December 13 2010 The back and side set of Philippine Ebony we will use.
December 13 2010 A close up view of the Philippine Ebony back.
December 13 2010 A picture of the Sitka Spruce top set.
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
December 14 2010 I sand the back blanks to the same dimension as the center strip.
December 14 2010 We decided to make the center sapwood section a bit thinner than the original wood. I am using my table saw to trim a bit of the wood away.
December 14 2010 Here I am using my drum sander to reduce the thickness of the side pieces to about 90 mils. 0.090" This will make bending them possible.
December 14 2010 I am trimming the edges of the top pieces to get an initially straight edge.
December 14 2010 But since I am going to be joining these two edges together and I don't want any seam to show I use this edge sanding tool to create very straight and complimentary edges. This tool holds the piece vertical and has a precisely straight surface to sand the edge on. I will continue to work on these edges until I am satisfied that the seam will be invisible.
December 14 2010 The back pieces get the same treatment.
December 14 2010 To glue the pieces together I run a thin bead of white glue along one edge.
December 14 2010 And I use this press tool to press the two halves together while holding them flat.
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
December 21 2010 The back pieces go into the joining table.
December 21 2010 A little bit of glue squeeze out at the joint is just right.
December 21 2010 After the sides are joined together I use a template to trace the outline of the back. I use a washer to give me an extra quarter inch to allow for variations.
December 21 2010 Here I am using the band saw I love my bandsaw to cut the back out of the joined blanks.
December 21 2010 At this point I am not cutting out the cutaway section from the back.
December 21 2010 The back goes into the drum sander to bring the thickness of the back to about 100 mils.
December 21 2010 Since wood is not a perfect material it is necessary to fix certain areas to ensure the wood's integrity. Here I am using a bit of cyanoacrylate CA glue to fix a small hole.
December 21 2010 Before bending the side pieces I layout the pieces with the side templates.
December 21 2010 I trim the side blanks down to size next.
December 21 2010 Here I am laying one of the side pieces in a heating blanket.
December 21 2010 The side piece is sandwiched in between two pieces of aluminum flashing and the heating element. The top piece of flashing has holes in it so I can squirt water on to the wood as it is being heated.
December 21 2010 The heating sandwich is constrained in the bending machine with two small pegs. This makes sure that the waist and bouts end up just where I want them.
December 21 2010 After the wood has heated up to temperature the waist shoe is pressed into place.
December 21 2010 Then a roller presses the upper bout into shape.
December 21 2010 And the the lower bout is pressed into shape.
December 21 2010 After the wood cooks for a while it will hold its shape.
December 21 2010 The other side piece then goes into the heating blanket.
December 21 2010 The same process is followed for the cutaway side except the upper bout is stopped at the peak of the cut.
December 21 2010 The cutaway sides then comes out of the bending machine after it too has cooked for a while.
December 21 2010 Here I am carefully marking the peak of the cutaway.
December 21 2010 And I use my bandsaw to cut the piece off. Scary!
December 21 2010 This is what the two pieces look like together at this point.
December 21 2010 To enhance the bendability of the cutaway section since it has a wicked tight curve to it I sand the side down to about 60 mils thick.
December 21 2010 I use a heating iron to force the cutaway section into shape on this mold. I hold it in shape with these C-clamps.
December 21 2010 The whole assembly then goes into the oven to set the bend.
December 21 2010 When it comes out of the oven and it has cooled down we have a funny shaped piece of wood.
December 21 2010 Here we see both pieces of the cutaway side placed together.
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
3-Jan-2011 The next task is to make the heel block that will house all of the neck attachment hardware and tie the two sides of the guitar together. Here I am cutting a piece of mahogany for one of the pieces.
3-Jan-2011 I am using my new milling machine to mill one of the surfaces flat.
3-Jan-2011 Here I am milling a surface of the heel block at an angle.
3-Jan-2011 After cutting the second piece that makes up the heel block they get glued together.
