Michael F. Lazar   

Hand Crafted Concert Classical Guitars

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The following charts list the steps that I will complete during the construction of a guitar that was commissioned on Jan 31/20.

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Latest Update Period: Aug 02. Continued Sides.

Design Features

Fully domed sloped Top with elevated fret board

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


Sound board

Back and Sides


Fret board



Tail block





Nut and Saddle



Western Red Cedar

East Indian Rosewood

Meranti Mahogany

Black African Ebony

East Indian Rosewood



Flamed Maple

Maple, Black, Maple Veneer

Nickel Silver

Custom Celtic Weave

Bleached bone

Gotoh Classic Premium



NECK   Photos
Cut the neck shaft flat to the proper width. Jul 14 Neck~001
Plane the neck shaft flat and reduce to desired thickness Jul 14 Neck~002 Neck~003
Cut off head stock to scarf joint angle and prepare components for gluing Jul 16 Neck~004 Neck~005
Glue head stock to the neck shaft. Jul 16 Neck~006 Neck~007 Neck~008
Glue the heel block to the neck shaft Jul 16 Neck~009
Clean up glue squeeze out and plane neck assembly to desired dimensions.. Jul 16 Neck~010
Mark the 12th fret neck/body joint position. Jul 17 Neck~011
Rout receptor slots for sides Jul 17 Neck~012 Neck~013 Neck~014
Rout receptor slots for top Jul 17 Neck~015 Neck~016 Neck~017 Neck~018
Rough cut heel and foot profiles Jul 17 Neck~019 Neck~020 Neck~021
Install dado blades in table saw & Rough cut heel and foot side curvatures. Jul 18 Neck~022 Neck~023 Neck~024
Square the sides of the foot section. Jul 18 Neck~025 Neck~026 Neck~027
Shape the foot section and seal with shellac Jul 18 Neck~028 Neck~029 Neck~030
Prepare and glue headstock veneers Trim excess when dry Jul 18 Neck~031 Neck~032 Neck~033
Prepare the headstock face plate from 2mm Imdian Rosewood Jul 18 Neck~034
Glue the headstock face plate. Trim excess when dry Jul 18 Neck~035 Neck~036
Cut headstock to length and  cut nut stop. Jul 18 Neck~037 Neck~038 Neck~039
Mark the neck & headstock tapers and the headstock pattern. Jul 19 Neck~040 Neck~041 Neck~042
Cut the neck & headstock tapers. Plane the cut surfaces smooth & square Jul 19 Neck~043 Neck~044
Rough cut the headstock end and refine with files and sand paper. Jul 19 Neck~045 Neck~046 Neck~047
Drill tuner holes Jul 20 Neck~048 Neck~049
Check tuner holes for fit with tuners Jul 20 Neck~050 Neck~051
Attach headstock slot template to the headstock Jul 21 Neck~052 Neck~053
Rout headstock slots. Jul 21 Neck~054 Neck~055
Mark and saw boundaries for string exit ramps. Jul 22 Neck~056 Neck~057
Cut and chisel the headstock nut string exit ramps. Check with tuners for fit. Jul 22 Neck~058 Neck~059 Neck~060
Route a slot for a carbon fibre reinforcement rod. Jul 23 Neck~061 Neck~062 Neck~063
Prepare reinforcement rod and neckwood cap. Jul 23 Neck~064
Glue in carbon fiber rod with epoxy. Follow with cap using wood glue and clamp.Plane flat when dry. Jul 23 Neck~065 Neck~066 Neck~067 Neck~068
Thickness a fret board blank to 7.5mm. Rough cut the taper and true the edges to the final width.  Jul 23 Neck~069
Mount fret board onto fret slotting system.  Jul 24 Neck~070 Neck~071 Neck~072
Mount fret slot blade in table saw.  Jul 24 Neck~073
Cut fret slots.  Jul 24 Neck~074 Neck~075
Cut off waste at the nut end of the neck. Jul 24 Neck~076
Taper the fret board thickness to final dimensions. using a tapered slave board and thickness sander. Jul 24 Neck~077
Drill locator pin holes in fret board at frets 1 and 11.and center the fretboard onto the neck. Jul 24 Neck~078 Neck~079
Mark and drill neck locator pin holes & install pins. Jul 24 Neck~080 Neck~081
Glue and clamp fret board to the neck. Jul 24 Neck~082 Neck~083
Plane and sand the sides of the neck flush with the fret board. Jul 25 Neck~084 Neck~085
Remove waste material from the underside of the neck extension Jul 25 Neck~086 Neck~087
True up underside of neck so that it will mate with the top. Jul 25 Neck~088 Neck~089
Level the fret board and finish sand to 150 grit. Jul 25 Neck~090
Bevel the tops of the fret slots with a small triangular file. Jul 25 Neck~091
Hammer fret wire into slots 1 to 19 and cut the ends Jul 25 Neck~092 Neck~093 Neck~094
File the fret ends flush with fret board edges and then bevel them. Finish with a diamond stone.   Jul 25 Neck~095 Neck~096
Mark heel and headstock profiles  Jul 26 Neck~097 Neck~098
Rough shape headstock/shaft transition   Jul 26 Neck~099
Rough shape heel.  Jul 26 Neck~100
 Rough shape the neck shaft .& blend heel and headstock transitions Jul 26 Neck~101 Neck~102 Neck~103
Refine the neck shaft thickness and profile. Jul 27 Neck~104 Neck~105
Finish sand the entire neck.and check the fit to the sides    
Align the neck to the top. Mark, cut & finish neck end to match the sound hole.    
Install the 20th fret and finish the ends.    


