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Showing posts from June, 2014

Shop Made Cutter Gauges

Everything popular is wrong.

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895



I spent a couple of hours today and made a pair of gramils, or cutting gauges, for making the binding ledge on a classical guitar. I made these out of some black walnut that I had on hand and after completing them I realized I have some wonderful CSA rosewood in the attic that would make a great set of gauges.


A pair of walnut gramils with the metal gramils in the foreground

Those of you who follow my blog know that I dislike using power tools in making a guitar, I have nothing against power tools, I use them in my day job as a historic preservation carpenter.

I gave up trying to use a router to cut the binding ledges and went back to hand tools: two gramils, chisels and files.

I own two gramils that were purchased from Luthiers Mercantile, they are nice to use, but I have to be really careful with them because slot that for set screw that holds the blade in place can really mar the guitar's wood.

I am …

Shop Made Router/Scratch Gauge for Making Guitar Binding Ledges, Part 2

My early bridges...were made entirely by hand using the smoothing plane, the hand saw, chisels and a scratching gauge...

Jose Romanillos, Making a Spanish Guitar, 2013


Some one asked me if I could supply plans to make a scratching gauge, as much as I would like to, I don't have the time and I am trying to stay away from making this a "how-to" blog. There are many blogs/websites out there in the Internet hinterland that show you how to make a guitar, I don't want to compete them.

All I want to do is make guitars and sell them.

Here is a short photo essay of my scratch gauge, a person should be able to make a copy of one by looking at these photos.

And, you should look at Roy Underhill's books on how to make marking gauges, and click here to visit Adam Cherubini's marking gauge PDF.

And, and, you should read the books on guitar making that I have listed elsewhere in this blog, just go to the search book and enter in "the best books on guitar making".

Shop Made Veneer Scraper

Scraping was used more than sanding to give a finished surface to furniture in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries...

Alex W. Bealer, Old Ways of Working Wood, 1980



I spent about two hours today making a new veneer scraper.



The differences between this one and the one I made several years ago are that this one is made from black walnut, it was all that I had on hand, and the iron is positioned at a 20 degree angle to the anvil.

The first one I made the iron was at a right angle to the anvil.

I changed the angles in an experiment in hopes that this scraper won't tear out/blow out curly maple. I had almost disastrous results last time I scraped curly maple with the first scraper I made. Click here to see my first scraper.

If I had had some nice Douglas fir I would have used that, but this walnut sure looks nice.


I glued up purfling strips of curly maple to ebony binding yesterday, this is going on the redwood/Indian rosewood Hernandez y Aguado guitar. I want this guitar t…