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Remember that build I was gonna do?


kwakatak
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I don't mean to jump into your thread.   My laminate trimmer is relatively inexpensive and like I said, for standard "flat" tops and backs I just tape a little shim on it that holds it more or less perpendicular to the side.   I try to follow the stewmac direction but mostly if I hold on tight I can just run around the body.   I have to turn it so the shim is always working but its never failed me.

Note that the shim is thick at the center line of the base and tapers to nothing at the outside edge.

 

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Edited by Freeman Keller
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I've put this aside as the furnace has kicked on and the body is nestled in its climate-controlled case in order to reflect on hard lessons I've learned at this stage:

1: Inlay the end wedge BEFORE routing for binding.

Consequence: the "shelf" on the wedge is inconsistent. In fact, the router "bit" into the figured wood and caused it to split, necessitating a repair. 

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Adjustment 1:  no more fancy curves; the next build will have a wedge, as I did with my first. The wedge is a study in function as well as form. It also installs more quickly and efficiently.

2: True the sides with a scraper, not a palm sander prior to routing for binding channels. Incidentally, a T-square is not appropriate because the surface of the top and back have radii; they are not truly flat. The idea is to have a straight line along the cross section of the side. A palm sander will make it a curve through variance of pressure. A scraper will not - and it's less dusty to use.

BTW, if you're doing maple bindings against rosewood, the darker sawdust will muddle the color of the lighter wood. I'm finding that sanding is best left to the latter parts of the process, such as when filling gaps or filling pores. This is also where it's important to keep all your cutting tool sharp - or in the case of the scraper, properly burred.

Consequence on not doing so this time: binding channels were distorted partly because the sides were not trued; I'd only flush cut the top and back.

3: when using a router-based (or really any) mortising bit make sure that the guide on your jig doesn't move during use. I watched a worker at Martin use a jig like the one I made and she zipped through body and body with a practiced hand, holding the guitar like a baby. I wish I had a cart of bodies that I wasn't so emotionally invested in! That's why I'm keeping junked guitars around.

Consequence: the cut was not square, clean or even of consistent depth. The result was more work with chisels, small files and a need to order more purfling strips in order to compensate.

Adjustment: I am refining the design on my router jig and will be sacrificing those junked guitars. This guitar is pretty my set in stone, but I'll do better next time. This has been the toughest part of the build and I'd been dreading it.  

 

PS: I'm thinking of starting an actual blog on this. I've shared this on social media and gotten some interesting feedback and even some solicitations for doing a build or two. I've appreciated the feedback I've gotten here; I wouldn't have finished my first without your encouragement and support. I'm hoping this maintains my momentum  -and maybe even makes it seem like a downhill.

 

Edited by kwakatak
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To quote Rosanne Rosanna Danna, "It's always something!"

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The neck angle is set and the fretboard surface is flat but but the headstock is slightly too thin and twisted. I'm hoping that the addition of a back plate will somehow at least partly correct the issue. I also have the nut slot cut and a heel cap ready to install. I need to rout the truss rod channel slightly deeper though.

If it all comes to naught, I have another blank all ready to go.

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Edited by kwakatak
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There's nothing to report other than some housekeeping. I don't suggest anybody here buy some French PED so I'm reported it. In the meantime, I've been sanding and filling gaps and body with a mixture of sawdust and thin CA glue. I've also been truing up the blank for the alternate neck.

In doing so, I've been looking at my first build closely. The neck itself is VERY heavy but otherwise stable. I've been refraining from going at it with a spokeshave; I still don't know how to use one properly. I also noticed that the neck angle is off after 7 years so I need to address that. I've never thought it of as being 100% "done." The French polish has held up very well and the bridge has stayed firm so that's a good sign. I'll be experimenting with medium gauge Elixir Nanowebs on it. I'll get my Triscuits and wine out in celebration once that's accomplished. 

BTW, #3 is also moving forward somewhat. The back is I've been working on making a bending form and outside mold for an OM based off my Larrivee and my sides are waiting to be bent - something that I'm not equipped to do. I was hoping to make a Fox bender but even the blanket and steel slats are a bit pricey. My wife is working from home and likely won't be funding that since she witnessed USPS dropping off boxes from StewMac and RC Tonewoods so I'm probably going to have to put this aside and finally lay the porcelain time in her bathroom retreat and have a contractor come and put French doors on her adopted home office.

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Posted (edited)

I’ve been doing final sanding and filling flaws, refining the neck and put on a spit coat of shellac. The purfling  on the top still bugs me though but structurally it’s good to go.

 

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Edited by kwakatak
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The purfling on the top was bugging me so I tried to rout it out but it didn't work out as planned and  I had to bend a couple of new binding strips.

 

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The issue was that the set screw for my routing jig shook loose and bit into the top, so I also had to fashion a small patch:

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Now it's all fixed and I've moved on to the final gap filling and fine sanding phase:

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I've decided to French polish this one just like I did the last one. I have pumice for pore filling and two concentrations of shellac to work with all ready to go.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks. Based on the saddle at I purchase I think I need to install the frets first before plotting the bridge position.
 

I have a lot of sanding in my future as well. I need to get it smooth with 320 grit before applying the 1 pound cut shellac. This last time I only sanded it down to 120 grit. I bought some more pads for my orbital sander but need to take it easy since the top is already on the thin side.
 

The idea is to pore fill then lay down the coats of shellac and do the finer sanding between the sessions. I also have various grits of wet/dry paper going all the way from 400 to 2000 grit.   

Edited by kwakatak
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depending on the quality and grain of the wood, I usually wind up going to 4-600 grit for pre-finish, by hand, YMMV...320 seems to leave too many open pores and 'grain ripple' for my taste...then again, typically I'm matching a factory finish on a repair, not a 'fresh build'.

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On 7/22/2021 at 6:41 AM, kwakatak said:

Thanks. Based on the saddle at I purchase I think I need to install the frets first before plotting the bridge position.
 

I have a lot of sanding in my future as well. I need to get it smooth with 320 grit before applying the 1 pound cut shellac. This last time I only sanded it down to 120 grit. I bought some more pads for my orbital sander but need to take it easy since the top is already on the thin side.
 

The idea is to pore fill then lay down the coats of shellac and do the finer sanding between the sessions. I also have various grits of wet/dry paper going all the way from 400 to 2000 grit.   

if your math is correct, the only fret you need to install before the bridge is the 12th...:wave:

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Just now, daddymack said:

if your math is correct, the only fret you need to install before the bridge is the 12th...:wave:

It's a preslotted fretboard from LMI with a 25.4" scale length. I should be good. I'm only worried about the distance between the nut and the first fret because it came slotted for a zero fret and I sawed it off.

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13 hours ago, kwakatak said:

It's a preslotted fretboard from LMI with a 25.4" scale length. I should be good. I'm only worried about the distance between the nut and the first fret because it came slotted for a zero fret and I sawed it off.

ah, okay, got it...😎

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