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Optional Independent Side Braces - Refer To Latteral

Section For More Info. Spread Evenly Around The


Sides Of The Guitar. Refer To Section For The Exact
Profile. Usually Between 6 and 8 Are Used. These
Are Shaped Similar To A Brace Out Of The Same
Material As The Top Braces. Put In Place Just Prior
To Glueing The Back Plate To The Sides.

Certain Luthiers Tune The Top By Making The Top


Progressively Thinner As It Reaches The Guitar Edge
And Remain Full Thickness At The Top. If You Do
This Do Not Reduce The Edges Below 2.2mm And
Make The Center Slightly Thicker.

60.7

34.7

109.8

2 3/8"

1 3/8"

4 5/16"
21

4
52. /16"

h=5

mm

4.8

3/16"

h=5m

660.0
25 31/32"

373.5

1 9/16"

14 23/32"

1 7/32"

Shaded Area Indicates 1/16" Cedar


Bridge Plate Glued To The Underside Of
The Top Place. Notch Fan Bracing Over
The Top Of The Bridge Plate.

h=5mm

9 5/32"

232.2

3 7/16"

87.7

1 21/32"

2 21/32"

R 42.1

67.3

11 3/32"

282.0

1 1/2"

38.0

2"

50.8

2 1/2"

63.5

2 3/32"

53.2

1.77

2 9/16"

65.1

1.77

2 7/8"

5/8"

15.9
7.9

5/16"

h=5mm

1 15/32"

1 3/8"

1 3/8"

21.8

27/32"

20.8

13/16"

4.8

31/32"

34.9

34.9

21/32"

Classical Guitar Bridge Complete


With Tie Block, Saddle Channel And
Either Bone Or Ivory Saddle. Center
On 660mm Scale Length Both
Vertically and Horizontally.

3/16"

R 36.8
128.6

5 1/16"

Fret Wire Detail

Cut Slots Into Headstock After Drilling Holes For


Machine Head Rollers. Make A Template To
Locate Holes And Drile Precisely With A Drill
Press. Cut String Ramps In With A Round Rasp
and Final Shape With Sandpaper Wrapped Around
A Dowel.
Note: Be Sure To Check The Actual Roller Spacing
For Your Tuning Machines Before Making The
Template and Layout. They Vary Slightly From Mfr.
To Mfr.

Butt The Rossette Reinforcing Plate


Into The Sides Of The Braces. Do Not
Extend Beneath Braces Or on Other
Side Of Braces

h=5m

Rossette (Shaded) - Usually


Prefabricated. But You Can Make
Them Yourself.

The Center Joint Is One Of The Most


Important Joints On The Guitar For Both
Top And Back Plates. Consider Using Our
Plate Joining Jig For Hairline Joints In Record
Time

String Ramps

37.0

All Fan Braces


3mm wide

25.0

73.0

5/8"

15.9

5/16"

21

7.9

h=5mm

Dashed Lines Indicate Outline Of


Neck Block Where It Meets The
Top.

9
59. 1/32"

Re-Constituted Ivory Or Excellent Quality


Bone For the Nut.

3 3/32"

39.7

78.5

Depth Of Holes For Rollers Can


Vary With Tuning Machine Mfr.

Dashed Line Indicates Rossette


Reinforcement Strips. 1.5mm Thick
30.7

1 7/16"

1.2
1/32"

14 1/2"

1/2"

368.5

12.7

3 3/8"

31/32"

1 5/32"

Scale Length

85.7

25.0

29.1

21

20.8

13/16"

0
54. /8"

Brace Key Numbers. Refer To


Brace Diagram Plan For
Bracing Layouts

Back Block or Butt Block. Vertical Grain


Cedar Or Spruce Minimum 20 Grains/
In. Some Luthiers Shave This Block or
Angle It Away From The Top As This
Block Often Gives A Guitar A "Hump"
In The Top And Can Cause Cracking.

C
F

h=5

mm

Guitar Plan View

Optional Independent Side Braces - Refer To Latteral


Section For More Info. Spread Evenly Around The
Sides Of The Guitar. Refer To Section For The Exact
Profile. Usually Between 6 and 8 Are Used. These
Are Shaped Similar To A Brace Out Of The Same
Material As The Top Braces. Put In Place Just Prior
To Glueing The Back Plate To The Sides.

Kerfed Lining Made From Either Basswood Or Cedar.


