Michael F. Lazar
Luthier

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The following charts list the steps that I will complete during the construction of a guitar that was commissioned on March 15, 2021

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Latest Update Period: May 23 to May 27.  Completed 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

 

Western Red Cedar

East Indian Rosewood

Meranti Mhogany

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

.

NECK   Photos
Plane surface of neck wood blockand cut blank neck shaft. Apr 08 N~001 N~002 N~003 N~004
Cut off head stock to scarf joint angle and prepare components for gluing Apr 08 N~005 N~006 N~007
Glue head stock to the neck shaft. Apr 09 N~008 N~009
Glue the heel block to the neck shaft Apr 09 N~010
Clean up glue squeeze out and plane neck assembly to dimensions needed for subsequent steps. Apr 09 N~011
Rout receptor slots for sides Apr 10 N~012 N~013 N~014
Rout receptor slots for top Apr 10 N~015 N~016 N~017
Mark heel and foot profiles. Apr 10 N~018 N~019
Cut heel and foot profiles. Apr 10 N~020 N~021 N~022
Rough cut heel and foot side curvature profiles. Apr 11 N~023 N~024 N~025 N~026
Chisel & sand the sides of the "foot" square. Apr 11 N~027 N~028
Prepare and glue headstock veneers.Trim excess when dry Apr 14 N~029 N~030 N~031 N~032
Prepare and glue headstock faceplate.Trim excess when dry Apr 14 N~033 N~034
Cut nut stop. Cut headstock to length. Apr 14 N~035 N~036
Rough cut the neck & headstock tapers Apr 16 N~037 N~038 N~039
Plane the neck shaft to oversized width. True up and square the headstock sides. Apr 16 N~040 N~041
Mark and rough cut the headstock end. Apr 16 N~042
Refine the headstock end cuts. Apr 16 N~043 N~044
Drill tuner holes. Apr 16 N~045 N~046 N~047
Rout headstock slots. Apr 16 N~048 N~049 N~050
Cut and chisel the headstock nut string exit ramps Apr 16 N~051 N~052 N~053
Thickness a fret board blank to 7.5mm Apr 17 N~054
Mark fret board tapered width. Apr 17 N~055
Rough cut fret board width and true the edges to the final width.  Apr 17 N~056 N~057
Mount fret board onto fret slotting system.  Apr 17 N~058 N~059 N~060
Mount fret slot blade in table saw.  Apr 17 N~061
Cut fret slots.  Apr 17 N~062 N~063
Cut off waste at the nut end of the neck. Apr 17 N~064
Taper the fret board thickness to final dimensions. using a tapered slave board and thickness sander. Apr 17 N~065 N~066
Route a slot for a carbon fibre reinforcement rod. Apr 17 N~067 N~068 N~069
Prepare reinforcement rod and Spanish Cedar cap. Apr 17 N~070
Glue in carbon fiber rod with epoxy.. Glue in the cap and level when dry. Apr 17 N~071 N~072 N~073
Drill locator pin holes in fret board at frets 1 and 11.and center the fretboard onto the neck. Apr 17 N~074
Mark and drill neck locator pin holes & install pins. Apr 17 N~075 N~076
Glue and clamp fret board to the neck. Apr 17 N~077
Plane and sand the sides of the neck flush with the fret board. Apr 18 N~078 N~079
Remove waste material from the underside of the neck extension Apr 18 N~080
True up underside of neck so that it will mate with the top. Apr 18 N~081
Shape and sand the "foot" section of the neck. Seal with shellac. Apr 19 N~082 N~083
Level the fret board  using a long sanding block and finish sand to 150 grit. Apr 19 N~084 N~085
Bevel the tops of the fret slots with a small triangular file. Apr 19 N~086 N~087
Hammer fret wire into slots 1 to 19. Apr 19 N~088 N~089 N~090 N~091
File the fret ends flush with fret board edges and then bevel them. Finish with a diamond stone.   Apr 19 N~092 N~093 N~094
Install Mother of Pearl position markers at frets 7 and 12.  Apr 19 N~095 N~096 N~097 N~098
Mark heel and headstock profiles  Apr 19 N~099 N~100
Rough shape heel.  Apr 19 N~101 N~102
Rough shape headstock/shaft transition   Apr 19 N~103 N~104 N~105 N~106
Rough shape the neck shaft .& blend heel and headstock transitions Apr 19 N~107 N~108 N~109 N~110
Refine the neck shaft thickness and profile and finish sand the entire neck. Apr 19 N~111 N~112 N~113
Align the neck to the top. Mark the neck end to match the sound hole. Apr 21 N~114 N~115
Cut & finish neck end to match the sound hole. Apr 21 N~116 N~117 N~118
Install the 20th fret. Apr 22 N~119

 

SIDES   Photos
Cut ten 15mm wide maple lining strips  Apr 03 S~001 S~002 S~003
Thickness strips to 2.5 mm and tape them into two  groups of 5 each. Apr 04 S~004 S~005
Bend the grouped lining strips to shape. Apr 05 S~006 S~007 S~008 S~009
True up sides and thickness to 2.3mm Apr 07 S~010 S~011
Mark and cut side profiles.   Apr 07 S~012 S~013 S~014
Glue up lining strips in lamination mold. Apr 08 S~015
Bend Sides Apr 09 S~016 S~017 S~018
Fit the sides in the mold one at a time for marking the ends. Apr 11 S~019
Mark & cut ends of sides to fit neck recess & butt joint at the tail. File ends to true. Apr 11 S~020 S~021 S~022 S~023
 Fit the sides in the mold & mark positions for upright waist braces Apr 11 S~024 S~025 S~026
Glue and clamp the upright waist braces. Apr 12 S~027 S~028
Plane and shape the waist braces to 1/2 round. Apr 12 S~029
Cut tail block to length. Sand to match side curvature at the tail area. Apr 12 S~030
Mark & cut tail block end angles.  Apr 12 S~031 S~032 S~033
Glue tail block to the sides. Scrape glue squeeze and round the edges. Apr 12 S~034 S~035 S~036
Trim laminated lining assemblies to height. Apr 12 S~037
Round inner edges of the linings. Apr 12 S~038 S~039 S~040
Mark and file recesses in the first top lining to fit over the upright braces Apr 12 S~041 S~042
Mark, cut and plane angles in the first top lining to fit the tail block Apr 12 S~043 S~044
Glue and clamp the first top lining to the sides. When dry, flush trim edges & scrape glue squeeze. Apr 12 S~045 S~046 S~047
Repeat the fitting and gluing processes for the second top lining. Apr 13 S~048 S~049
Mark the top linings and sand to dome profile in a 30" radiused sanding dish. Apr 13 S~050 S~051 S~052
Invert sides in mold. Mark back edges and sand in a 15' dish. Apr 14 S~053 S~054
Prepare and glue back linings following the same steps as for the top linings. Apr 14 S~055 S~056 S~057 S~058
Cut side wedge blanks to fit the side slots in the neck. Apr 15 S~059
Cut & plane the wedge blanks to match the side of the neck recess Apr 15 S~060 S~061 S~062
Cut blanks into tapered wedges & plane the saw cut faces smooth Apr 15 S~063 S~064
Fit front wedges on linings. Mark saw lines on the linings. Apr 15 S~065 S~066
Cut and chisel recesses for the wegdes Apr 15 S~067
Cut recesses into the front wedges to form interlocking joint with the linings Apr 15 S~068
Glue front wedges to sides and trim. Apr 15 S~069 S~070
Adjust rear wedges. Dry fit the sides to the neck to complete the spanish heel joinery. Apr 15 S~071 S~072 S~073
Cut shallow channels at the top/neck area to make room for hand finishing the top binding rebates Apr 26 S~074 S~075 S~076 S~077
Rout tail graft channel to fit tail graft.  Apr 26 S~078 S~079
Prepare and spot glue a temporary tail graft. Set permanent graft aside for later. Apr 26 S~080 S~081 S~082

.

SOUND BOARD   Photos
Select top plates, thickness to 3mm or better & true up the edges Mar 29 T~001 T~002
Join the plates. Scrape glue joint and level the top in the thickness sander. Mar 30 T~003 T~004
Prepare and cut the  circular background field for the rosette. Mar 31 T~005 T~006 T~007 T~008
Extract the background piece from the blank. Mar 31 T~009 T~010
Drill sound hole center and mount the top on rosette cutting board. Mar 31 T~011
Rout the inlay channel for the rosette background field Mar 31 T~012 T~013
Glue in the background element and level in the thickness sander Mar 31 T~014 T~015 T~016 T~017
Cut a central channel out of the rosette field. Apr 01 T~018 T~019
Bend central herringbone/wheat inlay elements & prepare veneer borders. Apr 01 T~020 T~021
Fit and glue the central motif for the rosette. Level when dry. Apr 01 T~022 T~023 T~024
Rout the inlay channels for the rosette borders Apr 02 T~025
Fit & glue the border elements and level when dry. Apr 02 T~026 T~027 T~028
Mark and cut out the top to profile. Apr 02 T~029 T~030
 Fill the gap at the  top of the rosette with scrap top wood. Apr 02 T~031
Thickness top from underside. Finish sand both surfaces. Apr 03 T~032 T~033
Mark bracing and reinforcement pad positions Apr 21 T~034 T~035
Fabricate the sound hole/rosette reinforcement patch Apr 21 T~036 T~037 T~038
Glue the sound hole/rosette reinforcement patch Apr 21 T~039 T~040
Attach neck joint reinforcement patch  Apr 21 T~041 T~042
Cut out sound hole. Apr 21 T~043 T~044
Round off the inside edge of the sound hole. Apr 21 T~045
Mark the neck interlock slot and recesses in the adjacent perimeters. Apr 21 T~046
Cut out neck interlock slot and recesses in the adjacent perimeters. Apr 21 T~047 T~048 T~049 T~050
Dry fit the top to the neck. Align & clamp into the assembly mold and insert the sides Apr 22 T~051
Mark inner perimeter of the linings Apr 22 T~052
Cut and plane the lower bout stiffening patch. Glue it in place. Apr 22 T~053 T~054
Scallop the ends of the lower bout stiffening patch. Round edges & sand. Apr 22 T~055 T~056
Cut & thickness fan brace stock from fine grained cedar Apr 22 T~057 T~058
Sand/plane a 30 foot radius for the bottoms of the two outer fan braces. Apr 22 T~059 T~060
Rough cut all of the fan braces Apr 22 T~061 T~062 T~063
Fabricate transverse brace below sound hole, sand radius in 30' dish and plane square. Apr 22 T~064 T~065
Cut a recess in the transverse brace to fit over the sound hole patch Apr 22 T~066 T~067 T~068 T~069
Cut a recess in the transverse brace to fit over the bass fan brace Apr 22 T~070
Cut a recess in the bass fan brace to fit over the sound hole patch Apr 22 T~071 T~072 T~073
Fit and glue the fan braces Apr 22 T~074
Plane the fan braces to height and scallop the ends. Apr 22 T~075 T~076
Plane and sand the fan braces to their final shape. Apr 22 T~077 T~078 T~079
File the bass bar passage  into the transverse brace Check for fit to the top Apr 23 T~080
Cut  and radius the two transverse braces for above the sound hole .. Apr 23 T~081 T~082 T~083 T~084
Scallop a transverse brace end and sand smooth. Apr 23 T~085 T~086
Using the first scallop as a pattern finish the rest of the scallops Apr 23 T~087 T~088 T~089
Glue in the first transverse brace, plane to shape and sand.   Apr 23 T~090 T~091
Glue and shape reinforcement braces on either side of the sound hole. Apr 23 T~092 T~093
Glue the transverse brace above the sound hole Apr 23 T~094
Gue in the final transverse brace. Shape both upper braces Apr 23 T~095
Locate and cut recesses  in the inner fan braces for the bridge bar Apr 24 T~096 T~097 T~098
Mark & cut interlocking recesses in the bridge bar Apr 24 T~099 T~100
Glue and shape the bridge bar. Apr 24 T~101 T~102
Fit, glue and shape the uppper treble bar as with the bridge bar. Apr 24 T~103 T~104
Fabricate and glue the bridge arm end patches. Apr 24 T~105 T~106
Clean up glue squeeze out & refine any nned brace shaping etc. Apr 24 T~107

 

