Thursday, December 15, 2011

guitar building course session two

Second session of my course where I am building a solid body six string reso guitar. Didn't realise how much preparation work needs to be done before actually working on the guitar itself. This week we cut the mahogany plank in two. We sat the two halves side by side with a small gap and using a slotted template on top we routed the two edges simultaneously to provide smooth faces to be glued. Quicker and easier that trying to plane them. They were glues up and cramped together to make the block of wood for the body.

Next job, made a template for body and headstock by tracing the drawing onto some thin MDF. We cut them out with a jigsaw, then smoothed the edges to a perfect shape with rasps and sandpaper. These will be fixed to the body block and headstock piece and used to run a router around to cut out the shapes. It took us pretty much the whole session to do these jobs. Another session next week then a break over Christmas. What I've learned so far - the need to make a good drawing and templates. The simple use of a router to provide straight edges accurately and easily. I'll be digging my own out now I know what can be done with it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

guitar building course day one

I mentioned in my last post that I was going start on a guitar building course to build a 6 string reso cone, solid electric guitar. OK I know this blog is supposed to be about CBGs but there are many of you who are also interested in more conventional guitars too and learning some general building tips. The idea is that I learn some new skills and build myself something really special. It's loosely based on a National resolectric but with some of my own tweaks to it. I've done a rough photoshop job to show you what it might look like.

I will be building it in half day sessions, roughly once a week. So the first day we headed off to John Boddy's timber yard near Boroughbridge. There's a big warehouse with lots of planks of interesting timber. Martin, my tutor helped me select a piece of maple for the neck/headstock and mahogany for the body. Mahogany was chosen because it is a fairly light hardwood which should emphasise the bass end of the tonal range to balance the rather toppy reso cone. I also bought myself another maple plank that will cut down into 4 nice CBG necks for future builds. Was surprised how relatively cheap maple is. The neck plank cost about £8 and the CBG plank about a fiver. Back at Martin's we started to draw up a full size plan of the guitar. Didn't quite finish it this week. We ordered some hardware too - truss rod, reso cone and plate and a pre-cut rosewood fretboard. Next session we finish the drawing, cut the mahogany in two and glue both halves together to make a wide plank for the body. Probably start cutting out the neck too.