Monday the 9th of May 2011
A tough week, though there really isn’t such a thing as an easy ride when running a boutique business. Despite all the peripherals going on lthe workshop is my prime focus and there is a lot going on right now!
I’m trying to put together as many neck blanks for custom guitars that are currently on order, this one is a three-piece figured maple blank with thick mahogany veneer pinstripes.
There are are few casualties though.. never ever buy cheap tools if you can help it, this boot sale acquisition is now scrap..
The twin 45rpms are missing something vital..
side dots, very early in my carreer I completely forgot these on a flying v and the resultant confusion was something to behold!
Instead of running the risk of damaging the body I’ve gluued a 2mm drill bit into a stainless steel tube, having extra long drill bits is very very useful in some situations.
the side dots are installed.. good old superglue!
grrr!! Little bastard made me jump accross the room, it just appeared on my shoulder and started critiquing my work!
the backplates of the twins were cut directly from the bodies and now have nothing to support them..
the brief though specifies that the backplates must be held in with machine screws so i set about making aluminium rods,
drilled at an angle
and screwed to the wood we have support, later in the process each one will be threaded to recieve a machine screw, the client will be able to remove the plates thousands of times without wearing away any wood.. this might be a good thing to add as standard?
In order to find the positions for the holes I make a paper template..
and it works well..
the side dots glue have cured thoroughly and are chiseled away..
more aluminium seatings are made
and we’re away…
On to preperations for the spray booth..
the fretboard is masked off and all drill holes and soundholes filled to keep the inside of the guitar pristine.
On to this RF, the binding needs a little bit of tidying up.. I do love a good sharp scalpel
The Delta.. this has to be my favourite headstock of all time!
the rest of the design isn’t half bad either..
um.. luthier chic?
the stains just come to life under lacquer!! I love it!
Finishing, my personal nightmare and weakest skill area, although skill comes with practice and I sure am getting a lot of that indeed! The new lacquer is purported to be great but the mix was off and it made the stain run a little here..
after a little scraping though we’re back in the booth..
;05Ric’s Klein is in and is looking just a little over-worked!
We’re replacing the resin steinberger neck with a multi-laminate figured maple one.
the blank is thicknessed by machine..
and the truss rod channel is routed.
and the rod installed.. temporarily at least. Our two way truss rods have a low profile and remove much less wood than others on the market.. strength is key!
The excess timber is bandsawed away..
and the final dimensions are planed in..
With constant checking for fit of course, made more difficult by the wedge shape of the original neck.
the truss rod adjustment hole is drilled straight through the 3″ long headstock.
More clampage as the birdseye maple fretboard is glued in place.
and after curing the excess fretboard is planed away.
After planing in the fretboard radius the fret slot positions are marked out
and cut by hand.. the replacement neck has a non-standard 27″ scale length… whatever floats my cliemts boat will be done!
The side dots are installed..
Followed by the frets. Did you know that nickle/silver is the exact same thing used to make toy train tracks.. who ewants to bet that the guy who first thought to use it for guitars was a train geek??
The Klein also needs a new scratchplate.. quilted maple will do nicely.
I rough it out on the bandsaw and then finalise the shape using the bobbin sander..
Wouldn’t it be cool to make a giutar with a body this small.. mmmm
OK, the stock PAF prototype needs upgrading a little before she finds a new home.
Not having been played very much the frets need polishing..
A really shiny fret just feels amazing under your fingers..
A new set of chrome plated Wizard humbuckers is installed
along with a very nice Wilkinson wrap around bridge.
Rounded off with a set of Rotosound 11′s, this client understands tone!!
I wire it up with a new push/pull volume pot for the coil tap
and then spend more than an hour just playing.. I love this combination a true stripped down workhorse guitar with tones to die for!!
All my best,
Crimson Guitars UK