Back and Sides

Of course I would need Rosewood for the back and sides. Fortunately my brother had an old dining table set with chairs. The legs looked promising and large enough for some straight pieces I could use for the sides. It is always difficult to say what kind of rosewood it is, but it looks very similar to Brasilian, so it may even be that!

The wood is very dense and therefore required a ribbon saw to cut it into slices. I used the same wood for the back, but the pieces were too small for a 2-part back. But that was no problem since I wanted to recreate a D35!

I also made a mould for putting together back and sides, just like for a real guitar:

I left the three back parts a little bit thicker (1.2 mm) so that I could sand it a bit to give it a slight curving. Both outer parts are mirrored, with a double binding at the center piece. And of course the back needed some ‘original’ back bracing as well:

I used a shredder to give the back the desired thickness. This was a very difficult step in the whole process, because the shredder was relatively big compared to the rosewood back. The aspirin on the picture proves that the whole project sometimes gave me a big headache!!

For bending the sides I made aluminum moulds which I could heat using a hot plate:

The sides are 0.8 mm thick and mirrored. By wetting the wood in hot water (30 minutes) and heating the moulds it was possible to get the sides into shape. I had to pay attention that the bend of both part starts at the same position. This is one of the most exciting moments, and the smell of the wood it great here:

Eventually two mirrored sides remain. The holes (from the chair legs construction) are still visible here:

After determining the length both parts can now be connected, together with tail and heel piece:

Now it is time for bringing the body into its correct dimension: the lower bout should be slightly higher than the upper bout. Here you can see the thin part I had to remove from the body:

This was difficult as well, since the wood can easily crack due to the grain at these dimensions.

The carved lining between the top and the sides would be too small to reproduce, so I had to apply a solid mahogany strip of 1 x 0.5 mm.

Then the back is glued to the sides and smoothened.