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Finished Build

Orchestral Model OM 2.12.58

ForWalt H.

Walnut Body
Sitka Spruce Top
Mahogany Neck
Pistachio Fretboard, Bridge, and Headstock
Maple Binding
Herringbone Purfling
Gold Frets & Gotoh Tuners
25.4 Inch Scale Length

Page 1

( 1 ) 7-May-2013

I start this guitar by dimensioning the sides. Here I am using the drum sander to make the side blanks about 110 mils thick.

( 2 ) 7-May-2013

I use the drum sander again to dimension the top blanks to about 125 mils. After the blanks are joined and the rosette is set I will reduce the thickness to about 110 mils.

( 3 ) 7-May-2013

The back blanks get dimensioned to about 140 mils. After the blanks are joined the back is cut out I will reduce the back to its final thickness of about 110 mils.

( 4 ) 7-May-2013

The edges of the back blanks need to be straight and perpendicular to the back. I use a jointer to do this.

( 5 ) 7-May-2013

A bead of luthier's glue is run along the edge.

( 6 ) 7-May-2013

There a numerous ways to join the top and back blanks. I use this rig to line up the to pieces, hold them flat and press them together.

( 7 ) 7-May-2013

The cross pieces keep the blanks from buckling while the wedges push the pieces together.

( 8 ) 7-May-2013

After the glue sets up overnight I pull the joined pieces out of the joining rig.

( 9 ) 7-May-2013

The top blanks get the same treatment as the back. It is critical that the edges of the top make a perfect fit. My objective is to make the seam disappear.

( 10 ) 7-May-2013

Now I am getting ready to bend the sides. Before I start I lay out the the sides to make sure all the grains and figure are lined up properly.

( 11 ) 7-May-2013

I use the table saw to trim off the excess.

( 12 ) 7-May-2013

To bend the sides I will use a heating blanket and a bending machine. Here I am laying the side blank on the heating blanket.

( 13 ) 7-May-2013

Next comes an aluminum sheet.

( 14 ) 7-May-2013

And finally a sheet of spring steel is placed on top. The spring steel prevents the side from over bending and cracking should there be a weak spot.

( 15 ) 7-May-2013

I hold the whole assembly together with modified clothes pins.

( 16 ) 7-May-2013

I next place the assembly into the bending machine.

( 17 ) 7-May-2013

And bring the waist shoe into contact with the assembly.

( 18 ) 7-May-2013

I turn the heating blanket on and wet down the wood with a squirt bottle of water. After the wood has heated up sufficiently I press the waist into place.

( 19 ) 7-May-2013

Next the lower bout roller is attached.

( 20 ) 7-May-2013

And the lower bout gets rolled into shape.

( 21 ) 7-May-2013

The upper bout roller gets attached.

( 22 ) 7-May-2013

And the the upper bout gets rolled into shape.

( 23 ) 7-May-2013

To promote the drying process I remove the top layers of the heating assembly.

( 24 ) 7-May-2013

And after the side has cooked on low heat for an hour or so I pull it out of the bending machine.

( 25 ) 7-May-2013

To maintain its shape until I am ready to work on it some more I place it in its side form.

( 26 ) 7-May-2013

The other side gets the same treatment as the first and in the end I have two side ready to have their kerfing applied.