Archive for the 'Guitar Building Logs' Category

Guitar 1202 – Binding and Purfling

January 27, 2013

I have finished installing the binding.  I’ve taken an alternative approach to this guitar.  When purfling the top with Abalam, I have, previously, installed the binding, purfling, teflon, purfling sandwich all at once.  It has been a tricky juggling process which guaranteed binding cracks, gaps, unseated purfling strips, all because I had to weave 4 different layers into the channels which were slathered with glue, then with my third hand (which I don’t have) apply the binding tape to hold it all in place.

This time, I installed the binding solo, and will clean out the glue overage, then drop the purfling, teflon, purfling sandwich into the open channel.

130127purfling

The photo shows the purfling strips with teflon between, and abalam in the channel after the teflon is removed.  Currently, the binding glue is drying, and a variety of cracks are being repaired under clamps.

130127buttgraft


Guitar 1202 – Butt Graft

January 4, 2013

Love to say “butt graft”.  Attached the top, cut off the scarf and installed the butt graft.  Next, binding!

130104top

130104buttgraft

Guitar 1202 – Box On Garth

January 3, 2013

Good news from LMI:  KTM9 water based lacquer has shipped from the manufacturer.  Availability to me starts January 9th.

Did some packing of the uke after fully prepping it for lacquer finish.  I’ve sent it off to Athens, GA for finishing.

The box for the OM aka “Bob” is closed in.  I did neglect to install the electronics, but justified my mistake by saying that I need practice installing these after the fact anyway, so we all say.

First, completed sanding and prepping the back and sides to accept the top.

130103insidethebox

In the past I have wreaked havoc on spruce tops while bracing.  I learned since to mask the top while I’m bracing to avoid dings and dimples.

130103topcheesecake

130103topbracing

Hey, it was from a calendar my WIFE gave me.  The top is all braced and trimmed back ready for installation.

130103toponbox

A couple of hours to dry, then I can cut off the scarf and start thinking about the binding and purfling.

Happy New Year to All

December 30, 2012

This will be my last post of 2012.  Some things were accomplished in 2012, but all in all, the pace of this year’s building has ebbed in relation to previous years.  I could chalk that up to a new career teaching mathematics, but really it’s a case of shifting priorities.  I have endured a few crisis moments all around finishing with spray lacquer.  As reluctant as I was to put down the spray gun, it is for the better.  I cannot continue to subject my families health and my health to the lacquer fumes inherent with nitrocellulose lacquer application.  My options are twofold:  send guitars out for spray services ($500) or procure hard to find water based lacquer and spray with this less toxic alternative.  I’m still on the hunt for water based with mixed results.

I have been working diligently on my uke, Rachel’s parlor and Susan’s OM.  What follows is an except from recent work.

Rachel’s parlor has taken a step forward with neck shaping and fret dot design.

121230back

The fretboards for Rachel’s parlor and Susan’s OM are seen below the beautiful Myrtle back.

121230necks

The parlor neck is on top with the Cocobollo headplate.  The OM neck is shown with the rosewood headplate.

I’ve managed to shape bracing and install the back to the sides as well as lay down the top bracing for the OM.

121230beforetrim

121230aftertrim

The second picture shows the back after the scarf has been trimmed.

121230topbracing

Update: Uke Parlor Hybrid

August 26, 2012

Yeah, Guitar Camp was awesome, and now I’m home counting the days before I start back teaching.  I took a uke and an OM to camp, and as usual garnered a lot of interest from fellow campers who claim they “must have one”.  On the last day of camp advice is given to those of us returning to the non-camp world.  One bit of proper advice was, “Wait three weeks before accepting a proposal of marriage from a fellow camper.”  Same goes for committing to a new uke or guitar.

I’ve resumed where I left off before camp.  The Hybrid for Jim has a first coat of pore filler (an epoxy resin) and is lined up for the spray booth.

120826sidefinishing

I’ve installed all binding on the Myrtle Parlor.

120826topbinding

I then did what all good builders should do, I burnished my cabinet scraper.  Ah, what a difference!  Several smooth strokes across the top, and the binding is trimmed flush with the top.

120826bindingscraped

I’m so in love with my first uke.  I played it at camp and caught the bug.  The uke I’m working on now is really for me (so I’m differently motivated).  The top is braced, the tonebars are installed and the neck and top have been joined.

120826neckstabilizer

The neck has been stabilized with a graphite rod which lives under the mahogany strip in the center of the neck.

120826topbracing

First the bracing and bridge plate were installed.

120826tonebars

Then the tone bars.

120826necktotopjoin

Finally, the neck and top can be joined.

Guitar 1201 – Box Constructed

July 31, 2012

Back and top braced, sanded and installed.  Between back and top install, added butt graft in cocobollo, which is also the binding wood.

120731buttgraft

The pattern on the Myrtle is stunning, and came together nicely after the back install.

120731insidethebox

120731backandsides

While the top gluing cured, purfling was added to the binding then bent in the “machine”.  Later this afternoon I should be able to install the binding.

120731topattached

Guitar 1002 – Ready for final sanding

July 11, 2012

Both guitar 1002 and the Girdis completion project are ready for final sanding.  This will be a 220 grit finish of every surface in preparation for the sanding sealer, pore filling, lacquer spraying.

120711readyfor220

In other news, I have been working inlays for Guitar 1202’s headstock and Uke 1201’s fretboard.

120711headplatewithshell

I spent a lot of time trying to place the fretboard shell in a random pattern.

120711neckandfretboard

Guitar 1202 – Headstock Shell

July 8, 2012

After careful removal of headstock material, the shell was epoxied in place.

120708epoxyshell

Uke 1201 – Sides Bent, Top and Back Joined

July 5, 2012

The top and back have been joined, and the rosette installed.

120705topandback

120705rosette

Sides have been bent (yes, koa burns easily), and installed into the holder.

120705sidebend

120705sideholder

Today, I expect to receive more graphite rods which will be inserted into the neck.

I also tackled routing out the channel for the shell for the headstock for Guitar 1202.  The yellow tempera was painted on to show the scoring of the edge for an easy visual of how far to rout out.

120705shellchannel

Guitar 1202 and 1203 plus Uke 1201

July 3, 2012

Did a little neck work today on Uke 1201.  I used the table saw to cut the spanish heel slots and to nibble away at the heel profile.

120704nibbledneck

Also for both 1202 and 1203, I installed the rosettes.  The OM has a teflon strip which is removed before pressing in the abalam.  The parlor has a pre-manufactured herringbone.

120704rosettes

The abalam is pressed into the gap left by the teflon then flooded with CA glue.  The shell shown below will be added to the headstock to mirror what’s on the fretboard.

120703rosetteandheadinlay

Before routing out the channels for the headstock shell, the plate has been glued to the headstock.

120703headplate

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