klath Guitars

Building the Torres

Both Francisco Tarrega and Antonio de Torres were masters and innovators in their fields, and both have influenced every single builder and player of classical guitars who has come after them.


Now it’s my turn to reap the benefits of their legacy.  I am building the 1888 Torres guitar.  It was owned and played by Tarrega, and recently restored by master luthier Jeff Elliott (who made the plans that I’m using).

My materials are Engleman Spruce for the top, Indian rosewood for the back and sides, and Alaska yellow cedar for the neck (reinforced internally with maple).

The biggest obvious challenge in this project is the infamous Spanish Heel.

In steel string guitars, the body and neck are built


separately before being fit together right at the end.  When you build with a Spanish heel, the neck and top have to be joined right at the beginning of the assembly because the neck continues into the body.  I was excited to tackle this one, and it went surprisingly smoothly.  The final finish details might be difficult, but so far so good.

I went for a solar theme with this one (my one design indulgence).  The fingerboard shows the progression of an eclipse (or perhaps a lunar cycle), and the rosette shows a stylized solar eclipse.  I used similar techniques here as for the sunflower guitar–allowing the pattern to continue over the fingerboard, and the precisely inlaid petals.  The rosewood background, however,  made it a very different project.  I’ve found that when inlaying into hardwood it is more difficult to keep crisp lines. At the same time, dark woods are more forgiving to work with.  It’s a fair trade.

img_3770The most recent pic:

Posted 12 years, 4 months ago at 10:57 pm.

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