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Michael F. Lazar


The following charts list the steps that I will complete during the construction of a guitar that was commissioned on May 23/23

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Latest Update Period: Jul 26/23 to Jul 27/23   Completed French Polish. Completed Assembly

Daniel Friederich Style Bracing

Extended fret board with 20th treble fret

12 hole tie block bridge

Fully Compensated Nut and Saddle

Fully domed top with elevated fretboard

Spanish heel Neck to body constructon


Sound board

Back and Sides


Fret board


Linings and tail block





Nut and Saddle



Italian Alpine Spruce

Ceylon Rosewood

Honduran Mahogany

Black African Ebony

Indian Rosewood


Cey Rosewood


Nickel Silver

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

Bleached bone

Rubner Rollers


NECK   Photos
Dimension neck blank Jun 08 N~001 N~002
Prepare and glue the heel block stack. Jun 08 N~003 N~004 N~005 N~006
Cut off head stock to scarf joint angle and prepare components for gluing Jun 08 N~007 N~008 N~009
Glue head stock to the neck shaft. Jun 08 N~010
Glue the heel block to the neck shaft Jun 09 N~011
Mark position of neck/body joint for 635mm scale Jun 12 N~012
Rout receptor slots for sides Jun 12 N~013 N~014 N~015 N~016
Rout receptor slots for top Jun 12 N~017 N~018 N~019
Mark hcenter lines Jun 12 N~020
Mark heel and foot profiles. Jun 12 N~021 N~022
Cut heel and foot profiles. Jun 12 N~023 N~024 N~025
Rough cut heel and foot side curvature profiles. Jun 12 N~026 N~027 N~028 N~029
Trim the "foot" section of the neck.. Jun 12 N~030 N~031
Prepare and glue headstock veneers & face plate. Trim excess when dry Jun 12 N~032 N~033 N~034 N~035
Cut nut stop. Cut headstock to length. Jun 12 N~036 N~037
Rough cut the neck & headstock tapers Jun 12 N~038 N~039 N~040
True up and square headstock sides & plane the neck shaft to oversized width.  Jun 12 N~041 N~042
Refine the headstock end cuts. Jun 13 N~043
Drill tuner holes. Jun 13 N~044 N~045
Rout headstock slots. Jun 14 N~046 N~047 N~048
Cut and chisel the headstock string exit ramps Jun 17 N~049 N~050 N~051
Thickness a fret board blank to 7.5mm Jun 17 N~052
Mark fret board tapered width. Jun 17 N~053
Rough cut fret board width and true the edges to the final width.  Jun 17 N~054 N~055 N~056 N~057
Mount fret board onto fret slotting system.  Jun 17 N~058 N~059 N~060
Mount fret slot blade in table saw.  Jun 17 N~061
Cut fret slots.  Jun 17 N~062 N~063
Cut off waste at the nut end of the neck. Jun 17 N~064
Taper the fret board thickness to final dimensions. using a tapered slave board and thickness sander. Jun 17 N~065 N~066
Drill locator pin holes in fret board at frets 1 and 11.and center the fretboard onto the neck. Jun 17 N~067
Mark and drill neck locator pin holes & install pins. Jun 17 N~068 N~069 N~070
Glue and clamp fret board to the neck. Jun 17 N~071 N~072 N~073
Plane and sand the sides of the neck flush with the fret board. Jun 18 N~074 N~075
Level the fret board and finish sand to 150 grit using a long sanding block. Jun 18 N~076 N~077 N~078
Remove waste material from the underside of the neck extension Jun 18 N~079 N~080 N~081
True up underside of neck so that it will mate with the top. Jun 18 N~082 N~083
Hammer fret wire into slots 1 to 19 and cut the ends Jun 18 N~084 N~085 N~086
File the fret ends flush with fret board edges and then bevel them. Finish with a diamond stone.   Jun 18 N~087 N~088 N~089
Check to ensure the frets are level Jun 19 N~090
Mark heel and headstock profiles  Jun 19 N~091 N~092
Rough shape headstock/shaft transition   Jun 19 N~093 N~094
Rough shape heel.  Jun 19 N~095 N~096
Rough shape the neck shaft .& blend heel and headstock transitions Jun 19 N~097 N~098
Refine the neck shaft thickness and profile and finish sand the entire neck. Jun 19 N~099 N~100
Align the neck to the top. Mark, cut & finish neck end to match the sound hole. Jun 20 N~101 N~102 N~103 N~104
Install the 20th fret and finish the ends. Jun 20 N~105 N~106
nstall MOP position markers at frets 7 and 12.  Jun 20 N~107 N~108
Shape and sand the "foot" section of the neck Jun 27 N~109


