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On this page, I'll provide you with information on my workshop, my way of building and how I see the world of Spanish guitars.
I use very few power tools in the building of a guitar and I do everything myself. There's absolutely no preproduction by other people involved in my guitar construction. When I say that my guitars are hand build, this means that my hands and no one else’s build them. The reason for using almost exclusively hand tools is that I do not see any quality advance in power tools and that I like a peacefull environment and to listen to music while I work. Instead of having invested in machinery, I have a nice little selection of high quality hand tools: knives; Chinese and American planes; Japanese saws, chisels and sharpening stones; deep throat caliber. The few power tools I use are a sander, a bench drill and a router that I use to make the channels for the neck reinforcements.
The central point in my guitar building is the instrument. The tool you use for making music. I've played music since I was a kid, and it’s the music that makes me build instruments. I use a lot of time doing the setup of an instrument. Like giving the fingerboard the right relief, the fretting, the polishing of the frets, the height of the strings above the fingerboard and above the soundboard, and this at the bridge and at the sound hole. I consider these adjustments to be some of the most important factors in what is a good guitar. The sound is of course another very important factor, but this you can read more about on the pages about the flamenco and classical guitar.
One of the problems in the guitar world is the use of words and terms to describe the production of the instruments. The best example is the use of the terms hand build. Everyone uses it. From the small builder working alone, the small factory with some 3 - 10 employees, and finally the big factories with many workers and a full setup of CNC machines to do most of the work. This term is also being used in many of the places where you can buy guitars. They also call everything hand build.
I'm not going to start a discussion of what is best or if the small factory build guitar is a better quality/value option than the Luthier build guitar. This I leave up to you. I don’t even compare my own guitars to these different production instruments. Not because I think mine are better, but simply because its another product. Some people do not care about if it's a luthier that has made their instrument especially to their specifications and keeping alive an old traditional culture. They just want an instrument that works, and maybe these players will be better of with a production guitar.
What I do say is that my guitars are true hand build instruments, where I'm the only one involved in the production. And this from the wood selection to the final polishing. I do believe that this is the best way of controlling the whole process and hence the best way to build a high quality instrument. I work every little piece as an individual component. And it might be that one soundboard needs to be 2,1mm at the center and 2,0mm at the edge, while another needs to be 2,2mm at the center and 2,0mm at the edge. This control I believe is obtained the best by using few or no power tools and instead of that, investing the money and the energy in high quality instruments for measuring
Some years ago, I had the luck that Simon Shearston, the
owner of www.foroflamenco.com asked me if he could make a
documentary of my work. I did of course say yes. The result you
can see here: