Michael F. Lazar

Bio   Objectives   Design  Materials/Options   For Sale   FAQ    Testimonials   Audio   Gallery   Pricing/Ordering  Links  Contact 


The following charts list the steps that I will complete during the construction of a guitar that I began on September 1,2017.

The tasks that have been completed are marked as to the date the task was done. Click on the photo links to see pictures of components at various stages of completion. Each picture will open in a new window which can be closed after viewing. In order to get the best view of the pictures make sure the browser window and image are both maximized. 

Work takes place under a number of sections during the same time period so you may want to review the whole page each time you come here looking for progress. This page was cleared and restarted Sep 12, 2017. 

Latest update Oct 20 - 24 Completed French Polish.

Depending upon browser and screen settings you may wish to maximize the images for best viewing. 

Materials are as follows:

Sound board

Back and Sides


Fret board


Linings and tail block





Nut and Saddle


Western Red Cedar

East Indian Rosewood


Black African Ebony

Indian Rosewood

Red Oak

Indian Rosewood

Cherry, Maple, Black Veneer

Nickel Silver

Traditional (Miguel Rodriguez style).

Bleached bone, fully compensated for intonation

Graf Landstorfer 


NECK Complete Photos
Dimension and true up neck blank and heel stock. Sep 11 N~001
Cut off head stock to scarf joint angle and prepare components for gluing Sep 11 N~002 N~003
Glue head stock to the neck shaft. Sep 11 N~004
Glue the heel block to the neck shaft Sep 11 N~005 N~006
Rout receptor slots for sides Sep 12  N~007 N~008
Rout receptor slots for top Sep 12 N~009 N~010
Cut heel and foot profiles. Sep 12 N~011 N~012 N~013
Rough cut heel and foot side curvature profiles. Sep 12 N~014 N~015
Rough cut the neck taper Sep 12 N~016
Square off the "foot". Sep 12 N~017 N~018
Prepare and glue headstock veneers. Trim excess when dry Sep 14 N~019 N~020 N~021
Prepare and glue headstock face plate. Trim excess. Sep 14 N~022 N~023  N~024
Cut nut stop. Cut headstock to length. . Sep 14 N~024A
Rough cut the headstock tapers Sep 14 N~025
Mark, cut and sand the headstock end design Sep 14 N~026
True up and square headstock sides Sep 14 N~027 N~028
Drill tuner holes and check with tuners for accurate fit. Sep 16 N~029 N~030 N~031
Rout headstock slots. Sep 16 N~032 N~033 N~034
Rout a slot for a carbon fibre reinforcement rod. Sep 16 N~035
Prepare reinforcement rod and mahogany cap. Sep 16 N~036
Glue in carbon fiber rod with epoxy.. Glue in the mahogany cap strip and level when dry. Sep 16 N~037 N~038 N~039 N~040
Rough cut fret board tapered width. True width to final dimensions and establish initial thickness.. Sep 16 N~041 N~042 N~043 N~044
Mount fret board onto fret slotting system.  Sep 16 N~045 N~046 N~047 N~048
Mount fret slot blade in table saw.  Sep 16 N~049
Cut fret slots.  Sep 16 N~050 N~051
Cut off waste at the nut end of the neck. Sep 16 N~052 N~053
Taper the fret board thickness to final dimensions. using a tapered slave board and thickness sander. Sep 16 N~054 N~055 N~056
Drill locator pin holes in fret board at frets 1 and 12. Sep 16 N~057
Center the fretboard onto the neck.Mark and drill neck locator pin holes & install pins. Sep 16 N~058 N~059 N~060
Glue and clamp fret board to the neck. Sep 16 N~061 N~062
Level the fret board and file bevels into the fret slots. Finish sand to 150 grit. Sep 17 N~063 N~064 N~065
Cut and chisel the headstock nut string exit ramps Sep 17 N~066 N~067
Plane and sand the sides of the neck flush with the fret board. Sep 17 N~068
Remove waste material from the underside of the neck extension Sep 17 N~069 N~070
True up underside of neck so that it will mate with the top. Sep 17 N~071
Hammer fret wire into slots and cut ends Sep 17 N~072 N~073 N~074
File the fret ends flush with fret board edges and then bevel them. Finish with a diamond stone.   Sep 17 N~075 N~076 N~077
Mark heel profile  Sep 17 N~078
Rough shape headstock  and heel.  Sep 17 N~079 N~080 N~081
Carve and sand neck to final shape.  Sep 18 N~082 N~083
Finish sand with fine sanding sponge.  Sep 18 N~084 N~085 N~086
When top is ready, dry fit & align neck/top. Mark, cut & finish neck end Sep 19 N~087 N~088 N~089
Install and finish the 20th fret Sep 21 N~090 N~091
nstall MOP position markers at frets 7 and 12.  Sep 21 N~092 N~093 N~094


