Guitar Making Tip Number 773 is about the end flash on the guitar. This is the piece on the bottom where the end pin is located, and it a place that you can add some flair to the guitar in a safe manner. Here is how you can maximize this underappreciated area.
Using a Nice Species for Your End Flash
One of my favorite parts of inspecting a new guitar is to look around for all of the little hidden woodworking gems. On a handmade guitar, the task is really fun, because the differences will vary from maker to maker.
What one person finds interesting and fun, another will not. This goes for guitar makers as well. Some love to work intensely on the insides of the acoustic guitar. Others not at all because it’s not a visible area.
As a user of a handmade guitar, it’s a pleasure to see what little extra additions made it into the final instrument. Knowing what it takes to make a guitar, seeing things like this shows me that the maker took some extra time to make the guitar their own. One area where you can make a nice tasteful statement is on the end flash of the guitar. It’s an easy inlay, and you can use a nice piece of wood to set it off…
Making Your End Flash Pop
Most guitar making plans or books will teach you how to install end flash. This is typically a triangle shaped piece of wood that is wedged into a slot at the base of the guitar near where the end pin is located. Here is how you make it really pop.
The piece of wood that you are going to need for the end flash is really small. So, you can afford to buy something that looks nicer than normal. Pick out a piece that goes with the wood of the guitar, but has more show and pop than simple matching piece.
When you install that piece of wood, the process will be the same most likely. If you have to perform the work anyway, you might as well get the most pop. Using a great looking species of figured wood, or burl wood can make that difference on the end flash.
Decide on a Design for Your End Flash
Most guitars tend to make their end flash in one of two ways. They use a tall triangle shape wedge, or they use a piece matching the binding. The binding style piece is the same size and pattern, and is not triangle shaped.
Either way you go, it’s a good idea to start out with a little research. Look online at some end flash and see what you like. Then, decide on what pattern to do yourself. When you install the flash, make sure that a nice piece of wood is used.
Simple end designs work well when the binding is simple. In this case, just carry the same pattern as the binding around the bottom of the guitar. In a case where your binding is more exotic, look for something a little more interesting for your end flash.
Guitar Making Tip No. 773 Wrap-Up
People are going to inspect the guitar you make. Be sure to give them a few surprises along the way that make it a fun inspection. The end flash is a place that you can do that for a very low amout of extra time on the build.
Most guitars are going to have an end treatment to cover the seam between the two sides when they were glued to the end block. Since you are going to be down there already, you might as well buy a nicer piece of wood for the flash.
If you have any questions on Guitar Making Tip No. 773 please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Happy building.
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Tip No. 773 is from my book, 1,001 Acoustic Guitar Making Tips for Beginners, which has a thousand more great tips to get your first few builds on the right track. There is no secret to guitar making, just a lot of small things that you need to get right. These tips will help you.