Necks and fingerboards

Made a prototype adjustable radius sanding block. Had to figure out how to radius these fretboards.



 It worked well.  Sanded the fretboards down to 120.  I made a second block at the same time.  A bit more low profile.  I put 220 paper on there for use when everything is on the guitar.


I have the headstocks thinned down and the veneers on all three.  They are all in semi different stages of preliminary carving.  The heel is the only thing that really needs to be pretty close at this point, just so the neck can be fit once more before the fretboard is attached.  Final carving won’t get done until the fingerboards are on.

I need to figure out what to do for the side markers.  Once they’re done, a fretboard can go on at least one of the necks.  The rest to follow shortly after.


I just couldn’t resist laying one of the fingerboards on as I was checking the neck fit.  Seeing that makes me excited.  Also makes me thing of how much sanding i need to do, which always seems to wait till absolutely last minute.  It also makes me think about the damn finishing work!

Oh well.

Rainy day flash of lazy inspiration.

I had plans of making a scraping fixture for my purfling. Started looking for materials and ended up just clamping a blade I had made to the machinist vise. 

Improvised scraping fixture
Just turn the vise screw to adjust thickness and pull the wood through. It works well, I’ll probably never make the fixture I’ve been thinking about. 
Getting materials ready to bend for the rosettes.

And after working on my spruce tops, I found a drum sander on craigslist and broke down and bought it.  About 2 years old.  Barely used, but set up very well by the owner.  It also came with a bunch of sandpaper rolls.  All for about half price of a new one.

Drum Sander


I re-sanded my already planed adirondack top.  Spruce is easy to plane, but its also scary because it cuts so fast.  One slip, knock of the blade, or a bit of tear out, when getting close to thickness (around .100″ in this case), and the piece is easily ruined.

I feel a bit guilty, because I really like to use hand tools.  But this takes the most labor intensive part and makes it easy, and very accurate.  I can also sand down veneers and bindings much better.  So this should allow me to do some of the details that would have been extremely tough if not impossible before, like 1/32″ thick book matched headplates, etc…

In rare form…

Ok, maybe not rare, but its a form.  I on the other hand, may be in rare form.  I’ve been replacing lyrics in my head all day.  Currently “Hazy shade of winter” by the Bangles, somehow involving Jonathan Winters, but I don’t have all the lyrics worked out in full yet.


I made the form for the Gibson OO build.  I’ve seen many different ways people do this and basically figured out what I liked and added an alignment feature based on how large injection molds work.

Used my dad’s shop.  He has the tools that make it easy, such as a belt sander and oscillating spindle sander.  I traced the form onto some 3/4″ ply.


Screwed four pieces together and cut them out on the band saw.


Used the sander to smooth to the line.  Split the forms into two halves and blocked with pieces of 2×4.  Air nailer and glue to attach the blocks.  I dadoed an alignment block on the top and bottom where the forms come together.  This makes a very positive 2 axis alignment and is much easier than aligning dowels.


Added the top layer of plywood.  Cut the overhanging blocks and the outside perimeter on the bandsaw.  Then smoothed with the sanders.  Made interior clamping cauls with the excess.


Took the mold back home to my shop.  Sealed with shellac and put on trunk hasps to keep the mold together.  Its really solid, but comes apart in a snap.


Dog sitting at my parents tomorrow, so I should have more shop time there.  Need to work on resawing more maple backs and sides.  I can also cut basswood neck and tail blocks as well as kerfing if I have time.

Still up in the air on neck wood.  I really like flamed maple with flamed maple, worried about how brite it will sound. I could also go straight mahogany or spanish cedar on both the maple and cherry versions.  Thoughts?

Fixture for routing binding


This gallery contains 5 photos.

Binding part 2- I had pre fabricated a jig to cut bindings ledges and added the router when it was delivered Monday.  Bit arrived late yesterday.  This is based on one I saw online.  Router sits underneath the work table, height … Continue reading

Fret slotting fixture


Planed down my locust fingerboards. Made a quick fixture to slot them. Used 14 gauge galvanize that I marked off and notched to locate in the fixture.
Done with one. On to two.
Will prep and sand these fully along with the bridges. Then fume them to darken before I attach.

Headstock surgery


This gallery contains 5 photos.

And todays progress… Used my aluminum fixture to drill holes for the tuners.  Added shims to center.  Then on to slotting the headstock. Classic guitar making book calls for drilling two holes and cutting between with a coping saw.  Have … Continue reading

Tuner drilling fixture


This gallery contains 3 photos.

After my sharpening marathon last night I needed a break.  But I can’t sit down for long, so I unwound with some aluminum. Bought and received two different kinds of tuners for my guitar(s).  Took measurements and made a jig for drilling … Continue reading

Adjustable crosscut fixture


This gallery contains 3 photos.

Made a crosscut sled for my bandsaw.  Used it once, then thought about a modification to allow me to cut the two angles I need on my rosette. Pretty self explanatory.  Additional fence pivots and is held by the slotted arm. … Continue reading