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  #341  
Old 08-01-2016, 11:42 AM
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Kwak Kwak is offline
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While the wife's away - and I'm left alone to battle with my demons - I put a little time into the guitar build.

I spent a lot of time hemming and hawing about the trim to my rosette. I decided to keep it simple and just did two laminated purfling strips instead of 3. I went back to routing so many times it's a wonder I didn't F it up.



I also trimmed off the excess of the fretboard on my little bandsaw after drawing a little arc with a compass. I'm all about the fine details at this point. I did this so that I could make sure that my mistakes with the rosette wouldn't be visible. What can be seen can be sanded and filled with yellow wood glue mixed and sawdust.



Then I went about getting everything flush. Many think that these things are stickers but actually it's a pretty painstaking - but rewarding - process. I started with a palm sander but the uneven surface and varying density of the different materials called for a better method: the card scraper, a rectangular piece of metal that you use the edge of (after using a file to create a rudimentary blade edge called a burl) that you bend slightly and scrape off thin layers of material not unlike a hand plane. I nicked the wood pretty badly in some places but here's the closeup result.



I have more yet to do though - such as routing out the soundhole and then cut the board into a guitar shape, but I'm moving on to the neck...
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Married to Kelly, 6/19/1999
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Father to Justin, 2/27/2004
Father to Joseph, 3/11/2007

Last edited by Kwak; 08-01-2016 at 11:44 AM.
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  #342  
Old 08-01-2016, 12:27 PM
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Kwak Kwak is offline
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Default Moving back to the neck...

On my first build I drew up a template of the headstock in Adobe Illustrator, then printed out a template on construction paper. Then I took that and made a template out of wood to act as a guide for drilling the holes for the tuning machines; it prevents the drill bit from chipping away the veneer - or the surface of the wood if that species tends to chip - such as rosewood. I had used that to cut the outline of the headstock in the neck on this build but it needed some refinement.

Months ago I had misplaced my 3/4 chisel and the wood veneer that I had intended to glue to the headstock. Luckily, just at the right time I found the bin where both were lying in wait. Even though the chisel could use some sharpening it was still pretty sharp so I started using it to shape the countour of my headstock. Then I go on to use a cabinet maker's card scraper instead of relying on sandpaper.

BTW, I've been taking pictures and movies on my iPhone. I made a little montage in iMovie, added some cheesy music and uploaded it to Youtube:

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Married to Kelly, 6/19/1999
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Father to Justin, 2/27/2004
Father to Joseph, 3/11/2007

Last edited by Kwak; 08-01-2016 at 02:27 PM.
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  #343  
Old 08-02-2016, 01:47 PM
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TwoCubs TwoCubs is offline
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Cool carpentry.
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  #344  
Old 08-02-2016, 07:32 PM
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Kwak Kwak is offline
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Last night I worked on the rosette a little more and made another short montage video. I used the canned music which I admit does irk me a bit. I wish there was a way to crop/loop backing music in iMovie. If not, then I suppose I could try and record me play solo acoustic fingerstyle stuff in Garage Band.

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  #345  
Old 08-02-2016, 07:36 PM
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I also spent a portion of the day working on the headstock. This time around I did not cut out the outline first which complicated things a little.



The wood on the headstock is called ziricote. The wood on the rosette and on the back and sides of the body is east Indian rosewood. Without any finish they have similar coloring. I considered doing the rosette in ziricote - and even cut some wedges - but none of the other veneers I had were nearly so figured as this one.

The center ring on the rosette is made of segments of green abalone shell with a flexible backing. It's a laminated and engineered material so I'm concerned about how much I can sand it down before exposing the backing material. The alternative was to buy precut sections of whole shell and hope the I'd routed to the correct radius. If I'd gotten it wrong I'd have been screwed; this stuff just drops in about as easily as the wood fiber strips that I used to frame the ring.
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Father to Justin, 2/27/2004
Father to Joseph, 3/11/2007

Last edited by Kwak; 08-02-2016 at 07:49 PM.
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  #346  
Old 08-02-2016, 08:50 PM
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irie feeling irie feeling is offline
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You got lots more free time than you lead on.
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  #347  
Old 08-03-2016, 01:23 AM
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I do now, irie. Even still, bear in mind that I kicked this project off in early 2012. If I had taken a week long class with a master luthier in a fully equipped workshop I'd have gotten this far by day 2.

