Sawing the soundboard outline

After cutting the sound hole, I traced the outline of the guitar template on the reverse side of the soundboard:

The soundboard with the guitar outline

The soundboard with the guitar outline (visible if you look closely!)

Then I cut around the outline using a coping saw, leaving a one centimetre gap around the edge:
Work in progress: sawing the soundboard

Work in progress: sawing the soundboard

And here’s the result!
The classical guitar soundboard, cut to shape with a coping saw

The classical guitar soundboard, cut to shape with a coping saw

If you’re trying this at home (as I am), here are some tips:
  • Try to maintain a consistent up and down motion with the saw
  • While following the cutting line, rotate the wood, not the saw
  • Don’t focus on cutting the wood, simply focus on keeping the saw moving up and down and the saw will cut on its own
  • Add some protection between the soundboard and the workbench to avoid damaging the wood (i.e. a cloth)
One thing I’ll do differently next time is draw the outline on the top face of the soundboard, and saw from that side. Any rough edges or chips caused by the saw won’t matter then, as they’ll be on the inside of the guitar. There are a few chips now, but they’ll disappear when I trim the edges and cut the binding and purfling channels:
The edge of the soundboard

The soundboard, with a slightly rough edge caused by the coping saw

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3 thoughts on “Sawing the soundboard outline

    • Thank you! Yes, live and learn, as they say. I’m just starting out with this blog, but I’m starting to realise it’s good to note these tips: for others to learn and for my own records.

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