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How to build an oo size acoustic guitar

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  • #16
    Making the neck continued

    Hands been a bit sore so not a lot done last few days. Also still pretty cold at the moment. Did manage to get the artwork done for the inserts on the corners of the neck. This will hide the slight runout I had with the saw cut in cutting the heel of the neck to shape.

    I did this on the last one I built and decided it made a nice feature so was wanting to make these for this project anyway.

    As with all inserts the edge has been sanded on a slight angle so when i draw the line around the insert and make the cut I have a little wiggle room to sand the edge down for a tight fit and to fill the odd spot where i may have cut over the line a fraction. Is a cheap insurance for a good look and saves having to mess around with fillers which can be tricky to get looking exactly right.
    Attached Files


    • #17
      Wow,Glenn that's such excellent work,love the detail you have going on that neck.
      Mark N. Akers
      My Etsy Store:


      • #18
        Now that does add to your custom build
        . . .JoeB


        • #19
          Nice job! Marquetery?
          Steve Reed - Carvin' in the flatlands!


          • #20
            Hi Steve
            Pyrography and cut to shape on the band saw.


            • #21
              Hi Guys
              Got the inserts cut out of 0.6mm veneer today. The burr is quite tricky to cut and I found the best way was a super sharp knife and make multiple passes over the cut until it lets go.Got less breakouts that way.

              Cut the headstock veneer to shape. Is a beautiful piece of veneer.

              Hope to make the actual fretboard tomorrow.
              Attached Files


              • #22
                This guitar will become a masterpiece


                • #23
                  Amazing work!


                  • #24
                    Making the neck continued

                    Made a small set of wings out of burl walnut to go on the head stock. Made by cutting out with bandsaw, trimming with knife and sanding.

                    Deliberately lacking in detail as the wood grains are the focus of this piece, not so much the artwork which should be just enough to lift the aesthetic value a little without detracting from the beauty of the wood..

                    Put the radius on the fret board by sanding it down to the right radius with a home made radius block. Worked well on the last one so stuck with the method.

                    The sander has 40 grit paper stuck on with a full length strip of double sided sellotape You will see a guide on each side of the tool. The fretboard fits between them when you sand sort of like having the sander on a rail. I turned the sander end for end frequently just to take out any very minor differences in the sanding face.

                    The fretboard is held in place on the bench with thin blocks of wood making a box around it so it can't move. Then it is just sand away until you get there.

                    The sanded, radiused top is then checked for being dead straight from one end to the other with a straight edge. The underside is then planed to the correct thicknes and checked to be straight in the same manner. No light should show under the straight edge when checking. If there is a litle bit see if a thin strip of 3 thou newspaper sticks under the straight edge. If it does that is close enough for me.

                    The fretboard is then marked out for the frets to be cut for a 24.9 inch scale. This you can get online.

                    I have a jig that holds the fretboard rigidly in place with a small sliver of wood locking it in tight. The fret / tennon saw has a ridge along the top of the blade.

                    I made a block of wood with the radius shaped on the end of it to act as a stop for the saw cut. The saw cuts down to the stop and can't cut any further. This ensures the cut depth is spot on and prevents OVER CUTTING weakening the fretboard.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by Glenn Jennings; 08-17-2022, 03:58 PM.


                    • #25
                      Very interesting process, Glenn. Are you keeping track of the number of hours of work? I think that would be interesting also.

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                      • #26
                        Hi Claude
                        I haven't kept track of hours on the project. It is one of those things that takes as long as it takes if you know what I mean hehehehehe.


                        • #27
                          Making the neck continued.

                          Have inlet fancy burr wood into the fretboard to mark the various fret positions. I used the dremel router to cut around the shape about 1-1.5 mm away from the line then I used the router to clear out the centre of the insert to the desired depth.

                          The last 1-1.5mm around the edge was cut out using the chisels and knife shown in the photos.

                          I used Titebond original glue to glue in the inserts and the method was to put plenty on the cutout then lightly pressed the insert into the hole. The excess was wiped off with a damp cloth and with the insert proud by a few thou of an inch I stuck selotape to the back of the fretboard and stretched it tightly over the insert pushing in the insert the rest of the way as I went. This squezed out a tiny amount of glue and filled the odd tiny pinhole in the burr wood.

                          This made sure the inserts were fitting the radius of the neck properly.

                          This was left for 5 minutes then I used a round chisel handle to roll over the top of the insert. This seated it right down into the hole and a minute amount of glue came out. This I left for 20 minutes before removing the tape and gently washing the excess glue away with a damp cloth.

                          This method seemes to work very well.

