31-March-2014 Starting a new guitar I have laid out some of the materials.
31-March-2014 A beautiful set of flamed maple for the body
31-March-2014 And Sitka Spruce for the top.
31-March-2014 I start by sanding the Sitka Spruce pieces to about 150 mils thickness.
31-March-2014 My drum sander gently removes about 5 mil of material on each pass.
31-March-2014 Here I have laid out the top pieces with an outline template.
31-March-2014 To glue the two halves of the top together I use the jointer to create a straight edge on each piece.
31-March-2014 A thin bead of glue is applied to the edge.
31-March-2014 And the two halves get pressed together in this jointing tool. The cross bars keep the pieces flat while the wedges push the pieces together.
31-March-2014 A string of pearls squeeze out perfect.
31-March-2014 After the glue sets up overnight the joined sheet comes out of the tool.
31-March-2014 The back pieces also get sanded in the drum sander.
31-March-2014 These end up at about 110 mil thick.
31-March-2014 The edges are prepared in the jointer.
31-March-2014 And are joined in the jointing tool.
31-March-2014 A look at the seam.
31-March-2014 And after the glue has set the back plate comes out of the tool.
31-March-2014 Now the sides are reduced to about 100 mils thick in the drum sander.
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31-March-2014 To bend the sides into shape I will heat them up with this heating blanket.
31-March-2014 The blanket goes into the bending machine and it heats up.
31-March-2014 First I press the waist into place.
31-March-2014 Then I roll the upper bout into place.
31-March-2014 And then the lower bout.
31-March-2014 I let the sides cook for about an hour at a reduces heat to set the shape.
31-March-2014 A funny shaped piece of wood.
31-March-2014 I put it in the side form until I am ready to apply the kerfing. Both halves of the sides get the same treatment.
31-March-2014 Now I do the same thing to the kerfing. Here I am placing the kerfing in the heating blanket.
31-March-2014 And I use the bending machine to bend them into shape.
31-March-2014 With the side pieces in their forms I draw the outline of the sides on the maple pieces.
31-March-2014 I then use my band saw to trim them to the lines.
3/31/2014
31-March-2014 They go back in the forms getting ready to install the kerfing.
31-March-2014 I apply a liberal amount of glue to a piece of the kerfing.
31-March-2014 And then press it into place with a set of clamps.
31-March-2014 Lots and lots of clamps. This process presses the side piece firmly into the shape of the form and the reverse kerfing will hold it there when we are done.
31-March-2014 Before the glue sets I clean up the squeeze out.
31-March-2014 And I use compressed air to clean the glue out of the kerfs.
31-March-2014 They set up over night.
JM 1.9.61
1-May-2014 Here I am cleaning up the inside of the sides.
1-May-2014 And then I trim off the ends to match the form.
1-May-2014 The shape of the guitar sides is not flat where he sides are joined so I use this tool to match the heel block and the tail block to the curve of the sides.
1-May-2014 I trim away the kerfing where the heel block will go.
1-May-2014 And then use the heel block to join the two halves together.
1-May-2014 The process is repeated for the tail block.
1-May-2014 And now we have the rim in the rough.
1-May-2014 The edges of the rim are sanded down to match the shape of the top and back. I use a sanding sheet placed on the top and back forms and run the rim over it until the rim matches the form.
1-May-2014 And then a little detailing finishes the job.
1-May-2014 I bevel the tailblock so it matches the width of the kerfing.
5/1/2014
1-May-2014 Here I have set up the router table to route out the heel channel.
1-May-2014 The heel channel will hide all of the attachment / adjustment hardware.
1-May-2014 And thetail graft gets a shallow channel.
1-May-2014 I am using my CNC router to create the rosettes.
1-May-2014 A proper Celtic theme.
1-May-2014 Now I turn my attention to making the braces. I use a template to start the process.
1-May-2014 And fine tune them on the sanding forms. This piece will become both legs of the X-brace.
1-May-2014 Next I drill the holes for the webbing.
1-May-2014 And ten I use the router to route out the side channels.
1-May-2014 This piece will get split in half and trimmed but you can see the I-beam shape that will result in a light and stiff brace.
1-May-2014 And here I have laid out he back braces.
1-May-2014 In this picture I am laying out the rosette.
1-May-2014 I trim off the excess from the top plate with my band saw.
1-May-2014 And ten I use the milling machine to route out the channels for the rosette.
1-May-2014 Nice precise channels.
1-May-2014 And then I glue in the rosette and the borders.
1-May-2014 Finally I use the drum sander to reduce the top plate to its working thickness.
