Saturday, March 31, 2007

Back in the saddle again.....

Well the crazy week is over and I survived! I had a very large job that I had to do by myself and had to have it done by Friday evening. I had some long physically demanding days but finished about 2:00 Friday afternoon. I went home and collapsed! Today, after a mens breakfast at church, and then some chainsaw work in the yard cutting up some limbs that broke out of my willow trees this winter, I finally made it to the shop. Ahhhh, the smell of sawdust.

Once I finished my 'happy dance' I had to figure where I left off last week. I was very anxious to cut the fingerboard fret slots so I started with that. I spent quite a bit of time marking the board using the table on the plans. It was at this point that I remembered that I had the program Wfret on my computer for making these calculations. The nice thing about the program is that it also will print out the fret positions exactly to within 1/100 inch. I ran back to my house, fired up the program and printed out the template. The good news is that the template matched what I had oh so carefully marked out on the wood. Unfortunately, I spent a good hour measuring and marking and that time was wasted. Oh well, at least I know how to measure and I was marking within 1/1000", of course no matter how sharp the pencil, the line is still wide. Anyways, I took the template, taped it to the fingerboard material and used the jig I made last week to cut the slots. It went quite well using the fret blade from Stewmac on my table saw. The blade does a nice job cutting, but I was a bit concerned that the blade is just high speed steel and it seems like it will dull pretty quickly. Maybe I am wrong but I guess I was expecting something a bit more substantial. The blade did smoke a little cutting the Granadillo fingerboard material but the cuts were clean and effortless.

After that, I cut some of the material off of the neck heal but didn't do any shaping yet. I then cut out the peghead shape. I wanted to use the same peghead shape as I have used on my other guitars, but with this being a slotted head neck, I can't use the curves on the sides. So I made a new template with the same curved top, and notches, but with straight edges for the tuners. Once that was all cut and flush routed I decided to drill the tuner holes. I was thinking that it was probably smart to drill these holes first before cutting the slots that way there is no chance of blowout inside the slots. I used the jig after some modifications to hand drill the holes. I drilled them using the dimensions of Grover tuners so I guess that is what I am stuck using! (As if Waverly tuners were ever an option! lol )

I also spent a few minutes hanging a track light over my work table with three wide adjustable color corrected fluorescent lights. My shop has decent lighting, but doing these guitars made me realize that a lot of good light is essential for the detail work, as well as finishing. I have been using clamp on flood lights to get additional light where needed, but this is a lot nicer.

Tomorrow I will spend some more time working the neck, probably cutting the peghead slots. The humidity has been in the 40's too so I might work on bracing while the weather permits.

Here is the fingerboard in the jig with the fret location template.

This is how I lined everything up. I ran the saw blade through the fence giving me the exact location of the cut above the board. Then I just lined my marks up and slid it through the blade.

The fingerboard all cut. Call my crazy but it was really exciting taking the board off the jig and looking at the finished product. It is really cool taking my digital calipers and finding my cuts all match the plan!

Here is the heal with some of the bulk cut off.

The peghead cut to shape. Note that I had to use straight sides instead of the curved sides I normally use. I am thinking about how to make a 'fancy' slot. I still haven't worked that out yet.

Here is my jig for drilling the tuner holes. It worked beautifully.

Here are the modifications to the jig. I had to angle the ends so it fit inside the peghead angle, and I had to shave the edges where it comes to the peghead angle.

The peghead after the holes were drilled. The holes are dead center between the face and back of the peghead. It looks off center because of the peghead veneer. The holes are not center of the cedar, but of the overall peghead thickness.

Last but not least, here are the lights I put over the workbench. I was able to salvage these plus 7 more from the job I was working this week. I removed them from a showroom and they were going in the trash. I figured they would be perfect for my shop.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Crazy busy.....

Sorry I haven't had a chance to update my blog for the last few days. Work has been crazy busy and I haven't even gotten a chance to go into my shop let alone work on anything. I did get my order from Stewmac a couple of days ago with the precision router base, circle cutting guide, bit, and fret saw blade for my table saw. The router base and circle guide look to be very nice quality tools. I hope they will make my inlay work better. I was looking on Amazon last night and found solid carbide 4 flute end mill bits down to 1/32". I am interested in trying them. They look to be similar to the Stewmac bits, but 4 flute instead of two. The price is significantly less than Stewmacs price so it is worth it for me to give them a try. The prices range from $5.50 - $7.00 each. That is $10 cheaper per bit than Stewmac. If they work, I will let you know.

