Panormo build - page 3

Ready for the Back
The body is ready for applying the back now. I have sealed the inside of the top and the end grain in the neck with a wash coat of shellac, and it has been sanded with 600 grit paper to make a silky smooth interior. The edges of the sides facing us are angled slightly to accept the back which has a radius built into it. Panormo used a large slipper (flat base of neck facing us) and I have attempted to replicate it. The sound board hangs out beyond the sides and will be trimmed later along with the back. I have signed and dated the top. I invited the owner to sign it as well.
Ready for the back

Ready for the back

Signed back

Signed back

Gluing the back

Gluing the back

Gluing the Back
Strong tape is used to clamp the back to the body while the glue dries. This assures even pressure all around the glue joint.
End Graft
The binding channels have been cut into the body of the guitar to prepare for gluing the binding and purfling. You can see the end graft already glued into place - this motif was used by Panormo on many of his guitars.
Binding channels and end graft

Binding channels and end graft

Rough binding - ready for trimming

Rough binding - ready for trimming

Scraping the binding

Scraping the binding

Adding the Binding
The binding and purfling are glued into place, and they need to be surfaced down to meet the sides, top and back. I’ve used a cabinet scraper to do this chore. The bindings are now surfaced cleanly to the face of the sides and back. Now the guitar is ready for some sanding, and final shaping of the neck. The unshaped neck which is visible in this photo (bottom left) makes a handy fixture to clamp the guitar while performing many of the procedures on the guitar body.
Fingerboard Installation
The fingerboard is ready to glue onto the neck. After this I’ll shape the remaining portion of the neck to match my customer’s specific requirements for thickness and shape. In the second photo you see the fingerboard is glued on - and final shaping of the neck reveals the finished profile of this little guitar.
Loose fingerboard

Loose fingerboard

Fingerboard is installed

Fingerboard is installed

Adding grain filler

Adding grain filler

Schellac sealer being applied

Schellac sealer being applied

Starting the finish
Final sanding has been done, and now the wood grain filler has been applied. The pores of the wood are filled to provide a surface that will polish to a mirror finish after the lacquer is applied. This is not my favorite task and I am always glad to get beyond this. Second photo: Here I am applying a final wash coat of shellac sealer. Notice how the natural colors of the wood come alive with some finish applied.
French Polish
French polish has been applied to the top revealing the true beauty in the spruce wood. This type of finish has nearly no dampening effect on the wood - allowing for the most natural and free vibration possible. I will use a water based lacquer on the sides and back for durability. Second photo: Now the building process is getting very exciting! The final coats of finish have been applied, sanded, and buffed. The bridge is glued on, and the frets will now be leveled and surfaced.
French polish on the top

French polish on the top

Finish is applied

Finish is applied

Final details

Final details

The Home Stretch
The finish has been leveled and buffed, the Schaller tuning machines are installed, and the Panormo copy is now ready to come to life by stringing it up.
Finished Guitar Photos
Here are some photos of the finished instrument. Thank you for following this journey of creating a piece of musical history.
Finished guitar

Finished guitar

Finished front

Finished front

Angled front view

Angled front view

Finished back

Finished back

More Finished Guitar Photos
Custom Coffin Case
An instrument of historic significance deserves a fitting case, so I constructed this coffin case which is similar to what would have been made for the instrument 180 years ago.