Rzepka Strings

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News, concerts, records, and the latest from the workbench.

Toby Rzepka, Luthier added 7 new photos.

2017 African blackwood / European spruce concert classical, available for trial. Open, lush sound with creamy, sparkling trebles and lots of power. This is one of my favorite tonewood combinations, and it's well represented in this instrument. Blackwood is rarely found in quartersawn, knot-free billets, and European spruce is becoming very difficult to find without runout in the grain. I work very hard to find wood that meets my criteria, but guitars like this one consistently remind me that it's worth the effort!

#madeinmaine #lutherie #classicalguitar #dreamguitar
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2017 African blackwood / European spruce concert classical, available for trial. Open, lush sound with creamy, sparkling trebles and lots of power. This is one of my favorite tonewood combinations, and its well represented in this instrument. Blackwood is rarely found in quartersawn, knot-free billets, and European spruce is becoming very difficult to find without runout in the grain. I work very hard to find wood that meets my criteria, but guitars like this one consistently remind me that its worth the effort!

#madeinmaine #lutherie #classicalguitar #dreamguitar

Shelby J. Woods, Jeffrey Burnap and 10 others like this

Mary Palmer LakeToby, Toby, Toby. Flawless.

2 months ago   ·  1
Mary Palmer Lake

Ceri FaasAwesome looking guitar

2 months ago   ·  1
Ceri Faas

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Toby Rzepka, Luthier added 6 new photos.

2017 camatillo rosewood and western red cedar concert classical, fresh off the finishing bench and ready for adoption. Powerful, focused tone with excellent clarity and sweetness. Contact me for details.

#madeinmaine #classicalguitar #lutherie #dreamguitar
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2017 camatillo rosewood and western red cedar concert classical, fresh off the finishing bench and ready for adoption. Powerful, focused tone with excellent clarity and sweetness. Contact me for details. 

#madeinmaine #classicalguitar #lutherie #dreamguitar

Mat O'B, David Burton and 14 others like this

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Asa BradfordDude, fantastic aesthetic on this one!

2 months ago   ·  1

1 Reply

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Erick ThomasYou got a close-up of the inlay work around the sound hole?

2 months ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Erick Thomas

Megan HevenorSeriously beautiful, Jones!

2 months ago   ·  1
Megan Hevenor

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Brazilian rosewood bridges finished with Danish oil, ready for gluing ... See MoreSee Less

Brazilian rosewood bridges finished with Danish oil, ready for gluing

Jack Milton, Shelby J. Woods and 4 others like this

Mary Palmer LakeStop torturing me!

3 months ago   ·  1
Mary Palmer Lake

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Neck carvin

One of my favorite steps in guitar making is planing down the bindings and purfling that comprise the decorative edging of the body. After all the tedious work of fitting and gluing, it's always satisfying to flush everything down and see the result. This here is an ebony binding on a Brazilian rosewood body. ... See MoreSee Less

One of my favorite steps in guitar making is planing down the bindings and purfling that comprise the decorative edging of the body. After all the tedious work of fitting and gluing, its always satisfying to flush everything down and see the result. This here is an ebony binding on a Brazilian rosewood body.

Jay Rosenberg, Shelby J. Woods and 11 others like this

Nona ChildressI enjoy seeing your work!

4 months ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Nona Childress

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Closing up no. 50! I think it was Velasquez that said after the first 100 guitars you can claim to know something about guitar making. Well, I'm halfway there... ... See MoreSee Less

Closing up no. 50! I think it was Velasquez that said after the first 100 guitars you can claim to know something about guitar making. Well, Im halfway there...

Sunlight streaming through spruce ... See MoreSee Less

Sunlight streaming through spruce

Assembly time - - these little mahogany tentallones join the African blackwood sides to the German spruce sound board. ... See MoreSee Less

Assembly time - - these little mahogany tentallones join the African blackwood sides to the German spruce sound board.

Shelby J. Woods, Susan Ellis and 10 others like this

Dan MervakNice! How did your double top turn out?

6 months ago

1 Reply

Dan Mervak

Larry CoopermanLooks delicious, luthier. I am a termite.

6 months ago   ·  1
Larry Cooperman

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Gluing the bridge on my new prototype, a double-top with an internal lattice bracing. No nomex or other synthetic materials, just spruce. Can't wait to string it up tomorrow! ... See MoreSee Less

Gluing the bridge on my new prototype, a double-top with an internal lattice bracing. No nomex or other synthetic materials, just spruce.  Cant wait to string it up tomorrow!

Miguel Torres Kat, Fauzi Akmal Rabbani and 9 others like this

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Dan MervakSweeeeet!