Anyways, I hope to get some time in the shop this weekend. The weather has been beautiful and I have a lot of yard work to get done since the ice storm last winter so my time may be limited. I really am anxious to make the fingerboard so I want to get that measured and cut at the bare miniumum. Also, the OM is ready for final sanding and polishing so I may get to work on that too.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

What does that center line mean anyways?.......

Well I got to spend a few hours in the shop after church today doing what I mentioned I wanted to do in my last entry. First thing was to get the inserts in the tenon of the neck. I marked the center line on the tenon, marked exactly where I wanted the inserts, and then proceeded to drill both holes about 1mm to the right of center. I have no idea what on earth I was thinking when I did this but now I have two inserts a hair off center of the tenon. This really isn't a big deal as I can shift the block holes over to compensate but I decided at that point I needed to slow down a little. I guess I was just too anxious to get working on something since I haven't gotten to work on it for the last few days. After I had the inserts all epoxied in, I wanted to get a jig made for drilling the peg holes and a jig for slotting the fingerboard. The peghole jig is a simple thing, just a piece of oak sandwiched between two pieces of MDF. The oak is the exact width of the peghead thickness. I drilled three holes to match the spacing on the drawings. I drilled 1/4" holes in the jig to act as a guide for the bit when drilling the actual peghead. Then I made a jig to hold the fingerboard blank perfectly square to the blade on my tablesaw. The fingerboard is clamped down to the sled, and the whole thing slides over the saw blade. I built it with two runners that fit in the two miter gauge slots in the table of the saw. This will keep the entire jig perfectly square to the blade, thus holding the blank square. I have a blade coming from Stewmac to make the actual cuts.

Finally, I cut the curve in the neck block to get rid of some of the bulk wood. I am modifying the heal just a bit to make it look a little different from the standard neck. It is nothing major and I have seen the same thing done on other guitars so I am not doing anything original, just something you don't see every day.

I have a very busy work week scheduled coming up so I am not sure how much time I will get to spend on the guitar before the weekend. I would like to get the fingerboard built and on the neck so I can carve it, or get started with to bracing. It all depends on the humidity levels this week. My shop is sitting at 53% right now.

Here is the tenon with the two brass inserts set in place. Notice the center line and the actual location of the inserts. Notice the clamps on both sides. After cutting the tenon, I had read several things online that builders like to get the inserts in before cutting the tenon so it won't split. Next time I will do that, but for now I just clamped the sides to keep them from blowing out.

Oh well, not much I can do now but to epoxy them in place.

This is the jig for drilling the tuner holes.

This is my fingerboard slotting sled. If you look at the bottom you can see two pieces of wood that fit snugly in the table slots.

This is the modification the the neck heal I was talking about. Nothing major but something a little different.

The neck rough cut on the band saw for the heal.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Too humid......

Not much happening on the guitars the last couple of days. Work has been pretty busy and one of my daughters was in a school play last night so I didn't even get into my shop. Today has been a damp rainy day so the humidity level is very high. I did take a run to Woodcraft to pick up a precision square and some bolt inserts for the bolt on neck. This is another thing that is priced ridiculously high at the luthier suppliers. LMI sells two inserts, two bolts and two washers for $8.75. Woodcraft has the exact same brass inserts in packs of 10 for $3.99. The allen head bolts and washers can be purchased at just about every hardware store in the country for about $0.50 each. This works out to roughly $1.75 per guitar vs $8.75 per guitar at LMI. I understand that they are a specialty retailer but that is just plain wrong. Fortunately there are other options for these commodity type items.

Tomorrow I will probably do a couple of things regardless of the humidity levels. First, I want to drill in the inserts for the neck and epoxy them in. Next I want to make a couple of jigs. I want a jig for drilling the tuner holes on the OOO peghead. Since the peghead will be slotted, I need some way to get the tuner holes lined up and square. I am still debating on whether I will make a small jig to use my cordless drill, or a jig to hold the neck and use my drill press. Either way, I want to get the peghead shaped, drilled and slotted. That can be done regardless of humidity levels.

Second, I want to make a jig for slotting the fingerboard on my table saw. I have a blade as well as the precision router base, rosette attachment and the carbide downcut bit coming from Stewmac. I am also debating on how I am going to radius the fingerboard. I can either make a router jig to do this, or use a sanding caul to do it. The sanding caul is simple but will take quite a bit of elbow grease to get the radius, and the jig for my router will be a little more complex but it will be good for future guitars. I guess it will all depend on how long I want to spend making jigs instead of making guitars!