SIDES Complete Photos
Cut ten 15mm wide oak lining strips  Sep 01 S~001
Thickness strips to 2.5 mm and tape the lining strips into two  groups of 5 each. Sep 01 S~002
Bend the lining strips to shape. Sep 02 S~003 S~004
Glue up lining strips in lamination mold. Sep 03 S~005 S~006
Trim laminated lining assemblies to height. Sep 05 S~007
Round inner edges of the linings and seal with shellac. Sep 07 S~008 S~009
True up side blanks   Sep 08 S~010 S~011
Mark and cut side profiles.   Sep 08 S~012
Thickness sides to 2.3mm. Sep 09 S~013 S~014
Bend Sides Sep 09 S~015 S~016
Fit sides in the outside mold. mark positions for the upper and lower bout end upright waist braces. Sep 10 S~017 S~018
Mark and cut ends of the sides to fit neck recess and butt joint at the tail. File the ends to true. Sep 10 S~019 S~020 S~021
Glue and clamp the upright waist braces.Plane and shape (1/2 round) Sep 10 S~022 S~023
Mark top edges of the sides and sand in radiused sanding dish to create top profile  Sep 10 S~024 S~025
Cut tail block to length. Sand to match side curvature at the tail area. Sep 10 S~026
Mark & cut tail block end angles.  Sep 10 S~027 S~028
Glue tail block to the sides. Plane and sand tail block edges. Sep 10 S~029 S~030
File recesses in the first top lining to fit over the upright braces. Cut and plane angles to fit the tail block Sep 10 S~031
Glue and clamp the first top lining to the sides. When dry, flush trim edges & scrape glue squeeze. Sep 10 S~033
Repeat the fitting and gluing processes for the second top lining. Sep 10 S~034 S~035
Invert sides in mold. Mark back edges and sand to 15' back dome. Sep 11 S~036
Prepare and glue back linings following the same steps as for the top linings. Sep 11 S~037 S~038
Cut side wedge blanks  Sep 12 S~039
Cut blanks to match the side of the neck recess Sep 12 S~040
Cut blanks into tapered wedges & plane the saw cut faces smooth Sep 12 S~041 S~042
Fit front wedges on linings. Mark saw lines on the linings and cut recesses. Sep 12 S~043 S~044 S~045 S~046
Cut recesses into the front wedges to form interlocking joint with the linings Sep 12 S~047 S~048
Glue front wedges to sides and trim. Sep 12 S~049 S~050
Adjust rear wedges. Dry fit the sides to the neck to complete the spanish heel joinery. Sep 12 S~051
Rout tail graft channel to fit tail graft.  Sep 22 S~052 S~053
Prepare and spot glue a temporary tail graft. Set permanent graft aside for later. Sep 22 S~054 S~055
Mark top linings and finalize domed top profile in 30' radiused sanding dish Sep 22 S~056 S~057 S~058


