/ Guitar One

Guitar One - Part 10

It has been a while since the last post. Summer was pretty busy since I did some renovations in the house. And fall was too hot to do anything in the garage. Well, and sometimes I was lazy of course.

At the same time, during last couple months, the guitar has acclimatized more and it stable. That is how it did look before this weekend – with one roughly shaped electronics cavity cover and the ugly nickel plated screws.

Current state

Let’s finish it. First, I needed to make one more cover – for the switch cavity. The process is the same as before – clean with a chisel, glue maple binding, and shape piece of walnut. This time I tried black screws and I like it more. I think that is what I will use.

Finally, trip it with a flush router bit and round it with a 4mil bit. Not sure how it did happen but I do not have a picture with the rounded edge.

Next, let’s install the bridge. But first, I needed to find the right position for it. It should be twice the distance between the nut and the 12-th fret. And to make sure I did not screw everything up (yet) I have tested the position of pickup and bridge with a thread.

Aligning the bridge position

To install tone-o-matic bridge, we need two 11 mil holes (with a 14 mil recess).

And one more drill bit – long one – to drill a hole for the ground wire (to ground strings in general).

Let's drill hole for ground cable

Then I have just hammered two ferules (?) in. Here they are in all nickel glory.

Installed posts

Then I have repeated it one more time to install a tailpiece. Two things happened here. One is what I was worried about. It is really hard to make strictly vertical holes. So, posts for the tailpiece are not very parallel. It is not visible by eye, but tailpiece sits very snuggly. That is ok taking into account that it does not really need to be adjusted more than once.

The second issue (which contributed into the first one) is that my wireless Bosch drill has died. One more Bosch tool failed. So, I was using big corded Dewalt which is not easy to hold still. Anyway, lesson learned. Now I have a set of new Dewalt tools.

Bridge and tailpiece are installed

I thought that I will finish on this, but… why not prep it for the finish? I did not take pictures of the hours-long sanding process. It was a lot of dust though. But then I have applied wood filler – actually two different ones (Mahogany and Walnut).

But then I have applied wood filler – actually two different ones (Mahogany and Walnut). Both kinds of wood I have used in this build are very porous. If not filled, the finish will not look great on it.

Should I leave it like that? Haha. That was funny at first. Before I have started to sand it. Man, that it the biggest amount of dust I had.

It did not job. The wood felt great and smooth when touched. Going forward, I would add that I should be sanding it better in some places. I thought that filler will hide some dings and it does. The only problem is that does not soak stain… Anyway, first build is first and I do not think that I am going to fix it.

Some cleaning with spirit. Look at that grain (and rounded edges of the back covers). I really like how back covers look.

Ok. This time I have made back covers, installed the bridge and tailpiece, sanded everything, filled the grain, sanded it again… Why not staining it?

The stain I use is just dark and red mahogany mixed together. The goal here is not to change color, but a) give Mahogany more pronounced deep tint, and b) reduce the contrast between Maple and Walnut.


Applying water based dye

And here is the top of the guitar.

Died front - more consitent color

That flame on Maple binding really pops up. Not sure if I want to stripe it.

I may need to stain it couple times more (not sure if really needed). Maybe stripe binding… But I think it is almost ready for the finish. Next time.

Finish to apply next time