Thursday, March 22, 2007


So, do you remember me saying that I am kind of a cheapskate and am always on the lookout for everyday things that can be used to do the same thing that expensive specialty tools do? Today I scored! I was in my local Radio Shack store and found something that looked suspiciously like the fret tang nipper that Stewmac sells. It is a 'nibbler'. Basically it is a tool made to nibble away pieces of metal so you can cut out things like fan holes in computer cases. Best thing is, this thing was on clearance for $3.99 For that price I couldn't go wrong even if it didn't work. I took it home and tried it out. It cut but bent the fret. So, I took a look at what was happening and realized that the base needed a small notch that would allow the edge of the fret sit lower than the base. That would hold the barbed edge to sit flat for the cut. I hit it with a grinding wheel in my dremel. I tried to cut a fret again. BINGO! This thing works great. It makes a very clean cut and removed just enough of the tang to go over a bound edge fingerboard. So, here is what we have..... Stewmac fret nipper $42.53 or the Radio Shack special $3.99 This one is a no brainer!

After I was finished with my little victory dance in the shop, I went to work on the OOO. First I took all the clamps off the neck and checked the glue joints. The peghead looks great and the neck looks pretty good too. Unfortunately it slid a little bit but it wasn't enough to worry about. Since most of it gets cut off anyways it really didn't need to be perfect. I cleaned up the overhang veneer on the peghead and then straightened up the tail block as much as possible with my table saw and chop saw. Somehow around this time I got sidetracked. I decided that I needed to do the top kerfing on the body so I pulled that out, pulled off all the clothespins and glued/clamped the kerfing.

Once that was done I went back to the neck. I wanted to cut the tenon on the end of the tail block. After a lot of measuring, marking, and head scratching I had it all figured out. I used my tenoning jig on my table saw to make the cheek cuts, and the saw with a miter gauge for the cross cuts. It turned out pretty nice but once I lined it up against the neck block mortise, I realized that I had cut the tenon just a hair too narrow. It would work, but it isn't a nice tight fit. I thought about just using shims like I did with the Dreadnought dovetail neck, but instead I decided to glue a thin piece of cedar to each side of the tenon. Once that is dry, I will re cut the two sides equally. All I needed would have been a shim about 1mm wide. I didn't want to do that though as it adds more difficulties to making the neck angle correct. One thing I need to figure out is how to get the cut angle to 89 degrees. Right now everything is 90 degrees, and I can make it work as the Stewmac guitars come with 90 degree necks. The LMI however comes with an 89 degree neck and that made the neck angle fit a lot easier. I think I will just carve the neck and then set it like I did with the Stewmac. It takes a little chisel work to get it correct but until I can make a jig to hold everything to an 89 degree angle for my table saw, I will have to deal with the extra degree.

I debated on whether to cut the tenon first or wait until I had the neck carved but I decided that it would be difficult to cut the tenon after shaping as there would be no straight edges to clamp in jigs, or to measure from. I looked at several examples of people carving bolt on necks and I realized that a lot of builders don't even make mortise and tenon joints when bolting them on. After reading Cumpiano's instructions on how he makes necks, I decided to follow his example except instead of using pegs, I will use bolts.

This is the Radio Shack nibbler. If you want one, check their website. They are on closeout so they are in store only and not every store has them. Search for "nibbler" then click on the "may be available near you" to see if your stores have them in stock. They are the Kronus Nibbling Tool model #64-2960

Here you can see the notch for the fret top to sit in.

From the top with a piece of fret wire in ready for the cut.

Here is a cut tang. Nice clean cut.

Here you can see the stack of blocks slid to one side a bit. No big deal as the bulk of the wood gets carved away anyhow.

Here it is after cleaning the edge and chopping the end to the total length plus the length of the tenon.

The tenon all marked up. For some reason the picture makes the tenon look crooked. It is straight.

The neck in my tenoning jig to make the two cheek cuts.

Here is the tenon after all the cutting.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Oh deer.........

