Rosewood side bent and clamped to shape.

Being one with the wood: bending the sides

Since I got my new workshop I haven’t done much blogging on my guitar building progress. I’m using the workshop for building small pieces of furniture, but I’ve kept some essential tools for guitar building at home and am slowly but steadily progressing on the guitar. I’ll write about my furniture building exploits sometime soon,…

Olive wood inlay pieces for the headstock

The headstock continued

Christmas is long over so it’s time for an update on the guitar building. After drilling the holes for the tuning machines, I created the slots for the strings. I did this by marking out the centre line of each slot and used a drill press to remove most of the waste. I then used…


Drilling the holes for the tuning machines: damage control!

The classical guitar tuning machines slide into three holes bored through each side of the headstock. The holes need to be perfectly spaced for the tuning machines to slide into the headstock properly. I was nervous about this step since drilling six 10mm holes straight through the side of the headstock seemed like quite a dramatic…

Veneer glued to headstock (final shape)

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…


Shaping the guitar neck and heel – part 1

Carving the heel and neck is great fun. You have to be creative with the tools you have, as the demands on the tools change as the shape develops. I used a chisel, some carving gauges, a draw knife, a block plane and a carving knife at various stages. I also used a scraper blade…

Classical guitar heel block and neck

Making the heel block and heel

The heel block and neck on a classical guitar are often one piece. The sides are fitted into slots sawn into the side of the neck/block. Steel stringed acoustic guitar necks are usually attached to a separate heel block (with a dovetail or mortise/tenon joint). I read somewhere that this came about when guitar makers…


Making the neck: the headstock joint

In the next few blogs I’ll be writing how I made the neck and headstock. I’ve been working on these for a while but haven’t written anything about them yet, so it’s time to catch up a bit. First, the headstock. Most headstocks are sawn off the neck blank at a 15 degree angle and glued…