Backwards Through the Making of a Romanillos Arches Rosette

Here are some photos of through the process of making José Romanillos's rosette inspired by the arches of the Mezquita mosque in Cordoba. Admittedly, way too much work, but very pretty!

Visit to Nicolo Alessi

I was visiting friends at Lago Maggiore in Italy and discovered that Nicolo Alessi's shop was only ten minutes away from their house! There are a series of small villages surrounding the lake and he happened to live in the next one up from us. If you are not already familiar with his tuning machines, they are beautifully handmade and hand-engraved. He was very nice and welcoming. We got a short tour of the shop, he showed us some of his latest prototypes and even let us to try out his 1960 Hauser and 1978 José Romanillos guitars!

Trip to Siccas Guitars and More Romanillos Rosettes

Took a trip out to Karlsruhe to visit Siccas Guitars and drop of the latest concert model with them. They have a beautiful shop with a great collection and everyone there is extremely nice. They also have a repair and restoration shop around the corner. Very happy and excited to be working with them.

In other news, I'm starting new Romanillos rosettes. Had to make new jigs and cut everything by hand. Here are some photos while gluing the laminations and cutting the test pieces.

Joining and planing tops, backs and sides

Moving right along. Here are some photos from the start of two new guitars. Carefully joining tops and backs. I take my time to get a perfect fit with a freshly sharpened plane blade for the cleanest joint possible. After that, I spent some time planing two spruce tops and a two sets of rosewood back and sides down to thickness and cleaned them up with a nice sharp cabinet scraper. As much as my hands are sore after all that scraping and planing, it's very satisfying to see the curls.

New Concert Model

New Concert model strung up today and headed for Germany in a couple weeks. This guitar is bold sound with a big dynamic range and a balanced frequency response. That being said, it still has an open and lively Spanish character and plenty of color.

  • European spruce top
  • Indian rosewood back and sides
  • Spanish cedar neck
  • Ebony fingerboard
  • 52mm nut width
  • 43mm string spacing at the nut and 58mm at the bridge
  • 20th fret
  • Rubner superior series tuners with black MOP buttons

New Torres Model

Strung up the newest Torres model today and I'm really happy with how this one turned out. It has a lush open voice with plenty of clarity and liveliness. Custom rosette of dark natural tones by request of the client. The motif is inspired by the Torres guitar owned by Miguel Llobet and is made of maple, rosewood, padouk, cherry, walnut and spanish cedar.

  • European Spruce
  • Indian rosewood back and sides
  • Spanish cedar neck
  • Ebony fingerboard
  • Gotoh premium tuners with ebony buttons

Binding, Fingerboards and Necks

Back home from the GFA and pluggin' away at these two guitars. One is a Torres model and the other is a new Concert model. Here are a few photos from the last couple weeks cutting binding and purfling channels, slotting fingerboards, carving necks and wiping on the first wash coats of shellac. Happy to see these almost done and excited to string them up.

Finished Guitars for GFA Convention

Finally strung up these two guitars this last week and I'm very happy with how they turned out. The first is a spruce/European flame maple Torres model. It's light, lively and sweet. The next is a spruce/Indian rosewood guitar inspired by Antonio Marin Montero. It has strong singing trebles and loose gravely basses. Both have Spanish cedar necks, ebony fingerboards and Gotoh premium tuning machines.

Necks, Frets, Sandpaper and Bracing

The last week in the shop has been a bit chaotic. I've been finishing up the French polish on two guitars for the GFA and then getting back to work on two others.

In other news, I tried out a few new products that I feel compelled to write about because they are really great. I finally got around to trying out some Jescar fretwire and it is far superior to any other fretwire that I've used. It's consistent, the tangs are accurate and the barbs are a bit smaller and sharper than most other fretwire. I also purchased a small Japanese fret saw with a .022" kerf from a German supplier over here; I feel that it is smoother and cuts much faster than the English fret saws one finds from suppliers like LMI and Stewmac. The last thing that I received in the mail today was a big stack of Mirka sandpaper. As it turns out, it is seemingly impossible to find good sandpaper in Austria. After wasting much time and money on various sandpaper that was all unbelievably and frustratingly terrible, I finally broke down and ordered a bunch of Finnish sandpaper from an auto supplier in Germany. It was well worth it.