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Tom's Guitar

Here are some shop photos of a guitar commission. Wish I had taken more. The tiger myrtle sides have been bent and the blocks glued in. They have been profiled in a radius dish and are ready for linings. Hard to tell from the picture but the sides have been tapered to form a Manzer wedge. The blocks are laminated to resist splitting.

Here the linings are glued in and the back is glued on. I have laminated two layers of poplar for the linings and then carved and sanded them in place. The side supports extend into the linings as insurance against side cracks. I like to let-in the linings to the blocks to better support the top and back at those points. There is a two-ply lamination to reinforce the sound port. The back braces are let-in to the linings. The top linings have been notched to accept the top brace ends. I like a fairly clean box. For this guitar I modified an older form to make the body shorter. 

Over the years my top bracing has evolved and adapted to the particular instrument and the player's style. This top is predominately braced for fingerstyle playing to support a rich, complex voice that doesn’t sacrifice the fundamentals. I tap tune throughout the thicknessing and bracing process as my way of predicting what the final voice might be like. Always some surprises but I've made enough guitars to have a working knowledge of different woods and how changes to a certain element will affect the whole. The trapezoid plate helps spread the stress of the fingerboard and string tension. The tone bars are not scalloped and the finger braces are low and wide to help focus on the fundamentals. The top is red spruce.

Here is an in-the-white detail of the neck, body and sound port, ready for finish. I've used a laminated maple and Gonçalo Alves neck with nice, tight grain and occasional bird's eyes.  It is attached with one 1/4-20 bolt with a threaded insert in the heel and one 10-32 bolt in the strap button that threads into an insert in the heel block. I've used a simple ebony binding and cherry/black-dyed maple purfling scheme to accentuate the beauty of the tiger myrtle.

Here are some pictures of the completed guitar with a catalyzed urethane finish.

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