Acoustic Guitar Soundhole Cross

brian forbes westfarthing woodworks author biography about me experience

The soundhole on the acoustic guitar is an often overlooked area when it comes to customizing the instrument. However, even a simple design like my soundhole cross adds beauty to the guitar. Many different shapes and designs can be worked into the soundhole design, and they will all add interest and value to the instrument.

The Book Store is Now Open!   Happy Building!

Making the Soundhole Cross

soundhole crossThe first step in making a soundhole cross, or any other design is to mark the layout. Place the design exactly where it needs to be on the guitar top. Then, draw it out carefully.

This is best done with a pencil, but do not press too hard. Spruce and other woods used for guitar tops are soft. The hard lead from the pencil can easily make depressions on the surface. If you change your design, some of these may still be visible in the end.

Go over the design a few times to make sure that it is exactly the way you intend. Once you are satisfied, you can move on to cutting. It is far easier to make changes now, so be sure your design is perfect.

Removing the Sections One at a Time

soundhole crossNext, cut out the sections around the soundhole cross with a scroll saw. If you do not have a scroll saw, a hobby knife can work too.

Remove the bulk of the material in this manner, being careful not to go over the lines into areas that need to be kept. You can always remove more wood if necessary, but it can be very difficult to put it back.

Free Woodworking Tips Delivered Every Monday! Add Me to the List!

Once the large areas of wood are taken out, you can reinforce the horizontal part of the cross to prevent damage. Cut a piece of Rosewood with the grain running the length of the piece. It should measure 3/16″ x 3/16″, and cover the entire horizontal portion of the cross, going into the rosette area about an inch. This extra piece of wood will keep the cross safe from breakage. Also, it resides on the inside of the instrument, so it will never be seen.

Don’t sand your soundhole cross until you add reinforcement pieces behind the delicate parts. This protects them from breaking.

soundhole crossAfter your reinforcement piece has been glued, you can begin final sanding. Resist the urge to sand right away, because the end of the cross can fall off easily before the reinforcement strip is added. Even now, be careful as you remove material from the edges to smooth them.

acoustic guitar making how to make tools templates and jigs book beginner book for new guitar makers

When you decided to create a different soundhole, you decided to invite everyone to look closely at that area on the finished guitar. This is a fact of woodworking that everyone learns. If you design something interesting, people will inspect the heck out of it.

That being said, sand and care for the soundhole cross or any other soundhole design extremely well. Make sure you even out any funny looking areas, and to sand every last scratch off the surfaces. People are going to stick their faces right into this area. You do not want to give them anything to look at except great woodworking. If you are doing this on Spruce, the sanding will go by fairly quickly. Spruce sands well, and is a softer species of wood.

Think of other designs you can add to your soundhole and test them out on paper. If you radically change the amount of soundhole area that is open, you will notice a difference in the sound of the guitar. Shoot for designs that still allow the majority of the opening to remain unobstructed. This way, you can have fun with the design, and not weaken your tone.

My book, Acoustic Guitar Making: How to make Tools, Templates, and Jigs explains this, as well as many other guitar making topics. With over 500 pages and 1600 images, the book is sure to have something for everyone. Plus, the instructions for over 50 tools and jigs means the book will pay for itself very quickly.

If you have questions about my Acoustic Guitar Soundhole Cross, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Happy building.

Post Author-

brian forbes westfarthing woodworks llc owner

  • 20 Years Experience in Woodworking
  • 7 Published Books Available on Amazon
  • 750+ Helpful Posts Written
  • 1 Million+ Words Published
 

You Can Find My Books on Amazon!

woodworking and guitar making books
 

Filter:AllOpenResolvedClosedUnanswered
Forum Guidelines (Please Read)
ClosedWestfarthing Woodworks asked 2 weeks ago • 
89 views0 answers0 votes
How do acoustic guitars work?
OpenWestfarthing Woodworks asked 1 day ago • 
3 views0 answers0 votes
Could DIY guitars built from kits sell?
OpenWestfarthing Woodworks asked 1 day ago • 
7 views0 answers0 votes
What tools does someone need to build electric guitars?
AnsweredBrian answered 2 days ago • 
18 views1 answers0 votes
What types of bone are guitar saddles made from?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 days ago • 
33 views1 answers0 votes
How can I build my own guitar?
OpenWestfarthing Woodworks asked 4 days ago • 
12 views0 answers0 votes
Where do You Get Guitar Making Wood?
AnsweredBrian answered 5 days ago • 
58 views1 answers0 votes
Do You Need a Lot of Tools to Make a Guitar?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
47 views1 answers0 votes
Is it Hard to Make a Guitar?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
45 views1 answers0 votes
Does Tru-Oil Change the Tone of Your Instrument?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
64 views1 answers0 votes
Can You Make Your Own Guitar Making Tools?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
35 views1 answers0 votes
Easy Finishes for Guitars?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
53 views1 answers0 votes
Headstock Relief Angle?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
45 views1 answers0 votes
Building the Fretboard Off the Neck?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
35 views1 answers0 votes
Should I make a Kit First?
OpenBrian asked 2 weeks ago • 
11 views0 answers0 votes
Finishing a Guitar With the Bridge and Neck Separate?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
26 views1 answers0 votes
Carbon Fiber and No Truss Rod?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
36 views1 answers0 votes
Do Carbon Fiber Rods Fight Against the Truss Rod?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
47 views1 answers0 votes
Epoxy to Fill Gaps on a Guitar?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
37 views1 answers0 votes
How Durable is Tru-Oil on an Electric Guitar?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
33 views1 answers0 votes
Do You Finish the Guitar with the Bridge On or Off?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
33 views1 answers0 votes

An Exclusive Member of Mediavine Home

Westfarthing Woodworks LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.