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Posts posted by aidlook

  1. 1 hour ago, Bizman62 said:

    Thanks for the 101 pictorial for carving pickup cavities! With all the power tools it's so easy to forget that you'd only need a couple of hand tools for a perfect result. Supposedly it didn't even take more time considering you'd have to connect vacuums, attach templates, tighten router bits and finally clean and pack them out of the way. Not to mention finding your goggles and ear defenders.


    I chopped these like mortices. But would have been very quick to just drill out most of the excess and finish the sides and bottom with chisels and router plane. The biggest advantage to me is the lack of noise and dust.

  2. 1 hour ago, Prostheta said:

    Has that body been sealed/filled, or has it naturally oxidised to that tone through time? It looks much older than the Sapele on the first posts.

    It's oxidised -I guess that happens when you leave a project for three years. I found a high spot on the back (turns out my first attempt at hand planing wasn't perfect) and levelled it out - massive colour change.

  3. Thanks to social distancing, I've found myself with spare time in the shop to pick up this project.

    To mark out the location of the bridge pickup, I designed a template with tabs for centering on the bridge and 3D-printed it:


    The white insert lets me mark the positions for drilling the corners.

    DSC_0206.thumb.jpg.04ad9e2720ad38f96720dcef9d2c0072.jpgMarked with layout knifeDSC_0211.thumb.jpg.47612faabf759b12efb1b3254d0cc311.jpg

    Corners drilled out. Time to chop some space for the pickup.


    Bottom finished with router plane



    Finished bridge pickup pocket.


    Also put some more work into final shaping of the neck, especially around the heel.




    Drilled space for potentiometers


    Status right now





    • Like 2
  4. 8 hours ago, Prostheta said:

    I love it. I think that style of bench with the extended skirts is going to be better for working pieces. Perhaps with a few holes drilled for dogs/clamps and you're good to go! Nice potentially vintage vise there?

    The design is extremely rigid, essentially a large U-beam with the leg assemblies housed and wedged in the aprons. It’s built pretty much to spec from Paul Sellers’ YouTube series on building a workbench which luckily coincided with my paternity leave. Well spotted on the vintage vice, I refurbished an old Record 52 1/2:305F0D1D-74A0-42E7-982D-1076AD00551A.jpeg.7bef16783d145d22e4fd5396b65ccbe8.jpegC5258F2D-CD89-4206-B86B-570118AA00B1.thumb.jpeg.6b005d8807e728a70db453e5cf8425e0.jpeg

    • Like 2
  5. Progress!

    Well, not on the guitar, but on the new workshop. Here was the starting point, main issue being the lack of insulation.



    Floor, walls, and ceiling insulated, time to get started on upgrading the workbench:


    Just some finishing left to do on the workbench, and I'll be able to get started on tool storage. It turns out that being too busy to do woodworking, does not mean being too busy to keep from buying more tools.

    Once the tool storage is in place, I think it's  time to wrap up this guitar project. :)

    • Like 4
  6. On 9/5/2016 at 8:50 PM, Prostheta said:

    I would bet that you have the quietest and calmest workshop in the world....so much so that I bet even your clamps are kept clean and oiled in case they creak and break the zen silence. :happy:

    There's a lot of appreciation due for the photography also. Some weird colour aberration from the shot of the nut in the vise though....which lens gave you that piece of fun....?

    The nut shot (ow) also shows a very very sharply scribed line across the frets. Last time I did that I shot a finishing brad through a pencil and planed it down with a block plane. Those look super sharp though. Better than I've been able to manage....perhaps a harder grade of graphite? Never tried harder than HB for scribing.....

    Well, it hasn't been very quiet lately... I was supposed to finish this project before starting my next DIY project -kids. However, the day after my last post our twin girls were born a few months earlier than expected, so the project has been put on hold since then :-).

