the guitar builders blog – 270212
A guitar builders world is one of dust, dust and wood and shavings and sharp little bits of metal.. and I wouldn’t swap it for anything!
The pin router is set up, the joint between the guitar and bass sections of the twin neck guitar (bass?) needs to be as thin as possible and 3d.. here the router bit is set up so that it will not go any closer to the stop than this and we can rout to this depth and follow the carve of the front perfectly.. a most useful tool indeed!
A lot of people have been asking how on earth I will be joining the two instruments to create this concept double neck guitar.. firstly a lot of carving!
With the internal part on the bass carved mechanically it is time to match that to the top part of the guitar..
A break to clear my mind and take the clamps off Pauls solid Elm bodied PAF guitar, it now has a neck glued in and is starting to look like a real instrument at last.
The time consuming and difficult part of the job was the fact that the internal areas of the twin neck joint have to be carved 3d.. much fun was had getting this right! Obviously there will be a mechanical, or perhaps magnetic, way of keeping the joint together.. but that’s for next week!
Success!!! With a clamp to hold them together you can see the final instrument together..
The whole idea behind this design is flexibility and ease of use either singly or as two separate guitars.. and the first concern has been weight, obviously the hollow headstocks are a start and of course the use of lightweight poplar bodies can’t be a bad thing..
There is still rather too much bulk in the bodies, and they are far from comfortable to play as yet.. (have I mentioned that the carving process is one of my favourite parts of a custom guitar build!)
For starters the bass body extends all the way up to beyond the 11th fret and this is carved away drastically, we still have support for a strap button but we also have comfort!!
Of course at each stage in the process I have to put the two together to test that everything is working well..
the joint between the bodies is carved away to its final shape.
and we are at the final stages, the sides are rounded over with rasps and files
This ultra thin section has to be comfortable to hold when its being played on its own..
I’m at the stage in my guitar building career where I’ve done most things a good few times.. a hollow headstock is new and I love it!
Now, enough carving.. the pin router is set up and I have a good few stock(ish) guitars in progress..
and their control cavities must be routed to match the carve of the top..
This one is fun, bubinga is heavy and some extreme carving was utilised.. this guitar should have phenomenal sustain!
The headstock of Pauls PAF guitar is rather large..
and the body a little flat..
I love my grinder.. it takes carving a neck from a full days work to about half an hour!
the same goes for the body and all access neck carves!
Never under-estimate the danger of wood dust.. it is without exception carcinogenic!! Be warned! (though my twitter followers seem to think I look like an alien in this one!?)
Most of the stock necks have been fretted, though the ends are still somewhat dangerous!
a few different files go into sorting out this problem…
the ends, once filed to an angle, are rounded over.. comfort is king!
repeat the process some 72 times though and the experience does get old.. or you go in to a trance and do nine necks in one hit without thought..
Still with the cavity routing.. this Robert Fripp slim model is looking good!
I couldn’t resist a closeup of this one.. I don’t use enough light body woods, it always seems to be mahogany and maple tops..
Who wants one?
After some more thought
yet more weight is removed from the body of this guitar.
and the rough sanding begins.
the dragonfly inlay looks the part.. but is unfinished.
and shaping.. (carroll drum sanders are great!)
as are these hand made rasps.. I’ve had this beast at least ten years and I still use it daily.. being hand made the teeth leave less obvious marks and it cuts superbly.
Another Carroll drum in my bobbin sander turns a strip of alloy into a wedge..
The rest of the dragonflys flight path is drawn onto the body of the ergonomic bass guitar.
the inlay begins in earnest, a sharp scalpel is essential.. that and a steady hand.
a small purfling chisel is brought out next.. another old friend.
and finally the inlay, a 3d affair to match the carved top, is glued in place with epoxy.. I usually use superglue but that stains light woods like this beautiful spalted poplar.
While the glue cures I get to making a new handle for my alloy file..
comfort is important whether your tool is a guitar or a file!
success!! I am loving this instrument, I hope you do too.. let me know in the comments :)
All my best ,