Archive for January, 2006

We come from the land of the Ice and Snow…

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

This weekend the residents of London were graced with the presence of Matt, Chris and Ruth, all the way from f frozen North; along with Guy, from the marginally less frosty SouthWest. They were important ingredients in a fiendishly eventful weekend, which entailed 3 sloth-speed crawls through Dunstable High St in search of the elusive Chronos Engineering, 2 gigs, several hundred pistachios (”Ruth, are you eating those with the shells on?”), far too much ethanol, 1 band practise, and 1 particularly unyeilding glass door (if you don’t know about this, I’m not telling!). Despite all this, I did manage to get some work done - and here’s the evidence:

The electronics cavity covers are fitted, and the binding material has been laminated up from neck blank offcuts with maple veneer for the side purfling, then ripped and planed to size. The penultimate shot shows one of the nice features of preparing your own trim - bookmatched binding, which will create a nice symetrical pattern where they meet by the rear strap button. Finally, I got the tops cut out - curly maple on the left, and John’s ripple sycamore (with a very light spalting in places) on the right.

Oh, and sorry for the gratuitous ’stripey shavings’ pics, I have a bit of a soft spot for them…

Sawdust everywhere…

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Work started on the body today - cutting thin slices from the back of the bodies to make up the grain matched cavity covers. The Rough shape of the cover is routed around, and the rest of the body planed down to near final thickness. The covers are then sawn off, lined up for the best match and marked out, before being trimmed to the final dimension. Then, the back is planed flat and smooth, and the recesses for the covers are routed.

After addressing the cavities in the back, the larger weight relief/tone chambers are marked out, and a 1″ forstner bit hogs out the bulk of the wood. This saves strain on the router bit which will take the chambers to the finished dimensions. The final shape is produced with a template and bearing guided bit - shown in the last picture, atop the two rough chambered bodies.

So much wood!

Friday, January 20th, 2006

Another arrival this morning, all the way from Portland Oregon, courtesy of Rich Fry. 4 Beautifully figured, 1 piece black limba body blanks, 2 figured maple bookmatches (1 quilt, one flame, both carved top thickness) and 2 sets of ziricote fingerboard blanks with matched head veneers - this is some really great stuff!

The motherlode...

Also, I confess to being quite exited that some of the packing was comprised of foam workshop flooring, which will be flattened out and laid down in my garage ASAP. I was so exited by the heady combination of pretty wood and practical flooring (is anything more overwhelming than practical flooring, really?) that I didn’t even wince when the delivery guy told me about the £50 Customs charge.

well, only a little.

Heading onwards…

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

Terrible puns are the future. Resistance is futile…

After truing the neck blank, and levelling the peghead, the head is veneered front and back; you can’t have too many clamps for this! The front recieves a 3mm Madagascar RW veneer with flame maple acent, and the back gets 1.5mm East Indian RW, which will flow out into a small volute.

After plenty of time for the glue to set up, the head gets drilled for the tuners, and the trussrod access is routed with a 1/4″ radius ball end cutter. Once that is all dealt with, the trussrod is glued into the channel with slow curing epoxy and left to cure over night. In the meantime, I’ll start preparing some binding material for the neck and body.

Progress on John’s guitar

Monday, January 16th, 2006

Work has been coming along nicely on John’s guitar, and I snapped a few pics as I went. After confirming that my original order was definately AWOL, I rang David Dyke’s Luthier’s Supplies, who were able to provide a substitute piece - shown here with a selection of fretboards from Craft Supplies, 2 Pau Ferro, and 3 East Indian RW.

The Pau Ferro/Santos RW from David Dyke is much darker than the fretboards and head veneers from Craft Supplies, so they’ll be saved for another from project. Instead, one of the East Indian RW board which matches the colour and figure of the neck wood will be used - the middle board in the pic above matches very closely.

I spent a few days working on a cutting plan which would allow me to get two necks and plenty of binding from the Pau Ferro board, and once I’d worked it out, I cut out the neck laminates, each of which has a scarfed headstock. I also ripped and bookmatched a piece of the sycamore beheomoth for the guitar top.

The laminates were glued up, planed true, the trussrod channel routed, and ‘ears’ glued on to make up the headstock width. After the ears were set, everything was planed smooth, and the headstock marked out.