    In the meantime we've managed to sell the apartment, and bought a house. This means that there will soon be a new workshop! Actually, I don't know if soon is the word, but the (much larger than before) dedicated space is there at least. We'll see when I'll have my hands free for long enough to finish this build.


    • Like 1
  7. Time to get started on the nut, which will be made out of unbleached bone. 
    Progress-91.jpgPencilling in the shape and rough slot depth using feeler gauges.

    Progress-92.jpgRough shaping


    Progress-95.jpgChecking rough shape against fretboard (fret ends just cut flush at the moment).


    Starter slots cut, checking spacing against fretboard.

    Progress-97.jpgSlots filed to fit Ernie Ball Super Slinkys. Final shaping and tuning of slots will be done later.

    Also found some time to get started on the truss rod cover:


    Ripped a thin piece of maple from the headstock cutoffs and sandwiched a spare piece of rosewood binding inbetween.

    • Like 2
  8. On ‎2016‎-‎08‎-‎26 at 9:53 PM, ScottR said:

    Which is one of the best things about doing what you are doing by hand. Very impressive pickup cavities. People with experience rarely turn out work as clean as yours. I'm shocked that it is your first attempt.


    Thank you! The slower process makes it surprisingly easy to control the results. Once the layout is in place, and the knife walls are established, the chisel seats itself in the correct place. I did some tests for the neck pocket on a scrap piece, and the only time i had an issue was when trying to remove material faster.

  9. Progress made, time for an update!

    First time trying a fret job with blind fret slots:



    Before I could finish fretting the board, there was a small mistake to fix... While shaping the headstock, I had a slip-up with the chisel and cut into the side of the fretboard at the first fret. I cut a matching shaving from some left-over rosewood binding and glued into place:Progress-85.jpg

    Time to get started on the pickup cavity. The corners were drilled to achieve radii, and knife walls were established tangentially to the holes for chopping:Progress-90.jpg

    The method I used for cutting the recess was:
    1. Chop along knife wall
    2.Cut towards wall at and angle, creating a bevel
    3.Repeat 1&2 a few times, going down a couple of mm in total.
    4.Remove material with router plane, going down gradually until bottom is flush.
    5.Repeat 1-4 until depth is achieved.

    Someone with more chisel experience (not trying this for the first time) would probably have a much faster method of removing material. However, the results were satisfying (holes could have been straighter).



    Bridge holes have also been drilled. Final scheme for the guitar will be oiled wood, with black/brass hardware. First mockup shots:




    • Like 3
  10. On 8/10/2016 at 0:38 PM, Prostheta said:

    Has your fight with white balance been the mixed colour temps of daylight and indoor lamps, or simply having the right balance dialled in for any particular scenario? I'm sure that a grey card would fix most ills in that respect.

    It's mostly been a lack of focus on dialling in the right balance setting. I'll start working in natural light, and transition to indoor lamps over a couple of hours, forgetting to change balance settings.

  11. On ‎2016‎-‎08‎-‎08 at 9:37 AM, Prostheta said:

    I hate to change the subject, however your photography is excellent also. That's a very short DOF/large aperture. Sometime along the lines of f1.8 or so?

    Thank you :)

    I think most of them were taken with a 35mm f1.8, maybe one or two with a 50mm f1.4 (but probably not shot wide open). I find that both work really well for handheld shooting of progress pictures with whatever light is available. With the light varying between natural light and halogen spots, I could have paid better attention to the white balance.

    On ‎2016‎-‎08‎-‎08 at 11:36 AM, Prostheta said:

    Could you concoct a review of the tool Andy? That would be genuinely useful for many people in light of the product issues you've noted. That Lie-Nielsen router plane is just pure wrongness in the best of ways. I love it. I don't even know if I could bring myself to replace the knobs with Karelian Birch....although I probably would....!

    The cherry knobs are great, although the birch would match the E.A. Berg chisels, and I'm quite partial to it after having owned an 80's SonorLite drum kit which I regret having sold:


    • Like 2
  12. Ok, overdue for an update.

