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Friday, March 21, 2008

20% Done

Well, nearly all over then, really. Almost finished. Be time to plug in and play soon .. ;-)

20% done - in that we've finished day 1 of 5. And achieved quite a lot of the basic works. The bits of the project that make the difference between an OK guitar, and a great guitar.

We'd got a bit of a headstart today in that we'd picked the pieces of wood, and planed and thicknessed it yesterda, before the course had really begun. So today began with cutting the slot for the truss rod.

Not too difficult a task, once you've measured it accurately, set-up the router properly, and measured it all again, just to make sure. Same approach with the cutting the fretboard slots (measure, set-up, check), made hugely easier and quicker with the table saw jig, which should not be confused with a "table jig saw".

So now we have a neck blank, with truss rod channel cut, and a fretboard roughly radiused with fret slots cut. This was achieved before lunchtime on day 1.

Getting to the stage shown in the next picture took a while ...

This photo shows the two pieces of the body, glued together and sash clamped to set overnight. Getting to this stage took - seriously - perhaps 2-3 hours. That time was spent in preparing the edges to be joined. The wood had been prepared on the planer, and you might assume that the planer left a good straight and flat edge, suitable for glueing.
Oh no. Working in the Bailey workshop, there is no concept of "good enough" or "near enough" or "that'll do". It's either right, or it's not. And if it's not, then you might spend the next 2-3 hours (or longer if necessary) getting it right. That's why the guitars that come out of Mark's workshop are great guitars rather than just being OK guitars - even if it's one that I've made. And that's why it took 2-3 hours preparing 2 pieces of wood to be joined together.

Final job of the day was to glue the fretboard to the neck. Before this can be done, the truss rod has to be covered with a thin wood fillet glued into the top of the truss rod slot. This then has to be planed level and then sanded until it is right (see above). Once it's right, then the fretboard can be glued on, clamped and left to set overnight.

Whilst all that glue is setting, I'm settling with a beer or two. Apparently today was a fairly short day - into the workshop at 09:30, and out by 20:00. Tomorrow will probably be longer ...

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