Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Back to it.

So a few of my old mates from the bush are in town and we're meeting for lunch today, which was a great excuse to tell the employer, “I’m taking the day off”. That gave me the morning to do some work, I hit the shed this morning and got a little re acquainted with my old friend.

I drilled the tuner holes in the head stock which seemed to work out okay. They are visually pleasing and using a scrap piece of wood as a backstop and gradually working up the bit sizes, I avoided any tear outs. I did have a “miss hit” with the drill press but the mistake will be covered up by the tuners.

The pearl piece as a heel cap has worked well, except the pearl is a lot hard to file and shape than the thin wood on the OOO. It took a while and keeping the edge straight where the heel cap meets the body was difficult. The over hang also effects the neck angle – Which has changed from last time I adjusted it.

A new hurdle was formed when I was taking the neck on and off. Somehow I have starved the joint between the neck and the finger board. Whilst “levering” the neck joint apart I heard my monthly “crack” sound. On inspection the fingerboard had detached somewhat from the neck.

I tipped the neck up in the vice and gravity fed some (heaps of) white glue down the edges of the neck. I hope that the tape I put in over the truss rod channel stayed in place and that the truss rod still works.

I have either sorted this quickly or caused myself a great big headache.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

No real progress

Another stinking hot day around here so I didn't get down to the shed until around 8:00pm. It has been a little hard to find my groove again. I am mindlessly tinkering, rather than moving forward in controlled steps.

Somehow, I have lost the maple that came with my kit for the heel of the neck. I've searched high and low but I have no idea where it has gone to. I scratched my head and eventually I gave up. I have used a piece of morther of pearl that I bought when I was trying to make my own inlay design.

I hope it comes up okay.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Work Work Work

I've been working flat out this week and have not even made it close to getting into the shed. Maybe tomorrow, I will find some time for pore filling.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

More sanding and reflection

Okay, so most of the sanding to the body is now complete. I have sanded it to 400 grit all over. This guitar is not going to be as pretty as I had imagined. There are a lot of places that highlight my inexperience.

Below is a snap of the latest and greatest crack in my back. This is the one that I did not even see until the sanding began, now it is fairly obvious. I have highlighted the original crack by drawing the two red lines on the outside. Click to see a larger image.

The super glue and saw dust idea has not really worked. The dust has stayed lighter and and even after sanding off the superglue residue, the crack is still somewhat highlighted.

Below you can see where my routing skills let me down, that binding gets really thin is places. I am still yet to work out how you control the angle on the stewmac precision router. I think I might seek an alternative for the next one.

The sanding process was quite a bit longer this time around, there was a number of places where I had to work down a number of fairly deep machining marks.

None of the errors I have made are going to affect the way that the instrument plays or sounds, they are all merely cosmetic... but somewhat disappointing.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Three days in a row it has been over 40C (104F) and that's outside the shed! The heat is stopping me from getting started and making me rush if/when I finally get to it.

The inlay is ugly, it won't really stand out too much but it is certainly not pretty. In other breaking news (excuse the pun) I was doing some final sanding and noticed that there was a fine crack, about 20cm in length running parallel with the cracks that came from the great drop of of 2007.

I've run a bead of super glue along the crack and try and get some more sanding in tomorrow night.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Inlay Done - Not Happy

Tonight I tackled the inlay. It's a really rough job and I think it is going to stand out. The dark head plate on my OOO hides the bits where I went too wide. Let me tell you, this time I went wider and the wood is lighter. It's not going to be pretty.

I don't know. Obviously having the right inlay bit for the Dremel would have been a good start.

I feel a bit ill now. I've been wearing a headset with magnifying glasses build in and the constant changing in focal length has made me feeling a little off colour (there it is again David).

Tonight I am a little disappointed. Let's see what it all looks like when I sand it down.

Also started drilling the tuner holes. I have to buy a new drill bit... 9.5 mm - who owns a 9.5 mm drill bit?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sanding and Bridge Location

I’ve started sanding the body, I went over the body twice with 180 and 240 paper and I’ll finish up soon with the 360 grit. The ugliness left over from the fall is still there in some respects, there are lots of little chips out of the body everywhere. I’ve been filling the marks where I can but alas, it’s never going to be a masterpiece. The epoxy with saw dust has left a darker appearance but in most places it looks like the grain of the wood tapering into the bindings. In a couple of places it looks bad and I might go back and try superglue instead.

I have a big chip taken out of the top, right on the edge of the sound hole, but thankfully it is at the top and I was able to cover it over by not trimming the fingerboard and curving the end of it (with my dremel and a sanding bit) so that it has the same curve as the sound hole. I think it looks okay.

I am a little confused with where to put the bridge. You would think that there would have been something mention about this on the LMI plans. When I ordered the kit, I chose a “ WNCMT - Martin™ D-style, no Diamond, heel incl., inserts installed, 25.4 or 25.5 inch scale length Pre-Carved Mahogany Bolt-on Necks, Pre-drilled “ So, at what length do I put the saddle? I’ve asked the question on the forum, no doubt the crew will know the answer.
At the moment, I am working with the figures given on Robbie O'brien's DVD and I am setting the saddle at 647.16mm or 25.48 inches where the high E string will cross the edge of the saddle
There is about a 10 cm difference on each side from the bridge, in that the bridge is closer to one edge than the other.

I am thinking about leaving the neck set until all of the sanding has been completed. The sanding that I did a to the top a few weeks ago in order to keep the fingerboard flat has now all changed again. I am going to be suffering from the 14 fret hump.