Monday, December 30, 2013

A Blonde Guitar - Making a Copy of the FE 19 Guitar by Antonio Torres: The Fretboard

The left hand should always approach the fretboard in a position that allows each finger equal access to every string...

Pepe Romero, La Guitarra: A Comprehensive Study of Classical Guitar Technique and Guide to Performing, 2012

Back at the workbench...

Final shaping of the ebony fret board for "Amparo". I want the width at the nut to be 52mm and at the 12th fret 62mm, I don't know who established this relationship, but the fretboards on all the historic guitars, whose measured drawings that I have studied, are like that. After planing down this fretboard, I discovered that I need to flatten the sole of my No. 7 jointer! It's fine to use until I do, I just have to be very careful about setting the blade and using it.

The fretboard held in place with some brass brads so I can mark the sound hole location. Then I carefully cut the half moon out with a coping saw, ebony is brittle wood and I don't want to chip it!

This is Macassar ebony that I purchased from LMI and I was surprised to find out as I thicknessed it that it has some fiddle back figure to it. I don't know if you can see the figuring in the photo. I would like to get more like that, but this ebony was purchased over a year ago, I doubt they have any with that kind of figure.

I finish the half moon on a sanding disc chucked into the drill press that is the same diameter as the sound hole, 86mm. Then I made sure the back of the fret board is level, made a gluing caul and got out the clamps.

This is the point where I wonder if I applied too little or too much glue. Squeeze out was minimal, not much to clean up with is nice, because it reduces the risk of marring the sound board.

As I was getting ready for the glue-up I realized that I don't have any fret wire of the proper size! I need to stop writing so I can order some more!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Best Wood

In North America, the pine family is represented by 64 species of pines, spruces, firs, hemlocks, larches and Douglas-firs. Thirty-two of those species are found growing wild somewhere in California...

Ronald M. Lanner, Conifers of California, 1999

I regard both the Picea Abies and the Thuja Plicata as two beautiful sisters - one blonde and the other brunette; one European and the other American, although I confess that I have a soft spot for the brunette...

Jose Ramirez III, Things About the Guitar, 1990

I lost a potential client because I make guitars with black walnut backs and sides.

This person thought that walnut is good only for "student guitars".

Once again, this shows you how effect marketing done by the big name luthiers and guitar manufacturers has succeeded in making players believe that only the most expensive exotic woods make the best guitars.

I can buy a curly walnut back/side set from Allied Lutherie from $220 to $300, and that is paying for one board foot of walnut. Since it is "just walnut", that wood should be used only to make a student guitar, right?

Is the most expensive wood the "best" wood to use?

Is there a "best" wood or woods to use in guitar making?

A Sitka Spruce/Eastern Black Walnut guitar

The great Antonio de Torres set the standard for the classical guitar in the mid to late 1850's by using European spruce and rosewood for his finest guitars.

Spruce and rosewood still make some of the greatest guitars, but there are other woods that can be used.

Jose Ramirez III popularized the use of Western red cedar for guitar tops, I have met players who think that cedar makes the best top.

I think spruce makes the best top, a well made guitar with a spruce top is capable of producing far more tonal nuances than cedar. I know several professional classic guitarists who agree with me.

Redwood is a great choice also, it has the clarity and depth of spruce with the warmth of cedar.

Fiddle back Big Leaf Maple that I purchased from The Wood Well

The top of a guitar is the most important part of the guitar, the energy of the strings radiates from the top as it is transferred through the saddle and bridge. The back and sides make a resonance chamber and vibrate some, but do not add as much to a guitar's sound as some makers/players claim.

Click here to see/hear David LaPlante's copy of the famous cardboard guitar originally made by Antonio de Torres. Torres used a spruce top, Spanish cedar neck and back and side made from papier mache to make his guitar. From accounts of those who heard it, it was a great sounding guitar. Click here for John Ray's photos of the original guitar.

Maple, walnut, pear, apple, cypress, locust were some of the woods used by European luthiers before the rosewoods became more available.

Today's makers have a wide choice of "alternative" woods: black locust, California laurel, big leaf maple, cherry, madrone, Port Orford cedar, Alaska yellow cedar, Douglas fir, koa, paduak, wenge, ziricote, the list goes on.

It is possible to make a truly magnificent guitar by using woods that are native here in the lower 48 United States: a myriad of spruce and cedar for top woods; back and sides from Claro walnut, black locust, American cherry, mesquite, the different maples; neck woods can be American cherry, Port Orford cedar, Douglas fir, red alder, California laurel and others; and black locust, which is for practical purposes as hard as Brazilian rosewood, can be used for fret boards!

