Richard Hoover's
Perfect Miters
© Frank Ford, 4/10/98; Photos by FF, 4/9/98

On a recent field trip to the Santa Cruz Guitar Company I took some photos of the builders in action. Richard Hoover, founder of SCGC, showed off his famous mitered purfling and shared his technique.

This is a trick he learned from an old finish (Swedish, not Finnish) carpenter. That craftsman kept his back saw highly polished so he could see his moldings reflected in it to guide him as he cut mitered corners.

Here's how Richard uses that trick:

He keeps the back of his broad chisel polished to a mirror shine so he can simply visualize the final jointed purfling as he makes the first cut:

It's easy to see the finished corner even before you cut!

A couple of quick slicing cuts, and the mitered purfling looks just perfect:

If this little trick won't save you a lot of time, I don't know what will!

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