SIDES   Photos
Cut ten 15mm wide maple lining strips  Jun 01  S~001
Thickness strips to 2.5 mm and tape the lining strips into two  groups of 5 each. Jun 01  S~002 S~003
Bend the lining strips to shape. Jun 01  S~004 S~005
True up sides and thickness to 2.3mm Jun 02 S~006 S~~007
Mark and cut side profiles.   Jun 02 S~008
Bend Sides Jun 03 S~009 S~010
Fit sides into the side assembly mold and mark the butt joint points at the heel & tail. Jun 07 S~011
Mark the angled cut offs  that will accommodate .the Spanish Heel joinery. Jun 07 S~012
Cut the waste material from the ends of the sides and file the end cuts  smooth Jun 07 S~013 S~014
Fit the sides into the side assembly mold. Jun 07 S015 S~016
Cut tail block to length. Jun 08 S~017
Sand  tail block to match side curvature at the tail area. Jun 08 S~018 S~019
Mark & cut tail block end angles.  Jun 08 S~020 S~021 S~022
Glue tail block to the sides. Scrape glue squeeze and soften the edges. Jun 08 S~023 S~024 S~025
Glue up lining strips in lamination mold. Jun 12 S~026 S~027 S~028
Trim laminated lining assemblies to height. Jun 13 S~029
Round inner edges of the linings. Jun 14 S~030 S~031 S~032
Mark top edges of the sides and sand in radiused sanding dish to create top profile  Jun 14 S~033 S~034
Mark in the first top lining to fit the tail block and neck recess Jun 14 S~035 S~036 S~037
Cut and plane the tail angle and necj recess waste Jun 14 S~038  S~038
Glue and clamp the first top lining to the sides. When dry, flush trim edges & scrape glue squeeze. Jun 14 S~040 S~041 S~042
Repeat the fitting and gluing processes for the second top lining. Jun 14 S~043
Invert sides in mold. Mark back edges and sand to 15' back dome. Jun 15 S~044 S~045 S~046
Prepare and glue back linings following the same steps as for the top linings. Jun 15 S~047
Cut side wedge blanks to fit the side recess slots in the neck. Jun 15 S~048
Cut blanks into tapered wedges & plane the saw cut faces smooth Jun 15 S~049
Fit front wedges on linings. Cut and chisel recesses for the wegdes Jun 15 S~050
Cut recesses into the front wedges to form interlocking joint with the linings Jun 15 S~051
Glue front wedges to sides and trim. Jun 15 S~052 S~053
Adjust rear wedges. Dry fit the sides to the neck to complete the spanish heel joinery. Jun 15 S~054 S~055
Cut shallow channels at the top/neck area to make room for hand finishing the top binding rebates Jun 27 S~056 S~057 S~058
Rout tail graft channel to fit tail graft.  Jun 27 S~0599
Prepare and spot glue a temporary tail graft. Set permanent graft aside for later. Jun 27 S~060


Select top, true up the center edges and cut the top plates to width.. Jun 10 T~001
Join the plates. Scrape glue joint and level the top in the thickness sander. Jun 10 T~002 T~003
Cut the  background field for the rosette.from rosewood Jun 10 T~004 T~005
 Drill sound hole center and mount the top on rosette cutting board. Jun 10 T~006
Rout the inlay channel for the central rosette element Jun 10 T~007 T~008
Fit and glue the central motif for the rosette and level Jun 10 T~009 T~010
Bend the herringbone/wheat inlay elements on a hot bender. Jun 10 T~011 T~012
Rout the inlay channels for the rosette borders and cut veneer border strips Jun 10 T~013
Fit the rosette elements and level with a block plae Jun 10 T~014
Extract the elements tying them together with twist ties during the extraction.. Jun 11 T~015
Apply fish glue to the channels, reinsert the elments and clamp until dry. Jun 11 T~016 T~017 T~018
Clean up and level the rosette in the thickness sander.. Jun 11 T~019 T~020
Mark and cut out the top to profile. Jun 21 T~021 T~022 T~023
Thickness sand until the rosette depth is reduced to 1.2mms Jun 21 T~024
Fill the gap at the rosette ends Jun 21 T~025
Thickness top from underside to 2mm.  . Jun 21 T~026
Mark bracing and reinforcement pad positions Jun 22 T~027
Fabricate the sound hole/rosette reinforcement patch Jun 22 T~028 T~029 T~030
Glue the sound hole/rosette reinforcement patch Jun 22 T~031 T~032
Cut out sound hole. Jun 22 T~033 T~034 T~035
Round off the inside edge of the sound hole. Jun 22 T~036
Attach neck joint reinforcement patch  Jun 22 T~037
Mark the neck interlock slot and recesses in the adjacent perimeters. Jun 23 T~038
Cut out neck interlock slot and recesses in the adjacent perimeters. Jun 23 T~039
Dry fit the top to the neck. Align & clamp into the assembly mold and insert the sides Jun 23 T~040
Mark inner perimeter of the linings Jun 23 T~041 T~042
Cut fan brace stock from fine grained quarter sawn spruce.& thickness Jun 24 T~043 T~044
Rough cut he fan braces Jun 24 T~045
Glue and shape a lower bout stiffening patch. Jun 24 T~046 T~047
Fit and glue the fan braces (interlocking the centre three with the lower bout patch) Jun 24 T~048 T~049
Plane the braces to height and shape with brace planes, chisels and sand paper Jun 24 T~050 T~051 T~052
Fabricate and glue the transverse tone bars across the fan braces. Jun 25 T~053
Fabricate & glue the  transverse brace below sound hole,. Jun 25 T~054 T~055
Glue and shape reinforcement braces on either side of the sound hole. Jun 25 T~056
Fabricate the two transverse braces for above the sound hole.. Jun 25 T~057 T~058 T~059 T~050
Glue tpe first transverse brace above the sound hole Jun 25 T~061
Fabricate the final upper bout reinforcement patch Jun 25 T~062
Gue in the  final patch and trannsverse brace. Shape both upper braces Jun 25 T~063 T~064 T~065
Fabricate and glue the bridge arm end patches. Jun 25 T~066