BACK   Photos
Dimension & true up back plates. Join & glue with center strip Apr 28 B~001 B~002
Mark out back profile, cut to shape. Apr 28 B~003
Thickness the back to 2.3 mm  Apr 28 B~004
Make measurements for inner seam reinforcement placement/length Apr 28 B~005 B~006 B~007 B~008
Attach inner center seam reinforcement. Apr 28 B~009 B~010
Round off the center seam reinforcement with planes & sandpaper.  Apr 28 B~011 B~012
Cut Spanish cedar back braces.   Apr 28 B~013
Mark positions of  back braces on center strip and cut passages for the braces.  Apr 28 B~014 B~015 B~016
Radius back braces in 15' sanding dish and plane square Apr 28 B~017 B~018
Cut scallops in the braces and smooth on drum sander. Apr 28 B~019
Fit the back braces in the recesses Apr 28 B~020
Glue the back braces to the back using the 15' radiused solera. Apr 28 B~021 B~022
Shape back braces with planes and sandpaper.  Apr 28 B~023 B~024

 

PURFLINGS & BINDINGS   Photos
Cut binding strips from side material Apr 07 P~001 P~002
Cut 3 1/2 inch wide Cherry & Dyed black Maple veneers  Apr 24 P~003 P~004
Glue the veneers to a light/dark/light sandwich   Apr 24 P~005 P~006 P~007 P~008
Cut the veneer sandwich into strips for back/side/tail purflings.  Apr 24 P~009 P~010
True Back Plate edges and cut strips for back center strip and tail graft. Apr 25 P~011 P~012 P~013
Glue purfling to the  tail graft strip and trim Apr 25 P~014 P~015
Glue back purfling strips to the back center strip.and trim Apr 25 P~016 P~017 P~018
Cut a roasted flamed maple strip for the top purfling. Apr 29 P~019
Glue the maple strip to a black veneer strip. Thickness to 1.6mm Apr 29 P~020 P~021
Cut top purfling strips. Tape with back purflings and bend   Apr 29 P~022 P~023 P~024 P~025
Glue side purfling strips to binding strips Apr 30 P~026
Trim and scrape glued bindings/purfling Apr 30 P~027 P~028
Tape binding strips together and finalize thickness  May 01 P~029
Bend bindings. May 04 P~030
Assemble heel cap components  May 04 P~031 P~032 P~033
Mark and rough cut the heel cap profile.  May 04 P~034 P~035

 

BRIDGE Complete Photos
Cut bridge blank to the required dimensions. May 05 B~001 B~002
Mark string positions and drill string holes through the width of the tie block. May 05 B~003 B~004 B~005
Cut saddle and tie block slots May 05 B~006 B~007
Radius the bottom of the bridge to fit the dome of the guitar top. May 05 B~008 B~009
Rough cut the bridge arms on the table saw May 05 B~010 B~011
Chisel and shape the ramp leading from the tie block to the saddle slot. May 05 B~012
Round off the leading edge of the saddle slot retainer  May 05 B~013
Shape the arms of the bridge. May 05 B~014 B~015 B~016
Fabricate the tie block edge cap from Muskox horn. Glue and clamp it to the tie block. May 05 B~017 B~018
Trim and sand the tie block edge caps May 05 B~019 B~020
Finish sand and seal with shellac to prevent bleeding color onto top. May 06 B~021

 

