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Category Archives: Gypsy Guitars


A redwood Derecho for Carl Rothman.    100+ year old redwood top, curly walnut back and sides.   Mahogany neck, Ebano fingerboard and bridge, stainless frets.  Miller hardware, French polish finish.   In the last 12 months, have made four Derechos, first ones since 2016.   The Derecho is patterned on the medium size D hole guitars of Jacques Castelluccia.   Four brace, somewhat thicker tops than the fiver brace Selmer design which gives them a great old school sound.





Michael Joseph Harris in the test driver’s seat.   More details and pics  HERE.


A new Derecho for Carter Gravatt, great to work with him on this custom order.   Torrefied sitka top, curly walnut back and sides.  The more I use torrefied spruce, the more I like it.   660mm scale, modern neck shape, Spanish cedar neck, Ebano fingerboard, Evo-Gold greats, low action.   Beautiful Waverly tuners by request.   Miller tail.  Full on French polish.

In the dead of winter I always seem to get the desire to do some thing different.  In this case, it was a rosette based on a 17th century viola I saw in an Italian museum three-four years ago.   The pattern is made up of elongated diamonds and rounds cut out of mother of pearl set in “mastic” (ebony dust & hide glue).

The top is Lutz spruce, five brace pattern, back and sides are American black walnut.  Mahogany neck, Ebano  fingerboard and bridge, nickel silver frets. Miller  tuners and tail.   Full French polish finish.

A petite bouche with a torrefied sitka spruce top and curly makore back and sides.   Pickguard is ebony veneer which is very similar in weight to the clear plastic variety and much lighter than the black plastic type.   Ebano fingerboard and bridge.   Nickel silver frets, Golden Age tuners and Miller tail.  Satin finish.   For Sale

Petite Bouche for David Dugas in Georgia.  European spruce  five brace top top, curly makore back and sides.   Mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard, Ebano bridge,  nickel silver frets, Miller tuners and tail.

More 100+ year old redwood for the top on this one.   Four brace top, walnut back and sides, mahogany neck.  670mm scale, Ebano fingerboard and bridge, nickel silver frets, Golden Age tuners and Miller tail.   Satin finish.   For Sale.

Model Derecho for John McNeil in Virginia.   100+ year old redwood top, curly French walnut back and sides.  Spanish Cedar neck,  Ebano fingerboard and bridge.   Nickel Silver frets, Miller tuners and tail.   French polish.

If you scroll down in this Facebook thread, you’ll find a video of John playing his new guitar shortly after taking delivery.

Based on a Joseph DiMauro bouche en coeur guitar.    Half-moon rosette, Lutz spruce top, Birdseye maple back and sides.   Spanish cedar neck, walnut spline, Ebano fingerboard and bridge, nickel silver 43×96 frets, Miller tuners, CB custom tailpiece.

I recently acquired tops from redwood trees cut over 100 years ago   It is much harder and stiffer than redwood one finds in the lumber yard today, if you can find it at all.   I run tops through a little stiffness to weight ratio test when selecting for a build and this redwood top had the highest S/W ratio of any I’ve ever tested.   The result is a very light top assembly that remains bright and lively when pushed to the limit of top deflection.   A lesser top becomes low pitched and flabby sounding.   The combination of light weight and high pitch makes for a highly responsive guitar with a lush bright sound.   That it is loud is a given.

Redwood top, laminated walnut back and sides, walnut neck, Ebano fingerboard and bridge,  670mm scale.   French polish finish.