BACK   Photos
Dimension and true up back plates Jun 01 B~001  B~002
Join and glue book matched back plates Jun 01 B~003
Mark out back profile, cut to shape. Jun 01  B~004 B~005
Thickness the back to 2.3 mm  Jun 08 B~006
Locate and attach inner center seam reinforcement. Jun 28 B~007 B~008 B~009
Round off the center seam reinforcement with planes and sandpaper.  Jun 28 B~010 B~011
Cut mahogany back braces, radius in sanding dish and plane square Jun 28 B~012
Mark positions of  back braces on center strip and cut passages for the braces.  Jun 28 B~013 B~014
Scallop the back braces and glue them to the back using the 15' radiused solers. Jun 28 B~015
Shape back braces with planes and sandpaper. Attach label. Jun 28 B~016 B~017 B~018


Glue purfling to the  tail graft strip and trim Jun 29 PB~001 PB~002
Cut binding strips from side material Jun 29 PB~003
Glue up dark/light/dark veneer sandwich for top, back, binding and tail graft purflings Jun 29 PB~004 PB~005 PB~006
Cut the veneer sandwich into strips of appropriate widths.  Jun 29 PB~007
Fabricate a flamed maple strip for the top purfling. Jun 29 PB~008
Glue the maple strip to black veneer for the top purfling. Jun 29 PB~009 PB~010
Tape top and back purflings together and bend   Jun 29 PB~011 PB~012 PB~013
Glue side purfling strips to binding strips.and trim Jun 30 PB~014 PB~015 PB~016
Tape binding strips together and finalize thickness  Jul 01 PB~017 PB~018 PB~019
Bend bindings. Jul 01 PB~020 PB~021 PB~022
Assemble heel cap components  Jul 03 PB~023 PB~024
Mark and rough cut the heel cap to shape Jul 03 PB~025


BRIDGE Complete Photos
Cut bridge blank to the required dimensions. Jul 05 Br~001Br~002 Br~003
Mark string positions and drill pilot centers followed by string holes. Jul 05 Br~004 Br~005 Br~006
Cut saddle and tie block slots Jul 05 Br~007
Radius the bottom of the bridge to fit the dome of the guitar top. Jul 06 Br~008 Br~009
Rough cut the bridge arms on the table saw Jul 06 Br~010 Br~011
Round and bevel the arms of the bridge Jul 06 Br~012 Br~013 Br~014
Chisel and shape the ramp leading from the tie block to the saddle slot. Jul 06 Br~015 Br~016
Round off the leading edge of the saddle slot retainer and sand Jul 06  Br~017 Br~018
Fabricate the tie block cap.  Glue and clamp it to the tie block. Jul 07 Br~019 Br~020
Finish shaping and sanding and seal with shellac to prevent bleeding color onto top. Jul 08 Br~021 Br~022


