Building the top and back of the guitar


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The class began with a box of materials and a view of what our completed guitar should look like, if we carefully follow all of Dan's instructions. Waiting for the class to begin...
Dan provided plans for the small jumbo (sounds like a contradiction in terms) steel string guitar. Plans for the Biasca guitar
We began by joining together the top and back of the guitar. Both top and back are made up of two book-matched quarter-sawn pieces of wood--the top (shown) is Sitka Spruce and the back is Rosewood. We jointed the edge of the pieces, applied AR glue to the Spruce and CA glue to the Rosewood, taped the pieces together and then weighted down the glue joint until the pieces were dry enough to continue. Blanks for the top
While waiting for the top and back pieces to dry, we built our guitar forms, based upon Dan's plan. My form is made up of 3/4" A-C plywood that came from Lowe's. The pieces were temporarily stapled together, then permanently joined with screws. Assembling the body form
Once the top and back were dry, the next step was to use the form to mark an outline of the guitar body, carefully ensuring that the grain was oriented in the most aesthetic direction. Both the top and the back were marked this way. Laying out the back
We each took turns, practicing patience at the band saw as we cut out both the tops and the backs (shown) of our guitars. Bandsawing out the back
Wow! the results were exciting. In the space of just a day we were already beginning to see results. This guitar building stuff doesn't seem so hard after all (just wait...). Top and back finally take shape
Dan brought his thickness sander, and we each sanded both our tops and backs down to working thicknesses. The glue lines disappeared and the beauty of the two pieces emerged. Thicness sanding the top
Elapsed time for these steps: 10 hours... See the main page for the cumulative time.  

Continue to Preparing the Rosette, Bracing the Soundboard, or Bracing the Back >>

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