SIDES   Photos
Cut ten 19mm wide ash lining strips  Jul 13 Sides~001 Sides~002
Thickness strips to 2.5 mm and cut widths to 20mm Jul 13 Sides~003 Sides~004
Tape the lining strips into two  groups of 5 each. Jul 13 Sides~005 Sides~006
Bend the lining strips to shape. Jul 14 Sides~007 Sides~008
Glue up lining strips in lamination mold. Jul 16 Sides~009 Sides~010
Trim laminated lining assemblies to height. Jul 19 Sides~011 Sides~012 Sides~013
Round inner edges of the liningsusing a 1/4" round over router bit. Jul 19 Sides~014 Sides~015 Sides~016
True up sides and thickness to 2.3mm Jul 25 Sides~017
Temporarily stick sides together with double sided tape and mark side profiles. Jul 25 Sides~018 Sides~019 Sides~020
Cut side profiles and plane the cut edge smooth Jul 25 Sides~021 Sides~022
Wet Side down, place in bending machine and bend to shape. Cool overnight. Jul 25 Sides~023 Sides~024 Sides~025
Repeat bending procedure with the other side. Jul 27 Sides~026 Sides~027
Using the construction mold, Mark the ends of the sides to the center lines of the mold. Jul 27 Sides~028 Sides~029
Mark the neck recesses at the front ends and cut the waste from the sides. Jul 27 Sides~030 Sides~031
File the edges of the cuts smooth & ]fit the sides in to the construction mold. Jul 27 Sides~032 Sides~033
Cut tail block to length. Sand to match side curvature at the tail area. Jul 28 Sides~034 Sides~035 Sides~036
Mark & cut tail block end angles. Jul 28 Sides~037 Sides~038
Glue tail block to the sides. . Jul 28 Sides~039
Scrape glue squeeze and soften the edges of the tail block Jul 28 Sides~040 Sides~041
Mark upright waist prace positions. Glue and clamp the  braces. Jul 28 Sides~042 Sides~043
Plane and shape the waist braces to 1/2 round. Replace sides in mold. Jul 28 Sides~044 Sides~045
Mark top edges of the sides and sand in radiused sanding dish to create top profile  Aug 01 Sides~046 Sides~047
Mark and file recesses in the first top lining to fit over the upright braces Aug 01 Sides~048 Sides~049
Mark, cut and plane angles in the first top lining to fit the tail block Aug 01 Sides~050 Sides~051 Sides~052 Sides~053
Glue and clamp the first top lining to the sides. When dry, flush trim edges. Aug 01 Sides~054 Sides~055 Sides~056
Remove the sides and scrape squeezed out glue Aug 01 Sides~057
Repeat the fitting and gluing processes for the second top lining. Aug 01 Sides~058
Mark top lining  edges and sand to 30' top radius. Aug 01 Sides~059 Sides~060 Sides~061
Invert sides in mold. Mark back edges and sand to 15' back radius. Aug 01 Sides~062 Sides~063 Sides~064
Prepare and glue back linings following the same steps as for the top linings. Aug 02 Sides~065 Sides~066
Cut side wedge blanks to fit the side slots in the neck. Aug 02 Sides~067
Mark & cut the wedge blanks to match the side of the neck recess Aug 02 Sides~068 Sides~069
Plane the wedge blankssides smooth. Aug 02 Sides~070 Sides~071
Cut blanks into tapered wedges & plane the saw cut faces smooth Aug 02 Sides~072 Sides~073 Sides~074
Fit front wedges on linings and scribe saw lines on the linings. Aug 02 Sides~075 Sides~076
Saw and chisel recesses into the linings to receive the wedges Aug 02 Sides~077 Sides~078 Sides~079
Cut recesses into the front wedges to form interlocking joint with the linings Aug 02 Sides~080 Sides~081 Sides~082 Sides~083
Glue front wedge to sides. Repeat steps for the other wedge and trim both. Aug 02 Sides~084 Sides~085 Sides~086
Adjust rear wedges. Dry fit the sides to the neck to test the Spanish heel joinery. Aug 02 Sides~087 Sides~088 Sides~089
Rout tail graft channel to fit tail graft.     
Prepare and spot glue a temporary tail graft. Set permanent graft aside for later.    


