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Finished Build

Orchestral Model Cutaway

Serial # OMC 1.6.41

  • Body:.......................... Philippine Ebony
  • Top:............................ Sitka Spruce
  • Neck:.......................... Khaya (Mahogany)
  • Binding:...................... High Figure Snakewood
  • Purfling:...................... Fine Herringbone with Green Pinstriping
  • Appointments:............ Amboyna Burl, Brazilian Rosewood
  • Fretboard & Bridge:.... 24 Nickel-Silver Frets Macassar Ebony with Snakewood Binding
  • Tuners:........................Waverly, Nickel Plated with Ebony Knobs

Page 2


( 19 ) December 21, 2010

The back pieces go into the joining table.

( 20 ) December 21, 2010

A little bit of glue squeeze out at the joint is just right.

( 21 ) December 21, 2010

After the sides are joined together I use a template to trace the outline of the back. I use a washer to give me an extra quarter inch to allow for variations.

( 22 ) December 21, 2010

Here I am using the band saw, (I love my bandsaw) to cut the back out of the joined blanks.

( 23 ) December 21, 2010

At this point I am not cutting out the cutaway section from the back.

( 24 ) December 21, 2010

The back goes into the drum sander to bring the thickness of the back to about 100 mils.

( 25 ) December 21, 2010

Since wood is not a perfect material it is necessary to fix certain areas to ensure the wood's integrity. Here I am using a bit of cyanoacrylate (CA) glue to fix a small hole.

( 26 ) December 21, 2010

Before bending the side pieces I layout the pieces with the side templates.

( 27 ) December 21, 2010

I trim the side blanks down to size next.

( 28 ) December 21, 2010

Here I am laying one of the side pieces in a heating blanket.

( 29 ) December 21, 2010

The side piece is sandwiched in between two pieces of aluminum flashing and the heating element. The top piece of flashing has holes in it so I can squirt water on to the wood as it is being heated.

( 30 ) December 21, 2010

The heating sandwich is constrained in the bending machine with two small pegs. This makes sure that the waist and bouts end up just where I want them.

( 31 ) December 21, 2010

After the wood has heated up to temperature the waist shoe is pressed into place.

( 32 ) December 21, 2010

Then a roller presses the upper bout into shape.

( 33 ) December 21, 2010

And the the lower bout is pressed into shape.

( 34 ) December 21, 2010

After the wood cooks for a while, it will hold its shape.

( 35 ) December 21, 2010

The other side piece then goes into the heating blanket.

( 36 ) December 21, 2010

The same process is followed for the cutaway side except the upper bout is stopped at the peak of the cut.

( 37 ) December 21, 2010

The cutaway sides then comes out of the bending machine after it too has cooked for a while.

( 38 ) December 21, 2010

Here I am carefully marking the peak of the cutaway.

( 39 ) December 21, 2010

And I use my bandsaw to cut the piece off. Scary!

( 40 ) December 21, 2010

This is what the two pieces look like together at this point.

( 41 ) December 21, 2010

To enhance the bendability of the cutaway section, since it has a wicked tight curve to it, I sand the side down to about 60 mils thick.

( 42 ) December 21, 2010

I use a heating iron to force the cutaway section into shape on this mold. I hold it in shape with these C-clamps.

( 43 ) December 21, 2010

The whole assembly then goes into the oven to set the bend.

( 44 ) December 21, 2010

When it comes out of the oven and it has cooled down we have a funny shaped piece of wood.

( 45 ) December 21, 2010

Here we see both pieces of the cutaway side placed together.

( 46 ) December 21, 2010

And finally I place all of the side pieces into their forms to hold them in shape until the next steps.