Rzepka Strings

What’s New

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

Steve Connor used to call this jig the 'magic stick.' Just a board with 3 nubs at the 1st fret, 12th fret and saddle position. When the fingerboard is done being shaped, all three should be making contact. This ensures correct action and string height at the saddle. #jigs #lutherie #madeinmaine #classicalguitar ... See MoreSee Less

Steve Connor used to call this jig the magic stick. Just a board with 3 nubs at the 1st fret, 12th fret and saddle position. When the fingerboard is done being shaped, all three should be making contact. This ensures  correct action and string height at the saddle. #jigs #lutherie #madeinmaine #classicalguitar

I always like maple bindings on a guitar with sapwood on the back--the light colors complement each other neatly. #camatillo #classicalguitar #lutherie #madeinmaine ... See MoreSee Less

I always like maple bindings on a guitar with sapwood on the back--the light colors complement each other neatly. #camatillo #classicalguitar #lutherie #madeinmaine

Planing down bindings on this European spruce & Indian rosewood guitar--bindings are flamed maple with bloodwood, maple and dyed (black) Poplar purfling to match the rosette. #lutherie #classicalguitar #handtools #madeinmaine ... See MoreSee Less

Planing down bindings on this European spruce & Indian rosewood guitar--bindings are flamed maple with bloodwood, maple and dyed (black) Poplar purfling to match the rosette. #lutherie #classicalguitar #handtools #madeinmaine

Just love the tight flame on these European maple bindings...this wood came from the deep woods of Poland, my ancestral homeland 🙂 🇵🇱. #flamedmaple #classicalguitar #madeinmaine #lutherie ... See MoreSee Less

Just love the tight flame on these European maple bindings...this wood came from the deep woods of Poland, my ancestral homeland 🙂 🇵🇱. #flamedmaple #classicalguitar #madeinmaine #lutherie

This thin Indian rosewood back is braced with light, stiff spruce bracing in a very strong formation. It'll soon be joined to its very lightweight (but stiff) laminated rib structure with a fan braced spruce top. I'm going for a refined, lute-like quality here--plucky, plummy, and crystal clear. #classicalguitar #madeinmaine #lutherie #indianrosewood ... See MoreSee Less

This thin Indian rosewood back is braced with light, stiff spruce bracing in a very strong formation. Itll soon be joined to its very lightweight (but stiff) laminated rib structure with a fan braced spruce top. Im going for a refined, lute-like quality here--plucky, plummy, and crystal clear. #classicalguitar #madeinmaine #lutherie #indianrosewood

Cutting a mortise for the heel on this elevated fingerboard model--always a fun step. I've been meaning to make a router jig for this step for years, but the old fashioned way is so much more satisfying (though slower of course). #lutherie #madeinmaine #joinery #classicalguitar ... See MoreSee Less

Cutting a mortise for the heel on this elevated fingerboard model--always a fun step. Ive been meaning to make a router jig for this step for years, but the old fashioned way is so much more satisfying (though slower of course). #lutherie #madeinmaine #joinery #classicalguitar

 

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Is getting an elevated fingerboard still an option for me?

Back braces gluing up in the vacuum press. The press puts steady pressure on these scalloped struts, allowing me to pre-shape the braces rather than carving them after the fact. Also avoids marring from clamps or go-bars, or having to use cauls. #classicalguitar #lutherie #madeinmaine ... See MoreSee Less

Back braces gluing up in the vacuum press. The press puts steady pressure on these scalloped struts, allowing me to pre-shape the braces rather than carving them after the fact. Also avoids marring from clamps or go-bars, or having to use cauls. #classicalguitar #lutherie #madeinmaine

Hard to do it justice in a photo, but...camatillo rosewood is rapidly winning my heart, both aesthetically and acoustically. This back will join an x-braced cedar top and and elevated fingerboard and will be making the rounds at 2018 guitar festivals. Unless it sells before then. 🙂 #madeinmaine #classicalguitar #lutherie #camatillo ... See MoreSee Less

Hard to do it justice in a photo, but...camatillo rosewood is rapidly winning my heart, both aesthetically and acoustically. This back will join an x-braced cedar top and and elevated fingerboard and will be making the rounds at 2018 guitar festivals. Unless it sells before then. 🙂 #madeinmaine #classicalguitar #lutherie #camatillo

 

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Gorgeous grain!

About to close up this spruce /African blackwood guitar. Using my 3x3 'lattice' bracing with a bridge bar to tighten up the attack. ... See MoreSee Less

About to close up this spruce /African blackwood guitar. Using my 3x3 lattice bracing with a bridge bar to tighten up the attack.

 

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Someone is going to be very happy with that beautiful instument! 😁

2 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

Psychedelic patterns of camatillo rosewood resin on tin foil. These fluorescent magenta stripes steam out when I bend sides. Just another small thing to appreciate. #accidentalart #lutherie #classicalguitar ... See MoreSee Less

Psychedelic patterns of camatillo rosewood resin on tin foil. These fluorescent magenta stripes steam out when I bend sides. Just another small thing to appreciate. #accidentalart #lutherie #classicalguitar

 

Comment on Facebook

Beautiful

Have you ever mentored/tutored/tought woodworking/lutherie? My skills are slowly developing (just got a band saw and a belt sander), but nothing I've crafted come close to the mastery I see coming from your hands... If nothing else, I at least need to visit your workshop for whatever inspiration I can absorb!