Many Spanish Classicals Use Solid Kerfing For The
Back Plate Attachment. If You Choose To Do That
Make Sure The Kerfing Is Pre-Bent Prior To Gluing. Do
Not Introduce Stress Into The Guitar.

Note: Bracing Shown Here Is The


Actual Placement Of The Bracing
On The Interior Side Of The Top
Plate. This Bracing Is Not Shown
In Xray Mode. Refer To Photograph
On Section Sheet.

494.4
19 15/32"

Materials:
This is a short-form or outline on the basics of guitar construction and is intended to give you a guide to getting
started. We will be publishing a complete Guitar Building Handbook which will be a very detailed instructional
manual. Until that time, be sure to visit our very informative articles at www.ultimate-guitar-building, and http://
ultimate-guitar-online.ultimate-online-services.com/zencart/, which is our plan and material store and we will be
offering many guitar information articles there as well.
Tonewoods: Assemble the proper materials before you begin your project. If you don't have your tone wood
already, check out our ever-growing supply of tonewoods. We carry the basics such as Walnut, Maple and Genuine
Mahogany for the more modest guitars, but also cater to guitar builders wishing to purchase some of the more
exotic species such as Bubinga, Zebrawood, Paduck, Koa and much more. If this is your first guitar, you may want
to try wood that is a bit less expensive for your first try, such as Sapale for backs, or American Walnut, which is
another good choice. These along with Genuine Mahogany are available for about half to a third or less of the price
of some of the exotics. A popular choice for a great flatpick acoustic guitar is a good set of Genuine Mahogany with
straight grain - this was used on the classic Martin D18's and is still popular today. A bonus for these woods is that
they are easy to bend, sand, finish and stain, so give them a try.
Be sure to check the size of each plate that we list as some of them are not appropriate for the big bodied guitars
such as the Jumbo & Grand Auditorium. Our tops and backs are book-matched for grain pattern and we search out
the most flattering grain patterns. All of our wood is planed to 3.6mm and you can use the full dimension as listed as
there are not splits or other imperfection to be concerned about.
Neck Wood: Neck blanks are usually constructed of Spanish Cedar or one of the Mahogany woods such as African
Mahogany or Genuine Mahogany. One of the best methods of construction of a classical guitar neck is by adding a
10mm (3/8") wide Ebony strip that is laminated as an integral part of the guitar neck.
Fretboards: I prefer Ebony fretboards, expecially for classical guitars. You can use Rosewood to save a few dollars
but it is usually not worth it.
Brace Wood: We also handle brace wood for tops and backs. Typically top bracing is the same species as the top
and it should be vertical grain, with at least 16 grains per inch. Back bracing is typically from the Spruce family, but
the same brace wood as the top plate also is very workable and pleasing to the eye.
You will also need additional wood to make up the purfling around he edges and you will need maple or some other
type of white wood if you want white stripping accents for your purfling. Usually the outer layer of purfling or binding
is thickest - 2mm or more and is made from the same wood as the guitar back and sides. Another popular option is
the use of plastic bindings - not for classical guitars though. Many luthiers experiment with accents woods for the the
binding as well.
We did not get into the details of how purfling is put on this guitar as that is more of a construction issue and not a
guitar plan issue. We will list detailed methods in our guitar construction handbook on this subject.
Frets: Buy good fret stock with at least 18% silver content.
Nuts and Saddles: Bone, bone or bone. No plastic. Only use the best quality bone you can get. Ivory? Even Better
Tuning Machines: Make sure they have good plating on them and the metal is a heavy gauge. Either a good grade
of silver or gold plated tuners are approbriate for a high quality custom made guitar.
Bridge: I prefer to make my own out of Ebony to match the fretboard. Often a very appealing option is a Rosewood
Bridge, which is very attractive. Consider matching the headpiece wood to the bridge wood.
Interior blocking for neck and butt blocks: This wood should probably match your neck material of choice. Grain
should be vertical and no knots. We have and will be carrying a wide array of these accessories for your guitar
building needs.

