Tapering the Guitar Sides

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Blog entry by Randy Price posted 01-24-2012 02:51 AM 6508 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Follow along as I build a Tenor Guitar. In this episode see how the guitar sides are tapered in preparation for attaching the back and top.


5 comments so far

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1130 posts in 3897 days

#1 posted 01-24-2012 08:23 PM

Some useful ideas Randy; thanks again!

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View Marty Backe's profile

Marty Backe

251 posts in 2768 days

#2 posted 01-25-2012 06:47 PM


Did you consider using a router instead of sandpaper? That’s what I thought you might do since you weren’t shy about using power tools (drill press) for your initial sizing operation.

I wonder how the ‘professional’ instrument makers do it?

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Randy Price

240 posts in 3496 days

#3 posted 01-26-2012 04:48 AM

Hi Marty -

Actually I did consider using a router but I thought the thin sides of the guitar would not survive a high speed router bit. The little saw blade I used has a very fine teeth and the drill press speed is much slower as compared to the router. From my experience using this little saw blade I knew it had a non-aggressive cut and I felt safe using it for this application.

The professionals do it in various ways; most often I’ve seen the sides reduced to close to finished height using a draw knife or spoke shave and then brought down to the desired height with a plane. Then the top and back are profiled to conform to a radius using a concave sanding dish. Since I’m doing a “flat top” I didn’t need to sand the top & bottom to a radius.


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Marty Backe

251 posts in 2768 days

#4 posted 01-26-2012 07:54 AM


View Marty Backe's profile

Marty Backe

251 posts in 2768 days

#5 posted 01-26-2012 07:55 AM

It’s funny how we (at least I tend to) utilize new techniques on current projects, and then are wary about using the new techniques. I think it holds us back a lot.

I’m trying to get in the habit of taking the time to practice new techniques (e.g., using a router in this project) on scrap wood, learning the lessons, and then applying them to the finished piece. Otherwise we’ll always be hesitant about trying new methods, instead sticking with the tried and true ways.

Enjoying your series.

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