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

Jumbo Model

Serial JM 1.8.54

  • Body: Flamed Maple
  • Top: Sitka Spruce painted Black
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Binding : Padauk

Page 6


( 215 ) 14-May-2012

I have set up my milling machine towork on the horizontal. This will allow me to make very accurate holes for the neck attachment hardware.

( 216 ) 14-May-2012

Here you can see I am using a 3/4inch end milling tool to drill the hole for the neck adjustment bolt.

( 217 ) 14-May-2012

Without moving anything I replace the milling tool with a drill bit to drill the the adjustment bolt access hole.

( 218 ) 14-May-2012

I want the adjustment access hole to come out right in the center of the shoulder of the neck. (Please note that I call the neck's heal a shoulder because a shoulder goes with a neck and a heal doesn't.)

( 219 ) 14-May-2012

I use 3/4 inch oak dowel for the retaining flange. Here I am drilling out a hole in the center of the dowel.

( 220 ) 14-May-2012

This is the hardware I use for the adjustment mechanism. The orange O-ring is used to allow a little bit of compression in the hardware. This will prevent any slop or rattle when the neck is not under tension. The washer goes between the O-ring and the bottom of the bolt. The bolt goes in next, and then the oak flange holds everything in place.

( 221 ) 14-May-2012

The O-ring.

( 222 ) 14-May-2012

The washer.

( 223 ) 14-May-2012

A bit of graphite to make sure the bolt turns easily.

( 224 ) 14-May-2012

The bolt.

( 225 ) 14-May-2012

And then the flange.

( 226 ) 14-May-2012

I install a 1/4-20 wood insert into the access hole for the neck strap to screw in to.

( 227 ) 14-May-2012

And then I compress the assembly while it is drying to ensure a good fit.

( 228 ) 14-May-2012

Here I am rounding off the end of the set screws where they will make contact with the shoulder of the neck.

( 229 ) 14-May-2012

The set screws go into the wood inserts in the shoulder channel.

( 230 ) 14-May-2012

I mark the position where the set screws make contact and drill holes for the brass fulcrum plugs.

( 231 ) 14-May-2012

I mark the depth of the hole on the brass bar stock.

( 232 ) 14-May-2012

And glue the brass plug into the hole. These brass plugs provide a firm yet slightly compliant contact point between the body of the guitar and the neck.

( 233 ) 14-May-2012

To ensure that the oak retaining flange does not work its way free under the tension of the neck I insert two retaining dowels through the flange.

( 234 ) 14-May-2012

I mark the depth of the hole.

( 235 ) 14-May-2012

And then glue the dowels in place.

( 236 ) 14-May-2012

I am going to counter sink the tuning machines into the headstock and outline the washer with a b/w pinstripe circle. Here I am cutting out a Padauk plug for the base of the countersink.

( 237 ) 14-May-2012

Next I glue on a layer of black fiber stock.

( 238 ) 14-May-2012

And then a layer of white fiber stock.

( 239 ) 14-May-2012

And then I split the assembly into three plugs.

( 240 ) 14-May-2012

I drill a hole for each tuning machine.

( 241 ) 14-May-2012

And insert the plug assembly into the hole.

( 242 ) 14-May-2012

I use a C-clamp to press the plugs firmly in place.

( 243 ) 14-May-2012

After drilling the countersink hole in each plug I drill a hole through the head stock for each tuning machine.

( 244 ) 14-May-2012

This is where I install the Portland Guitar Jasmine Rose. My daughter's name is Jasmine Rose and she designed this icon for me.

( 245 ) 14-May-2012

I use a Dremel tool to route out the channel for the silver wire I use to make the rose.

( 246 ) 14-May-2012

With a bit of bending and filing I press the wire into place.

( 247 ) 14-May-2012

The wire stands proud of the surface.

( 248 ) 14-May-2012

And I level everything off to finish up.

( 249 ) 14-May-2012

Here is a close up look at the rose, and the tuning machine counter sink with the pinstriping outline.

( 250 ) 14-May-2012

I have made this special sanding tool to level the shoulder cap on the neck at the right angle.

( 251 ) 14-May-2012

I want the shoulder cap to be the same width as the binding and to extend the contour of the back.

( 252 ) 14-May-2012

This tool forces the sandpaper to the right depth and angle.

( 253 ) 14-May-2012

With the shoulder cap sanded down I glue on a plate of b/w/b fiber stock.

( 254 ) 14-May-2012

And then fashion the shoulder cap to extend onto the shoulder channel.

( 255 ) 14-May-2012

Here is a look at the shoulder cap sanded to the contour of the shoulder.

( 256 ) 14-May-2012

The shoulder cap fits into the shoulder channel with only a small gap showing.

( 257 ) 14-May-2012

To finish up the neck I install white markers in the binding.

( 258 ) 14-May-2012

The markers get sanded flush with the binding.

( 259 ) 14-May-2012

Next up is to paint the top black, apply the finish and make the bridge.