Build a Guitar on a Roman Workbench


Reader Marcello Kozik sent us a fantastic video of guitars being made on Roman workbenches in Brazil. Take a look at all the ingenious ways the bench is used – including resawing.

Be sure to watch to the end when he plays the guitar.

— Christopher Schwarz


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Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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15 Responses to Build a Guitar on a Roman Workbench

  1. Dan Zehner says:

    How many different ways can you use a machete in a project? Bushwhacking, tuber harvesting, limb removal, carving (lots of carving!), etc. I think you should do a book on woodworking with machetes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • alanfarleyflemng says:

      Absolutely! My friends and neighbors in Kenya have shown me more ways to use a “panga” (machete) than I ever imagined possible. They thoroughly explore ways to use a single tool. On average they own three or four tools.


  2. Daniel says:

    It looks (and sounds) like a vihuela (5 or six doubled courses, not single courses as on a guitar). But what lovely proof that the skill is in the craftsman not the tools. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • steveschafer says:

      It’s a viola caipira (“country viol” or “folk viol”). It does have 5 doubled strings. It appears to not be derived from the vihuela but rather from other guitar-like instruments brought from Portugal. There is a similar-looking (and sounding) instrument from the Andes, the charango, which is derived from the vihuela. There has undoubtedly been some cross-fertilization and hybridization over the years.

      The name “caipira” reminds me of the unofficial national drink of Brazil, the caipirinha (“hillbilly”), made from cachaça (sugar cane liquor), lime and sugar.

      The root they’re harvesting at the beginning of the video is manioc.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. dpcrow says:

    What a wonderful video. Thank you for posting! I feel like this should automatically appear with any google search for sharpening angles, A2 vs. PM-V11 steel, or grinder wheel speeds.


  4. ramseyguitars says:

    And to think I “need” all of my fancy, heirloom tools!


  5. calebjamesplanemaker says:

    That’s cool. Great video. >


  6. Eric Kuehne says:

    The folks at Stew Mac are going to be awfully upset if they see this. 🙂


  7. jjongsma says:

    I love the flush-trim machete.


  8. colsdave says:

    O que um vídeo interessante. Obrigado por compartilhar.


  9. Absolutely incredible. Inspiring to see such skill with something as simple as a machete.


  10. Brian says:

    Fantastic video. Ended up with an extremely nice guitar made with the most crude tools and techniques. We are very very spoiled and no where near as talented.


  11. antinonymous says:

    There WILL be music, one way or another. And I love them all!


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