I was able to spend a few hours in the shop after work today so I got a few things done. It was a pretty productive day. First thing up sanding the tail block patch I made last time so it was flush and radiused to the sides. Once that was done I went ahead and glued in the kerfing on the back. I am using two different kerfing woods. The back is mahogany and the top is spruce. I did this because I wanted the darker colored kerfing in the back, but I wanted the top kerfing to be of the same species as the top wood. The bracing will match with mahogany braces for the back, and Adirondack spruce for the top. Once the kerfing was all glued and clamped I decided to work on the neck. First I needed to cut the truss rod channel in the neck blank. I carefully measured the center, got my 1/4" router bit and cut the rod. It was pretty non-eventful. Again, I love having a router table! It makes a lot of these jobs so much easier. I then cut the three pieces of cedar for the tail block and glued that all together. What a pain in the neck that was! Those three pieces all wanted to slip and slide all over the place while I was clamping them up. I guess if I was patient, I would glue them up one piece at a time. I figured since I was gluing stuff and I had clamps left over, I would go ahead and glue the peghead veneer. After that was all glued and clamped (weighing about as much as my youngest daughter!) I put it aside to dry.

I then decided to do something different. I have been kicking the idea around of making a logo to put on all of my guitars. I am an avid hunter and have great respect and admiration for the whitetail deer that we are blessed to have all over around here. I just love watching them and studying them. It is funny, but I spent a lot of hours in the woods during the months of Nov and Dec hunting the whitetail, but more often than not, I end up just watching them. It is a fairly rare event that I actually take one. Just as an example, this season I probably watched close to 150 deer, all within shooting range, and never even raised my gun. I have always considered it a successful hunt when I have deer that I could have harvested, but I let them walk away. I can't think of anything more exciting than to have a whitetail deer walk directly under my stand, so close that I could literally reach out and touch them, and have them never even know that I am there. That is how I hunt, with respect and admiration.

Anyways, off of that rabbit trail. I spent some time a couple of evenings ago drawing up a silhouette of a buck that I could possibly use as a logo. I took some of my gold pearl and cut one out small enough to put on one side of the bridge. I am happy with it. It took about an hour to cut out and I went through several blades. Hey, if anyone has a better way to get those fine little blades into the saw without breaking them I am all ears! I broke 4 blades just trying to tighten the set screw that holds them in. Now I have to decide if I want to put it in the bridge, or save it for the OOO headstock. I am not very confident in my routing skills to try and cut this in perfectly so I would probably do an over sized cut and fill it in with black epoxy. I have a spare rosewood bridge so I might just give it a shot to see how it looks.

Here is the tail block with the little ship I added to the top. I am not sure why I am cutting these too short, but it has happened twice to me now.

The back kerfing all glued up. Look at all those clothespins!

The neck blank with the center line marked for the truss rod. The line of the edge is approx. halfway from the nut to the first fret. That is where I ended the slot.

The truss rod fits perfectly. Now I just hope that LMI is right that the shorter rod is the same dimensions as the long rod!

The three tail block pieces ready for glue up.

After a lot of slipping and sliding I finally got all the pieces lined up and clamped. No, I didn't nail it all together to hold them, but the thought did cross my mind! lol

Hey, I had some clamps left so why not use them! The neck with about 30 pounds of clamps on it.

Here is the deer head I cut out. All one piece with no breaks! My original design had the head with the center cut out making an outline. I am still debating on doing that before I put it in.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sanding the radius.......

No more day counters!

I spent some time today radius sanding the top and back of the sides and end/neck blocks. After the last one when I had the radius dishes but no sandpaper for them, I decided that I would make sure to have sandpaper for the dishes this time. I looked around all over for 24" round sandpaper but couldn't find any for a reasonable price. Everyone wants close to $20 per sheet and that is pretty expensive. I went to Lowes and found rolls of 6" wide by 10 yard long rolls of 80 grit PSA paper for $14 a roll. I picked up a roll and used it for both dishes with enough left over to do another dish. The sticky stuff wasn't very sticky but once I got it all laid down, I went over the seams with a heat gun and that made it stick down really well.

I first sanded the top edges with the 30' dish until the blocks had a nice radius and all of the edges were sitting flat on the dish. Then I took the plan, measured the width of the body in 2" increments and then used my graph board to transfer the marks to the sides. I connected the marks with blue painters tape to get a line all around the body.

The last time I did this, it worked fine with one exception. The side view on the plans do not take into account that the waist is closer to the center of the guitar than the two bout sides. Because of this, the waist needs to be lower than the plans show to account for the radius. On the OM, I didn't think of this and I rough cut the sides to within about 1/8" of the tape edge. When I set it on the radius dish, I had to remove quite a bit around the edges of the bouts to get the waist to drop into the dish. I hope this makes sense, I know it sounds confusing.