Rosette   Photos
Develop the rosette motif design using a computer graphics program Jun 25 Rosette~001
Cut and thickness 6 flamed maple strips for the "weave" motif in 3 tile logs. Jun 25 Rosette~002 Rosette~003
Cut black veneer borders and glue to the weave strips Jun 25 Rosette~004 Rosette~005
Trim the glued veneers on the weave strips Jun 26 Rosette~006 Rosette~007
Cut 3 of the 6 weave strips in half Jun 26 Rosette~008 Rosette~009
Cut and dimension 12 mahogany strips for the tile fields Jun 26 Rosette~010
Glue and clamp the assemblies for the 3 tile logs Jun 27 Rosette~011 Rosette~012 Rosette~013
Plane the corners of the logs so that the weave strips fall diagonal across the face Jun 27 Rosette~014 Rosette~015
Taper the sides of the logs to a 56 mm radius for the circular inlay.  Jun 27 Rosette~016 Rosette~017
Cut the logs into 3mm thick tiles  Jun 28 Rosette~018 Rosette~019
Drill 1/4" sound hole center hole in the sound board & mount on a routing board. Jun 27 Rosette~020
Rout the inlay channel for the central celtic braid motif.and glue in the tiles Jun 27 Rosette~021 Rosette~022
Level the tiles in a thickness sander l Jun 27 Rosette~023 Rosette~024
Rout channels around the inner and outer motif edges to clean them up Jun 28 Rosette~025
Widen the inlay channels for the inner and outer rosette borders to 5mm Jun 28 Rosette~026
Prepare and bend flamed maple and chain inlay border elements and cut black & white veneer bands. Jun 28 Rosette~027 Rosette~028 Rosette~029
Fit the border elements into the channels and plane level. Jun 28 Rosette~030 Rosette~031
Remove and tie the two groups of border elements with twist ties. Jun 29 Rosette~032
Glue in the border elements and trim the ends of the rosette assembly to leaving a gap for thickness measurement. Jun 29 Rosette~033 Rosette~034 Rosette~035


