Michael F. Lazar
Luthier

A GUITAR UNDER CONSTRUCTION

The following charts list the steps that I will complete during the construction of a guitar that was commissioned on July 26/19.

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Latest Update Period: Nov 17 - Nov 18. Continued French Polish.

Design Features

Fully domed sloped Top with elevated fretboard

Spanish heel neck to body construction

Daniel Friederich Style Bracing

Extended fret board with 20th treble fret

12 hole tie block bridge

Fully Compensated Nut and Saddle

Materials

Sound board

Back and Sides

Neck

Fret board

Bridge

Linings and tail block

Bindings

Purflings

Frets

Rosette

Nut and Saddle

Tuners

 

Italian Alpine Spruce

East Indian Rosewood

Spanish Cedar (Cedro)

Black African Ebony

Indian Rosewood

Ash

Indian Rosewood

Black,Cherry, Black Veneer

Nickel Silver

Custom Wheat stalk and veneer band borders around a rosewood background.

Bleached bone

Graf Landstorfer

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NECK   Photos
Cut off head stock to scarf joint angle and prepare components for gluing Sep 15 Neck~001 Neck~002
Glue head stock to the neck shaft. Sep 15 Neck~003 Neck~004
Glue the heel block to the neck shaft Sep 18 Neck~005
Clean up glue squeeze out and plane neck assembly to dimensions needed for subsequent steps. Sep 18 Neck~006
Rout receptor slots for sides Sep 18 Neck~007 Neck~008 Neck~009
Rout receptor slots for top Sep 19 Neck~010 Neck~011
Mark heel and foot profiles. Sep 19 Neck~012 Neck~013
Cut heel and foot profiles. Sep 20 Neck~014 Neck~015 Neck~016
Rough cut heel and foot side curvature profiles. Sep 21 Neck~017 Neck~018 Neck~019
Prepare and glue headstock veneers & face plate. Trim excess when dry Sep 22 Neck~020 Neck~021 Neck~022
Cut nut stop. Cut headstock to length. Sep 22 Neck~023 Neck~024
Rough cut the neck & headstock tapers Sep 23 Neck~025 Neck~026 Neck~027
Mark and rough cut the headstock end. Sep 23 Neck~028 Neck~029 Neck~030
True up and square headstock sides & plane the neck shaft to oversized width.  Sep 23 Neck~031 Neck~032
Refine the headstock end cuts. Sep 23 Neck~033
Drill tuner holes. Sep 25 Neck~034 Neck~035
Square off the "foot". Sep 25 Neck~036 Neck~037 Neck~038
Rout headstock slots. Sep 25 Neck~039 Neck~040 Neck~041
Check tuners for fit.. Sep 25 Neck~042
Cut and chisel the headstock nut string exit ramps Sep 26 Neck~043 Neck~044 Neck~045 Neck~046
Thickness a fret board blank to 7.5mm Sep 26 Neck~047
Mark fret board tapered width. Sep 26 Neck~048 Neck~049
Rough cut fret board width and true the edges to the final width.  Sep 26 Neck~050 Neck~051 Neck~052
Mount fret board onto fret slotting system.  Sep 26 Neck~053  Neck~054 Neck~055
Mount fret slot blade in table saw.  Sep 26 Neck~056
Cut fret slots.  Sep 26 Neck~057 Neck~058
Cut off waste at the nut end of the neck. Sep 26 Neck~059 Neck~060
Route a slot for a carbon fibre reinforcement rod. Sep 27 Neck~061 Neck~062 Neck~063
Prepare reinforcement rod and Spanish Cedar cap. Sep 27 Neck~064
Glue in carbon fiber rod with epoxy.. Glue in the cap and level when dry. Sep 27 Neck~065 Neck~066 Neck~067
Taper the fret board thickness to final dimensions. using a tapered slave board and thickness sander. Sep 28 Neck~068 Neck~069
Drill locator pin holes in fret board at frets 1 and 11.and center the fretboard onto the neck. Sep 28 Neck~070
Mark and drill neck locator pin holes & install pins. Sep 28 Neck~071 Neck~072
Glue and clamp fret board to the neck. Sep 28 Neck~073
Plane and sand the sides of the neck flush with the fret board. Sep 29 Neck~074 Neck~075 Neck~076
Remove waste material from the underside of the neck extension Sep 29 Neck~077 Neck~078
True up underside of neck so that it will mate with the top. Sep 29 Neck~079 Neck~080
Level the fret board and finish sand to 150 grit using a long sanding block. Sep 29 Neck~081
Bevel the tops of the fret slots with a small triangular file. Sep 29 Neck~082
Hammer fret wire into slots 1 to 19 and cut the ends Sep 29 Neck~083
File the fret ends flush with fret board edges and then bevel them. Finish with a diamond stone.   Sep 29 Neck~084 Neck~085
nstall MOP position markers at frets 7 and 12.  Oct 01 Neck~086
Shape and sand the "foot" section of the neck Oct 01 Neck~087 Neck~088
Mark heel and headstock profiles  Oct 02 Neck~089 Neck~090
Rough shape heel.  Oct 02 Neck~091 Neck~092
Rough shape headstock/shaft transition   Oct 02 Neck~093 Neck~094 Neck~095 Neck~096
Rough shape the neck shaft .& blend heel and headstock transitions Oct 02 Neck~097 Neck~098 Neck~099
Refine the neck shaft thickness and profile and finish sand the entire neck. Oct 04 Neck~100 Neck~101
Align the neck to the top. Mark, cut & finish neck end to match the sound hole. Oct 06 Neck~102 Neck~103 Neck~104
Install the 20th fret and finish the ends. Oct 06 Neck~105 Neck~106

