Workshop
 
How my guitars are produced.

Before I can make an instrument I have to chose its materials. Because I attach high importance on the quality of the materials I use, I buy all the wood personally from its producers. In order to do so I do not shy away from travelling all over Europe to get only the best wood for my guitars – e.g. I go to Switzerland or Italy. Important aspects of the quality are density, stiffness and look. Special care is neccessary when chosing the woods for the guitar tops. I am convinced that the top of a plucked instrument is its core piece and has a huge influence on the sound. That's why I have always focused on perfectioning my tops.
My prefered woods here are spruce and cedar, but I also use redwood. All the other parts are made from many different traditional tonewoods like maple, rosewood, mahogany, alder, ebony, cherry, spanisch cedar or bubinga. All these woods mature individually in my workshop.
 


When I begin making a guitar I pick the woods from my stock by sound characteristics and look. But because both criteria surely are not independent from subjective judgements you are very welcome to come to my workshop, so we can chose the right woods for your ideal instrument together. In the end it shall comply with your wishes, doesn't it?

Each step in the creation of my instruments consists of diligent hand work. Only if each and every single part of the instrument has been made by me personally, I'll be able to ensure constant a quality of my products. I use machines for very rough tasks only. Also the ribs get bended by hand. Once they are in position I can glue the pieces together wich already gives the instrument its typical shape. Afterwards the surfaces get polished and varnished. As varnish I use different synthetic resins, oils or shellack. Using shellack needs a lot of time and care, but in the end it gives a very thin varnish which benefits the sound of the finished instrument.

As part of the adjustment of my instruments I take special care of the intonation. This means I adjust the definition of the frets' pitches through compensation at nut and saddle.

During my adjucation at university I gained knowledge in producing and working with thermally modified wood. I can artificially mature and refine wood with heat in a special method I developed myself. This modification leads to a more dry wood than maturing in a dry place alone could ever do. Because of this it is more resistent against variations in air temperature and humidity. Further more it has a positive influence on the vibration of the wood and thus the resonance of the instrument.
As a side effect the wood also gets darker the more heat is used on it which makes a larger scale of visual effects possible. I even have the impression that thermally modified spruce narrows its sound to cedar, so you can kind of create a hybrid between those two woods.
However, this laborious technique cannot be used to turn wood of bad quality into a high quality one, it can only make the best out of the wood you already have. I use thermally modified wood for guitar tops only anyway, which – as I have already mentioned – have the most influence on the sound.
The vacuum-stove I have designed specially for this matter is able to make almost unscented thermally modified wood, which is remarkable, because it usually tends to smell far too bad to be used for instruments!

Do you have got any further questions? Do not hesitate to contact me! If you do not get me on phone right away, I'll answer your messages as soon as possible.
 
 
Hauptstrasse 15 - 19246 Neuhof - Tel. 038853 336879 - Email: info@laetsch-guitars.de
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