The 16th of May 2011
We’re broadening our horizons a bit this month with a monthly column at an exciting new website you may all enjoy. Loudguitars.com is going to develop into a must visit online resource for you, our articles will be re-posted somewhere on the CrimsonGuitars site eventually as well.. video is also planned and I will be adding short clips to the diary pages in the next few weeks..
I was interviewed a few months back for some articles by Russ Thorne at GuitarPlanet.eu here are the links if you’re interested. you may recognise a few of the pictures as well! article one. article two.
We start proceedings with Rics new neck, this was fretted last week and the fret ends are ready to be filed flush with the fretboard.
The proto-headstock has a quilted maple top now and the excess maple is pared away with a sharp chisel
The fret ends are carefully profiled and rounded over, sharp fret ends are an absolute no no at this level of guitar building.
Design time now, we are coming up to the time when this eight string must be built
and the inlay, after many many emails back and forth, is finalised.. I’m normally not a fan of inlay on the body but this really works well!
Back to Rics neck, the hardware for the original Klein neck is moved across.
Time for carving and the dust flies!
The heel takes some work, the original is angled into a wedge an has to be duplicated here.
A last minute addition of a 12th fret inlay, normally this would be done before fretting but we’re fairly flexible. An oval is cut from some abalone..
and is then inlaid into an ebony blank..
While that glue cures the ‘crimson’ logo is cut out
Back to the twin 45rpms..
The heel to body joint is carved with the dremel and a mini drum sander, there are some tools that are used only once or twice a year but when that time comes they are invaluable!
The fun bit is trying to get them to both match up.. it is surprisingly difficult when you do these things by hand!
the ebony is cut away with the jewelers saw and the offset oval is coming together.. it is surprising just how effective a really really simple design can be!
and glued.. :)
The back of the neck is sanded through the grits
and it’s on to the new scratchplate, Ric has come up with the best line for the carving.
There’s no point in a flat scratchplate if you have this much material to work with!
and oil!!! And success..
The twins, the final sanding process really just a case of knuckling down and wearing away my thumbs with a bit of abrasive.. what can you do?
ah.. of course, get the power tools out!!
The custom headstock design, Nimrods own, works perfectly with the binding..
there is still some work to be done on the inlays though, while I never used to dot the ‘i’ when this was the logo Nimrod wants it done here, and who am I to argue with a customer??
Back to the oiling.. it takes many applications to get a durable finish.. if you’re a hobbiest make sure you read the can and triple the recommended number of coats to apply!
sandy sandy dusty dusty!
..all change, rest and repeat on the wenge topped guitar (my favourite of the two..)
mainly because of this stunning variation in the neck woods, wenge and bocote :)
Padouk dust is a nightmare, this stuff gets everywhere and stains anything it can, it is almost as difficult as ebony!
.. need I say more? Wenge has gone from one of my least favourite timbers to one that I recommend everywhere!!! My first experience of it was a fretboard on one of my first basses nearly ten years ago. A combination of a lack of skill and a very splintery wood made for a rather painful playing experience indeed.. not helped by the fact that this is an oily wood and the oil is slightly poisonous.. ouch!
A little more work for the mini drum sander tool, the control cavities were cut out through the front of the guitar so that the plates could be made from the same piece of wood as the back, the cut was a bit ragged and is tidied up here.
well worth the effort in the end..
the edges are rounded over a little bit for comfort..
and finally the first coats of oil are applied and the rosewood top just comes to life!
within minutes of applying the first coat of oil the excess is rubbed away and you get this effect..
I feel the need to make some dust and this neck blank could do with some surfacing.
..I love the bubinga and zebrano combination, good idea Mike!
the extra thick mahogany veneers running through this multi-laminate maple neck blank are also very nice (this is of course all about making myself look good and attracting new clients but I’m sure you see through the bias!)
Now, the next guitar to be started will have this rosewood multi-laminate blank at it’s heart.. and you cannot beat rosewood as a neck wood.
Nor can you beat Wenge as a top wood, at least right now! More oil for the twins!
you just slosh it on,
and rub it off and slowly a beautiful finish builds up. So much of this job is about repetition, but then the way to become truly talented at anything is to do it, and do it a lot!!
All my best,
crimson custom guitars UK