 

SIDES   Photos
Cut ten 15mm wide maple lining strips  Sep 05 Sides~001 Sides~002
Thickness strips to 2.5 mm and tape the lining strips into two  groups of 5 each. Sep 05 Sides~003 Sides~004
Bend the lining strips to shape. Sep 06 Sides~005 Sides~006 Sides~007
Glue up lining strips in lamination mold. Sep 08 Sides~008 Sides~009
Trim laminated lining assemblies to height. Sep 09 Sides~010
Round inner edges of the linings. Sep 10 Sides~011 Sides~012
True up sides and thickness to 2.3mm Sep 11 Sides~013 Sides~014
Mark and cut side profiles.   Sep 11 Sides~015 Sides~016 Sides~017
Trim the side profiles. Sep 11 Sides~018
Bend Sides Sep 12 Sides~019 Sides~020 Sides~021
Mark positions for the upper and lower bout end upright waist braces. Sep 12 Sides~022 Sides~023
Mark & cut ends of sides to fit neck recess & butt joint at the tail. File ends to true. Sep 12 Sides~024 Sides~025 Sides~026
Fit the sides in the mold & mark positions for upright waist braces Sep 13 Sides~027 Sides~028
Glue and clamp the upright waist braces. Sep 13 Sides~029 Sides~030
Plane and shape the waist braces to 1/2 round. Sep 13 Sides~031 Sides~032
Mark top edges of the sides and sand in radiused sanding dish to create top profile  Sep 13 Sides~033 Sides~034
Cut tail block to length. Sand to match side curvature at the tail area. Sep 13 Sides~035 Sides~036 Sides~037
Mark & cut tail block end angles.  Sep 13 Sides~038 Sides~039 Sides~040
Glue tail block to the sides. Scrape glue squeeze and soften the edges. Sep 14 Sides~041 Sides~042 Sides~043
Mark and file recesses in the first top lining to fit over the upright braces Sep 14 Sides~044 Sides~045
Mark, cut and plane angles in the first top lining to fit the tail block Sep 14 Sides~046
Glue and clamp the first top lining to the sides. When dry, flush trim edges & scrape glue squeeze. Sep 14 Sides~047 Sides~048
Repeat the fitting and gluing processes for the second top lining. Sep 14 Sides~049 Sides~050
Invert sides in mold. Mark back edges and sand to 15' back dome. Sep 15 Sides~051
Prepare and glue back linings following the same steps as for the top linings. Sep 15 Sides~052
Cut side wedge blanks to fit the side slots in the neck. Sep 29 Sides~053
Cut & plane the wedge blanks to match the side of the neck recess Sep 29 Sides~054 Sides~055 Sides~056
Cut blanks into tapered wedges & plane the saw cut faces smooth Sep 29 Sides~057 Sides~058
Fit front wedges on linings. Mark saw lines on the linings. Sep 29 Sides~059 Sides~060
Cut and chisel recesses for the wegdes Sep 29 Sides~061 Sides~062
Cut recesses into the front wedges to form interlocking joint with the linings Sep 29 Sides~063 Sides~064 Sides~065
Glue front wedges to sides and trim. Sep 29 Sides~066 Sides~067
Adjust rear wedges. Dry fit the sides to the neck to complete the spanish heel joinery. Sep 29 Sides~068 Sides~069 Sides~070
Rout tail graft channel to fit tail graft.  Oct 17 Sides~071 Sides~072 Sides~073 Sides~074
Prepare and spot glue a temporary tail graft. Set permanent graft aside for later. Oct 17 Sides~075

