Replacing soundboard

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
GG Guitar

Replacing soundboard

Post by GG Guitar » Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:33 pm

I'm just full of questions today! Apologies......

It would seem that high quality wood is available at reasonable prices - e.g. AA grade cedar soundboard for £25-30 from luthier suppliers.

How difficult would it be to replace a soundboard on an old guitar? I would say I have basic woodworking skills, and like to experiment.

Is it necessary to remove the fingerboard?


Post by Azalais » Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:27 pm

First off, AA grade is third tier (after AAA and Mastergrade). It will be structurally sound, but there may be noticeable grain and color imperfections, grain run out, etc. AA grade tops are usually of lower cosmetic quality than some of the mass produced student guitars that are available... (and not nearly as nice as the cheapest classical guitars built 25 years ago) They would be OK for a practice building effort or for a guitar that is going to be darkly stained.

Yes, you would need to remove the finger board, and the bridge and the binding... do a new rosette, new bracing, reassembly and refinishing. It would probably be more work that building a new one from scratch in fact...

Unless this is strictly for sentimental or educational purposes, and there is significant surface damage to the existing one... it is definitely not worth the effort! The investment in the tools you will need to do the job, will cost more than a new student guitar (which will probably have better than a AA grade top... ) (Serious cracks are often repaired by removing the back of the guitar which is much easier)

If you have an old guitar that you want to experiment with, you could practice removing the lacquer finish, do minor repairs and try your hand at french polishing... with a fairly modest investment in tools and materials.

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Post by Jedaks » Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:17 am

I agree....dont mess with it unless you have the tools.
You have an option to have a luthier do the job for you if it is reasonable enough in cost. But what kind of a guitar will you have afterwords?

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