It was a little surprising to go from having a rim and top and back plates on the bench to suddenly having a guitar in my hands, ready for finish. “Whoa, so this is why people love to build classicals. It’s so much less work!” I thought.

Not exactly.

What makes it seem like magic to me is that the order of construction is very different than my method for building steel-string guitars. With a classical, much of the work is front-loaded. The first thing you do is put in a bunch of work on the neck, so by the time you’ve slipped the bent sides into the slots in the neck block, you’ve done much of what is done last on a steel string guitar. When you glue the top and back plates into position, you’re rounding third base (and the neck angle is already set). It’s been enlightening to build a familiar instrument but in a totally different order.

I’m planning to stain this guitar tomorrow and put on the first coats of finish. With any luck, I’ll be putting strings on it in no time.