This weekend, I was planning to finish fretwork. But due to different circumstances (well, I did not get the so needed fine files) and the fact that I cannot wait to start working on the body of the guitar… so, I have decided to postpone the neck work. Anyway, I am writing this on Saturday, and there is still a low chance that I work on Sunday.
But for now, body work starts.
I have marked up the MDF board for the isolines templates much time ago. Those were sitting in the corner and waiting to be cut. Well, time has come. What are those for? The Les Paul body top is not flat. It has pretty complex (when it comes to carving) form that looks great. To shape the top, I use series of templates. Each template is used to cut surrounds by 1/16 inches.
But before I start, I have decided to cut perimeter for a binding. Usually, it is done when the body is shaped. But in that case, I would need a complex jig. So, I do that while top is flat.
The next two picture show the start and the end of the routing using the templates. I did not make pictures between those two. That took too much time.
This looks more familiar now. To give it the final shape, I have used cabinet scrapers and a random orbital sander. It took much time and I cannot say it is final.
The next thing to do is routing the break angle. This angle is the angle between the fingerboard plane and the guitar body top plane. On Fender models, the neck is installed the way it forms the same plane with a body. But on Les Pauls, the bridge is high and strings cannot reach its top if those are parallel to the body. To solve that, the neck is tilted backward by 4-5 degrees. To make a break angle, I, again, use that jig I have made before.
And I finally used tan(x) function in my life. Just to calculate the size of the shim needed to get the correct angle.
Now it is time to route mortise for the neck. Then it took some time to chisel out an excess of material from the tenon. But at the end, we have a snug fit. If you ask what is the hole in the front of the neck, it will be extended to fit neck pickup. That is how it is done on Les Pauls – the pickup cavity is adjacent to the neck mortise, and the tip of the tenon is shaped the way it goes under the pickup.
That is how it looks now. Like a guitar.