Kenneth Michael Guitars est.1978
KMG "Success Kit" Rim Assembly part 2
Top edge contouring
Misconceptions regarding the guitar rim contouring requirements abound. During the
design phase of the KMG kit, a primary concern was our goal to provide a clear
explanation along with a simple process, which will net a professional quality contoured
guitar rim.

I recommend reviewing my article regarding the proper
neck set angle. The playability
and musical capabilities of a guitar are not an accident, nor should they be results of
tedious planned repairs. The above attributes are designed into the guitar, with an
understanding of the design requirements along with the proper tools and processes
the “KMG Kit” builder will have a distinct advantage over the hit and miss approach to
guitar construction.
Our rim contouring process is very similar to the one used at the Martin factory. Note
that our kits closely emulate the Martin top and back contouring specifications. The first
step is to level the top edge of the rim. Fabricate a 24” sanding board made of 2 ½”
wide MDF use 100 or 80 grit paper. We use 3M “77” spray adhesive for this purpose.
The goal here is to make the top edge including rim, kerfing, tail block
and neck block perfectly flat and level.
If you have read the neck set article it will be clear to you why the following procedure is
necessary. In my view this is the “missing operation/step” in virtually all guitar
construction publications.
A 13 ½” x 2 ¾” MDF sanding stick needs to be made use, 80 grit paper. To provide a
“bearing” to slide on the top of the mold wrap two layers of reinforced strapping tape on
both ends of the sanding stick.
Note that the tape is actually on top of the sand
Adjust the rim in the mold so that it is perfectly flush along the top edge. Secure the
waist clamp.
Slide the mold off the edge of the bench. Push the rim up from the bottom so it is
proud/high off the top of the mold. For the “000 deep body" in these photos the rise is
the same thickness of 8 standard 3x5 cards.
Clamp the neck block to the mold
maintaining this slightly raised and
angled position of the rim.

Note the rim will flex to create the
angle -- the portion of the rim that
goes toward the tail block must be
clamped securely so that section
stays level with the mold. This is
easier to do then it sounds
Make sure the mold is clamped to the
bench so it is stabilized. Using your
special sanding stick with the bearing
ends, sand the top of the rim and the
neck block flush/level with the top of
the mold.
Setting the rim level in the mold reveals the perfect complimentary taper angle that has
been formed
KMG "Success Kit" Rim Assembly part 3
Back edge contouring
Mega Mold owners please read/review the concepts in this
section and than---------- go
here for the Mega Mold process