Shop Services – Customizations

One of the key reasons people prefer to use LMI as their tonewood source is our ability to provide professional ‘customizations’ to the wood they purchase.

Customizations are added from the same page where you select the wood you are ordering. Some customizations have several options. The website guides you through the steps in order for you to enter your preferences for these options. For example, under fingerboard slotting, you will be asked for the number of fret slots you need and about the nut position, etc.

Our shop services are limited to the offerings you find on our website. For example, we do not offer customizations on our pre-carved necks and bridges. These items are produced in bulk and special orders are not available. Everything that we have to sell is presented on our website. Common questions about what is available are answered below.

If you want us to service wood that you purchased from us previously, or purchased elsewhere, see Customer’s Personal Wood below.

Here is what you will find on the website!

Fingerboards:

What we can do:
We can slot any scale length with any number of frets! The nut position is indicated by the first slot on the board. Typically, people cut the board here. We can position the nut slot for a “zero fret” (or for standard placement). If you choose not to have the board radiused by us (we offer a wide selection of radii) and want to radius the board yourself, then we can cut the slots deeper for you. Otherwise, the standard slot depth follows the radius of the board (no hollow spots at the center!). We can also sand fingerboards to your desired thickness, so long as they have not been radiused.

What we cannot do:
Our radiusing equipment does not allow us to radius boards that are 1/4” thick (our standard thickness is 5/16”). Nor can we radius the ukulele/mandolin boards or the 6 string bass boards we sell. The 5 string boards have some limitations (tighter radii are exempted). We slot boards perpendicular to the centerline of the fingerboard and do not reference them off the edge of the board. We do not offer multi-scale or “fanned fret” fingerboards or compound radii. All radiused boards we do measure 1/4” at the center and other thicknesses are not available. We are not able to slot a 1/8” wide nut position, as is found on Fender guitars, although we do sell a couple of pre-slotted, pre-radiused boards with Fender nut slots here.

Soundboards:

Sand and Join: Our website offers common sanding thicknesses for you to choose from. If you want something different, you can specify this in the special instructions box on the checkout page. Our tops are expertly joined using our FGX wood glue and the LMI Joining Jig. Sanded tops will still require some finish sanding. We can also join electric tops.

Rosette inlay: Our website will show you the specific rosette options available for this customization and which are suitable for the size top you have ordered. Three-ring rosettes include purfling for the inner and outer rings. If you want a different sized purfling ring, you can order additional purfling. If you don’t wish to have your rosette inlaid, you can order it as a separate stand-alone item.

Profiling: We can cut out the basic shape of your guitar. We offer a set list of guitar shapes, which you will find when customizing your soundboard. These shapes are based on plans we sell for iconic and popular instrument types and are meant to be compatible with our molds and templates. The profile we cut sits about 1/4 inch outside the actual instrument outline, reducing the material to small enough amount that it can be removed with hand tools. We do not profile solid body guitar blanks.

Backs & Sides

Sand and Join: Our website offers the common thicknesses for sanding for you to choose from. If you want something different, you can specify this in the special instructions box on the checkout page. Our backs are expertly joined using our FGX wood glue and the LMI Joining Jig. Sanded backs will still require some finish sanding. You can elect to have us insert a backstrip between the two halves of the back when joining. We do not inlay the backstrip.

Profiling: We can cut out the basic shape of your guitar according to a set list of shapes which you will find when customizing your back and sides. These shapes are based on plans we sell for iconic and popular instrument types and are meant to be compatible with our molds and templates. The profile we cut sits about 1/4 inch outside the actual instrument outline, reducing the material to small enough amount that it can be removed with hand tools. We do not profile solid body guitar blanks.

Bending: LMI can bend sides to many popular shapes, including some cutaway options. These are presented to you under the customization section of each item (below where you order your back and sides). Only those shapes which will fit the wood you have selected are presented here. Sanding to .090 is included in the price. We cut the sides to a rough taper, but not all the way to their final width. The chart below lists the dimensions of the rough profile for each bending customization.  Every effort is made to avoid “spring back” but expect that your sides will spring back a small amount and you will need to work with this. This is true if you were bending at home as well. In most cases, you will not need to use heat to get your sides into the work mold. We do not bend ukulele sides.

This table shows how your sides will be tapered (straight taper) for each type of guitar shape we bend. Additional material will need to be removed (with a bandsaw or hand plane) to bring the sides to their final profile.
GUITAR TYPE PLAN NO. PROFILE
OM/000 (Orchestra) PL34/PL34C 3.75″- 4.5″
Classical PL64/PL28/PL40 3.75″- 4.5″
Dreadnought PL48/PL48C 4.25″- 5.0″
Flamenco PL75 4.25″- 4.5″
J45/J50-style (Small Jumbo) PL67 4.25″- 5.0″
J200-style (Large Jumbo) PL55 4.25″- 5.0″
Parlor/Small Orchestra PL29 3.75″- 4.5″
J185-style (Jumbo) PL72 4.25″- 5.0″
Binding and Purfling

We can bend your binding and/or purfling to one of many popular shapes including some cutaways. We do not bend ukulele binding.

Necks and Bridges

As mentioned above, we do not offer machining of these parts, but note that we have a wide offering of pre-carved necks and bridges for you to choose from.

Electric (Solid) Body Blanks

We offer custom thickness sanding on solid body (electric) blanks.

Customer’s Personal Wood

On occasion, builders want LMI to service items they already own.  We are happy to do so, but we require that you complete the attached INSTRUCTIONS FOR PROCESSING CUSTOMER’S WOODMake sure you include a phone number so we can speak to you in person regarding your customizations. You can email this back to us by Contacting us here and attaching this form to your contact email. You can also fax it to (707) 687-2014.

LMI employs a Baker Horizontal Resaw to expertly saw lumber (never logs) into guitar blanks with a fantastic yield and smooth surfaces. Our team has years of experience sawing exotic woods for guitarmaking. Please email all the information you have on the wood you want us to resaw prior to sending it to us and include a signed copy of this form. We will provide you with a quote (we charge $120 per hour) and respond to any questions you may have.