Search This Blog

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Woodwork finished

I shaped the neck to the final width and then added the remaining frets (I was glad that I fitted the higher ones before gluing on the fretboard). This left some levelling (I use my diamond coated sharpening plate) and dressing of the frets.

The last 'woodworking' jobs were a little bit of filling (super glue and wood dust mixed together) and covering the holes at the end of the fret slots (shellac coloured wood filler). Then a final scrape with the cabinet scraper before working carefully through the micromesh to give a smooth finish.

Finally I've started applying the tru-oil finish (except to the fretboard, masked off with insulating tape which will remain without any finish).

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I made the fretboard from some of the Macassar ebony. Cutting the fret slots was not easy as the saw kept binding in the slot - I wonder if this is a property of the wood. I had to complete the slots with a slim file. I installed the upper frets (including a dab of pva glue) and dressed them. Prior to fitting, I had filed off the little diamond-shaped nubs from the fretwire, but despite this fretboard started to bow alarmingly. However, I know from experience that it is difficult to fit the frets over the belly once the fretboard is place, and that all will be well once it is glued flat.

Finally, I glued the fretboard onto the neck (with hide glue, of course) and clamped it up.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Decorative Binding - part 2

Here is the finished binding. I cut the ledge with a router where I could and finished it off with a scalpel and chisel. The holly strip was glued in with hide glue (I'm getting to like it!) and I finished it off by scraping flat.

I have been giving some thought to the fretboard which I will be working on next. I have decided to make it 4mm thick and to go with a 336mm scale length, and 22 frets. The top six frets will be on a narrow part of the fretboard that extends over the sound hole.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Decorative Binding - part 1

 I decided to fit the binding in two parts. First I cut a shallow recess all around the top. Because of the geometry, I ended up having to make a little jig (in the top photo) with a scalpel blade mounted in it. This was used to make a fixed depth cut in the belly wood, and I then removed the waste wood by hand, with a chisel.

I chose the edging materials to match the rosette. It was made with strips of macassar ebony (about 1.5mm thick) sliced across the grain. I glued these in with HIDE GLUE.

I finally got round to making up a batch of hide glue with a decent consistency, and I have to say I found it quite easy to use.  The trick seemed to be to coat both surfaces to be glued and to work quickly. The only problem was if the bits of edging moved around while the glue was cooling. In that case they had to be removed, cleaned up and redone (this only happened on a couple of pieces and was not very time consuming).

The next day I scraped everything flush. The next step will be to cut another ledge to take a strip of holly which will add a nice contrast, protect the edge (holly is quite hard) and hide the belly end grain.