them around the end of the year. Otherwise, my wait list is now out to around to early 2020, so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you are interested. I’m always happy to answer questions.


It's been a long week. My whole family came down with a stomach flu and I’ve been trying to catch up ever since. I’ve also been trying to post less on social media, so I’m going to try to condense some of this stuff into one long post.

I’m assembling two guitars at the moment. One for a good friend of mine and the other for festivals this summer. Here are a few photos from the week’s work and a list of the festivals I will be showing at this summer so far. I may add one more, but this is it for now:

  • Heinsberg International Guitar festival (Heinsberg, Germany, May 29-June 1st)

  • Koblenz International Guitar festival (Koblenz, Germany, June 2-5th)

  • Guitar Foundation of America Convention (Miami, Florida, June 18-22nd)

  • Gitarrenfestival Seckau (Seckau, Austria, July 20-28)

I’ve gotten a number of inquires lately about my wait-list. I think I have room for one more guitar in 2019 and then I’ll be taking orders for 2020. Please send me an email if you interested.

I recently sent a guitar to the wonderful people at Galerie des Luthiers in Lyon, France. I’ve already posted quite a few photos during the building of it, but here is a link to it on their website. I’m very happy with how this one turned out, so please stop in to check it out and support them if you are in the area! They have a nice collection of fine instruments and also host concerts regularly.

New Demo Videos

Stefan Skrilecz stopped by the shop yesterday morning to check out a new guitar and record a couple demo videos. These are the first movement of Koyunbaba by Carlo Domeniconi. Stefan is an accomplished guitarist, professor and head of the plucked instrument department at the Johann-Joseph-Fux Konservatorium in Graz.

No edits. No added reverb. D’addario EJ45 normal tension strings. Two cameras and a Zoom H5 recorder about one meter from the guitar.

Torres/Romanillos model. This guitar will be available at Galerie des Luthiers in Lyon is a couple days.

New Torres/Romanillos Model

Strung up the the latest Torres/Romanillos model that will be going to Galerie des Luthiers next week!

It’s been a little over a day now. I did the final set-up and put a fresh set of strings on yesterday. As early as it is, I’m extremely satisfied with the response and play-ability of instrument so far. Here are some of my impressions and thinking:

I’ve recently made a few changes in my approach to this model. I’ve felt that, while the lively and lush response of the traditional Torres sound can be very impressive, intimate and alluring, it can sometimes lack a bit of balance and evenness in higher frequencies. I’ve addressed this in some of my recent versions of this model by ever so slightly adjusting the soundboard and side construction. While, maintaining a low body resonance slightly above F#, I feel that it keeps the traditional allure, but greatly increases the balance and evenness of decay in the trebles. It also disciplines the basses in a way that allows for a slightly larger dynamic range. I also believe that it balances and cleans up the overall frequency response and allows it to project better in a larger room.

  • European spruce top

  • Indian rosewood back and sides

  • Spanish cedar neck

  • Ebony fingerboard

  • 52mm nut width

  • 43mm string spacing at nut/58mm at bridge

  • Scheller tuning machines with real mother of pearl buttons

Trying to catch up with photos

Here is a collection of photos from the gluing of the bridge and the first coats of shellac on a new guitar that I’ll be sending to Galerie des Luthiers in Lyon, France in about a month. I’m extremely happy with how this guitar is coming along!

DIY linging clamp

DIY lining clamps:

I went on a clamp making binge over the past couple of days. I've been annoyed with all of the clamp options out there for gluing solid linings. Most of the spring clamps don't apply even pressure and the ones that do are often plastic, the old clothes pin with rubber bands trick is not very good to say the least and any sort of small metal clamps are expensive and dent the interior curves of the linings.

So, I made a handful of prototypes this morning and settled on this small wooden clamp. I think that it does a good job and parts-out to about 2 euros per clamp. It applies even pressure and doesn't dent the linings. I'm posting a photo with a list of materials in case anyone wants to copy it. I used beech wood because it was easily available in close-to-final dimensions, so I didn't have to do that much work in preparing it. The placement of the holes is 1/4" from the top, 7/8" from the top and 3/8" from the bottom for the threaded insert. I used epoxy to hold the threaded insert in there better, because I'm a little skeptical of how long it will last, but it seems to work well for the first run.

Short Scale (640mm) Torres/Romanillos Model

I was able to string up this new 640mm scale length Torres/Romanillos model last weekend thanks to a surprise Saturday delivery from Scheller! I decided to go a bit more Romanillos than Torres on this guitar if that makes any sense. What I mean, is that I stiffened up the overall construction a bit more that usual to help with the treble response of the instrument, particularly considering the shorter scale. I feel that it helped even out the sustain and decay of notes on the first string and provide more clarity and range. It is, however, still a relatively lush and deep sounding instrument with a low body resonance just above F#.

  • European spruce top

  • Indian rosewood back and sides

  • Spanish cedar neck with v-joint

  • Ebony fingerboard

  • Scheller tuners with nickel/silver plates and ebony buttons

  • 640mm scale length

  • 52mm nut width

  • 43mm string spacing at the nut

  • 58mm string spacing at the bridge

Latest Torres/Romanillos Model

I was given a fancy new notebook to record guitar data with my name on it for my birthday this year. I was excited to put in the first entry today after making some progress on the latest Torres/Romanillos model that I’ll be sending to Galerie des Luthiers in Lyon, France.

Here are some progress photos from the making of all the parts. Roughed-out neck blank, head stock with v-joint, rosette with a new lozenge exterior motif and the top and back plates planed to final thickness. I’m one of dwindling number of luthiers still planing all their backs and sides by hand, so I feel like I gotta take some photos and romanticize the whole thing a bit!