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Sunday, February 26, 2012


I'm sure that everyone makes them, but here's my latest one. When I measured the tuning machines to find the correct spacing for the holes in the peghead I was 1mm too short. This was down to the metal plate being slightly bowed and I foolishly measured at the ends of the rollers and not at the base where they join the plate. I went ahead and drilled the first set of four holes before I realised my error and the final hole ended up 3mm out of position.

To fix the problem I glued a circular offcut of peghead veneer to the end of an 8mm wooden dowel and used superglue to fix it into the wrongly positioned hole. The pegheead veneer was left a little proud and scraped flat when the glue was set. The other end or the dowel was sawn flush with the rear (the endgrain will be hidden by the tuning machine plate).

Finally, I redrilled the holes (using a jig with the correct spacing), and the final result is not too bad. Most of the repair will be hidden by the tuning machine bushing, in any case. I made a better job of the second set on the left.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Belly

Here is the rosette and pickguard inlaid into the belly. I made them quite thick, so there was a lot of scraping to get them flush with the belly wood. Sandpaper wasn't suitable as the ebony dust would stain the spruce wood.

The next job was cutting out the soundhole, and after that the more tricky task of cutting a wedge shaped slot into the part of the belly that slopes downwards. In retrospect, I probably should have done this before the two halves of the belly were glued together, but in the end I used a scalpel and a razor blade, and I was reasonably happy with the outcome.

The next stage was bending the front. I first made a groove in the back of the belly that went about two thirds of the way through (leaving a bit less than 1mm of wood). After a bit of experimenting I found it was best to put some water onto the belly at the join, and then apply heat to the front while bending. Once I had the required 15 degree angle I clamped it onto a wedge while it cooled.

The lines on the last photo show the position for two of the three braces.

Sunday, February 05, 2012


After thinking long and hard, I decided to make the rosette and the scratchplate out of macassar ebony to match the fretboard and peghead. I made an oval pattern on the computer, and sliced out bits to fit and glued them together with superglue. It was finished off with some black and white banding.