Saturday, May 14, 2005


Building Blocks

So after a long week of work involving little sleep and lots of drafting, I decided I needed to take a break from it today. The next step for the cocobolo parlor is the neck and tail blocks. Once I get those ready, I can glue up the side assembly and start preparing the top and back to be braced. But to make the neck block, I need a bandsaw that will slice through three inch thick mahogany.

A friend of mine has loaned me his old Delta bandsaw that had been sitting in his shed for sometime. Over the last several month's I've basically overhauled the thing, taken it down to the nuts and bolts and rebuilt it. This is a great saw, built like a tank in 1943. I don't really trust the second floor of my house to support the weight of this thing, so I'm trading a few computer tech support hours every month for some shop space out in the country.

I just finished the bandsaw today, this was the first time I've been able to use it. I had to order a replacement for a broken upper bearing guide bracket from Delta a couple weeks ago when I thought I was done working on it. Luckily, they still use a lot of the same parts as they did 62 years ago, so it wasn't difficult or expensive to get a replacement.

I drew up my neck block in Autocad and printed out a full size copy of it. I used some 3m spray adhesive to stick it to the block, then I can use that as a guide while I cut out the shape with the bandsaw. I figured I'd go ahead and make two of them while I was at it.

I didn't quite make the tight inside corners on either block, but I believe they will still be usable.

I've also started building my jig to sand the curved profile into the neck and tail blocks where they will be glued to the sides. It may not make much sense now, I'll explain it better when it's done and I can show it being used. It's an idea I stole from my class with Harry Fleishman.

All in all, it was a pretty nice day off.

you build your guitar plans in autocad? BBBWWWWOOOOPPPPP! NERD ALERT!

i've had wood destined to be a bass guitar sitting in my garage for nearly a year now. my top has been a problem. i don't think that the maple was very dry when i bought it because they split it for a bookmatch and the thing warped pretty badly. i'm sure i could glue and clamp it to my mahogany but i'm not sure how well it's going to work. what do you use for glue? what would you use for a solid body to laminate a maple top on mahogany?

i've already got the neck, tuning pegs and bridge. i should buy the electronics and get crackin.
That nerd alert is constantly going off, I don't even hear it anymore.

I think the typical thing to do when you resaw the wood is to sticker it right away (i.e. stack it with a thin strip of wood at each end between each piece, and then have a weight on the stack so it stays flat). The idea is that this allows air flow around the whole piece, so that it can dry evenly. The weight will help it keep from splitting, too.

I definitely wouldn't glue it up till it's stable and flat. You might be able to use an iron with a cloth between the iron and the wood to force it flat before you sticker it.

I'm kind of an idiot, though, so you might want to seek advice from someone that actually knows what they're talking about.

I wanna build a solid body, just bought the Build Your Own Electric Guitar book. I think I'll try to get a few acoustics done, first, though.
I am trying to picture where the neck block goes. Do those prongs go into the body of the guitar, and the neck gets attached to the opposite flat face? I have never done a guitar discection, so I'm having trouble picturing some of these things.

Glad you carved out a little time to work on the guitar! All drafting and no guitar building makes Jon a pale hermit. (Or something to that effect.)
Yeah, those prongs are on the inside, they'll be glued to the insides of the top and the back. And the other flat part will be glued to the inside of both halves of the sides, and the neck will be bolted on through that. It's actually a non-standard way of doing it, but this is how I learned it in class. Man, it's hard to describe this stuff without pictures.
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