Anyways, this time when I rough cut down to the tape, I made sure to keep about 1/4" additional wood above the tape on the waist locations. I used my cordless drill with the rotary microplane to do the bulk of the work. After that, I flipped it over and sanded to radius, carefully measuring the sides and ends to make sure that I didn't get the body too shallow. It went well with one small issue. Somehow, I must have cut the tail block just a tad too short. When I had the sides sanded to the final depth, the tail sides were about 2mm taller than the block. I though about just sanding it down to the block, but I really wanted to keep the body as close to the plans as possible. So, I cut a small shim of mahogany, rough shaped it to the block shape and glued it in place. Everything is in the warm room drying now.

Here is the 30' radius dish after sanding the top sides.

The sides after I marked the back edge. Everything above the tape top edge needed to be removed.

This is after about 10 minutes with my drill and microplane. Note how I have the waist higher above the tape line than the rest. This is to accommodate the depth needed for the radius dish.

Here it is, all sanded and sitting on the 15' dish. It fits nice and tight. No daylight at all.

Notice how the tail block is a little bit short. The sides are sanded to the final depth. Hmmm, I wonder how that happened.....
Here is the piece I cut and rough shaped glued to the block. I somehow did the same thing on the OM. I must be doing something wrong in my measuring to do the same thing twice.

Here is the sides with the 15' radius board sitting on the edges over the waist. It fits perfectly.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Oops, I did it again.........

DAY 50 (The last day marker!)

I spent a couple of hours in the shop working on the OOO. First thing was to clean up the neck block that I glued up yesterday and then lay out the mortise for the neck tenon. After measuring, re-measuring, and re-measuring again I set up my router table with a 3/4" straight cutting bit and set my fence 25mm from the bit edge. I marked the stop mark on the fence so I knew when to stop the cut and ran the block through. Since the bit was about 2mm too narrow I flipped the block and ran it through so the mortise was dead center on the block. It worked nicely. then I sanded the radius on the mortise side to match the top radius, and clipped the corners to ease the edges of the block inside the guitar. I glued it up and set the sides, form, blocks and clamps in my warm closet for the glue to set.

Then I turned to the neck. I unclamped and cleaned up the neck scarf joint to see how it turned out. It looks great! The seam is almost invisible and if it weren't for the change in grain direction it would be invisible. I then needed to thin the peghead so the total thickness including the veneers would be 3/4" thick. This ment that I had to remove just shy of 1/4" from the top of the peghead. I ran it through my tablesaw and it cut it cleanly and evenly. I then measured the total length and cut the excess off of the other end of the neck blank for a 12 fret length. I was going to route out the truss rod channel but I soon discovered that I made a second mistake with my initial list of parts. I made a lot of changes to the list, but failed to remember that since I was building a 12 fret instead of a 14 fret neck, I needed to change the truss rod to a shorter one. So, this is where I stopped. I was going to go ahead and route the channel but I wanted to make sure that the shorter rod had the same dimensions as the longer rod before cutting the slot. I looked it up on LMI's site and it does so I will go ahead and route it next chance I get.

First up, here is the piece of bloodwood binding I bent with ease yesterday. I put the other pieces on the bender to help them hold their shape until I am ready to use them.

The neck block after I routed the mortise for the neck tenon.

The neck block glued and clamped in place. Yeah I know, that's a lot of clamps. I just want to make sure it is tight ya know!

Here is the scarf joint after a little cleanup. Not bad.

The scarf joint after thinning the peghead. The break angle at the top of the neck is at a perfect 90 degree angle from the side. No touch up needed!

I marked the 12th fret location and then cut the excess off.

Oops, a 14 fret truss rod and a 12 fret neck. Something doesn't add up! Add that to the list for my next order. There is always a next order, they never end.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A bloody followup.......(Okay, I'm done with the bloody titles!)

DAY 49 (continued)

Ding ding ding ding! I think I figured it out! After my last post I did some more searching for info on bloodwood bending. I found a post on a forum from a guy who said he bends his bloodwood without any back straps and mostly dry, just lightly spraying with water as he bent over a very hot bender. I figured, what the heck lets give it a try. I went out, fired up the bender and clamped one end in the upper bout clamp. Once the box was hot, and water would steam off when sprayed on the bender, I started. I sprayed the wood and started pushing it down around the upper bout to the waist. As I was bending, I would spray the wood and follow that with a heat gun so both sides of the wood got hot. It bent nicely to the waist. Then I put the waist clamp and started slowly clamping it down all the while spraying it with water and heating it with the heat gun. Once that bent into the waist I pulled it around the lower bout and clamped it down. All in all, about 15 minutes total and not even a hint of the wood wanting to break. I am so happy! Now I have 4 bent pieces with no breaks, and one with a repaired break. I still have 7 pieces left for the fingerboard and future projects. So, I guess my call for help isn't needed anymore. I feel confident that I can bend another if needed now too!

