Archive for March, 2012

Guitar 1002 – Binding continues

March 19, 2012

I’ve attached the cutaway side binding after hand bending.  I’m pleased with the process, and am no longer flummoxed by tight binding bends.  All went swimmingly, and installation was straightforward.  A few minor gaps which can be filled with rosewood shims.



I still need to install binding and purfling around the heel cap area.


Guitar 1002 – Binding

March 18, 2012

I like this part.  The binding puts the real finishing touches on the body.  This one is more complicated due to the cutaway and the heel shape.  I’ve taken the first “easy” steps of binding the non-cutaway side.


The binding, pre-bent, and a purfling strip are glued into the channel, secured with binding tape.  I like to glue the crap out of it, which makes the cleanup more labor intensive, but these puppies need to be secure.


After the tape is removed, it almost looks like a guitar.  I will trim back the excess with a cabinet scraper before the final sanding.  The cutaway side is next, but I will need to hand bend the binding and purfling strip for the severe bend around the bout at the cutaway.

Guitar 1002 – Binding

March 12, 2012

The binding process for this cutaway is quite a bit more complicated.  I’ve got some tricky executions especially around the neck.


First I installed the butt graft, and had to recover from oversanding after I installed and trimmed.  I almost sanded through the sides around the butt block and had to go inside and reinforce with resin to restore the thickness and strength of the sidewalls.  After that recovery, I routed out the channels for the binding on the top and back, having to pull short as I approached the neck.


The continuation of the channels was achieved with a chisel and saw, but I still have some decisions to make around the end graft for the neck.


Girdis Guitar Finishing Project

March 10, 2012

Through a Google search, I was contacted by a gent from Guemes Island who was in possession of an unfinished Rob Girdis parlor guitar.  After discussing my background and having studied with Rob, we agreed that I would take on the job of finishing the guitar.  It’s a koa parlor with snakewood binding.


I’m looking forward to this project, as I can still learn from Rob by examining and analyzing the construction of this guitar while I proceed with the finish.  It needs the shaping and installing of a snakewood bridge, bone nut and saddle, tuning machines, and end pin.  The guitar needs to be prepped for finish, then the application of a lacquer finish.  Finally, strings and setup.


I’ll carefully document the dimensions and materials, and take a few iPhone photos of inside the box.  It’s koa all around with an interesting trilaminate neck of mahogany and ??



The headstock treatment uses a backing laminate of the same wood in the neck, which may be boxwood.



One thing Rob was proud of was his binding and purfling work which really shows on this guitar.  I remember showing him progress on one of my earlier guitars where he commented, “Nice work, but, you still have a way to go on improving your binding.”  I do possess now, the example to work toward.





I have access to an extensive photo library of Rob’s guitars.  I should be able to replicate tuners and bridge design to ensure the finishing of this guitar matches his design.