Death by 1000 cuts

Getting out the old kerfing saw to cut some mahogony lining. The kerfed lining is used to make a better join between the sides and the front/back of the guitar. 

A special cutting box with a depth stop leaves the cut about 0.5mm shy of cutting through. The result is a bendy lining which can conform to the curves of the guitar body.

Now this is tedium. A cut every 5mm along 3 pieces, each 1.5m long makes for 900 cuts! I cleverly taped the three pieces together so only had to repeat the process about 300 times. Joy! 

 Overwhelming urge to keep this pile of mahogony dust… 

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A good sharp chisel

The back and braces are roughly shaped. Vveerry satisfiying work shaping the curves with a freshly sharpened chisel. The piece now had a nice tone when it is taped. Sign of good resonance and good music to come!

Taking shape

After thinning the sides to 2mm they are steam bent with a wet rag and this rusty old bending iron. There are shiny new ones but they don’t work as well!

Clamping the sides to the mould while they “settle” allows the wood to accept it’s new form. Change can be difficult to accept…

Mmm clamps.

The neck block and tail block are glued in with trusty Titebond glue and now we have a guitar shape! 

The depth of the body is tapered, being about an inch thinner where the neck joins. So the excess must be planned off the sides to get a smooth slope to meet the back of the guitar. Slightly complicated by the concave and convex curves of the body, at least there is no cutaway to deal with!