SOUND BOARD Complete Photos
Select top, true up the center edges and join book matched plates. Sep 01 T~001
Scrape glue joint and level the top in the thickness sander. Sep 02 T~002
Mark and drill sound hole center. Sep 03 T~003 T~004
Rout the inlay channel for the rosette Sep 03 T~005 T~006
Glue and clamp the rosette.Scrape and sand level. Sep 03 T~007 T~008 T~009
Mark and cut out the top to profile. Sep 04 T~010
Thickness top from underside. Finish sand both surfaces. and tune to fundamental resonance (Bb) Sep 04 T~011 T~012 T~013
Mark bracing and reinforcement pad positions Sep 18 T~014 T~015
Fabricate and attach sound hole patch . Sep 18 T~016 T~017 T~018 T~019
Cut out sound hole. Remove top section of the soundhole patch. Sep 18 T~020 T~021 T~022
Attach neck joint reinforcement patch  Sep 18 T~023 T~024
Mark and cut out neck interlock slot.    Sep 19 T~025 T~026
Dry fit the top to the neck. Align and clamp into the assembly mold and insert the sides Sep 19 T~027 T~028
Mark inner perimeter of the linings Sep 19 T~029
Cut topn bracing elements from fine grained quarter sawn spruce.  Sep 19 T~030 T~031
Glue in lower transverse brace. Shape and sand. Sep 19 T~032 T~033
Profile outer fan brace stock to 30' radius and cut to height. Sep 19 T~034 T~035 T~036
Glue and shape the two outer fan braces. Shape and sand. Sep 19 T~037 T~038 T~039
Glue,shape and sand the five inner fan braces.   Sep 20 T~040
Fabricate braces that interlock across inner fans. Sep 20 T~041
Glue in the crossing braces, shape and sand.  Sep 20 T~042 T~043
Fabricate & glue in the transverse brace below the sound hole.. Shape and sand Sep 20 T~044 T~045
Glue in the transverse brace above the sound hole and reinforcing braces beside the sound hole. Sep 20 T~046 T~047
Fabricate and glue in the last reinforcement patch, Sep 20 T~048 T~049
 Glue last transverse brace. Plane and sand the upper transverse braces to shape.  Sep 21 T~050 T~051 T~052 T~053


BACK Complete Photos
Dimension and true up back plates Sep 24 B~001
Glue veneer purfling to back center and tail graft strips   Sep 24 B~002
Trim back center strip purfling flush   Sep 24 B~003 B~004
Join and glue book matched back plates to center strip.  Sep 24 B~005
Mark out back profile, cut to shape & thickness  Sep 25 B~006 B~007
Thickness the back to 2.3 mm  Sep 25 B~008
Calculate & mark locations for the center seam reinforcement ends Sep 25 B~009 B~010 B~011
Attach inner center seam reinforcement. Sep 25 B~012 B~013
Round off center seam reinforcement with planes and sandpaper  Sep 25 B~014 B~015 B~016
Mark positions of  back braces on center strip, cut passages and fit braces.  Sep 25 B~017 B~018 B~019
Radius back braces in 15' sanding dish and plane square Sep 25 B~020 B~021 B~022
Cut scallops in the braces and smooth on drum sander. Sep 25 B~023 B~024
Glue the back braces to the back using a 15' radiused form Sep 25 B~025
Shape back braces with planes and sandpaper.  Sep 25 B~026 B~027


Cut rosewood binding strips.  Sep 08 P~001
Cut strips from the back plates for back center & tail graft purflings Sep 22 P~002 P~003
Glue up light/dark/light veneer sandwich for tail graft purflings .  Sep 22 P~004
Fabricate the tail graft Sep 22 P~005 P~006
Glue up light/dark/light veneer sandwich for back and binding purflings .  Sep 22 P~007 P~008
Cut the veneer sandwich into strips of appropriate widths.  Sep 24 P~009  P~010
Cut flamed maple slice and thickness to 1.2mm and glue to black veneer for top purfling.  Sep 27 P~011
Cut top purfling strips . Sep 27 P~012
Tape top and back purflings together and bend   Sep 28 P~013 P~014
Glue side purfling strips to binding strips.and trim Sep 30 P~015 P~016
Tape binding strips together and finalize thickness  Oct 01 P~017 P~018
Bend bindings. Oct 01 P~019 P~020 P~021
Assemble heel cap components  Oct 02 P~022 P~023 P~024
Mark and rough cut the heel cap profile.  Oct 02 P~025 P~026


