Shaping and laminating the headstock

Ok, time to get back to my guitar building progress. There’s lot’s of catching up to do! The next few blogs will be about my progress on the headstock.

After shaping the neck and heel, I continued on the headstock. First I planed the edges to get the right headstock width and taper. I wanted a ‘crown’ design similar to the headstock on my steel stringed acoustic, as it would match the wavy olive wood grain of my rosette. I had to adjust the pattern slightly, since the width of the classical guitar headstock tapers outwards less than the headstock on a steel stringed acoustic.

The picture below was taken while I was planing the sides of the headstock and shows the pencil outline of the crown:

Planing the headstock sides

Planing the headstock sides

I used a coping saw to cut the basic shape of the crown, followed by a chisel and carving gauge to smoothen the curve. Then I glued on a thin rosewood veneer that I made using off-cuts from the back plates:

Glueing the rosewood veneer on the headstock

Glueing the rosewood veneer on the headstock

Note the block between the veneer and the clamps. This is crucial not only to even the clamping pressure, but also to stop the edge of the veneer curling up as a result of the moisture in the glue on the thin wood.

I trimmed the veneer back to the headstock edges to reveal the final shape. More to follow soon!

Veneer glued to headstock (final shape)

Veneer glued to headstock (final shape)

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