Tips and Techniques:

Always make sure your tools are razor sharp and not dull. Buy good sharpening stones or sharpening grinders such
as the Tormek or the JoolTool sharpening systems. It is also important to knock off the burr on your chisels and
other hand tools.
If you use stationary tools, make sure the blades on your bandsaw, table saw, jointer etc. are also very sharp and
you do not have to force wood through the machines. If given a choice, always use carbide-tipped blades. Some of
these hardwoods are tough to cut without a good carbide blade. Setup of power tools is extremely important too follow included directions or obtain good books on proper setup of bandsaws, table saws etc. You can't believe what
a difference this will make.
You can never have enough jigs, templates etc. in guitar-making. If you plan to continue beyond your first guitar and
make several others, templates and jigs are a must more making your work a lot easier. Be sure to check out our
extensive line of Guitar Building Tools to help you build more quickly and accurately and concentrate on technique
and improving the sound and balance of your guitars.
If you are starting from scratch in your building endeavors, make sure you make excellent quality Inside Forms and
Workboards for your guitar. If you make your guitar forms from our plans, you will increase your build rate and
continually have consistent builds.
Put together the Guitar Templates that you will need at a bare minimum. You should have a template to trace your
basic guitar body shape, your top and back brace locations, the neck and foot profile and the headstock layout,
showing all the drilling locations for the tuning machine rollers and string slots. Also it comes in handy to have back
brace curvature templates, brace scalloping patterns, fret slot location templates and bridge templates.
There are a lot of great little tools and gadgets available for Guitar Lutherie - Here are a few:
Thumb Planes - These are also called violin finger planes.
Spindle Sander - This is a tabletop stationary tool.
Dremel Router with roller bearing bushings - or other small hand-held mini-router.
GoBoard Gluing Jig for gluing back and top plate bracing quickly and easily in about 10 to 20% of the time of the
usual clamps.
Heated Side Bender: This is probably the one tool that you will absolutely need to easily and quickly bend your
sides, which is one of the more important projects in a guitar building project. You will also need Guitar Form Inserts
to complete the bending process.
Neck Assembly Jig: This will help you saw the scarf joint for your guitar headpiece and glue the headpiece and the
heel block stack without any shifting during clamping and you will achieve very consistent results eliminating time
and frustration.
Plate Joining Jig: This all-important jig is a great way to get the best and strongest possible joint for one of the
hardest to glue joints on the guitar.
We offer these tools and many more pre-built and assembled guitar tools, as electronic plans where you build them
yourself and hardware sets so yo can get all of the necessary hardware and just supply the wood and labor yourself.
Make sure your shop is held an a very constant humidity level all year long. Never vary more than 5% between 45
and 55%. This will minimize cracking, shrinkage and give overall durability to guitars you plan to sell or gift.
Some of the other great little tools I love are:
Japanese Saws that cut both ways
Lots of the German Cam Clamps - both 6" and 8"
1" Spring Clamps - A whole 2# coffee can full of these
A great set of instrument maker's chisels in 1mm 2mm 4mm and 6mm sizes
Fret file, dovetail saws, fret end dressing tool, fret rocker etc.

Methods:
Start by sanding your top plate, back plate and sides to rough thickness (within 1mm of final thickness). For top
plates of classical guitars, shoot for approximately 2.4 to 2.5mm (3/32), depending on wood species and stiffness of
the top. Backs and side should be about the same or a little bit thinner, but not much, again depending of the wood
species. Carefully glue the center joints of the back and sides together with a Plate Joining Jig.
To prepare the joints, sand carefully with sandpaper glued to a perfectly straight edge. I like to use adhesive backed
sandpaper in rolls and stick it to the side of a 24" metal-faced level. Trim the sandpaper carefully. Use 120 grit paper
and do not use a lot of force. The plates are joined most easily with the cam-action of the jig while using retainer bar
the top of the jig to keep things in alignment. By using our jig, you dont need to mess with wax paper or other
methods to keep the glue from sticking as we use HDPE non-stick plastic for the jig base and center retainer.
Once glued (If you use one of the exotic woods, be sure to get all of the resin out of the wood with acetone before
you glue anything. If you need to thickness sand your wood you can use jack planes, scrapers or dual action
sanders. See our articles for much more detail on this.
When I started out making guitars, I couldn't afford all the expensive stationary sanders etc,, that makes the work so
simple now. I used to get one side of the plate completely flat, then I would chuck up a small bit in the drill press and
set it to stop at the desired thickness of my plate + about .2mm. I would then drill dimples over the entire surface of
the unfinished side and simple sand until all of the dents were gone - pretty slick! Just make sure that the drill press
depth gauge doesnt slip!
After you have your thickness completed on the top plates. trace the guitar contour and carefully cut the outline out.
Make the cut line at least 2mm outside the line to give you some room to work later on.
Now is the time to bend your sides - a pretty scary operation if you are bending $300 side sets. Use either Heated
Side Bender with a Heating Blanket or on a bending iron. You can also boil the sides and clamp them to an
Unheated Side Bender for a few days to a week. Be sure to over-bend a bit to allow for spring-back. If you are going
to go into a bigger production of guitars than just a few now and then, you will want to get several benders in your
shop and constantly be loading these benders with wood side materials.
While the sides are curing, rout the channel for the rosette trim in the top plate and insert and glue those pieces. I
use a Dremel router with a steel stud sticking up through the center of the soundhole (the sound hole is not cut out
at this point.). I do this right on my Plate Joining Jig so to save space and utilize its large base. Once the rosette is
installed, rout out the soundhole with the router too. Carefully round the edges of the the soundhole with sand paper.
Now is the time to install all of your bracing on the top and back. As I mentioned I use GoBoard Gluing Jig and I
have plenty of fiberglass clamping rods handy to do this. This jig works fast and really secures the bracing evenly
and uniformly over the entire surface of the top or back plate. It also gives you a lot of finger space to allow gluing all
of the braces in a single operation without a lot of clamps to work around, and glue squeeze-out cleanup is a snap.
Typically the braces are only roughed-out for their final shaping is done after they are glued, but by using the
GoBoard Rods the braces can be totally finished and you only need to touch them up - so another time-saver. After
the glue is mostly dry, remove the plate and get all of the glue squeeze out off the bracing and plate with a sharp
small chisel. The glue should be dry enough to not be liquid but not fully adhered to the wood.