    Drilled the tuner holes using a jig:


    The results were satisfying, putting some black sperzels on this one:



    Started cutting the neck pocket with a chisel and router plane:Progress-79.jpgProgress-81.jpgProgress-80.jpg

    Trying neck in the slot to ensure a snug fit:


    The pocket has now been cut to full depth, but no pictures taken yet (it's a good fit).


    • Like 3
  13. On 6/28/2016 at 4:29 PM, Prostheta said:

    Agh, I think we've all been there and made that mistake in some form or another....! Still, it's a great excuse to have some blind fret slots....

    It's uncharacteristic of you to make an error like that. Has 24hr sunshine been depriving you of sleep? :D I woke up this morning and saw daylight under the blackout blind and noticed that it was still 2AM. Needless to say, I feel awkwardly sleepy....

    Having grown up in Scandinavia, I'm surprised that the 24h sunlight still surprises me every year. Maybe it's the ability to work in natural light at midnight that's causing the mistakes...

    On 6/28/2016 at 6:05 PM, ScottR said:

    Man, I really enjoy watching hand tools skillfully used with the precision you employ. You must be getting a lot of satisfaction out of that.


    Thank you, not sure how skilfully they're used though, seeing as it's my first try with most tools (all practice has been virtual -watching Paul Seller's youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc3EpWncNq5QL0QhwUNQb7w). Satisfaction level is very high however.

  14. So, having not done this for a while, I made a mistake when calculating the taper for the neck. My trigonometry was fine, only problem is that I've cut the neck taper to match a taper between the string spacing at the bridge, and the neck width at the nut. No problem -this mistake will be hidden (along with some fret tangs) using rosewood binding strips. Board has been recut into correct taper, but a few mm narrower:Progress-60.jpg

    Made a quick jig for gluing up the binding, using wedges to att pressure:


    Binding scraped flush:


     Finished result:


    Back to making the neck... Truss rod being glued in using epoxy:


    With the fretboard glued on, the neckshape was roughed out with the frame saw & pull saw:



    Planing sides square and flush with fretboard:


    Removing excess headstock material with chisel:


    Roughing out neck profile at both ends before spokeshaving:



  15. On 4/18/2016 at 8:34 AM, Prostheta said:

    Oh wow, you're right over there. That's a spectacular part of the world, even if it does feel like the cold edge of the world with only the Shetlands as neighbours....are you no longer living in Sweden?

    Nice re-use of the router plane. I think that in spite of there not being a lot of escapement for the waste, it being a slow manageable tool makes it fine. Seeing that method makes we curious as to whether there is a valid reason for making a similar router plane setup for cutting curved channels. Any excuse not to have a 90dB router next to one's head is a good one.

    I think the geometry of the cutter might be a bit restrictive for cutting curved channels (I suspect the minimum possible radius decreases the deeper you want to cut the channel).

    Quick update on the build... made some chocolate shavings!


    Cutting the neck taper using a hand plane (favourite method so far):


    Ready for gluing:




    • Like 1
  16. Absolutely fantastic trails around the Sunnmøre region of Norway Prostheta

    Some progress over the weekend -time to thickness the headstock:


    Moving on to the issue of cutting the truss rod slot without a router. A plough plane would've been ideal for this, unfortunately I don't own one. I figured a router plane would be well-suited for the job as well, but the gap between the fence and the blade was much to narrow. Onwards with an ad-hoc solution:

    Progress-49.jpgThis is not how you're supposed to set up a router plane (blade turned 90 degrees, no place for shavings to go).


    Using a spirit level as a fence for the body of the router plane to ride on. I would not recommend this method, however, the results we fine:



    • Like 1
  17. 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.



    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:


    • Like 2
  18. 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:


    Squared up the neck blank.


    Marking the the neck angle.


    Cutting the neck angle


    After sawing.


    Screwed together for planing


    Almost finished planing




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



    • Like 1
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