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November 07, 2021


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The usual method of joining tops and backs to the sides is by using kerfing which is glued to the sides, to provide a larger gluing surface for the top and back than the sides alone would offer.
Then a rebate is routed to make room for the binding, which protects the edge of the guitar and also seals the endgrains.
The purflings are small lines of material nestled against the bindings to give a little dress-up to the top.
Bindings and purflings are not necessary - remember the Tacoma guitars? - but most luthiers are pretty convinced that they do add to the flexibility of the top.



oops, color me flush w/ embarrassment.   i got kerfing and purflings all mixed up.   the dangelico has plenty of the little decorative purfling thingies.  no problems there.

i am concerned that the dangelico has none of the internal kerfings holding the top and bottom of the guitar body against the sides.   the kerfings are basically strips of wood, pretty substantial, which have deep relief cuts in them (almost all the way through) that allow the little sticks to be bent in sharp turns to match the outline of the sides, and the curves going in and out depending on what the side is doing, and in a circular sort of a curve at the bottom of the guitar.  it is the kerfings which are absent from my guitar.   and, being glued to the sides and the top and bottom, and being fairly substantial in width, add considerable strength to the structure of the guitar.

i guess if one is to display ones ignorance, it might as well be to the world  .....   or, in this case, to those to whom i owe considerable thanks for reading my mutterings.

now, back to my query.   does the absence of those kerfings subtract from the strength of the guitar (i assume that this must be so to a certain degree), and does the absence of the kerfings have any deleterious impact upon the clarity and tone of the guitar.   it would seem to me to have to have some impact on the way the sound board vibrates, and allowing the shape of the top board to distort somewhat.   again, the kerfings are totally absent in my guitar, though it appears that a flat strip of wood is in place, and glued to the side of the guitar, but it has not sufficient thickness to do much to the top.

have you any thoughts and observations about this concern on my part.


p.s.   and, thank you for your observations and comment.

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