/ Guitar One

Guitar One - Part 8

It has been a couple of weeks since the last update. Due to various reasons, I did not have enough time to get back to the build. But here we go. With this update, the finish line is really on the horizon now.

Read below for reading about the remaining cavities and set neck.

First, I did some planing and sanding to fit neck into the pocket. That is not the fist time I do that, and not the last one. Each time I find some additional work to do there. Here is how it fits together. The neck is a little bit angled, but it will not be much noticeable when all hardware gets installed. I like the character of the top walnut wood (from Home Depot by the way).

Refining the neck pocket

Before gluing the neck, it is necessary to finish all the routing on the body. The main missing part is the routing for the pickups. On Les Paul, we have two humbuckers which I already have purchased. I have found an easy to make a template at the project guitar. All you need to do is to cut some plywood and glue it back together. Here is the blueprint.

Pickup cavities routing jig plan

After cutting ply and gluing it together I got this. The insert is for routing “ears” since those need to be deeper to accommodate pickup mounts. I am still deciding about either making pickup rings from wood or just sitting pickups without any rings.

I did this couple of weeks ago actually and would do more that time, but I have used CA glue from Home Depot (Gorilla glue?) and for some reason accelerator makes no any effect on it. So, I needed to wait till it sets. And instead of wasting time, I did this shelving rack in the garage. Now I can move everything from the nook I have in the garage and make a little shop in there. So, it is still guitar related.

To make it I have got twelve 10 ft studs and sixteen 10 ft boards. Now I have this rack – 10 ft wide, 2 ft deep and 8 ft tall. Will accommodate a lot of stuff I hope.

Another project

And as I said, after two weeks (the glue in the template is set for sure) I am back to the guitar.

First I have routed the pickup cavities. The first pass is for cavity itself and the second pass is to make “ears” deeper. You can also see here the cable cavity I have routed at the very beginning of the build.

Looks really nice to me. And the model shot with a pickup.

It fits!

In order to attach the template to the body I am using the “tape and glue” trick (by Ben Crowe). The idea is simple. Put masking take to the body and to the template. Then put some CA glue on top of the tape on the body and spray accelerator to the tape attached to the template. With one precise move set the template over the body and press it. It sets immediately and keeps strong enough bond. To remove, just pull the template – one of the tapes will detach.

That is how I attach the jig

Routing the second pickup pocket. The distance does not need to be precise, but I have made it the same as in the original one – 62mm.

The nest step is to drill the other holes to receive knobs and output jack. The drilling is simple, so, here is just a final result. I use 4 push/pull switches and tapped pickups. It gives a lot of control and possibilities.

The knobs I have got from Amazon are plastic and look foreign to this guitar. So, I have got others (made from Ebony this time). Will show those when delivered (I am not making those).

On the back of the guitar, we have two cavities which need to be covered. The usual way Gibson goes is some plastic which looks ugly on any guitar. Really, you get a great and expensive guitar and on the player side, all you see is plastic covers.

Instead, I have decided to make bigger covers like Crimson Guitars does. The idea is simple, route big recesses to continue a line of the body and cover it with wooden covers.

The covers need to be cut out of walnut. I have shaped it already, but need to thickness it to 1/4″. Next time… But you can get an idea from the picture below.

Let's use walnut for the covers!

And finally, the time has come. Setting the neck. Of course, it took me one more round of chiseling and planing, but the final fit is perfect. Now it is a guitar.

Next time (in two weeks I hope), I will install the nut and bridge (it is hard to find drill bits in metric units here – waiting for delivery again). Also, I will do a lot of sanding, pickup rings and back plates. Maybe something else.