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This side view of the Size 5 shows the side binding and purfling. The wood binding is ebony, and there is a thin holly strip sandwiched between the binding and the sides.

To the left are all the pieces of abalone (Paua and green) it took to create the "horse" and pine tree inlay I did on the last Size 5 that I made this past summer. It took 10 pieces for the horse, 3 for the trees, and 5 for the three letters of the customer's name (the "M" was so thin, it broke in two places).  

Here is the finished Size 5. It has a 16" tall soundbox, measures 32" from bottom to top, has a lower bout of 11-1/2" and upper bout of 8-1/2". For such a tiny guitar, it has an amazingly big voice!


On my first few guitars, I used nitrocellulose lacquer, but found it time-consuming, not-so-safe, and temperamental to changes in weather. On my last three guitars, I have used a new water-borne urethane, the results of which you can see in the photo to the left. Because it is water-base, it is much safer, easier to apply (I used a foam brush), faster (I put 11 coats on in 1-1/2 days) to cure, and easily done indoors! It produces a hard and mirror-like finish!