BRIDGE Complete Photos
Cut & thickness bridge blank to the required dimensions. Oct 03 Br~001 Br~002
Mark string positions and drill pilot centers followed by string holes through the width of the tie block. Oct 03 Br~003 Br~004 Br~005
Follow the same procedures for the secondary holes in the 12 hole bridge system. Oct 03 Br~006 Br~007
Saw saddle slot and cut for the tie block Oct 03 Br~008 Br~009
Radius the bottom of the bridge to fit the dome of the guitar top. Oct 03 Br~010 Br~011
Rough cut the bridge arms Oct 03 Br~012 Br~013
Round the arms of the bridge  Oct 03 Br~014
Chisel and shape the ramp leading from the tie block to saddle slot.  Oct 03 Br~015
Round off the leading edge pf the saddle slot retainer  Oct 03 Br~016 Br~017 Br~018
Bevel the arm ends. Oct 04 Br~019 Br~020
Fabricate  the tie block cap from rosewood and bone Oct 04 Br~021 Br~022
Glue the tie block cap. Oct 04 Br~023 Br~024 Br~025
Finish sand and seal the bridge with shellac Oct 04 Br~026 Br~027


ASSEMBLY Complete Photos
Align top to neck in assembly form & drill index holes though the top into neck Sep 23 A~001 A~002
Install temporary dowels, remove from form and check alignment from the top. Sep 23 A~003 A~004
Apply glue to the neck/top surface, align with index dowels & clamp. Cut off dowels when dry. Sep 23 A~005 A~006
Replace neck/top in assembly form, insert sides & mark interlocking recesses in transverse bars Sep 23 A~007 A~008
Remove sides and cut interlocking recesses in transverse bars Sep 23 A~009 A~010 A~011
Replace sides & mark interlocking recesses in linings. Sep 23 A~012 A~013
Remove sides and  cut interlocking recesses into the linings.  Sep 23 A~014 A~015
Cut recesses to make room for hand finishing the top binding rebates into the neck. Sep 23 A~016
Replace sides and check for a good fit to the top.. Sep 23 A~017
Apply glue to upper side linings and outer heel gluing surface. Insert sides and clamp. Glue in wedges. Sep 23 A~018 A~019 A~020
When dry, trim wedges and level the heel to the sides.  Sep 24 A~021
Refine back profile of sides on a 15' sanding dish to align with back doming. Sep 24 A~022 A~023 A~024
Align the back and clamp lightly. Mark the outline of the sides on the back braces. Sep 25 A~025 A~026
Measure & mark lines for the interlocking rebates in the back braces. Cut and chisel the rebates. Sep 25 A~027 A~028 A~029
Replace & align the back. Mark the location for brace recesses in the sides/linings. Sep 25 A~030 A~031
Cut recesses in the sides/linings. Sep 25 A~032 A~033 A~034
Glue and clamp the back to the sides Sep 25 A~035
Trim the back plate flush to the sides. Remove the guitar from the mold. Sep 25 A~036 A~037
Trim the sound board flush.to the sides Sep 25 A~038 A~039
Rout the purfling/binding rebates for the top and back.ro the initial depth Sep 27 A~040
Scrape the sides flat. Sep 27 A~041
Shellac the edges of the top and rout the purfling/binding rebates for the top and back. Sep 27 A~042 A~043 A~044
Rough out the top binding rebates at the neck.  Sep 28 A~045 A~046 A~047
Using chisels, dental picks & wood files complete the top binding rebates.   Sep 28 A~048 A~049
Mark off the back rebate locations. Remove the excess back material. Sep 28 A~050
Cut the heel down level to the bottom of binding channel. Sep 28 A~051 A~052
