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Some pics of yesterday's progress - glued the headstock faceplate on, made a custom piece to press it on from scrap, four rivets used as positioning pins. Easy to pull out and cheap.

Decided against the thickness planer and made a small shooting board of sorts for the router and routed the fretboard to 7mm. Removed the routing marks with a plane :party clamped a ruler to the center line and marked the fret positions. Used an angle and the marking knife to score the lines, lightly cut with the fret saw, and planed the fretboard to final size (43-56):party Making progress I think, a pic of the shaving also included :), then re-cut with fret saw. I've used a piece of binding glued to the saw to act as a depth stop, 2,5mm, that worked fine, but I'll have to redo the cuts after radiusing.

Not in the pics, I made crude holder for cutting the binding ledge, but have yet to test it, preferably not on the actual guitar. :)

I still have no idea what pickups to use on this....

23895143127_1daf23b17b_z.jpg58 by Goran P, on Flickr

23895144107_d476b81e15_z.jpg59 by Goran P, on Flickr

24886812198_304f389806_z.jpg60 by Goran P, on Flickr

24886811918_2d6bf9fa53_z.jpg61 by Goran P, on Flickr

24886811738_1f4a82cfe1_z.jpg62 by Goran P, on Flickr

24886811328_6b80b2e7cd_z.jpg63 by Goran P, on Flickr

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We've had the first snow of the season this weekend, but I still managed to make some small progress. Rough cut the headstock to thickness with some material to spare, rough cut the neck taper and glued the fretboard on. It's probably an overkill, but I like to glue a small filler piece over the adjuster nut, I just don't like the feeling of fretboard having a hollow spot that close to the nut.

I opted not to plane the face plate flush with the neck fretboard surface, instead I used a file to get the edge to 90 degress , so it holds the nut. A piece of wax paper is protecting the adjuster nut from the excess glue.

24953148118_2af9de8e1a_z.jpg64 by Goran P, on Flickr

24953148508_a57c9435b7_z.jpg65 by Goran P, on Flickr

24953147808_5c784fd7d6_z.jpg66 by Goran P, on Flickr

38109555814_b955292980_z.jpg67 by Goran P, on Flickr

24953148248_85b51e2c60_z.jpg68 by Goran P, on Flickr

38794784922_3b0d735755_z.jpg69 by Goran P, on Flickr

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The snow is gone, but the cold remains...should ask Santa for a heater for the shop... Anyway, between the work and driving my son to basketball I trimmed the neck taper and set the neck thickness at 15mm (+fretboard of course) at the 1st and 16.5mm at 12th fret. Marked the volute and the heel, and started cutting the volute with a chisel. The tenon part of the neck is not trimmed, I should perhaps make a template for that, as it's sides are parallel (56mm wide). Need to plane down the fretboard 1mm too and start the radius.

Ordered the pearloid dots, and experimenting with ways of ebonising the fretboard. For the headstock inlay, I bought some liquid pearl material, will test it first. Could come in handy for a signature or thin lines.

My bridge arrived yesterday, looks pretty good, will post some pics, but it's block seems too light. I could perhaps machine a brass one or have one made. I already wanted to make a brass block claw for it anyway.

38857833552_2c79fcfd06_z.jpg70 by Goran P, on Flickr

27111539029_26c353f8ea_z.jpg71 by Goran P, on Flickr

38857833212_3545c444c2_z.jpg72 by Goran P, on Flickr

38857832932_d70186c338_z.jpg73 by Goran P, on Flickr

 

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Continued with shaping the headstock, first cut the outline with coping saw, refined with a file, and finalized with a scraper. Then chiseled both slopes of the future volute and refined with a file and scraper. A tiny bit of volute shaping done, and marked both the final thickness of the headstock and the scoop shape and max depth. All in all, nicely spent one hour. The scoop and the planing down the fretboard to thickness is next.

25027453388_d28083e674_b.jpg74 by Goran P, on Flickr

38898894471_1af39e464f_b.jpg75 by Goran P, on Flickr

25027453498_ec0b2f3e3e_b.jpg76 by Goran P, on Flickr

38012426595_628b569182_b.jpg77 by Goran P, on Flickr

38012427285_9fa6c876cc_b.jpg78 by Goran P, on Flickr

38012427825_71cea1988c_b.jpg79 by Goran P, on Flickr

 

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ScottR    1,363

I always love watching your builds come together. You often start out with some of the rawest of raw materials, coax them into shape with a penknife and a screwdriver....well maybe a few more tools but not many, manufacture a few parts and pieces of hardware from old coke bottles or whatever else you could find and end up turning them into really fine looking instruments.

