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

Small Jumbo Model For Joe E.

JM 1.5.28 Small Jumbo

16" Lower Bout
Figured Walnut Body
Sitka Spruce Top
Ebony Fretboard
User Adjustable Tilt Action Mahogany Neck, 26" Scale Length
Maple Binding, Bloodwood Striping

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(247) 29-Jan-2010
Now while the lacquer is curing, I turn my attention to dressing the frets.  In this picture I am using the broad side of my straight edge to support a sanding surface.  I run the frets over this set up and the frets come out level with each other.

(248) 29-Jan-2010
Now to bring out the gloss.  Here I am using an orbital sander to work on the head stock.  

(249) 29-Jan-2010
My buffing wheel puts the final polish on the finish.  I use different sanding techniques for each unique surface, but I essentially start out with 300 grit sandpaper and work my way up through 1500, 1800, 2400, 3200, 3600, 4000, 6000, 8000, and 12000 grit.  And then the buffing wheel.

(250) 29-Jan-2010
Once the polish is on, I use a small router to grind away the finish where the bridge will go.  I want the bridge to mate to the wood of the top, not the lacquer.

(251) 29-Jan-2010
I carefully scribe the outline and remove everything on the inside.  Nerve wracking!

(252) 29-Jan-2010
When I apply glue and start to press the bridge down it will slip out of place, so
I use four little corner blocks to firmly hold it until the glue has a chance to set.

(253) 29-Jan-2010
I have two long throat C clamps that press the bridge into place.  The caul has two wing screws that press the outer wings of the bridge down. 

(254) 29-Jan-2010
After the glue is dry and set, the next morning I make a saddle...

(255) 29-Jan-2010
a truss rod cover and a nut.

(256) 29-Jan-2010
And I string the guitar up for the first time.  I'll spend several days playing the guitar and making tests and adjustments to bring out as much of the potential that I have built into this instrument.

(257) 29-Jan-2010
A hole gets drilled in the end of the guitar.

(258) 29-Jan-2010
And I install the end pin.

(259) 29-Jan-2010
I have made and installed the forward strap pin in the hole that provides access to the User Adjustable Tilt Action Neck adjustment.

(260) 29-Jan-2010
And finally, the clear pick guard goes in place and the guitar is finished.

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Take it into the sun light and your can see fifteen different colors in the wood.

(263) 29-Jan-2010
On fire man!

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This is a cocobolo rosewood heal cap.  Chocolately rich!  I found this particular little piece of wood inspiring.  

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And the cocobolo rosewood truss rod cover.

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Portland Guitar's Jasmine Rose

(271) 29-Jan-2010
I spend a lot of time up very close to the wood.  The amount of detail in the structure of the wood is unbelievable.  What a marvelous material.

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Ta da!