Hand finish the back binding rebates at the tail Sep 28 A~053
Hand finish the back binding rebates at the heel Sep 28 A~054
Cut 45 degree miters into the purflings at the ends of center strip. Sep 28 A~055 A~056 A~057
Fit right top purfling. Glue and clamp with rubber bands. Sep 29 A~058
Fit, glue and clamp left top purfling Sep 29 A~059
Sand top purfling flush to the top. Sep 29 A~060 A~061
Fit and glue the back purflings.  Sep 30 A~062 A~063 A~064
Trim and level the back purflings to the back plate. Sep 30 A~065 A~066 A~067
Remove the temporary tail graft. Measure and cut the permanent graft.to length Oct 01 A~068 A~069 A~070
Glue in the permanent graft and trim level to the sides. Oct 01 A~071 A~072
Miter the tail graft ends. Oct 01 A~073 A~074
Mark and cut the right top binding to fit. Miter the purfling to join the tail graft miter.  Oct 01 A~075 A~076
Glue and clamp.  When dry, remove the clamping bands and scrape/sand the binding flush to the top.  Oct 01 A~077 A~078 A~079
Repeat the fitting, gluing and flush trimming for the left top binding. Oct 01 A~080 A~081
Fit and glue the back bindings.. Oct 02 A~082 A~083
Scrape and sand the back bindings flush with the back plates. Oct 02 A~084 A~085 A~086
Scrape the bindings flush to the side surfaces and rough sand.. Oct 02 A~087
Prepare the heel clamp platform. Glue and clamp the heel cap.  Oct 02 A~088 A~089 A~090
Trim the heel cap flush to the back plate and sides of the heel.  Oct 02 A~091 A~092 A~093
Round binding corners.  Oct 05 A~094 A~095
Finish sand the sound board  Oct 05 A~096
Drill locator pin holes at the bottom of the bridge saddle slot. Oct 05 A~097
Position bridge & drill index holes into top.  Oct 05 A~098 A~099 A~100 A~101
Glue index pins into the bridge. Oct 05 A~102 A~103
Position bridge and tape boundaries to catch glue squeeze out.  Oct 05 A~104
Position gluing caul to the underside of the top. Hold with magnets.  Oct 05 A~105 A~106
Glue and clamp bridge. Clean up glue squeeze out. Oct 05 A~107 A~108 A~109
Finish sand the sides, back and neck Oct 06 A~110 A~111 A~112
Seal all surfaces with shellac.  Oct 06 A~113 A~114 A~115 A~116
Install tuners Oct 07 A~117
Level the frets with a flat diamond abrasive plate. Oct 07 A~118
Crown the frets with 300 grit diamond file and polish to 400 grit. Oct 07 A~119 A~120
Fabricate nut & saddle. Oct 07 A~121 A~122
Attach strings and set action heights. Evaluate response over 2 - 3 days.  Oct 07 A~123 A~124 A~125
Additional Photos Oct 07 A~126 A~127 A~128


French Polish Complete


Fill back/side/neck pores with pumice using a cloth covered pad & alcohol.  Oct 10 FP~001 FP~002 FP~003
Sand with 220 grit to remove residue  Oct 12 FP~004 FP~005
Build a body of shellac over all surfaces ( this takes many sessions over several days). Oct 13 FP~006 FP~007
Level all surfaces with 800 grit wet/dry sand paper.  Oct 16 FP~008 FP~009
Repeat bodying and levelling until a satisfactory surface results Oct 17 FP~010 FP~011 FP~012
Apply final glazing coats of shellac Oct 20 FP~013
Reduce the gloss to a matte (satin) finish with fine abrasive. Oct 22 FP~014 FP~015
Scrape shellac from fretboard edges.  Polish the frets. Oct 23 FP~016 FP~017
Clean shellac out of peg head holes. Install tuners, nut, saddle and strings Oct 24 FP~018 FP~019 FP~020
Additional Photos Oct 24 FP~021 FP~022 FP~023