7 months ago
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Ivan WinataVery interesting! Please let us know how does it sound.. :-)

7 months ago

1 Reply

Ivan Winata

Larry CoopermanTell us of the sound as you spank the infant on the butt.

6 months ago
Larry Cooperman

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Four Honduras mahogany necks, planed and ready for gluing scarf joints ... See MoreSee Less

Four Honduras mahogany necks, planed and ready for gluing scarf joints

Toby Rzepka, Luthier with Steve Connor and 3 others.

Here's a chart of all the sound board wood I've deflection tested over the past few years--the x axis is longitudinal stiffness, y is cross-grain stiffness. The size of the bubble represents density (bigger=denser), and the color identifies the sample species (blue is western red cedar, purple is European spruce, brown is sitka spruce, and yellow is engelmann spruce). Interesting to see how much the species cross over, and what the general trends are.

Cedar is usually assumed to be less dense and more flexible than spruce--here we see that, while generally true for longitudinal stiffness, cross-grain stiffness is usually in the same ball park between the two woods. Similarly, many of the cedar and spruce samples have around the same density--but the stiffest spruce is always significantly denser.

Another interesting observation is that density doesn't correlate that much with cross-grain stiffness--it seems to be mostly longitudinal stiffness that tracks closely with density.
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Heres a chart of all the sound board wood Ive deflection tested over the past few years--the x axis is longitudinal stiffness, y is cross-grain stiffness. The size of the bubble represents density (bigger=denser), and the color identifies the sample species (blue is western red cedar, purple is European spruce, brown is sitka spruce, and yellow is engelmann spruce). Interesting to see how much the species cross over, and what the general trends are. 

Cedar is usually assumed to be less dense and more flexible than spruce--here we see that, while generally true for longitudinal stiffness,  cross-grain stiffness is usually in the same ball park between the two woods. Similarly, many of the cedar and spruce samples have around the same density--but the stiffest spruce is always significantly denser.

Another interesting observation is that density doesnt correlate that much with cross-grain stiffness--it seems to be mostly longitudinal stiffness  that tracks closely with density.

Dan Mervak, Robert Berger and 4 others like this

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Stephen SwenderWhat is the upshot for the Sitka?

7 months ago

2 Replies

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Rosalee LammCool graph! Did data Dave make that for you?

7 months ago

3 Replies

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Roald WilsonFascinating!

7 months ago   ·  1
Roald Wilson

Steve Connorcool! miss you guys hope to connect with you this october in maine ... www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VP1WnUw2T0

7 months ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Steve Connor

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Luthièr! How's my double top coming along?! ... See MoreSee Less

Toby Rzepka, LuthierIt's got shellac on it! But I'm on kid duty all week this week, so progress is slow...

8 months ago

1 Reply

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

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Toby Rzepka, Luthier added 7 new photos.

European spruce & Flamed maple concert classical, 2016. Purfling detail based on English viols of the 16th and 17th Centuries.
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European spruce & Flamed maple concert classical, 2016. Purfling detail based on English viols of the 16th and 17th Centuries.

Larry Cooperman, Joshua Lee Kirch and 21 others like this

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Asa BradfordSwoon

8 months ago   ·  1
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Brian RobertsTotally Gorgeous! As a guitarist and cellist, I find this wonderful!

8 months ago   ·  1
Brian Roberts

Gregoíre St. Denis PearceDoing your thing. Bueno

8 months ago   ·  1
Gregoíre St. Denis Pearce

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Gregoíre de la Costa playing his 2014 spruce /blackwood guitar on Star Island last Friday as swallows dived and swooped in the late afternoon sun. Thanks, universe! ... See MoreSee Less

Gregoíre de la Costa playing his 2014 spruce /blackwood guitar on Star Island last Friday as swallows dived and swooped in the late afternoon sun. Thanks, universe!

Here's a tidy little stack of cow bone, maple and Brazilian rosewood--ultimately it will be sawn into thin tie-block veneers, but I kind of like this object as it is: a heavy, smooth, perfectly rectangular domino of contrasting materials. Fancy paperweight, anyone? ... See MoreSee Less

Heres a tidy little stack of cow bone, maple and Brazilian rosewood--ultimately it will be sawn into thin tie-block veneers, but I kind of like this object as it is: a heavy,  smooth, perfectly rectangular domino of contrasting materials. Fancy paperweight, anyone?

Shelby J. Woods, Chet Woods and 5 others like this

Janet Frost EnglandWhat you do is SOOOOO cool!

10 months ago   ·  1
Janet Frost England

Gregoíre St. Denis PearceIt's the most expensive paperweight I've ever seen. However, start sawing!