Bubinga back and sides, sawn from a board purchased from Auburn Hardwoods, Redding, California

I have read that Hermann Hauser II and III thought that bubinga was better tone wood than Indian or Brazilian rosewood. Click here to read David Schramm's article on the Hausers.

Potentially, any of the woods that I have mentioned could be "the best". Each client wants a specific sound and playability, secondly they want something that is pretty.

Pillowed redwood that I reclaimed from an old water tank.

Is there a best wood for guitars or for wood working in general?

Picea glauca, aka Canadian spruce, Skunk spruce, Cat spruce, Black Hills spruce, Western white spruce

I was born and raised in northeastern California in one of the greatest forests in the world. I had access to marvelous woods: redwood, ponderosa pine, incense cedar, sugar pine, California black walnut, madrone, the list is too long to repeat here.

I was taught that if you couldn't make what ever it was you wanted out of one or more of those local woods, there was no point in making it.

Didn't James Krenov say almost the same thing?

Enjoy these YouTube videos!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Blonde Guitar - Making a Copy of the FE 19 Guitar by Antonio Torres: Routing the Binding Ledges

No other instrument - struck, plucked, strummed, bowed, blown - is so strongly bound emotionally with a Spaniard as is the guitar.

Gregory d'Alessio, Guitar Review #46, 1979

I bought a new Bosch router and a very expensive binding routing jig from Luthier Tool just so I could make better, more even binding ledges/rabbets.

I am use to using a Dremel to rout these rabbets, the Bosch is quite a bit bigger and heavier and the router attachment isn't the most comfortable thing to hold onto. The thing about this jig is that the lowest roller bearing must be in contact with the side at all times! I found this out the hard way! Thankfully I was able to rout out the mistake in successive passes. This task of routing was a very scary experience, my heart was in my throat the whole operation!

The jig did work well, one turn of the adjustment knob moves the bit in to or out of the cut exactly 3/32nd's of an inch. Impressive. The downcut spiral router bit produced a smooth and clean cut, but because of arching and bumps of the guitar's top and sides I did spend some cleaning up the rabbet to get a good fit.


I might have to go back to cutting the ledges by hand.

Glueing the binding on the back.

The binding completed on the back, and the wood wiped down with some Naptha to show its colors.

The top all bound and ready for smoothing.

There is still some clean up and scraping to do on the bindings, then comes the fret board and installation of the frets.

Work never ends, nor should it.

Enjoy the YouTube of Iren Arutyunyan!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Blonde Guitar - Making a Copy of the FE 19 Guitar by Antonio Torres: Binding and Purfling

With the final shape of the violin complete, Stradivari applied his last piece of artistry: the purfling.

Toby Faber, Stradivari's Genius, 2004

"Amparo", Engelmann spruce/California laurel, based on guitar FE 19 made by Antonio de Torres.

Did I mention that this guitar is for sale?

Ebony and Manzanita Thumb Plane, Ebony/Bubinga End Graft and Bindings

Yesterday was spent thicknessing strips of bubinga with a hand made tool for such a task, bubinga is tough wood, I had to put my foot against the work bench to get enough power to pull the strips through! Today was spent preparing the ebony binding for this Torres copy. I thicknessed the ebony and then glued simple lines of bubinga to buffer the contrast of ebony on California laurel.

Click here to read more about this tool

The end graft applied.

Tomorrow I will rout out the binding ledges and hope all goes well! I got a new binding jig from Luthier Tool Company for my new Bosch Pony router and a brand new up spiral bit! I will be lighting candles to honor St. Cecilia, patroness of Music and Musicians, and to St. Joseph, patron of the Worker!

Enjoy this YouTube of Adam Holzman playing a 1967 Daniel Friederich guitar!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Basic Hand Tool Kit for Making a Classical Guitar, Revised

Ours is really a simple craft.

James Krenov, The Impractical Cabinetmaker, 1979

So, you want to build a guitar.

Please see my May 5, 2021 post, A Basic Hand Tool Kit for Making a Classical Guitar - Another Look, for my latest thoughts on a hand tool kit. 

Since the original post, Basic Hand Tool Kit for Guitar Making, click here to see it, is the most popular post on this blog, I thought I would revisit it and adjust it to what I am using now to make a classical guitar.

