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

Page 7

( 260 ) 9-June-2012

In this picture I am using a diamond honing plate mounted on glass to level the frets.

( 261 ) 9-June-2012

I use my straight edge to check how level the frets are.

( 262 ) 9-June-2012

To paint the top black I masked off the purfling and sprayed the top black.

( 263 ) 9-June-2012

Here I am setting up my spray booth to apply the lacquer.

( 264 ) 9-June-2012

The flame on the back really pops out when the lacquer is applied.

( 265 ) 9-June-2012

I mount the body on a special fixture that lets me rotate it for easy access.

( 266 ) 9-June-2012

The side gets a nice pop too.

( 267 ) 9-June-2012

Once the lacquer is applied I let it cure for a week or so. In the mean time I make the bridge.

( 268 ) 9-June-2012

I use the bandsaw to cut it out of the bridge blank.

( 269 ) 9-June-2012

The back of the bridge has to match the curve of the top. I use this form with a piece of sandpaper mounted on it to sand the bottom of the bridge. I mark the bottom with pencil, and when the pencil is all sanded away I know I have a good fit.

( 270 ) 9-June-2012

It takes a bit of work and I make a lot of sawdust.

( 271 ) 9-June-2012

To create the pinstripe on the bottom of the bridge I glue three layers of fiber board to the bottom.

( 272 ) 9-June-2012

My oscillating sander trims up the sides.

( 273 ) 9-June-2012

I use the milling machine to route out the saddle channel.

( 274 ) 9-June-2012

The oscillating sander is used again to create the wings.

( 275 ) 9-June-2012

And finally I drill the holes for the bridge pins.

( 276 ) 9-June-2012

A week has passed and I put some elbow grease into bringing out the shine.

( 277 ) 9-June-2012

I use a progressive set of sanding blocks to get to the shine.

( 278 ) 9-June-2012

Finally I use the buffing machine to finish up.

( 279 ) 9-June-2012

The neck has lots of curves.

( 280 ) 9-June-2012

The buffing wheel makes easy work of the final steps.

( 281 ) 9-June-2012

The sides take special care.

( 282 ) 9-June-2012

In this picture I have positioned the bridge in its proper place.

( 283 ) 9-June-2012

I use a sharp Exacto blade to score the outline of the bridge into the top.

( 284 ) 9-June-2012

And then I use a chisel to remove the lacquer.

( 285 ) 9-June-2012

I end up with a bare spot for the bridge to be glued to the top.

( 286 ) 9-June-2012

A couple of c-clamps and a wing clamp helps to make a good joint between the bridge and the top.

( 287 ) 9-June-2012

The bridge glued on to the top.

( 288 ) 9-June-2012

Now I drill the bridge pin holes through the top.

( 289 ) 9-June-2012

And then I use a reamer to finish up the bridge pin holes.

( 290 ) 9-June-2012

A few final steps to make the nut and the truss rod cover.

The split saddle.

( 292 ) 9-June-2012

And finally the the strap pin.

( 293 ) 9-June-2012

The guitar sets strung up for the first time.

( 294 ) 9-June-2012

To set the intonation on the adjustable split saddle bridge I use a spectrum analyzer to measure the frequency of each string at the first natural overtone and the fretted note at the twelfth fret. I adjust the position of the saddle until these two notes are the same.

( 295 ) 9-June-2012

This is a picture of the frequency response function of the guitar. This is found by tapping the top and listening to how it rings down.

( 296 ) 9-June-2012

Once the split saddles are positioned I glue them in place so they don't wander when the strings are changed.

( 297 ) 9-June-2012

Ta Da!