9 months ago   ·  1
Gregoíre St. Denis Pearce

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The most beautiful wood in the world, ladies and gents, might just be good old flamed maple. The figure is really popping after a base coat of linseed oil. Next, the first applications of shellac will go on in the French polishing process. ... See MoreSee Less

The most beautiful wood in the world, ladies and gents, might just be good old flamed maple. The figure is really popping after a base coat of linseed oil. Next, the first applications of shellac will go on in the French polishing process.

Jay Rosenberg, David Bruce and 23 others like this

Margot FineBeautiful Tobes!

10 months ago   ·  1
Margot Fine

David BruceWhat style of guitar is this.

8 months ago

4 Replies

David Bruce

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FYI, my website recently got hacked--it's being restored at the moment but may take a couple of days. Bear with me! ... See MoreSee Less

The ugly truth / what my bench really looks like during neck carving time ... See MoreSee Less

The ugly truth / what my bench really looks like during neck carving time

Chiseling a mortise in preparation to join this heel to the body of guitar # 42 ... See MoreSee Less

Chiseling a mortise in preparation to join this heel to the body of guitar # 42

Purfling inlay at end block on #43, looking forward to seeing this flamed maple under finish! ... See MoreSee Less

Purfling inlay at end block on #43, looking forward to  seeing this flamed maple under finish!

Shelby J. Woods, Ivan Winata and 15 others like this

Benjamin Sacchettibeautiful work!

11 months ago   ·  1
Benjamin Sacchetti

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Having fun laying out a geometric purfling design on this maple guitar-- a type of decorative motif widely used by English viol makers in the 16th and 17th Centuries. A bit of that old world flavor! ... See MoreSee Less

Having fun laying out a geometric purfling design on this maple guitar-- a type of decorative motif widely used by English viol makers in the 16th and 17th Centuries. A bit of that old world flavor!

James Cole, Roger Rose and 12 others like this

Roger RoseGreat stuff.... You go!

11 months ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Roger Rose

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Bass-side binding & purfling coming together at the end block of the guitar, connecting the back stripe and end stripe. Joints are chiseled, time to glue! ... See MoreSee Less

Bass-side binding & purfling coming together at the end block of the guitar, connecting the back stripe and end stripe. Joints are chiseled, time to glue!

Maple and ebony bindings, freshly bent and ready for inlay ... See MoreSee Less

Maple and ebony bindings, freshly bent and ready for inlay

Chet Woods, Susan Whitridge and 8 others like this

Asa Bradford*sigh* I miss this

11 months ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Asa Bradford

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European spruce with figured cocobolo sides, 7 brace fan design ... See MoreSee Less

European spruce with figured cocobolo sides, 7 brace fan design

Toby Rzepka, Luthier with Maire Ui Shearcoid.

I just love the deep purple color of this Indian rosewood.
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I just love the deep purple color of this Indian rosewood.

Benjamin Sacchetti, Karen 'KG' Gardner and 16 others like this

Sean WilkinsonI bet Smoke on the Water would sound great on this when it's finished.

12 months ago   ·  1
Sean Wilkinson

Jack MiltonThat's a lovely piece of wood.

12 months ago   ·  1
Jack Milton

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Western red cedar sound board with grid bracing, neck and end block assembled. This is a very stiff, thin top, helping to compensate for the lower string tension of this guitar's 640mm vibrating string length. ... See MoreSee Less

Western red cedar sound board with grid bracing, neck and end block assembled.  This is a very stiff, thin top, helping to compensate for the lower string tension of this guitars 640mm vibrating string length.

Here's a little rosewood cleat all ready to be glued to a side crack on the inside of a guitar. I use rare earth magnets on the cleat to reference a corresponding magnet on the outside of the instrument in the correct location. Very useful, since once your hand is inside the guitar, you are working blind. ... See MoreSee Less

Heres a little rosewood cleat all ready to be glued to a side crack on the inside of a guitar. I use rare earth magnets on the cleat to reference a corresponding magnet on the outside of the instrument in the correct location. Very useful, since once your hand is inside the guitar, you are working blind.

Shelby J. Woods, Chet Woods and 1 other like this

Alex MalloyGenius!

1 years ago

1 Reply

Alex Malloy

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Loving the gorgeous flame on this maple back, all braced up and ready for assembly. ... See MoreSee Less

Loving the gorgeous flame on this maple back, all braced up and ready for assembly.

European spruce bracing for four guitars, roughed out and joined. My bracing patterns are mostly interlocking, so I can assemble them first and then glue them into place on the sound board in one step after shaping. ... See MoreSee Less

European spruce bracing for four guitars, roughed out and joined. My bracing patterns are mostly interlocking, so I can assemble them first and then glue them into place on the sound board in one step after shaping.
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