Thursday, January 19, 2012

guitar build session 5

Had my 5th session yesterday. Feeling very tired this week after many hours of sanding down walls and woodwork in my lounge ready for redecorating, plus running around hospital visiting. So it was a welcome return to sanity but at the same time, I couldn't put 100% into the sawing and sanding that was involved. This week involved fixing small templates to the body to route out neck pocket and a cavity for the lipstick neck-position pickup. I'm starting to gain confidence in the use of the router, always had a slight fear of them based on my lack of experience. The key to it is to only take small 2-3mm cuts each time.

Next we started on the neck. I'd bought a hefty plank of maple. We drew on the approximate shape and as the plank is thick enough, decided to make it a one-piece neck/angled headstock. So we marked on the angle of the headstock and rough planed the bevel that will be the top of it. The idea is to cut away most of the surplus wood first with a jigsaw, then make the final shape with router and spokeshave. Attempting to rip down the length of the neck proved a bit of a disaster. I broke two jigsaw blades and was just getting nowhere. Maple is a very hard wood! I suggested we end the session early and I would take the plank back to my workshop to rip down on my bandsaw. We did a few other small jobs - cutting the pre-slotted fretboard to length and marking a few things up to round off. Progress a bit slow but still satisfying. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel yet as there is a lot to do but I rest assured and imagine the day when I will take the finished guitar home, plug it into my new vox valve amp and enter the kingdom!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

guitar build session 3 and 4

So I need to catch up on my posting for the reso guitar build. Session 3 we fixed the template to the body with a couple of panel pins in places where the hole won't show. Using the router, I followed the contour of the template, taking about 2 mm off on each pass until eventually I had almost cut through the block. We then turned it over and using a router bit with a wheel guide running along the new shaped edge, I cut through the remaining bit and seperated the new body shape from the block. At last it's starting to look like a guitar. Next job was to cut a hole in the template where the cone is gonna sit. I took the body home to do some homework on it over the Christmas perion. Basically just rough drilled the main part of the cone well out using my drill press, to save effort on the router.

Session 4 - we attached the template again and now following the hole we had cut in it, slowly routed out the well for the cone. We also rough sanded the front and back to get a flat surface across the whole body. We then used a small concave router bit on the outside edges to produce a gentle rounded prifile. I took it home again and spent about an hour sanding down the outer edge and front and back nice and smooth. Next session we start on the neck.