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aidlook

Let's give this another try

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So, it's been a while...

Having not built a guitar for some time, I was quite surprised to come back here and see how long it actually was since I last put a guitar together. Searching for my last build thread it turns out I haven't been active for 7 years:

I did change the plans for that build to a body milled from billet aluminium, I even managed to finish one half of the body on a CNC before graduating from university. Having lost easy access to a workshop, and spending a number of years living on three different continents, I had to put most guitar-building activities aside for a while. However, I always liked the body shape and I think it's about time I do something useful with it. Screen_Shot_2015-10-18_at_12.31.11_pm.th

So I've settled into an apartment, and have managed to turn one of the rooms into a small work space. Trying to keep dust and noise to a minimum, I've sworn off power tools and have presented myself with the challenge of building a guitar using (mostly) hand tools. 

Anyway, here it is, my first progress pics in 7 years, and also my first attempt to plane a piece of wood using only hand planes.

Progress-1w.thumb.jpg.a632a692ec941d07e4First passes

Progress-2w.thumb.jpg.b6bc7ffd25caf46e2dManageable 'dust' levels

Progress-4w.thumb.jpg.ba99ea8ac68cc41199

Result after smoothing.Progress-3w.thumb.jpg.7fb4b4f72e91be5ff9

One big piece of quarter sawn mahogany -hoping to get two bodies out of this.

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Awesome, welcome back! Dont feel bad I will be using alot of hand tools as well on my build as I gave most of my woodworking tools to my dad when he retired. I still have a benchtop bandsaw and drill press, but the rest will be using hand tools for me. I love the design of the body. Good luck and cant wait to see it finished.

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Trying to keep dust and noise to a minimum, I've sworn off power tools and have presented myself with the challenge of building a guitar using (mostly) hand tools. 

I was thinking for long time to do the same as a personal challenge, also to keep the flat clean of dust... looking forward to seeing this done. 

BTW, that piece of mahogany has a glorious size.

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Thanks, I was surprised to see the width of the thing when it arrived. It should be said however, that this is a fairly small body size.

The plan for one of these bodies is to cover it with a spruce top (for aesthetic purposes mainly), I'm thinking something like this:

Screen_Shot_2015-10-19_at_7.19.29_pm.thu

Body: Spruce top, mahogany back
Neck: Maple, headstock design TBD.
Bridge: Wilkinson trem
Pickups: Some form of soapbar/humbucker combination

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You thinking of disguising it as an acoustic?

SR

Well, it's obviously the inspiration, so something like that was the idea at least

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Great seeing you active after so long! That piece of lumber is something else. Spruce top eh? Nice. Is it going to be sawn on the flat or quartered split like a soundboard? 

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Great seeing you active after so long! That piece of lumber is something else. Spruce top eh? Nice. Is it going to be sawn on the flat or quartered split like a soundboard? 

Thanks, will be quartered.

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So, time for an update.

After a frustrating attempt to use a coping saw to rough an outline, I ordered a frame saw on-line. It arrived today, and the process was much more satisfying:

Progress-6.thumb.jpg.f5095950be34b1587f8

Finished rough outline:

Progress-8.thumb.jpg.3d9df3a619b04cac5c9

Pretty perpendicular for a first try:

Progress-9.thumb.jpg.475d76325b0aa0b35b5

Shinto rasp to get closer to outline:

Progress-7.thumb.jpg.6b5fee1674431a0497f

Getting there:

Progress-5.thumb.jpg.0a1fb197b8059eea6cd

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Quote

Pretty perpendicular for a first try:

Indeed. That looks to be a good little saw. I love these builds where the bulk of the work is done with hand tools. It shows a major commitment and proves that the high cost of big power tools does not have to stop us from building nice guitars. And it usually points to someone that really enjoys working with wood.

SR

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Amazingly perpendicular. Having a blade supported at both ends is a night and day difference....the body I test-cut using a modern jigsaw as part of a recent article was far from perpendicular for several reasons. That's a really sweet square too....I've thought that a small set of precision-ground engineer's squares would be a good investment for a long time now. Spending more and more time measuring and checking is never a bad thing.

