The Guitar Building Process – Efficiency with Good Results

An efficient guitar building process is essential to creating a really nice guitar that will sound good with optimal play-ability. It is not easy to do in two weeks. I am in the middle of a one-0n-one class right now with an exceptional student. He is an experienced cabinet maker from Europe and he has made a few guitars in the past.

It was a pleasure helping someone put everything together knowing it would be done right and accurately without much intervention from me. In the end I have every confidence we’ll end up with a great guitar on time. This student has woodworking experience making it possible for my focus to be  entirely on the guitar.

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Guitar Building Skills Take Practice

John Bogdanovich teaching a student valuable guitar building skillsGuitar building is difficult. Sadly, there’s no short cut to building a really nice instrument. You will need to develop some guitar building skills and that will take practice. For those needing instant gratification there are places you can go to where you can learn to slap a guitar together in a short period of time. But if you are looking to really learn a craft and gain some usable skills that you will be able to repeat on your own you’re probably not going to get it there.

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Fixing a Common Fingerboard Slotting Mistake

20th Fret Treatment

Fingerboard slotting 20th-fret errorA common mistake is cutting the 20th fret slot all the way across the fingerboard. If you do this you will end up with a tiny slot on the bass side. You can add a tiny fret there and it looks ok. I used to do it. But its not the norm. The problem is that there is so little wood after the fret that most of the time it will break off. It can be a pain to repair since the fret will just keep pushing it out. I got tired of doing this and realized I was probably the only one putting a tiny fret there.

To avoid this  you should only cut the 20th fret slot half way across the board. I usually stop just before the entire blade disappears under the fingerboard. But fear not, if you have been over zealous and cut all the way through there is a good fix that is undetectable if you do it right.

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Instructional Video Subscription Service

Instructional Video Online

John at the computerAn instructional video subscription service is coming to the web site soon. Subscribers will be able to watch all instructional video for a monthly fee and can cancel at any time. Premium subscribers will also be able to  download the all drawings. This makes things very affordable for customers and allows me some level of protection over my video content.

It has taken longer to get this going than I anticipated since I had to re-master both the guitar making and the plane making video for the web. The video will look better than ever on the web.
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Is French Polish the Best Finish for Guitars

The French Polish Debate

French polishing inside of guitar sidesIt’s a question I get asked all the time – is French polish the best finish for guitars. The short simple answer is no. The common misconception is that french polish is the best finish acoustically especially for classical guitars. It may have been 50 years or more ago but not now.  I have heard guitar builders and players claim that they can hear the difference. Sorry for the bluntness but I am sick of hearing this.

Yes, for the trained ear it is possible to hear a difference from one guitar to the next. And some may have different finishes on them. But the reason they sound different has nothing to do with what was used for a finish. It is almost impossible to say a difference in sound is solely due to the fact that someone used varnish or lacquer instead of french polish.
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