The construction of acoustic guitars



Essential for the construction of a good guitar is the use of well dried and extinct wood.

Only then one may assume that the guitar is resistance against differences in temperature and moistness.

With sufficient care and maintenance the guitar will last for years.

The body of the guitar is called the resonance-box. It exists of an upper-blade, a continuous side and a back-blade.

All parts are connected with the help of supporting beams.

The connection points are completed with ornamental edges.

The upper-blade of the guitar is responsible for the final sound of the guitar.

An ideal upper-blade should theoretically be made of high worthy, knot-free, quarter sawed, mirrored, well extinct fir- or spruce-fir wood, with a straight thread.

Practical an upper-blade with this ideal features will not exist.

All upper-blades are strengthen with a framework of support beams on the inside of the resonance-box.

The support beams should be fixed in a manner that they will resonance in the same way as the resonance-box.

The rosette of the guitar is a beautiful ornamented ring around the soundhole.

The rosette does not only have an ornamental function but also surfs as a support. The soundhole is a weak spot in the upper-blade.

For the neck of the guitar different constructions are used. In the most cases they will be composed of three pieces of wood. The benefit of this way of construction is that the connected pieces will form a solid construct.

Mostly the neck will be made of hardwood such as mahonie, maple, palissander or African nut-wood.

The fingerboard is formed by a broad thin lath on the front of the guitar. 

On the fingerboard are the frets. Traditional the fingerboard is made of ebony wood, although nowadays different hardwood kinds are used such as for example palissander.

In the fingerboard are notches that hold the frets.

In cross-section the frets are T-shaped and have tiny saw-teeth that penetrate the fingerboard after they are carefully hammered in place.

The vibrations of the strings are guided via the comb and the saddle and than transmitted to the upper-blade.

Because of this reason it is very important that the comb is well fixed on the guitar so it will guide the vibrations in a proper way. In the early days the combs and saddles where cut out of ivory. These days they are made of plastics. 

Finally the bridge of the guitar at the end of the neck in co-operation with the saddle on the upper-blade takes care for the action of the guitar.

The action of the guitar is the height of the strings in opposite of the fingerboard. This influences the comfort and playability of the guitar.