I usually devote just a couple of hours a week - if that - to this. I don't consider this to be a waste of time since it produces concrete results. TBH the video covers several days worth of work - and even then I'm not exactly working efficiently.

Look at it this way. I'm doing this to focus my mind of something that I don't consider as "work." Yes, I do lots around the house. This weekend I painted the trim in the family room and kitchen. Today I was painting over crap stains on the bathroom and Justin's bedroom ceilings. Could I do more? Possibly, but I'm waiting for two quotes on some of the work. Conceivably I could devote my time to renovations. My own personal list of things to do could include:

1: putting a dumpster in my driveway
2: gutting Justin's room down to bare subfloor and studs
3: ripping out all the linoleum flooring downstairs
4: purchase and hang five new doors upstairs
5: tearing out the vanity, sinks and countertop in the upstairs hallway bathroom
6: tear out the rusted out medicine cabinets in both upstairs bathrooms
7: clear out the basement
8: buy new sand and gravel and level the patio off the back deck
9: install a new light fixture on the back of the house (did I mention I hate electrical work?)
10: replace all the outlets in Justin's room.

TBH though, I think that it's necessary to try and engage Joey more while he's still home from school though. I also do enjoy being able to go out in the back and grilling without worrying about what's going on inside though. I've also started to enjoy sitting outside and playing my guitars in the evening again.
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  #348  
Old 08-05-2016, 03:12 PM
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As irie alludes, I have excuses. Yesterday I intended to do three things. I got none accomplished and I felt terrible. I'll talk about that elsewhere. Part of the reason I'm doing this is because through all of the crap and emotional turmoil that I've been through in life listening to music and playing guitar have been the two things that have kept me from palling completely into the pit. Even though I've done some home recording it's a frustrating process with too much temptation to go back and change something. OTOH making a musical instrument is a one-time shot. Sure, it's slow at first but you build up momentum and continue to move forward - mistakes and all, unless they're HUGE - until you're done and you have something concrete (or in this case wooden) in your hands that you can get a sense of accomplishment from.

That being said, yesterday while I was feeling defeated I found myself in my cluttered little hole and found refuge with a rounded file in my hand. I started working on the neck blank and without anything but my imagination to guide me I began to shape it into some smooth and organic looking, but with crisp edges too. I gotta say, I am truly happy with my choice on headstock shape. It leans heavily from Gibson Guitars' aesthetic but not overly so. I'm still working out the shape of the volute (that arch at the junction of the headstock and neck that actually serves a purpose) but hope to have something that is less obtrusive than I did on my first build.



BTW, this was after maybe just 10 minutes of filing. It looked like this when I started:



In a half hour I have it looking pretty close to where I want it to be.

Meanwhile, I also spent some time on the soundboard. I sanded that abalone ring flush with the rosewood and to be honest I am not satisfied with the results. It does not have as much luster in places as it once did. Live and learn, but not a show stopper. I moved on with cutting out the sound hole and trimming the outside of the board to resemble its final shape.



I wonder: was the sandpaper that I used too coarse? If so, then maybe I should look into some way of polishing it? Somehow I doubt it.
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Married to Kelly, 6/19/1999
SAHD since August, 2004
Father to Justin, 2/27/2004
Father to Joseph, 3/11/2007

Last edited by Kwak; 08-05-2016 at 03:34 PM.
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  #349  
Old 08-06-2016, 05:18 PM
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Every so often you reach a milestone that feels significant. Others just feel more satisfying. The day before yesterday I performed a step that was the culmination of several smaller steps before it and a strong result of having something that resembles its final shape.

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  #350  
Old 08-08-2016, 05:55 PM
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I carved the braces on the back last night.



...and I'm doing a dry fit of gluing in the main structural X Brace on the soundboard:



I don't think I have enough cam clamps though.
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