3-Jan-2011 In this picture I am drilling a hole into the heel block that will hold the neck attachment bolt.
3-Jan-2011 Next I drill the two holes that will allow access to the pivot set screws.
3-Jan-2011 And then I use the routing table to round over the edges of the heel block.
3-Jan-2011 Here I am marking the center lines.
3-Jan-2011 And then I trace the outline of the heel onto the heel block.
3-Jan-2011 Eventually this area will be routed out to accept the heel of the neck.
3-Jan-2011 I use my miter saw to trim the heel block to length.
3-Jan-2011 And then I carefully trim away some of the excess material where the cutaway section will go.
3-Jan-2011 And a little bit more gets trimmed away.
3-Jan-2011 Finally I use my belt sander to finish up the cutaway shape of the heel block.
3-Jan-2011 Here we can see how the heel block and the cutaway side will fit together
3-Jan-2011 The two pieces of the cutaway side are beveled so that they will exactly meet at the point.
3-Jan-2011 I work this bevel angle until I am satisfied that the parting line will not be visible.
3-Jan-2011 A look at the second bevel.
3-Jan-2011 Now I put the side pieces into their forms and trim off the excess. Afew pulls of a sharp saw is all it takes.
3-Jan-2011 A look at the side pieces in their forms.
3-Jan-2011 The heel block gets positioned in the form.
3-Jan-2011 And then the cutaway portion of the side gets trimmed.
3-Jan-2011 The cutaway section finally gets sanded to make a good fit.
3-Jan-2011 Here we see the cutaway section of the side in position.
3-Jan-2011 Next I mark the sides where I will trim them to their semi-final shape.
3-Jan-2011 I use the band saw with an extended anvil to trim the sides.
3-Jan-2011 The cutaway section also gets trimmed to shape.
3-Jan-2011 Next I glue the cutaway section to the heel block. This is a wickedly complex set of compound curves. I use lots of clamps to insure that I get a good joint.
3-Jan-2011 Here we see the results. A funny shaped couple of pieces of wood.
3-Jan-2011 Now I carefully glue the two pieces of the cutaway side together.
3-Jan-2011 Here we can see the point of the cutaway. I was very careful to ensure the figure of the wood is continuous around the point.
3-Jan-2011 To reinforce the cutaway point I will use this bar on the interior.
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
7-Jan-2011 I use my universal bendalator machine to shape the kerfing. The kerfing will be glued to the inside of the sides to provide a shelf that the top and bottom will be glued to. The sides are too thin to provide a good gluing surface and the kerfing will also add rigidity to the sides and provide a substrate for the binding and purfling to be glued to.
7-Jan-2011 I use the band saw to separate the cutaway portion of the kerfing
7-Jan-2011 A little heat and pressure and the kerfing takes on the shape of the cutaway section.
7-Jan-2011 I use these small C-clamps to ensure the kerfing makes a good glue joint with the cutaway side.
7-Jan-2011 Here is a look at the interior area of the cutaway.
7-Jan-2011 Before I glue the rest of the kerfing into place I use tape to mask off the portion of the side where the heel and tail blocks will be glued in place. The masking tape makes it easy to remove the kerfing in these areas.
7-Jan-2011 I spread an thin layer of glue on the inside of the kerfing.
7-Jan-2011 And then I glue the kerfing to the interior of the sides. Since I glue the kerfing on with the sides in their forms when I clamp the kerfing down the sides precisely take on the shape of the form. I use a reverse kerfing system i.e. the kerfing slots face the wood and a gunnel strip is suspended away from the sides by about 1/4 inch. This will ultimately produce a very rigid side piece that has the exact shape of the form.
7-Jan-2011 In high curvature areas I use a little extra clamping force to insure a good bond. I am fastidious in ensuring that there are no gaps between the kerfing and the sides. This is both an aesthetic as well as structural consideration.
