Tochel | Guitars

Acoustic Guitar Assembly Pictures (Part One)

Here is some pictures of the next stage of the assembly of the acoustic guitar I have been building.

Gluing the heel block to the guitars soundboard

Gluing the heel block to the guitars soundboard

Gluing the heel block to the guitars soundboard

Gluing the heel block to the guitars soundboard

Gluing the end block to the guitars soundboard

Gluing the end block to the guitars soundboard

Planing the sides to the correct thickness

Planing the sides to the correct thickness

Bending the sides using a bending iron

Bending the sides using a bending iron

Gluing the (wenge) sides to the blocks and soundboard

Gluing the (wenge) sides to the blocks and soundboard

Gluing in tantallons and support "feet" for the X-brace

Gluing in tantallons and support "feet" for the X-brace


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Bracing an Acoustic Guitar Soundboard Pictures (Part 2)

Here’s part 2 of the soundboard bracing procedure pictures I completed recently.

Shaping the lower face braces

Shaping the lower face braces

Shaping the lower face braces

Shaping the lower face braces

Gluing in the upper transverse graft

Gluing in the upper transverse graft

Gluing in the upper face brace

Gluing in the upper face brace

Gluing in the mahogany X-brace

Gluing in the mahogany X-brace

Carving the mahogany X-brace

Carving the mahogany X-brace


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Bracing an Acoustic Guitar Soundboard Pictures (Part 1)

I have recently been building an acoustic guitar inspired by the Martin 00-45. Once the rosette was inserted into a solid spruce top, the soundhole cut out and the board thicknessed, the bracing was added. I used a 4mm domed dish and a Go-bar press to glue these in.

Gluing a bridge plate

Gluing a bridge plate

Gluing the Soundhole braces

Gluing the Soundhole braces

The x-brace was there to help hold the soundhole bracing in place. It was then removed to allow carving of the bracing.

Carving the Soundhole braces

Carving the Soundhole braces

Gluing on the finger braces

Gluing on the finger braces

Shaping the finger braces

Shaping the finger braces

Gluing on the lower face braces

Gluing on the lower face braces


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Fitting a Strat Neck To Metal Telecaster Body

Here are some photographs of a recent job, attaching a Strat neck to a metal telecaster type body.

Squier Stratocaster Headstock

Squier Stratocaster Headstock

First I filled the existing pre drilled holes in the neck as they did not fit the spacing on the telecaster body.

Squier Stratocaster neck

Squier Stratocaster neck

Squier Stratocaster neck

Squier Stratocaster neck

The inserts were cut flush, and new holes were marked and drilled.

Squier Stratocaster neck

Squier Stratocaster neck

Squier Stratocaster neck

Squier Stratocaster neck

The neck was then screwed back on to the body.

Metal Telecaster type body, with Squier Strat neck

Metal Telecaster type body, with Squier Strat neck

Metal Telecaster type body, with Squier Strat neck

Metal Telecaster type body, with Squier Strat neck

Metal Telecaster type body, with Squier Strat neck

Metal Telecaster type body, with Squier Strat neck


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Stripping a J Mascis Squier Jazzmaster Body – Pictures

Here are some pictures of a recently completed job, stripping the finish from a J Mascis Squier Jazzmaster body.

J Mascis Squier Jazzmaster body

J Mascis Squier Jazzmaster body

J Mascis Squier Jazzmaster body

J Mascis Squier Jazzmaster body

J Mascis Squier Jazzmaster body

J Mascis Squier Jazzmaster body

J Mascis Squier Jazzmaster body

J Mascis Squier Jazzmaster body

J Mascis Squier Jazzmaster body

J Mascis Squier Jazzmaster body

J Mascis Squier Jazzmaster body

J Mascis Squier Jazzmaster body


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“Martin” Style Tenor Ukulele Sold

"Martin" Style Tenor Ukulele

"Martin" Style Tenor Ukulele

This solid mahogany bodied “Martin” Style Tenor Ukulele has now been sold.

"Martin" Style Tenor Ukulele body

"Martin" Style Tenor Ukulele body

The  back, sides and soundboard were all solid mahogany, with rosewood and boxwood bindings. The bridge and fingerboard were wenge.

"Martin" Style Tenor Ukulele neck

"Martin" Style Tenor Ukulele neck

The neck was black walnut and the headstock veneer was wenge.

"Martin" Style Tenor Ukulele headstock

"Martin" Style Tenor Ukulele headstock

The instrument was then french polished.

"Martin" Style Tenor Ukulele End Graft

"Martin" Style Tenor Ukulele End Graft

For further notes on the construction of this instrument  please check older posts.

Thanks again for all the interest.


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Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all. Have a rockin’ 2014.


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Wenge (Millettia Laurentii) Leguminosae

As certain tonewoods become more difficult and expensive to source, I am always looking for suitable alternatives.

I am currently working on a couple of guitars using Wenge for the back and sides. Wenge grows in Congo, Cameroon, Gabon, Tanzania and Mozambique. The heartwood is dark brown, with fine close, near-black veins and white lines (the sapwood is whitish or pale yellow). The grain is fairly straight with a medium to course texture. It is a heavy and dense wood which is highly resistant to abrasion. It has high resistance to shock loads and a high bending strength. The wood works well with machine and hand tools. Gluing and polishing can be difficult because of the resin cells in the wood.It planes fairly easily.

Wenge guitar sides

Wenge guitar sides

Wenge is a durable wood and resistant to fungi and termites. The sapwood is permeable for preservative treatment, but the heartwood is highly resistant. It is most commonly used for furniture, turnery, carving and violin bows.

Fitting Wenge back to body

Fitting Wenge back to body


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Guitar Set-Ups from £35.00

Most guitars would benefit from a professional set-up.  A set-up involves

- Adjust truss rod for proper neck relief

- Set intonation compensation

- Set string arc (saddle height)

- Adjust action as required

-Redefine nut slots or shim and re-cut as required

-Clean and treat fingerboard

-Polish frets

-Check all hardware for correct operation (tighten machine heads, pot/socket nuts etc.)

Fender Strat Set-Up

Fender Strat Set-Up

-Oil metal moving parts

-Replace missing screws

-Replace strings

-Thorough play check.


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Routing a Saddle Slot on Brazilian Rosewood Blank

After squaring the block the shape of the bridge was drawn onto the bridge blank.

Brazilian Rosewood Bridge Blank

Brazilian Rosewood Bridge Blank

The blank is the mounted into the routing jig with double sided tape.

Bridge Blank in Routing Jig

Bridge Blank in Routing Jig

The saddle slot is then routed to the correct depth.

Routing the saddle slot

Routing the saddle slot

The bridge is then ready for the final shaping and carving.

Rosewood bridge blank with saddle slot cut, ready for final shaping

Rosewood bridge blank with saddle slot cut, ready for final shaping


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