Fabricating the kerfing


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I started the kerfing by milling two pieces of straight-grained Spanish cedar, 1/4" thick by 1-1/2" wide, by 33" long. One of these pieces is shown to the right. I purchased a Freud Diablo circular saw blade (7-1/4") from a wood supply store (seen in the photo), and made a test cut. The blade makes a kerf of 1/16", so I needed a pin in my jig (see the next photo) that would fit tight within the 1/16" kerf.
To build a jig to cut the kerfs, I measured the thickness of a 3d finish nail and found it to be slightly larger than 1/16". I drilled a 1/16" hole in my jig for the 3d nail; the final height of the pin cannot be higher than 3/16"--leaving enough height for the web of the kerfing to pass over the pin. I then pounded in the nail, cut it off about 1/4" long, and filed the sides until it measured exactly 1/16". Finally, I set the dimension between the blade and the pin to be exactly 1/4", and set the blade to be 7/32" high (1/32" web). Note that the jig board should extend a fair amount left and right of the blade, to provide support for the kerfing being cut.
Now that my jig was set, I started the first cut by placing the end of my board next to the pin, and then registered the remaining cuts by placing the most recently-cut kerf over the pin, and making the next cut. I picked up the kerfing board after each cut to not pass it back over the blade. The picture shows this process. Note that I used a short (~6") piece of 2x4 to hold down the kerf board as it passed over the blade, so that I could get a consistent cut.
When I had made all of the kerfing cuts, I then raised my saw blade and ripped the kerfing piece to exactly 5/8" wide. I could get two pieces out of each 33" long board.
My next step was to chamfer one side of the kerfing, following the examples of other kerfing I've seen in books and kerfing I purchased from LMI. The chamfering that is pictured here shows removing a small approx. 45 deg. angle from opposite the web (on the "toothed" side). This creates regular kerfing. If reverse kerfing is desired, the chamfer occurs on the web side. (The cut shown was an accident--I wanted reverse kerfing, so I had to re-fabricate some more kerfing for my guitar.)
This picture shows the orientation of the kerfing to chamfer the web, producing "reversed" kerfing. I produced this cut by tilting my band saw table.
Elapsed time for these steps: 3 hours... See the main page for the cumulative time.  

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