Month: August 2015

GUITAR BUILD UPDATE!

So the guitar build has been coming along at steady speed and I’ve had the photos of my progress for a while but not the time to actually post them….here’s what’s been happening:

20141001_110416

In the last update there were some shots of the body with template in place to route the tone chambers. As you can see from the above pic the remainder of the chambers have been routed…seriously could have built another guitar from the router shavings…lots of mess and serious router headache!

20141026_13225420141026_132232

…I also mentioned that the maple top had been cut. This two piece top was then glued to the chambered body and trimmed to size. The control cavity, cats-eye sound hole and switch cavity have also been cut.

20141112_201744

…then comes one of THE most critical areas of a bolt-on build. The neck pocket is routed using a template cut from the measurements of the neck heel and finessed by hand to result in a snug and accurate neck to body fit…

20141119_115402

…perfect centre-line placement is essential to ensure accurate string alignment…you can fiddle about with the template all you want but you only get to cut once!!!!…

20141119_201423

…once I’m happy with the template alignment i can go ahead and route the pocket. Care is taken to avoid tear-out around the flimsy edges at the neck pocket opening…

20150218_140556

…then it was time to route the pickup cavities…here I’ve loosely fitted my handmade scratch plate to check spacing. You can just make out the access hole i’ve drilled for the pickup wires. Ive also drilled the holes for the bridge thimbles…

20150218_14062020150218_140625

…on to the neck and i’ve filled the fret slot ends with rosewood to give a nice smooth neck edge with no visible fret tangs…and done some preliminary string nut tidying…

20150218_14331020150218_15100020150218_162602

…this seemed like a good point to get the neck on and get the alignment for the Bigsby sorted. This is fairly annoying procedure and would be sped up enormously with the addition of many more arms! Once i’m happy with the string alignment a drill the holes for the Bigsby screws…

20150315_11363520150315_11370620150315_11371120150315_113716

…then all the hardware is stripped off and it’s time to do some binding channel routing. Once the measurements are taken for my binding it’s time to fire up the edge-trimming router and CAREFULLY route the channel for the binding. Tight spots around the neck pocket opening are finished by hand…it’s just too easy to tear-out around these areas!!!…

20150318_12404320150318_124052

…once i’m happy with the binding channel and some sanding has been done to clean up it’s time to glue on the binding. Things are made much easier by warming the binding and rough-bending it to the shape of the body. Once the binding is roughly shaped glue is applied and the binding is held in place with super strong binding tape and left over night…

20150318_15164820150318_15170720150318_151730

…and when the binding tape is removed, and if you are lucky, all your shiny new binding is held in place beautifully with no gaps. After checking all over for a snug fit the binding is scraped back to the contour of the body…

20150325_16214220150325_162159

…back to the neck and it’s time to fit the tuners and do some more nut work. I also did a little more headstock/neck blending. As things start to come together and the guitar starts to become more..eeeerr guitary…then you can get a better feel for how the neck transition should feel…

20150325_162322

…we can then fit the scratchplate and the hardware and see if we like where we are…and we do!!!…

20150419_09215120150419_09222120150419_09231720150419_09224120150419_092250

…so we can stick the neck on, get some strings on and see how things are coming along. The output jack cavity is drilled and jack-plate fitted and as if by magic a guitar starts to appear. At this stage i do the rest of the fine adjustment work making sure EVERYTHING fits properly and feels nice…once you’ve done final sanding and applied lacquer the fine-tuning boat will have well and truly sailed!!!! Setup and fret leveling will be carried out once the finish has been applied.

So that’s where i am with this baby now. Once i can get my spray area cleared and cleaned we can get some shiny stuff on this thing.

Stay tuned for some final sanding, lacquer work and setup!

TFM

Advertisements