Thursday, May 31, 2007


As with other components, I decided to make my own purflings. Partly because I wanted to try it, partly because it was cheaper but mostly because that way I had the control over the wood or rather what colors were being used for them. The ones you can buy ready made are mostly made from black and white dyed wood fiber veneers and I find them a bit harsh and cold in comparison to the warmer natural wood colors that are aesthetically more pleasing to me. The ones I made for this guitar are maple/bubinga/maple. A strip of rosewood veneer will be added later to the top purflings to give contrast between the maple veneer and the spruce top.

As with the veneers I prepared for the rosette and bindings, these were cut
slowly with a sharp Stanley knife using many light passes in order to avoid the veneer splitting during the process. The veneers were then stacked and glued to a sandwich using an MDF clamping caul and wax paper. The many bar clamp used for this were attached and slowly tightened in the following order to minimize the veneers sliding out of place in the wet glue: First the end clamps were put on and tightened just until the glue started to grip then the middle one. Two more were added dividing the whole line up in four segments and last one clamp were added to each segment. Once the clamps were on they were tightened further in the same order. I used Titebond III for the gluing as it is more heat resistant than it's regular cousin allowing the purflings to be bent over a hot iron without disintegrating.

Once the glue had dried I clamped the sandwich in my shooting board and trued one edge and cut each purling to a width of 1/8" on my bandsaw, truing the edge again after each cut. I used Iturra Design's 1/2" 'Bladerunner' blade for the cutting and it worked great. It has a very thin kerf just over 1/32" leaving very little waste. It allowed me to get six purlings from the 1" wide sandwich - two for the top, two for the back and one for the center back strip as well as a spare.






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