Wednesday 21st May ’08
I can’t resist putting the odd pretty picture up here.. I do love my boys.. even when they’re sitting bang in the middle of someones flower bed!!
the week starts thus.. the first coat of laquer has now dried on Jonathan’s custom guitar.. the stain had been applied over the whole top including the binding.. once the lacuer was is dry the binding is scraped clean..so..
and she starts to look much prettier!
and it is time for the three guitars having this finish applied to get all wet!
..Tim’s bespoke PAF model is having a natural oil and wax finish.. which is applied several times a day for several weeks..
on to the soft-top… a new template is created..
and used to mark out the body shape.. which is cut to size on the bandsaw..
..one of my cacti is flowering spectacularly!!
once rough cut to within a mm or so of the outline the bearing cutter is used to rout round the template and give us a perfect shape.. (or as perfect as the designer can make it!!)
the cap, top quality spruce!, is marked out for the neck pocket..
.. and here it is fitted.. prior to glueing in place..
another new template is made..
and the cut where the bandsaw blade entered is filled with some veneer matching the thickness of the blade..
once the template is finished and screwed to the guitar the area is predrilled on the pillar drill.. this reduces the wear and tear on the router bit.. and makes it easier on my arms too!!
the cavity is painted blue and silver.. it should show up quite nicely in the end.. although I may have to get in there with a paint brush to create a star-scape or something!
.. the top is glued in place.. and left over-night..
Tim’s PAF has a quick polish.. prior to more wax being applied..
The new strat type model we began last week has recieved much fan mail.. for the most part positive but a few bits and pieces came up.. like the fact that she has a fat ass..
which is changed here…. I love the freedom to just take a big saw to a guitar.. the first time I did that at around 16 my flatmate walked in on me and freaked out.. she thought I’d gone crazy!
the rear-mounted pickup cavities also needed to be a little deeper..
next up it’s time to recess the rear control plate.. the bobbin sander is used to finalise the shape of this..
and then the female bit of the template is cut out.. while our new family member Giles sleeps in the background.
the cavity is recessed..
and here she is… pretty much ready for a neck.. which .. thanks again to your feedback will be built out of multi-laminate yew with an English Walnut fingerboard!
We also have a name for the model.. the hardest thing to do in the entire build process!!! . welcome to the Crimson Conspiracy!!
the top on the soft-top is now dry..
and it is time for a fingerboard.. rosewood in this case, is planed to size
and fitted.. but not glued in place yet..
the camber is planed in.. a compound radius..
and the fret slots cut.. (by the way this is not the usual way in which I build a guitar.. but you’ve got to experiment every now and then to keep fresh!)
Giles.. he is very very relaxed here! .. hard to believe with a three year old dog in a new home!
the dot markers, front and side, are drilled and glued in place..
while they dry it is on to Fred’s semi-hollow Robert Fripp Slimline model.. the cavities are pre-drilled..
back to the soft-top.. the headstock is planed flat..
and the fingerboard, sans frets, is glued in place..
finally the cavities are all routed out.. a very long and dusty process, but neccessary in order to maximise the potential for great tones!!
the control cavities are also routed at the same time.. it makes it easier to do before the front is glued on..
once the fingerboard has dried the frets are installed and the fret ends filed off at a 35 degree angle.
the headstock wings, Sapele mahogany, are glued in
next up the control positions are drilled out
and the cavity routed..
and it’s on to the 4 and 3 headstock design. The straight string pull is essential and is double checked before designing the headstock
Bud and Giles in their new bed..
the headstock shape is cut out and bobbin-sanded flush, then the tuner holes are drilled
and it’s on to the final carve.. the neck and access are first..
followed by the rear comfort carves.. as the name of this model is the Soft-Top everything here is curved and comfortable!
And the Conspiracy’s pickups arrive.. Wizard create custom pickups for everything we build.. and here is a set of beauties!!
..very slightly distressed these beasies look amazing! .. (Andy still won’t tell me how he distresses the magnets!!! .. proprietory information is the term I believe!) .. anyway, the whole premis behind the new range of guitars is that they will retail at between £800 and £1000 (much cheaper than full custom jobs) and will be pure work horse guitars.. but still very pretty and hand-made in the UK out of UK sourced materials!! I cannot wait to hear these!!
the final bits of work on the soft-top, the final curving on the top is rasped in..
and here she is prior to final sanding..
I’m a very very happy builder.. I won’t be doing it this way again, but I an very very happy with the result!!
All my best, Ben.
Crimson Custom Guitars UK