Methods - Continued:

Now you should assemble the guitar neck. As mentioned before you can use an assortment of guitar wood, but
make sure it is good strong hardwood. Cut the portion to be used for the neck right down the center and flip the
pieces so the grain is opposed on each half. Add your center strip if desired and glue up. After the neck assembly is
dry, square it up and you can use the Neck Assembly Jig to run it through your band saw to cut the exact scarf joint
angle. Do the same with the headpiece. Cut the headpiece to desired thickness.

Methods - Continued:

Next is the time to trim the plates, rout purfling grooves around the edges of the guitar and fit the purfling. With
groove cleaned out, nice tight fit and everything cut to length, glue on the purfling. When using wood purfling, be
sure to prebend the wood so it will fit with as little stress as possible.
Glue the purfling with your glue, and bind to the channel with the same upholstery tape as was used for the top and
back. This can also be done with the guitar inside the inside form if you desire.

Place the neck, the headpiece and the stacked heel blocks in the jig and glue them all together. This is a snap with
the Assembly Jig.

Rough sand the sides, back and top plates and round the edge of the purfling.

Next rough-cut the heel and foot/headblock shape of the neck on the bandsaw, keeping things true and plumb.
Remember to always cut a bit outside the lines to allow for slight error. Now rough cut the headpiece after tracing
with your headstock template. Sand the sides to final shape and size and drill you machine head holes in the
headpiece. Drill the holes for the string slots in the peghead. I prefer to use a Forstner Bit for nice clean holes.
Follow up with a jig saw with a fine cutting blade to connect the holes. Make this cut about 1mm outside the line and
sand to the line with thin sanding sticks.

Next sand the fingerboard to thickness, cut to correct width and final sand the edges on a stationary belt sander. Cut
the fret grooves and locate the fretboard on the neck. Lightly clamp it and drill 2 small holes down through the fret
groove at the body and nut ends of the fretboard. Place small locator nails in the holes and double check the
fingerboard location before gluing. Double check all the lateral and vertical locations with a precise straight edge.
Now install any edge binding on the fretboard that you may wish to install. Final sand everything and make sure the
fretboard is dead level. Glue the fretboard in place.

Next rough-shape the neck with a 4-way rasp, using the rough cut blade. Get the neck to within about 1/16" of final
thickness and width. Carefully shape the heel, constantly checking your progress against the template you made.

Final shape the neck to the fretboard size, shape the heel and finish sand. Place a heel trim on the bottom of the
heel. Dry-fit the tuning machines and make any adjustments so there is no binding or forcing in place. Fit the nut
and bridge. Mark the bridge location with a light pencil or scribe mark. You finish the guitar with the bridge in place.
You will have to use deep reach clamps to glue the bridge in place. It is best to place masking tape around the
perimeter of the bridge to allow easy glue cleanup.

