Making a guitar workboard is a an easy way to prevent damage to the guitar while stringing up and installing hardware. It is a simple flat board with carpet on one side. The guitar body can be set on this board while adding the final touches, and the instrument will remain scratch free.
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How to Make a Guitar Workboard
Select a piece of 3/4″ thick plywood, or MDF, and cut out a piece that is about the size of an acoustic guitar body. Sand the edges, and scuff the top. Then, find a piece of inexpensive carpet from a hardware store.
Cut the carpet down to a little bigger than the wood platform, then glue it down. It does not take much glue to keep the carpet in place, so do not use too much. Also, if a ton of glue is applied, it can form lumps and hard spots that might damage the guitar. Look for a glue that works for carpet, but in a pinch two part epoxy will work as well. Allow the glue to dry for the recommended amount of time.
Making a guitar workboard can be a fast project that will protect the finished guitar from damage while installing hardware or stringing up. If made from scraps laying around the shop, it can be a free project too.
Trim the edges of the carpet even with the board with a scissors or razor blade. Then, decide on a container for the board. It is important to keep debris from getting stuck to the carpet, because it can cause scratches.
A large workboard can be stored in a heavy duty outdoor trash bag. Smaller boards can be stored in gallon zipper bags. Fold the top of the bag over the workboard and store it somewhere in the shop. My workboards are stored in outdoor trash bags that are very thick and strong. These take plenty of abuse being slid in and out of my storage area. The nice thing about bagging the workboard is that it comes out clean every time, no matter what the shop looks like.
Making a guitar workboard for stringing up the instrument and installing hardware can help prevent unnecessary scratches and imperfections. These add more time to the build, because they have to be buffed out.
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For more guitar making tools you can make in the shop, take a look at my article on Making a Fretboard Duplicating Jig. This allows you to make exact copies of any fretboard you already have in the shop. My Fret Bending Jig article shows the easy and inexpensive way to make a fret bender. It works just like the store bought versions too.
My book, Acoustic Guitar Making: How to make Tools, Templates, and Jigs shows this tool, as well as 50 more. It covers many aspects of guitar making, and is a reference or companion book for any step by step book. I simplify many processes, describe easy finishes, and teach you how to make your own tools and jigs. With over 500 pages and 1600 images, it can really help beginning acoustic guitar makers.
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