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SOUND BOARD   Photos
Select top, true up the center edges and cut the top plates to width.. Sep 01 Top~001 Top~002 Top~003 Top~004
Join the plates. Scrape glue joint and level the top in the thickness sander. Sep 02 Top~005 Top~006 Top~007 Top~008
Cut the  background field for the rosette. Sep 03 Top~009 Top~010 Top~011 Top~012
Drill sound hole center and mount the top on rosette cutting board. Sep 04 Top~013 Top~014
Rout the inlay channel for the central rosette element Sep 04 Top~015 Top~016
Cut a 25mm gap out of the rosette field. Sep 04 Top~017 Top~018
Fit and glue the central motif for the rosette and level Sep 04 Top~019 Top~020 Top~021 Top~022
Rout the inlay channels for the inner and outer rosette borders Sep 05 Top~023 Top~024
Bend outer chain and central herringbone/wheat inlay elements  Sep 05 Top~025 Top~026
Cut veneer bands. Fit & glue the rosette elements and level when dry. Sep 06 Top~027 Top~028
Mark and cut out the top to profile. Sep 06 Top~029 Top~030 Top~031 Top~032
 Fill the gap at the rosette ends Oct 05 Top~033 Top~034
Thickness top from underside. Finish sand both surfaces. Oct 05 Top~035 Top~036
Mark bracing and reinforcement pad positions Oct 05 Top~037 Top~038 Top~039
Fabricate the sound hole/rosette reinforcement patch Oct 05 Top~040 Top~041 Top~042 Top~043
Glue the sound hole/rosette reinforcement patch Oct 05 Top~044 Top~045 Top~046
Attach neck joint reinforcement patch  Oct 05 Top~047 Top~048
Mark the neck interlock slot and recesses in the adjacent perimeters. Oct 06 Top~049 Top~050
Cut out neck interlock slot and recesses in the adjacent perimeters. Oct 06 Top~051 Top~052 Top~053
Cut out sound hole. Oct 06 Top~054 Top~055
Round off the inside edge of the sound hole. Oct 06 Top~056 Top~057
Dry fit the top to the neck. Align & clamp into the assembly mold and insert the sides Oct 06 Top~058
Mark inner perimeter of the linings Oct 06 Top~059 Top~060
Cut fan brace stock from fine grained quarter sawn spruce.  Oct 07 Top~061
Sand/plane a 30 foot radius for the bottoms of the two outer fan braces. Oct 07 Top~062 Top~063 Top~064
Rough cut all of the fan braces Oct 07 Top~065 Top~066
Cut and plane the lower bout stiffening patch. Glue it in place. Oct 08 Top~067 Top~068
Shape & sand the lower bout patch. Scallop the ends. Oct 08 Top~069 Top~070 Top~071
Fit and glue the center fan brace (interlocking with the lower bout patch) Oct 08 Top~072 Top~073
Fit and glue the remaining inner fan braces Oct 09 Top~074
Fabricate transverse brace below sound hole, sand radius in 30' dish and plane square. Oct 09 Top~075 Top~076
Cut a recess in the transverse brace to fit over the sound hole patch Oct 09 Top~077 Top~078 Top~079
Mark the bass bar position in the the transverse brace Oct 09 Top~080
Cut a recess into the end of the bass bar to fit over the sound hole patch. Check for fit. Oct 09 Top~081 Top~082
Glue the last two fan braces in.. Plane the fan braces to height & scallop the ends. Oct 09 Top~083 Top~084 Top~085
Plane and sand the fan braces to their final shape. Oct 09 Top~086 Top~087 Top~088 Top~089
File the bass bar passage  into the transverse brace Check for fit to the top Oct 10 Top~090 Top~091 Top~092
Scallop the transverse brace ends and sand smooth. Oct 10 Top~093 Top~094 Top~095
Glue in  the transverse brace, plane to shape and sand.   Oct 10 Top~096
Fabricate the two transverse braces for above the sound hole.. Oct 10 Top~097 Top~098 Top~099 Top~100
Glue and shape first transverse brace above the sound hole Oct 10 Top~101 Top~102 Top~103
Fabricate and glue in the last reinforcement patch Oct 10 Top~104 Top~105 Top~106
Gue in the  final transverse brace. Shape both upper braces Oct 10 Top~107 Top~108 Top~109
Glue and shape reinforcement braces on either side of the sound hole. Oct 10 Top~110 Top~111 Top~112 Top~113
Locate and cut recesses  in the inner fan braces for the bridge bar Oct 11 Top~114 Top~115 Top~116
Mark & cut interlocking recesses in the bridge bar Oct 11 Top~117 Top~118
Glue and shape the bridge bar. Oct 11 Top~119 Top~120 Top~121
Fit, glue and shape the uppper treble bar as with the bridge bar. Oct 12 Top~122
Fabricate and glue the bridge arm end patches. Oct 12 Top~123 Top~124

