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

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Portland Guitar Pretty Good Intonation (PGPG) System

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

Finished Build

Jumbo Model

Serial JM 1.8.54

  • Body: Flamed Maple
  • Top: Sitka Spruce painted Black
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Binding : Padauk

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( 73 ) 1-Jan-2012

I this picture I am using a scraper to level the center strip in the back plate.

( 74 ) 1-Jan-2012

I lay out the bracing pattern on the top plate before making the braces.

( 75 ) 1-Jan-2012

I have a set of templates that guide the shaping of the top braces.

( 76 ) 1-Jan-2012

I use my band saw to cut out the brace blanks.

( 77 ) 1-Jan-2012

And I use a bit of sand paper on the top bowl to insure a good match.

( 78 ) 1-Jan-2012

Here I am laying out the basic bracing pattern.

( 79 ) 1-Jan-2012

I use my router to create the I-beam shape of the braces.

( 80 ) 1-Jan-2012

Here is a look at the bracing profile.

( 81 ) 1-Jan-2012

On the tone bars I drill a set of holes to further lighten the braces.

( 82 ) 1-Jan-2012

Another look at one of the braces.

( 83 ) 1-Jan-2012

One of my tricks of the trade is to create a set of fiducial button that allow me to return the rim to the same place on the top and back plates. Here I have drilled a hole and inserted a plug. I place a small dab of glue on the top of the plug.

( 84 ) 1-Jan-2012

When I turn the rim over and press it into place on the back plate the plug gets glued into place, and when I remove the rim the plug remains behind. After sanding it down I have a fiducial button.

( 85 ) 1-Jan-2012

Here I am laying out the braces on the back plate.

( 86 ) 1-Jan-2012

Everything is laid out and fits.

( 87 ) 1-Jan-2012

Returning to the top braces I cut out the interlocking channels for the main X-brace.

( 88 ) 1-Jan-2012

One channel goes in each leg.

( 89 ) 1-Jan-2012

And when they are assembled they fit perfectly.

( 90 ) 1-Jan-2012

Now I can use my sander to shape the braces

( 91 ) 1-Jan-2012

Each leg has its own shape.

( 92 ) 1-Jan-2012

Once again I lay out the braces making sure everything fits.

( 93 ) 1-Jan-2012

Before I glue the braces on the back I use my band saw to cut out the back plate.

( 94 ) 1-Jan-2012

And then I use my go-box to start gluing in the braces.

( 95 ) 1-Jan-2012

I use lots of go-sticks to get an even pressure over the braces.

( 96 ) 1-Jan-2012

And here is a look at the back when it comes out of the go-box.

( 97 ) 1-Jan-2012

I use my belt sander to shape the bridge plate.

( 98 ) 1-Jan-2012

And using some of the leftover wood from the top plate I create the sound hole reinforcing ring.

( 99 ) 1-Jan-2012

To trim the X-brace to match the rim I create a set of fiducial buttons so I can accurately place the brace.

( 100 ) 1-Jan-2012

After laying the rim in place I carefully mark the X-brace where I will cut it off.

( 101 ) 1-Jan-2012

And I use the go-box again to glue the braces in place.

( 102 ) 1-Jan-2012

I lose track of how many sticks I use.

( 103 ) 1-Jan-2012

And here we see the braces all glued in place.

( 104 ) 1-Jan-2012

And I use my sander to clean up the sound hole ring.

( 105 ) 1-Jan-2012

Returning to the back plate I create a center line reinforcing strip.

( 106 ) 1-Jan-2012

A quick side step to create the contra-rosette.

( 107 ) 1-Jan-2012

And then everything gets glued in place.

( 108 ) 1-Jan-2012

While the back is drying I make the tail graft out of a piece of padauk.

( 109 ) 1-Jan-2012

And using a few clamps I glue it in place. When it is dry I will sand is flush.

( 110 ) 1-Jan-2012

And this is a look at the back plate after it comes out of the go-box.

( 111 ) 1-Jan-2012

To get an idea of the final look I lay the top plate and the back plate together.

( 112 ) 1-Jan-2012

And a little Photo-Shop magic again.

( 113 ) 1-Jan-2012

Before I can glue the top and back on I have a few details to take care of. Here I have made a set of side reinforcing bars.

( 114 ) 1-Jan-2012

They get glued to the sides to help prevent the sides from splitting.

( 115 ) 1-Jan-2012

And a look at the bands in place.