- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Sterling; 2nd ed. edition (February 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1402720602
- ISBN-13: 978-1402720604
- Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 1.1 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Classical Guitar Making: A Modern Approach to Traditional Design Hardcover – February 1, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
I also have the Cumpiano book which is equally amazing but the thing I really appreciate about this text is the quality of the photos. You can almost literally go off and do a build just following the photos alone. Ok so maybe not quite but truly the pictures with the associated text is amazing.
Aside from covering an end to end build of a guitar the most valuable things have been
- The detailed coverage of building templates and forms, including a solera.
- Alternate perspective on various build steps from other texts. In particular neck carving and construction.
- Again the quality of photos and text
- Thoughts on tools and shop setup
What I'm most disappointed with is:
- The finishing section is very weak. Nice overview of lacquer and French polish but I in no way feel like I could attempt these techniques with just this book.
- Not a lot of commentary on guitar design and theory. For instance minimal comments on specific tone qualities of woods, or how guitar geometry impacts final tone quality. Almost nothing on tuning your top or how brace layout and geometry impacts tone. You will need to supplement with other books (of which there are many).
- This book is traditional in it's approach. No coverage of fretboard binding, inlays, sound ports, or other modern techniques and ideas.
Personally I think some of the techniques presented complicate the build process. For instance shaping your top braces before gluing them down. However there are many ways to skin this cat each with it's own trade offs so I appreciate the different perspective and insight so I can consider and/or try other methods to assess what works best for me.
This book paired with Cumpiano has been a powerful combination and helping me build a solid foundation. I highly recommend this book!!
The detail contained in the book is (this word keeps coming up) amazing. He really does cover every step in the process and he describes and photographs every little step of the process including the tools he prefers and uses, even down to series of photos showing how he spreads glue.
This book is beautifully executed. A nicely made hardcover with dust jacket; it's built to last. The photographs, which may be its greatest strength, are profuse, extremely well made and their reproduction is flawless. Pretty much every detail of every process used to build a classical guitar is well explained, both in words and in beautiful photographs. The book includes details of making your own bindings, purflings, and rosettes. The actual methods used by the author are explained in great detail. All the tools are described and shown.
I started out with Cumpiano and Natelson (Guitar Making: Tradition and Technology). That book is still a wonderful book, especially if your interest is in steel string acoustics. We truly live in a golden age of guitar making and the resources available to a beginning builder are more extensive than ever in history. This book is one of the best. Enjoy.
I also recommend:
Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology: A Complete Reference for the Design & Construction of the Steel-String Folk Guitar & the Classical Guitar (Guitar Reference)
Making Master Guitars
A Collection of Fine Spanish Guitars from Torres to the Present
Understanding Wood: A Craftsman's Guide to Wood Technology
Wood Handbook: Wood as an Engineering Material (this is also avialable free online as a pdf)
And: The Guild of American Luthiers: [...]
The book is very enjoyable the quality and details are very high.
It is not a 101 on woodwork, but If you know your chisels and planes plus a few power tolls this book can make you a guitar maker. Just take your time because it will not happen overnight.