Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Progress update

My todo list is dwindling as ample shop time of late has resulted in the completion of several tweaks, repairs, and steps to prepare for finishing.

Back on the bench, ready for all kinds of surgery (and a replacement tooth):

Clamped to the neck carving rail (complete with its now solid base) for a bit of wood removal and shaping.

A couple weeks ago I had my proudest builder moment other than the first notes when hours of calculating and working on the heel cut jig resulted in a perfectly aligned neck and perfect string action in one shot. Fists were pumped. Shouts of exhilaration were (m)uttered. As it happened, I took a conservative first cut, thinking I'd double check my thinking and setup before trying to take it all the way, but a mistake in the setup took it all the way unexpectedly and it came out great. When does anything work out that way?! The result was a better looking and more playable instrument. Check and check.

Finish tests continue in order to figure out how to blend the color of the neck and rim and to decide what pore filler and finish I want to use. After tonight there are only two more tasks standing ahead of finish application! Installing side dot position markers and leveling and polishing the frets.

Here is a fun little tool I made tonight to move the peghead through-holes.

None of the three remaining through-holes allowed a straight string path from the nut to the tuner post without rubbing a little. This needed correcting just in case it was hindering tuning at all. I started filing with the needle files, but that wasn't getting me anywhere. I needed a tiny chisel or gouge if I was ever going to finish. I rooted around in the tools to no avail. It was time to sacrifice a 75-cent file. First I bent the handle for a better angle. Then out came the Dremel with a cut-off wheel to remove the tapered end. After a little grinding on the disc sander and mild sandpaper sharpening, it was good to go. It worked. What would you call that, a mini bent-handle plow chisel?

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