The first thing I recommend doing is to buy or borrow copies of the following books:

Guitar Making: Tradition and Technology, by William Cumpiano and Jonathan Natelson
Making Master Guitars, by Roy Courtnall
The Guitar Maker's Workshop, by Rik Middleton

These are required reading before you begin making a guitar.

Also required reading are these books by Roy Underhill:

The Woodwright's Shop
The Woodwright's Companion
The Woodwright's Workbench
The Woodwright's Apprentice

Why these books by Mr. Underhill? You will learn valuable wood working techniques if you make any of his projects. The dovetail joints used to join a drawer together are far more complicated than any joint you will use in making a guitar.

A modern classical guitar is made up of butt joints, you know, joints that butt into each other. The most exotic joint in a classic guitar is the scarf joint at the neck/headstock union. Pretty basic.

Yes, you do some inlay with the rosette and rout out a few rabbets for the purfling and binding, but there are no complicated joints, unless you join the neck to the body with a sliding dovetail.

I think it is easier to build a guitar than to build a Federal highboy.

With that said and out of the way, once you have memorized every word in every book, then and only then should you start your journey.


There is a plethora of information on the Internet about how to build a work bench, it's a little mind boggling! It seems that many wood workers would rather make work benches than anything else.

I recommend making the work bench that you will find in Underhill's, The Woodwright's Apprentice. It is simple, goes together quickly and I have been using that same bench for the last twenty years! See the above photo. If you want to, build yourself a Roubo bench; or a Peter Nicholson English bench, which I think is the best bench ever designed; or make a Shaker style bench. Whatever bench you chose just make it!

Next thing is to start looking for some vintage tools at local tool swaps, flea markets and antique stores. There are several books available on how to restore and keen vintage tools, not to mention the articles available on the Internet. If you can afford to buy brand new Lie-Nielsen planes, saws and chisels than do it! I think it is more fun to search for and find some good, old tools.

This is a basic list of tools that I use to build a classic guitar. And this is not a definitive list, just a place to start.

No. 3 plane
No. 5 plane
No. 7 plane

Low Angle block plane
If you buy vintage planes, replace the original irons and chip breakers with the same from Hock Tools. Yes, that is an endorsement. Mr. Hock's blades are incredible and you don't have to file or otherwise touch your plane to make the irons fit.

Lee Valley Spokeshaves, flat and round
Wooden Spokeshave, made from the Lee Valley kit (this is my favorite shave)

6, 7 or 8 inch drawknife

1/8 inch chisel
1/4 inch chisel
1/2 inch chisel
3/4 inch chisel
(the most used chisel in my shop)

Marking gauge (handmade)
Cutting gauge (handmade)

Sloyd knife, 2 inch blade (Mora of Sweden #120)
Sloyd knife, 3 1/4 inch blade (Mora of Sweden #106)

Card Scrapers (Bahco Brand)

Gramil, buy from Luthiers Mercantile Inc and get 2 of them

Classic tuner drill jig, with 13/32 inch drill. Get the one from Stew-Mac. It is pricey, but well worth the money!

Handmade Rosette and Sound hole cutter, or buy the one from LMI

Razor saws with hand turned handles (make your own handles on a lathe!)
Fine tooth crosscut dovetail saw
12-14 inch crosscut back saw

20 inch rip panel saw
20 inch crosscut panel saw
If you have the money buy these from Lie-Nielsen! Click here to see these beauties!
Fret saw, get the Japanese style one from Stew-Mac

Bow, or Turning Saw, available from Tools For Working Wood.

Dial Caliper buy or make your own

Miller Falls #2 hand drill (or some other hand drill)

Fret Hammer, from Stew-Mac

Diamond fret crowning file, from Stew-Mac

Side cutters for cutting frets, from Stew-Mac or LMI

Nut slotting files

Bending iron, made from a piece of four inch copper pipe heated by a propane torch,
Or an electric iron and spot thermometer from Stew-Mac

A Shop Fox vise, available from Grizzly, Stew-Mac and Garret Wade

Clamps-cam clamps (which you can make yourself), bridge clamp, C-clamps, long reach C-clamps, spring clamps, clamps, clamps, clamps

Just some of my clamps!

A neat little brass glue pot and pot warmer from MusiCaravan. I love hide glue!

I know I have missed some tools, but what you need is to get the Cumpiano/Natelson book and Courtnall's book, they list every thing that you need. And then some.

