First published in 1993, Making Master Guitars by Roy Courtnall, is the major reference book covering the history, design and construction of the Spanish Classical Guitar. Making Master Guitars is a craftsman’s handbook, and is unique in that it includes nine separate plans of instruments made by the following internationally famous makers: Antonio de Torres, Hermann Hauser I, Santos Hernandez, Hernandez y Aguado, Ignacio Fleta, Robert Bouchet, Daniel Friederich and Jose Romanillos. The author examined many instruments by these makers, and, where possible, the factual information in the book was obtained from the makers themselves.
This website is intended to expand on the book. Since 1993, approaches to classical guitar-making have both broadened and been refined, accelerated by the sharing of information between luthiers on the Internet.
The idea for the website was suggested by Joss Winn, a student of Roy Courtnall. Joss’ six-month diary of the whole guitar-making process was initially posted on the Delcamp Classical Guitar Forum and is expanded on here. Owners of the book will find the day-by-day account interesting because it documents, from a student’s perspective, a typical workshop experience of around 180 hours, and also because it reveals new methods that Roy has adopted for his own work.
A further section to the website is gradually being added and offers an illustrated update by Roy to each chapter of the book, focusing on where the methods have changed.