 

BACK   Photos
Dimension and true up back plates Oct 17 Back~001 Back~002
Join and glue book matched back plates to center strip.  Oct 17 Back~003
Mark out back profile, cut to shape. Oct 17 Back~004 Back~005
Thickness the back to 2.3 mm  Oct 17 Back~006
Attach inner center seam reinforcement. Oct 18 Back~007 Back~008
Round off the center seam reinforcement with planes and sandpaper.  Oct 18 Back~009
Cut mahogany back braces.   Oct 18 Back~010 Back~011
Radius back braces in 15' sanding dish and plane square Oct 18 Back~012 Back~013
Mark positions of  back braces on center strip and cut passages for the braces.  Oct 18 Back~014 Back~015 Back~016
Cut scallops in the braces and smooth on drum sander. Oct 18 Back~017 Back~018
Fit the back braces in the recesses Oct 18 Back~019
Glue the back braces to the back using the 15' radiused solers. Oct 18 Back~020
Shape back braces with planes and sandpaper.  Oct 18 Back~021 Back~022 Back~023

 

PURFLINGS & BINDINGS   Photos
Cut binding strips from side material Sep 11 PB~001 PB~002 PB~003
Glue up dark/light/dark veneer sandwich for top, back, binding and tail graft purflings Oct 15 PB~004 PB~005 PB~006
Cut the veneer sandwich into strips of appropriate widths.  Oct 15 PB~007
Glue purfling to the  tail graft strip and trim Oct 15 PB~008 PB~009 PB~010
Glue back purfling strips to the back center strip.and trim Oct 17 PB~011 PB~012
Glue veneer sandwich for the top purfling. Oct 24 PB~013
Tape top and back purflings together and bend   Oct 25 PB~014 PB~015
Glue side purfling strips to binding strips.and trim Oct 25 PB~016 PB~017 PB~018
Tape binding strips together and finalize thickness  Oct 25 PB~019 PB~020 PB~021
Bend bindings. Oct 26 PB~022 PB~023
Assemble heel cap components  Oct 29 PB~024 PB~025 PB~026 PB~027
Mark and rough cut the heel cap profile.  Oct 30 PB~028 PB~029 PB~030