Select top, cut the top plates to width and true up the center edges. . Jun 25 Top~001 Top~002
Join the plates. Scrape glue joint and level the top in the thickness sander.Go to Rosette section for next steps. Jun 25 Top~003 Top~004
When the rosette is completed, mark and cut out the top to profile. Jun 25 Top~005 Top~006 Top~007 Top~008
Sand the entire top surface to reduce the rosette thickness to 1.2mm Jul 01 Top~009 Top~010
 Fill the gap at the ends of the rosette and level. Jul 01 Top~011
Thickness top from underside to 2mm. Finish sand both surfaces.    
Mark bracing and reinforcement pad positions    
Fabricate the sound hole/rosette reinforcement patch    
Glue the sound hole/rosette reinforcement patch    
Cut out sound hole.    
Round off the inside edge of the sound hole.    
Attach neck joint reinforcement patch     
Mark the neck interlock slot and recesses in the adjacent perimeters.    
Cut out neck interlock slot and recesses in the adjacent perimeters.    
Dry fit the top to the neck. Align & clamp into the assembly mold and insert the sides    
Mark inner perimeter of the linings    
Cut fan brace stock from fine grained quarter sawn spruce.     
Cut and plane the lower stiffening patch. Glue it in place then shape and scallop.    
Cut transverse brace below sound hole, sand radius in 30' dish and plane square.    
Cut a recess in the transverse brace to fit over the sound hole patch    
File a passage into the transverse brace for the outer bass fan brace.    
Scallop the transverse brace ends and sand smooth.    
Rough cut all of the fan braces    
Fit and glue the inner 5 fan braces.    
Plane the inner fan braces to height and scallop the brace ends    
Plane and sand the inner braces to a rounded shape.    
Glue the last two fan braces in, plane them to height & scallop the ends.    
Plane and sand the fan braces to their final shape.    
Glue in  the transverse brace, plane to shape and sand.      
Fabricate the two transverse braces for above the sound hole..    
Glue and shape first transverse brace above the sound hole    
Fabricate and glue in the last reinforcement patch    
Glue & shape reinforcement braces beside the sound hole. Gue in the  final transverse brace.    
 Shape both upper braces    
Cut and prepare brace stock for the upper treble and bridge bars    
Locate and cut recesses  in the inner fan braces for the upper treble bar    
Mark & cut interlocking recesses in the upper treble bar    
Shape, glue and scallop the upper treble bar.    
Fit, glue and shape the bridge bar as with the upper treble bar.    
Fabricate and glue the bridge arm end patches.    


BACK   Photos
Dimension and true up back plates   Back~001
Join and glue book matched back plates to center strip.     
Mark out back profile, cut to shape.    
Thickness the back to 2.3 mm     
Measure heel length from back perimetewr.    
Mark end points for the back center joint reinforcement.    
Attach inner center seam reinforcement.    
Round off the center seam reinforcement with planes and sandpaper.     
Cut Cedro back braces.      
Mark positions of  back braces on center strip and cut passages for the braces.     
Fit the back braces in the recesses    
Radius back braces in 15' sanding dish and plane square    
Cut scallops in the braces and smooth on drum sander.    
Glue the back braces to the back using a 15' radiused solera.    
Shape back braces with planes and sandpaper.     


True up the sides and cut binding strips from the side material. Tape together until needed.   PB~001
Glue up light/dark/light veneer sandwich for top, back, binding and tail graft purflings    
Cut the veneer sandwich into strips of appropriate widths & tape for use later.     
Cut strips from the back plates for the pack center strip & tail graft    
Glue back purfling strips to the back center strip.and trim    
Glue purfling to the  tail graft strip and trim    
Glue veneer sandwich for the top purfling. Cut into strips when dry.    
Tape top and back purflings together and bend      
Glue side purfling strips to binding strips.and trim    
Tape binding strips together and finalize thickness     
Bend bindings.    
Prepare heel cap components     
Assemble and Glue heel cap components     
Mark and rough cut the heel cap profile.     


BRIDGE Complete Photos
Cut bridge blank to the required dimensions.   Bridge~001
Mark string positions..    
Drill pilot centers followed by string holes through the width of the tie block.    
Mark and drill secondary holes for the 12 hole tie block system.    
Cut saddle and tie block slots    
Radius the bottom of the bridge to fit the dome of the guitar top.    
Rough cut the bridge arms on the table saw    
Shape the arms of the bridge.    
Chisel and shape the ramp leading from the tie block to the saddle slot.    
Round off the leading edge of the saddle slot retainer     
Fabricate the tie block caps from bone and wood. Glue and clamp to the tie block.    
Trim the tie block cap edges and round the corners.    
Bevel the ends of the bridge arms    
Finish sand the bridge and seal with shellac to prevent bleeding color onto top.    


