Tuesday 24th March ’09
For this posting I’m just going to concentrate on one guitar… Thomas’ custom Elm top Robert Fripp Slimline.. she’s had multiple coats of oil and wax applied and is ready for the next stage..
first off the neck relief is checked against the light from the window, and then adjusted to give a perfectly flat fretboard…
the frets are then marked black and filed.. here you can see how flat the original fretwork was.. with one pass of the file only one fret still has the black marker on it..
slowly each fret is profiled and polished through the grits with wet and dry paper..
the ebony is masked of and then the extreme chrome polish comes out and a really smooth action is the result!
..this little shetland pony goes crazy every morning and runs around the fields across the way for about 15 minutes.. mini horses can really move when they want to!!!
the pickup cavities are shielded with copper tape and signed and dated.. the customers name is also written in one of the cavities..
it takes a surprising amount of time to shield every orifice… but I love the colour you get.. in fact I’ve just decided that I’m going to convert one of my stock guitars into a headless beast with a copper foil and lacquer finish.. should be fun.. and it means i really need to get on and finish converting the new spray booth!!
..I’ve grown really bored with using black plastic all over the place so the jack/13 pin din plate will be machined out of ebony.. plus it’s a way to use up the excess ends of fretboards!!
the milling machine comes out..
as does the bending iron.. left over from my days as a violin builder,..
Bud and Jasper have it right, they sleep all day while Gypsy (who is just 7 months old) runs around like a loon chewing anything that she can get!!
the end result.. a shielded and cuved jack plate
..upsie down horse… it really is just one of those funny sights..
a word to all of you who want to retrofit Sperzel tuners to your old guitars (lets face it they really are amazingly good quality for the price!!) .. they come apart to their component parts very easily and can be put together either left or right handed.. so it doesn’t matter what set you have.. obviously I often have fun mixing and matching the colours too!!
once I have a three aside set I drill the position holes and fit them in place
..including the resessed nuts and washers… it just looks so much sexier..
the plastic pickup surrounds are dulled up using 600 grit wet and dry paper and then buffed to a matt sheen on the buffing wheel.. and then the Kahler 2320 trem and custom wizard pickups are installed.. along with the Fernandes sustainer unit of course..
the bone nut is cut roughly to size
and then every scallop is filed and polished
to give an unneccessarily pretty nut.. still worth it though!!
The Roland GK-3 pickup needs to be installed, and this time round I’m running the cable through the trem cavity..
which makes the wires invisible.. and she is strung up for the first time!!
the nut slots are filed down.. most of you could drastically improve the feel of your axes with just a few minutes at this end, it’s something most guitarists don’t really think about but with this tweak I have managed to get an action of less than a millimeter!! (as specced I might add!!)
the Elm back plates are installed..
and here she is.. ready for wiring.. and some custom turned timber knobs and switch tips!!
All my best, Ben
Crimson Guitars HQ