7-Jan-2011 Once the kerfing is clamped into place I clean up the excess glue and use my air gun to blow any residual glue out of the kerfing slots.
7-Jan-2011 The second strip of kerfing is glued in just like the first. It is a good thing that I buy clamps by the gross.
7-Jan-2011 And the other side gets the same treatment.
7-Jan-2011 After a day of drying the two sides come out of their forms and we have two well formed and very stiff pieces of wood.
7-Jan-2011 I use the idler pulley of my belt sander to sand the kerfing smooth. I follow up with hand sanding to perfect the kerfing surfaces. A little hand sanding in the tight spots is necessary. I strive to create a very clean interior to my guitars.
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
7-Jan-2011 Here I am positioning the heel block to mark where I will remove the excess kerfing. I clamp in place a straight popsicle stick to mark the position of the heel block.
7-Jan-2011 Then I use a small saw to cut the kerfing. The popsicle stick ensured that the cut will exactly match the edge of the heel block and there will be no gap between the end of the kerfing and the heel.
7-Jan-2011 When I make this cut I have to be very careful that I don't cut into the side. The masking tape made for easy removal of the excess kerfing.
7-Jan-2011 Here I am positioning the tail block.
7-Jan-2011 I use the same technique with the popsicle sticks to mark the position of the tail block.
7-Jan-2011 A few quick but careful pulls of the saw an the kerfing is cut away.
7-Jan-2011 A perfect fit with no gaps.
7-Jan-2011 The bottom of the the guitar is not flat but rather has a slight curve to it. At this point the tail block is flat. To make a good glue joint and to prevent warping the shape of the sides I have to match the shape of the tail block to the curve of the back. By firmly pressing the tail block into place and using a pencil that is off set to match the bottom of the gap I can perfectly trace the shape of the bottom curve onto the tail block.
7-Jan-2011 I then use the belt sander to shape the heel block. I have to very careful that I don't sand my finger tips off doing this kind of thing. So far I still have ten digits.
7-Jan-2011 With a little bit of tweaking I get a good fit.
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
7-Jan-2011 A look at the tail block in place a perfect fit.
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
7-Jan-2011 While the left side of the guitar is sitting in its form and I put the right side in place.
7-Jan-2011 Then the right side form gets put in place and locked down. I use one of my huge pistol clamps to press the two halves of the form together. The angle iron on either end holds everything together.
7-Jan-2011 A few taps with a rubber mallet perfectly lines up the two halves of the guitar. Don't you love it when I take a hammer to your guitar.
7-Jan-2011 I use two C-clamps to press the heel block into place and then a little water to clean up the glue squeeze out. I then use my air gun to quickly dry the wood. I don't want to leave the wood wet for any length of time in that the wood might expand and warp.
7-Jan-2011 The tail block is then glued into place with two more C-clamps. I use a large maple caul to evenly spread the pressure.
7-Jan-2011 The assembly then gets to set up and dry over night.
7-Jan-2011 In the morning I crack the form apart.
7-Jan-2011 And voila... it look-a-like a guitar.
7-Jan-2011 I use this flexible saw to cut of the excess tab from the left side.
7-Jan-2011 And I end up with a nice clean jiont.
7-Jan-2011 In this picture and the next I am showing the forms that I use to construct the top and the back. These are large plates that have been sanded into the profile of the final shape of the top and back.
7-Jan-2011 I will use these forms for several different operations during the construction of the guitar.
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
7-Jan-2011 I will use the top and bottom forms to sand the rim into its final shape. Here I am marking the rim with a felt tip pen so I can see where I have sanded.
7-Jan-2011 I mount the rim in the form with the edge well exposed.
7-Jan-2011 I put a sheet of sand paper over the form and then I place the assembly on the form with forty pounds of weight on top to press it into place. I can move the weight around a bit to emphasize the sanding action in different areas.
