Building my first guitar

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Blog series by daverose updated 11-28-2012 08:47 PM 7 parts 14882 reads 20 comments total

Part 1: Finished the body blank, got all the parts.

09-22-2012 03:15 PM by daverose | 2 comments »

Was inspired by the Randall Price series on building a tenor acoustic guitar and figured my wood working skills had reached the point where I could attempt a guitar, albeit an electric one. I’m slightly obsessive about using recycled wood whenever I can and am often going through people’s old furniture where I have salvaged some quite nice wood over the years. This time around a friend was throwing out an old beat up kitchen table while I was helping her move house. It seemed...

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Part 2: Test fitting the parts

09-27-2012 10:02 PM by daverose | 4 comments »

Got to work on my pine practice block this week. Did a test cut on the neck pocket and the pickup recesses to make sure my templates where up to snuff. I was going to use a template guide in my router but realized part way in that I couldn’t get the bit low enough to make a deep enough cut because the guide got in the way so off to Lee Valley to get a template cutter with the bearing on the base and I was off to the races. The neck fit pretty well but was a tiny bit loose near the ...

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Part 3: Making lots of holes

10-02-2012 09:45 PM by daverose | 1 comment »

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...

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Part 4: Carving the body

10-10-2012 12:59 PM by daverose | 2 comments »

Got down to carving the body and it went much faster and easier than I expected. Used a grease pencil for the carving lines because you can’t see pencil on this wood. Borrowed a spokeshave from my dad that hadn’t been used in about 30 years. It sharpened up great and did the bulk of the removal. The mahogany worked great and I was happy I hadn’t added more purpleheart because it was tearing out all over the place. Rasps and chisels on the inside corners and ...

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Part 5: Starting the finish

10-17-2012 04:51 PM by daverose | 2 comments »

After sanding for about a week straight I was ready to fill the grain and oil it. I’m a big fan of straight up BLO to enhance grain and color so I used some sawdust I collected from sanding, mixed it with the BLO and rubbed that into the pores as best I could. Then I wet (oil) sanded with 400 grit to create a bit of a slurry to further fill the pores. I like the results and how it’s made the stripes in the mahogany more vibrant although the amber colour of the BLO has covered u...

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Part 6: Ugg. Fininshing nightmares but now over the hump.

11-25-2012 01:36 PM by daverose | 4 comments »

Well, the finishing didn’t go so well. Did the BLO step and I liked the way it looked. Let it sit for about 10 days and then did my first clear coat try. Most instrument guys like Nitro-laquer but I have a tiny shop, no spray equipment or adequate enough ventilation and am not big on toxic chemicals so I decided to go with a spray can of water based poly…..Why didn’t somebody stop me? That stuff does not flatten out at all! The can keeps clogging. At least it dries q...

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Part 7: It's done!

11-28-2012 08:47 PM by daverose | 5 comments »

Well the polishing went pretty quick although I did burn through the finish a little on the back but I’ve chosen to ignore it. I’ve also discovered that the wipe on poly isn’t very hard and seems to dent/scratch pretty easily so I think I’ll do the laquer next time in spite of the fumes. I’ll have to wait till summer and do it outside. Still the last few things went pretty well. Had a couple of hiccups with the electronics but they are all fixed up now and it...

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