More Progress

I am continuing to work on #5 and #6 with the intent of having them both completed before the Uppsala International Guitar Festival, which is headlined by Paco De Lucia this year. Unfortunately, I will be travelling so I can only attend the last two days of the festival, but will be exhibiting for the full four days. If all goes well, #5 will be on its way to Chris Letchford and not at the festival, though.

Below, you can see the neck set of both builds. #5 has an extra 5 mm as it will have a wenge top glued on.

I am removing weight from the body of #6 in a new way. About 250 grams was saved by routing these channels into the body sides.

Here, you can see the neck shapes. #5 conventional thin C-shape, #6 Trapezoidal Neck Profile (contact Rick Toone for more information about this neck profile).

#5 fretboard radiused, inlaid, and fretted:

I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time: gluing the sides on to make the instruments complete.

I am doing things in the following order:

  1. glue laminates of neck
  2. band-saw away and shape section on underside of neck portion
  3. insert truss-rod (while sides are straight and can be used as guides for router)
  4. shape contours of fretboard (so that it can be used as a router template later)
  5. cut fret slots (while it’s still thin and easily fitted into the slot-cutting jig)
  6. glue fretboard (while it is flat so that it can get optimal clamping pressure)
  7. use router to shape contours of neck (using fretboard as template)
  8. rough shape back of neck
  9. radius fretboard
  10. finish fretboard (add inlays) and fret neck
  11. glue sides (and top)
  12. finish shaping
  13. sand
  14. sand
  15. sand
  16. rout cavities for controls and pickups
  17. sand
  18. sand some more
  19. finish/polish
  20. done

So, it’s an easy 20-step process.

Here, I have created a steamer to soak/heat the top so that it can be bent. The rule says 1 hour per inch thickness, so with a 5 mm thickness, I steamed it for 15 minutes to be on the safe side.

And then I clamped it on top of the body, which was protected by aluminium foil.

I had solicited advice on bending both from the literature, my friend Tommy Jakobsson and Rick Canton. I was nervous not only for the thickness, but more about the graininess of the wenge and having to bend it across the grain on an angle. I did some experimenting on smaller pieces in advance and ended up cutting a groove on the underside of the top where the bend starts. It kind of worked, I think. It’s being glued right now so I will know soon enough.

Full pictorial progress below:

1 Comment

  1. Ola,
    All looking very good and your detailed explanation of build features was interesting to think about. Have a great time at the festival!

    -Al

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