This Thread is dedicated to the sharing of what I do and when I do it for my first Acoustic build. Please Assume this thread will be for the following reasons and time lengths: 3 Months eta. time, Building info, Opinions, Updates.

Scale: 25.4
Shape: Parlor
Back and sides: Master Grade Tiger Maple and Master Grade Sapele
Neck: Tiger Maple and sapele
Fretboard: Tiger Maple
Bridge: Tiger Maple
Fret inlays: Sapele
Saddle/Nut/Pins/tuner buttons: Buffalo Bone
Tuners: Schaller Davinci
Binding: Sapele
Top: Sinker Western Red Cedar Master Grade





Questions I am looking for answers to:
Nut slotting:
I have the LMII Manual Slotting system, and it says I need to make a Nut slot, How do I determine where this is, and Should I cut all the way through the fretboard for it?
My Assumption:
I should cut all the way through the fretboard because the nut rests behind the fretboard, so if my wood is good, then I need a nut slot ONLY for scale length precision?

ty for checking this out, it is a work in progress and I will keep updating until finished
Last edited by pks330 at Jun 29, 2016,
I have no clue about building guitars but that bridge looks very nice

Looking forward to the rest of it, hopefully someone else can chime in to help with your questions.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
Quote by pks330

I should cut all the way through the fretboard because the nut rests behind the fretboard, so if my wood is good, then I need a nut slot ONLY for scale length precision?

Yes. A nut exists to provide string spacing and, in most cases, to serve as one endpoint of the overall scale. A guitar that relies on a zero fret, however, uses a nut only for string spacing.
Ok was not sure, because my fret slotting system says to make a nut slot, and it made me wonder why not just use the end of the piece of wood I have? What would be the point in slotting a slot just to cut it off anyways?
My guess is that the first notch in the fretting template represents the nut, and all the frets are measured relative to it. I have not used the LMII system myself so this is pure speculation.
Last edited by sashki at Jul 2, 2016,
Quote by pks330
Ok was not sure, because my fret slotting system says to make a nut slot, and it made me wonder why not just use the end of the piece of wood I have? What would be the point in slotting a slot just to cut it off anyways?

Just so we're clear, the nut slot is where the nut lives, and the nut's usually a different material (bone, plastic, teflon, metal). The slot helps keep the nut from tilting toward the fretboard. You *can* use the end point of the wood, and some manufacturers do that. The nut is generally not heavily glued in place, but you don't want it dropping out, either, in the event that you remove all the strings. A "slot" helps prevent that from happening.
Okay next update and a bunch of wood and pictures later.....
Just finished the fretboard for this guitar. I made 3 to get 1 good one. First problem I ran into was when I went to bind it, I put the CA glue on the fretboard and then attached the binding.... DOH! The slots filled with CA glue. (To the trash I say! or just buy some CA solvent some day). Next problem I ran into was I decided to slot the frets before I cut out the shape of the fretboard and ran it through my jointer. So.... Needless to say I got a TON of tear-out, and nearly screamed in frustration.

So this time, I had one last piece of this maple left to use for now from this once illustrious 4/4 that was in reason to dimensions I needed, (although the farther down in the board I got, the less Tiger striped it was, but I'll take it)
I ran it through the band saw first, and cut it out to rough dimensions. Sent it through the Jointer to clean up the edges and make it true to measurements less about 1/16" for binding. Then it was off to the LMII fret slotting system, which went like a breeze minus I absolutely hate double stick tape now, because the only kind that works is that thick foam stuff, that leaves major residue on both the template and the fretboard. Then it was off to the drum sander to level it out. Then off to the drill press to put in some work with my modified forstner bits, and some plug bits to make the inlays. Had a hell of a time trying to get that 5th fret inlay right, went through probably 6x2x2" worth of material until I finally snagged a good one. drilled out the holes, CA glued the inlays in, and it was back off to the drum Sander, which I regret doing, because I could have saved time and time on the sandpaper if I waited until I bound it and did it all at once. I digress. Then I used the last drops of my CA glue to bind the thing with Quilted sapele. Then again back to the drum sander to level it all out. Once that was out of the way..... The journey started to get tough, I did a 12-17 compound radius on a 24.5 scale fretboard with 18 frets. Using pencil to color all over it to identify when I had accurately got the radius I wanted in the places I wanted I moved on. (That process took near 2 hours if not more). I grabbed up the fretboard and headed to the bandsaw to make the final cuts for measurement, leaving a shoulder for the nut if that is what I decide to do in the end (not sure yet). Then grabbing my polishing papers, I proceeded to run the length 150 times per color. Once I felt satisfied and utterly worn out, I grabbed my trusty handy dandy fretboard conditioner AKA lemon oil, which I have been using for years on other things not lutherie based, and I love it compared to linseed or walnut oil. Something about the lemony fresh scent really makes all the dust in my sinus cavities seem worth while, and it is relatively smooth without being greasy, also it seems not to soak in so much that the wood becomes saturated. Then Polished it up with the highest micron paper I had mixed with the oil, and got an awesome sheen to the entire thing, the figuring popped, the grain came alive, and the sapele stood out like it was meant to be there! Even though it is not exactly tiger striped, I do admit I really rather like this one a lot. I think that the tiger stripe bridge will work fine, but.... if I get more OCD I may remake with some scrap pieces of whats left of this 4/4 that's stripes apparently ran out of stock on. Now, next is to join the top and back sets. Stay tuned!

