Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

Postby Scot Tremblay » Friday 10 February 2012, 17:35 pm

Just thought some might be interested in looking at the inside of a replica of a 1864 J.G. Scherzer 11 string guitar I'm in the process of building. Scherzer was trained by the Stauffers and eventually set out on his own. He adopted and improved on many of the ideas of the Stauffers, earning himself a special place in the history of the guitar.

I've just fit the adjustable metal brace/rod that runs the length of the body (the black bar in the photo). This is a feature that was used to take the pressure (exerted by the many strings and the adjustable neck) off the top and transfered it to the rest of the body.
Many Harp-guitars, schrammel guitars and the like from that era used this simple method to save the guitar from caving in on itself. It's still in use by many makers of muli-string guitars and many of the original guitars are still making music.
And in case you think there is something wrong with the shape of the instrument...some of the distortion can be attributed to the camera angle but...it is an asymetrical body you are looking at.

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Very nice. Do post a photo of the finished model.

Interesting, I am also keen to see the finished instrument.  The construction is very neat, nice work!

Yes, it is very nice and very neat indeed, did you steam bend the lining? I new an early instrument maker that always liked to steam bend the linings and I should say they always look very classy instruments.

Thanks all, for the kind words.


@ Sean: The linings are hand bent (steam bent) but are actually a two ply laminate, as per the original instrument.


This instrument has two backs; one for the body of the instrument and a second that "floats" above in a quite successful attempt to shield the guitar from the guitarist. I'll post some photos when I get ready for that process. It's an interesting set-up to be sure.

Thanks Scott for posting this. I also would love to see more pictures and hear more about this project. Prior to this the only guitars I have seen with a support rod were some of the Larson's guitars. It seems like a cool idea and some modern builders have adopted similar methods using carbon fiber rods. Some run straight from tailblock to neckblock like this. Others run diagonally to the sides from the neck block. In fact there is a photo on the back cover of one of the issues of the GAL magazine in recent years with the diagonal carbon fiber rods.


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