Thursday, December 12, 2019

Cutting a Sound Port on a Guitar

In a previous post I mentioned that I was going to cut a sound port in the upper bout of the cedar/wenge guitar. Drilling/cutting sound ports in guitars has been popular for about the last fifteen years, it was original done with the claim that it made the guitar louder, but research has shown that it really doesn't make the guitar louder. It does give more immediate feed back of the guitar's sound to the player.
I found oval templates after a search on the Internet and settled on this size. A little spray adhesive helped attach the template to the guitar's upper bout...
I bravely went at the wood with a drill bit in my cordless drill...
and there is the roughed-in oval. Some exterior tear/blow out had to be dealt with.
After filing and sanding away the excess that didn't look like an oval, an oval appear. This hole immediately raised the tap tone of the top by one whole tone, from about F sharp-G to A flat-A, and it also reduced the side's stiffness, I can feel the entire guitar vibrate more, especially in the guitar's neck.
I started the French polish process by painting on coats of 3lb cut shellac with resin, I want to try an old technique of pore filling. Paint on shellac, sand down to wood leaving shellac in the pores and then do that as many times as needed until the pores are filled with shellac. Wenge pores are quite large, I don't feel like trying to push a large amount of 4F pumice into them.

Will this sound port make a better sounding guitar? I won't know until I put strings on it.

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