Joining the Top

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

I haven't done a whole lot on the guitar in the last few days....I spent a bit of time fine-tuning my little Performax 10-20 thickness sander --- realigning the sanding drum, getting the conveyor belt to track properly (it's a little finicky). After I got that all fixed, I thickness-sanded my sides.

I also ended up jointing a new Engelmann spruce top set today, because when I thickness-sanded my original top set, it ended up a bit too thin on the outer edges (due to the Performax sander being out of alignment --- that's why I was spending that time readjusting it --- should have checked it first!). I can still use the original set on a smaller guitar later, so it's okay.

ANYWAY....after jointing the new top and thickness-sanding it, I thought I'd make another video!!! (I think I'm getting addicted to playing around with iMovie!) So, here it is --- my video of how I join my tops!!!! It's the method I learned when I built my very first kit guitar, and I've used it ever since.





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  1. A Little Detour....A Tour of My Workroom!!!
  2. Joining the Top
  3. Starting to Bend
  4. Bending, Day 2
  5. Bending, Day 3
  6. Neck Block, Center Strip, Cutaway!
  7. Bracing the Back, Gluing in the Blocks
  8. Shape Back Braces, Glue Neck Block, Make Spreaders
  9. Spreader, Rim, Kerfing
  10. Rim-Sanding, Brace-Shaping, Go-Bar Modification, & Obon!!!
  11. Side Strips & Rosette
  12. Beginning the Top Bracing
  13. Bracing, Continued...
  14. Gluing the Back
  15. Gluing the Top
  16. Trimming the Overhang
  17. Routing for Binding : Day 1
  18. Routing for Binding : Day 2
  19. Fitting & Gluing the Bindings
  20. The Soundbox is Done!!!
  21. Truss Rod Slot, Peghead Veneer
  22. Peghead, Start Heel
  23. Threaded Inserts, Neck Trimmed
  24. Fitting the Neck!!!
  25. Truss Rod Cavity, Heel Cap, Fingerboard Trimmed
  26. Finishing and Gluing the Fingerboard / Peghead Inlay
  27. Carving the Neck
  28. I Feel Good....The Basic Building is Done!!! (Now on to the Finishing....)
  29. Pore-Filling
  30. Sealing
  31. Finish Coats
  32. Finishing the Finish!!!
  33. Gluing the Bridge
  34. It's All Done!!!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008




In the past couple of days, I have done a few things: I have joined the top and cut out its profile. Right now it's thicknessed to about 4mm or so; after I inlay the rosette, I will do the final thicknessing.

As you might have noticed, I have a new set of wood for the back. The previous set I had joined, I was a little worried about, as it (like my previous top) was a little thin on the edges, too (because of my Performax sander being out of alignment). So, instead of using those top & back sets for this guitar, I ended up cutting them out for a future Size 5 guitar. To the right is my new set. I have it thicknessed to 2.4mm (about 3/32"). I like its striping and have decided not to inlay a backstrip to compete with it.

TO THE LEFT BELOW: I found I had an already cut-out neck from the laminated mahogany neck blank I had used back in 2006 for the 1st cutaway project (you can get two necks out of one 3" by 4" by 30" neck blank), so I will be using that for this guitar. That saved me a bit of time!!!

Also on the bench are the two sides I thicknessed to 2mm yesterday. Today I used the same Colin Symonds method of figuring out the side profile that I used successfully last year on my classical. I am making this Taylor-style cutaway a little thinner than I made the first one, more like their original dimensions for the Grand Concert, which I really liked for its daintier proportions. My soundbox depth will be 3-1/2" at the neck end and 4-1/4" at the tail end.












And here's Emily, who is busy gnawing on her very favorite yucky bone !!!! She is so patient with me every day, as I am constantly working on the guitar, that I felt she deserved a little recognition.....



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