Saturday, July 19, 2008

About a billion degrees.....

That is what my shop feels like this week. The temps have been in the 90's with humidity to match this week and with my shop being on the second floor of a non-heated/non-air conditioned barn, well you can imagine how hot it is up there. Needless to say I didn't spent very much time working on the guitar. I did have one evening where we had some cloud cover and rain so I got up there while it was bearable to get the binding and perfling channels routed out. I went up today to make the tail graft but soon realized that I don't have any pieces of Koa left big enough to make the graft with. I have a back and side set but I am not going to cut into those just for this small piece of wood. I debated on using a piece of Ziricote which would match the rosette and headplate, but decided against it as there is just too big of a contrast in color for my liking. Actually, I was looking for an excuse to get out of the sauna I call a shop so in a warped kind of way, I was a little happy that I didn't have the piece of wood! Yeah, I know there is lots of work to be done on the neck but I'll just pretend that I forgot about that. :)

So, I am going to run up to Woodcraft one day next week to see if I can buy a piece that I can cut to size. I would order it online but I hate to pay the shipping costs for such a small piece of wood. Here are some pictures of the body after the routing and the neck as it sits now.

Here is the neck after a bit more shaping. There still is quite a bit to do but it is getting close to the final shape.

The binding and perfling channels. The top routing went very well.

The back went okay but I had a few mishaps with my router. This was the first time I used my hand held router for this. It worked well but I accidentally bumped a couple of spots with the bit. These are two of them Both are a lot smaller than the picture makes them look. They should be easily repaired after the binding is installed.

I had one more bump at the waist. Again, it is smaller than it looks in the picture. I had the camera very close so it would show.

The back all routed ready for cleanup.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

It's starting to look like a neck.....

I spent the last few sessions working on the neck. When I last posted, the fingerboard was still rectangular shaped and slotted. I laid out the taper so the nut end was 1 3/4" and the 12th fret was 2 1/4". I used my router jig to hold the fingerboard solidly which also gives a straight edge for the roller on the bit to ride on. I have used this on all of my guitars and it works beautifully. Once the board was tapered I used my 16" radius block to give the fingerboard the top radius it needs.

I then turned my attention to the neck blank. I first used the same router jig to taper the neck to match the fingerboard. I used a template I made for my 12 fret 000 to shape the peghead on my router table. After that was shaped, I drilled the tuner holes. I do this first because I don't want the holes to chip out inside the slots of the slot head. I laid out the slots and used a 1/2" forsner bit to rough out the bulk of the wood for the slots. I drilled almost all of the way through, then flipped it and drilled back the other way to eliminate any tear out. I chiseled and filed the slots to almost the final size. I am trying to decide how I want to do the ends of the slots. My last time with a slot head, I put corner notches in the tops of the slots, and square ramps at the bottom. I like the look but it took a lot of work to get it done. I have also changed my corner notches since then, so the square notches won't match now. So, I need to figure out what I want to do with them.

Then I rough cut the heel end with my band saw. I used my drill press with a sanding drum and rough shaped the neck and heel. I still have a lot of work to do on it but I wanted to get the bulk of the wood off. That is where I finished up today. If I get some time tomorrow, I will spend it on bindings and perflings.

Just a note, I forgot to take my camera up with me one day so there are some pictures missing such as me shaping the peghead.

Okay, I can see I have the pictures out of order again. I just started using the new bulk picture uploader and I haven't figured out the correct order thing yet. Please bear with me, I will get it! Anyways, here is the neck heel after rough sanding.

The heel after I rough cut the cheeks with my band saw. This is simply to remove wood bulk, it isn't supposed to look pretty.

The neck as I left it.

Here is the fingerboard with the taper layout lines. They are hard to see, but they are there.

The fingerboard after tapering and radiusing. Also the peghead has been shaped.

Here you can see the tuner holes have been drilled prior to cutting the slots.

Here is the peghead with the slots drilled. You can see that I stopped just short of going all the way through, well except for that first hole!

A bit of file and chisel work to get the edges straight.

Here is the tenon that I cut several days ago. I never posted the picture.

This is the peghead right after I removed the clamps from the veneer. It is a piece of Zirocote. I had to laminate it on crooked so the two stripes would end up running parallel with the neck.

This is the jig I use to taper the fingerboard and neck. The bearing of the router bit rides along the edge of the jig and flush cuts the fingerboard. All that is needed is to line up the two ends of the taper to the edge of the jig and everything else works automatically.