7-Jan-2011 A use bit of elbow grease to sand the rim of the guitar into shape. I actually get a bit of a work out doing this. I periodically check the rim and when all of the marker is gone I am done.
7-Jan-2011 When I am sanding the back side of the rim I also check the rim depth to ensure that the right and left sides of the guitar are equal.
7-Jan-2011 Once the rim is sanded into shape I bevel the top and back side of the tail block so that the contact width of the tail block will be the same as the kerfing width. This ensures that there are no discontinuities in the top and back in this area.
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
24-Jan-2011 At this point in the build I am turning my attention to the braces for the top and the back. In this image I am laying out the brace templates on some pre-dimensioned pieces of Sitka spruce. Sitka spruce is used for the braces because it is quite light and is very strong. The mass of the braces is a very important factor in the responsiveness of the instrument generally the less massive the top and the back the more responsive the guitar will be.
24-Jan-2011 Because the mass of the braces is so important Portland Guitar employes anEngineered Brace Systemthat reduces the mass of each brace by up to 50%. There are quite a few steps in the process to make these braces but it is well worth the effort. In this picture I am using the band saw to cut out the brace blanks.
24-Jan-2011 In this picture you can see the set of brace blanks that will be used for the top.
24-Jan-2011 I use the top dish that has the final shape of the top with a piece of sandpaper to match the bottom of the brace to the shape of the dish.
24-Jan-2011 I do the same thing with the brace blanks used for the back.
24-Jan-2011 Using the drill press and a variety of Forstner drill bits to create a set of holes in the brace blanks. I am careful to position the holes so that there is a minimal and equal distance to the bottom of the brace for each hole. The distance between each hole is set to provide an interhole pillar that is sufficiently strong but not over built. The hole idea is to create a sufficiently strong brace that has a minimal mass.
24-Jan-2011 Here we can see the set of holes in a tone bar brace.
24-Jan-2011 After the holes have been drilled I use the router table to route out a channel along the length of each brace blank.
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
24-Jan-2011 In this picture I am using my oscillating sander to dimension the height of the main x-braces. I want both arms of the main x-brace to have exactly the same height.
24-Jan-2011 And in this picture I am sanding the final shape of the main back brace. When I get ready to install the braces they will be trimmed up for their final fit.
24-Jan-2011 I use the oscillating sander to create the I-beam channel in the finger braces. These braces are too small to use the router for this job.
24-Jan-2011 After the braces have there final shape a little hand sanding finishes the job.
24-Jan-2011 Here I have laid out the back braces on the back plate.
24-Jan-2011 And here I have laid out the top braces.
24-Jan-2011 One of the unique features of a Portland Guitar is theUser Adjustable Tilt Action Neck. In this picture I have mounted the side rim in a special fixture that will allow me to accurately route out the heel channel.
24-Jan-2011 This fixture has a template that has the same shape as the heel of the neck. A special router bit follows this shape and I can control the depth of the cut. I spend a significant amount of time making sure that everything is lined up just right before I start this bit.
24-Jan-2011 Here you can see the the router bit in the channel it is creating.
24-Jan-2011 And finally the completed channel. This channel will house the hardware that makes the adjustable neck possible. More on this later.
24-Jan-2011 I use the same fixture to route out a channel for the tail graft.
24-Jan-2011 I will install a tail graft into this channel that will compliment the rosettes and the headstock.
24-Jan-2011 This guitar will use Amboyna burl and Brazilian rosewood for the appointments. Here I have a block of Amboyna burl that I am going to cut some veneer slices from.
24-Jan-2011 I have set up the band saw to cut the veneers.
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
31-Jan-2011 In this picture I have laid out the Amboyna burl and Brazilian rosewood plates that will be used to make the rosettes.
31-Jan-2011 I am sanding the two plate sets in the drum sander to make them thin and of equal thickness.
31-Jan-2011 I am using my new milling machine with a rotary cutting tool to cut out matching circles from each plate.
