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Author Archive for: ‘Tom’

Olson Guitars - Guitar in progress

Jim Olson Guitars – Shop Tour

A Visit To Olson Guitars My journey to visit Jim Olson of Olson Guitars began a long time ago in California at the Healdsburg Guitar festival in 2003 where I had a chance encounter with a master luthier who up until then I only knew as, “the guy who makes guitars for James Taylor”. Since James Taylor was my inspiration …

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Hand Carving An Archtop Guitar: Time-Lapse Video & Photo Timeline

This Time-Lapse Guitar making video shows the process I use for sculpting the back of a 17 archtop guitar from my personal collection of master grade flame maple. It is a time lapse, and It goes by pretty quick, so I put together a timeline below that you can use to see some of the steps that are going by …

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Magnetic Mapping For Floating Guitar Pickups

Getting the best amplified sound from your guitar can be tricky sometimes especially if you are unaware of some of the finer things happening under the surface regarding the magnetic field of your pickup and how it relates to the strings of your guitar. Hand Made Floating Pickups & Placement All of the pickups that I use for my archtop guitars …

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Luthier Wall Chart

Introducing a new resource for luthiers, designed to help you gain a deeper understanding of how the guitar functions acoustically. My new Luthier Wall Chart, created in partnership with Mel Bay Music, is a wonderful addition to any guitar workshop for easy reference when building your guitars. There are many different manuals to show you step by step how to …

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John Monteleoone Craving A Recurve On A Maple Back

Monteleone Guitars Field Trip

An important part of being an artist is never loosing ones childlike curiosity and teachable spirit. Every artist must remember that there is always more to learn and more room for growth.  Being mindful of this aspect of art is what keeps me moving forward and always inspired to push through to the next level. This is also one of …

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The Elevated Fingerboard Guitar

The elevated fingerboard design for steel string and classical guitars offers the player and the builder many different advantages over the traditional design such as better tone and upper fret accessibility. Many builders and players haven’t tried this wonderful feature yet, partly because there isn’t very much material available explaining its benefits and how to execute this in their own …

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Lutherie Course: Guitar Physics, Design, & Guitar Set-Up

Click Here To Access The Guitar Physics Course & More! Lutherie Course: Guitar Physics, Design, & Guitar Set-Up In this online guitar building and setup course we will be taking an in-depth look at not only how to properly adjust and even design certain elements of your guitar, but we will also be studying guitar physics to understand why we …

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Guitar Care and Maintenance 101 Webinar

Live online course taught by master luthier Tom Bills for guitar players, collectors, new guitar builders, or anyone who ever wanted to understand more about how their guitar works as well as how to make subtle adjustments to their instrument for maximum playability and tonal response. Students will have the option to connect their microphone into the meeting for easy …

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Hand Split Tone Bars

Hand Split Tone Bars

One of the core aspects of the art of lutherie is understanding wood on its most basic levels. Everything from the cell structure to grain spacing, grain orientations, growth patterns, density, and more, are on my mind as I look at a potential piece of wood for a component of a guitar that I’m working on. Some of the most …

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Tom Bills Tuning The Back

Voicing the Back

Voicing or tuning the back plate of an archtop guitar is a very delicate and import task in getting the most sound and even more importantly developing the uniqie “Voice” of the guitar. More on this comming soon….

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