Don't forget to join the Guild of American Luthiers. You can learn much from their publication, American Lutherie. You can learn so much from them that your head will swim and you will get confused!

Another option, and I think this is a good one, is to enroll in a guitar making program at a trade school or community college. Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colorado has a great guitar building program which has turned out some really good luthiers. I've thought about taking a class in French Polishing at Red Rocks, it is only an hour and fifteen minutes from my house.

Now do your research! Hit your local libraries and find all the books you can on guitars, guitar making and guitar history!

Research is a vital part of my guitar building, I want to know as much about making a Spanish guitar as I possibly can, and that means finding out how Santos Hernandez, Manuel Ramirez, Domingo Esteso, Hernandez y Aguado, Ignacio Fleta and other great masters made their guitars. At this point in my journey I am starting to read about acoustics, especially guitar acoustics, and what I have learned is helping me make better guitars!

Try not, do or do not. There is no try. Yoda

A Blonde Guitar - Making a Copy of the FE 19 Guitar by Antonio Torres

Many stories are still told about the lure that Torres' guitars had for enthusiasts who heard them being played.

Jose Romanillos, Antonio de Torres, Guitar Maker-His Life & Work, 1987

I am out of practice.

I've almost chained myself to the workbench to get this guitar done, just so I can remember what I forgot.

How did I assemble the last guitar?

How thick or thin should I make the hide glue to perform at its best?

Is this how I clamp the sides down to the top?

Now, how is it that I can bend wood?

So many things.

This isn't an exact copy of Torres' famous FE 19 guitar (FE stands for First Epoch, these are the guitars Torres made before he gave up guitar making and opened a store to sell china), as you can see I am using a parallel bracing on the top instead of the "Torres kite" or fan bracing. The crest on the head stock is not a Torres design; it is based on Daniel Friederich's crest; the top is Engelmann spruce and the top bracing is Sitka spruce, not German spruce; the back and sides are California Laurel, not rosewood; but the plantilla, or outline, is a direct copy of FE 19 as per the plans that are available from Neil Ostberg. Click here to see those plans and Neil's great website.

I finally bought a spot thermometer for my bending iron.

California Laurel bends best for me when the iron is between 350-390 degrees Fahrenheit.

Earlier this year I bought some fancy kerfing clamps from Luthiers Mercantile, which worked fine on the traditional triangle shape kerfing. They don't work at all with the reversed kerfing I used on this guitar, I had to find my bag of good old clothes pins wrapped with rubber bands to get the job done.

The back is varied in color from white to honey to a touch of purple to I don't know what else. Laurel, aka Oregon Myrtle, aka Pepperwood, is pretty amazing wood. It planes well, to get a really smooth glossy surface I sand to 220 grit Garnet and then burnish with a piece of old towel. Wow. And it bends fairly easily.

The top.

Tomorrow, maybe, I get can get the back glued on. Then I can let the guitar hang for the glue to harden so I can dream of the music she will sing.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A New Workbench, Part 1, or No More Tool Chests in My Studio!

An early form of Woodworker's Bench used by the Romans consisted of a stout plank on four splayed legs.

R.A. Salaman, Dictionary of Woodworking Tools, 1975

I am a little tired of my tool chest.

As soon as I close the lid things magically appear on top of it.

I remove these items so I can rummage through the chest to find what I need.

And the stuff reappears once the lid goes back down. I think the wood working elves are having fun with me.

I work in a small studio, it's 10'x11' and is between our bedroom and kitchen. I have some storage with shelves, but I desperately need another work surface for finishing my guitars.

I spent most of last week working on building the carcass (yes, I am using the American form of the word) for a new work bench. I sawed out the tenons by hand, I drilled all the mortises with a brace and bit. While doing all that I remembered why I never got into furniture making, I really don't enjoy making squares and rectangles. When you make a guitar you work with voluptuous curves, you can't mistake the feminine shape of a classical guitar. Curves are more fun to look at and handle than sharp corners.

I found the plans for this bench at Shop Notes, click here to see the plans. I like the looks of the bench, but I found the plans to be a little over worked and who ever came up with it loves dadoes! All I really need is a flat working surface and some nice storage space. I am going to adjust the drawer sizes to fit my tools and because of limited space I will make a set of sliding doors instead of those that swing out. And no vises. There isn't enough room in my studio to have the vises that are on the plans!

Just having the unfinished plywood top down has made my work life a little easier, it is so nice to have an extra work surface. I plan on spending one day a week working on finishing the bench, I need to start assembling some guitars!

