The Process

View a list of the general Construction Steps used in the making of a traditional steel string acoustic guitar.

For a visual tour of various steps, processes, techniques, etc. used in the different models, select one of the items below...

C-15 Rosewood and Cedar

C-15 Rosewood and Western Redcedar

This article contains loads of photos that document the build process of my 15″ deep-bodied OM-sized guitar, from joining the plates to bolting on the neck. A double-X bracing pattern, use of carbon fiber, and loads of custom inlay details make this an interesting read.

C-16 Myrtle and Spruce Venetion Cutaway

C-16 Myrtle and Spruce Venetian Cutaway

Unlike the Rosewood and Cedar C-15 model, this Myrtle and Spruce C-16 features a larger 16″ lower bout with a Venetian style cutaway. The sides are completely hand bent (as opposed to using the electric blanket bending machine). Closeups of custom forms and jigs are included, along with one of my approaches to laminated bracing.

C-17 Walnut and Curly Sinker Redwood Venetion Cutaway

C-17 Walnut and Curly Sinker Redwood Venetion Cutaway

Here I present my jumbo 17″ cutaway model in Claro Walnut and Curly Sinker Redwood, replete with photos and details of the build process. I use a traditional X-brace pattern for the Soundboard, but the Soundboard braces are laminated carbon fiber and Spruce. The back is braced with progressive fan-style pattern, and I add a comfortable Everett-style transitional arm bevel to the body. Additionally, I detail the construction of my pinless bridge.

From the Archives

Kent Carlos Everett
May 2013

A Week with Kent Carlos Everett

Spending a week with master luthier Kent Carlos Everett has been a life altering event, and taken my guitar building to a whole new level. I am convinced it would be impossible for the most callous and jaded luthier to walk away from a time such as this un-changed...

George Gruhn
Apr 2013

A Guild and George Gruhn

A great bunch of folks from the Let’s Talk Guild forum had gathered in Nashville, Tennessee in April 2013 for a chance to see and play some great guitars, swap stories and build camaraderie. As a result of that event, and a phone call placed by a dear lady from Texas, Ms. Toni Hynds requesting a special tour, I was privileged to spend a Saturday with George Gruhn...

John Greven
Dec 2012

A Saturday with John Greven

The days right after Christmas provide for a particular time of reflection. The somber realization that another year is winding to a permanent close is replaced by the anticipation for the celebration of the new year about to begin. It was during this special time in 2012 that I was able to spend a Saturday with master luthier John Greven...


James May Ultra Tonic Pickup
Dec 2017

The Ultra Tonic Pickup

I recently received my first shipment of Ultra Tonic pickups from James May Engineering. James is also a partner in Audio Sprockets, creators of the ToneDexter (see my article on Pickups and Gamechanging Technology). The Ultra Tonic for steel string guitars is a passive, brideplate-mounted, 5-transducer pickup with on-board feedback suppression. A nylon string version is also available...In this article I install the pickup into my 1976 Guild F-512...