                          The project supervisor called a toolbox meeting to go over the plans with me. .
                          Attached Files


                          • #28
                            making the neck continued

                            With the inserts all in place I sanded the fretboard down with 320 grit even out a few minor bumps in the burr wood which is somewhat prone to a bit of distortion as the glue dries down hard.

                            I then measured the cenres for drilling the holes in the side of the neck for the white fret markers to go into and marked them all with a punch then with a 2mm drill bit I drilled the holes about 3/16 into the side of the fretboard.

                            I use a 2mm plastic nitting needle to make the dots themselves. ( Cost $2.00 and enough to do several guitars.) I cut pieces about 1/4 inch long, put a dab of titebond glue in the hole and tap the bits in until they hit the bottom of the hole.

                            I then sand them down flush with the side of the fretboard.

                            With that all done a gave the top and sides several thin coats of sealer to fill the wood pores and help harden up the burr wood inserts

                            Once that is dry I will coat it with tru -oil and rub back with 0000 steel wool until the fretboard is ripple free. Once happy with the finish It will be rubbed down with stock conditioner to drop it back to a semi gloss finish. The tru-oil will put a reasonably hard wearing coating over the fretboard and it can be touched up at any time simply by applying another coat in order to prevent wear in the actual fretboard and inserts so that makes it low maintenance if it gets a LOT of playing.
                            Attached Files


                            • #29
                              Making the neck continued

                              I managed to get the volute shaped on the top of the neck. This is quite tricky as the neck and headstock are all tapered so the volute has to be all worked out from the neck centreline.

                              I have made the body neck and tail blocks that will be fitted to the body. A lot of time spent getting the blocks perfectly square on the corners.

                              To get the dovetail on the neck end block right I under cut it a little and sanded it to size and fit. I use chalk on the wood to mark the high spots and trim with knife and sand until it is a snug fit. The centreline on the neck and the end block marry up spot on so pretty happy with the outcome on this part of the job which is probably the trickiest part next to fitting the end blocks exactly right in the body.

                              Note the neck doesn't slip all the way into the dovetail. This is because the 2.8mm top will fill this gap. This will require further fitting when the guitar body is completed.

                              The fretboard had had 8 coats of tru-oil and has been rubbed back afetr every two coats. It is now looking pretty nice.

                              Will not be much happening for the next week or so as I have the carpal tunnel op on the wrist on Tuesday so will have to be careful not to bust out the stitches.
                              Attached Files


                              • #30
                                Making the neck continued

                                Hi Guys
                                Got the holes drilled in the headstock for the machine heads to fit through. To drill the holes I used a centre in the drill chuck to fix the position then clamped the headstock in place on the drill press bed. The position was then checked again with the centre tool. I then drilled a 3.5mm pilot hole, replaced the drill bit for a 25/64 bit and drilled the hole out to size. This was done for each of the 6 holes.

                                The rest of the Neck was shaped with a rasp to the shape of the 3 neck profile gauges that I had made for the 1st , 5th and 12th fret. This ensures a nice taper all the way up the neck. The neck was left about 2mm wider than required at this point.

                                The truss rod was wrapped in felt and pressed into the channel and the felt trimmed to the top of the rod. The felt prevents the rod rattling from vibration. The wood cover plate was then glued in place over the truss rod. A piece of wood was put over the coverplate and heavy leather on the underside of the neck so that when clamped down tight the plate was pressed into place and the leather prevents dings from the pressure of the clamps.

                                The clamps were removed and the cover plate sanded flat. You will see in the photo showing the cover plate in place a clamping jig for the fretboard to be clamped to the neck. This has two runners on it to ensure a good clamp on the outside edge of the fretboard. There are also holes in the body of the jig to allow locating pins to stick through the clamping plate.

                                In order to do this the neck is clamped in exactly the right position and a 1.5mm hole drilled through the fret slot and another at the far endof the neck. Two pins are then tapped into the holes to fix the position of the fretboard. The drilled holes will be covered by the actual fret when it is fitted.

                                The fretboard is then removed and glue applied to the join. The fretboard is laid on the neck and located in place with the locating pins. Then the cover plate clamp jig goes over the top and the clamps are applied again using heavy leather on the underside of the neck to prevent clamp damage.

                                In one of the photos you can see the pin head showing in the hole in the top of the clamp jig.

                                I checked the centrelines on the fretboard and neck at each end and they line up exactly so all is good at this point.

                                Tomorrow the clamps can be removed and a final sanding of the neck to shape can be done.

                                Then the headstock can have the fancy laminates applied.
                                Attached Files
                                Last edited by Glenn Jennings; 09-10-2022, 03:55 AM.