If I were ever to make another bench, one out of hardwood instead of Douglas fir, I would make a close copy of Norm Vandal's Shaker inspired bench that is in Scott Landis Workbench book. His bench makes much more sense when it comes to its construction than this one does. This one will work and serve it's purpose.

I do know that as soon as this bench is finished the tool chest gets the boot!

When Things Go Wrong-Fixing Holes in a Classical Guitar Headstock

Measure twice, cut once, but make sure you cut on the correct line.

Merle Burnham, my father, 1976

This is a neck for a copy of a 1929 Santos Hernandez guitar, it's all glued up from heel block to head stock. In this photo I am adjusted the sides of the neck with a draw knife so I can carefully plane the sides of the head stock perfectly square so the tuning machines can have some where to sit.

What happened next is that I drilled all six holes in the head stock only to find out that I had laid out the positions for the holes using the wrong reference line. Whoops!

Spanish cedar is getting scarce, I bought this blank from Stew-Mac just before they stopped selling Spanish cedar neck blanks. I didn't want to throw it into the wood stove, I owe it to the Universe to persevere and use this neck.

With my trusty knife, block plane, Porter Cable 14 volt drill and a 13/32 inch hole drilled into a piece of bubinga, I made three dowels from a scrap piece of Spanish cedar. Some fish glue from Lee Valley and a few taps with a live oak mallet and things are as right as rain again!

Yes, you can see the plugs, but when you a play a classic guitar you are watching your hands, not the headstock! This will not affect the sound quality of a guitar.

The tuning machine's plate cover the plugs! Don't they look great!

The headstock carved and slotted.

Now, to finish carving the heel!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Making a Gramercy Bow Saw

The Office of the Cheeks made to the Frame Saw is, by the twisted Cord and Tongue in the middle, to draw the upper ends of the Cheeks closer together, that the lower end of the Cheeks may be drawn the wider asunder, and strain the Blade of the Saw the straighter.

Joseph Moxon, Mechanick Exercises, 1677

I made my first bow saw over twenty years ago using an idea from Roy Underhill and Drew Langsner. I still use that saw, I made the frame from some black oak (quercus kellogii) that I had harvested from my Paynes Creek, California property and the handles are mulberry that were turned on a spring pole lathe. The blade is made from a band saw blade.

Like many wood workers, I have longed to have a sexy curvy bow saw just like those joiners of old, so last night and most of this morning I made a nice bow saw from some black walnut.

It was over six months ago when I purchased handles, pins and blades from Tools For Working Wood and I had this crazy idea that I was going to convert a couple of hickory pick handles into sticks to make this bow saw. Those pick handles are still in the other workshop and last night I dimensioned some walnut that I had on hand. This morning I made a template from the Gramercy plans, which are available at Tools For Working Wood website, and started in on work.

I made sure that I got the mortices and tenons completed before I started shaping the uprights!

Then came the shaping work. I used a draw knife, a sloyd knife, several wood rasps, a coping saw and some spokeshaves.

The finished product.

This isn't an exact copy of a Gramercy saw, I didn't want to spend a lot of time shaping the wood where the handles enter the uprights, I need a basic saw to get the job done. I used some 20lb. fly line backing for the cordage and made a very simple tongue, or toggle, to tighten the cord. This saw is amazingly light, I can't wait to use it!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Krenov Style Scaper Plane, Part 2

Up to the middle of the seventeenth century at least, most joiner's planes were made by the craftsman himself. As they were largely confined to the ordinary bench planes and only one of each type would be required, this was a fairly simple matter.

R.A. Salaman, Dictionary of Woodworking Tools, 1975

I made the wedge last night and then went at the plane body with a horseshoeing rasp (a leftover from a previous occupation) and a series of spokeshaves. The plane works on soft wood, but I need to round the corners of the blade and then turn a hook on the edge. The real test will be on Indian rosewood that I am using for one of my guitars.

The only power tools that I used to make this plane were a table saw, used to rip the sides off the main body, and a sliding compound miter saw to cut the bed angles. I did use a drill press to drill the hole for the cross pin. I could have done that by hand with a brace and bit, which you can do if you do your layout properly. The other tools used were a No.7 Stanley jointer plane, a No.4 Stanley smoothing plane, a sloyd knife by Frost, a compass and a ruler. A back saw and gouge were used to shape the wedge and I used a horseshoeing (farrier) rasp, several spokeshaves and a No.7 sweep gouge for the final shaping of the body.