Apply glue to the underside of the neck, align top and clamp. Jun 27 A~001
When dry scrape any glue squeeze out. Jun 27 A~002 A~003
Place neck/top in assembly form, insert sides & mark recesses in the transverse bars and side linings. Jun 27 A~004 A~005 A~006
Remove sides and cut interlocking recesses in the transverse bars Jun 27 A~007 A~008 A~009 A~010
Remove sides and  cut interlocking recesses into the linings.  Jun 27 A~011 A~012 A~013
Replace sides and check for a perfect fit to the top. Jun 27 A~014
Apply glue to upper side linings and outer heel gluing surface. Insert sides and clamp. Glue in wedges. Jun 27 A~015 A~016
When dry, trim wedges and level the heel to the sides.  Jun 27 A~017 A~018
Refine back profile of sides on a 15' sanding dish to align with back doming. Jun 28 A~019 A~020 A~021 A~022
Align the back and clamp lightly. Jun 28 A~023
Mark the outline of the edges of the braces on the sides.&  the sides on the braces Jun 28 A~024 A~025
Cut recesses in the sides/linings. Jun 28 A~026
Measure & mark lines for the interlocking rebates in the back braces. Cut and chisel the rebates. Jun 28 A~027 A~028
Glue and clamp the back to the sides Jun 28 A~029 A~030
When dry, remve clamps and trim the back plate flush to the sides. Jun 28 A~031 A~032
Remove the guitar from the mold and trim the top flush. Jun 28 A~033 A~034
Rout purfling/binding rebates for the top and back. Jun 28 A~035 A~036 A~037
Using chisels, dental picks & wood files complete the top binding rebates.   Jun 29 A~038 A~039 A~040 A~041
Cut the heel down level to the bottom of binding channel. Jun 29 A~042 A~043 A~044
File the heel mooth and even with  the bottom of binding channel. Jun 29 A~045
Fit top purflings. Glue and clamp with rubber bands. Jun 30 A~046 A~047 A~048
Trim top purflings and sand them level the to top... Jun 30 A~049 A~050
Gluie,clamp and level the back purflings. in the same way as the top purflings. Jun 30 A~051 A~052
Remove the temporary tail graft and glue in the permanent graft Jul 02 A~053 A~054
Miter the tail graft ends. Jul 02 A~055 A~056
Mark and cut the top bindings to fit. Miter the purfling to join the tail graft miter.  Jul 02 A~057
Glue and clamp the top bindings.  Level when dy. Jul 02 A~058
Fit and glue the back bindings.. Jul 03 A~059 A~060
Scrape and sand the back bindings flush with the back plates. Jul 04 A~061
Scrape and sand the bindings flush to the side surfaces. Jul 04 A~062
Glue and clamp the heel cap.  Jul 04 A~063
Trim the heel cap 01flush to the back plate and sides of the heel.  Jul 04 A~064 A~065
Drill bridge locator pin holes at the bottom of the saddle slot. Jul 09 A~066
Position bridge & drill index holes into top.  Jul 09 A~067 A~068
Glue index pins into the bridge. Jul 09 A~069
Position bridge and tape boundaries to catch glue squeeze out.  Jul 09 A~070
Position gluing caul to the underside of the top. Hold with magnets. Jul 09 A~071 A~072 A~073
Glue and clamp bridge. Jul 09 A~074 A~075
Remove tape boundaries and clean up squeezed out glue. Jul 09 A~076
Check the frets for level and adjust where needed. Jul 26 A~077 A~078
Polish the frets. Jul 26 A~079 A~080
Fabricate nut & saddle. Jul 27 A~081 A~082
Install tuners Jul 27 A~083
Attach strings and set action heights. Jul 27 A~084 A~085
Photos Jul 27 A~086 A~087 A~088 A~089
Additional Photos Jul 27 A~090 A~091 A~092 A~093


French Polish  


Seal the sound board with shellac.  Jul 10 FP~001
Seal the back,side and neck surfaces with shellac.  Jul 10 FP~002 FP~003 FP~004
Fill back/side pores with filler Jul 11 FP~005 FP~006 FP~007
Sand with 220 grit to remove filler residue. Clean up with a tack cloth.  Jul 13 FP~008 FP~009 FP~010
Apply shellac to side & back surfaces (2 sessions each side & 4 on back) Jul 14 FP~011 FP~012 FP~013
Rough level the side & back surface with medium sanding sponge. Jul 15 FP~014 FP~015
Pore fill & sand the neck. Apply several sessions shellac to top and necksurfaces. Jul 17 FP~016 FP~017
Carry out initial wet sanding on all surfaces with 400 grit wet & dry paper. Jul 19 FP~018 FP~019 FP~020 FP~021 FP~022
Continue with body sessions until all surfaces are ready for wet final sanding. Jul 2 FP~023 FP~024
Wet sand the top, back & sides with 800 grit wet & dry paper & Varsol lubricant. Jul 21 FP~025 FP~026 FP~027
Apply thin glazing coats. Cure for 2 or 3 days & rub down with fine abrasive polish. Jul 25 FP~028 FP~029 FP~030
Matte the neck finish with fine sponge pad abrasive. Jul 26 FP~031 FP~032
Scrape shellac from fretboard edges.  Jul 26 FP~033
Clean shellac out of peg head holes. Jul 26 FP~034
Clean up the finish on all surfaces with Dunlop 65 Guitar Polish Jul 26 FP~035 FP~036