In the true spirit of HTML, context dependent links to resources for builders of stringed musical instruments are scattered throughout this website. This page contains some general links or links that don’t fit well anywhere else on the site. They are grouped roughly by type and are in no particular order. There aren’t a lot of links here and there probably never will be, as I don’t have either the time or the inclination to build and maintain a comprehensive site of lutherie links. Besides, it’s already been done on the Guild of American Luthiers website. What I’m trying to focus on here are links to high content sites sites that provide a lot of free lutherie information in one spot, and that contain no popups or other advertising, or require “membership” that will be used to try to sell you something. There aren’t a lot. Please let me know if I’ve missed anything and if any of these links are dead.
Folks occasionally ask for links here, and these days there are commercial businesses that will pay to have links placed in an attempt to game Google page ranking. For those interested, here is the links policy of this site. I will never put a link here for money, and I will not consider any request for a link exchange that comes from a commercial third party. This site provides links to sites that offer substantial free lutherie information and occasionally to commercial sites offering products that are directly related to a topic discussed on this site, particularly if that product is otherwise hard to find. And I occasionally have links here to things I just like. But if you want to contact me to ask for a link here, the only way I will consider it is if your site offers substantial free lutherie info, and already has a link to this site. If there is a link here to your site, congratulations. That link will help drive traffic to your site. But if you move the content linked to, leaving a dead link here, it is doubtful I will repair it and likely that I'll just delete it.
Last updated: September 11, 2018
Information for beginners and a comprehensive list of resources can be found here. Plus, the GAL is the single best source of lutherie info on the planet!
Bob sells upright basses and accessories, but he also has the most comprehensive info page imaginable on all things (double) bass. Check out the listings of bass luthiers and repair people, and those for instrument plans and instructions. This is a great example of a commercial site that does a lot more than just try to sell you something.
Gregg Miner, the pope of the harp guitar, maintains this great website of everything you'd ever want to know about harp guitars and related instruments.
Len Verrett maintains this great website of information about early Romantic (late 1700s to middle 1800s) guitars. Very useful to modern luthiers doing historical research or gathering information for building bench copies of instruments from this period.
Information for beginners and a comprehensive list of resources can be found on the GAL website. The GAL and its quarterly journal American Lutherie is the single best source of lutherie info on the planet. You want to be a member of this organization.
The Savart Journal is an open access online journal featuring peer reviewed research articles on all aspects of the science and technology of stringed musical instruments. Full text of all articles is available for all readers. Readers do not need to register or login to view articles. Articles are published continuously as they are received and reviewed. The journal is named after and inspired by the work of 19th century French physicist Felix Savart, an early researcher in the acoustics of stringed musical instruments. The Journal is made available through the efforts of volunteer editorial and review staffs, and is published in collaboration with the Guild of American Luthiers.
There are regional luthier organizations all over the country. I live in the Boston area, and am privileged to be a member of New England Luthiers. The membership includes a diverse group of incredibly knowledgeable folks. The meetings offer a wealth of information.
There are a number of sources for information on how to build instruments, but there are few if any that provide information on how to do it as an instrument building business. Dana's site has a wealth of info on what it takes to be able to produce instruments on a small scale commercial basis. If you intend to build instruments for a living there is no better advice than to heed what Dana has so say.
The home page of luthier Sylvan Wells has an Articles section containing nice tools and techniques which should be of interest to anyone building stringed instruments. Check out his really nice guitar bolt-on neck joint.
Guitar builder Charles Hoffman has really nice step by step instructions showing how he builds guitars. There are a lot of very good pictures here, and the text is very clear and easy to follow.
Mike Doolin builds fantastic instruments and he is kind enough to write down and make available a substantial amount of information about lutherie, tools, and techniques. His directory of lutherie articles is kind of hidden, insofar as it is not directly available from his commercial home page, but you can get to it from the link to the left. The file names may be somewhat cryptic but take a look at them all. There is great info here.
Pretty much everything you've ever wanted to know (actually, pretty much everything there is to know) about the vihuela, the predecessor to the guitar.
Beautiful animations of guitars and also of simpler structures from Dan Russell, professor of acoustics at Penn State University.
The physics department of the University of New South Wales puts up this excellent site. It includes very accessible descriptions of the acoustics of guitars and violins.
Here’s a very comprehensive introduction to the subject of acoustics by Eric Jansson, available as downloadable .PDFs.
Don’t skip this site just because you have no interest in ukes. There is lots of info here for luthiers. David Hurd has a number of pages on technical topics in lutherie that are easy for non-technical folks to understand.
Classical guitar maker Gregory Byers did a lot of research and wrote a great paper on the subject of intonation and compensation. Of all the potential factors that can lead to intonation problems in fretted instruments this paper identifies and quantifies the two that both have the most potential to cause problems and that the instrument builder can actually do something about. Real compensation values for typical classical guitars are provided. The file is a very big PDF.
Here's a very nice series of articles on the subject of intonation of stringed instruments by Mike Doolin. It is highly accessible – even non-technical folks should be able to understand the issues from this series.
The most frequently cited reference on the properties of wood, this entire book is available for download at this site. Your (USA) tax dollars at work for good.
This site has everything you ever wanted to know about dust collection in the small to medium wood shop. Actually, Bill has much more info on this subject than you'd probably ever care to try to get through! He puts an amazing amount of information, here including plans for making dust collectors from scratch and improving off the shelf models.
So now that you've built some nice instruments you want to take pictures of them right? Jon Shishido, one of the original owners of the BunnyBass online bass store (sadly now defunct) put together this great tutorial on how to photograph your instruments. This page greatly improved my own modest photography skills in a matter of minutes. One very nice thing about the tutorial is that it describes how to work with no special equipment other than a camera and tripod. But the greatest thing to me is that the photo tips are presented in order of their effectiveness. So simply mastering the first tip (hint: don't use the flash) can improve your photographs dramatically.
Sorry, I couldn't resist giving a plug for this company's Sriracha hot sauce. This stuff is killer!