After several weeks of frenetic activity I have managed to salvage things, basically I’ve had to rebuild the entire website page by page in a new content management system.. the upside is that part of this work has been to optimise the site to make it faster: at one point the diary pages were loading up at 13 seconds a page even on fast broadband.. this should be a thing of the past. The gallery pages have been completely over-hauled, now you can click on the menu for a gallery of all guitars under each section and then if you want the specs click on that guitar in the menu.. the build a guitar pages now have a new layout as does the video page. Finally, you will have seen that the diary is now laid out as a traditional blog with a more intuitive layout.. if you have any ideas/comments on the new site please don’t hesitate to let me know, as with everything at Crimson Guitars perfection is the ultimate goal.
Now, on to the real work, after all the website is not the actual reason for my existence it is just a tool to facilitate my addiction to guitar building! A lump of alloy is cut down on the bandsaw.
This is going to end up as a fixed bridge for a multi-scale guitar, to keep the saddles aligned I’m milling a shallow recess for them.
The saddles, a custom set we made last year, will hide the springs.
Like so.. the final finish is sand-blasted in.
and every little piece is anodised.. acid and electricity make for a fun couple of hours.
As well as sorting out the website the workshop gets a seeing to, a new bench with dogs and a few good vices should make my life just that little bit more productive. Can you believe it was sitting unloved in my neighbours garage!
After the anodising is complete the stainless steel slugs that the strings will be seated on are made.
Then they are fitted, along with the height adjustment grub screws.
At this point I feel the need to work some wood, this multi-laminate rosewood neck blank is routed for a truss rod, our standard dual action unit.
The headstock break angle is planed in with my new, very sharp, four and a half plane.
The fretboard is to be padouk..
Using the stewmac template the fret slots are cut in.
And then the final dimensions of the board are cut.. roughly.
In a switch from my standard operating procedure I shape the fret board first rather than the neck blank.
The compound radius is planed in.
And now it is time to create the flame maple binding..
Flame maple and ebony binding are glued to the board.
The top, rosewood again, is put through the bandsaw. A nice deep blade rips through it really easily, of course it helps to have a nice sharp blade to start with!
As this is to be a custom through-neck guitar the mahogany body will be, in fact, wings.. these are marked out..
Winter is coming but the rain brings a rainbow in to the next field over.. I love how the cloud all around the top of the rainbow is darker than that inside…
The bookmatched rosewood pieces are put through the thicknesser
and then jointed by hand.
Three sash clamps give enough pressure.
the truss rod access cavity is routed next, an interesting and useful little mod to the fence helps no end.. instead of a hole between the two ends of the fence a piece of aluminium bridges the gap and stabilises the whole job.
The all wood binding has cured and the excess is planed and chiselled away.
The final width is planed in next using a shooting board.
And the neck and fret board become one..
Over the past year I’ve been working on a batch of hand made stock guitars, these are the necks and they need some work.. these blanks have been curing since early in the year and any moving will be all done by now.
The gluing surfaces on reach of them are planed flat.
During that time the fretboard has cured, excess glue is chiselled away.
And the binding end piece is created.
Finally the excess rosewood from the neck is band sawed away.
And the gluing surface is prepared.
A nice new bench and it is now right at home!
The frets are cut to size and the inlays marked out.
I like the non-standard layout very much..
While the inlays cure each fret has its tang nipped away so it fits over the binding.
An old, but still sharp, Japanese saw is ripped apart.
some scrap maple should make a nice, comfortable, handle.
A new fret cleaning saw is created, half an hour well spent!
a very nice little tool.
The frets are installed
Now, back to the custom bridge we started with.. the through body stringing access channels are milled out.
And it is put together, all done..
Back to Johns custom guitar, the fret ends are filed flush to the fretboard and at an angle for comfort.
The side dots are next..
Simple black plastic is perfect, highly visible and easy to install.
The top is put through the drum sander, the quickest and easiest way to get a perfectly flat joint.
The wings are jointed next, the number seven is made for this sort of work.. though of course I find myself lusting after a number eight!
This is to have tone chambers so these are marked out.
And pre drilled, it is really important to do this, routers are (surprisingly) fine tools and a forstner bit rips the waste out much easier.
Speaking of routers I use the pin router for this job.. a nice and easy overhead rout.
The final outline is cut out.
And then finalised with the bobbin sander.
The top needs somewhere to sit so more rosewood is removed from the through neck.
And the first of the two chambered wings is glued up.
Then the second.. the trick is to get both sides perfectly aligned and this is much easier when one side has already cured.
While that dries 25ish necks have their headstock break angles planed in.
Progress at last!
With the wings glued up this is starting to look like a real guitar.
The excess neck wood is planed away leaving a perfect gluing surface.
More routing as the control cavity, a really large one, is routed.
The top has its neck pocket cut and fitted in.
The last thing I do is rout in a wiring channel, there are going to be rather a lot of wires in this build!
The top is finally clamped in place and left to cure,
All my best,
Crimson Guitars | Redefining Custom