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ScottR: It's a good saw indeed, but not very little:

Progress-11.thumb.jpg.fd28ffd26a5ab89dfa

I should've had more confidence when removing the material for the cutaway:

Progress-12.thumb.jpg.39bf3e2dcf93ade0c0Progress-13.thumb.jpg.a83307d6f0de1e4cb9

The tight curve was easy to control, so if I'd been a bit braver I would've left myself less material to remove:

Progress-14.thumb.jpg.10e6b3169d60b9018f

Oh well, on to the shaping tools...

Progress-10.thumb.jpg.9024a9a80154db8434

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Nope, that is not even a little bit little.

It just goes to show how valuable it is for one to have an idea of the whole picture before forming opinions.:D

SR

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So, progress is slow, but the outline has now been finished:

Progress-20.jpg

Progress-23.jpg

Progress-16.jpg

I also made some practice runs at making neck pockets using a chisel and router plane:Progress-17.jpg

Time to get started on the neck, which will be maple. It turns out that hand planing maple required a fair amount of physical exertion, it also made a mess:

Progress-18.jpgProgress-19.jpg

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It certainly does take a lot of physical work to plane Maple....! I noticed that you blocked off the leg of the bench to stop it skating across the floor. :lol:

I stuck a strip of leather to a length of wood to re-strop my chisels and plane irons occasionally. It made a world of difference to the quality of cutting edge and makes planing easier.

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On 4/3/2016 at 4:06 PM, Prostheta said:

It certainly does take a lot of physical work to plane Maple....! I noticed that you blocked off the leg of the bench to stop it skating across the floor. :lol:

I stuck a strip of leather to a length of wood to re-strop my chisels and plane irons occasionally. It made a world of difference to the quality of cutting edge and makes planing easier.

Hardwood floors, and a cheap work bench that is much too light, didn't make for a very stable workpiece. However, it works fine now -except for the occasional catch, where the back legs lift off the floor.

Anyway, time to scarf joint the headstock:

Progress-25.jpg

Squared up the neck blank.

Progress-28.jpg

Marking the the neck angle.

Progress-30.jpg

Cutting the neck angle

Progress-32.jpg

After sawing.

Progress-35.jpg

Screwed together for planing

Progress-37.jpg

Almost finished planing

Progress-38.jpg

Planed

Progress-40.jpg

Dry run before gluing, screws to keep things in place.

Progress-42.jpg

Glueing!

Edited by aidlook

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I think that Aidlook and psikoT are equally wonderful in their zen-like cleanliness of work. Most importantly, their work areas look calm and quiet....unlike us barbarians with our routers!

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I agree pros, I look at his and psikoT's pics and I get a very calm vision from them. Where as I'm over hear with a loud ass router and metal music blaring so I can here it over the router lol. 

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I was interested in your trials with the router plane for the neck pocket, @aidlook I keep wondering about those.  Certainly that's a very nice and neat job :)

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On 4/8/2016 at 7:32 PM, Prostheta said:

I think that Aidlook and psikoT are equally wonderful in their zen-like cleanliness of work. Most importantly, their work areas look calm and quiet....unlike us barbarians with our routers!

Nothing is more zen than a full-length shaving with the smoothing plane... I also find that snow-capped mountains and fjords help set the mood.

Progress-43.jpg

 

21 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

I was interested in your trials with the router plane for the neck pocket, @aidlook I keep wondering about those.  Certainly that's a very nice and neat job :)

The router plane is very satisfying to work with, and gives really nicely finished surfaces at the bottom of cavities/recesses etc.
I still haven't figured out which method works the best for the neck pockets. The last attempt was to remove most of the material using a hand drill and chisel (inside corner radii produced by the drill), and finishing the bottom with the router plane. This gave fairly good results, but I think I need some more practice before putting the chisels to the body.

In terms of the tool, mine's a Lie-Nielsen, which is beautifully crafted. However, I think that the Veritas large router plane could be the better alternative due to the wider selection of blades available (I'm intending to do the truss rod channel with the router plane, but the fairly wide Lie-Nielsen blade limits the truss rod selection to U-channel type unless I grind the blade width down).

Moving on to thicknessing the head stock:

Progress-45.jpg

Edited by aidlook
  • Like 2

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