Macica Workshop: Upcoming Guitar Building Class

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Hello all! This is a short post to tell you about an upcoming Guitar Building Class that will be offered through Maplewood Center for Common Craft

It is an “intensive” class that will be offered September 27th-December 8.  The class will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-9:00.

Here is part of the write-up for the class from the Maplewood website….

“Drawing from over 30 years of fine instrument making, Martin Macica will share his knowledge of the principles and practice of guitar making, leading participants through the process of making their own guitar using hand tools.   This intensive course will cover every aspect of guitar making, including the important hand-cut dovetail neck joint.   Participants will leave with a working knowledge of guitar making, and a handcrafted instrument ready for a lifetime of making music.”

The cost for the workshop and materials will be an estimated $1375, including all materials.  Price may vary slightly based on the number of participants.

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If you are interested in registering for the class, simply go to the Maplewood Center for Common Craft website (highlighted above).  I look forward to having you in the class.

Also, some upcoming Events:

The 25th Annual Woodworkers Showcase located at the Saratoga Springs City Center on April 2nd and 3rd from 10:00-5:00.

I will be participating both at the NWA booth and Maplewood Center for Common Craft booth with some demonstrations and talks about instrument building classes and various aspects of building instruments with hand tools.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Until next time,



Macica Workshop: D’Angelico Guitars

DSC03867 (2) (Custom)Greetings!  I thought I would feature the Arch top guitar class I have been teaching through the Northeast Woodworkers Association in this post..Things are going very well and everyone helps each other out…

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For the last few classes, we focused on carving the tops and backs…

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Then we fit and glue the tone bars….

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Next, we bind the f holes, glue the tops and backs to the sides and then the binding….

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guitar farm with Dave's head

guitar farm….who’s that hiding behind his guitar?

This last class, we dove-tailed our necks in…

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They are hand cut dove tails…

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The neck accounts for two thirds of the string length, so we make sure the dovetail fits exact and tight.  This will enable a good transfer of sound from the neck to the body.

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Once the necks are fit, we can move on to the carving and shaping of the neck.  I too, am building a guitar right along with my students.  Here I am cutting the edge with my purfling knife…

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On the side edge, I use my marking gauge.  It has a sharp knife in it…

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I enjoy using these hand tools because it leaves a graceful line and it is very accurate.

Hope you enjoyed the update on the guitar class.  I have so enjoyed working with these guys.  They are working hard and enjoying the process of instrument making as well.  I look forward to seeing many of you in future classes.

Take Care,



Macica Workshop-Season’s Greetings!

Hello Everyone!  Hope you had a pleasant Thanksgiving and are enjoying this holiday season.  In the workshop, I have been working on repairing a Viola da Gamba; an early period instrument.

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To me, this instrument is like a guitar that you bow…DSC03324 (Custom)DSC03334 (Custom)

The instrument has an arched top with a flat back.  It usually has 6 to 7 strings and has frets kind of like a guitar.  I love that it is simple, yet elegant…..DSC03338 (Custom)DSC03354 (Custom)

I was able to string it up today and am very pleased with how it sounds…

DSC03366 (Custom)Here is my son, Josiah, playing it for me…He plays the cello also. The Viola da Gamba is one of my favorite instruments to make.

DSC03646 (Custom) Other news…..

In the arched top guitar class, we are busy doing our homework and gouging out the inside plates and cutting out the ff’s….

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Next class, we will focus on fitting the bass bars.  We will be glueing the top and back onto the sides… Stay tuned…

DSC02969 (Custom)Every December, our family takes part in a Holiday Market at Canal Street Art Center here in Schuylerville, N.Y….  It is an opportunity for the members of our church community to sell our handmade items for the holiday season…Here are a few of the items our family is selling this year…

DSC03085 (Custom)DSC03596 (Custom)Rug Hooked Stars, Coasters (Mug Rugs) and Mittens (made by my youngest son, Ezra)….DSC03607 (Custom)

DSC03550 (Custom)Cutting boards with different wood inlays (made by my oldest son, Ian)DSC03554 (Custom)

DSC03559 (Custom) Character wood carvings (made by my middle son, Josiah)

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DSC02959 (Custom)and some Mosaic coasters (a team project…I make the wood frames and my wife does the mosaic) and wash boards….DSC03483 (Custom)

There are many other tables full of beautiful handmade items.  If any of you live in the local area…. Feel free to come by the Holiday Market for some holiday shopping.  It is open for the next two weekends downtown Schuylerville….

*December 12:  9:30 to 4:00/  December 13:  9:30 to 1:00

*December 19: 9:30 to 4:00/  December 20:  9:30 to 1:00

and lastly….The Macica Workshop and family sing out….

DSC03073 (2) (Custom) Glad Tidings of Comfort and Joy to you this Holiday Season!

Sincerely, Martin Macica and family

Macica Workshop: November News

Greetings from the Macica Workshop!

DSC02861 (Custom) The new floor in the shop is now finished..  and we are very happy with the end result.

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In other news, the Arched Top Guitar Class is going very well.

DSC02891 (2) (Custom)  Right now, is a prominent part of the class.  We are carving the contour of the top and back of the guitar.

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There are three stages here:

1.  First, rough gouging using a gouge and sometimes using a scrub plane

2.  Next, making the arch a little refined by using a thumb plane.. We do this using a lamp and shadow so the contour can be achieved..

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3.  Thirdly, we finish it out smooth using a scraper. Now it is time to turn it over and scoop the inside… To be continued….


A busy time of repairs in the shop…  In 2007, I had built a Viola da Gamba for a customer of mine.  The customer called me up to let me know that through an accident, the top had been damaged.  So, rather than fix the top, I am replacing it with a new one…

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Being the builder of the instrument, I feel this is the better way, so the instrument will maintain its value.

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As you can see in the photo above, I am also finishing up a cello repair with a bass bar crack.  Here, in this next photo, I am using a technique that I learned in New York City (where I apprenticed back in the 80’s) of replacing the bass bar with structural studs.

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Having a crack along the side of the bass bar makes that part of the top very vulnerable….this is the reason for the structural studs.  Next, I fit the bass bar over the studs to finish out the repair…

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I am sure you are all looking forward to a nice turkey dinner, time with family and friends and perhaps some apple or pumpkin pie…  May you have a pleasant Thanksgiving holiday…


Martin Macica

Macica Workshop: October News…


Hello Everyone…..  The A-style mandolins are now finished…

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I am pleased with the balance of beauty and sound.  The varnish is dark, yet transparent and they both produce a good, powerful sound with a balanced tone.

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We have begun the Guitar building class (D’Angelico style Arched Top Guitar)….We cover quite a bit of ground in each class.  Last class, we built the sides of the guitar..

P1130102 (2) (Custom)     In the second class, we joined the top and the back….First, we planed down the wood of the top and back for joining them together…

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Next, we glued the top together using Hyde glue….P1130091 (2) (Custom)

My son helping me join the top in my own shop….

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After the glue is dry, the students will cut the outline out and start carving the contour…

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Here’s Francis (retired chef whom also took my Violin making class…great guy!) pointing to his work cut out for him….

Lastly, my weekend project in shop….Putting in a new floor!

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Here is the “before” picture of the rubber mat floor…..

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Next, putting down furring strips on masonry so that I can nail the new pine floor to it….  To be continued…..on next post.

Take Care,