Friday 6th november 2009
well, I really do have a stunning view from my workshop window.. it’s a pity the land and animals don’t belong to me.. mmm.. one day..
we start work on another ‘Crowe Bar’ tremolo…
while I’m building one Igor is making templates of the original succesful version..
an ode to my milling machine… oh milling machine, mini milling machine, how much do I love thee, how much do I care.. .. .. drivvel.. but you get the idea..
machinery aside the real character of our custom hardware comes out when I wield a file and start carving..
she’s polished through the grits and is pretty much ready for anodising..
I have a trip organised.. and my credit card is carefully frozen into a chunk of ice in the freezer..
the very first piece of lust inducing metal I pick up is worth a quarter of a custom guitar!!!! .. I put it down again with a regretful sigh..
back home and we have a basic kit of tools for a beginer luthier.. Igor in this case.. a range of flat chisels and a few gouges and sundries of course, but the number 4 1/2, 5 1/2 and 7 planes are the backbone of the job.. from here you expand until you can happily fill several rooms..
for my part I limit myself to a lovely little bull nose plane and a number three bailey.. and a few boring clamps and vices of course!
back to work.. the tremolo is polished up one last time
and I kit up.. you’d think acid was a scary substance… mmm… it is..
and so.. the hardware is all dipped carefully in a solution of acid with a current running through it
after several hours it is all cleaned off and left in a pot of boiling water for half an hour..
and we lhave some anodised hardware.. finally
we’re new to this process and weren’t expecting the discolouration but it soon polishes out..
now, we’ve had to change lacquers half way through spraying this beauty which neccesitated a full strip down..
she is masked up and sent out to the spray booth for the final time!
while I finally get back to my favourite thing.. wood! the outline of a 45rpm guitar is marked out on this single piece mahogany plank
the bandsaw is cleaned and a new blade installed
I found this rather pretty bit of dust collecting.. the story of the luthiers trade in a few strata of wood dust
anyway, the bopdy blank is roughly cut to size
before I rout around the template with a bearing cutter and my half inch router
the side dots of the neck destined for the body above are cleaned up
and the back planed flat and square for a perfect joint..
and here is the result of a bit of lacquering.. I’m so glad we do this in house now.. the amount of money/reputation/sanity I’ve lost trying to deal with guitar sprayers in this country is just not funny!
..rant over.. the deep set neck tenon joint is pre-drilled on the big pillar drill to make things easier on my router
and a perfect fit.. snug as it is possible to get!
the excess wood from the top of the neck is used as a clamping caul
and two become one
on to the Vanquish destined for Ben Bennet..
I am a pin router virgin.. this is the first time I’ve used her for the job she was designed for!! Stunning!
the excess top wood has been routed away to leave her looking like a vanquish for the first time!
the pickup, trem and controls are all marked out
after using my Japanese water stones to sharpen my new planes
I use the dinky little number three to smooth over the back
and routing commences..
she is turning in to an almost guitar..
and I’m loving it!!
Have a rocking weekend!
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