Archive for the 'Guitar 805 – 12 String Dreadnought' Category

Guitar 805 – The Photo Gallery

February 26, 2009

Tom delivered the new batch of photos for me for the 12 string dreadnought.





You can see a full set of photos in the Gallery.

Guitar 805 – Mission Accomplished

February 15, 2009

I declare Guitar 805, the 12 string walnut dreadnought complete.  Sure there’s minute things I could go back and clean up, use tweezers and electron microscopes, etc., but I’m going to leave a few warts behind just to maintain my status as a flawed human.  Like my previous guitars, I see these things, but others may not.  I’ve been working so hard on this one to get it done on a deadline, that I’m ready to put it down.


The headstock turned out as hoped.  Once I first put the strings on, I recognized the need for a wee taller saddle.


I built a new saddle, dressed the frets, notched the bridge pin holes, sanded down the bridge, glued in the reshaped nut, reattached the strings and….it’s sweet.  It’s a heavy guitar, and next generations will be much lighter.  I will certainly profile my next necks to a much thinner depth.  This guitar will be fine for big hands, but not appropriate for the small boned.

Final step, put on the pickguard and nestle it in its case (after a throrough playing).


Guitar 805 will be photo ready

February the Friday the 13th, 2009

Not superstitious.  I’ve been wrangling with Tom, not knowing if I would be ready to have him take some shots of the guitar before he moseyed on down to Florida, but I think I made it.  I will have a semblance of a guitar tomorrow ready for a photo shoot regardless of the fact that:  the finish still needs much more work, the setup still needs to go through the rigors of perfection, and all the detail work needs to be attended to.

Hopefully, Tom will take gentle photos which don’t reveal the imperfections and I can come back with an excellent document of my efforts and still leave myself with time to get it in shape for the new owner (mystery to be revealed on Monday).

I sanded and buffed all day today and got it in shape (enough) to glue on the neck.


I also put on the tuners (without the set screws), the end pink, the truss rod cover, and dry fit the nut.


After the glue was left to dry sufficiently, I proceeded to carefully locate the bridge.  This is an important measuring excercise, and it can’t be reversed once you commit.  I also had to rout (route ?) the bridge for the saddle, and as this is the first time I have made a saddle from scratch, I made a few errors in the channelling excercise and left the slot a little ragged.  But, black epoxy will save my ass.  That’s to do after the shoot.

Once the bridge was properly located, I had to remove the lacquer from the top with paint stipper.


Then, after countersinking the holes for the bridge pins, I set the bridge on the opening and drilled two holes for the special bridge clamp, glued, then screwed down.


It should sit overnight (this is the most critical of all glued parts on the guitar).  Tomorrow, I’ll drill out the bridge pin holes, string it up, then give Tom a call and make an appointment for a shoot.

Guitar 805 – Cured and sanding

February 12, 2009

The 12string sat for 5 – 6 days after final application of lacquer  to “cure”.  I’m still learning to be a good applicator, and the downside on this one is that the finish is a bit rough.  Not too rough to sand through down to smooth, but, I have to sand down through to smooth.  It is the most unsatisfying block of hours one can imagine.  Mr. Instant Gratification is very sad.

I have some ideas on how to make it better on the next guitar, and if I’m right, I’ll have a properly applied lacquer finish that needs minimal sanding and buffing.

I’ve done 4 hours of 600 grit and 800 grit sanding, and still need to do some more before I go to the 1200 wet sanding then buffing.  I’m trying to get to a point where Tom can do a shoot, but he leaves for vacation Saturday night, and I’m wondering if I can make it.


Guitars 804 805 901

February 8, 2009

Much progress, and many photos to share.  I realized that you don’t know me very well.  In fact, your image of me as a person is completely fabricated.  So here are some pictures of my face.  I try to recreate my face in all my guitars, but haven’t been doing a very good job lately.

1.  My eyesight needs some improvement.


2.  Some say I look like my sister.


3.  I’m actually a serious craftsperson.


Updates on guitars in progress:  The 12 string is in the curing stage.  On Wednesday I will get it ready for a Friday photo shoot.


The Koa Parlor will get lacquer this week.


And the Zebrez has a neck.


Guitar 805 – Warning, no pictures, only text

February 6, 2009

My spray equipment was not adequate for the nitrocellulose.  I went out and procured an HVLP spray gun which was more appropriate.  I still am not getting the perfect spray, but this new gun is much better than the touch up gun I was using.  I have 9 coats on, a bit mottled, but I think it’s enough and will sand out fine.  I’ll give it a good scotch brite rubbing in the morning and if the coverage looks good, I’ll let it settle until Wednesday.

I took a template of the bridge on my Taylor 12 string and mapped out the shape for the bridge and got it down to nearly perfect.  I’ll wait to get the neck on to see if the thickness needs reducing or if it’s fine as is.

Guitar 805 – Oh, I’m so tired

Februay 3, 2009

Blech.  Look, see, react.


So, I diverted, but here’s the progress…


It’s a gallery of nitrocellulose…



Guitar 805 – Watching the Superbowl will not hurt my progress

January 31, 2009

Tomorrow William, my son, and I will watch the Superbowl.  We are both heavily invested in illegal wagering and this is an annual tradition for us.  When I devised my completion schedule for the 12 string, I did NOT factor in things like Superbowl, dinner, sleep, or brunch.   But, with today’s progress, I am one day ahead of schedule and can use that down time to watch the Superbowl with William tomorrow.

I sanded with 220 all day, stained the neck with Tobacco Brown, which I believe will give the mahogany neck a similar look to the unstained walnut.  Applied vinyl sealer to the neck and body, and will let sit overnight before filling grain tomorrow.



Guitar 805 – The finish line is in sight

January 30, 2009

I was worried.  I was fretting (OK, this is a guitar analogy).  But I’m very close to finishing this guitar before the deadline.

I installed a heel cap in keeping with BWB theme of the guitar.


Next step was to glue on the fretboard and install the marker dots.


After recognizing that the neck needs some serious thinning, I still installed the bolt on inserts.


Next step, intall the frets.


Trim them up and get ready to see what it looks like as a potential guitar.  I did have to add some material to the area between the headstock and the fretboard, as there was a bit of dip which would effect the level set of the nut.


Once all this came together, it looked a lot like a guitar.


I’m tempted to see what it looks like in the case (I was worried the oversized headstock might not fit).


It fits!  Tomorrow, some serious 220 grit sanding in preparation for the vinyl sealer.

Guitar 805 – 12 string dreadnought taking shape

January 28, 2009

I have underestimated the time to shape the neck, so have taken two days to complete vs. one.  The neck is now down to the desired thickness, but still needs to have the heel fully shaped.


I oriented the truss rod up so the adjusting nut is accessed from outside the guitar at the head.


It will have an ebony cover plate.  I also routed out the tenon, but will need to correct the neck angle as it is a little steep.


Did the first round of scraping and sanding, and it’s looking pretty good.  I will test the new pore filler and lacquer on scrap before actually applying to the guitar.


Tomorrow:  Finish shaping heel, add end cap, adjust neck angle, and if completed, glue on fretboard (after thinning it a bit).

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