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


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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 3


( 47 ) 3-Jan-2011

The next task is to make the heel block that will house all of the neck attachment hardware and tie the two sides of the guitar together. Here I am cutting a piece of mahogany for one of the pieces.

( 48 ) 3-Jan-2011

I am using my new milling machine to mill one of the surfaces flat.

( 49 ) 3-Jan-2011

Here I am milling a surface of the heel block at an angle.

( 50 ) 3-Jan-2011

After cutting the second piece that makes up the heel block, they get glued together.

( 51 ) 3-Jan-2011

In this picture I am drilling a hole into the heel block that will hold the neck attachment bolt.

( 52 ) 3-Jan-2011

Next I drill the two holes that will allow access to the pivot set screws.

( 53 ) 3-Jan-2011

And then I use the routing table to round over the edges of the heel block.

( 54 ) 3-Jan-2011

Here I am marking the center lines.

( 55 ) 3-Jan-2011

And then I trace the outline of the heel onto the heel block.

( 56 ) 3-Jan-2011

Eventually this area will be routed out to accept the heel of the neck.

( 57 ) 3-Jan-2011

I use my miter saw to trim the heel block to length.

( 58 ) 3-Jan-2011

And then I carefully trim away some of the excess material where the cutaway section will go.

( 59 ) 3-Jan-2011

And a little bit more gets trimmed away.

( 60 ) 3-Jan-2011

Finally I use my belt sander to finish up the cutaway shape of the heel block.

( 61 ) 3-Jan-2011

Here we can see how the heel block and the cutaway side will fit together,

( 62 ) 3-Jan-2011

The two pieces of the cutaway side are beveled so that they will exactly meet at the point.

( 63 ) 3-Jan-2011

I work this bevel angle until I am satisfied that the parting line will not be visible.

( 64 ) 3-Jan-2011

A look at the second bevel.

( 65 ) 3-Jan-2011

Now I put the side pieces into their forms and trim off the excess. Afew pulls of a sharp saw is all it takes.

( 66 ) 3-Jan-2011

A look at the side pieces in their forms.

( 67 ) 3-Jan-2011

The heel block gets positioned in the form.

( 68 ) 3-Jan-2011

And then the cutaway portion of the side gets trimmed.

( 69 ) 3-Jan-2011

The cutaway section finally gets sanded to make a good fit.

( 70 ) 3-Jan-2011

Here we see the cutaway section of the side in position.

( 71 ) 3-Jan-2011

Next I mark the sides where I will trim them to their semi-final shape.

( 72 ) 3-Jan-2011

I use the band saw with an extended anvil to trim the sides.

( 73 ) 3-Jan-2011

The cutaway section also gets trimmed to shape.

( 74 ) 3-Jan-2011

Next I glue the cutaway section to the heel block. This is a wickedly complex set of compound curves. I use lots of clamps to insure that I get a good joint.

( 75 ) 3-Jan-2011

Here we see the results. A funny shaped couple of pieces of wood.

( 76 ) 3-Jan-2011

Now I carefully glue the two pieces of the cutaway side together.

( 77 ) 3-Jan-2011

Here we can see the point of the cutaway. I was very careful to ensure the figure of the wood is continuous around the point.

( 78 ) 3-Jan-2011

To reinforce the cutaway point I will use this bar on the interior.

( 79 ) 3-Jan-2011

More clamps to glue the reinforcing bar in place.