Portland Guitar Co.

Designing and Building
Custom Handcrafted
Guitars, Ukuleles
and Accessories

Portland Guitar Co. | Portland Oregon | Contact Jay Dickinson-503.245.3276 | jay@portlandguitar.com

Home | Orders & Sales | Photo Gallery | Current Builds | Finished Builds

Rosettes & Marquetry |Shop Tour | Biography | News

Engineered Braces | Tilt Action Neck | Split Saddle Bridge | Split Saddle Nut


Portland Guitar Pretty Good Intonation (PGPG) System

Short Version | Introduction | Intonation Errors | Analysis | PG Approach | Comparisons | Conclusion

Finished Build

Electro-Spanish Small Jumbo

Serial # ESJ 2.1.56

Body: Figured Walnut
Top: Sitka Spruce
Neck: Walnut
Binding: White
Fretboard: Indian Rosewood
Hardware: Gold
Pickups: Vintage Humbucking

Page 3

( 073 ) 29-Nov-2012

I am installing an X-Brace on the back side.

( 074 ) 29-Nov-2012

These braces will define the bowl shape of the back. I first install the over sized brace blanks.

( 075 ) 29-Nov-2012

And then I sand the braces in the sanding bowl.

( 076 ) 29-Nov-2012

To prepare to cut out the top plate, I outline onto the top blank the shape of the guitar with a bit of over hang.

( 077 ) 29-Nov-2012

And then I use my bandsaw to cut it out.

( 078 ) 29-Nov-2012

The top of this guitar is shaped out of a 1/2 inch thick piece of book matched Sitka Spruce. To shape the top I am using a palm sander. Lots and Lots of saw dust.

( 079 ) 29-Nov-2012

You can kind of see the sculpted nature of the top here.

( 080 ) 29-Nov-2012

The inside of the top gets sculpted to match the top surface. I have to constantly check on the thickness of the top as I sand it down. More saw dust.

( 081 ) 29-Nov-2012

The back of the top gets sanded into a shallow bowl.

( 082 ) 29-Nov-2012

I have created an F-hole template to guide the small router I will use to cut it out.

( 083 ) 29-Nov-2012

The template is taped down with double sided tape.

( 084 ) 29-Nov-2012

Two beautiful F-holes.

( 085 ) 29-Nov-2012

I am installing an access door on the back of the guitar. I made another template to guide the router once again.

( 086 ) 29-Nov-2012

With care, a neat job.

( 087 ) 29-Nov-2012

I am using a bit of the excess back plate to create a reinforcing ring to go around the access hole.

( 088 ) 29-Nov-2012

Gluing the ring together.

( 089 ) 29-Nov-2012

I beveled the ring just to make it look nice.

( 090 ) 29-Nov-2012

Now I am ready to cut out the back plate.

( 091 ) 29-Nov-2012

I carefully align the reinforcing ring and glue it in place.

( 092 ) 29-Nov-2012

A few weights help press the ring in place.

( 093 ) 29-Nov-2012

A perfect fit.

( 094 ) 29-Nov-2012

I am using a few small screws to hold the access door in place.

( 095 ) 29-Nov-2012

In this picture I am cutting off a piece of Walnut to use for the neck.

( 096 ) 29-Nov-2012

I use my bandsaw to carve out the neck blanks.

( 097 ) 29-Nov-2012

The two halves of the neck blank.

( 098 ) 29-Nov-2012

A bit of glue and a few clamps secures the two halves together.

( 099 ) 29-Nov-2012

The finished neck blank. Now all I have to do is carve away everything that isn't the neck.

( 100 ) 29-Nov-2012

I have purchased a Tunamatic bridge. This bridge will give us height and intonation control. I have to sand the bottom of the bridge to match the curve of the top.

( 101 ) 29-Nov-2012

The pickup holes are cut out of the top using yet another template.

( 102 ) 29-Nov-2012

Cutting the holes out of the top.

( 103 ) 29-Nov-2012

A funny shaped hole, but all to a purpose.

( 104 ) 29-Nov-2012

There are five holes for the electronics controls.

( 105 ) 29-Nov-2012

Holes run through my guitar.

( 106 ) 29-Nov-2012

I've installed all of the controls to make sure everything fits.

( 107 ) 29-Nov-2012

To reinforce the top I am installing two braces down the length of the top. I use my compass to scribe the shape of the top onto the braces.

( 108 ) 29-Nov-2012

Shaping the brace on the disk sander.

( 109 ) 29-Nov-2012

I test the braces to make sure the make a good fit.

( 110 ) 29-Nov-2012

A few clamps holds the braces as they are glued in place.

( 111 ) 29-Nov-2012

A bit of hand sanding makes them look good.

( 112 ) 29-Nov-2012

Here I am making the pickup mounting rings out of Indian Rosewood. These will match the other parts of the string chain.

( 113 ) 29-Nov-2012

I am installing reinforcing rings on the inside of the pickup holes.

( 114 ) 29-Nov-2012

Here I am putting a bevel on the mounting ring.

( 115 ) 29-Nov-2012

And here is pickup installed in its mounting ring. This system allows the height of the pickup to be adjusted.

( 116 ) 29-Nov-2012

And here is all of the hardware mounted in the top.

( 117 ) 29-Nov-2012

After a bit of consideration I have decided to extend the neck support area. This area will be glued to the bottom of the top.

( 118 ) 29-Nov-2012

A small detail before gluing the top to the sides. A hole for the pickup wire.

( 119 ) 29-Nov-2012

I have created a channel for the tail graft, made from Indian rosewood.

( 120 ) 29-Nov-2012


( 121 ) 29-Nov-2012

I carefully lay out the glue on the edge of the rim.

( 122 ) 29-Nov-2012

And with the help of a few clamps I glue the top to the side rim.

( 123 ) 29-Nov-2012


( 124 ) 29-Nov-2012

I have a small router to trim the excess off of the top plate.

( 125 ) 29-Nov-2012


( 126 ) 29-Nov-2012

Before I glue on the back I out on the label.

( 127 ) 29-Nov-2012

The back rim and braces get a layer of glue.

( 128 ) 29-Nov-2012

A with a little help from my friends I glue the back to the sides.

( 129 ) 29-Nov-2012

I use the router again to trim away the edge lip.

( 130 ) 29-Nov-2012


( 131 ) 29-Nov-2012

Next up is to install the binding.

( 132 ) 29-Nov-2012

Now with the body glued together I can fit the neck blank to the body. I first lay out the design of the neck on the blank.

( 133 ) 29-Nov-2012

I use my bandsaw to trim away the excess.

( 134 ) 29-Nov-2012

And Then I use the milling machine to shape the tenon.

( 135 ) 29-Nov-2012

The neck is tilted 4 degrees to the body, so the bottom of the tenon angles away from the top.

( 136 ) Date

A nice mortise and tenon fit. The neck will be attached to the body with a set of bolts.