 

BRIDGE Complete Photos
Cut bridge blank to the required dimensions. Oct 30 Bridge~001
Mark string positions and drill pilot centers followed by string holes through the width of the tie block. Oct 30 Bridge~002 Bridge~003
Cut saddle and tie block slots Oct 30 Bridge~004 Bridge~005
Radius the bottom of the bridge to fit the dome of the guitar top. Oct 30 Bridge~006 Bridge~007
Rough cut the bridge arms on the table saw Nov 02 Bridge~008
Chisel and shape the ramp leading from the tie block to the saddle slot. Nov 02 Bridge~009
Round off the leading edge of the saddle slot retainer  Nov 02 Bridge~010
Fabricate the tie block edge caps from bone. Glue and clamp them to the tie block. Nov 02 Bridge~011 Bridge~012
Trim and sand the tie block edge caps Nov 02 Bridge~013
Shape the arms of the bridge and weigh it. (Target 18 - 25 grams) Nov 02 Bridge~014 Bridge~015 Bridge~016
Finish shaping and sanding and seal with shellac to prevent bleeding color onto top. Nov 02 Bridge~017 Bridge~018

 

ASSEMBLY   Photos
Align top to neck using an alignment device. Oct 12 A~001
Apply glue to the underside of the neck, align clamp. Oct 12 A~002
When dry scrape any glue squeeze out. Oct 12 A~003
Replace neck/top in assembly form, insert sides & mark interlocking recesses in the transverse bars Oct 12 A~004 A~005
Remove sides and cut interlocking recesses in the transverse bars Oct 14 A~006 A~007 A~008
Replace sides & mark interlocking recesses in linings. Oct 14 A~009 A~010
Remove sides and  cut interlocking recesses into the linings.  Oct 15 A~011 A~012 A~013
Cut shallow channels at the top/neck area to make room for hand finishing the top binding rebates Oct 15 A~014 A~015 A~016
Cut shallow channels at the top/neck area to make room for hand finishing the top binding rebates Oct 15  A~017 A~018
Apply glue to upper side linings and outer heel gluing surface. Insert sides and clamp. Glue in wedges. Oct 17 A~019 A~020 A~021
When dry, trim wedges and level the heel to the sides.  Oct 17 A~022 A~023 A~024
Refine back profile of sides on a 15' sanding dish to align with back doming. Oct 17 A~025 A~026 A~027
Align the back and clamp lightly. Oct 18 A~028
Mark the outline of the sides on the braces & the edges of the braces on the sides. Oct 18 A~029 A~030
Measure & mark lines for the interlocking rebates in the back braces. Cut and chisel the rebates. Oct 18 A~031 A~032 A~033
Cut recesses in the sides/linings. Oct 18 A~034 A~035 A~036
Check back fit at all of the brace intersections. Prepare and affix the label to the back. Oct 18 A~037 A~038
Glue and clamp the back to the sides Oct 18 A~039 A~040
Trim the back plate flush to the sides. Oct 20 A~041 A~042
Remove the guitar from the mold and trim the top flush. Oct 20 A~043 A~044
Rout Check the neck angle and round the sound hole edges Oct 22 A~045 A~046
Rout purfling/binding rebates for the top and back. Oct 22 A~047 A~048
Mark the top binding rebates adjacent & into the pockets at the neck/body joint.. . Oct 22 A~049
Using chisels, dental picks & wood files complete the top binding rebates.   Oct 22 A~050 A~051
Cut the heel down level to the bottom of binding channel. Oct 23 A~052
File the heel mooth and even with  the bottom of binding channel. Oct 23 A~053
Hand finish the back binding rebates at the heel and tail Oct 24 A~054 A~055 A~056
