Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wedge issues

Mr. Cumpiano, thanks so much for your book. I have been building electric guitars for about 7 years, and did not know where to begin with acoustics until I found your book. I plan to build my first acoustic this year following your methods, but was wanting to incorporate a wedge, since I have shoulder issues.  How do I sand the long radius (heel to headblock) in the back rims when both sides are not identical? If you can provide any advice or help I would greatly appreciate it.


I attempted the wedge only after I was well into my guitarmaking career. I had made over a hundred guitars before attempting it. And I still found it so challenging that I’m not looking forward to doing it again soon. So I would say that it is probably a very bad first guitar-making project. The geometry is so weird, I wouldn’t even know how to clearly explain how I trimmed the sides, tailblock and headblock to the precise contour, let alone apply back kerfing strips to the meandering perimeter of the back.

Instead, consider a “thinline” acoustic: they actually sound very good: Not a wedge, they are built in the ordinary way, just that the side height is 3 3/4-inches at the tailblock, tapering to 3 1/4 at the heel. You make up for the lack of air volume (e.g. bass response) by making the bout width a jumbo 16-inches. It adds up to a Jumbo with an OM-guitar air volume. It’s the next best thing to a wedge.

William Cumpiano