Selmer Maccaferri (Django)

New project starting in November 2015.

Portuguese guitar is soon in the final sanding stage and the finalizing starts so new stuff has to be started.

Next I’m going to do a guitar that was used by one of my favorite guitar players, Django Reinhardt. The guitar is of course Selmer Maccaferri. Here below is the picture of guitar number 503 which was owned and played by Django.

Wood material has been ordered and they are already on the way. I ordered the woods from the same place where I bought the wood for the Gretsch, italian company called Rivolta, (www.riwoods.com), special thanks to them about the ebony block for the bridge.

back and sides - Indian rosewood

top - Italian Alpine spruce

neck - walnut

fingerboard and bridge - ebony

Wood has arrived. On the left the neck, then back, below them the fretboard blank and the ebony block for the bridge. Next the sides and on the right the top. Above the top is nine pieces of bracing wood, different sizes. In the same package I got also the couple of pieces spruce for the neck block and tail block.

Soon I have to start to make the molds for this guitar. I’ve already bought the plans and started to read a book about building this kind of instrument. I bought that a few weeks ago.

In the original Selmer Maccaferri the back and sides were laminated but it is impossible to make lamination in the school so this will be done with solid wood.

The parts for the mold are ready. Now starting to glue them together.

Mold is now glued.

Shaping of the mold done. Sound box is 15 mm deeper at tail than at neck. Soon starts the bending of the sides. I’ve cut some extra away from the sides, those parts will be used e.g. for bindings in some other project.

The back has been cut to shape and I have started to make the braces. Neck block, tail block and braces are spruce.

On the lower side the bending of the cutaway was surprisingly easy. It was much easier than bending flamed maple which I’ve had in some earlier builds.

The cutaway bending matched the mold perfectly.

Upper side was as easy as it has been in earlier projects.

The back has the braces glued to their places. So it is almost ready.

I’ve shaped the tail block and the neck block. Sides have been cut so that they fit into the mold.

One of my favorite things while building is the gluing of the linings.

Gluing the tail block.

Rainy day and a lot has been done. Tail block and neck block glued, all the linings glued and also some braces to sides.

Testing how the top bracing looks like without the top.

The top has been glued and the routing for the rosette has been done.

Rosette is going to have a S character in it. Otherwise it is going to be quite traditional.

And the next step is the hole to the top.

Bracing is getting ready. I’ll do like in the guitar #503, only four braces to the top.

And the label on the bottom of the guitar will look like this.

Shaping the braces of the top.

Parts of the sound box are getting ready. Braces have places fitted into the linings. The extension of the neck block needs a route for the truss rod. I planned that the truss rod would be adjustable trough the sound hole but I think I’ll turn it round and make the normal adjustment hole to headstock.

Glueing the top.

And there it is, top has been glued.

A closer look to linings and braces.

And then the back gets glued.

There we have the sound box ready from gluing.

Extra wood cut away from the sound box. Next starting to work the neck.

Truss rod routing done, Dremel was doing the job nicely. Extra wood cut away.

Headstock has the slots and tuners have holes. We had an extra Saturday session with our teacher and everybody who participated got a lot of things done.

 

Last evening at the school, continues after summer. I had enough time to shape the fretboard and cut the fret slots. To the headstock I’ll make an oval inlay of ebony where will be the place for the name logo. Also I managed to do an ebony truss rod cover.

Dove tail will be started after summer. Might be that I’ll do the  bindings to the sound box before summer.

Summer has gone and school continues. Thursday night I was working with Dremel to get the routing for the bindings ready. This time it will be tortoise color with some black and white stripes.

Also the tail strip is getting ready.

Bindings have been glued and most of the glue drops scraped away.

Starts to look quite nice.

Fretboard has got the dots. And the last view on the truss rod.

The dove tail joint was perfect. Fretboard continues straight on the top.

Heel cap.

Almost there. Neck is glued. Next the fretboard and frets then shaping the neck and finalizing the bridge. And a lot of shellack.

Back and front.

If you want to hear the sound of this guitar click the link.

 

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