31-Jan-2011 I carefully section each circle to create the individual sections and then mix the two sets together to get the final rosette blank. The residual disk from the center of the Amboyna burl plate will be used for the background of the contra-rosette.
31-Jan-2011 Before going any further with building the rosette I need to create the receiving channel in the top. Here I am laying out and measuring the position of the of the different parts that will be glued to the top.
31-Jan-2011 I use this washer to over size the outline shape of the guitar.
31-Jan-2011 Here I am measuring the layout of the sound hole and the rosette.
31-Jan-2011 I use the bandsaw to cut out the top. I don't cut out the cutaway section at this point because it tend to be a bit fragile.
31-Jan-2011 The top cut out. I will use the excess material from the top plate to create the sound hole ring a a few other reinforcing plates. I try to use every piece of wood I can not wasting anything if I can avoid it.
31-Jan-2011 I use the milling machine again to route out the channel for the rosette.
31-Jan-2011 And while everything is lined up on center I cut out the sound hole.
31-Jan-2011 I was very careful to create the channel so the individual section of the rosette would perfectly fit.
31-Jan-2011 The rosette sections laid out in the rosette channel.
31-Jan-2011 The rosette is outlined with a thin green strip and bordered with a black/white/black pinstripe.
31-Jan-2011 A bit of glue tacks everything into place.
31-Jan-2011 And with a bit of sanding any voids that exist are filled in.
31-Jan-2011 Since the rosette assembly stands a bit proud of the surface I use the drum sander to sand everything flush.
31-Jan-2011 And finally I sand the back of the top plate so it is about 100 mils thick.
31-Jan-2011 This is a bit of a diversion from working on the bracing. Here I am laying out the end graft. The end graft is made from Amboyna burl and the center strip that goes down the center of the back.
31-Jan-2011 I carefully cut out the shape of the end graft.
31-Jan-2011 And with a bit of fussing and fitting a perfectly or nearly so fit is made.
31-Jan-2011 A few clamps are used to glue the plate into place.
31-Jan-2011 When it is dry the end graft stands a bit proud of the surface.
31-Jan-2011 So I use the belt sander to sand everything flush.
31-Jan-2011 And when I am done a beautiful end graft.
31-Jan-2011 Back to laying out the braces for the top. Here I am measuring a piece of stock Indian Rosewood for the bridge plate.
31-Jan-2011 The main X-brace uses a dovetail at the cross point. I use my bandsaw like a power file to carefully create each channel.
31-Jan-2011 With a little care the dovetails perfectly match at the proper angle.
31-Jan-2011 The bracing system employes an A-frame brace to convey the force of the strings from the rim to the heel block. This configuration requires that the braces butt up against each other. To get a good fit I use this contour gage copy the I-shape of the brace to the end of the A-Brace.
31-Jan-2011 With a bit of sanding the two arms of the brace make a good match.
31-Jan-2011 I the construction process I need to be able to repeatably place the brace in their final position. To facilitate this process I use these fiducial buttons to lock the braces in place. I drill a 1/4 inch hole in the brace an put a small piece of 1/4inch dowel in the hole. I then put a small drop of glue on the end of the dowel.
31-Jan-2011 Then I press the brace into place and the buttons stick to the top. When I pull the brace away the buttons stay in place. I can then accurately replace the brace by lining up the holes in the brace with the buttons.
31-Jan-2011 I need to sand the buttons down slightly to ensure that there is no interference and the brace will make good contact with the surface.
31-Jan-2011 To position the rim on the top repeatably I use a fiducial button on the tail block and this fiducial block on the heal block.
31-Jan-2011 With the brace in place and the rim laid in place over the braces I use a sharp scribe to mark the ends of the braces. It is important that the ends of the braces firmly but up against the rim to ensure force from the string is effectively transferred to the rim.
31-Jan-2011 I cut the excess off of the braces and then carefully sand the ends of the braces up to the scribe mark.
