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

Nylon String Orchestral Model

Serial # OMX 1.2.51

  • Body: Indian Rosewood
  • Top: Adirondack Spruce
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Binding : Koa
  • Fretboard and Bridge: Ebony
  • Nut and Saddle: Bone

Page 4

( 103 ) 15-Dec-2011

The heal of the neck will slip into this channel and will be supported by two set screws and an adjustment bolt. Here I am using my drill press to drill the holes for the mounting hardware.



( 104 ) 15-Dec-2011

A view of the hole pattern. The center hole is for the bolt that holds the neck in place.

( 105 ) 15-Dec-2011

I use long set screws to make sure the system is stable.

( 106 ) 15-Dec-2011

Here I am installing the wood insert that is used for the adjustment bolt.

( 107 ) 15-Dec-2011

And the final set up. This system provides three very well defined points of contact for the neck attachment. This results in a stable yet adjustable neck.

( 108 ) 15-Dec-2011

I next turn my attention to creating the rosette and contra-rosette. Finding inspiration in Islamic art, I have designed an eight pointed star for the rosette. Here I am using some of the tools of the trade to lay out the design.

( 109 ) 15-Dec-2011

I start out by creating a cartoon template to help in the lay out.

( 110 ) 15-Dec-2011

I carefully trace out each individual piece onto a piece of veneer using an exacto knife as a scribe. The exacto blade scores the surface with a line that is about 1/4 of the thickness of a pencil lead. This is very precise work where the variation of each piece from the ideal quickly adds up. I have to fit each piece individually, adding a little here, taking a little there, to get a satisfactory whole.

( 111 ) 15-Dec-2011

I rough out each piece with one of my band saws,

( 112 ) 15-Dec-2011

And then use the sanding disk to trim the piece to its final shape.

( 113 ) 15-Dec-2011

I make a copy of the template and lay out all of the pieces before gluing anything down.

( 114 ) 15-Dec-2011

I glue the pieces right onto the paper template.

( 115 ) 15-Dec-2011

I use one template for the rosette, and one for the contra-rosette. Each piece is individually marked trimmed to fit together with its neighbors.

( 116 ) 15-Dec-2011

After they are glued up I sand everything flush and smooth and then cut out the completed sets.

( 117 ) 15-Dec-2011

A view of the rosettes.

( 118 ) 15-Dec-2011

Now that I have the rosette set completed I need to route out a channel in the top plate. Here I am laying out the position of the rosette and sound hole on the top plate.

( 119 ) 15-Dec-2011

I use my milling machine to create the rosette channel.

( 120 ) 15-Dec-2011

With a little care the rosette drops right into the channel. To create an outlining border for the rosette I route out a channel for a strip of black/white/black pin stripping.

( 121 ) 15-Dec-2011

And then I cut out the sound hole .

( 122 ) 15-Dec-2011

And here is a view of the rosette and contra-rosette pair.

( 123 ) 15-Dec-2011

And a look at the top plate with the rosettes. In the back ground you can see the faint image of a guitar and a ukulele I am working on.