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

Large Jumbo 8 String Wedge Cutaway

Serial # LJ8C 2.1.55

Page 7

( 354 ) 20-Oct-2012

Here I am laying out the pattern for Portland Guitar's signature rose.

( 355 ) 20-Oct-2012

I use a very small milling bit set up as an overhead router to create the channel for the gold wire.

( 356 ) 20-Oct-2012

The channel is just a little bit wider than the wire.

( 357 ) 20-Oct-2012

I press the gold wire into the channel leaving it a little bit proud of the surface.

( 358 ) 20-Oct-2012

I use a variety of tools the set the rose.

( 359 ) 20-Oct-2012

After the wire is glued in place I sand everything flush.

( 360 ) 20-Oct-2012

The rose in the rough.

( 361 ) 20-Oct-2012

To help get a smooth surface on wood it is often necessary to fill in the pores. I use an epoxy to do this.

( 362 ) 20-Oct-2012

I paint it on, working it into the pores. I will put two coats on and then sand the surface smooth.

( 363 ) 20-Oct-2012

Here I am filling the pores on the body.

( 364 ) 20-Oct-2012

I set up a curtained paint booth that has a recirculating air filter over head. Here you can see the fretboard masked off.

( 365 ) 20-Oct-2012

I use a balloon to keep the lacquer out of the sound hole. I will apply several coats of lacquer with a spray gun, and then sand everything level. I will repeat this process many times until I am happy with the results.

( 366 ) 20-Oct-2012

After I let the lacquer cure for a week, I start to polish it, using a variety of tools.

( 367 ) 20-Oct-2012

I have a set of progressively finer set of sanding blocks.

( 368 ) 20-Oct-2012

This is my newest inovation, it saves on a lot of elbow grease and results in a better finish.

( 369 ) 20-Oct-2012

After I have polished the surfaces with 3600 grit polishing cloth, I use a coarse and fine buffing wheel to bring out the final shine.

( 370 ) 20-Oct-2012

I first work on the neck, then the sides and then the back.

( 371 ) 20-Oct-2012

And finally the top.

( 372 ) 20-Oct-2012

Working on the bridge I am using these fiber sheets to create a pinstripe around the base.

( 373 ) 20-Oct-2012

After sanding the bottom of the bridge blank to match the dome of the top, I use the sanding block to glue the pinstriping to the bottom of the blank.

( 374 ) 20-Oct-2012

The milling machine routes out the saddle channel.

( 375 ) 20-Oct-2012


( 376 ) 20-Oct-2012

I use my oscillating sander press to create the wings on the bridge.

( 377 ) 20-Oct-2012

To mark the bridge to match the radius of the fretboard I use a long arm compass.

( 378 ) 20-Oct-2012

Here you can see the wings and the radius on the top of the bridge.

( 379 ) 20-Oct-2012

I carefully position the bridge on the top of the guitar.

( 380 ) 20-Oct-2012

To glue the bridge to the top of the guitar I need to remove the lacquer where the bridge will be set. Using a C-clamp to hold the bridge in position I then use a sharp blade to outline the bridge.

( 381 ) 20-Oct-2012

Here you can see the score line.

( 382 ) 20-Oct-2012

A sharp chisel creates a perimeter.

( 383 ) 20-Oct-2012

And then I use a small router to remove the lacquer.

( 384 ) 20-Oct-2012

I clean up the surface with a sanding tool making sure I will have a good clean surface to glue to..

( 385 ) 20-Oct-2012

This matches the bottom of the bridge ~ perfectly.

( 386 ) 20-Oct-2012

I spread glue on the bottom of the bridge.

( 387 ) 20-Oct-2012

And then use a set of clamps to press the bridge in place.

( 388 ) 20-Oct-2012

The next morning I pull the clamps off and drill a hole in the bottom of the guitar for the output jack/strap pin.

( 389 ) 20-Oct-2012

To pull the jack through the hole I use a flexible pole.

( 390 ) 20-Oct-2012

The bridge pin holes get drilled out.

( 391 ) 20-Oct-2012

I use a bone blank to make the saddle blocks.

( 392 ) 20-Oct-2012

After filing the slots for the nut I start to string up the guitar. Each pin hole needs to be reamed out to accept the pin and the string.

( 393 ) 20-Oct-2012

I work a bit more on the nut and the guitar is playable.

( 394 ) 20-Oct-2012

Patrick plays his first notes on the eight stringed monster. We will be working to dial in the set up over the next few weeks.