FRETS.COM Illustrated Glossary

The fuzzy material inside your guitar case?
© Frank Ford, 9/11/98 Photos by FF

The little corner reinforcement that runs around the inside of the top and back of an instrument is called "lining." In very old instruments, and very traditional ones such as violins, the lining is a bent piece of wood fitted into the corner.

Modern guitars and other fretted instruments usually have linings that are basically triangular in cross-section and are cut almost all the way through every quarter inch or so to make them easy to bend and install.

Here is a shot of the lining that reinforces the top to side joint of a Taylor guitar:

In classic woodworking terminology, the space left by a saw cut is called the "kerf." For that reason, this kind of lining is called "kerfed lining."

As a shorthand sort of slang, the kerfed lining is sometimes just called "kerfing."

Here's a view of the inside of an 1887 Martin guitar.

The linings of this instrument are actually a whole lot of separate little triangular blocks. Since the spaces between the blocks are not actually saw kerfs, it would be clearly a misnomer to call this "kerfed lining" or "kerfing." We usually just say "individual lining blocks," or something like that

You have to be a bit of a weenie to care about the difference, but what can I say? I guess I am. . .

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