31-Jan-2011 When all is done the rim will slide over the braces and make good contact all around.
31-Jan-2011 Now I start to install the braces. I use this rolling applicator to apply a thin layer of glue to the bottom of the brace.
31-Jan-2011 The fiducial buttons insure that the brace is accurately placed on the top and the go-sticks are used to apply pressure to the brace to ensure a good joint is created.
31-Jan-2011 The top is placed in the form that has the final shape of the top and the bottoms of the braces have been sanded to the complementary shape. When all the braces are glued into place the top will take on the shape of the form and we will have a domed top.
31-Jan-2011 I am not afraid to use lots of go-sticks.
31-Jan-2011 It is a forest of sticks. The ends of the sticks have been dipped in a room temperature vulcanizing rubber to provide a soft surface to prevent damaging the braces.
31-Jan-2011 With the first set of braces being glued in place I start forming the second set of brace plates. Here I am sanding the bridge plate.
31-Jan-2011 And here I am sanding the sound hole reenforcing ring.
31-Jan-2011 Back to the go-box to glue the bridge plate in place.
31-Jan-2011 And the sound hole ring and wing plates.
31-Jan-2011 In the end all of the braces glue in place.
31-Jan-2011 The sound hole ring is slightly over sized so it gets sanded flush with the sound hole. The sound hole will be eventually sanded into a smooth ring. Maybe this lets the notes get out easier.
31-Jan-2011 Now I turn my attention to the contra-rosette. I have taken the disk of Amboyna burl created when cutting out the rosette and am using it as the base for the contra-rosette. Here I am gluing a green/white/green border in place. This border will reflect the green pinstripe of the center strip on the back.
31-Jan-2011 I have created a breaking wave icon out of Macassar Ebony veneer.
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
29-Mar-2011 After looking over the contra-rosette we decided to make some modifications to the design. I have created a template of the new design that I will use to trace out the shape on the Macassar Ebony veneer that will be used.
29-Mar-2011 To ensure a proper fit I lay out the template on the Amboyna burl disk.
29-Mar-2011 After I am satisfied with the fit I trace out the design onto the Macassar Ebony veneer.
29-Mar-2011 The cut out.
29-Mar-2011 To glue the veneer to the disk I use a glass plate and a few clamps to ensure that the veneer lays flat.
29-Mar-2011 After the glue is set I round over the the edges of the veneer with sandpaper to produce an embossed look to the medallion.
29-Mar-2011 To finish up the back of the guitar I install a set of reenforcing strips over the cent joint. In this picture I am trimming the center line reenforcing strip so it fits snuggly into the braces. This strip is necessary to help prevent the back seam from coming apart shoud it ever be unduly stressed. Nobody ever drops their guitar do they... no never.
29-Mar-2011 The contra-rosette and the reenforcing strips are glued into place using the go-box.
29-Mar-2011 I use lots of go-sticks to make sure the medallion lays flat.
29-Mar-2011 Here we see the contra-rosette after it has been glued in place. I will trim off the cutaway section and clean up the interior surfaces before the back is attached to the sides.
29-Mar-2011 Next up is some work on the fret board. Here I have a Macassar Ebony board that I am resawing into two fretboard blanks.
29-Mar-2011 A picture of the fretboard blank.
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures
29-Mar-2011 Here you can see the compound pendulum about to swing over the router bit.
29-Mar-2011 In this picture you can see the radius of the fretboard created at the long arm end. This end will go on the saddle side of the fretboard.
29-Mar-2011 In this picture you can see the radius of the fretboard created at the short arm end. The radius is smaller i.e. a sharper curve than the radius seen in the previous picture. This end will go toward the nut.
29-Mar-2011 Now with the shape of the fretboard in a conic section I use my fret-slot cutting machine to cut the twenty four slots that the fret wire goes into. In cross section the fretwire looks a bit like a mushroom with a round top and a stem that fits into the fret slot. This machine has a set of slotted templates that allows me to accurately and precisely positions a small circular saw that cuts the fret slots.
