New England Luthiers
New England Luthiers
The New England Luthiers is an association of professionals and amateurs brought together by a common love of making stringed instruments. Our goal is to share our knowledge and techniques with anyone interested in expanding their understanding of instrument making. We provide open exchange of information and ideas geared toward the furthering of the craft, and a chance to spend time with others who have the same passion. Meetings are casual and there are no dues.
Join us in whenever you can. Our doors are always open to new members.
2014 Domestic Build Wraps up at Club Passim
For the 3 years in a row, Club Passim has hosted a Peter Mulvey/David Goodrich concert featuring instruments created by members of the New England Luthiers. As with previous years, the sold out show was successful at every level, providing great musical entertainment, humor and education.
For 2014, the instruments were all made from North American "domestic" species, and they really showcased what is possible using woods (often) found right in our backyard. Tonewoods included cherry, walnut, maples, birch, oak, apple and some lesser known species like persimmon, hornbeam, osage orange, black locust and others. It's no exaggeration to say the instruments were spectacular in every respect - visually and acoustically.Participating builders were Alan Carruth, Matt Bouchie, Mike McCarten, Paul Hoogeveen, Paul Buck, Tim Gruntman and Robert Stubblebine. Mike Mahar and Tom Thiel contributed greatly all year, but did not make the concert deadline.
We are actively planning another build for 2015, although the parameters are still under discussion. Our original idea of using a single tree might be too restrictive, but perhaps some members will want to pursue that while allowing other options as well. We hope to get an earlier start this year and create another great opportunity for builders to collaborate.
Please join the Yahoo group to receive updates and become involved.
Collaborative Build featured in American Lutherie
The New England Luthiers 2012 collaborative build project has been featured in the winter 2013 edition of the Guild of American Luthiers' quarterly journal American Lutherie. The front cover features a close-up of NEL member Trevor Healy's mahogany neck blank under construction, and "The New England Luthiers' OM Collaborative Build," written by NEL member Don Boivin, graces 8 full pages of the magazine, including over 35 full-color photographs of members and their guitars.
"American Lutherie reaches over 3,500 Guild members, as well as numerous other luthiers and aficionados in the field. Unlike other periodicals, back issues of American Lutherie are kept as reference material and referred to again and again over the years" (Guild of American Luthiers).
November 16th 2014, 12-4PM: Mike Mahar's shop in Amherst, NH
The next joint NHGL/NEL meeting is Sunday, November 16th at noon at Mike Mahar's shop in Amherst.
The topic is: Instrument Ergonomics. Discussion around wedge body styles with armrests and bevels. Bring an instrument or interesting jig for discussion. Harbor Freight is also close by if you need suppliesMike Mahar
15 Winterberry Dr.
Amherst, NH 03031
December 14th 2014, 12-4PM: Architectural Openings, Somerville MA
Architectural Openings is a custom window and millwork shop operated by guitar builders and musicians.
Their craftsmanship and products are fantastic, and it's a great place to visit for anyone interested in woodworking. Owner Steve Kearns has generously offered to host our December meeting, so please bring an instrument and stop by. Thanks to employee Paul Buck for the introductions and making arrangements.
The shop is very convenient to Rt 93 N/S and Rts 28 and 38 as well. Parking is available in their lot at the end of the building, and on the street as well.Architectural Openings
16 Garfield St
90.9 FM WBUR RadioBoston show
A group of us got together with host Anthony Brooks for what we hope is an informative interview.
We talked a bit about the NEL group, the OM Collaborative build, our own experiences as full/part-time builders, the upcoming show on Sunday, and assorted other topics including sustainable materials and why there aren't more women in lutherie - to name just a few.
Thanks to Wade Sylvester, Bruce Burns, Fran LaMalva, Mike Mahar, Mike McCarten, and Burton LeGeyt for participating. There was a lot of great insight and experience to share.
Check out the full audio, article and slide show at RadioBoston.
NEL 2013-2014 Meetings
We are in the process of organizing our 2013-2014 monthly meetings. We will be alternating each month with our sister organization The Guild of New Hampshire Woodworkers Luthiers subgroup.
If you are interested in hosting a meeting or presenting at a meeting, contact Steve Spodaryk.
Build a Guitar with Scott Dixon
Woodcraft in Massachusetts
Learn how to build your own guitar with Scott Dixon. This class of 6 students is designed to take a beginner/ intermediate woodworker through the steps to make a steel string guitar from a unique kit. You will learn terminology and the techniques for many of the specialized processes to complete your own personalized instrument. The process is broken down into small steps to familiarize the student with the construction of the neck including truss rod installation, fingerboard & fretting, and construction of the body including brace trimming/fitting, top installation, bridge gluing/alignment, purfling and final setup. Each guitar will be completed leaving the final top coat finish up to the student.
Class Dates:Walpole: Sunday, April 25 2014, 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Woburn: Saturday, April 26 2014, 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Walpole: Monday, April 27 2014, 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Walpole: Monday, April 28 2014, 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Guitar Kit Description:
Sapele Guitar Kit with Solid Spruce Top: Solid AAA spruce top, laminated sapele back & sides, rosewood bridge & fingerboard, shaped nato neck, deluxe sealed tuners, micarta nut & saddle, nickel silver frets, ABS binding, plastic endpins, adjustable truss rod, inlay material. Kerfing, endblocks and bracing attached. Sides are bent. Includes Hard-shell Case. Instruction manual included. Requires assembly and finish (not included).
Connect with other builders, share information and expertise, see each other's work and just have a good time. More...
Build a Quality Stringed Instrument
Take advantage of the knowledge and skill of luthiers around New England. Build a guitar, mandolin or violin. More...
Tips, Tools & Techniques
Learn the tricks of the trade from the NEL members. Get a view into their shops and see how it is done. More...
Gallery of Stringed Instruments
View the beautiful stringed instruments crafted by New England Luthier members. More...
Our goal is to share our knowledge and techniques with anyone interested in expanding their understanding of instrument making