Cut the slots in the neck for the sides to fit into the neck joint between the heel and the headblock/foot assembly.
This is easiest to do with Back Saws, Japanese Hand Saws etc. The trickiest part of this slot is that it needs to
match the curve of the sides that will fit into the slot without play. I cut the slot a bit narrow and then adhere a piece
of adhesive backed sandpaper to a metal scraper or a piece of an old handsaw blade.
Next shape the bottom of the foot. This too is a tricky operation and it is easy to oversand the foot bottom and then
you are faced with laminating a thin piece of wood on the bottom of the foot and start over. It works best to make an
arch jig that reverse matches the bracing arch and constantly check your work with this jig with your guitar in the
inside mold. Just work at it with sanding blocks, a little at a time and you can get it perfect.
Be sure to flatten the upper neck surface to prepare it for the fretboard. After rough shaping the neck, you should
keep about 2mm of neck wood on either side of the fret board so once the fret board is in place you can easily
shape the neck to the fretboard.
With the sides rough-cut to contour, using our Guitar Side Template, glue in the lining to receive the back plate. This
lining can be either kerfed lining or solid pre-bent lining. Glue with wooden clothespins with rubber bands wrapped
on them to strengthen their tension or use mini spring clamps. Make sure you have even glue squeeze out and
clean it up as you did on the braces. Extend the kerfing slight above the guitar sides.
Now fit the back to the sides and neck with the side following the contour of the inside form. Since the braces for the
back are slightly arched (about 4 to 6 mm ) carefully mark the trim marks for the sides. This will vary with every
aspect of the guitar because the inherent nature of it's shape. The kerfing will also need to have the top slights
contoured to fit tightly to the guitar back plate. Do this with a long sanding stick that reach completely across the
guitar. Place a block on the opposite end of the sand paper to compensate for the arch and shape the kerfing.

Glue the bridge after carefull dryfitting. If you use some of our Cam Clamps. You will need three of them, at least 8"
long. You will also need special cauls that you can make a temporary "bridge" to protect the fragile fan bracing
inside the guitar.
Give all wood surfaces a final sanding with 220 grit sandpaper, install the frets and prepare to install the finish.
There are many different opinions on finish material from urethane to varnish to lacquers. Do your research and
decide on what suite you best. Remember the thinner the finish the better sound you will get with a solid wood
guitar.
Finishing is a whole different operation in and of itself is too lengthy to discuss in this format. I suggest you get a
good book on instrument finishing from one of the suppliers.
This was a quick overview of guitar construction and I have not had the room to go into any great detail on anything.
At Ultimate Guitar OnLine, we plan on publishing an ebook on guitar construction in the near future, so watch for
that.
Good Luck and most of all HAVE FUN!
Check Us Out At:

Once the braces have had at least a couple of hours to dry, final shape and sand them with 220 sandpaper until
satin smooth.

Ultimate Guitar Store


www.ultimate-guitar-online.com
http://ultimate-guitar-building.com
david@ultimate-guitar-online.com

When it comes time to glue the bracing on the back plate you should use an brace arch insert in the GoBoard. This
jig will aid you in gluing your back braces at the perfect arch so your back plate will have the perfect arch or crown.

Our sites have a LOT of tips on such things as fret installation, neck adjustments and recommendations etc. Check
out the articles and come back often as we are adding content all the time.

Look at www.ultimate-guitar-online.com/woodworking-hand-tools.html for hand tools required and:


www.ultimate-guitar-online.com/woodworking-power-tools.html for stationary tools recommended.
Above all else make sure everything fits together perfectly before gluing. Do not force anything as stress is a guitar
ruins the tone. When in doubt take a few extra hours of sanding, trimming, and pre-assembly to get everything as
perfect as you can. Our Guitar Templates and Inside Forms can get you a long way down this road.

Note For Detailed Construction Instructions


Refer To Our Book "Guitar & Ukulele Construction
Handbook @ http://shopglss.com
This Drawing or Drawings Are To Used For One Use Only
And Not Reproduced For Any Other Purpose Than
Construction Of This Particular Instrument, and a One Time
Reproduction Only is Allowed
Reproduction, Distribution or Sales For Any Other Use Is
Strictly Prohibited And Falls Under U.S Copyright Laws For
David VerBurg AIA c 2013
This Sheet Size Is Metric A0 Size Overall Size is 1189mm x
841mm With 15mm Borders On All Sides. For USA
Customers Print On Architectural "E" (36" x 48") Without
Resizing For 1:1 Printout.

Georgia Luthier Supply

Classical Guitar Plan #3

Date: Feb. 2010


Revisions: Dec 13, 2013
Unless Noted Otherwise,
These Plans Are Drawing
Full Scale. They Are
Labeled in mm and
Fractional Inches

Sheet Number

C1