I may be exaggerating just a tiny bit:D, but not about what a joy it is to watch you work.

SR

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Thanks a lot! It's easier to describe what I'm doing in the shop than to properly react to such kind words, but they are much appreciated! :)

I used to use more heavy tools in the old shop, bandsaw, pin router and the stationary disc sander, but the Yamaha and the BillyBo builds were sort of a turning point. Now it's more about the freedom, hand drawing, including materials not commonly used, different hardware etc and it's so much fun!

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The little scoop is done, roughed in with the big rattail, fine details with the smaller one. My new toy arrived in the mail! Used the mini plane right away to plane down the back of the headstock to thickness, went over with a file to make sure it's flat, and scraped. I thought to make a sled for the router for this job, but this was really quick and simple!

38935433291_5d1c16c9ee_b.jpg80 by Goran P, on Flickr

38935432851_ef37f9e147_b.jpg81 by Goran P, on Flickr

38935433111_cc8a25cc6b_b.jpg82 by Goran P, on Flickr

38935433171_999563c973_b.jpg83 by Goran P, on Flickr

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Managed to plane down the fretboard to 6mm, sawed off the excess thickness of the neck (should've routed it off, but wanted to save that little piece of wood) and planed it clean and flat with my new mini plane. Used the chisel to remove the bulk of excess at the heel, routed the tenon part of the neck to width. Finally, radiused the fretboard and re-cut the fret slots.

I've tested 2 different black dyes so far, and neither is what I want, so I got a bottle of waterbased black dye today to try tomorrow. I want to blacken the headstock and faceplate sides, and the fretboard. After that it's time for dots or strips of MOP, I have both so I'll do a mockup and decide. What worries me a bit is the possibility of leak of black into the neck wood, but I'll mask heavily and go really light.

All in all, a good day!

38227236884_d53fe36e83_z.jpg84 by Goran P, on Flickr

38227236634_680f2401a5_b.jpg85 by Goran P, on Flickr

24078189897_e037e1bef8_b.jpg86 by Goran P, on Flickr

38943495361_920fbba772_z.jpg87 by Goran P, on Flickr

38227236434_4efbe01ef7_z.jpg88 by Goran P, on Flickr

38943495641_5966770ef9_z.jpg89 by Goran P, on Flickr

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FINEFUZZ    0

I have achieved good results by "ebonizing" wood.  Basically, you dissolve steel wool in a jar of vinegar over five days or so, strain out the liquid and apply it to the wood.  After a minute or so, the wood will blacken.  I have done this to walnut, and the wood as black as ebony.  Different woods may not darken as much as walnut however.

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The body part of the work should be OK, I will have regular binding on, and I got a water-based dye, I'm worried about the headstock plate and the fingerboard bleeding onto the wood under it. I could staing the neck first, then sealing and then masking and staining the fretboard and the headplate.

Thanks FINEFUZZ, I have heard of the vinegar&steel wool but have never tried it, will give it a try! It's supposed to work really well with tanin-rich woods like cherry?

Since my dye is water-based, I was thinking to try spraying it on, with airbrush or even a plastic spray bottle, to minimize leaks. I could apply 3-4 light coats, or as much as necessary.

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FINEFUZZ    0

I think the tannin is what gets activated when you apply the mixture.  I sprayed some samples with a spray bottle and the overspray blackened the pine workbench as well.  The wood seems to absorb the vinegar mix really well, so just like dye, bleeding is definitely something that can happen if over applied.

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Thanks, I'll mix a batch when it gets warmer. In the meanwhile, I tested the waterbased dye on a piece of headstock offcuts and it seems OK. The paper says to apply 2 coats, so I'll repeat after installing the dots, but I did the fretboard and it looks promising. Also, started the MOP logo. I almost always use the vice to cut inlays now, it prevents breaks and is much more comfortable to hold. Works great for a few simple things I do.

I'll try to route/glue in the logo today, not enough time yesterday, and then I'll stain the headstock too.

39025209601_56d954f2d2_z.jpg90 by Goran P, on Flickr

39025208411_da522411f8_z.jpg91 by Goran P, on Flickr

38988727792_262c938819_z.jpg92 by Goran P, on Flickr

39025209201_14dc36f531_z.jpg93 by Goran P, on Flickr

38988727642_4d85926bee_z.jpg94 by Goran P, on Flickr

39025208691_53541ee52a_z.jpg95 by Goran P, on Flickr

38309302014_30b39e392b_z.jpg96 by Goran P, on Flickr

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