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Home from Grey Fox 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty   
Sunday, 20 July 2014 19:54

Greetings! We are now back from Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival 2014...  It was a great festival this year and here is a recap of some of the things that stood out from this years event....

This year I brought along a workbench to set up in my booth area.  Therefore, I was able to do some repairs as well as some demos on different aspects of instrument making.

Sunday morning I did a few guitar making demos for an upcoming workshop that will be offered through Maplewood Center for Common Craft

Saturday morning I was able to participate with a few other luthiers in a luthier forum entitled, "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Stringed Instruments But Were Afraid to Ask".  It went real well and the audience had some good questions to ask.  I hope they feel they received some good answers!

As always, we heard some great bluegrass music too!  Here are the Gibson Brothers poking some fun at each other. We also enjoyed...

Steep Canyon Rangers...great vocals and musicianship..

and Balsam Range...(my wife's new favorite bluegrass group)..I talked with their guitar player whom is a maker of some mighty fine guitars as well.

Our sons participated in the Kids Academy at the festival this year.  Hats off to the staff involved there..  The children were taught several songs as well as working on different harmonies for the songs taught.  The staff is very good at helping all the children involved in their different skill levels with playing more skillfully on their instruments.

Some pretty good jams took place right at the booth....from old to young, the bluegrass tunes are fun to play and sing!

Thanks Grey Fox for a great 2014 festival!

Take Care,



Grey Fox Festival 2014-Workshop News PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty   
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 21:20

Well, summer is well on its way, and it has been very busy in shop and out of shop for me so far...   It is now July and time for Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival once again.

This year, I will be part of an instrument building panel workshop with two other local luthiers.  We will be discussing all sorts of topics from instrument set-up to instrument up keep.  The workshop is at 10:00 on Saturday in the Slow Jam Tent.  So...grab a cup of coffee and come join us for a great workshop...I think you will find it very informative.

This festival I will also have a workbench set up so that I can work on some instruments while at the festival.

These are three A-style mandolins that I will be working on at the bench... I find it is always interesting for people to come by the booth and watch the process that takes place in making a handmade instrument.  I look forward to meeting and seeing you all that come by!

I will also have some F-style mandolins that are finished and ready for sale...

Because I have a workbench set up, I will also be doing repairs, set-ups and adjustments as needed. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have an upcoming guitar making course that is being offered through Maplewood Center for Common Craft.

Therefore, I will be doing a few demos for that course as well..  Looking forward to a great festival!

Take Care,







Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 21:54
A Visit to the Martin Guitar Factory-Macica Workshop PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty   
Thursday, 22 May 2014 13:21

Greetings from the Workshop.... I thought it would be nice to post a blog about our visit to the Martin Guitar Factory in Nazareth, Pennsylvania...

This was a stop for our family on our way home from a visit to Lancaster area. It was beautiful to see all the Amish farmers working their land there.  The Martin Factory was a nice side trip on our way home.

This is a photo of my son and I standing next to some unfinished guitars.

The factory produces about 250 guitars per day there.  It is very clean and all the workers seem happy to be there. Martin Guitars are made in Pennsylvania as well as their other factory in Mexico. It is a farely large facility with all the best modern mechanization's to help produce the high volume of instruments they put out each day.

Despite all the mechanization, they still make room for hand skill....

Here is a woman hand-cutting the bracing...

and some men working on shaping the necks of the guitar...

There was a (what my family would say) funny story or shall I say moment of tension on the tour when our guide "Ben" said that you can't make a more perfect neck dovetail joint than a machine dovetail.  "There is just no way", said Ben.  At that comment, my son said, "you can dad, right?"  I said to my son, "I think you can by hand, but I don't want to cause a ruckus".

Next thing I knew, Ben chimed in "What?"  Notice in this next picture how the crowd has now taken a few steps back and left me hanging there with the question from Ben, "What?"

That should just say it all right there!  Rest assured, Ben and I talked it out and the tension passed...  Although I will say, that the way I make a guitar now is originally the way Martin Co. did do it in the 20's according to an acquaintance of mine; who was a long term custom inlay guy for Martin Co.  Here are some pictures of some of the early history of Martin...

I loved looking at all the old instrument molds and hand tools... I enjoyed learning about the history of the company as well. All in all, it was a nice visit and I'm glad that there is room enough for both "Martin's"....




Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 14:24
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The Macica Workshop: Maker of Fine Stringed Instruments

166 County Route 338, Schuylerville, NY 12871 518.695.3029