2 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

Sunlight can be like an x-ray, you can see the density and grain direction of the wood in how the light shines through. Darker spots are where there is bearclaw/hazel, or where the wood is denser. #madeinmaine #lutherie #classicalguitar ... See MoreSee Less

Sunlight can be like an x-ray, you can see the density and grain direction of the wood in how the light shines through. Darker spots are where there is bearclaw/hazel, or where the wood is denser. #madeinmaine #lutherie #classicalguitar

2 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

Another chladni pattern, this one on a braced spruce top somewhere around 600 Hz. ... See MoreSee Less

Another chladni pattern, this one on a braced spruce top somewhere around 600 Hz.

2 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

Love me a good Japanese paring chisel for scalloping braces ... See MoreSee Less

Love me a good Japanese paring chisel for scalloping braces

 

Comment on Facebook

Very cool bracing pattern! I think I can hear that transverse brace!

3 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

Brace making time! ... See MoreSee Less

Brace making time!

3 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

Chladni pattern on an unbraced cedar top vibrating at 104 Hz. I've just starting documenting these in all of my unbraced and braced tops after taking them to final thickness. After I get a big enough sample size I'm going to figure out the signal in the noise (I hope!) and look for connections between vibrational modes and tone qualities in the finished guitars. Lutherie is fun...and crazy-making. ... See MoreSee Less

Chladni pattern on an unbraced cedar top vibrating at 104 Hz. Ive just starting documenting these in all of my unbraced and braced tops after taking them to final thickness. After I get a big enough sample size Im going to figure out the signal in the noise (I hope!) and look for connections between vibrational modes and tone qualities in the finished guitars. Lutherie is fun...and crazy-making.

 

Comment on Facebook

if I was king of everything, I'd be your apprentice for a while...

3 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

Joining a sweet cedar top for the the next round of guitars-- this top is very stiff and will be paired with a painfully beautiful camatillo rosewood back (photos later) for a crisp, brilliant and deeply rich sound. ... See MoreSee Less

Joining a sweet cedar top for the the next round of guitars-- this top is very stiff and will be paired with a painfully beautiful camatillo rosewood back (photos later) for a crisp, brilliant and deeply rich sound.

4 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

Thanks #laguitarracalifornia for a fantastic 2017 festival. So much fun hearing and hanging out with so many great guitarists and luthiers. Looking forward to 2019! ... See MoreSee Less

Thanks #laguitarracalifornia for a fantastic 2017 festival. So much fun hearing and hanging out with so many great guitarists and luthiers. Looking forward to 2019!

4 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

OK California, I get it. ... See MoreSee Less

OK California, I get it.

 

Comment on Facebook

Hahaha when are we all moving there?

4 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

San Luis Obispo or bust! #laguitarracalifornia
#madeinmaine #lutherie #guitarmaking
... See MoreSee Less

San Luis Obispo or bust! #laguitarracalifornia
#madeinmaine #lutherie #guitarmaking

 

Comment on Facebook

Good luck out there! Spread the gospel!

Yay!!!!

Go get 'em, sir!

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4 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

This handy little scissor jack almost makes gluing loose back braces not terribly awkward. Almost...
#madeinmaine #lutherie #classicalguitar #guitarrepair
... See MoreSee Less

This handy little scissor jack almost makes gluing loose back braces not terribly awkward. Almost...
#madeinmaine #lutherie #classicalguitar #guitarrepair

7 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

String up time! #lutherie #madeinmaine #classicalguitar ... See MoreSee Less

String up time! #lutherie #madeinmaine #classicalguitar

 

Comment on Facebook

Pegs or slotted?

7 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

Nothing takes a French polish like cocobolo ... See MoreSee Less

Nothing takes a French polish like cocobolo

I have a new classical guitar album available to stream on my website, featuring a guitar constructed by Toby Rzepka.

joehartnettguitar.com/index.php/albums/

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)
1. Suite in e-minor, BWV 996……………………………………... 18:38
Prelude • Presto • Allemande • Courante • Sarabande • Bourrée • Gigue
2. Chaconne, BWV 1004…………………………………………… 13:41
Mauro Giuliani (1781 - 1829)
3. Gran Sonata Eroica, Op. 150……………………………………. 16:22
Eduardo Sainz de la Maza (1903 - 1982)
4. Campanas del Alba………………………………………………. 4:49
Joe Hartnett (1984)
5. Villa-Lobos Variation……………………………………………. 2:43
Joe Hartnett, Guitar Total time: 55’33
"Guitar" by Joe Hartnett
All music performed, recorded and produced by Joe Hartnett. Joe plays guitars constructed by the great luthier, Toby Rzepka.
© 2017 Joe Hartnett.
www.joehartnettguitar.com
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9 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

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Comment on Facebook

New bracing! Is this on cedar?

I find this image just as amazingly beautiful as a finished guitar...

9 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

Assembly time! ... See MoreSee Less

Assembly time!

11 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

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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Toby, Toby, Toby. Flawless.

Awesome looking guitar

11 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

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
... See MoreSee Less

 

Comment on Facebook

Dude, fantastic aesthetic on this one!

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

Seriously beautiful, Jones!

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12 months ago

Toby Rzepka, Luthier

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

Brazilian rosewood bridges finished with Danish oil, ready for gluing

 

Comment on Facebook

Stop torturing me!

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