I will do my best to stay away from any intended or unintended sir-mix-alot reference in this post. Wish me luck…

Lets just say that my first steel string has a rear exterior.  

Or as some more experienced than myself would say, “its a box”.

I spared you the pics of bracing the back.  Looks very similar to how the front is done, just less complicated.  The center strip goes on first, in this case redwood.  For strength, the grain in the center strip is perpendicular to the grain in the back, which would be impossible with a single piece.  So the center strip is made of multiple short pieces with the seams strategically placed where the back braces cross.  Seems logical to put them on after the braces, right?  Nope, If you want them perfectly straight, its easiest to put them on first, aligned with a straightedge, then notch and chisel out the sections where the braces cross.  Back braces are planed to a very slight arch and this time I glued them up with a stiff piece of foam as a backer so it would flex to the brace contour.

The rim is sanded flat on a big MDF board with sandpaper attached.  Front on these is flat, the back is at an angle, but still sanded flat.  Lots of guitars are sanded to a radius, typically 15’ on the back and 28’ on the front.  This Gibson style is a bit older school and there is minimal doming, which is made simply by the arching of the braces alone.   The rim (sides) are then notched to fit the bracing.  This is also done for the front prior to glue up.

Last glimpse inside the first Gibson OO.

Last glimpse inside the first Gibson OO.

Glued this up on a work board.  Didn’t have the balls to use hot hide glue. I think I need much more experience before I’d feel confident to do a large glue up like this with hot hide glue.  Titebond for the front and the back, I say!  Used clamps on the heel and tail block.  Roped the rest of it down.  I still think that roping is one of the best ways to get even pressure all the way around, and I get a kick out of doing it.

I did sign and date the inside under the soundboard, as this is the last time that’s possible.  No pic of that.  Nobody needs to see my chicken scratch.

All wrapped up like a xmas present.  I’ll open it tomorrow.  The others just need the back braces carved and the rim prepared and I can glue those up.

guitar in bondage

 

 

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Got some exciting mail today…

The tops for the Gibson build arrived.  I got three sets of Lutz spruce for these, though I will only use two.  This comes from British Columbia.  The supplier I bought from gives a name to all the trees that he cuts from and each tree has different qualities.  This one is called “palladium”, some is on the redder side in color.  This is fairly fresh, and even thought they are 3/16″ thick,  I’ll have to dry them in the oven.  Cooking at 200 degrees for about an hour simulates years of aging and is a common technique.

Lutz Spruce tops

To make the shipping worthwhile I added some very nice choco-cedar tops to my order.  Not sure what I’ll make with these but I’ll hold on to them.  They are really high grade tops and I got them for a great price.

Choco Cedar tops

Under all the tops is spruce billets for bracing.  This is lutz spruce as well.  Supposedly the sapwood makes the strongest braces, that’s why you see the bark on them.

New stack of tonewood

I’m super excited about this stuff, minus the Martin stuff I stumbled on, this is my first purchase of fine tonewood.  Now I need to make more shelving in the shop.  I plan on keeping all the tops in there.