1-May-2014 And cut out the sound hole.
1-May-2014 Next I start gluing the back braces in place using my go-box.
1-May-2014 Lots of go-sticks.
1-May-2014 And then the contra-rosette and the center strips get glued in place.
5/1/2014
5/1/2014
1-May-2014 Here I am using the band saw to cut the channels for the lap joint in the X-braces.
1-May-2014 They fit snuggly together at just the right angle.
1-May-2014 And then a bit of work shaping the tone braces.
1-May-2014 Hey a quick look at the Rosettes.
1-May-2014 I have to precisely position the braces when I glue them in place so I use a set of fiducial buttons that will get glued to the back of the top to do this. Here I have place a small dowel in a hole I have drilled in the bottom of the braces. I place a small drop of glue on the end of the dowel.
1-May-2014 And then carefully place the braces in position. When I pull the braces away the button remains in place so after sanding down the buttons a bit I can return the brace to its exact position.
1-May-2014 I place the rim on top of the braces and mark the spot where it intersects the rim. I want a tight fit between the rim and braces.
1-May-2014 The A-frame brace gets fitted to the X-brace.
1-May-2014 And after the rim is placed the A-frame braces get marked.
1-May-2014 Here are all of the braces ready to be glued in place.
1-May-2014 Into the Go-box.
1-May-2014 More sticks more better.
1-May-2014 After the glue has set.
1-May-2014 And then the sound hole reenforcing ring gets trimmed up.
JM 1.9.61
10-June-2014 The tail graft is made from Indian Rosewood the same as the headstock fretboard and bridge.
10-June-2014 Gluing the tail graft in place.
10-June-2014 The heel channel holds the neck attachment/adjustment hardware.
10-June-2014 These fiducial buttons are used to register the back on the rim when gluing them together.
10-June-2014 When glue is wet is quite slippery these buttons prevent the back from moving around as the glue sets up.
10-June-2014 A bit of glue is applied to the edge of the rim.
10-June-2014 Here you can see the holes that the fiducial buttons will drop into.
10-June-2014 And the back is set down on the rim.
10-June-2014 The flange is used to press the back onto the rim as the glue sets.
10-June-2014 The glue squeeze out is easily cleaned up with out the top in place.
10-June-2014 After the glue sets up over night I use a router to trim off the excess.
10-June-2014 And then the top gets glued to the rim.
6/10/2014
10-June-2014 After the glue has set the assembly is removed from the form.
10-June-2014 And the excess is routed off.
10-June-2014 Now with the top and back glued to the rim I turn my attention the the neck. Here I am cutting various pieces from the neck blank.
10-June-2014 I used my vice to press the sections of the heel together as the glue sets.
10-June-2014 And the headstock gets glued together in the vice.
6/10/2014
10-June-2014 Back to the body to route out the fretboard cantilever support channel.
10-June-2014 This template guides the router.
10-June-2014 And I end up with a channel deep and wide enough to clear the cantilever support plate.
10-June-2014 I use the router table to create a channel in the neck blank for the truss rod.
6/10/2014
10-June-2014 The belt sander is used to level the head stock.
10-June-2014 This machine is a dual length pendulum sled that sweeps the fretboard blank in a conical motion above the router bit. The result will be a compound radius fretboard.
10-June-2014 The fretboard is swept over the router bit and then advanced on the sled. The dual length pendulum forces the cross bar to sweep out a section of a cone. I can set the machine to create a compound radiused fretboard of any dimension. In this case the fretboard will have a radius of 16 inches at the 12th fret ~13 inches at the nut and ~19 inches at the saddle.
10-June-2014 I use a very flat sanding block to remove the tool marks from the fretboard blank.
10-June-2014 And then I use a straight edge and feeler gauge to ensure the that the fretboard is straight along its length.
10-June-2014 Here I am using my CNC machine with a cross cut saw attached to cut the fret slots in the fretboard.
10-June-2014 And then with a router attached I created the "Triskel" fretboard markers.
10-June-2014 The routed markers are filled with paint.
10-June-2014 Here is the result when everything is leveled
6/10/2014
10-June-2014 These are the tools I use to install the fretwire.
10-June-2014 But first I want to reduce the thickness of the fretboard to 0.25 inches. I have taped two guide strips to the top of the fretboard and leveled them parallel to the back with the drum sander.
10-June-2014 Then I flip the fretboard over and take material of of the back.
10-June-2014 I use a special hammer to tap the fretwire into place.
10-June-2014 And then a bit of glue is used to ensure they stay in place.