Yes, you can make a Krenov style hand plane with just hand tools, all you have to do is take your time.

New Guitar Tops-Hernandez y Aguado and Santos Hernandez

I love order and clarity and balance.

Andres Segovia

Next week I finally get some time to start building two new guitars.

The top on the left will become part of a close copy of a guitar constructed in 1968 by Manuel Hernandez y Victoriano Aguado. The top is redwood, I re-sawed it (by hand using a Disston rip saw) from a board that came from an old barn outside of Yosemite National Park and I was able to get only two good tops from that board. The original guitar had this asymmetrical bracing, this helps to center the fundamental mode (or tone) of the guitar on the bridge and will help make this guitar's sound carry to the back of a concert hall. Hernandez y Aguado are believed to have developed this style of bracing after seeing the inside of a guitar that was made by Jose Ramirez III in the early 1960's. I used this bracing on my guitar No. 5 with great success. This guitar will have Indian rosewood back and sides.

The top on the right is Englemann spruce and will have nearly parallel bracing, I got this style from a guitar made by the great Santo Hernandez in 1930. I expect great sound from this bracing, it should make for a very balanced and loud guitar. Masara Kohno used a variation of this design on some of his guitars, everyone who has played one of those Kohno guitars tells me that they were very loud and balanced. The back and sides for this guitar will be California laurel which was re-sawed from a board that I purchased at a redwood burl store about 30 miles north of Eureka, California.

Oh, the joy of being able to work on some thing so beautiful as a classical guitar!

Rocky Mountain Mammoth Mine, Boulder County, Colorado-Restoration Work on the Cabin is Complete!

Shacks are brown, big where things were sold,
wheat or girls, small where miners lived.
Some fell while we were crawling up the hill.
Standing shacks are pale. Old weeds believe
in Spring.

Richard Hugo, Ghosts at Garnet, The Lady in Kicking Horse Reservoir, 1973

Friday, November 8, 2013, I and my crew walked away from the cabin at the Rocky Mountain Mammoth mine. Everything is done, new roofing, foundation, siding, flooring, even half round gutters (which are not historically correct, I'm not the one who wanted them!). Drainage and landscaping is done and I am happy. I am also sad, it is a wonderful place to work and to visit.

South elevation

South elevation

West elevation

North elevation

East elevation

An aspen leave that was stuck to the siding. A beautiful parting gesture.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Re-Toothing a Disston Handsaw, or A Fool's Errand That Ended Well

The most difficult part in sawing is starting the saw.

Bernard E. Jones, The Practical Woodworker, 190?

I'm starting to prepare for winter work, that means building a few guitars, by finishing up some projects I started a while back. One of those projects was to re-tooth one of two panel saws I own: an early 1900's 18 inch long Disston crosscut or 1920's-ish Warranted Superior saw that is 20 inches long. The Warranted Superior saw needs some time at the anvil for straightening, so I opted for the Disston.

One reason for the conversion is that at the moment, I am not willing to shell out $250 for a Lie Nielsen rip tooth panel saw. I know such a saw is a bargain at that price, but I need a few more orders to justify the expense.

The main reason for doing this work is the 26-28 inch Disston rip saws hanging by the window behind the work bench can be a little big for ripping smallish pieces of wood.

First thing I needed to do was to turn a new handle for the four inch extra slim saw file I used for re-toothing. A piece of walnut on the mini lathe was just the thing and in a couple of minutes I was off to the saw vise.

I bought this saw about five, six years ago from Sandy Moss of Sydnas Sloot, just because it was a panel saw. The etching is pretty much gone, I can't make out the model number, the saw is wonderfully straight but had never been jointed properly. By the time the jointing file touched the teeth in the middle of the saw I needed to re-shape the teeth on the heel and tool before I jointed any more, otherwise there would have been no teeth in those locations.


Success! I didn't set the teeth and the saw cuts straight! The kerf is nice and narrow, though at the next sharpening session I might have to pull out the saw set, I don't want the saw to bind in the cut.

I didn't measure how points per inch, I assume it is still around 10 points, which the saw was originally.

Now, I have the rip panel saw that I always wanted, all I needed to obtain it was to use a little elbow grease!

1912 Ex-Segovia Cedar/East Indian Rosewood Classical Guitar

Inspired by AndrĂ©s Segovia’s famous 1912 Manuel Ramirez guitar, I chose Western red cedar top and East Indian rosewood back and sides from m...