A rosette by any other name… Sweet.

Rosette

The top of the guitar is two pieces. They are thicknesses to 3.2mm and joined on a shooting board. The nail and batton method is used to glue them.

The rosette design is made from strips of perfling. A dremmel with a special circle cutting attachment is used to route out three channels. 1.5mm 7.25mm and 1.5mm. They are 1.5 mm deep.

The perfling is glued in and clamped between a piece of MDF and perspex. A sharp scalpel and sand paper was necessary to clean up the routing. 

Job done. Off to lunch.

Put her through the drum sander the next day and finished leveling by hand with a small scraper.

It looks really great!

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Some neck on ya!

Now to transform this plank of wood into a guitar neck…

While all is flat and square the router is used to channel out space for the truss rod (a metal rod which can be adjusted to counter-act the pull of the strings and keep the neck straight while playing). Two carbon fibre strips are added for extra strength, remember this guitar will have 18 strings if all goes to plan!

The half moon ends must be filled to stop any movement. The carbon fibre is epoxied in, the trust rod is held with a little mastic at either end so it can bend.

Now the head stock angle is cut with a band saw. This is where the machine heads for tuning the guitar are mounted.

Its leveled out with a plane and sanding board. Veneers of maple and rosewood are chosen and glued on top:

They’re held in place with two nails and clamped down:

Looking good. Then the taper of the neck is cut on a band saw.

Head stock design is marked out, cut on the band saw, and finished with a bobbin sander.

Now it’s looking like we might have a guitar some day!

Death by 1000 cuts

Getting out the old kerfing saw to cut some mahogony lining. The kerfed lining is used to make a better join between the sides and the front/back of the guitar. 

A special cutting box with a depth stop leaves the cut about 0.5mm shy of cutting through. The result is a bendy lining which can conform to the curves of the guitar body.

Now this is tedium. A cut every 5mm along 3 pieces, each 1.5m long makes for 900 cuts! I cleverly taped the three pieces together so only had to repeat the process about 300 times. Joy! 

 Overwhelming urge to keep this pile of mahogony dust… 

Taking shape

After thinning the sides to 2mm they are steam bent with a wet rag and this rusty old bending iron. There are shiny new ones but they don’t work as well!

Clamping the sides to the mould while they “settle” allows the wood to accept it’s new form. Change can be difficult to accept…

Mmm clamps.

The neck block and tail block are glued in with trusty Titebond glue and now we have a guitar shape! 

The depth of the body is tapered, being about an inch thinner where the neck joins. So the excess must be planned off the sides to get a smooth slope to meet the back of the guitar. Slightly complicated by the concave and convex curves of the body, at least there is no cutaway to deal with!

Choosing Sides

Wow we got beautiful pieces of rosewood for the sides! 

We need a straight edge where the sound board will meet the sides so they are clamped and put on the big belt sander.

The drum sander is used to get them down to 2mm. Nice and easy to bend, I hope! 

It'll be alright in the end. If it's not alright it's not the end!