29-Mar-2011 I use a small hand saw as a stop plate for the guide sled. The hand saw blade fits into the template slots; the saw blade prevents the sled from moving as the circular saw is drawn across the fretboard.
29-Mar-2011 Once everything is set up it doesn't take very long to cut the twenty four slots.
29-Mar-2011 When I am finished a series of twenty-four slots has been cut into the fretboard blank. The frets are logarithmically spaced to create the even tempered scales we use in traditional western music.
29-Mar-2011 The neck for this guitar is constructed out of a single piece of Mahogany. To accommodate and allow for any shrinkage or warpage in the neck blanks I precut them and allow the blanks to settle for at least four months. When I am ready to make a neck I choose one from my pile of cured blanks.
29-Mar-2011 To facilitate the process of making a neck the first thing I do is square up dimensionsof the neck blank. Here I am using my jointer to make the top of the blank flat.
29-Mar-2011 A little bit of sanding on the top for some fine tuning.
29-Mar-2011 I next square the sides using the table saw.
29-Mar-2011 Checking for squareness.
29-Mar-2011 And checking again. Measure twice or thrice and cut once.
29-Mar-2011 Here I am using my compound miter saw to square off the end of the neck blank.
29-Mar-2011 I use the milling machine to square up the head stock.
29-Mar-2011 Now that everything on the blank is square I start the process of shaping the neck. Here I am using the idler pulley on the belt sander to establish the thickness of the neck at the heel.
29-Mar-2011 I use the oscillating sander to start shaping the headstock.
29-Mar-2011 Here I am using a safety plane to dimension the back of the headstock. A bit of trivia: the front and back of the headstock are the only spots on a Portland Guitar that are flat.
29-Mar-2011 Here is a look at the intersection of the neck and headstock. The reinforcing/decorative detail is starting to take shape.
29-Mar-2011 The safety plane is used to dimension the thickness of the neck. Lots of woodchips here.
29-Mar-2011 I use this counter boring bit to shape the sides of the intersection detail.
29-Mar-2011 Now with the neck blank roughed out I install a threaded insert into the squared off end of the heel. This insert is used to bolt the neck to the body. The insert is positioned in the center of the neck and on the line around which the neck will pivot as the action is adjusted al a "The User Adjustable Tilt Action Neck"
29-Mar-2011 My next task is to shape the heel of the neck using the router table. To guide the shape I attach the heel template to the squared off end of the neck blank.
29-Mar-2011 And then this assembly is attached to the routing platform. This fixture allows me to adjust the tilt of the neck so that it is perpendicular to the table. The routing fixture is designed so that I can firmly grasp and move the neck around the router table while keeping my fingers out of harms way.
29-Mar-2011 And then to the routing table. I use a three inch long 1/2 inch diameter router bit very scary to shape the heel. The base of the router bit runs along the template seen in picture 239. The router fixture has a feature that holds the dust collector nozzel. This process creates a lot of wood chips.
29-Mar-2011 Here you can see the router bit and the heel taking shape.
29-Mar-2011 And here is an end on view of the shaped heel. I forgot to take pictures I have also routed out a channel for the truss rod and a channel for the reenforcing plate for the cantilevered section of the fretboard.
29-Mar-2011 This guitar is going to have Snakewood binding some of which is seen here.
29-Mar-2011 The binding needs to be bent into the same shape as the sides so the binding strips go through the same bending process as the sides. Here I have set them into the heating sandwich.
29-Mar-2011 And the heating sandwich goes into the bending machine.
29-Mar-2011 After cooking for a while the binding holds its new shape.
16-Apr-2011 In this picture I am shaping the reenforcing bars that bind the sides together. Just because it looks a bit more elegant I like to bevel the edges and give them a bit of a taper.

OMC 1.6.41 Build Pictures