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


Home | Orders & Sales | Photo Gallery | Current Builds | Finished Builds | Tilt Action Neck
Engineered Braces | Rosettes & Marquetry | Split Saddle | Shop Tour | Biography | News


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 9


( 290 ) 21-May-2011

In this picture I have set up my binding router machine. This tool allows me five degrees of freedom while holding the router parallel to the side of the guitar.

( 291 ) 21-May-2011

The router guides are adjusted to cut a channel for each piece of binding.

( 292 ) 21-May-2011

To create the full channel I make several passes of the router.

( 293 ) 21-May-2011

Here you can see the channels for the binding and purfling on the top of the guitar.

( 294 ) 21-May-2011

I start by installing a thin green pin stripe.

( 295 ) 21-May-2011

And then next I install the herringbone next to the green pinstripe.

( 296 ) 21-May-2011

I install a b/w/b pinstripe on the bottom shelf.

( 297 ) 21-May-2011

This is what the assembly looks like before I install the Snakewood binding.

( 298 ) 21-May-2011

I install each piece of binding or purfling separately to insure that each piece makes a perfect fit. Here are a few of the tools I use.

( 299 ) 21-May-2011

In this picture I am using a small router to cut a channel for the vertical binding that frames the heel of the neck.

( 300 ) 21-May-2011

The cut channel.

( 301 ) 21-May-2011

And the installed vertical b/w/b pin striping on the cutaway side of the guitar.

( 302 ) 21-May-2011

And the installed vertical b/w/b pin striping on the non-cutaway side of the guitar.

( 303 ) 21-May-2011

Now I am getting ready to install the Snakewood binding. The first thing I do is cut the shaped binding at the peak of the cutaway .

( 304 ) 21-May-2011

I use the bending machine to reshape the cutaway portion of the binding.

( 305 ) 21-May-2011

And finally I use the form to complete the shape of the cutaway binding. I will bake this assembly until the binding holds it shape.

( 306 ) 21-May-2011

Now I start to install the binding. I start at the peak of the cutaway because this is a critical intersection and I want the joint to be perfect.

( 307 ) 21-May-2011

When I get to the tail of the guitar I cut the excess binding off so it ends at the center line.

( 308 ) 21-May-2011

Here I am installing binding on the non-cutaway side.

( 309 ) 21-May-2011

I cut the piece so that it makes a good tight joint at the tail.

( 310 ) 21-May-2011

This is the most difficult section of binding to install. Once again I start at the peak and work my way to the front.

( 311 ) 21-May-2011

A little bit of tape helps hold it in place as I install the binding.

( 312 ) 21-May-2011

I use a push stick to force the binding into place. I pay special attention to insure that there are no gaps between each piece of binding and purfling.

( 313 ) 21-May-2011

The two pieces of binding that will frame the heel of the neck will be installed after the neck is finished. I wait to do this so I can make sure the gap between the neck and the body is even and minimal.

( 314 ) 21-May-2011

Now that the binding is installed I use an orbital sander to sand all of the pieces flush. During this process the edge of the top is reduced resulting a looser top.

( 315 ) 21-May-2011

The back gets the same treatment as the top.

( 316 ) 21-May-2011

I use this drum sander to sand the sides flush.

( 317 ) 21-May-2011

And the crook of the cutaway gets special attention with some hand sanding.

( 318 ) 21-May-2011

And finally binding gets rolled over to remove its sharp edge.

( 319 ) 21-May-2011

A picture of the final result.

( 320 ) 21-May-2011

A picture of the final result.

( 321 ) 21-May-2011

A picture of the final result.

( 322 ) 21-May-2011

A picture of the final result.

( 323 ) 21-May-2011

A picture of the final result.