19.44 degrees

Here’s a look at the neck block mock-up cut and placed in the rim tooling, and what it took to get it to that point! And, hey, I still have all my fingers!!!

It turns out I needed 19.44 degrees taken off each side to get the necessary angle.

I’ll cut the actual block […]

The basic shape of “The Thula”

The basic outline you see on this template is an iteration off of a 1922/1923 Lloyd Loar Gibson mandolin.

“The Thula” will be a hybrid of this design, especially the area around the neck joint.

From this template I’ll be able to bend my sides to fit this shape and develop my neck and tail block. I’ve […]

D’Addario N6Alloy Beta Test

A while ago the D’Addario company put out a call to action on Facebook for testing a new set of acoustic guitars string, the N6Alloy. D’Addario is to be applauded for this because it gives guitar players (at all levels, by the way) the chance to try a different set of strings with no risk!

I have a 2003 […]

The right strings!

Mandolin #1 was completed a while ago, so it’s time to experiment with string type. The original strings were D’Addario J67(s) which have nickel wound G and D strings. I used these because they last a bit longer due to perspiration tarnish.  I’m trying a set of D’Addario EJ74(s) which are a standard medium gauge […]

Unplugged

When I hear the term “unplugged,” I have to laugh. Almost every piece of acoustic music from the 1970’s was unplugged! Then, Nirvana comes along in 1993 with their “unplugged” concert, and people think it’s revolutionary!? And, as you’ll note in this Nirvana video, they still “plug-in.”

Thinking back to folks like Gordon Lightfoot and […]

Well, well – Eric Clapton agrees!

I’ve said for years that a person plays up to their instrument!

Listen through this interview, Mr. Clapton agrees …

By the way, the black & white photo is a pic of my father on the left, Mike Rantz (real name = Robert Marion Rantz) and my uncle, Joe Rantz, playing guitars together. Picture was taken in […]

Some of the finest new guitars

The Martin Guitar Company will often send some reps around to different location throughout the US. During one of these episodes I had the opportunity to play some Martin Authentics. These guitars are built to “old world” standards, using hide glue and a bit more “hand” fitting in the process of construction.

Take a look:

These […]

Guitar care in the New Year

Well, a few of you may have received new instruments for Christmas. That, of course, is excellent news!

With the gift of a new guitar, banjo, mandolin, or ukulele, comes the responsibility of understanding the needs of the instrument. Especially during the winter season. The reason I specifically mention winter is that it is typically […]

Steel or nylon strings…

Do I want a steel string guitar, or a nylon string guitar?

This question comes up at some point when students begin taking guitar lessons or shopping for their first instrument.

Steel strings are a little tougher on the finger tips, especially in the beginning phases. Nylon strings are a little easier on the finger tips, […]

Tour of Martin Guitar Factory & Museum

As I continue my tour of American-made guitar manufactures, I had the chance in 2010 to spend time at the Martin Factory & Museum in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. The pictures are of the instruments in the museum (no pictures allowed in the factory).

There are two buildings in Nazareth, PA representing the Martin Guitar company. The main […]

Taylor Guitar factory tour

In 2004 I took the opportunity to visit the Taylor Guitar company in El Cajon, CA. This is another manufacturer of American-made guitars.

If you find yourself in the San Diego area and have a few extra hours, do drive a bit east and visit Taylor Guitars, it is well worth the drive.

Taylor is an […]