Make Your Own Spanish Guitar - online book

Complete plans & Instruction on how make your own Spanish Guitar.

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16
FITTING THE BACK
Place the back on the mould and mark at the sides of the guitar where the cross struts come on the side linings. The struts them�selves are then cut off about 1/16" short of the outline of the guitar as marked on the back and small recesses cut into the lining on each side of the guitar. Great care should be taken to see that these recesses do not enter the actual sides of the guitar. The recesses should be in the lining strip only!
If this operation is correctly and success�fully carried out it should be possible to place the back of the guitar on the sides (which are, of course, still in the mould) so that the back struts fall neatly and easily into the recesses previously cut in the linings to take them. If they do not, any little fouling can be located by rubbing a piece of coloured chalk over the end of the cross struts and trying to fit the back to the sides again. This will leave a small chalk mark on the lining where the offending strut(s) does not fall into the recess.
It is most important that the back of the guitar should " fall into place " without any forcing whatsoever. If this operation is successfully completed the sides will hold the back in position without strain on either sides or back. It has been said that this easy fitting of back to sides has a marked effect on tie tone that will emerge from the finished guitar, for it has been found that a guitar possesses a better tone when back and sides fit together without forcing. It probably has something to do with the wood not being under stress at these points and thus allows for freer vibration.
THE FACE OR FRONT
Now we start to work on the face (or front) of the guitar. The ideal material is radially-sawn silver spruce, or pine, of the straightest and closest grain. This, like the back, is made from two pieces of wood joined together, with the narrowest (closest) grain in the centre. The finished thickness should not be more than 3/32" overall; although the area on the treble side of the guitar can be slightly thinner to make the instrument " speak " better.
When the two pieces have been joined to�gether, the outline of the front is marked out and then cut in the same way as
employed for the back. As you did when cutting out the back, leave about 1/4" margin all round the outside of the outline of the front.
At a point 5 7/8" from the top of the marked outline, and exactly on the centre join, put a small dot. On the under face side of the front, glue a small square of hardwood (about 1 1/2" square 1/8 thick). This will later help to take the pressure of the cutting tool. Then, with a pair of com�passes or dividers, scribe a circle 3 3/8" dia�meter with the centre exactly on the pre�viously-marked dot. This is to be the finished size of the soundhole of the guitar.
Allowing a fraction of an inch for final cleaning up, cut out this circle�and here different workers will have their own methods. For the amateur guitar maker it would be best to use a cutting tool or very sharp pointed knife.
Clean up the edge of the cut-out hole to the final size and then carefully inspect the edge to see if at any point the grain of the wood has been torn. Mark the least per�fect side of the wood to be the " inside."
It is usual to inlay round the soundhole and for this work it will be necessary to use a small cutting gauge. Working from inside the soundhole, shallow cuts are made and the wood removed from the resulting chan�nels with a narrow chisel. Great care must be taken not to make the cuts too deep. (Not more than half the thickness of the wood is sufficient.)
The design and number of inlays can be decided by the maker. Purfling of the type used on violins can be purchased from most crafts shops, in various colours, to form a pleasing pattern. Here the individual's aesthetic outlook can be exercised.
Most Spanish guitars have a simple circu�lar design of alternating black and white woods, as shown in Fig. 17 (a, b and c) but if the worker wishes he could copy one of the more elaborate marquetry inlays such as shown in Fig. 17 (d)�or even produce a design of his own.
When all the inlaying of the purfling has been completed and time allowed for the glue to dry, it is smoothed down to the level of the face of the guitar with the scraper and finished off with fine glass-paper.
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