Cut 45 degree miters into the purflings at the ends of back center strip. Oct 24 A~057 A~058 A~059
Fit top purflings. Glue and clamp with rubber bands. Oct 25 A~060 A~061
Trim top purflings and sand level to top... Oct 25 A~062 A~063
Cut the back purflings to length. Cut and fit the miter joints the the centre strip. Oct 26 A~064
Gluie & clamp the back purflings. Oct 27 A~065 A~066
Sand level when dry. Oct 27 A~067 A~068 A~069
Remove the temporary tail graft and glue in the permanent graft Oct 28 A~070 A~071
Miter the tail graft ends. Oct 28 A~072
Mark and cut the top bindings to fit. Miter the purfling to join the tail graft miter.  Oct 28 A~073
Glue and clamp the top bindings.  Oct 28 A~074
When dry, remove the clamping bands and scrape/sand the binding flush to the top.  Oct 28 A~075 A~076
Fit and glue the back bindings.. Oct 29 A~077 A~078 A~079
Scrape and sand the back bindings flush with the back plates. Oct 29 A~080 A~081
Scrape the bindings flush to the side surfaces. Oct 29 A~082 A~083 A~084
Glue and clamp the heel cap.  Oct 31 A~085
Trim the heel cap flush to the back plate and sides of the heel.  Oct 31 A~086 A~087 A~088
Round binding corners.  Nov 01 A~089 A~090
Finish sand the sound board. Nov 01 A~091
Drill bridge locator pin holes at the bottom of the saddle slot. Nov 02 A~092
Position bridge & drill index holes into top.  Nov 02 A~093 A~094 A~095
Glue index pins into the bridge. Nov 02 A~096
Position bridge and tape boundaries to catch glue squeeze out.  Nov 02 A~097
Position gluing caul to the underside of the top. Hold with magnets. Nov 02 A~098 A~099
Glue and clamp bridge. Nov 02 A~100 A~101
Remove tape boundaries and clean up squeezed out glue. Nov 03 A~102 A~103
Seal the sound board with shellac.  Nov 03 A~104
Finish sand the back, sides and neck.   Nov 04 A~105 A~106
Seal the back,side and neck surfaces with shellac.  Nov 04 A~107 A~108 A~109
Fabricate nut & saddle. Nov 05 A~110 A~111 A~112
Install tuners Nov 05 A~113
Attach strings and set action heights. Nov 05 A~114 A~115
 Evaluate the guitar's response.  Nov 05 A~116 A~117

 

French Polish  

Photos

Fill back/side pores with filler Nov 14 FP~001 FP~002 FP~003
Sand with 220 grit to remove filler residue. Clean up with a tack cloth.  Nov 15 FP~004 FP~005
Apply shellac to side & back surfaces (2 sessions each side & 4 on back) Nov 16 FP~006 FP~007 FP~008
Rough level the side & back surface with medium sanding sponge. Nov 17 FP~009 FP~010
Apply shellac to side & top surfaces (2 sessions each side & 4 on top) Nov 17 FP~011 FP~012
Rough level the sides and top surfaces with medium sanding sponge. Nov 18 FP~013 FP~014
Pore fill the neck. Nov 18 FP~015
Sand the neck smooth and build a shellac body and rough level.    
Continue with body sessions until all surfaces are ready for wet sanding.    
Wet sand the entire instrument with 800 grit wet & dry paper & Varsol lubricant.    
Apply thin glazing coats to all surfaces.    
 Cure for 2 or 3 days and rub down with fine abrasive polish compound    
Matte the neck finish with fine sponge pad abrasive.    
Scrape shellac from fretboard edges.  Crown and polish the frets.    
Clean shellac out of peg head holes. Install tuners, nut, saddle and strings    
Additional Photos    
Additional Photos