Glue the top to neck using an alignment device.   A~001
Place neck/top in assembly form, insert sides & mark interlocking recesses in the transverse bars    
Remove sides and cut interlocking recesses in the transverse bars    
Replace sides & mark interlocking recesses in linings.    
Remove sides and  cut interlocking recesses into the linings.     
Cut shallow channels at the top/neck area to make room for hand finishing the top binding rebates    
Apply glue to upper side linings and outer heel gluing surface. Insert sides and clamp.    
Glue in wedges.    
When dry, clean up glue squeeze out.    
Trim wedges and level the heel to the sides.     
Refine back profile of sides on a 15' sanding dish to align with back doming.    
Align the back and clamp lightly.    
Mark the outline of the sides on the braces.    
Measure & mark lines for the interlocking rebates in the back braces. Cut and chisel the rebates.    
Refit the back & mark the edges of the braces on the sides.    
Cut recesses in the sides/linings.    
Check back fit at all of the brace intersections. Prepare and affix the label to the back.    
Glue and clamp the back to the sides    
Trim the back plate flush to the sides.    
Remove the guitar from the assembly mold and trim the top flush.    
Round the sound hole edges    
Rout purfling/binding rebates for the top and back.    
Mark the top binding rebates adjacent & into the pockets at the neck/body joint.. .    
Using chisels, dental picks & wood files complete the top binding rebates.      
Cut the heel down level to the bottom of binding channel.    
File the heel mooth and even with  the bottom of binding channel.    
Hand finish the back binding rebates at the heel and tail    
Cut 45 degree miters into the purflings at the ends of back center strip.    
Fit top purflings. Glue and clamp with rubber bands.    
Trim top purflings and sand level to top...    
Cut the back purflings to length. Cut and fit the miter joints the the centre strip.    
Gluie & clamp the back purflings.    
Sand level when dry.    
Remove the temporary tail graft and glue in the permanent graft    
Miter the tail graft ends.    
Mark and cut the top bindings to fit. Miter the purfling to join the tail graft miter.     
Glue and clamp the top bindings.     
When dry, remove the clamping bands and scrape/sand the binding flush to the top.     
Fit and glue the back bindings..    
Scrape and sand the back bindings flush with the back plates.    
Scrape and sand the bindings flush to the side surfaces.    
Glue and clamp the heel cap.     
Trim the heel cap flush to the back plate and sides of the heel.     
Round binding corners.     
Finish sand the sound board.    
Finish sand the back, sides.      
Seal the back,side and neck surfaces with shellac.     
Drill bridge locator pin holes at the bottom of the saddle slot.    
Position bridge & drill index holes into top.     
Glue index pins into the bridge.    
Position bridge and tape boundaries to catch glue squeeze out.     
Position gluing caul to the underside of the top. Hold with magnets.    
Glue and clamp bridge.When dry, remove tape & clean up squeezed out glue.    
Seal the sound board with shellac.     
Install Mother of Pearl position markers at frets 7 and 12    
Level and crown the frets.    
Fabricate saddle.    
Fabricate nut    
Install tuners    
Attach strings and set action heights. Evaluate the guitar's response.     


French Polish  


Fill back/side pores with filler   FP~001
Sand with 220 grit to remove filler residue. Clean up with a tack cloth.     
Apply shellac to side & back surfaces (2 sessions each side & 4 on back)    
Rough level the side & back surface with medium sanding sponge.    
Apply shellac to side & back surfaces again    
Apply shellac to side & top surfaces (2 sessions each side & 4 on top)    
Level the sides and top surfaces with 400 Grit Wet & Dry Paper.    
Pore fill the neck.    
Sand the neck smooth. Build a shellac body and rough level.    
Carry out initial wet sanding on all surfaces with 800 grit wet & dry paper.    
Continue with body sessions until all surfaces are ready for wet final sanding.    
Wet sand the sides, back & top with 800 grit wet & dry paper & Varsol lubricant.    
Clean up sanding residue and prepare for final glazing..    
Apply thin glazing coats to all surfaces.    
Cure for 2 or 3 days and rub down with fine abrasive polish compound    
Matte the bridge and neck finish with fine sponge pad abrasive.    
Scrape shellac from fret board edges.  Crown and polish the frets.    
Clean shellac out of peg head holes.    
Additional Photos