Nathan Gallardo

Sound Design || Music || Audio DIY || Game Dev

Resonator Guitar [Part 10 – Fingerboard etc.]

Oh man I’ve been busy.

So, once the little kerfing blocks were attached around the top of the back side of the sides (got that?), I sanded them down flush so the back panel will attach nicely.

I decided the tailpiece still wasn’t quite right, so I used a countersink drill bit to countersink the holes the strings pass through on each side.


The ball ends of the strings will sit much nicer in there now and it actually sort of disguises the fact that the holes aren’t in a perfectly straight line.

The wood around the ‘f’-holes was quite thin, and I was worried about two things. I don’t want the wood snapping off at the weak bits and also, it looked a bit shit.


I used some thing strips of wood to line the hole and glued them on.


That looks loads better now I reckon. The join is a bit uneven in places, so I’ll use some wood filler to build it up and sand it down smooth once it’s dry.

I’ve been looking for weeks for a bit of wood for the new fretboard. I was nearly at the point of buying some wood from the hardware store or even a proper ‘board off eBay! But then… SUCCESS!


Woah, I nearly spent some money there! It’s not hardwood, but then, it’s not £12 either. It’s quite a reasonably nice grain pattern on it, and I think some dark stain will make it look pretty good.


The wood was too thick, and a bit long. So I drilled a hole in either end, recessed it with a countersink, and then nailed it to my workbench. I used the electric plane from the second last photo to take it down to the right thickness. I was a little scared of the plane as there are a few doors around the place I’ve attempted to trim that are super uneven. I went for it though, and I’ve learnt the lesson is to set the plane to take off as little as possible and just go over and over it.


So, that done I needed to shape it up for the neck. The neck gets wider as it reaches the body, so I had to trim the sides slightly. I taped the wood to the neck, traced the outline onto it and put it in the vice.


I used a spokeshave, my favourite hand tool, to shave the sides down, checking it often so as not to take off too much. I finished it up with sandpaper.

It’s an experimental guitar, so I decided to do something a little flash with the fretboard.


I came up with this design by drawing straight onto the body to see how it would look. Satisfied, I drew it onto the fretboard and set to work with a coping saw, finished up the edges with a fine file and sandpaper.

I am seriously pleased with that!!

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