New Builds for 2024

I was going to post some pictures of what I'm working on in my shop this Spring. I have 4 Gypsy guitars in process. I'm hoping to have them all finished by Django in June, we will see.

The Current plan is

1) Maple/Spruce guitar that's a mashup of a Selmer body shape with D'Aquisto Centura style sound holes and visual style. Because of the sound holes I went with vertical bracing like an archtop. There's a carbon fiber/spruce lattice reinforcement in between the bars to maintain the arch. This guitar is a total experiment but something I've had in my mind for a number of years for some reason. No idea how it will sound, I'm hoping at least that it sounds like "a guitar" and I assume it will.

2) A Chechen/Spruce "Big Mouth" guitar based on the one I made last year

3) A Walnut "Big Mouth"

4) A Rosewood Petite Bouche with traditional styling

All of them will have cored/structured sides and adjustable necks. I may do a mild multiscale on one or two of them as time permits. I may do some carbon fiber bracing reinforcements also, I haven't figured that out yet.

I'm still experimenting. The Big Mouth guitar I made last year is going strong, I borrowed it back from my friend to see if I could duplicate what it does.

I'm at




  • Posts: 50

    That's awesome, Paul! Are your adjustable necks based on the Stauffer system?

    Would love to hear your instruments.

  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    Posts: 208

    Wow, this is great to see. There's an annual gypsy guitar-building course in Wales run by Jerome Duffell, and I would love to do it one year. I still see the process as some kind of magic that I'd never be able to do, but perhaps the course would unlock the secrets and show me the way.

    Enjoy your four guitars! I hope we get to hear them here when they're finished.

  • bbwood_98bbwood_98 Brooklyn, NyProdigy Vladimir music! Les Effes. . Its the best!
    Posts: 676


    These seem cool!

    Would be curious if you will try to 'copy' or update the Di Mauro big mouth?

    Also - I second Strombolimusik's question!!

    Finally, Do you do any repairs?



  • Posts: 50

    The Di Mauro (with the repaired headstock) I should've bought and am still kicking myself, dang!

  • paulmcevoy75paulmcevoy75 Portland, MaineNew
    Posts: 123

    Thanks for the nice words guys.

    My neck joint is based on an idea that's floating around that I found out from Trevor Gore (kind of modernist/scientific guitar maker and author). I don't think it's hugely different from the Stauffer system but to be honest I've never seen one in the flesh.

    There's some pictures here, including some of the first guitars I did it on, and it's still evolving. Regardless though it's a simple system, there's a slot in the neck heel that rides on a tab in the guitar. The strings pull the neck downwards and there's a set screw in the fingerboard to adjust. The strings hold the neck on. I used to put a restraining bolt in, because if you take all the strings off, the neck comes off. But there's (to me) no reason to do that, so I stopped doing it. One string will hold the neck on and if you want to take the neck off (and put the guitar in a suitcase, for instance) you can do that. It's a very simple design. Thus far I have had zero issues with it.

    My big mouth guitar was another experiment. I wanted to make a sort of Petite Bouche shape bit with a bigger hole but then the hole got too big to go vertically. On the prototype the CNC decided to punch through my rosette so I had to improvise. It is not a beautiful guitar (to my eyes anyway) but it turned out sounding very very good. One of the loudest if not the loudest acoustic guitar I've ever heard.

    So I will be working on somewhat more traditional versions of that guitar.

    It's cheating but here's young Sam Farthing ripping it up on that guitar.

  • paulmcevoy75paulmcevoy75 Portland, MaineNew
    Posts: 123

    I don't really do repairs. I occasionally do something on spec for myself as a learning experience but I'm really working hard on building guitars and I find like it breaks my brain to try to do both. There's tons of great repair people in the NY area I could recommend.

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,337

    Apologies if I asked this before, Paul. What sort of bridge and tailpiece will you use on #1? Will you side more towards the Selmer style (i.e. HSC and moustache) or the larger wood tailpiece a la the D'Aquisto?

    Keep the photos coming. Love to see the insides of these and the makings of the projects. I might just get to DiJ to see some of these.

  • paulmcevoy75paulmcevoy75 Portland, MaineNew
    Posts: 123

    Good questions.

    Bridge will be sort of Selmer Style in construction but without the moustache and styled as much as I can to fit somewhere between D'Aquisto and a Selmer. Tailpiece wise, neither I think. Something like a violin tailpiece on a peg, I like the idea of a floating tailpiece. I haven't really figured out how the geometry of that will work yet. Appearance wise though it will be more like the D'Aquisto.

    I really have no idea if this guitar will make any sound's totally something new. But I'm enjoying the experimentation.

    I got the back glued on today. Only four more tops/rosettes/braces to go! Oh plus blocks. then necks.

  • paulmcevoy75paulmcevoy75 Portland, MaineNew
    edited March 3 Posts: 123

    It's like anything else, you learn to do it. People take guitar making classes without any woodworking experience and make useable guitars all the time. I come in with a fair amount of experience (boats mostly) but it's challenging AF for me. But I'm trying to make great and interesting instruments and it just takes every little bit of emotion, money and time you can throw into it. But I've always wanted to do it and I'm doing it.

    That said, there's only so many hours in the day. I wish I had more time to practice. Making instruments and playing instruments don't go super well together in the same lifetime. I wish the day had like 10 more hours, I would be all set. I have to say that getting into building guitars because you want a nice guitar is a bad idea...I'm losing the cost of a couple Holos every year at this point. But this year is a push year to make some cool stuff and I'm enjoying it.

    This is a guitar I made earlier this year, it had like 10 different experiments, I was expecting it to be a gigantic failure but it all sorta worked. It is like many orders of magnitude nicer than any guitar I've made so far so it's making me up my game.


  • Posts: 50

    Brief video of Josh Greenberg here in Montreal demonstrating the Stauffer system:

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