Kerfing- the verb

Did a bit more today.  Slept till 9:00 which is surprisingly late for me, but I’ve been sleeping poorly for the past few nights.  Early mornings are my most productive time, but I was still able to accomplish some things.  Helped that it was super hot out and I didn’t even want to walk outside.

Trimmed up both sided of the body.  Final shaped my heel and tail blocks. Then I glued them on.  I’m trying to use as much hot hide glue this time as I can.  I was a bit worried as I’ve never really used it before.  Seems to be OK despite my wavering attitude about it over the course of the day.

HIde glue initiation


Gibson OO sides

Planed down and notched my basswood kerfing strips.  I decided to add a thin reinforcement band on the inside.  This is fairly common now, but definitely a departure from the 1937 plan.  Found some cedar strips that were about the right height so I cut them to size.  Cedar was not my original plan, but it was there, and I think a bit of contrast from the all light wood interior will be nice. Plus it will make the guitar smell really good.

I almost talked myself out of hide glue for the kerfing, but decided to go for it.  Gluing is definitely a much different experience.  You have to be fast!  But you don’t need to wait long till it sets up.  Glued my kerfing strips on.  While they set up I prebent the cedar, which burns really quickly.  Had to scrape off a lot of burn marks.  Then I glued up the cedar strips.


Pulled off the high tech clamps and will let it sit overnight.  I need to clean up the top with a plane and I’ll probably profile the cedar to a slight taper.

Soundboard kerfing

Next I move the form to the other side, plane the slope on the back and do the same kerfing, etc… on the other side.


6 thoughts on “Kerfing- the verb

    • Thanks. I hope so. This will be my 3rd overall and first steel string. Though I plan on making another two along with this one. Same exact guitar with different woods to compare sounds.

      • Thats a good idea. Maybe you like to make some changes below the sound-board as well. For instance, as you know we have Torres, lattice, etc. classical guitars. Each of them produce a different sound.
        (I dont know much about steel string guitars, so thats a classical guitar example 🙂 )
        Good luck!

    • I’ll probably change braces at some point. I’m going to stick with what works till I get a few under my belt. Of course simply changing how much is shaved off of a brace can make a considerable difference. I’m not too familiar with steel strings either. Most are x braced. My only guitars so far were torres fan braced classical guitars. I’m very happy with the sound, though I’d like a real guitar player to give me feedback. I’m a bass player, so my fingers work, but I can’t really play guitar all that well.

      • Well you are right it takes a little time. I’d be happy if I could try your guitars and give you some feedback. We are a little far, thats the problem. Though, I suppose I can give some feedback if I could listen to the sound of you guitar (Maybe a recording of your playing). If you are interested.

    • I would love if you could give feedback on my guitar, but the distance is a bit much. Me playing it probably wouldn’t be that great either. I’m trying to find someone close by who can play a little classical, and may have one idea. If I can find someone I’ll definitely record it. I know I can find jazz guitarists fairly easily.
      One of my best friends and musical mentor just stopped by. He has an ear that I trust like no other. He has a doctorate in composition, which may or may not mean much, but I consider him a fantastic musician. He gave them a good review as far as sound goes, though he plays piano and percussion and is not really a guitarist. So I was happy with what he had to say.
      I’ll continue to try and find someone that can make a little music on these as opposed to my noodling around. I know I have work to do on the neck feel and playability, but it would be really nice to hear thoughts on the sound.
      Thanks for all the comments. I appreciate it.


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