New Machines for Guitar Building

machines for guitar building - helical cutting head joiner

I recently purchased two new machines for guitar building. In guitar building one can get away with smaller, more compact machines since most of the work is on a comparatively small scale. These new machines replaced a couple of old ones that were larger, no longer working properly, and took up too much room in the shop. The shop seems to be shrinking all the time therefore space is at a premium.
As it goes of any woodworking shop a guitar making shop, should be laid out on paper first. This is also true if you are rearranging the shop. This is very helpful in making sure everything will fit and there is enough room between all the stations to get around safely. It is much easier to move things around on paper than it is to move heavy machinery around. Read more

Guitar Building Class in Brazil

Carving the heel - guitar building class in BrazilThe guitar building class in Brazil hosted by my good friend, and luthier, Luciano Borges was a huge success. In July I traveled to the newly constructed School of Lutherie in Araguari, Brazil to teach a guitar making class together with Luciano. The new facility is incredible. Luciano has created an place of unprecedented  beauty and utility for studying guitar building. It was an honor to be the first guest teacher at the new building.

There were so many things about this trip that I loved, but for me, the best thing about the experience was the people I met. The students were a delight. They were enthusiastic,  passionate and eager to learn. Read more

Luthier Interview – Fretboard Journal Podcast

Luthier John Bogdanovich carving a heelI was recently interviewed by Michael Bashkin for Fretboard Journal’s podcast. We talked about guitars, guitar players, guitar building and a bunch of other things. The interview took place in my shop a month or so ago and we had a great time. Michael conducted a fantastic interview and got me talking about my background, my journey and guitar building beginnings. You can listen to the interview below or check it out at https://www.fretboardjournal.com/podcast/luthier-on-luthier-podcast-john-bogdanovich/.  The podcast is also available  on iTunes on the Luthier on Luthier Podcast with Michael Bashkin.

Michael Bashkin is a great builder and I have known him for quite a few years. A few years ago he supplied me with tons of information on building a steel string guitar including photographs of his  building process. At the same time Michael wanted to make  classical guitar and I provided him plans and acetates for the guitar in my book. We exchanged information throughout the process helping each other along the way. It was a great learning experience for both of us.
Read more

Consigning Guitars

cedar top guitar front viewConsigning guitars seems to be a new craze among guitar salons and dealers. But who really benefits when you consign your guitars? Certainly not you the guitar maker. The guitar salon or dealer that’s who.

New builders might be enticed into consigning  guitars  to dealers in order to get them into whatever shop for the press and free advertising. Nothing is free and if the dealer did not pay for your instrument  he or she is certainly not going to advertise it. They have no investment in it.

New builders think its going to give them credibility. It won’t. If this is your plan will need to be extremely lucky to sell a guitar. Luck is not a good business model. Consigning guitars will probably postpone your paycheck for quite some time. I don’t know about you, but I like to get paid when the job is done.

Read more

Soundboard Selection

cedar soundboard made by student in class

Soundboard selection can be difficult if you are new to guitar building. Learning to select good soundboards for your guitar is also difficult. Can someone really teach you to choose the right wood for your guitars and the way you build? I think not. It’s complicated. I just love these guys that devote entire videos to teaching you how to pick out wood or voicing tops for your guitars. Before listening to anyone ask yourself this, how can someone teach you to choose the right wood or voice your top if they can’t make a decent guitar themselves?

Picking out wood that will result in a good musical instrument is always to some degree a bit of a risk. If you have been paying attention to the characteristics in the wood you have been using and drawing some parallel to the sound you are getting you may with time arrive at a list of properties that will work for you. But its not that simple. There are a lot of variables to this equation.
Read more