Archive for the 'Guitar 1002 – Hybrid Cutaway' Category

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 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

July 2012: A Summer Plan

July 2, 2012

Welcome to summer.  I am making plans for making progress.  This summer, I have few commitments and grand plans.  I spent several hours cleaning and organizing in preparation for dedicated building time.  Over the past months, I have allowed my workshop to gather clutter and for the garage to collect dust and debris.  The shop has been decluttered and I have located and made an inventory of all things which are required for the 5 guitars and 1 uke which are under construction.  I gutted the garage, loaded the truck for a dump run, swept and vacuumed and repositioned all the power equipment.

120702garagewas

Rob Girdis Parlor – The snakewood bridge has been rough shaped and awaits finishing.  The tuners have arrived and all additional components for completion have been procured.  Once Guitar 1002 is ready for the spray booth, this guitar will be sealed, filled, then lacquered.

120520gotohebony

120520snakewoodbridge

Guitar 1002 – Frets are installed and finish sanding has begun.  Every day I do a bit more, until I can’t stand it any longer.  It’s oh so close to being ready for the spray booth.  I’m at that stage where I think I’ve got it fair and square, but there’s always more sanding to be done.  I must resist the urge to finish it as is, yet dogged by future regret.

120702fairandsquare

Guitar 1201 – Necks for 1201 and 1202 have been chanelled for truss rods and graphite stabilizers have been epoxied in.  The top has been braced, and braces (mahogany) for the back have been preshaped for installation.

120702topbracing

120702carbonneckinserts

Guitar 1202 – Top joined after planing down to .110″.  Next step install rosette and cut soundhole.  Then bracing then box construction.

120702topjoin

Guitar 1203 – Top join is next.  Awaiting ordered graphite bars for the neck.  Once the Myrtle (1201) comes out of the mold, I’ll be able to thickness the sides and bend.  This will be a double cutaway, and my thinking is I’ll build inserts for the mold.

Uke 1201 – Only the neck has been tackled.  I’ll look for idle gaps between steps of above guitars to thickness/join the back and top followed by thickness/bend the sides.

There’s no end to what I can work on additionally.  I have a dovetail repair, some ziricote screaming to be a guitar, some master grade walnut, some bubinga for a uke, and some ovangkol.  And….there’s several exploratory repairs that I owe to friends.  All this to do before Guitar Camp Week 3, August 11th.


Guitar 1002 – Frets Installed

May 20, 2012

Banged away on the frets this weekend.  After sanding and smoothing the fretboard and cleaning out the fret slots, the frets were cut to length then tapped in place.  I have also been sanding away at the binding and purfling, bringing it flush to the sides.  Still a lot of fairing and squaring to go before I mount the bridge and prepare for the lacquer spraying.

120520frets

Once this guitar is ready for the spray booth, I will apply the same finish to the Girdis guitar I am finishing.  I’ve rough cut the snakewood bridge in preparation for final shaping.

120520snakewoodbridge

The Gotoh ebony button tuners arrived.

120520gotohebony

Guitar 1002 – Redo Binding

April 29, 2012

I just wasn’t happy.  The binding on the front of the guitar, the binding everyone will see and admire, was just not right.  Too thin in places, poorly fitted around the cutaway, and even a few cracks that needed repair.  I ordered additional rosewood binding strips, which arrived yesterday, and set out on removing the first application of binding and installing it again.

I routed out a binding channel for the top binding with a depth considerably deeper than the original.  The first pass at installing this binding included thinning of the binding strips to assure a clean bend around the cutaway.  What I discovered was that I could tightly bend even full width binding if I got my iron hot enough and patiently bent the binding strip a wee bit at a time.  Bending, then checking, bending then checking, until I had a nice tight bend with no cracks or pullaway of wood fiber on the outside of the bend.  (What I did find is that my insulated gloves don’t work as well as I would like, and my fingers are a bit crispy).

A good tight bent binding and purfling make for a spectacularly easy application of the binding with binding tape.

This will be way better.  I am no longer afraid of the tight bend of the cutaway.

Guitar 1002 – Compared to an OM

April 22, 2012

The fretboard is attached, and the long slog of finish sanding lies ahead.  Here’s a little comparison of this Macafee style guitar next to an OM (which happens to be a Rob Girdis guitar).


Guitar 1002 – Fretboard Binding Heel Cap

April 22, 2012

All binding is on and trimmed.  I decided to install a rosewood heel cap and did so by routing out the heel cap material to allow installation of a maple veneer topped with rosewood cap.  The heel cap will be flush with the body.

Side dots were inserted onto the fretboard, it was trimmed to match the profile of the neck, then indexing pins were located to hold the fretboard in position while it was glued and held in place with the amazing 40 foot rubber band.

120422fretboardmount

The binding, heel cap and fretboard all meet up in various spots around the guitar.  Next steps will be to flush up all the joints and prepare for detailed finishing of all the surfaces.

120422neckfretboard

120422cutawaybinding


Guitar 1002 – Binding Trimmed, Now the Tedious

April 9, 2012

The binding is installed (save one small section on the neck heel).  It’s been trimmed close to the body and now the scraping begins.  Using a cabinet scraper, nicely burnished, I’ll draw down the binding flush to the sides, top and back.  I enjoy this process, yet it takes a long time to do it right.

120409roseandbind

The Palo Escrito looks fine treated with naptha.  The blotchy parts still need further sanding to remove the glaze of wood glue still on the surface.

120409sidebind

120409fullback

120409back

An hour here, an hour there, then some more here and there, and the fretboard goes on.

Guitar 1002 – Binding continues

March 19, 2012

I’ve attached the cutaway side binding after hand bending.  I’m pleased with the process, and am no longer flummoxed by tight binding bends.  All went swimmingly, and installation was straightforward.  A few minor gaps which can be filled with rosewood shims.

120319frontbinding

120319sidebinding

I still need to install binding and purfling around the heel cap area.

120319cutawaybinding

Guitar 1002 – Binding

March 18, 2012

I like this part.  The binding puts the real finishing touches on the body.  This one is more complicated due to the cutaway and the heel shape.  I’ve taken the first “easy” steps of binding the non-cutaway side.

120318bindingtape

The binding, pre-bent, and a purfling strip are glued into the channel, secured with binding tape.  I like to glue the crap out of it, which makes the cleanup more labor intensive, but these puppies need to be secure.

120318binding

After the tape is removed, it almost looks like a guitar.  I will trim back the excess with a cabinet scraper before the final sanding.  The cutaway side is next, but I will need to hand bend the binding and purfling strip for the severe bend around the bout at the cutaway.

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