10-June-2014 Now I use the milling machine to level the backside of the neck blank.
6/10/2014
10-June-2014 This insert is used to hold the neck to the body.
10-June-2014 And then the neck blank is mounted on this template jig.
10-June-2014 I use the router table to route the heel to the same shape as the heel channel in the body.
6/10/2014
10-June-2014 The heel will fit into the heel channel with a little room to spare.
10-June-2014 I use a bit of tape to mark the width of the fretboard.
10-June-2014 I trim the majority of the excess off with the band saw.
10-June-2014 And then I use the belt sander to trim the fretboard to the edge of the tape. When there is no wood showing between the edge of the tape and the sanding belt I know it is time to stop.
10-June-2014 The milling machine is used to create the various channels in the heel end of the neck blank.
10-June-2014 The center channel will hold the cantilever reinforcing plate. The outside channels slot into the "hiddy wings" on the body of the guitar. These wings will hide the seam between the neck and the body.
10-June-2014 A slot is cut into the cantilever reinforcing plate for the truss rod.
10-June-2014 A look at all of the parts.
10-June-2014 Here I am lining up the fretboard on the neck blank.
10-June-2014 And then I use my standard fiducial buttons to register the fretboard on the neck. Here I have put a drop of glue n the top of the button.
10-June-2014 And then I place the fretboard in place.
10-June-2014 And when the glue dries the button stick to the back of the fretboard. Now when I glue the fretboard to the neck it won't slip around and I don't have to make any measurement or adjustments as the glue dries.
10-June-2014 I have routed out a hole for the truss rod access.
10-June-2014 And now am ready to glue the fretboard to the neck blank.
10-June-2014 Lots of clamps are used to press the fretboard into place.
10-June-2014 The next morning.
10-June-2014 I need to drill a hole in the end of the heel for the adjustment hardware. I use a pointed setscrew in the adjustment insert.
10-June-2014 Then position the neck in place and press lightly.
10-June-2014 The pointed setscrew leaves a hole where I need to drill.
10-June-2014 First I trim the end of the heel with a 3 degree bevel. This ensures free motion of the heel in the channel
10-June-2014 Then I use the milling machine drill the adjustment hardware hole.
6/10/2014
10-June-2014 Next I use a drill bit to drill a hole all the way through the heel which will allow a hex tool to access the adjustment bolt.
10-June-2014 Here is the adjustment hardware. The O-ring provides a little bit of compression so the bolt will not rattle around.
10-June-2014 The hardware installed with a hex wrench in the access hole.
10-June-2014 Now I trim the excess off of the neck blank.
JM 1.9.61
31-July-2014 I use this template attached with double stick tape to guide the shaping of the headstock.
31-July-2014 A guide wheel on the bottom of the sanding drum follows the template.
31-July-2014 I use the router table to trim up the sides of the neck.
31-July-2014 Looking like a neck.
31-July-2014 To shape the neck I use a variety of tools. This is truly a case of gluing a bunch of wood together and then removing everything that doesn't look like a neck. The masking tape tells me where I don't want to remove any wood.
31-July-2014 I invented this tool made from a matrix of contour gauges to help me measure and visualize the neck's profile.
31-July-2014 I drop the tool over the neck and then I get a view of the cross section of the neck in four spots.
31-July-2014 We decided to make the binding from Indian Rosewood so it needs to be bent into the shape of the guitar. Here I have laid out the strips in the heating blanket.
31-July-2014 And then I use the bending machine to bend them into shape.
31-July-2014 Before cutting the binding channels I level the top using an orbital sander. I reduce the thickness of the top around the perimeter to promote its mobility.
31-July-2014 Here I have set up my binding router The Universal Bindalator. This tool gives me five degrees of freedom while holding the router parallel to the sides of the guitar.
7/31/2014
31-July-2014 I can accurately control the depth and height of the channels.
31-July-2014 Since the top and back are domed the platen of the router is convex so that it makes contact with the top right next to the bit.
7/31/2014
31-July-2014 I use a few shims to center the neck in the heel channel.
31-July-2014 And then I mark the width of the binding around the heel.
31-July-2014 I use a small hand router to cut the channel for the heel binding.
31-July-2014 The heel binding makes a snug fit.
31-July-2014 A small saw is use to trim off the excess binding.
31-July-2014 Now I can start installing the rest of the binding.
31-July-2014 I carefully trim the binding so it stops in the middle of the tail graft.
7/31/2014
31-July-2014 I use a bit of CA glue and accelerator to glue the binding in place. I carefully work my way around the perimeter making sure the binding and purfling fits without any gaps.
