Selmer Acoustic Guitar




About: I make musical instruments the modern way, with a CNC. check out my video content on

This is the a tone sample and build Images for my Selmer style acoustic guitar build. The back, sides, and neck are mahogany, the top is sitka spruce, and the fretboard and bridge base are rosewood. The fretboard inlay, bridge saddle, and nut are all made form elk antler. The neck fixed truss rods are quarter sawn maple as is the top binding. I purchased all the lumber at a local hardwood supplier and did all the resawing and milling myself. I'm extremely pleased with the tone of the instrument and I know the next one will be even better.

Step 1: Templates

The templates for the mold, neck, headstock, sound hole, fret slotting, and corner block templates where designed in Auto cad according to the plan and laser cut. To have your own templates made contact templates cost about $0.20 per inch of cutting or engraving in 1/8" acrylic and they can accommodate almost any design.

Step 2: Top and Back

The lumber came form a local hardwood supplier, the pieces I picked out are not officially tone wood quality but they where high grade stock. I purchased a 6' x 9" of 4/4 mahogany and a slightly shorter piece of sitka spruce that was also 9" x 4/4 . I surface planed and the re sawed the lumber and was able to get enough stock for 2 backs and 2 tops for just under $100.

Step 3: Ribs

the sides where bet using an electric bending iron and clamped into the mold. I then glued in the corner blocks and kerfing and sanded the edges to make a good joint for the top and back.

Step 4: Bracing

I then glued in the bracing. For the Selmer guitar there is a forced arch that is made by pre-shaping the the bracing and gluing the tip to it under tension. next the bracing was shaped and the back and top are glued onto the ribs.

Step 5: the Neck

The headstock is a scarf joint that is cut and glued. then the truss rods slots are cut and glued in. then the neck outline is cut and the neck is shaped and fitted the the mortice in the body.

Step 6: Fretboard

The fretboard is slotted, radiused, inlays cut shaped and glued in and then fretted and glued onto the neck that is then glued to the body.

Step 7: Finish and Setup

For finish I choose french Polish, it is reduced in denatured alcohol and the apply in a specific manner that I don't have time to explain here, perhaps another time.

Step 8:



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    9 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Unique and impressive work. Was there a sound clip?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Yes, there is a youtube video on my channel look for bassman76jazz


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    From Wikipedia - French Polish:

    "...The finish is considered by many to be a beautiful way to finish highly
    figured wood, but it is also recognised to be fragile. It is softer than
    modern varnishes and lacquers and is particularly sensitive to spills
    of water or alcohol, which often produce white cloudy marks. However, it
    is also simpler to repair than a damaged varnish finish, as patch
    repairs to French polish may be easily blended into an existing finish..."


    I find shellack to be a very durable finish, its harder than nitrocellulose lacquer and and much more durable, I have not had any problems with clouding or haze in the areas that contact skin and the feel of the neck is fantastic. Its far more durable then people know or give it credit for, for an acoustic instrument it is certainly the best choice. Of course I mix my own fresh and to the proper ratios, most people use the store bought pre-mixed stuff and its just not good.


    Surely the duration does not depends on the method of application, but the quality of the lacquer or varnish used. It is true that some finishings produce white stains on contact with water.