Portland Guitar Co.

Designing and Building
Custom Handcrafted
Guitars, Ukuleles
and Accessories


Portland Guitar Co. | Portland Oregon | Contact Jay Dickinson-503.245.3276 | jay@portlandguitar.com


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Finished Build

Classical Model

Serial # CLM 1.2.59

  • Body: Indian Rosewood
  • Top: European Spruce
  • Neck: Mahogany w/ Ebony fretboard & gold fretwire
  • Binding: Black PVC w/ rope purfling and red pinstripe
  • Gold Gotoh® Premium Classical Tuners w/Ebony buttons

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( 230 ) 31-Jan-2014

The heel cap is made out of Ebony.

 

( 231 ) 31-Jan-2014

I glue it on a little oversized and then sand it into shape.

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The nut side of the slots gets tapered with a sanding bar.

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This allows free movement of the stings.

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I used the CNC Router to make the channel for the headstock inlay.

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The business end of the router with a tiny little router bit.

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A nice accurate/precise channel.

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Here is the set of tools I use to inlay the gold wire that makes the Portland Guitar Rose.

( 238 ) 31-Jan-2014

I leave the wire a little proud...

( 239 ) 31-Jan-2014

and sand it level with the surface.

( 240 ) 31-Jan-2014

After filling the pores in the wood with epoxy all the surfaces get leveled and it is ready to get the finishing lacquer. I use a water bourne polyurethane. I spray it on with lots of very thin layers. When the finish has cured I polish it with a progressively finer set of sanding pads. This whole process takes about two weeks. The balloon in the sound hole keeps the spray out of the insides.

( 241 ) 31-Jan-2014

While the finish on the guitar cures... the longer the better... I start work on the bridge. Here I am using the milling machine to rough out the bridge blank.

( 242 ) 31-Jan-2014

Drilling the holes for the strings.

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And a little complimentary inlay just because.

( 244 ) 31-Jan-2014

The bridge I am using is a split saddle design that allows each string to be individually intonated. Each individual saddle can be moved forward and backward until the intonation is acceptable. Here I am working on the saddle blank.

( 245 ) 31-Jan-2014

The saddles are moved in a saddle channel.

( 246 ) 31-Jan-2014

The saddles are held in place with a T-slot so they won't move when the strings are being changed.

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The bridge is placed on the top of the newly lacquered guitar and held in place with a long C-clamp.

( 253 ) 31-Jan-2014

I make sure it is in the right spot.

( 254 ) 31-Jan-2014

To make a good glue joint, the lacquer on the top, where the bridge is to go, needs to be removed. I start by scribing a line around the perimeter.

( 255 ) 31-Jan-2014

And then scrape and sand away the lacquer.

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A bit of glue goes on the bottom of the bridge.

( 258 ) 31-Jan-2014

And it is glued in place with the aid of this bridge caul.

( 259 ) 31-Jan-2014

A little bit of squeeze out means I used just the right amount of glue.

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I clean it up with a bit of water and a brush.

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And I let it set up over night.

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After a cup of coffee in the morning.

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Setting up the bone nut.

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The first string gets installed.

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After a little fiddling around all the strings get installed.

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I adjust the intonation by moving the saddles in their T-slots.

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The string slots are adjusted to set the action at the nut.

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