31-July-2014 After all of the binding is in place I level everything with a variety of sanding tools.
31-July-2014 Next up is the headstock.
31-July-2014 I start by drilling pilot holes for the tuning pegs.
31-July-2014 Then I drill the holes from both sides meeting in the middle.
31-July-2014 A look at the tuning machines.
31-July-2014 I use my CNC tool to route the channel for the headstock inlay.
31-July-2014 The business end of the CNC router.
7/31/2014
31-July-2014 I use square gold wire to create the rose.
31-July-2014 The wire is glued in place slightly proud of the surface.
31-July-2014 And then it is sanded level with the surface.
7/31/2014
31-July-2014 The bottom of the bridge has to match the curve of the top. This sanding block matches the top profile.
31-July-2014 I fine tune the bottom of the bridge insitue.
31-July-2014 The milling machine is used to route out the bridge plate channel.
31-July-2014 And then I drill the holes for the bridge pins.
31-July-2014 I have installed maple bridge pin frames just for the look.
31-July-2014 The wings are created using the oscillating sander and an adjustable platen.
31-July-2014 I first sand one wing and then flip the bridge over and sand the other wing. I take a little bit away with each pass until the wings are about 60 mil thick at the end. This tool makes sure the wings are symmetrical
7/31/2014
31-July-2014 The front of the bridge gets beveled back at about 5 degrees.
31-July-2014 Here you can see I have shaped the end of the set screws that the neck contacts into hemispheres. This will ensure a defined contact surface and promote a smooth neck motion as it is adjusted.
31-July-2014 I drill two holes where the set screws contact the back side of the heel.
31-July-2014 And then install brass contact plugs.
31-July-2014 I sand them smooth to finish up. These plugs provide a firm contact surface for the set screws. The set screws dig into the plugs just a little and prevent the neck from sliding out of position.
31-July-2014 I used the disk sander to trim up the end of the fretboard.
31-July-2014 I use a straight edge and a feel gauge to adjust the truss rod until the neck is as straight as I can make it.
31-July-2014 And then I use a very straight sanding rail to level the tops of the frets.
31-July-2014 Since the tops of the frets have been flattened I use a contoured sanding stick to crown the frets.
31-July-2014 Here I am installing the fret markers on the edge of the fretboard.
7/31/2014
31-July-2014 I use a modified needle file to dress the end of the frets.
31-July-2014 I create a little hemispheres on the fret ends. This makes for a comfortable feel and an attractive look.
31-July-2014 The Tilt Action Neck adjustment hole is in the front of the heel. I use a 1/4 -20 wood insert in the hole where I will install a removable strap pin.
31-July-2014 The hex tool used to adjust the angle of the neck fits easily into the hole.
31-July-2014 The heel cap needs to be trimmed so it is parallel to the back.
31-July-2014 I use this special sanding tool that slides along the back to sand the heel at the proper angle.
31-July-2014 The sanding surface is offset from the sliding surface.
31-July-2014 I use a spacer between the back of the guitar and the tool to set the right height.
31-July-2014 A heel cap will be glued to the end of the heel.
31-July-2014 The plane of the back and the plane of the heel cap are the same.
31-July-2014 There is a small gap between the bottom edge of the heel cap and the binding on the bottom of the guitar. This gap is necessary for the neck to be adjustable.
31-July-2014 Now I am ready to start the finishing process. I set up my paint booth tent with a recirculating filter to reduce the dust and the over spray.
31-July-2014 I mount the guitar body on this fixture to help in the spay process.
31-July-2014 I put a small balloon in the sound hole to keep the spray out.
31-July-2014 As I apply the lacquer I periodically sand the surface level. The process involves sanding down the high spots and filling in the low spots until the whole surface is smooth.
31-July-2014 Once the finish has cured I temporarily mount the bridge with a long throat C-clamp.
31-July-2014 I carefully score the perimeter with a sharp knife and then remove the finish where the bridge will go. To ensure a strong bond the bridge needs to make wood to wood contact.
7/31/2014
31-July-2014 Now I can glue the bridge in place.
31-July-2014 While the bridge is setting up I install the tuning machines.
31-July-2014 And then the next morning I string up the guitar for the first time.
31-July-2014 A view of the bone nut.
31-July-2014 Drilling a hole for the strap pin.
7/31/2014
31-July-2014 I create a strap button for the heel of the neck by mounting a button on a 1/4-20 threaded rod.
7/31/2014
31-July-2014 The strap button goes into the Tilt Action Neck adjustment access hole.
7/31/2014

JM 1.9.61


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