Category archives: Guitar Construction

Book Matching in Guitar Making

Book matching is done when preparing to glue two or more pieces of wood. Book Matched 1This sometimes works better when there is an even number of pieces. In guitar making, when selecting wood for a top, back and sides for a guitar, they will normally come in two pieces per set. It may be that the wood you select is a block. If it is a single piece, it needs to be thick enough to cut in two. In both cases, they will be joined in what is known as book matched, mirror imaged, or butterflied join. Book matched means that the two pieces paired together form a mirror image. Taking the two pieces and placing them as they were, when it was one piece of wood, the one piece will be turned over, the same as turning the page of a book and this is how the two pieces will be joined the two pieces will mirror each other.

The reason

Regarding the top - firstly, the wood will be similar in terms of the density on both sides of the join,Book Matched 2 the grain of the cut will be the same in the middle, normally placing the tighter grain in the centre and the wider grain on the ends giving the wood a very balanced tone as well as giving the newly joined top and back an aesthetically pleasing look. This applies to any wood that is used.


Binding on Acoustic Guitars


What is binding?

Acoustic guitar binding in guitar making,can be made out of many different kinds of material including, various woods, plastic, or celluloid. Binding is inlayed on the edges of the body and sometimes on the neck and headstock.DSCF9552 This is done by cutting a rebate into the edge, either with a router, or as was done more traditionally in the past, by hand, with a rebate tool. Next to the binding, a strip of purfling is usually inlayed in along with the binding. Purfling strips are thin laminate pieces of different woods or woods dyed different colours. The purfling on guitars is usually more for aesthetic purposes.

The bindings main purpose

  • is to provide strength to edges. The top and back are glued to the sides, which are normally round 2mm thick. A 5mm thick strip called a lining, is attached to the inside of the sides where they meet the top and back. The reason for this is to a) stiffen the sides, and b) to increase the gluing area. When the binding rebates are cut they are specifically done to not disturb the joint of the top and back to the sides. Binding 1When the bindings are glued into position, again, the gluing area has been increased to strengthen the joint even more. It protects the fragile, grain edges of the top and back while helping attach them to the sides.
  • To lessen the chance of the top and back cracking or splitting, especially at the top (headstock area) and the bottom.
  • To protect the edges when accidently bumped.

So, as well as looking good and aesthetically finishing the guitar, the binding has a very specific purpose and plays a very important role in the construction of the instrument.