Another bloody good time........

DAY 49

Well the weather reminded us that it is still technically winter with a nice little snowstorm. We ended up with about 6"-8" of fresh new snow. The sad thing is, all of the old snow from the last big storm finally was completely melted yesterday. Oh well, this shouldn't hang around for too long.

Anyways, I went out to the shop after plowing the driveway, to work on the OOO. First thing on my agenda was to try and bend some bloodwood bindings again. I took the four strips that I had sprayed with Super Soft, spritzed them with distilled water as suggested, wrapped them in foil and proceeded to put them in the bender. When I was working with the wood, it felt a lot 'bendier' than the dry pieces. My hopes were high. I got the wood temp up to 300 degrees and SLOOOOWLY started cranking it down. I got it all clamped and in shape after about 45 minutes of slow heavy pressure all along the bends. I let it cook for 10 minutes, then turned off the heat to let it cool down. We will check back with the bindings in a bit.

I went to work fine sanding my neck scarf joint cut, lining everything up, and gluing it in place. That is kind of a pain in the neck as the joint wants to slide apart as soon as any pressure is put on it. I finally got it all clamped up and drying. Then I needed to cut the neck block out of the piece of mahogany that LMI delivered yesterday. After a lot of careful measuring and checking grain directions, I had a block that was 3 MM too short. This might sound like a mistake, but following the LMI DVD instructions this is supposed to happen. He glues a small shim on the top of the block to make up the difference so I did the same. I glued and clamped these pieces together and set them aside to dry.

Back to the bindings. It was with great anticipation that I pulled the bindings off the bender, unwrapped the foil and inspected my work. Darn. 3 of the 4 snapped in the exact same place as the others snapped. So the tally is I have 3 good pieces, one usable piece with a small partial break that I fixed with CA glue, and 8 broken pieces. I am just not sure what I am doing wrong. I have the wood wet, enclosed in foil to help it steam, covered in Super Soft, and plenty of heat. I went really slow, with a lot of back pressure over the problem spot, and I was feeling the wood give all along the bend. I never felt a break. I still have 8 straight pieces that I can work with and I need to keep 2 of them for the fingerboard bindings. So I have 2 with the straightest grain I can find coated with Super Soft and I will try it again tomorrow. I would really like to have 4 pieces that are perfect instead of 3 perfect and one repaired to use. If I break these two, I think I will call 'UNCLE' (man I am showing my age with that!) and use what I have. The reason I don't want to use the repaired piece is that the CA made the repaired section turn dark. I don't know if I can sand it back to the red color of the rest of the wood. This may not be an issue because I am thinking that I will use the same method of gluing the bindings and perflings as I did with the Dreadnought where I taped it in and flooded it with CA glue. I haven't decided yet. I have some concerns with the bloodwood being next to the spruce. The bloodwood is really messy stuff and I would bet that it 'bleeds' the red color very easily. I know I will have to mask off the soundboard before I work with it just to keep red fingerprints off of it.

Anyways, this is a second call for help. If anyone out there has any secret knowledge regarding bending bloodwood I would be greatly appreciative if you would share that knowledge! Right now it is a very hit and miss thing, with mostly misses. At $2.00 a pop, I really don't like throwing money away like this.

Okay, here we go. Bending time.

Hmmm, that felt like it went pretty good. (Ignore the top slat sticking up on the right. I didn't get it lined up properly so it was about 1/4" too short to hold under the clamp.) Lets check back in about an hour.

While the bindings were cooking I glued up the head stock on the neck. I have to say, I really like the LMI glue. This is the first guitar I have used it on.

The neck block cut out of a big block of mahogany.

Bummer. The three pieces on the right broke in the same place as all the others have broken.

Here is the neck block glued up. I went ahead and marked out the tenon slot for the neck. I am going to cut this out before installing it on the guitar. The DVD shows him doing it after but I would much rather ruin this piece of wood with a bad cut than ruin this wood as well as the sides.