ASSEMBLY   Photos
Align top to neck using an alignment device. Apr 25 A~001
Apply glue to the underside of the neck, align and  clamp. Apr 25 A~002 A~003
Replace neck/top in assembly form, insert sides & mark lining positions on the transverse bars Apr 25 A~004 A~005
Remove sides and cut interlocking recesses in the transverse bars Apr 25 A~006 A~007 A~008
Replace sides & mark interlocking recesses in linings. Apr 25 A~009 A~010
Remove sides and  cut interlocking recesses into the linings.  Apr 25 A~011 A~012 A~013
Replace sides. Check the interlocking joints and a tight fit of the sides to the top all around. Apr 25 A~014
Apply glue to upper side linings and outer heel gluing surface. Insert sides and clamp. Glue in wedges. Apr 26 A~015 A~016
When dry, trim wedges and level the heel to the sides.  Apr 26 A~017 A~018
Refine back profile of sides on a 15' sanding dish to align with back doming. Apr 28 A~019 A~020 A~021 A~022
Align the back and clamp lightly. Apr 28 A~023
Mark the outline of the sides on the braces & the edges of the braces on the sides. Apr 28 A~024
Measure & mark lines for the interlocking rebates in the back braces. Cut and chisel the rebates. Apr 28 A~025 A~026 A~027
Replace the top & mark for recesses in the sides/linings. Apr 28 A~028 A~029
Cut recesses in the sides/linings. Apr 28 A~030 A~031 A~032
Prepare and affix the label to the back. Apr 28 A~033
Glue and clamp the back to the sides Apr 28 A~034
Remove clamps  & trim the back plate flush to the sides. Apr 29 A~035
Remove the guitar from the mold and trim the top flush. Apr 29 A~036 A~037
Rout purfling/binding rebates for the top and back. Apr 29 A~038 A~039 A~040
Mark the top binding rebates adjacent & into the pockets at the neck/body joint.. . Apr 29 A~041
Using chisels, dental picks & wood files complete the top binding rebates.   Apr 29 A~042 A~043 A~044
Cut the heel down level to the bottom of binding channel. Apr 29 A~045 A~046 A~047
File the heel surface smooth and level with the back binding rebates. Apr 29 A~048 
Hand finish the back binding rebates at the heel and tail Apr 29 A~049 A~050 A~051
Cut 45 degree miters into the purflings at the ends of back center strip. Apr 29 A~052 A~053 A~054
Fit top purflings. Glue and clamp with rubber bands. Apr 30 A~055 A~056 A~057
Trim top purflings and sand level to top... Apr 30 A~058 A~059
Cut the back purflings to length. Cut and fit the miter joints the the centre strip. Apr 30 A~060 A~061
Glue & clamp the back purflings. Apr 30 A~062
Trim and sand level when dry. May 01 A~063 A~064 A~065
Remove the temporary tail graft and glue in the permanent graft May 01 A~066 A~067 A~068
Miter the tail graft ends. May 01 A~069 A~070
Mark and cut the top bindings to fit. Miter the purfling to join the tail graft miter.  May 03 A~071 A~072 A~073 A~074
Glue and clamp the top bindings.  May 03 A~075
When dry, remove the clamping bands and scrape/sand the binding flush to the top.  May 03 A~076 A~077
Fit and glue the back bindings.. May 03 A~078 A~079
Scrape and sand the back bindings flush with the back plates. May 03 A~080 A~081
Scrape and sand the bindings flush to the side surfaces May 03 A~082 A~083
Glue and clamp the heel cap.  May 04 A~084 A~085
Trim the heel cap flush to the back plate and sides of the heel.  May 04 A~086 A~087
Round binding corners.  May 05 A~088 A~089
Finish sand the back, sides and neck.   May 06 A~090 A~091
Finish sand the sound board. May 06 A~092
Drill bridge locator pin holes at the bottom of the saddle slot. May 07 A~093
Position bridge & drill index holes into top.  May 07 A~094 A~095 A~096
Glue index pins into the bridge. May 07 A~097
Position bridge and tape boundaries to catch glue squeeze out.  May 07 A~098
Position gluing caul to the underside of the top. Hold with magnets. May 07 A~099 A~100 A~101
Glue and clamp bridge. May 07 A~102 A~103
Remove tape boundaries and clean up squeezed out glue. May 07 A~104
Seal all of the surfaces with shellac.  May 08 A~105 A~106 A~107
Fabricate nut May 09 A~108 A~109 A~110 A~111
Fabricate saddle. May 09 A~112 A~113 A~114 A~115
Attach strings and set action heights. May 09 A~116 A~117
 Evaluate the guitar's response characteristics. May 09 A~118 A~119

 

French Polish  

Photos

Fill back, side and neck wood pores with filler May 12 FP~001 FP~002
Sand with 220 grit to remove filler residue. Clean up with a tack cloth.  May 14 FP~003
Pad shellac to all surfaces. Several sessions over several days.  May 15 FP~004 FP~005
Level the surfaces with 800 grit wet/dry paper and varsol. May 19 FP~006 FP~007
Rebuild shellac body followed by wet sanding until satisfactory surfaces have developed. May 20 FP~008 FP~009
Wet sand the sides with 1000 grit wet/dry paper & Varsol lubricant. May 21 FP~010 FP~011
Apply thin glazing coats to all surfaces. May 22 FP~012 FP~013 FP~014
Cure for 2 or 3 days and rub down with fine abrasive polish compound May 25 FP~015 FP~016 FP~017
Scrape shellac from fretboard edges.  Crown and polish the frets. May 26 FP~018 FP~019 FP~020
Clean shellac out of peg head holes. Install tuners, nut, saddle and strings May 27 FP~021 FP~022 FP~023
Additional Photos May 28 FP~024 FP~025 FP~026