Opinions, comments, etc, all welcome. Please give advice too!

I think the way I will combat this when gluing to the neck is using the same radius blocks I shaped the fretboard with but with adhesive felt on them and use them as a clamping point since they will be flush. However if I do muck it up some, it won't be all to difficult to run the blocks back over it to fix up any issues that come (I hope).
Again after much trial and tribulation, Here is the back and top, I think the back thinned out a little too much, because I did not account for how thin the sapele was, but I believe if I make sure the braces are strong it'll be okay. So the process started with jointing the top, I found using a 2x4 helps keep it upright when sliding through the jointer. Then comes the glue, with my ultra high tech weight lifting system that still needed additional support of a 50lb 6 cube box. Then ran through the drum sander, and rinse and repeat for the back. Minus it is 3 pieces of wood.

here's the pics.
Comments suggestions opinions welcome.

Last edited by pks330 at Jul 19, 2016,
edited answer found
Last edited by pks330 at Jul 14, 2016,
Not the biggest update.
I am awaiting a few misc pieces, such as a few pieces of brace wood and kerfing. So in the meantime I cut out the sound hole, Decided I will NOT be putting a rosette on this guitar. Don't get me wrong, I like them, but I have never owned one without it. I think since I am going for aesthetically pleasing wood scheme, that anything over the top will detract from my goal of what this guitar is supposed to be.

As I cut the back out, I noticed I did not thin it too much, this was only on the edge of the large board!!! SCORE!!! It evened out to .10 across the board!!! I was real worried about this, but now that, that's off my mind!!!

First step was to cut the shapes out (rough) that way I can fine tune it all later with a thumb plane. For this I used my Grizzly 17" bandsaw with a Timber wolf 6tpi 102" 1/4" wide blade carbide tipped. The height gauge needed to be WAY down, and I say this even though I knew to do so, because if not the blade will wobble and flay around the material. Which is baaad, always cut on the outside of your lines!! I learned this long ago. So after cutting them both out, I had went to my local home depot to buy a 3 1/4 (83mm) hole saw bit, (DOH, I forgot to buy an arbor and drill bit attachment, but no worries my father had a few laying around). With a hole saw bit, things can get dicey FAST, if you go to use this method I suggest as many teeth on the bit as you can find, mine had around 50 teeth, and run it NO slower than 1k RPM on your drill press. In addition you will need to clamp the wood down 100% it CANNOT move or your wood is done. lastly go SLOW, ease in and out. I myself am using Sinker Cedar, which on Janka hardness is about as soft as mashed potatoes. (joke). So I had to be very careful not to rip the material out. After I cut the hole, I went around the ID of the hole with 220 grit about 3 passes lightly, and it cleaned up perfectly.

My next step is to throw these onto GoBar system and brace them up. After that is the sides. Stay Tuned,

Comments, suggestions, opinions, advice, constructive criticism welcome!

p.s. Side note: I am using tinypic as my photo hosting, and sometimes they throw adds over top of images, I have noticed this several times. Please ignore this, I am not sure why they think that is acceptable, but sometimes it seems near vulgar images are overlayed. It only lasts a short while from what it seems.

Last edited by pks330 at Jul 15, 2016,
Not a status update per-say, but more of a question for this build. OK, so my guitar top is going to be a 40ft radius, My fret board, and bridge are both radiused as well...... HOWEVER, No where in any book, or any of my friends has anyone mentioned the under-sole radius of a bridge. Let me explain:

If the bridge is flat, and the top is curved, and the bridge is thicker than the top, then surely the top will have to conform to the bridge, and thus putting strain on the wood. I believe this is what may cause some bridges to "pop" off, some tops to split, and crack, and probably some finish checking. Would it not make sense to put a reverse matching radius on the bottom of the bridge to match the top?

Before you say it, yes a 40ft radius is nearly flat, but I think over the span of time, any slight variation could cause damage, imagine the force against each other, and for 20+ years, eventually it's going to weaken the glue, or the wood it's self.

anyone ever thought of this??

Last question, I have decided to go a way off base way to finish this guitar. I am going to use clear filler to fill any scratches and then some "tung oil finish" which is a bunch of random crap in a can, not actual tung oil. , and finished up with Caranuba paste wax. what are your opinions on this?

Last edited by pks330 at Jul 19, 2016,
Right, I mean to shape the bridge first. I was just curious as to why some are not done this way. As for taping sand paper to my guitar top and using it to sand with, on this build at least I cannot because I am using Cedar, and I don't wanna do anything that could ding it up. it would suck to have the box and everything else finished, just to mess up the guitar with sticky sand paper, tape, or indents from using the guitar as a sanding block lol. I am sure this is less of an issue on a solid body instrument, but just seems problematic on acoustics.

ty for info on the finish!
If anyone was on pins and needles for this to be finished, there is a delay. I am moving to a new house, and will resume this as soon as I get settled in.
Keep tabs, thanks!