Paulownia Guitar ~ Top

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

An Orphan Paulownia top set
An orphan set of Paulownia top chosen for this guitar.

Jointing The Soundboard
They are being glued on a jointing board above. and weighted down with router and my #4 plane.

Paulownia top ready to be thinned by planing
After the glue set, the top is now getting ready to be thinned down with the #4 plane.

Paulownia top thinned down to 3mm
After thinned down to 3mm, a rosette is inserted next.


Inlaying with rosewood
I decided to try some inlaying (with Indonesian rosewood). Looks unusual? An improvisation teacher I had, once said, that if you played a wrong note, play it again, and again! Well, remember my head design that came out of over-planing? Ha.

Levelling rosette inlay
The inlay material was from a defected side, so pretty thick. Removing as much as I can with a chisel...

Rosette inlay levelled
...and finally levelling it out with a scraper

Rosette inlayed
Inlayed rosette leveled and flushed with the top.

ice-cream technique for soundhole
The soundhole is cut with the ice-cream bar stick technique. It's simply a razor blade mounted on an ice cream stick (I used a srap wood) rotating off a nail in the centre.

clean soundhole cut with ice-cream technique
With few careful scoring with the blade, the soundhole gets a clean cut through.


Paulownia braces split
Next, bracing. Some Paulownia is hand split.

Paulownia fan braces prepared
Shape to rectangle cross-section and to length

Drafting bracing pattern
Drafting the bracing pattern on the top.

Grafts being glued
The rosette grafts are glued first to reinforce the sound hole, as well as the upper transverse graft and transverse bridge pad.

After gluing grafts
After gluing.

Paulownia fan braces notched
The 7 fan braces are numbered and middle 5 are notched to clear the bridge pad.

Gluing Paulownia fan braces
Fans are being glued with cauls and the shopmade cam clamps provide just enough grip to hold down the braces till the glue sets.

Paulownia braces glued
All glued up, including the finger braces, and carved down to a feather edge.

Bottom V glued
Bottom V are glued and carved. Now gluing the upper cross struts and upper transverse bar

Finished Paulownia Top
I strive for musical tap response than to achieve any specific note(s) to determine the final graduation of braces. After that, I sand them down to #240 garnet.

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