Soundboard Selection

cedar soundboard made by student in class

Soundboard selection can be difficult if you are new to guitar building. Learning to select good soundboards for your guitar is also difficult. Can someone really teach you to choose the right wood for your guitars and the way you build? I think not. It’s complicated. I just love these guys that devote entire videos to teaching you how to pick out wood or voicing tops for your guitars. Before listening to anyone ask yourself this, how can someone teach you to choose the right wood or voice your top if they can’t make a decent guitar themselves?

Picking out wood that will result in a good musical instrument is always to some degree a bit of a risk. If you have been paying attention to the characteristics in the wood you have been using and drawing some parallel to the sound you are getting you may with time arrive at a list of properties that will work for you. But its not that simple. There are a lot of variables to this equation.
Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.
Read more