Classical Guitar #67 187

(click any of the thumbnails for a higher-resolution photo)

This guitar was started for a special friend who was suffering ill heath. It features a red spruce top and East Indian rosewood back and sides, and is a melding of classical design and modern construction. My efforts to finish the instrument in time were in vain. A true friend and world-class musician passed away on July 25, 2019. This guitar will forever be in memory of Carlton Jones. Rest in peace, my friend.

Construction Photos

The project commences with the joining of the plates. Padauk, purpleheart, and curly maple billets are refined into purfling lines that are inlaid to become a backstrip. The pack is cut to shape, and the reinforcing web is glued to the inside.

The rosette is inlaid into the top and glued into place. The bridge patch and soundhole reinforcing ring are fabricated and glued into place.

Thin veneers of maple, padauk, and purpleheart are laminated to a thicker piece of maple to form a blank for binding and side purfling. Spruce blanks are cut for top and back bracing. The bracing is shaped and glued to the plates.

The binding billet is cut into thin strips and sanded to finished thickness. The sides and binding strips are bent over a hot pipe. Mahogany strips for the solid back kerfing are ripped and laminated around an internal form.

The neck blank is cut to shape. Slots to receive the sides are cut with a backsaw.The slot is widened to the width of the sides by inserting a scraper into the saw kerf, then using it as a guide to cut a wider slot. The top and back veneers are glued to the peghead. Holes are drilled to accept the tuning machines. The slots are cut and sanded.

The peghead is cut to shape, and the slots are eased on the ends closest the nut to provide clearance for the strings. A fretboard is slotted and cut to size. The neck is cut to shape, utilizing planes, scrapers, and rasps. The gides are glued to the tail block and into the neck slots.

Kerfed lining is applied to the top edge, and the solid lining created earlier is glued to the back. The end graft is inlaid and glued in place. A solera, or work board, is created, and the top is placed on it and the sides are glued to it. Slots are cut to receive the back bracing.

The back is glued to the sides, completing the basic structure of the guitar. The body is routed for binding and purfling, and the various strips are glued into place. The bindings and purflings are scraped level with the body. The neck heel cap is applied.

An adjustable truss rod is installed. Frets are pressed into place, and the fretboard is glued to the neck and body. The instrument is thoroughly sanded, and the pores in the wood are filled. Areas to remain unfinished are masked off, and the finishing process begins.

When the finish is built to a sufficient depth, the surface is sanded perfectly level. Two thinned coats of finish are applied, and the instrument is allowed to fully cure before final rub out and setup. After the finish is fully cured, it's wet sanded with MicroMesh paper to 4000 grit. The bridge is glued in place. Tuners, saddle, nut, and strings are installed.

With a little bit of setup work, we're ready to go.

Thanks for watching this project

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