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Latest Activity: Jun 7

Discussion Forum

Restoring a Miniature 6 Replies

Started by Luis Motta da Silva. Last reply by Luis Motta da Silva Mar 1.

What's inside a Portuguese guitar? 1 Reply

Started by Luis Motta da Silva. Last reply by Kevin McCornack aka Dr. Moreau Aug 31, 2014.

Inlays. How to? 10 Replies

Started by Luis Motta da Silva. Last reply by Luis Motta da Silva Jan 4, 2014.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Davey C Schrock on January 28, 2011 at 5:25am
I have a question.My brother has a guitar that the g string is dead when open strum but when you fret a d chord it is fine.I have not got the guitar yet.Just wondering if anyone has any ideas on what that may be?When I get it i will be able to tell more.Well maybe lol.It is a cheap Alverez
Comment by Luis Motta da Silva on January 26, 2011 at 1:46pm
Thanks, Charles, coming from you, that comment flatters me a lot!
Comment by Edward Sparks on January 25, 2011 at 5:00pm

I woulds love to see other pics!  Looks like you made the case too?  Edward


Comment by Charles F Morrison on January 25, 2011 at 4:27pm


I like it very much. The lute like shape of the body works well with the thin bridge.

Comment by Luis Motta da Silva on January 25, 2011 at 4:23pm

Hi, Greg!

Yes, the top is European spruce, but I can't tell you what kind. I bought it very cheap - about 20 or 30 euros - from a lady that sold tonewoods. Years later I found  she bought woods from Maderas Barber (Spain). It's not a first choice spruce, but it was quartersawn and well dried, so, I took it. Just for curiosity, other woods in the guitar are African mahogany (sapele) for the back and sides, African Muteno (so I think) for the neck, and Brazilian Sucupira for the bridge and fretboard. The soundhole contour is made  of Vinhático (probably from Madeira island, where it is almost an extinguished species, unfortunately; but there still is Vinhático in Brazil)...

Comment by Luis Motta da Silva on January 25, 2011 at 4:11pm

Hi, Edward!

Here's the whole instrument. It was custom made for a jazz pianist from Wales that decided to spend his old age years in Portugal. He saw a mandolin made by me and said, "you know, I like to play 4-string banjo, it's a good instrument to search for harmonies, uncommon chords and the like. But I like the sound of guitars... would you make a banjo that sounds like a guitar, just for my whim?" - I said I could try, and here's the result. I had great pleasure making the instrument, it was my first "order" from a "customer", so, I charged him only the cost of woods and other materials. That was back in 1997...

In case you want to see some detail pictures, I can send them directly to your e-mail address (would't be fair to put a lot of pictures in this thread...)

Comment by Greg Brandt / Maker of Guitars on January 24, 2011 at 8:05pm

...and Luis, what kind of wood is that top wood? I'll guess some sort of Spruce but the picture makes it look so striped. Lovely bridge too!


Comment by Edward Sparks on January 24, 2011 at 7:01pm
Luis, What instrument is the bridge on below in your has four strings...can we see pics of the rest of the instrument! Edward
Comment by Luis Motta da Silva on January 24, 2011 at 2:18pm

Hi, fellow guitar makers!

1) About accidents: One thing that amazed me at the guitar making course I attended was the fact that, although each one of us made an instrument at the course, working many hours a day, there were only minor cuts - and there were 22 of us. I guess this is due to the fact that we were constantly being asked to sharpen our tools (I used to call ourselves "The HONING stones"music group), and we were taught to always anticipate the movement of the tools, always cut outwards, and always keep our eyes on the job. I guess this is 100% important when you use hand tools, and 200% when you use power tools.

2) In classic guitars, I'm absolutely conventional, I make standard bridges for my guitars. But, when it comes to steel-stringed instruments, I give myself some latitude. This one is surely not as uncommon as Charles F. Morrison cartwheel shaped bridge showed in this thread, but I still fancy it. I used Brazilian Sucupira wood to make it.

Comment by Michael Rosendahl on January 22, 2011 at 7:17pm


         I had an incident with a table saw about ten years ago.  I had loaned my truck to my daughter,and was home alone.  After I cut myself, I took a shower, and finally got in touch with my daughter.  She brought me my truck, and I drove myself to the hospital.  The ER nurse scolded me because I took a shower before going to the hospital.  I told her, that she should be glad.  I still have no feeling in my thumb, but it only cut into the pad of the thumb.  I was doing something that you should never do, and it cost me.  Think before acting.  If it seem dangerous, it probably is.  Don't do it.  Power tools will remove appendages.  Simple as that.  And hand tools will hurt you to.   Learn how to use them, and protect yourself.  Most accidents can be prevented.  I still have all my fingers, and need them.  I am a finger style guitar picker and banjo player. And I build guitars, which takes fingers and hands to do.  At least it is a lot easier with all your appendages.


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