Portland Guitar Co.

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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

Orchestral Model Lefthanded Cutaway

The Lion's Claw
OMCL 2.1.57 for Phil R.

Cocobolo Body 15 inch lower bout
Adirondack Spruce Top
Lion Theme Marquetry
Mahogany Neck
Ebony Fretboard
Gold Frets & Gotoh Tuners
Padauk Binding
25.4 Inch Scale Length

Page 8

( 368 ) 3-June-2013

In this picture I am making the flange that holds the neck adjustment bolt in the heel of the neck. I used the milling machine to accurately drill a hole in the middle of the oak dowel.

( 369 ) 3-June-2013

Since I had everything set up and dialed in I decided to make a bunch of them.

( 370 ) 3-June-2013

Here is the layout of the adjustment hardware. The compression o-ring ensures that there will be no slop in the setup.

( 371 ) 3-June-2013

A bit of glue goes on the flange.

( 372 ) 3-June-2013

And with all of the parts in place I press the flange into the heel.

( 373 ) 3-June-2013

There will be a lot of tension on the flange (it balances the tension of the strings) so I install a set of pins to prevent it from moving. Here I am lining up the drill bit so it will pass through the edge of the flange.

( 374 ) 3-June-2013

Two holes.

( 375 ) 3-June-2013

And a dowel is pressed into place.

( 376 ) 3-June-2013

Now with the neck hardware in place I can mount the neck and and use a couple of shims to center the neck in the heel channel.

( 377 ) 3-June-2013

Now I can measure the width of the heel binding channel.

( 378 ) 3-June-2013

I use the Dremel router to rout the channel for the heel binding.

( 379 ) 3-June-2013


( 380 ) 3-June-2013

And here I am routing the binding channel for the cutaway side.

( 381 ) 3-June-2013


( 382 ) 3-June-2013

Now I start to install the purfling and binding. I start with the b/w/b pin striping. I prefer to install each piece individually to make sure each one is propoerly seated before te next piece is installed.

( 383 ) 3-June-2013


( 384 ) 3-June-2013

I am careful to make sure each piece lies flat as it follows the contour of the channels.

( 385 ) 3-June-2013

I work my way around the body using thin CA glue to glue down the pin striping.

( 386 ) 3-June-2013

Next comes the rope purfling on the top.

( 387 ) 3-June-2013

The rope purfling matches the rosette.

( 388 ) 3-June-2013

The bottom side gets the same treatment as the top.

( 389 ) 3-June-2013

Lots of details with little tiny miter joints.

( 390 ) 3-June-2013

Now with the neck back in place I install the heel binding.

( 391 ) 3-June-2013

A small saw is used to trim the binding flush with the bottom binding channel.

( 392 ) 3-June-2013

I use the bindalator to bend the cutaway binding.

( 393 ) 3-June-2013

And it gets installed in the cutaway section.

( 394 ) 3-June-2013

More details with little tiny miter joints.

( 395 ) 3-June-2013

A look at the binding being installed in the cutaway point.

( 396 ) 3-June-2013

I carefully trim the end of the binding to end at the midpoint of the guitar.

( 397 ) 3-June-2013

And then I install the second half.

( 398 ) 3-June-2013

After the binding is installed it stands proud of the top, so I sand everything flush.

( 399 ) 3-June-2013

The back gets the same treatment as the top.

( 400 ) 3-June-2013

More miter joints.

( 401 ) 3-June-2013

And then the back gets sanded flush along with the sides..

( 402 ) 3-June-2013

Changing directions a bit, here I am grinding the ends of the neck adjustment set screws into little hemispheres.

( 403 ) 3-June-2013


( 404 ) 3-June-2013

These set screws will act as the fulcrum around which the neck will rotate as the neck angle is a changed. The set screws let me adjust the yaw of the neck so I can get the strings to run down the middle of the neck. in the picture you can see all of the heel channel hardware.

( 405 ) 3-June-2013

I am installing brass plugs in the end of the heel that the set screws will rest on. Here I am drilling the holes.

( 406 ) 3-June-2013

The plugs go in a bit proud.

( 407 ) 3-June-2013

And I sand them flush.

( 408 ) 3-June-2013

Changing directions again, I am working on the tuning machine purfling. Here I am drilling out the tuning machine disks.

( 409 ) 3-June-2013

The disks are counter sunk.

( 410 ) 3-June-2013

And I drill the headstock to accept the disks.

( 411 ) 3-June-2013

I clamp everything down as I am drilling the holes to make sure they are properly aligned.

( 412 ) 3-June-2013

When the disks are glued in they stand proud (of course).

( 413 ) 3-June-2013

When they are sanded flush they look much better.

( 414 ) 3-June-2013

Now I have to drill the hole through the headstock.

( 415 ) 3-June-2013


( 416 ) 3-June-2013

And then I get to install the tuning machines for a look see.

( 417 ) 3-June-2013

Next I am going to install the heel cap. To get the angle and depth just right I use this special sanding tool. The sanding block sits on a rosewood plate. As the plate slides back and forth along the back of the guitar the sanding block works on the end of the heel.

( 418 ) 3-June-2013

The result.

( 419 ) 3-June-2013

And then I install the heel cap.

( 420 ) 3-June-2013

A look at the guitar with the neck attached.