Building my first guitar #3: Making lots of holes

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Blog entry by daverose posted 10-02-2012 09:45 PM 1257 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Test fitting the parts Part 3 of Building my first guitar series Part 4: Carving the body »

Had a couple of not very busy days so got to serious work. The testing phase was very helpful and I discovered a few pitfalls that I hadn’t anticipated so that work all paid off.

First step was to rout out the neck pocket which is the process with the least room for error. A had added a bit of tape to my template to make it a tiny bit smaller. Even still the pocket ended up a tiny bit looser than I would have liked but is totally workable. When I glued the two half’s of the bodies together I used a few dowels as extra reinforcements and to help registering. I thought I had placed them all so they wouldn’t be where any recesses would be but apparently I wasn’t very accurate. Wouldn’t you know it, one was right in the middle of the neck pocket! It’s almost entirely shaved away so I don’t think it will affect the joint too much and of course no one will see it but it still bugs me.

Still I’m pleased with the way it’s turning out. Starting too look like a real instrument.

Next step was the pickup recesses which you don’t have to be nearly as accurate on. Used my router to make the main holes then cleaned up the rounded edges with a chisel. No problems….no dowels!

After measuring about 20 times and confirming the amount of bridge compensation required (an arcane thing which requires the bridge to be at a slight angle and a touch further back than exact scale length) I drilled the holes for the bridge and tailpiece.

Final step was the electronics recess which I made extra large because I was finding the guitar a bit heavy and also a bit ass heavy like a Les Paul. It’s now feeling pretty well balanced. Starting to get excited. I still have to drill the long hole that connects the pickup recesses to the electronics cavity but I don’t have a long enough drill bit at the moment. So another trip to the store for that, one last hole and then I’ll begin carving and final shaping the body. This is the stage I’m most nervous about as I have never done any carving before. I’ll try to keep it simple but I see I lot of sandpaper in my future.

1 comment so far

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 3895 days

#1 posted 10-11-2012 10:19 PM

If you’re anything like me, you’ll keep fitting the neck & standing back to admire!

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

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