Kenneth Michael Guitars est.1978
The first step is to get the rim halves cut to the
proper length. The sides are placed in the post
mold top edge down. I like to put a few strips of
paper between the mold and the sides so that
the rim is a fraction smaller than the mold. That
way it is easily slipped in and out of the mold
during the construction process. The clamps are
positioned to keep things snug against the posts.
The centerline should be marked on the mold
(directly or on a piece of tape) Since the KMG
and C.F. Martin style neck blocks are flat on
the top there is no need to raise the rim off the
bottom of the mold. Some of the kits out there
do have blocks with a 1 - 1 1/2 degree slant on
the top surface. If that is your situation, cut a
piece of corrugated cardboard the shape of the
guitar and notch it out in the position of the
neck block and place it in the mold. The
centerline should be used to mark the cut off
length of the rim sides.
As a double check I make sure that the
narrowest point of the waist is in the
correct position relative to the mold.
I use a band saw to cut the rim sides to
length  - a razor saw etc. will certainly
do the same job
Place the halves back in the mold,
reposition the clamps– every thing
should fit nicely at this point.
A solid wood tail block should have the
grain running parallel to the grain of the
sides, with Baltic Birch orientation makes
no difference, block must stand proud
(about 5/16") of the sides on the back
edge. It will be trimmed and contoured to
match the back. The tail block will have a
radius to match the curve of the guitar
sides. 000’s and D’s its slight  -- J200’s it
is significant.
It’s important to get the two rim blocks
positioned properly and square to the
centerline of the instrument. Apply some Tite-
Bond to the joint and get things lined up and
Most of the time I will drill a
couple of tiny holes and use #18 brads
as locators.
(See the photos of the neck
block installation) Until it’s tacky glue acts as
a great lubricant!! The block and the top
edge of the rim should be flush. Position a
couple of clamps on the edge of the rim and
remove the sides from the mold --- again the
block should remain in the center and be
flush with the top edge. Add some additional
To pull the rim against the contour of the tail
block pull the rim in an overlap at the neck
block ends. If your rim has not been bent
properly or is warped, some extra “clampage”
my be necessary. I always go for perfect fits
over force fits
Rim Assembly Continued
solid wood block