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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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

Small Jumbo Model

JM 1.9.61

for Mark R.

  • Body: Maple
  • Top: Douglas Fir
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Binding Indian Rosewood
  • Fretboard: Indian Rosewood

Page 2

( 041 ) 1-May-2014

Here I am cleaning up the inside of the sides.

( 042 ) 1-May-2014

And then I trim off the ends to match the form.

( 043 ) 1-May-2014

The shape of the guitar sides is not flat where he sides are joined, so I use this tool to match the heel block and the tail block to the curve of the sides.

( 044 ) 1-May-2014

I trim away the kerfing where the heel block will go.

( 045 ) 1-May-2014

And then use the heel block to join the two halves together.

( 046 ) 1-May-2014

The process is repeated for the tail block.

( 047 ) 1-May-2014

And now we have the rim in the rough.

( 048 ) 1-May-2014

The edges of the rim are sanded down to match the shape of the top and back. I use a sanding sheet placed on the top and back forms and run the rim over it until the rim matches the form.

( 049 ) 1-May-2014

And then a little detailing finishes the job.

( 050 ) 1-May-2014

I bevel the tailblock so it matches the width of the kerfing.

( 051 ) 1-May-2014


( 052 ) 1-May-2014

Here I have set up the router table to route out the heel channel.

( 053 ) 1-May-2014

The heel channel will hide all of the attachment / adjustment hardware.

( 054 ) 1-May-2014

And thetail graft gets a shallow channel.

( 055 ) 1-May-2014

I am using my CNC router to create the rosettes.

( 056 ) 1-May-2014

A proper Celtic theme.

( 057 ) 1-May-2014

Now I turn my attention to making the braces. I use a template to start the process.

( 058 ) 1-May-2014

And fine tune them on the sanding forms. This piece will become both legs of the X-brace.

( 059 ) 1-May-2014

Next I drill the holes for the webbing.

( 060 ) 1-May-2014

And ten I use the router to route out the side channels.

( 061 ) 1-May-2014

This piece will get split in half and trimmed, but you can see the I-beam shape that will result in a light and stiff brace.

( 062 ) 1-May-2014

And here I have laid out he back braces.

( 063 ) 1-May-2014

In this picture I am laying out the rosette.

( 064 ) 1-May-2014

I trim off the excess from the top plate with my band saw.

( 065 ) 1-May-2014

And ten I use the milling machine to route out the channels for the rosette.

( 066 ) 1-May-2014

Nice precise channels.

( 067 ) 1-May-2014

And then I glue in the rosette and the borders.

( 068 ) 1-May-2014

Finally I use the drum sander to reduce the top plate to its working thickness.

( 069 ) 1-May-2014

And cut out the sound hole.

( 070 ) 1-May-2014

Next I start gluing the back braces in place using my go-box.

( 071 ) 1-May-2014

Lots of go-sticks.

( 072 ) 1-May-2014

And then the contra-rosette and the center strips get glued in place.

( 073 ) 1-May-2014


( 074 ) 1-May-2014


( 075 ) 1-May-2014

Here I am using the band saw to cut the channels for the lap joint in the X-braces.

( 076 ) 1-May-2014

They fit snuggly together at just the right angle.

( 077 ) 1-May-2014

And then a bit of work shaping the tone braces.

( 078 ) 1-May-2014

Hey, a quick look at the Rosettes.

( 079 ) 1-May-2014

I have to precisely position the braces when I glue them in place, so I use a set of fiducial buttons that will get glued to the back of the top to do this. Here I have place a small dowel in a hole I have drilled in the bottom of the braces. I place a small drop of glue on the end of the dowel.

( 080 ) 1-May-2014

And then carefully place the braces in position. When I pull the braces away the button remains in place, so after sanding down the buttons a bit, I can return the brace to its exact position.

( 081 ) 1-May-2014

I place the rim on top of the braces and mark the spot where it intersects the rim. I want a tight fit between the rim and braces.

( 082 ) 1-May-2014

The A-frame brace gets fitted to the X-brace.

( 083 ) 1-May-2014

And after the rim is placed the A-frame braces get marked.

( 084 ) 1-May-2014

Here are all of the braces ready to be glued in place.

( 085 ) 1-May-2014

Into the Go-box.

( 086 ) 1-May-2014

More sticks more better.

( 087 ) 1-May-2014

After the glue has set.

( 088 ) 1-May-2014

And then the sound hole reenforcing ring gets trimmed up.

( 089 ) 1-May-2014

And here are the body pieces almost ready to be glued together.