Cedar Body Parlor Marquetry

The luthier’s tank refills with juice, the last guitar satisfied the need to see the result of work. Hearing and playing the guitar are special, it’s exhilarating to finish. Despite the momentary victory the next hill approaches. Attention turns to the cedar topped parlor. Smaller bodies present easier challenges for marquetry. A smaller perimeter makes for quicker marquetry. Practice makes perfect so the smaller guitars are used first as there will be less opportunity for mistakes.


The next process to approach is marquetry. The same style will be used on this body as the last one. Black-white-black borders on the outside of the herring bone purfling and snakewood binding, as well as on the bridge and heel cap.


Ready to go and waiting for the luthier to finish his coffee.


First, the neck is fit into the heel channel. Binding needs to be put in before it can be sanded down flush with the neck. The channel for it to sit in is cut.



The multi-tool doesn’t cut all the way through, some chisel work is done to create the channel.



The binding is glued in. the overhand is sanded until the neck can just fit in.



The depth must be gotten right.



first black-white-black is inserted into the edge of the binding channel. It is pressed into place then a drop of thin CA fast cure and accelerant Is dropped on top.



After the binding comes the herring bone. It is thicker and bends worse. A heat gun is used to loosen it up to fit into the upper bout. It’s possible to heat it up too much to the point it falls apart.




That process is repated for the binding and done to the top and bottom edge. Here is the final outcome.



Brazilian rosewood is old so some holes need to be filled in.



A piece of amboyna burl is used for the heel cap.



It is inlayed then glued in.




That’s everything for the marquetry. This went much smoother than the last one. Less clean up and detail work will need to be done in the next stages. This guitar is on track to a quick birth. The next step is applying the finish.


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