I’m building two J45s this time around, and this is the second. The commissioner is looking for a pretty classic J45 sound–friendly, unpretentious and loose. I have had a really nice set of mahogany on hand for a decade or longer that was looking for the right project. This is the one. It’ll be paired with the slightly more flexible of the two Adirondack spruce tops to make a fantastic slope-shouldered dread.
This red spruce top is joined and ready to party.
Another terrific Adirondack spruce top from Old Standard Wood.
I glue top and back plates together in a simple jig that keeps the plate flat and applies closing pressure via wedges.
I’ve had this really nice set of mahogany for the back and sides for quite a few years.
The true Honduran mahogany, Swietenia macrophylla.
I cut a fresh batch of spruce bracewood for these guitars and felt like a millionaire, working with all this fine material.
Three good options for fingerboards, left to right: The leftmost piece is actually the mahogany neck blank, then granadillo (a hard, stripey wood), East Indian rosewood and finally katalox (a super hard purple-black wood)
Katalox is the hardest of the three (far right), granadillo is the second hardest, but East Indian rosewood, though not as dense as the other two, is a very popular material for fingerboards.
Bending up the thin wood strips for use in the rosette.
It’s fun to fit the rosette strips to the rosette pocket so that everything fits tightly for a clean result.
The rosette features curly maple which will be used for the purfling on this guitar, too.
I use a go-bar deck to glue in plate braces, so that the plate can be domed for strength.
Rough-shaping the back braces with a handplane.
The red spruce top and back braces are in place and have been roughly shaped.