The "Fitzgerald"

Written by Patrick Podpadec on . Posted in Guitars





 I have been attending the Riverside Inn Spring Music Festival for over ten years now and after last year have actually started participating as vendor . After last years succesful event the Festival's Music director, Justin Moyar and I decided that it would be a good idea to raffle off one of my handmade guitars.

Read More



In the following pictures I will try to portray the different methods that I go through to produce one of my fine , solid wood instruments. This years model is a copy of the original "Maverick" that was built for the Sonic Sitka Project, sponsored by the Guild of American Luthiers in 2010. The only differences are that the back and sides are constructed with Mahogony and the neck/body joint is met at the 14th fret instead of the 12th fret. I have also chosen a wood species called 'Morado". for the fingerboard, bridge and rosette around the oval sound hole.It is a Bolivian Rosewood that is starting to become very popular with the larger guitar manufactures such as Martin and Taylor.




This is the Sitka Spruce top that is being thicknessed to about .095 before adding braces

back_being_glued   This the method that I use to glue the plates together before I rough shape them into the body style
gluing_main_X_braces   I like to use a "Go deck Bar" system of gluing the braces. It has a more reliable glueing pressure and doesn't tend to wander or "creep" top_braced   You can see here that most of the top braces have been completed
back_brace_being_glued   After the spruce center strip is glued I start gluing the back braces one at a time. I do this differently because I use a 30ft radius caul to form the arch on the back view_of_back_braces   This is another view of the back bracing procedure
completed_back_and_top   This is what  the guitar looks like after being braced and before assembly bent_sides   The sides are bent and in the mould
heel_block_being_installed   This a strange camera angle , but is the heel block being glued to the sides kerfing_being_glued_to_rims   This is how I glue the kerfing on to the sides. These are inexpensive plastic spring clamps that I have added wrapped rubber bands around to give them more strength
kerfing   This is a little better view to see the reinforced clamps. Simple, but it works well! closeup_of_kerfing_clamps   Not all of the clamps needed to be reinforced, Only when I need the extra clamping power is when I use the rubber bands.
5_pc_lam_neck   This is the 5 pc lamination that I used for the neck ears_glued_on   here you can see how I glue on the "ears" so that I have enough material for my headstock design
cutting_neck_profile   After I glue the pcs together i cut the profile of the neck out. You can see th template in the background glueing_the_peg_head_veneers   This is a shot of me glueing the peghead veneers on both at the same time
inlaying_the_headstock   Here is what it looks like with all of the colored epoxy around the pearl inlays finished_inlay   This is what it looks like when it's finished
top-being-glued   Check out this cool contraption that I designed to fit on my body form to quickly glue the top down glueing_the_back_on   Here is a shot of how I glue the back on. I choose to take it out of the form and use a variety of clamps
body_bound   I used a black plastic binding for this guitar. My method is to simply use reinforced packing tape to bind it. It is very strong and works well for me. dovetail_jig   This is a picture of the guitar body having the mortise routed out . check out the cool jig the I built from looking at one on line. It's a copy of the one you can get from Luthier Merchantile
view_2_of_jig   This is a little better view of the jig that is used for cutting the mortise & tenons or dovetails in the body and neck close_up_of_router_cutting_mortise   Here you can see the router and the 1/2" straight bit I use for cutting the mortise in the body
mortise_template   This the template that I used to cut the mortise. I make my own templates from scrap pcs of laminate flooring. It is very hard and dimensionaly stable and has a slippery finish neck_tenon   I just turn the jig around and clamp the neck in the other side and cut the tenon part of the neck. I align the neck with the truss rod slot and it comes out perfectly on center.