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Maplewood Center for Common Craft

Macica Workshop-November news PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty   
Saturday, 08 November 2014 14:57

Hello all!  What's new in the workshop you ask?  Lately, it has been all about violins....  On November 12th, I will be meeting with the NWA (Northeast Woodworkers Assoc.) and its members to discuss the upcoming violin course that I will be teaching this winter.  Last month, a few luthiers in the area each gave a short presentation to the group about our craft.  It went well, and it was great to talk with and give a few demonstrations to those members that have an interest in what I do.

I think the presentation generated some interest as well, for the upcoming course this winter.  In the course, I will be teaching the way I have learned to make a violin.  I have learned a great deal about violin making in the last 35 years and am looking forward to sharing this knowledge and skill with those that attend the course. This course will be segmented into 12 parts using one of my favorite book resources, "The Secrets of Stradivari" by Simone F. Sacconi.  As I think about the course, I am able to reflect on my time on 57th Street in New York City. I remember my apprenticeship with some of the great makers I had the privilege of studying under, and how they taught me to understand the standard of making a fine violin.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to pass this standard on to those whom are willing to learn.

Here is a list of the 12 segments or parts of the upcoming course:

1.  The outline of the instrument and its sides

2.  Shaping the back and the top of the instrument

3.  The thickness of the top and back

4.  The positioning and cutting of the f holes

5.  The bass bar and closing the sound box

6.  Purfling and overhang-final touches to the borders

7.  The carving of the scroll

8.  Neck, fingerboard-modern fittings

9.  Finishing touches-sealer

10.  Varnishing

11. Cutting bridge, fitting pegs

12.  Set-up of instrument


Other news in the shop....  Bouzouki is almost finished!  Pictures of the finishing process coming soon....

Until next time,





Last Updated on Monday, 10 November 2014 10:30
Macica Workshop-October 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty   
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 16:51

Greetings from the Workshop!  I have just returned from a weekend of Salmon fishing with my oldest son and a few friends...


We caught some great fish!  I'm happy to have a good amount of fish meat in our freezer now...

In the workshop, I am finishing up a lot of projects.  I have mainly been working on the A-style mandolins (three in all) and the bouzouki that I blogged on last post.

I am really enjoying using Burl wood in a few parts of this instrument.  Burls yield a highly figured wood that can be prized for its beauty and rarity. It can be sought after by furniture makers, artists and wood sculptors.  I am using it for the binding and the rosette on the bouzouki..I think it adds a beautiful touch to this instrument.

I have just finished the tuning of the plates and the shaping of the tone bars on the mandolins.  Now, I will close them up and it will be time for the binding and putting the necks in.  I'll keep you posted!

I wanted to give a little plug in this post for an event happening tomorrow evening (Thursday) October 9th at 7:00. The Northeast Woodworkers Association is having an instrument maker forum at the Shaker Museum near the Albany airport.  I will be talking about violin making and invite you all to please feel free to come!

I look forward to visiting and talking with those that come out to listen/learn from a few of the local luthiers in the area.

Until next time,






Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 17:46
Vacation/Making a Bouzouki in the Workshop PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty   
Friday, 12 September 2014 11:55

Greetings from our Workshop! We have just returned from a vacation to the Connecticut shore...

We had beautiful weather and the ocean water was a perfect temperature..

Best of all....lots of fishing which made for good eatin'...

Great Vacation!  In the Workshop, I have been putting most of my time into making a Bouzouki....

I am making this instrument for singer/songwriter Andy Gullahorn from Nashville, Tennessee.  He is hoping to use this instrument on the "Behold the Lamb" tour this upcoming Christmas season.  Here is a link to his website...

This Bouzouki is an Irish Bouzouki which looks like half mandolin, half guitar.  It was originally a Greek instrument and was brought into being in the 60's as an Irish instrument.  Creating a mold for this instrument was the first part of the process...

I then began work on the top and back of the instrument.  I like to scrape the tops and backs because it keeps the pores of the wood nice and open.  An advantage to making a handmade instrument is that I have better control over varying thicknesses.  Not to mention the bracing glues up stronger with the open pore wood as well.

A favorite part of the process for me is cutting the rosette.  After I scribe the circle, I pull out the wood with my hand router.

I use Burrow wood for the inlay.

Here, it is just glued in with the inlay..

As you can see, the instrument is starting to take shape...

I will keep you posted on the continual process of the Bouzouki as I get farther along.  I look forward to hearing Andy play this instrument in his upcoming tour dates...

Hope you all had a good summer and are enjoying the fall!

Until next time,




Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 12:37
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The Macica Workshop: Maker of Fine Stringed Instruments

166 County Route 338, Schuylerville, NY 12871 518.695.3029