JAZZ MANOUCHE GUITAR

Building a Jazz Manouche guitar is complex and laborious. In this section we will explain how they are made at the Geronimo Mateos workshop. Note that the majority of the work tools have been designed and adapted according to the needs for Geronimo Mateos.

 

The first step and, probably the most important for the construction of these guitars, is the selection of w oods. First quality of Red Cedar or Spruce are used for the tops which ensures a great sound quality on all our guitars. In the following pictures you can see how the tops are joined. Previously we have done a preselection considering the straightness of the grain as well as the density and timbre adapting them to each model of the range.


In the Geronimo Mateos workshop we always try to work in batches of 4.6 or 8 guitars at the same time, so each process is designed to be repeated a maximum of 8 times. Once the tops have been joined we continue drawing the perimeter in one of the tops and cutting all at once.

Next step is to embed the rosette and ebony piece of the rosette and finally grinding all the tops until a thickness of 2.7 mm. Then proceed to bend the topss which helps to fit better with the sides that in these guitars are not flat.

Then the top is ready to place the harmonic braces, which are made by hand one by one following the templates.Each brace is carefully sanded and glued in their correct place .We do the same way for the back braces.

On the other hand, the sides and the backs are selected. Each of our models is made with different types of wood (Bubinga, Ovencol, Ziricote, Indian Rosewood, ect). In this type of guitars the back and sides are not solid (with exceptions) but a high quality plywood: Mahogany on the inside, Poplar in the center, and the woods already mentioned on the face side.

Once the sides have been cut we get them into a mold to glue inside the tail and neck block. We use a heat resistance to adjust the sides to the mold shape.These two pieces are made of the same material, usually spruce wood, which helps to reduce the weight of guitar compared to other denser woods.

Once the neck and tail blocks have been joined to the sides we glue the linings that will reinforce the structure. Subsequently linings are well sanded to remove glue residue and dirt.

We're about to close the sound box but first we must rectify this box. When we have rectified the box we close firstly the back which will allow us to carefully clean the inside of the guitar.

The next day the guitar is removed from its mold and proceed to top joining. Some customers want the inside of their guitar varnished; is at this stage when the inside is varnished. The areas where the sides and the top are glued must be cover by tape to avoid a bad gluing.

After a day of drying, the soundbox is closed and move on to the next stage where the bindings will be made.

The first step is to mill the soundbox with the help of a hand mill. We make a groove with the appropriate measure in order to place the bindings. Then we will place them considering that each model has its own bindings. After a day of drying masking tapes are removed, bindings are sanded and rounded to avoid discomfort when guitarist plays the guitar.

Once we have put the bindings we place the tailblock decorated.

At the same time we started working with the neck. They have been pre-cut and thickened to the suitable measure to work with. In this type of guitars the most used wood for the necks is Walnut, a hard and durable wood. They are cut and glued. Once glued and rectified an ebony board is glued on the head.

Necks are cut to the approximate width measurement , we give the form to the head of the guitar and finally we make the groove on the head as well as the holes for the head machines. Subsequently, Geronimo Mateos logo is engraved on the head.

At this stage we make the dovetail that allow binding of the handle and the soundbox.

Once joined, we fit the neck perfectly flat and we finish the groove for the truss-rod.

Later on, the fretboard that, has previously been grooving to embed the frets, is glued.